February 22, 2019

.comment: Heigh-Ho, Heigh-Ho, It's Off to War We Go - page 3

A New Skirmish in the Semi-Annual KDE-Gnome Dispute

  • August 23, 2000
  • By Dennis E. Powell

It is always more difficult to mount an offensive than it is to merely defend what you have, and as a result Gnome is at a distinct disadvantage in its battle with KDE. The KDE project was designed to produce a great desktop for Linux and related operating systems, while Gnome was given the task of killing KDE and, on the way, producing a desktop. And no one denies that Gnome is a workmanlike, very pretty, and finally, now even largely stable desktop, KDE has an office suite just weeks away from release; Gnome has played with one (and an element of it, the Gnumeric spreadsheet, is by all accounts quite good), but now seems to be counting on the largesse of Sun to cough up a port of StarOffice (well, speed and memory efficiency weren't a consideration to begin with, were they?) for a pre-packaged office suite--those who have worked within the Gnome project be damned, about which more in a little. There is likely to be a StarOffice for Gnome available for download within the next year or two. No one knows.

Which is another issue with Gnome. No one knows anything about release schedules. Gnome developers grumble privately about it, and publicly when events such as the release of Gnome 1.2 surprised developers and led to some very hard feelings within the project. It's generally thought that Gnome 1.4 will be released sometime around Halloween, and Gnome 2.0 sometime around--well, let's be satisfied with sometime. KDE, meanwhile, publishes a schedule. Yes, it slips, sometimes more than anyone is happy about, but everyone is kept informed.

In short, Gnome more resembles well-known commercial projects than does KDE. The involvement of commercial software houses is supposed to improve this?

KDE, meanwhile, just floats along, developers writing code, fixing bugs, adding features (though there is a feature freeze on now, in anticipation of the release of KDE2), and being unsurprising because everything is out in the open and free of intrigue.

Ah, yes, intrigue. No good war story is devoid of it, and this one is no exception.

Most Popular LinuxPlanet Stories