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LinuxPR: Mandrakesoft calls for CEASE FIRE in KDE-GNOME war: diversity is strength of Free-Software

Aug 24, 2000, 20:14 (30 Talkback[s])

"So what's the reality behind the flamewars? The reality is that users and developers are being overlooked. The different actors in this debate tend to see their own interests first, but what do the users think? The truth is that some users prefer KDE, some others prefer GNOME, some others enjoy WindowMaker, some others love IceWM, some others are used to CDE, some others like AfterStep, some others FVWM... some others just launch X and an XTerm, and some others prefer to use the console only. And it's the same thing for free-software developers. Some of them will prefer to program with the LessTiff toolkit (which is a free-software equivalent to Motif), some others with Gtk, some others with Qt."

"With Free Software, we are each provided the opportunity to work in an environment that is as diverse as the world in which we live. This is a unique and special opportunity, especially when something becomes this big. GNU/Linux is growing by leaps and bounds, bigger than ever. But GNU/Linux is not Unix, GNU/Linux is not Windows. GNU/Linux and more generally Free-Software is something that never happened before on this scale. Free-Software is an enormous project that involves thousands of developers, designers, writers and also hundreds of companies that believe in Free-Software and that don't necessarily need uniformity. Proprietary software is uniform because it's easier for companies to manage one tool than several identical tools. However the reality in the Free-Software world is that numerous development and user environments exist because they fit different needs of different people. If the evolution of the human species was stunted and homoginized 50,000 years ago, we wouldn't have had many of the benefits of evolution. The diversity, over time, in an evolving ecology, creates higher states of order."

"So why would we start to imitate the traditional software makers? People are different, they have special needs, let's proclaim that the standard is KDE and GNOME and... any other high-level free desktop environment that is good enough to make Linux more attractive to ALL users."

"A few days ago, I proposed to the Free Standards Group/Linux Standard Base that we consider adopting both KDE and GNOME as the GNU/Linux standard for graphical environments. Although the answer I received was that the LSB was not yet covering this area (specifically: no way to have this included in the next version of LSB), I was pleased that several participants considered it possible. I would see this (at least) dual adoption as a real improvement and a chance to stop all those tiring wars. Furthermore, I see this as a more practical solution than the current one which is to put the so-called "problem" into the hands of the largest software companies, several of which are not born of the open culture that gave birth to GNU/Linux."

Press Release