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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 community.

  1. 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 invaluable.

    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.

  2. 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 features.

    We are explicitly distinguishing innovation from implementation, because standards should be adequate to allow multiple fully-interoperable implementations.

    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.

  3. 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 challenges.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

Best wishes

Waldo Bastian
Jonathan Blandford
David Faure
Glynn Foster
Jody Goldberg
James Henstridge
Miguel de Icaza
Antonio Larrosa Jiménez
Stephan Kulow
Daniel Molkentin
Dirk Mueller
Ralf Nolden
Havoc Pennington
Zack Rusin
Daniel Veillard
Jeff Waugh

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