Gnome and KDE cooperation (fwd)

For context: this came from the kde-devel mailing list.  Please read.


On Wed, 8 Jul 1998, Ladislau (Lotzi) Boloni wrote:

[ Lots of stuff about people being angry about the way Kimp has been
  developed deleted ]

>   I hope there will be enough diplomatic sense between the involved
> parties to work out a solution.

Lotzi has a very good point.

I have been thinking about Gnome and KDE for a long time now.  A long
time.  I have talked to some people privately about matters, on both sides
of the fence.  Most of you know that I am the principal author of
KOrganizer (but I would like to give a hearty thanks to Lotzi for his work
on it over the past month in my absence).  Some of you may also be aware
that I also began working for Red Hat Software on Monday.

Some people working on Gnome think that I am a misguided fool for
"wasting" time programming for KDE, helping the bunch of rude developers
who are a part of that project.  Some very good programmers who pour lots
of time and effort into KDE think that I am somehow a traitor or a
potential "leak" for going to work for a company that supports Gnome (and
hence, putting myself in a situation where I will be contributing to those
Gnome jerks' project as well).  Bad words are still constantly thrown back
and forth. The fact that the Gimp developers weren't told of the attempt
to do a "kimp" wasn't illegal from a licensing point of view, but I agree
with Yoshi-- it was "bad form." At the same time, there are some parts of
Gnome that look a lot like KDE stuff, and I have heard plenty of Gnome
developers bash on KDE.  No one is innocent.

Red Hat isn't ever going to ship KDE stuff while it is based on Qt. 
Perhaps the use of the word "can't" is a bad choice, because we are not
restricted by the Qt license itself to not putting it on our CDs.  We are
limited by our own self-imposed rules of what sort of software will go on
the CD, etc.  Perhaps "won't" would be a better choice for describing our
position.  Regardless, it is to our advantage (our being the whole Linux
community, not Red Hat in particular) to have KDE and Gnome able to share
some things where there ISN'T a difference in philosophy.  I am very happy
that GnomeCal is using vCalendar as the file format (like KOrganizer has
done) and that both programs will speak iTIP so they can act as groupware
together.  This is a step in the right direction. 

But more needs to be done.  Common things like color schemes, drag and
drop, and numerous other things could be designed to work in concert and
to complement each other.  A user could have components of both desktop
environments installed and working well together.

Several things need to be accomplished.  First, we must actually start
using the gnome-kde joint development list for it's intended purpose, i.e. 
hammering out some design issues.  No one likes it when one party designs
a standard or an implementation, and then tries to hand it just like that
to a whole other group, expecting them to love it and use it right away.
These things need to be done TOGETHER.  And it can be done, if people will
just put aside some of their anger (which is largely misplaced and has
grown to proportions that are completely unreasonable for the situation) 
and think about what can be done with some cooperation.  The name-calling
needs to stop among the important developers.  Whoever, said that little
comment about "angry gnome-loving slashdot readers" might have had an
inkling of truth behind it, but was it really necessary? No, not at all. 
Anyway, plenty could be said about "rabid KDE fanatics." Comments like
this are just just annoying and counter-productive. 

Do developers really feel deep down inside like they want to "crush"  or
"overshadow" the other project?  I truly hope that this is not the case
for the majority, because such feelings are childish at best.  Differences
in opinion are perfectly fine and I understand that some people have
different philosophies about software licensing (with positive arguments
from both fronts).  But one of the important points of free software is to
be able to share and collaborate.  We aren't two corporations trying to
beat each other so that we can improve our bottom lines.  We are trying to
make better software for the whole world to use.

So some people might realize by this point in my diatribe that I am rather
frustrated.  Yet, I feel like I am now in a unique position to at least
help act as a go-between or bridge to start a "peace process" between
these two projects.  I need to talk to important core developers who are
willing to make some compromises for the sake of overall improvement in
both projects.  I hope people are as interested in this as I am, and even
if they aren't, I hope they have the courage and the maturity to try and
swallow their pride and their anger for a little while and come and "sit
down at the table."

Interested parties should e-mail me, and let's get the ball rolling.
Think about it.  You know who you are.

 -Preston Brown

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