The Linux Desktop

Being last week in Boston, for a Novell desktop team meeting, I met some people from SuSE, including Duncan MacVicar from Chile (hard to know he is from Chile with that name :-). Very nice guy, and while being KDE people, with lots of ideas and plans that mostly matched mine. Mainly, Duncan and I agreed in that KDE and GNOME should be seen as different frontends to the Linux Desktop, and this Linux Desktop should be a complete set of specifications, interfaces and shared storage data for both frontends. We talked about some things that could be shared, like addressbook and calendar data (and concurrent access to it) and Will Stephenson, another of the SuSE guys I met last week, told us about his plans to add an evolution-data-server backend for KDE, for live data sharing.

Things like Freedesktop.org should have more influence on both GNOME and KDE, so we should try to push for more specifications there. Once we have a shared infrastructure, 3rd party developers would choose one or the other based on the same reasons people choose Visual Studio/Java/Borland/.NET/etc to develop Windows applications now, and users would choose one or the other for whatever reason they feel like.

4 Responses to “The Linux Desktop”

  1. I have to take issue with the thinking that Freedesktop.org should have any influence over any project. It doesn’t and it shouldn’t. It is simply a place for cooperation and communication to foster outside of the polarizing GNOME and KDE, etc. communities. If anything both GNOME and KDE should have more influence within Freedesktop.org by participating in projects that make sences there. If KDE and GNOME people work on the same project it has a high likelyhood of becoming a defacto standard. If we try to force standards it will blow up in our faces. As paraphrased from a Luis blog post, we already have two crappy ISV solutions, we don’t need a third. My talk at the KDE confrence in September will be covering this ground and I will be submitting it for the Boston Summit also.

  2. Rodrigo Moya says:

    Yeah, sorry for not my bad English, but by “pushing for more specifications” I meant exactly what you said, that both GNOME and KDE people should try to come together with more common stuff, in Freedesktop.org

  3. Quim Gil says:

    I like this:

    > KDE and GNOME should be seen as different frontends to the Linux Desktop

    Idf the developers can solve all the backend compatibilities and optimization for developers… then the people working on free software promotion and marketing can work much better on this idea of “two front-ends of the same thing, and you make your choice”.

    Generally people know if they prefer a Harley 1200cc, a BMW 1200cc or a Yamaha 1200cc and they end up making a choice and even be proud of it. If you introduce technical distorsion such as ‘your driving license for model XX won’t be as valid in such countries, whereas model YY is not fully legal on such other countries’ then comes the mess.

    Once you take out the technical messs, users tend to find quickly by themselves if they feel more comfortable with GNOME or KDE. Solved this bit, GNOME & KDE marketing could be focused in getting more users, convert a % of these users in contributors, convert a % of these contributors in core developers and help creating an ecosystem allowing all these users, contributors and developers create free software so cool the rest of the world just want to have it.

  4. Numpty says:

    Except, of course, GNOME and KDE run on more than just Linux…