Re: KDE Interop [Was: D-BUS background]


   Just a few thoughts on your mail.  Notice that I do not particularly
mind the development of d-bus, I like the idea, but a sane debate about
this should still happen.

> Lack of interoperability means extra work for everyone from GNOME/KDE
> themselves, to operating system vendors, to third party app
> developers.  Not to mention causing tons of user-visible problems that
> are pretty much just *bugs* from an end user's point of view.  This
> slows down free software on the desktop.

This is a good goal, and I think we agree on this one.  I feel that
people have a genuine concern when an existing technology that is
independent of Gnome is not used (happens to have originated in Gnome,
and used with relative frequency in Gnome).  

People think libxml is a Gnome library and had adverse reactions to it
in the past (some users posted in some XFree thread that they did not
want to see any of our stuff used in Xfree.  Notice that I do not know
in what context Xfree uses libxml, am just quoting what people state).

It is pretty silly to ignore libxml's strength that it was born and
nurtured first in the gnome world.  Same applies to orbit. 

> On the other hand, when we can point to "GNOME and KDE are both using
> this," that is a killer argument for getting wider adoption by other
> projects. For example, being able to say "Qt and GTK+ are moving to
> fontconfig" was crucial to getting Mozilla to move to
> fontconfig. GNOME/KDE sharing EWMH has been crucial for getting
> toolkit and application support for that spec.

You could say that.  Or you could say that Fontconfig was a great
technology that stood on its own.  

> If the overall userbase grows, to enhance GNOME's place in the market
> we simply have to be the best choice for users (including
> organizations, and sysadmins). Then new users will choose GNOME, or at
> least more new users will choose GNOME.

The advantages of Gnome over KDE fluctuate a lot depending on who you
ask.  Those with long-term visions believe strongly that the foundation
for building applications on Linux should be royalty free so Gnome is a
good choice there.

But only a few months ago, you were promoting the concept of `no work on
the infrastructure, lets work on making the desktop better'.  Which I
think is a great direction.

Reading today's Slashdot comments, you can see that our desktop is
falling behind stability-wise and feature wise to KDE.  It is of course
your time that is being spent on D-Bus, and maybe you do not have a lot
of choice on what you get to spend your working time on, but end-users
which do not care about the royalty issue do feel that KDE is a better

I probably mentioned this before, but when I went to Mexico in December
to the facility where we launched gnome, they had all switched to KDE3. 
I am not sure the reasons they gave me were correct, and they can be
debated (and in fact, people in #gnome pointed out that those reasons
might be wrong), but here they are:

	* Compiling Gnome is too difficult.

	  Maybe jhbuild or gargnome or something should be made part
	  of the release, or have a single tarball release.  Dont know.

	* Gnome is slower than KDE.

	  That is what I was *told*, as I tried things myself, I
	  noticed that KDE3 takes longer to startup than Gnome, thanks
	  to various #gnome people that pointed out this.

	* KDE's file manager acts like Windows: its a browser and a 
	  file manager.

> If we don't think new users will choose GNOME, we don't deserve to
> have our place in the market grow anyway. It's not like we're a
> for-profit business. We are trying to make useful software and that's
> pretty much the only goal. So if no one wants to use it, we should all
> pack it in and do something else.

I think you could make that argument if no emotions were involved.  But
people have put their work, sweat, weekends, and spare time into
debugging, fixing, reporting and documenting Gnome.  This is a very
personal choice to many. 

When I am asked `Why do people work on Gnome?' I used to use some
standard statement that boiled things down to some simplistic point.  I
am not sure this statement can be made.  The more you get to know people
in the community, the more you realize that we have all very different
goals in mind when we work on Gnome. 

At this point we are not fatally loosing a race for adoption, and a race
to see our baby and our work be used by millions, but we are lagging
behind.  In this area, I agree with Jeff, I personally (because of the
emotional component described before), would like to see more work be
done on the Gnome desktop and less on replicating infrastructure. 

Maybe ORBit can not be effectively used, but some people like Michael
(who has a lot of experience in the area) rightly felt that d-bus was
created and developed without the input that they could have provided,
or without giving a chance to use an existing platform. 

> I don't think we should ever forget that the goal is to make free
> software a viable option for millions of desktop users. The goal isn't
> to get the GNOME logo on every desktop by any means necessary - it's
> to make GNOME so good that it *earns* a place on every desktop by
> being the best. If that happens, everyone here deserves to be damn
> proud.

Again, not the same.  Some people want gnome because it makes sense
license-wise (Red Hat and Sun seem to be concerned about *this*
particular issue).  

Getting Gnome on every desktop possible is a pretty good goal that
people can identify with (I do). 

This is not intended as a flame.  Hope the tone here is the right one.


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