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Is Gnome Desperately Chasing KDE? - page 3

Too Radical and Disruptive?

  • April 22, 2009
  • By Bruce Byfield

Granted, Canonical is not the only voice in GNOME, and has no direct control over decisions. But Ubuntu is the most popular distribution, and Shuttleworth, with his determination and powers of diplomacy, has a history of getting what he wants. Nor does any other group have such a strong interest in usability issues. Given that Canonical is already concerning itself with GNOME usability, what could be more natural than it getting involved with the changes proposed by GNOME 3.0?

In these circumstances, how Canonical views the GNOME 3.0 proposals could be a major factor in their success. On the one hand, in the past, Canonical has not objected to changes that reduce options for users. While working on notifications, its Design team has shown a willingness to strip out features in the name of usability, which could well mean that Canonical will have no trouble with the proposals.

On the other hand, if the proposals contradict some of the usability principles developed by Canonical, then the company could be strongly motivated to campaign against them within the GNOME project or suggest alternatives. At this point, we simply can't tell what role Canonical will play in GNOME 3.0, except that it is likely to be a large one.

GNOME consulting KDE?

What GNOME 3.0 will look like and how it will be received is still uncertain. However, a strong possibility exists that the result will be less of a technical overhaul than KDE 4 and a much more widespread user revolt.

Of course, that doesn't have to happen. In practice, GNOME developers could take less of a hard line than they have done so far. They may also have the sense to consult KDE about how not to implement radical change, or be persuaded by Canonical to reconsider some decisions. Possibly, too, I am wrong about how GNOME 3.0 will be received, and there will be enough new users that the complaints of long-time users will be drowned out.

However, the early indications are not promising. Perhaps feeling the pressure as KDE 4 gains acceptance, GNOME seems to have been panicked into a hasty decision. It may have articulated a vision, but what if it is a vision that nobody else will want to share?

Article courtesy of Datamation

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