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KDE Founder Receives Highest German Honor 142

Posted by Soulskill
from the other-than-beer dept.
Jiilik Oiolosse writes "KDE founder Matthias Ettrich was decorated today with the German Federal Cross of Merit for his contributions to Free Software. The Federal Cross of Merit is both the most prestigious as well as the only general decoration awarded by the Federal Republic of Germany. It is awarded by the Federal President for outstanding achievements in the political, economic, cultural, and other fields. Matthias was awarded the medal in recognition of his work spurring innovation and spreading knowledge for the common good."
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KDE Founder Receives Highest German Honor

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  • Ha (Score:5, Funny)

    by liquidpele (663430) on Friday November 06, 2009 @11:10PM (#30012178) Journal
    Take THAT gnome!
    • Re:Ha (Score:5, Insightful)

      by noundi (1044080) on Friday November 06, 2009 @11:19PM (#30012208)

      Take THAT gnome!

      Except if it wasn't for GNOME Qt would still be proprietary. It's easy to neglect the impacts OSS projects have on eachother, even if they don't share one single row of code.

      • Re:Ha (Score:5, Funny)

        by everynerd (1252610) on Saturday November 07, 2009 @12:53AM (#30012512)
        I bet you're fun at parties.
      • Re:Ha (Score:5, Funny)

        by straponego (521991) on Saturday November 07, 2009 @01:07AM (#30012542)
        QPLists? Fuck me. Say what you want about the tenets of the GPL, but at least it's an ethos!
      • by Ilgaz (86384) on Saturday November 07, 2009 @06:59AM (#30013402) Homepage

        and we have all seen what happened to that GNU created hero (!) after he went to Novell. Do you really want to raise this "proprietary" crap for sure? Even GNU Debian Linux (there is a reason for that name) got infected by his wannabe framework (!) because of some trivial note taking application.

        Now multi billion mobile/services giant Nokia, who doesn't need money like poor Trolltech has made the project free/GPL. I don't see any "Qt is proprietary" trolls cheering. It was so wrong to ask for money while companies making millions/billions with your full fledged framework isn't it? For example, Google, Adobe, Last.fm doesn't need to pay?

        GNU's biggest mistake was making that trojan guy a hero while he didn't deserve it. He was just another person, a MS reject who did 1000th clone of Norton Commander, that is all.

      • by c (8461)

        > Except if it wasn't for GNOME Qt would still be proprietary.

        Speculation. It might have happened anyways. It might even have happened sooner if GNOME wasn't around to steal the Linux desktop spotlight. Or someone might have built a Free clone of the Qt API.

        • by Dr. Evil (3501)

          You mean the Harmony Project? Which probably was the cause of QT eventually going GPL? (not LGPL..)

          IMHO, KDE depending on QT was a bad decision. It ignored the fatal flaws in the licensing, until the eventual cooperation of TrollTech. It led to the creation of Mandrake (because Redhat wouldn't touch QT), the fracturing of the Linux desktop (Debian wouldn't touch QT either) and may very well have set back the Linux Desktop long enough that it will never be relevant.

          It's a long and messy history. It w

    • Re:Ha (Score:5, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 06, 2009 @11:22PM (#30012224)

      Actually, Miguel de Icaza has already received one of the highest American honors: a corporate vice-presidency.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        He also got the Golden Wall and Fence medal from Ballmare. For supporting windows and gates.

      • by Hymer (856453)

        Except US Corporate titles (except CEO) are not worth the paper they are printed on.

    • by Ilgaz (86384)

      Gnome doesn't need any more beating while that MS employee is still in the project itself.

    • you case-insensitive clod!
  • by Penguinshit (591885) on Friday November 06, 2009 @11:12PM (#30012184) Homepage Journal
    My kompliments...
  • Hmm... (Score:4, Funny)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Friday November 06, 2009 @11:19PM (#30012206) Journal
    Shouldn't they have given him the German Federal Kross of Merit?

    Posted from Konqueror.
  • Runner up (Score:5, Funny)

    by Capmaster (843277) on Friday November 06, 2009 @11:29PM (#30012252)
    This is really just consolation for the Nobel Peace Prize he was supposed to win.
    • And, I'm not saying that just because I happen to be a Republican...

      I'm saying that, as, a practical matter of bringing about world peace, its awfully hard to hate the Germans when they've done such a wonderful job through the years with KDE and KDevelop. There's a world peace argument to be made for that. How many hundreds of thousands of people use KDE?

      Now, can they finish KDevelop 4, PLEASE. :-)

      • by petrus4 (213815) on Saturday November 07, 2009 @04:57AM (#30013116) Homepage Journal

        And, I'm not saying that just because I happen to be a Republican...

        This is true. Obama getting the Nobel Peace Prize was an absolute farce, and you could tell that he knew that himself.

        I don't view Obama as a monster, but he is no saviour, and no Messiah either.

        • by neongrau (1032968)
          i wonder, do you see it as a farce because you think he hasn't deserved it (yet)?
          Or because they gave it to him with the idea to put some kind of pressure on him to actually do something?

          I fully agree that it was questionable. But hopefully it'll work out for a greater good.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    If this is the only general award given by the German government that it is also the least prestigious, too?

    • Since they discontinued the iron cross (with oak leaves) then yes, it is.
      • by TeknoHog (164938)
        I would imagine the iron cross is still available for outstanding hardware developers.
    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      If this is the only general award given by the German government that it is also the least prestigious, too?

      Yes, it is.
      There are, however, six different classes, so there is an "most" and "least" prestigious: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_Cross_of_Merit
      3k to 5k decorations given each year, a total of 240k from 1951 (wikipedia).

      Nonetheless: Kongrats to him!!

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Sique (173459)

      No, the Germans named all their awards the same and make a difference just by the level. The Federal Cross of Merit thus has nine levels. (I am still trying to find out which level he got.)

    • by bcmm (768152)
      They may mean the most prestigious award in Germany is also the only one awarded by the Federal Government.
  • If only he were from a Commonwealth country, then he could be made a KBE.

    - RG>

  • by Anonymous Coward
    So you can argue it's not THE highest honor... He received the lowest class of the Federal Cross of Merit. But that still is some achievement!
    • by jonbryce (703250)

      I guess the highest level of honour goes to people like Tim Berners-Lee.

    • According to the article in the German Wikipedia, first-time receivers *never* receive a higher rank than the second-lowest one, except of heads of states. So it's still quite an achievement.

  • Wait, what? (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Psychopath (18031) on Friday November 06, 2009 @11:39PM (#30012292) Homepage

    The Federal Cross of Merit is both the most prestigious as well as the only general decoration awarded by the Federal Republic of Germany.

    Wouldn't that also make it the least prestigious general decoration?

  • by WindBourne (631190) on Friday November 06, 2009 @11:45PM (#30012318) Journal
    Congrats Matthias.
  • by Broodje (646341)

    Good - What a nice recognition for hard work in public service.

  • by ChienAndalu (1293930) on Saturday November 07, 2009 @12:12AM (#30012408)

    He received it as a plasmoid and it crashed his desktop. But it looks nice.

    • And just as most plasmoids, it's a completely useless piece of decoration.

      But at least the UI is simple. And that is all that counts, right? ;)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 07, 2009 @01:07AM (#30012544)

    On other unrelated news, Miguel de Icaza was given the Golden Windows medal by Microsoft's Steve Ballmer, for his outstanding job at undermining Free Software principles, and destroying Linux from within.

  • by yorkshiredale (1148021) on Saturday November 07, 2009 @01:23AM (#30012584)

    Slashdot humor aside for a moment, it's truly a great honour to be recognized by one's country, and Matthias ought to be proud of the accomplishments of himself and the KDE community.

    Keep up the good work Matthias and all the KDE folks. You deserve this, and your efforts are appreciated (though sorry, slashdot doesn't give out Crosses of Merit, yet)

    • The only thing even cooler is getting a medal from a foreign government. Of course, getting the Iron Cross first class is a lot cooler than getting the totally anemic-sounding Presidential Medal of Freedom.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 07, 2009 @01:42AM (#30012616)

    Kind of ironic, given, umm, World War II and stuff, which country seems more free now.

    But that represents such a freer mindset than exists in the USA. I can't imagine in my wildest dreams the highest national medal of the US going to a libre software person. It would take Linus Torvalds being elected our President ... and even then, he'd have no way to push this past Congress.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I know mailservers that died in the great flamewar of '98. I think they are still a bit sensitive about it.

    • by gerddie (173963)

      Don't get too comfortable with that Idea, we just finished 11 years of governments that brought us the RFID chip in the passport, finger prints in passports, a half year of storing of all connection data, and who tried to bring us the infamous "stop" sign for censoring the Internet.

    • If you think the birth certificate people are bad now, just wait for what they'll do to a Torvalds presidency.
    • > Kind of ironic, given, umm, World War II and stuff, which country seems more free now.

      World War II has been discussed to death, and it gets boring. It's just 12 damn years out of 1200 of German history. Besides of the fact that we will (because of these 12 years) never allow Austrians to make politics here again, I find the Weimar Republic, the imperial period and the troublesome centuries that led to them much more interesting in regards to how we attained our freedom oriented mindset. These were the

  • by petrus4 (213815) on Saturday November 07, 2009 @03:08AM (#30012822) Homepage Journal

    Although I don't normally use the Big Two, when I have, the only positive experiences I've ever had, have been with KDE.

    Despite its' bloat, the system is absolutely gorgeous visually, and to my mind has been ahead of XP in that department almost since its' inception. Konqueror is also the single most versatile and powerful file manager that I've ever used. Local file management and remote web browsing in two panes of the same window are awesome, but it is still more versatile than IE as well, in terms of the number of different modes, and the integration with Konsole that it allows.

    Although it isn't much, KDE is also closer in design terms to the UNIX philosophy as well; the different parts are more cleanly encapsulated than GNOME, and it's more self-contained, as well.

    It isn't the more popular of the two major DEs, presumably due to not being Stallman-approved for the entirety of its' history...but it is overwhelmingly the better one.

    • by xororand (860319) on Saturday November 07, 2009 @04:32AM (#30013078)

      Although it isn't much, KDE is also closer in design terms to the UNIX philosophy as well; the different parts are more cleanly encapsulated than GNOME, and it's more self-contained, as well.

      On the other hand, if you look at it from a developer's side, GTKMM [gtkmm.org] (the C++ interface of GTK) might be closer to the UNIX philosophy of "do one thing only, and do that right". While Qt reinvents the wheel so many times, by using its own classes for many things, like QString or QThread, or by implementing its own slot & signal system with a C++ preprocessor, GTKMM uses standard and existing libraries wherever possible.

      Qt: QString, QList, QVector
      GTKMM: std::string, std::list, std::vector

      Qt: Signal handling with macros and its own custom C++ preprocessor
      GTKMM: libsigc++, template-based signal handling

      Of course that's just one way of looking at it but I wouldn't call any of the two less close to the UNIX philosophy. On the end user's side, both have an abstract VFS to file management on remote resources, etc...

      That said, kongratulations, Matthias! I hope this award encourages others to dedicate their time for the greater good.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Verunks (1000826)
        the problem is that Qt should run on many different platforms so it cannot depend on many external libraries that probably would run only on unix-like system, this way is much easier for developers to deploy their app everywhere
      • ahem... Gtkmm uses Glib::ustring, not std::string (though there are default constructors and conversion methods in both directions).
      • by c (8461) <beauregardcp@gmail.com> on Saturday November 07, 2009 @09:40AM (#30013976)

        > While Qt reinvents the wheel so many times, by using its own classes
        > for many things, like QString or QThread, or by implementing its own
        > slot & signal system with a C++ preprocessor

        They started writing Qt in 1991. I don't know about you, but I was writing C++ on Linux/Unix throughout the 90's, and if you weren't reinventing the wheel and writing your own class libraries, you were either paying a lot of cash for someone else's toolkit or you weren't writing portable code.

        I'm sure the situation has improved immensely, but old habits like that...

        c.

    • by RichiH (749257)

      KDE 4 has limited the usefulness of Konqueror in favour of Dolphin. KDE being open source, this will certainly improve over time, but I am running 4.3.2 and some pills are still hard to swallow.
      Fwiw, my gf and my work boxes run 3.5.10 and will unfortunately continue to do so for some time.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Just Some Guy (3352)

        Fwiw, my gf and my work boxes run 3.5.10

        Dude. You just referred to your computer as your girlfriend. In public. That's too geeky, even by my standards.

        • by RichiH (749257)

          That, or you misunderstood what I said on purpose, disregarding both context and the options the English grammar gives me.

          That's too geeky, even by my standards.

        • by petrus4 (213815)

          If I had points, you'd get +1, Funny; although the GP would probably think you deserve -1, Troll. ;)

  • I wonder if he used his British accent to accept this award?

  • I thought Germany's greatest honor was meeting David Hasselhoff.

  • Wouldn't Obama be more deserving? He did speak in Berlin once.

  • by kbahey (102895) on Saturday November 07, 2009 @12:13PM (#30014608) Homepage

    Mattias

    Thank you and the entire KDE team for a nice desktop environment. Your vision and dedication deserves this award.

    My desktop has been KDE for a several years, and I always like it. The early KDE4 in Kubuntu 9.04 was fragile and broken in many ways. I almost gave up on it, but decided to give it a shot in the one week old Kubuntu 9.10 (karmic) which has KDE 4.3.2. I can say it is usable again, and I am exploring the new features and liking them.

  • by mrdtr (1343377)

    After reading many comments on here, I've got to wonder if some will complain just for the sake of complaining. Blah, blah, blah, KDE wasn't totally free, Blah, blah, blah, KDE didn't do this or that ..... who cares already that's the past, how about focusing on what KDE is nowadays. The most recent version is very usable, and I would rate it as one of the best desktops to use.

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