"Last week a group of vendors and developers of the K Desktop
Environment (KDE) formed the KDE League to provide a comfy media
counterpoint to the GNOME Project's GNOME Foundation. The
spitting match between the two groups, each backed by its share of
Linux vendors, is starting to look like it's being driven more by
testosterone than by any genuine effort to advance the cause of
open source operating systems."
"It's pointless (and ultimately counterproductive) for vendors
to take sides in "support" of developer groups who don't need this
kind of help. (Red Hat, VA Linux and Sun are behind GNOME, while
SuSE, Caldera, MandrakeSoft, Corel, Siemens and Fujitsu are behind
KDE.) There are too many similarities between this strategizing and
what happened 20 years ago when the Unix world started to polarize
in a similar way. Sun and AT&T advocated the Open Look desktop;
IBM, HP and Digital (now Compaq) championed Motif."
"Back then we also had PR engines masquerading as foundations
and alliances. The end result was the CDE desktop compromise, which
functions far more like Motif than Open Look but has failed to gain
momentum despite a decade of trying. I have yet to hear from anyone
who thinks the Unix dispute produced any technical innovation of
widespread and lasting value. But it certainly produced its share
of noise, and may have retarded Unix growth enough to give
Microsoft's Windows NT an easier entry into Unix turf than it would
otherwise have had."
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