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Open Source for the Enterprise by Gautam Guliani, Dan Woods

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Open Source Desktop Environments: KDE

While several strong candidates are included in this category, we recommend K Desktop Environment (KDE) as the easiest desktop environment for transitioning from Microsoft Windows. Not only does it provide a look and feel similar to Windows, but also it offers a consistent menu and windowing scheme for all applications.

KDE is an easy-to-use, modern, mature, and stable desktop environment that works on Unix systems. KDE’s modular framework approach has resulted in applications that are tightly integrated and work well together. It also centralizes services that applications require to provide functionality to the end user. These include:

  • Network-transparent input/output via KIO, which seamlessly supports major network protocols including HTTP, FTP, POP, IMAP, NFS, SMB, LDAP, and local files.

  • A multimedia architecture based on the Analog Realtime Synthesizer that supports multiple concurrent audio and video streams.

  • DCOP, a messaging protocol that interoperates with XML-RPC.

  • Kparts, a component object model that handles all aspects of embedding components in applications.

  • XML GUI Builder, which uses XML to build and manage most aspects of a GUI. This makes it possible to configure applications in a simplified and uniform manner.

  • KHTML, a rendering engine that is fully standards compliant and efficient; it’s so efficient that Apple chose to build its web browser, Safari, using KHTML.

KDE also has advanced features including a kiosk framework that allows ...

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