Torvalds Re-Kindles GNOME vs. KDE
Dec 13, 2005, 14:00 (43 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Brian Proffitt)
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In a message thread that innocuously started with a discussion
regarding GNOME and its printing dialog box, Linux Torvalds weighed
in with strong words regarding the GNOME interface and encouraged
others to switch to KDE.
The comments, which appear to come from Torvalds, appear in the
dialog and GNOME" thread of the Desktop_architects list at OSDL
(copied in part on GNOME's Usability mailing list), and lambast the
design methodology of the GNOME Project:
"This 'users are idiots, and are confused by functionality'
mentality of Gnome is a disease. If you think your users are
idiots, only idiots will use it. I don't use Gnome, because in
striving to be simple, it has long since reached the point where it
simply doesn't do what I need it to do," Torvalds wrote.
"Please, just tell people to use KDE," he added.
The comments sparked strong response from members of the GNOME
development community, as well as opinions from members of the KDE
"We have better things to do than discover what we don't agree
on (that's easy, actually; I could stay home by myself and do
that)," replied KDE developer Aaron Seigo in a message later in the
thread. "If we want a positive challenge let's just recognize that
we don't have the same personas in mind when we write
Nat Friedman, one of the original members of the Ximian team
currently working as vice president of collaboration and desktop
engineering for Novell replied, "Everyone on this list knows the
Linux desktop is in a 'pick your poison' state right now. Anyone
who's used Linux for a year has experienced this, whatever choices
they've made of desktop environment, settings, etc."
GNOME developer and GNOME Foundation Director Jeff Waugh replied
directly to Torvalds' original comments.
"That's definitely not a point of view of the GNOME
Project--we're focused on making Free Software appropriate for
users who are smart (we don't talk about 'dumb users'), but just
don't care about computing technology," Waugh wrote.
The thread, which started yesterday afternoon, comes on the
heels of the recent OSDL desktop architect summit in Portland,
Oregon, where noted open source developers met to discuss and plan
ways of improving interface and application development.