October 30, 2014
 
 
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.comment: Weaseling a Good Idea

A Non-Denial Denial

  • November 15, 2000
  • By Dennis E. Powell

Today's announcement of the KDE League is a good thing. It would be even better if the KDE people hadn't lied about it months ago.

If you remember, at the Linux convention in California in August something called the Gnome Foundation was announced and was met with a great deal of discussion. KDE partisans were outraged.

There appeared, a few weeks later, a story on ZDNet saying that the leading lights of KDE were joining with captains of industry to form the KDE League, whose purpose, like that of the Gnome Foundation, was (perhaps best) left to the imagination. This, too, raised eyebrows.

Fortunately, the rumors were quickly put to rest when KDE developer Kurt Granroth sent an email to one or two of the KDE mailing lists: "We have stated in the past that KDE will *never* have an elected governing board like GNOME Foundation. Absolutely nothing has happened or will happen to change that."

Most people took this to mean that the talk of something called the KDE League was just an unfounded rumor. A few noted that it was "a non-denial denial," meaning that it was weasel-worded in such a way as to be misleading while technically true. Few believed this explanation, though. KDE is, after all, not president of the United States.

In fact, it was weasel words. Work was underway on the KDE League. The earthshaking announcement--we await to hear from the seismic center in Boulder, Colorado, just how earthshaking--was to be saved for Comdex, even if it meant deliberately misleading the existing user base in the interim. So much for the open community.

Yes, I'm sure they had what they thought was a really good reason. No one who isn't up for elective office lies for no reason.

I hope they decide it wasn't worth it.

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