my friend andy came over the other day and told me a rather nice little kde related story that i thought i'd pass on:
a client of his has some linux servers that are sitting in a local colo centre. the isp running the colo messed up some internal routing and half his servers could no longer talk to the other half inside the colo (though everything was visible and reachable from the outside).
his client tried with great frustration to get the isp to fix things but they couldn't figure it out. so the guy figured that if just changed the ip addresses on the system that couldn't talk to the other system to be on the same internal subnet, things should magically fix themselves. sounds logical enough. only the guy had never touched linux himself before; he was a windows guy and was apparently unaware of the nice gui's we have these days.
knowing that the client was an otherwise windows-only shop, andy had the foresight to install kubuntu on the servers complete with kde available should it ever be needed. so when the client walked into the colo and flipped on a monitor connected to his server, he saw a nice kdm screen. he logged in and changed the ip address using the guidance tool that comes with kubuntu.
not bad for a windows guy who'd never even logged into a linux machine before. his comments? "everything was exactly where i expected it to be. i just went to the applications menu, clicked on 'system settings' and set the ip." he was impressed by how obvious and simple it all was and was very happy that he could get what he needed done himself when it came to crunch time.
these kinds of stories make me very happy, as it just goes to show that the kde project is doing a lot of things right. we can debate and philosophize all we want, but when these events occur it removes all doubt.
i'd also suggest that those working on unix-y server operating systems need to seriously consider how important interfaces like kde are to those who are used to (and even like) system such as windows. just because the focus is web, mail, database, ldap, etc.. doesn't mean a graphical interface is unnecessary. in fact, having a good one, such as kde, available to your users will broaden your reach.
anyways ... enough soapboxing ;) i'm off to merge changes i made to kdelibs while away in brazil from the laptop to the faster and nicer to use desktop system ... which means i'm pretty much caught up on communication i missed while on my mini-vacation. huzzah!