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KDE “The Linux Desktop” is harmful (it's more than Linux indeed)

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  • md_najmi
    Digg ed: http://www.linuxtechdaily.com/2008/02/kde-4-developers-an-interview-with-sebastian-kugler/ What are your feelings about Gnome? People love to play up
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 1, 2008
      Digg'ed:
      http://www.linuxtechdaily.com/2008/02/kde-4-developers-an-interview-with-sebastian-kugler/

      What are your feelings about Gnome? People love to play up a war
      between KDE and Gnome and fight it out in comment sections. How is
      your relationship with Gnome? Do you find anything interesting about
      the Gnome desktop?

      It's sometimes a bit tiring that people try to put everything into the
      KDE vs. GNOME perspective. We've been working together with people
      from GNOME for a
      long time and reached a lot together. A quick glance at
      freedesktop.org shows that there is plenty we have in common, and that
      we are doing quite a good job sharing efforts where it makes sense. I
      feel that the sentiments are often caused by people that simply have
      nothing better to do, or are out for sensationalism. The friendly
      competition between KDE and GNOME has probably helped both projects to
      become what they are now: Serious competitors of proprietary desktop
      systems.

      On the other hand, GNOME often is not all that interesting to us to
      work with since one essentially can replace the other. Our issues up
      an down in the stack usually don't hit GNOME directly, and GNOME
      offers an alternative to KDE, which also means that we don't have to
      suit everyone's need.

      Frankly, I don't like the whole concept of the "Linux Desktop". Linux
      is really just a kernel, and in this case very much a buzzword. Having
      to mention Linux (which is just a technical implementation detail of a
      desktop system) suggests that something is wrong. Should it matter to
      the user if he runs Linux or BSD on his machine? Not at all. It only
      matters because things just don't work so well (mostly caused by to
      driver problems, often a matter of ignorance on some vendor's side).

      The result is that people talk about Linux, then get confused between
      KDE and GNOME. The first question they ask "Why do I have to choose?"
      which expresses
      that they are having a hard time dealing with the complexity that is
      offered immediately. The really important concept is plurality, and
      that is where we
      can all win. Once people understand that the choice for KDE and GNOME
      is very much like the choice between, say Mac OS and Windows (nobody
      ever says: "Well, the world would be much better off if the effort
      wouldn't be spread between Apple and Microsoft!"), so I keep asking
      myself why people often come up with this when talking about the Free
      Desktops. What we want is raising consciousness that you don't have to
      swallow everything that a certain vendor wants you to, that there is
      choice, and that consumers can actively influence the market and put
      pressure onto those that don't respect the consumer's needs.

      The term "Linux" serves more or less as a buzzword, but I think
      calling KDE "The Linux Desktop" is harmful. First, it ignores the
      concepts of plurality and choice, which are very much core values in
      the Free Software community. Second it ignores the efforts being
      undertaken to push KDE onto other Free Platforms such as FreeBSD,
      OpenBSD and OpenSolaris — those are not second class citizens for us.

      To fix this problem, we need to increase awareness of the Freedom
      concept and not so much "teach people what Linux is". The concept of
      Freedom is also much
      more appealing to the masses than the concept of an operating system
      kernel, it just requires us to start thinking outside the box.
      Creating strong brands of user-visible components makes a lot of sense
      here.

      John Palmieri, a top GNOME developer who attended KDE's annual
      conference two years ago said: "Competition and collaboration are not
      mutually exclusive". I
      agree with this statement.
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