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Hi :)  
I had  a feeling i was missing some wrinkles by accident and made a few mistakes.  There were a few 
wrinkles i was trying to skate over to try to make it simpler to understand.  

1.  I didn't know tk = tool kit, and gtk = gnome tool kit, that makes more sense of it to me now.  

2.  People did really seem to like the older versions of KDE and Gnome and a lot of people were 
somewhat shocked by how they both made such radical changes in their newer versions.  They both 
seem to have settled down a lot and become more accepted now so it might be worth leapfrogging over 
their .0 releases and going straight to their more recent versions.  Xfce is quite popular but 
perhaps that is a warning?  Perhaps they plan to do something radical?  As it is right now it's a 
tad heavier (ie more fully functional) than i expected.  Enlightenment, Openbox, LxDE and tons of 
others are far, far  lighter.  I enjoyed Enlightenment but only used it briefly.  LxDE looked far 
too much like Windows in the implementation i used and i hated all the blues so much i couldn't 
bear it long enough to change them!  Oddly i am quite happy with Unity now although i can 
understand why others don't.  It kinda pre-empted Win8's UI but the implementation is less
 rammed down people's throats and gives us something a more familiar by default.  So if you are on 
Xfce can i recommend you try LxDE and Enlightenment (assuming it's not a pita to just quickly try 
them!  I'm not sure if it would involve compiling things and if it did i would avoid them)

3.  Superfluous or not is not the issue.  Some apps just have Qt at the front of their names, eg 
QtPartEd as the KDE equivalent of GPartEd with both using PartEd as their main back-end.  Other 
apps use a K, such as Kate; whereas Gnome apps use a G, such as Gedit.  

I tried to avoid mentioning apps that don't have those letters as indicators and i'm sure some apps 
accidentally use those letters without realising they have significance or as a deliberate attempt 
to buck against the 'rules'.  (not really rules at all of course, possibly not even unofficial 

Gtk apps do run in KDE but they don't look pretty.  KDE gives them Win95-style borders and 
title-bars doesn't it?  My neighbour grumbles on about it as tho it meant the end of the world. 

The other way around, Qt on Gtk-based DEs - I'm not sure if there are still some Qt apps that don't 
run in some Gnome DE's or going wider to other Gtk-based ones but usually i would use the Gnome 
equivalent of such programs.  I'm quite happy with Brasero, for example.  It does more than i need. 
 Sometimes i even prefer GnomeBaker.  I really don't need the sophisticated tools built-into the 
KDE nearest equivalent.   

It's interesting to hear that Qt was proprietary!!  A bit of a shocker for me!  Surely it is 
OpenSource by now?
Regards from 

Tom :)  

From: Girvin Herr <>

My 2-cents.

On 04/12/2013 10:15 AM, Tom Davies wrote:

<snip />

"tk" stands for Tool Kit, so truncating GTK (Gnome Tool Kit) is not entirely proper.

<snip />

I have switched to Xfce, since IMHO KDE 4 is still a basket case even though it is release 10 
(4.10) on my Slackware 14.0 distro! From what I am hearing on other forums, I am not alone in 
switching.  The K people had a very stable KDE in 3.5 and they were only up to release 5 (3.5).  I 
was sorry to see that stability go for an entire rewrite in KDE 4.

Ok, so it's not quite that simple.  2 extra wrinkles;
1.  Gtk or tk are pretty rarely used but are for the Xfce DE (well really a WM (=window manager 
(note the lower-case w)) but that is nearly a DE) and Xfce apps work well in Gnome.

Not so.  From my experience, most of the apps without a "K" prefix are written with GTK, so they 
can run on the most DEs.  I ran GTK apps on KDE.

<snip />

KDE is and has been, built on the QT libraries, so the QT is redundant.  K* can assume QT.  Most 
if not all of the other DEs are built on the GTK libraries.  In my experience, there are many more 
applications built on GTK than QT.  Apps built on GTK will run on KDE, however, I am not sure apps 
built for KDE will run on all GTK DEs.  I know for a fact that KDE apps will run well on Xfce, I 
am doing so.  In fact, I was amazed at how well they do run.  The QT library was proprietary at 
one time (Trolltech).  I don't know if the current version is.  GTK is open source (GNU) licensed.

I hope that helps!!  I hope i got it about right too otherwise i'm going to get deluged with 
unwanted flaming or something!  Something i like about Gnu&Linux is the passion and that we go 
all sorts of different ways but somehow manage to grow and learn from each other or make use of 
each others achievements and even build on them (if individuals are gifted enough)
Regards from
Tom :)

Yours in enlightenment.
Girvin Herr

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