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osOpinion: The GNOME Ascendant

Aug 21, 2000, 05:00 (38 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Monty Manley)

[ Thanks to Kelly McNeill for this link. ]

"Why did IBM, HP, and SUN settle on GNOME as a "go-forward" GUI/toolkit technology? Many KDE developers felt slighted and angry over the decision, and it will no doubt continue to be hotly debated. But it's important for everyone in the OSS community to understand why this decision was made..."

"KDE is dependant upon the QT toolkit, which is owned by Troll Tech of Norway. While Troll Tech has proven itself to be a fair and upstanding member of the community, the fact remains that QT is owned exclusively by Troll. Troll has the ultimate say over which features are implemented in QT and when they are implemented. Further, QT's licensing is still a thorn in the side of many; it is only "free" if used to write "free" software, otherwise payment is required. The GNOME project was initiated specifically to address the closed licensing of QT."

"For this reason, it is completely understandable why commercial houses like IBM, HP, and SUN would be hesitant to adopt the technology. Why pay licensing fees to Troll when GTK/GNOME has no licensing fees at all? And since GTK/GNOME is GPL'd, and thus open to community development, the playing field for all companies is leveled: IBM cannot add proprietary code to GNOME to get a leg up on SUN, for example."

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