GNOME, KDE Developers' Open Statement on XFree86
Mar 24, 2003, 16:00 (14 Talkback[s])
We acknowledge the dedication of the XFree86 project in
providing us a free and innovative implementation of the X11
industry standard, something we benefit from on a daily basis.
Therefore, we want to share our joint point of view with the
- XFree86's recent technical progress, culminating in the 4.3
release, brought significant advancements to the X desktop. Prior X
Window System implementations were lagging behind the needs of
modern desktop users.
Cursor theming, simplified font configuration, dynamic screen
resizing, and so on address long-overdue usability issues with X
desktops. XFree86's robust solutions in these areas have been
However, the work is not done. Our goal is to provide the
community with desktop systems far beyond what anyone offers today.
We are ready to take advantage of an X Window System implementation
that continues to innovate.
- GNOME and KDE have two interests in X:
- We would like to have a single organization where X innovation
occurs. By innovation, we mean the definition of new APIs,
specifications, and features - new additions to the foundations
that KDE and GNOME rely on.
- We would like to have a frequently-released, robust, stable,
open source implementation of these APIs, specifications, and
We are explicitly distinguishing innovation from implementation,
because standards should be adequate to allow multiple
Within the development organization responsible for defining and
crafting new features to be adopted as standards, innovation should
happen in the open, with all affected parties able to participate
early in the process.
- We do not want to take sides on the recent political wrangling
of who did what when and who should be in charge. Our hope is that
as a community we can find a way to involve everyone in X's
development and move forward with solving technical
- It makes sense to us if the organization responsible for X
innovation also develops the most widely used open source reference
implementation. This ensures an emphasis on working code, and
provides a pool of active technical expertise.
- We would like to see this forum work toward a unified
organization, governed by active contributors, that implements,
deploys, and standardizes new X innovations.
We do not want to take an a priori position on how this
organization should be organized or governed--that is a
conversation we're trying to start, rather than one we're trying to
end. We trust and will support the X community as they work to
address this issue.
Miguel de Icaza
Antonio Larrosa Jiménez