April 22, 2019

.comment: Heigh-Ho, Heigh-Ho, It's Off to War We Go - page 4

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

  • August 23, 2000
  • By Dennis E. Powell

At its beginning, Gnome was in many respects the pet desktop of Red Hat, who financed much of its development but who at best has had to ship it as the default with KDE installed and available, too. Red Hat even imported the legendary Rasterman, later known as Raster and author of the beautiful and difficult Enlightenment, who later still noisily left the project. And one only imagines the delight that would sweep other distributions if Red Hat decided to ship a version offering nothing but Gnome.

Miguel de Icaza heads the project and until recently limited his attacks to KDE; they were unreasonable, but they were at least aimed at the stated enemy. Now comes word that, as it was put to me, "Miguel and the Helixes" are in a running battle with Red Hat and Eazel, an organization with the temerity to actually develop for Gnome without sufficient and constant genuflecting to Miguel. In the Gnome community, while Miguel is given a great deal of credit and respect, he is also the subject of endless grumbling.

KDE is far more collegial. Yes, there are disputes, but they are not disputes with corporate futures at stake. There is no KDE equivalent of Helix Code. There is no jockeying for position. Everyone is welcome. I've tried for years to find out who the king of KDE is, and have concluded that there isn't one. Or rather, that KDE is its own king--everyone is serving the code base. It's pretty tough to do battle against such a foe, which is one of the reasons why Gnome is destined to lose, if continuing the war is what it has in mind.

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