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Readers comment on CDE, UltraSPARC

SunWorld Online happy with UltraSPARC, find CDE buggy

By Mark Cappel

October  1996
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Readers comment on CDE, UltraSPARC

SunWorld Online happy with UltraSPARC, find CDE buggy

We gave SunWorld Online readers the chance to comment in essay form on their thoughts on CDE and UltraSPARC, and many seized that opportunity.

The comments are reproduced as received; only some minor spelling and punctuation errors have been corrected. -- Editors

Date: Tue Sep 3 04:01:16 PDT 1996
Easy for users. The interface is familiar to them. It is not nearly as easy to customize as Openwindows or Motif however. The file manager is lacking tools. It should be comparable at least to the old OW file manager. I understand that it needs to be compatible across all the CDE implementations, but there should a place for plug-ins such as CD and floppy support. A tool to make system wide application icons and menus would be nice. Hacking around with the various config files is a pain.

UltraSparc computers
In general I am happy with the performance of the Ultras, both as workstations and servers. However, I would have liked to see Sun be even more competitive with the Ultras. For example I would see larger secondary cache sizes (As an MCAD user performance is key), especially since the UltraSPARC chip can use up to 4MB of cache.

Other issues: Faster graphics
The Creator3D is fast but is competitors (HP Visualize 48 and SGI Impact Series) is still faster in general. Also an entry level 3D system would be nice (143-MHz, 1MB cache, 3D graphics, 64-MB RAM - $14k) or at least make TGX+ the standard entry level graphics.

Sun should have given us high speed serial ports. I don't understand on a system this fast why they would shortchange serial I/O. A cheaper serial expansion card would be nice.

Floppy and CD-ROM standard
In this day and age where they are so cheap why not through them in. And don't wait two years to switch to 8X CD-ROMs. Also how about some sort of official kernel patch to allow the use of standard 2048k block CD-ROMs.

Date: Tue Sep 3 04:49:57 PDT 1996
Difficult to move windows across desktops, too easy for untrusted users to suspend system state.

Date: Tue Sep 3 10:09:05 PDT 1996
Lack of applications integrated with the CDE environment. Some users are using a WABI/MS app combination and it is extremely well integrated into the CDE environment. Native applications that utilize the strengths of the CDE environment are mostly unknown to me.

Date: Tue Sep 3 15:10:00 PDT 1996
The switch from a non CDE version of SOLARIS is painful. There is much time and effort in customizing the desktop menu from Open Windows, when you go to CDE you lose all of that effort. Yes you can create/modify the dekstop menu but it isn't as intuitively obvious or as easy as it was with Open Windows.


Date: Tue Sep 3 15:36:33 PDT 1996

Date: Tue Sep 3 16:13:16 PDT 1996
CDE 1.0.2 just isn't up to feature and ease of use level of OpenWindows 3.5. The CDE file manager is weak compaired to the OW file manager. It was also nice that the OW Classing Engine (binder) came with a lot of reasonable definitions while CDE's app manager comes with virtual none. CDE's "Create Action" and its Action and DataType definitions file are a lot nicer to use than the binder and the CE, however.

Date: Wed Sep 4 05:22:23 PDT 1996
CDE is a backward step in usability from OpenLook under Solaris 2.5. My complaints may not fit in this TEXTAREA: Command line is not editable in Terminal. dtterm is not included in /etc/termcap Splitting windows by dragging the OL scrollbar "cable anchor" - very useful in cmdtool, filemgr or textedit if you want to have more than one part of screen dialog, filesystem, or a file in view while working on another part.

In OL, if you are scrolling a page at a time, you put your pointer in the scrollbar somewhere below the elevator, and click once per page. If you do not move your pointer, as the elevator moves down and hits the pointer, the pointer moves with the elevator (slightly below it). But with CDE, as the scroll slider hits the pointer, it stops, and you have to keep moving the pointer down to keep it below the slider. If screen output is coming to the CDE terminal window, you cannot scroll back to view off-screen text, because Motif goes to the screen end as it is updated.

Tools like the texteditor do not have the drag-and-drop target in the upper right hand corner, so you cannot drag a file from the file manager or another tool which also has the target to the editor window and replace the file. You can only drag a file and insert it in existing text. You cannot drag a file from the text editor to the print tool using that technique. If you have an open, empty text editor, and you drag and drop a file from the file manager into it, the file name doesn't go with it (editor calls it 'UNTITLED').

Date: Wed Sep 4 08:32:31 PDT 1996
  1. There is no way to change the editor for the CDE mailer.
  2. The virtual desktop paradigm could learn a few things from fvwm. Instead of the buttons representing a virtual desktop, have a box representing the entire desktop which shows windows on each desktop similar to fvwm and olvwm.
  3. Under fvwm, pressing the right mouse button against the background, pops a menu listing all the windows on the virtual desktop and you can select the window you wish. You are automatically placed on that virtual desktop and the window made active. This would be a good feature to incorporate into CDE.

Date: Wed Sep 4 11:06:43 PDT 1996
CDE: lack of performance vs. freebie window managers, lack of clickable grid for virtual sessions/desktops a la fvwm and others.

Date: Wed Sep 4 11:20:47 PDT 1996
On HP-UX (10.10) and Digital Unix (3.2D) CDE does not work with shadow passwords => CDE is useless so far on these environments. The SunOS 5 version does use shadow passwords => CDE can be used.

Date: Wed Sep 4 11:28:28 PDT 1996
Performance - CDE seems to have more overhead than Open Windows

Date: Wed Sep 4 11:49:56 PDT 1996
The CDE looks bad, is expensive to develop for, has a huge memory footprint - but its the best X has to offer.

UltraSPARCs are nice, but the OS needs more work in order to deliver more information performance wise rather than simple 15 year old text based utils (ps, vmstat, iostat). The reason we chose them is because they are the the fastest sparcs available in this range of of the unix server market. Overall, I feel that Sun provides very little support software-wise to people in my market segment.

Date: Wed Sep 4 12:57:00 PDT 1996
The ability to choose between the different windowing environments at the CDE login screen is good. Overall, a good product !!

Date: Wed Sep 4 14:42:16 PDT 1996
Training new CDE users is a non-trivial task. CDE is a very nice front end to UNIX, but it doesn't eliminate the need for the UNIX command line, and that is where the training challenge is.

Date: Wed Sep 4 15:41:05 PDT 1996
There is just one thing I can't do...increase the size of the scroll buffer. I have the answerbook installed and can find no reference that tells me how to make it bigger. The default is way too small; it often fills before I can hit the "stop" key! Somewhat less of a problem is limited font selection. I cant adjust size and linewidth independently. Both statements are made in comparison to openwindows where I can get anything I want because I can find the parameters in various setup files. I cant find any of this stuff for CDE.

Date: Wed Sep 4 19:37:11 PDT 1996
Installation of software is not straight forward. Problems with installation instructions. Re-installation does not clean up old configuration.

Date: Thu Sep 5 00:43:06 PDT 1996
CDE save session mishandles SparcWorks tools. Netscape 3 mail (with drag- and-drop message filing) is better than CDE mail tool. Xemacs replaces file manager and text editor. Migrating users from Windows to Unix is much easier with the CDE

Date: Thu Sep 5 02:39:51 PDT 1996
In my opinion the fact that the processor is not upgradable on Sun's Ultra-1 machines is a major design flaw. (Fortunately this is being addressed by a clone - the Tatung U170-ES). The Creator/Creator3D can already output PAL and NTSC video through the RGB connectors, so would it have been such a hassle to also include the approproate convertors for composite and S-Video output? Then Sun could claim built-in video output without having to say "so long as you buy a relatively hard-to-find and somewhat expensive convertor first".

The CDE file manager needs a lot of improvement before it will be competative with the Macintosh and Windows. At present it is not really an alternative to the command line except for extremely basic uses.

Date: Thu Sep 5 05:16:49 PDT 1996
Compatibility with a large base of Open Look workstations

Date: Thu Sep 5 05:34:36 PDT 1996
Most of our environment is changing from Motif to CDE.
  1. Teaching people how to customize their environment in CDE is a little bit different.
  2. Most people enjoy using xterm's. Even though dtterm is simular to xterm, it isn't as nice as xterm and I find myself modifing the system defaults to change from dtterm to xterm. I think that xterm should be a default option.

Date: Thu Sep 5 05:38:48 PDT 1996
A comment on the survey: I didn't like most of the choices for questions 3-7. "Other" choices with fill-in-the-blanks would have allowed me to satisfactorily answer them.

Date: Thu Sep 5 06:25:49 PDT 1996
My biggest problem is getting dtmail to play with foreign NFS mounts.

Date: Thu Sep 5 06:40:07 PDT 1996
No issues really. Although I do find it annoying that when you do a probe- scsi at the PROM level after it's done a memory test, it hangs the system.

Date: Thu Sep 5 06:56:04 PDT 1996
As far as the Sun environment is concerned. A lot of the Openwin tools have not been properly modified to work under CDE.

Date: Thu Sep 5 07:06:55 PDT 1996
Ultra got Sun back into the game, but they are again being left behind by performance advances of HP and SGI in both graphics and application- throughput.

The move to CDE finally gives Sun a window environment our sales types will use.

Date: Thu Sep 5 14:13:30 PDT 1996
Trying to keep up with all the new versions of X, Open Windows, CDE and OSs

Date: Fri Sep 6 05:44:16 PDT 1996
Will CDE be default window system on all major UNIX versions RSN?

Date: Fri Sep 6 07:03:33 PDT 1996
We EXTREMELY need the applications set like Microsoft Office (WYSWYG Word, Spreadsheet, Drawing tool, etc.) for CDE.

Date: Fri Sep 6 07:32:38 PDT 1996
New, not that many books or infodocs.

Date: Fri Sep 6 08:01:39 PDT 1996
CDE: many bugs. They existed in the beta and in the released version. I don't know how to report them without getting overly involved as I have in the past when reporting problems to Sun.
  1. xterms launched on startup do not have the terminal size match the window size
  2. frequent crashes of ttsession.
  3. occasionaly I try connecting to CDE's xdm process, and it kicks me out before I can even enter my user id
  4. font path not set correctly despite setting it before connecting to xdm, AND setting it in .dtprofile.
  5. fonts beginning with a - are frequently unaccessable. I have fixed most occurances by changing all -dt... to ?dt..., but I must not have gotten everything
  6. difficult to figure out how to configure/use. Man pages don't really give any good overview. I'm sure there are lots of features that I'm under-utilizing. Perhaps this one is my fault for not reading all available documentation. Overall, though, I'd rather be using CDE than any other environment.

Date: Fri Sep 6 17:51:41 PDT 1996
Poor implementation in a multi-screen environment. Some tools will not work on non-zero screens. "dtterm" is unrecognized, even on sun systems, without additional work.

Date: Fri Sep 6 18:14:39 PDT 1996
CDE is slow, it's a memory hog, and dtmail is severely lacking, even compared to old mailtool.

Date: Sun Sep 8 07:20:17 PDT 1996
Bugs in BOOT EEPROM and in particular the scsi-probe command

Date: Sun Sep 8 21:42:29 PDT 1996
Multi screen machines need better support Drag and drop between virtual desktops would be good Smaller and faster would be good Apart from that its good.

Date: Mon Sep 9 08:56:05 PDT 1996
Compatability with WABI, WABI apps.

Date: Mon Sep 9 10:17:46 PDT 1996
Our biggest problem with the UltraSPARC systems are their availability.

Date: Mon Sep 9 14:59:58 PDT 1996
awkward to use, user un-intuitive interface inhereed from HP-VUE

Date: Mon Sep 9 15:40:42 PDT 1996
  1. Centralizing system admin
  2. Converting to Fast Ethernet - should make it standard in UltraSparc
  3. admintool does not configure network printers well and printing in general - same comment regarding modems
  4. CDE is not supported by our Tektronix X terminals - xdm login screen does not work.
  5. CDE uses dtterm as a terminal type - not recognized by our SunOS 4.1.x machines - cannot use vi in a telnet session.

Date: Mon Sep 9 17:11:40 PDT 1996
When using CDE via eXceed to connect to a Solaris 2.5.1 server from an NT 3.5.1 workstation, I randomly get dropped from the server. I may have problems with my network though.

Date: Tue Sep 10 08:22:32 PDT 1996
CDE performance could use some improvement. Also, it's disk and memory footprint is rather large.

Date: Tue Sep 10 08:51:23 PDT 1996
Dog slow on Sun workstations Even slower on X terminals (NCD & Tektronix) and can cause them to crash. Needs a speedup! Otherwise I think it's the best thing since sliced bread.

Date: Tue Sep 10 10:55:06 PDT 1996
The CDE knows nothing about the Net. I use Netscape Navigator for web browsing, e-mail, and newsgroup activities, and I use terminal windows to do everything else. The CDE is slow. It's editor sucks compared to vi. It's file manager is slow too. I know that it'll get better but, no, it shouldn't run Windoze apps because they generally are bloated memory hogs. Why isn't there a java spell checker? Why can't a spell checker compare a file against networked dictionaries and tell people that they spelled "theyre" incorrectly in their documents? CDE has a way to go, but the underlying idea is good (uniformity across platforms) but couldn't that be done in java anyway?

Date: Tue Sep 10 11:34:59 PDT 1996
CDE is extremely slow on my desktop, so I have opted not to use it regularly.

Date: Tue Sep 10 11:36:51 PDT 1996
I can't believe that Sun could write/create/license an environment that is such a flaky, buggy, memory leaky piece of junk. I have used SunOS's since 3.5 and CDE has so many memory leaks that on the UltraSparc system I am using, I think the minimum memory requirements should be about 128MB. Right now, my Xsun session is using 16MB of memory... CDE is better than openwindows though.

Date: Tue Sep 10 11:58:53 PDT 1996
We use CDE on dual-headed machines with the Xvan Xserver to allow both screens to appear as a single screen to applications. This causes a problem with CDE since it doesn't allow any X Resources for placing the login widget at an arbitrary x and y location. It always places its dialogs at the center of the screen, which with Xvan means that all dialogs are split between the two monitors.

Date: Tue Sep 10 12:17:39 PDT 1996
I don't find the appbuilder as easy to use a devguide. This is because there is not as many features to set and read widget atributes. This is making it very hard for me to port my code from xview to CDE. The idea of appbuilder is good but it's not very useful yet. The dtspinbox is of little use as valuse can't be entered via the dialogue box. I still find I am using OW texteditor as it has features which are missing from dtpad. dtmail would be better if you could modify the center buttons.(as in OW mailtool) Thats all for starters Cheers Richard.

Date: Tue Sep 10 12:49:30 PDT 1996
CDE is a poor design. HP should have studied ergonomics from Erickson before developing it. It is inherently hard on the eyes. It is not as easy to customize as Open Windows. I like placing entries in my openwin-menu's' and quickly click my way to apps. The backdrops are pretty but like Windows, are not designed for easing eye strain. To me it is more LOOK than FUNCTION. Help in CDE is crude, hard and reminds me of Microsofts' help system. CDE, is, in my opinion, more politics than an improved, intuitive user friendly GUI. I think it represents a poorly designed if not short sighted standard. Take a European approach to all this. Pretty raindrops do not improve productivity. There are studies showing which colors, fonts etc reduce eye strain and fatigue. Those who have seen Erricson's early PC presence in the US market would appreciate the initial philosophical track they took. I will take ease of use and functionality over a Madison Ave.-style Wiz Bang any day.

Date: Tue Sep 10 18:37:04 PDT 1996
None. everything is working just fine :)

Date: Wed Sep 11 00:27:00 PDT 1996
Adding own menus and modifying the toolbar, which involves _too_ many steps.

Date: Wed Sep 11 01:29:29 PDT 1996
There are a lot of parameters you can set to tune your CDE environment. However, there is a lack of documentation on how to use them, or the documentation is not clear. It would also be preferable to have a more user friendly way to change these settings without having to look for the appropriate parameters and change them by editing some text file. In my experience, new users have trouble getting to know the system and how to tune it to their liking, causing them to stick with what they are used to: OpenWindows. On UltraSPARC: I miss documentation on upgrading processors: can one upgrade from Ultra2/170 to Ultra2200 simply swapping CPU modules? I guess the answer is "no", but it is not stated anywhere. And what about future upgrades to UltraSPARC II? It has been very silent lately regarding UltraSPARC II. Isn't it supposed to be available in the second half of 1996? Which versions will be useable to upgrade my Ultra2/170 (simply by swapping CPU modules).

Date: Wed Sep 11 03:06:15 PDT 1996
The only one we face is getting CDE to work with DCE. We currently use TriTeal version of CDE because they support multiple platforms which we use and our customer uses. At this point there are some problems with DCE and CDE. TriTeal has produced and integrated login with DCE and they are addressing the other problems. Also TriTeal already has a product called NTED which lets Windows 95/NT applications run (so to speak, I know they are X displayed) on UNIX. I can't belive Sun is trying to push WABI. That kind of emulation technology is dead!!!! I have been evaulating products such as NTED, Ntrigue, and WinDD. This is to way to go to get windows 95/NT applications to the unix desktop.

Date: Wed Sep 11 04:32:55 PDT 1996
CDE is not consistant in its interface. It is very confusing to customize, with little files here and there. Many of the applications were changed from OW with only change in mind it looks like the programmer had not used the previous tool leaving out good feature and burying others. The method for saving your environment should have more than all or nothing. If I make minor changes I have to close al the windows and applications to save just what I want. I hope by the time you get a few more version under your belt CDE will get as good as OW was. I changed since I thought it would be an improvement but so far I'm using mostly X and OW applications in CDE.

Date: Wed Sep 11 05:39:32 PDT 1996
CDE is a major step forward in ease of use for new or inexperienced users. I prefer the Netscape Mail viewer because you can see all folders, contents, and if graphics or URL are embedded, they are live. Operating systems should be open in the sense that everyone exchanges different source information and the ease of converting information is very important to completing the tasks. Currently this department has one SPARC 2, two SPARC 10s, and one SPARC 1000. There are about 35 users connecting to the 1000 via PCs and Xterms.

Date: Wed Sep 11 06:47:03 PDT 1996
All of our Sun users are very impressed with CDE.

Date: Wed Sep 11 06:55:00 PDT 1996
It would nice to have the screen lock function work. Under Solaris 2.4, it worked most of the time, but under 2.5, forget it.

Date: Wed Sep 11 07:27:31 PDT 1996
First off, I'm an OpenWindows user who has recently moved to the CDE. Here are my impressions: Likes: Dashboard is a great idea. Multiple sessions are great. Dislikes: (Many...) Mail Tool is poor. Asks me every time I try to close if I'm sure I want to delete messages. (Yes! That's why I was hitting the DELETE button!) Thank God I can still use the OpenWindows mail tool in CDE. Manipulation of Terminal windows, well... pardon my language, SUCKS! Having to click in the terminal to activate it is a huge step back. The automatic pop feature is a huge burden to a big cut and paste guy like myself. OpenWindows blows CDE away in this department. Just because I click in a window does not necessarily mean I want to pop it to the front. I'm just trying to grab some text! Change it to clicking on the border for a pop like in OpenWindows. Altering command line text once you've typed it is impossible with CDE. For instance, in OpenWindows, if I typed:
prompt>la /home/user/dir/subdir/subdir/file 
I could simply click in front of the "la" backspace, and change the "a" to an "s". CDE will not let me do this! What a pain! Finally, if you're going to do multiple sessions, DO IT! Don't go halfway. I want separate color maps so I can run color greedy Mentor Graphics apps in Session ONE and color greedy Netscape in Session TWO. Also, if I invoke a tool from a command line, and then jump to another session, the tool comes up in my current session! I invoked it in Session Two, that's where I want it to appear!

Date: Wed Sep 11 07:37:39 PDT 1996
In order to "one up" Microsoft, the Unix community need to embed Windows and Mac application abilities into CDE. MAE and SoftWindows are examples of these environments. CDE has to make it easier to add icons for new programs and using those icons shouldn't always pull up a "Run window". Another "feature" I would like to see removed is when a user starts up a program in a command window, backgrounds the process, and then closes the window, the program that was backgrounded shouldn't close as well. It doesn't do that with Motif. CDE must also have a better Display Postscript (or Supra) interface as well as a built in Java VM. I know Sun and others say they don't want to attack the desktop world, but don't run away from it!! Even with those three problems, I like the look and feel of CDE more than Motif. As far as the UltraSparc goes, (I have Ultra 170's) the floating point wasn't as fast as I had hoped. I did use an older Sparc Compiler that is not optimized for Solaris 2.5.1, so that could be the reason. But I got a little over twice to processing speed compared to a Sparc 20 Model 612 (using only one processor).

Date: Wed Sep 11 07:56:07 PDT 1996
It's slow and tedious to customize.

Date: Wed Sep 11 09:33:55 PDT 1996
I am unhappy with the way "Create Action" messes up your dashboard upon saving an action. Most users seems to like CDE, especially the virtual desktops (way better than olvwm). So far the desktop supports all xtools nicely (over multiple platforms) with the minor exception of fonts, but who cares. The submenus are nice and the dashboard is fairly easy to customize. I have had problems with the mail reader when you have a large inbox (as a sysadmin I get a ton of mail), and it doesn't like having a mailserver that is Solaris1 (4.1.x) based (actimeo is the problem I guess).

Date: Wed Sep 11 10:49:37 PDT 1996
CDE might have been a good idea two years ago. The Sun Implementation is far from being an alternative to OpenWindows (which i still use as my standard desktop). I'm forced to use CDE to support out users. CDE is unstable, uncomfortable to configure, the dosumentation supplied by Sun lacks close to everything i need to know to make it a stable environment. Frankly - i dislike it. Not only by it's appearance but mainly because it made me more busy with incoming support calls since we installed 2.5 and dtlogin (which forces users to use CDE) all over our department.

Date: Wed Sep 11 11:25:34 PDT 1996
Making it work like the old stuff and finding out how to do it.

Date: Wed Sep 11 11:42:41 PDT 1996
I use dtbuilder to develop our image capture, display, and playback appliactions that work with our digital and analog video interface hardware and disk array image storage and playback software. I chose dtbuilder over the other application builders (X-designer, etc.) because I find the user interface to be better than the others. However, the functionality is not quite as complete as I wish it was. For example: Values in the spinbox widget can only be changed via the up/down arrows, and not by typing into the textbox portion of the widget Adding a control pane and radiobox, for example, to the file manager widget causes dtbuilder to core dump There is no provision for separate selected/deselected bitmaps for buttons or choice items Using bitmaps for button or choice items works but there is no provision to include the bitmaps in your code; they are always read in as files at runtime, which causes hassles for packaging apps for end users I have tried to contact people at SUN with these concerns but there seems to be a lack of priority on these types of concerns, as far as I can tell. I was a beta tester for CDE under Solaris 5.1 and sent in several bug reports, and none of them have been addressed. As a heavy user of dtbuilder, I would like to talk to an engineer with the project to see if they intend to upgrade and address any of these issues.

Date: Wed Sep 11 18:41:36 PDT 1996
Problems running CDE on X Terminals. High network bandwidth used by X. Look-and-feel differences between CDE and Smalltalk.

Date: Wed Sep 11 22:57:08 PDT 1996
CDE is nice and pretty but when it comes down to it the command line is still faster and more flexible. It would be better if CDE provided real tools rather than try and compete with Windows 95/NT/Mac as to who can make the prettiest interface.

Date: Thu Sep 12 04:56:57 PDT 1996
The biggest issue we face is the increasing dominance of Microsoft incompatibility with anything but Microsoft software. Windows NT & 95 are taking over, and I'm increasingly being forced to go to PCs to read messages which are sent to me as MIME attachments in Word, Excel, or PowerPoint format.

Date: Thu Sep 12 14:02:18 PDT 1996
On question 7, I based it off a comparison with a DEC Alpha 520 and a Sun Ultra 170E. I still chose to purchase the Ultra because of Sun's support organization and easy administration of all SunOS's. The key issue I see for the UltraSPARC's continued success is to keep developing CPU's with greater compute capabilities at a reasonable cost. Sun has shown the capability to do that with the UltraSPARC, but they must keep it up. As far as CDE, Sun was very smart to package it with Solaris 2.5. There were just a few bugs I found with the CDE mail tool, but in all, it is an excellent product.

Date: Thu Sep 12 17:46:36 PDT 1996
Can't easily replace analog with digital clock on dashboard. Can't easily add perfmeter to dashboard.

Date: Mon Sep 16 02:03:30 PDT 1996
CDE is highly configurable, infact we've done much customization with it, however there isn't enough technical (detailed) documentation concerning ALL of the customizable features available. All the customization we've undertaken has generally been performed by trial and error rather than by documented fact.

Date: Mon Sep 16 10:01:11 PDT 1996
Needs better Java integration.

Date: Mon Sep 16 14:33:56 PDT 1996
Determining a good system-wide configuration. (CDE) How to get more of them! (Ultra)

Date: Tue Sep 17 05:26:03 PDT 1996
i think that cde is good only if you are a unix user if you want to use cde for running for desk top mangment or to runnig applications the only useful interfaces are Macintosh or Windows (best 95 or NT4.0).

Date: Tue Sep 17 06:33:39 PDT 1996
Users require training to be introduced to CDE when they are accustomed to work with the openwin environment.

Date: Tue Sep 17 06:51:00 PDT 1996
I absolutely detest this interface. It seems like the "Gee, lets make unix look like a PeaSee interface." There is wasted space with the dashboard and no good virtual window manager. I much prefer openwin -- and if you drop openwin in favor of cde, my entire organization will go to X11 for windowing.

Date: Wed Sep 18 10:16:55 PDT 1996
With 10 years experience with Windows and the Mac, CDE was the only choice I would accept when I switched to the UNIX environment six months ago. Although CDE does not contain all the functionality of best-of-breed WIndows products like cc:mail, it is robust enough to please me.

Date: Wed Sep 18 12:10:20 PDT 1996
Havent had any problems. The one thing i do not like though is the filemanager that is on the tool bar at the bottom. I went and reconfigured it so it would call up the other file manager because it is easier and more functional.

Date: Thu Sep 19 23:45:46 PDT 1996
Must buy to much stuff to be able to run legacy Windows/DOS apps, or even if I do, I have same drawbacks.

Date: Sat Sep 21 23:09:39 PDT 1996
CDE is a memory hog, even 64 Megs just doesn't seem to cut it.

Date: Mon Sep 23 09:54:25 PDT 1996
UltraSPARC Desktops: Price/Performance relative to the competition is a bit strained. We can only justify the Ultra in specialized roles. Sun should worry about the P6. In fact, Solaris x86 on a P6 would be great if it supported more apps. UltraSPARC servers: most excellent. Love the scalability. The physical dimensions are a bit annoying vis-a-vis the size of our existing racks and server room space.

CDE: Encourage ISVs to install start-up icons directly into the CDE workspace, much like Wabi 2.2 drops the MSWin icons in directly. There are also a couple of bugs where old icons and other settings sometimes reappear on restart - very annoying. In all, CDE is a good environment, the users seem to like it. They like the multiple pop-up menus as opposed to Win95's single point of pop-up (the start thing) with its myriad of sub-menus. It's the real non user-intimidating GUI Unix needed. Unfortunately, it's probably too late in coming.

Date: Thu Sep 26 00:02:47 PDT 1996
Our Ultras are fine machines. Annoying, minor, flaws include: small fonts that remind me I'm over 40, a very high pitched whine that makes me wish my hearing would deteriorate like my eyesight has, and a software support organization that is capable of closing a bug report without generating a fix or notifying the originator. And wouldn't it be nice if vi would work smoothly with cmdtool?

Date: Thu Sep 26 14:13:16 PDT 1996
CDE: - No Action key to switch b/w virtual screens - No control over dashboard placement - Has to be obtained separately (?) UltraSparc: - Stupid proprietary internal disk scsi interface - Compute speed not high enough to justify cost - Still stuck in 8 bit gfx standard. Should move to 24 bit - Crappy 8 bit sound (?)

Date: Fri Sep 27 09:20:18 PDT 1996
CDE's documented information with regard to configurability is rather lacking, problem possible due to the CDE documentation group. UltraSPARC is lagging behind most if Not all off the other workstation/CPU manfacturers including Intels Pentium-Pro 200 running Unix. UltraSPARC II has not been released when it should of been i.e 9 months after UltraSPARC I. The Faster Machines are advertised but not avaliable for 3-6 months more likey the latter. So competitors are leaps and bounds in accordance with Price/CPU performance for a like machine when eventually a new CPU,(either CPU speed/next version of CPU), is released.

Date: Mon Sep 30 05:15:52 PDT 1996
I wish Sun would fix the repaint problem in CDE! whole columns of text just disappear and you have to refresh your screen to get your text back. Really annoying!

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Last update: 1 October 1996

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