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.comment: Heigh-Ho, Heigh-Ho, It's Off to War We Go - page 5

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

  • August 23, 2000
  • By Dennis E. Powell

So last week all the big corporations expressed their support for Gnome. This means absolutely nothing. I have here on my desk the notebook that IBM handed out to those of us in the reporting business when OS/2 Warp3 was released. It is chock full of delightful announcements from all sorts of hardware and software vendors pledging their support of OS/2 Warp3. Soon, it would be impossible to buy a computer without Warp3 preloaded. Soon, all important software would be ported. Everybody, pretty much, was on the bus. Only problem is, none of it ever actually happened. Hell, I remember calling IBM tech support about a problem with that operating system on a Thinkpad and being told that OS/2 was not supported!

I go on record now predicting that the corporate involvement in Gnome will not advance Gnome in any important way and will in fact hinder its already drifting future. Okay, so StarOffice might get ported. It is going GPL this fall anyway, so anyone can port it to anything. The people at Troll Tech, the producers of QT, could probably take two or three weeks and bring it over--but why bother? By then, KOffice, which is already really good, will have been released. And unlike StarOffice, it loads for use the same day its icon is clicked.

But at bottom there is a more important and useful possibility. Gnome could abandon the war it cannot hope to win, sort out its own house, realize that there's room for many desktops, and join in the pursuit not of monopoly, but of excellence.

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