Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 30th Mar 2009 18:43 UTC, submitted by elsewhere
Talk, Rumors, X Versus Y Any discussion about GNOME vs. KDE is sure to end in tears. It's basically impossible to discuss which of these two Free desktop environments is better than the other, mostly because they cater to different types of people, with different needs and expectatotions. As such, Bruce Byfield decided to look at the two platforms from a different perspective: if we consider their developmental processes, which of the two is most likely to be more successful in the coming years?
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Wrong review to wrong problem
by ciplogic on Mon 30th Mar 2009 20:07 UTC
ciplogic
Member since:
2006-12-22

Firstly I start as I'm Gnome biased!

I know some operating systems and APIs that were evolutionary and they are till they were incapable to perform:
Databases: they stride to be compatible at least with 4 major versions in back, means around 10-12 years of software time
OSs: Windows 9x (Windows 3.1 architecture a mix between DOS and some graphical API) Windows NT, OS X, GNOME
Toolkits:
QT4 have 3 years before KDE4 to happend and 4 years before happen to be stable
GDI (even is Plus or not) it have an architecture that is from 1985
Java it have itself 15 years in industry
C++ (with C heritage) is again a very old language.

What means that "remodeling": it means that some fundations of the project, are not viable.

Considering which means GNOME today, is really a thing that is mostly targets the enterprise: a stable API, most things are added without break the past (till GNOME 2.30, means aroud 7.5 years after the first release which is pretty a good record for GNOME).

Frankly GNOME 2 is not GNOME 2.0. As matter of fact it has a huge amount of improvements: integrated search API, changed filesystem (GFVS), graphics are using Cairo, suport for composite graphics (via metacity and Compiz), added a lot of enterprise grade tools (like Ekiga, Pessulus, PolicyKit), FreeDesktop integration, DBUS/Hal integration. Also GNOME 3.0 will only happen after a stabilization. There is project Ridley: http://live.gnome.org/ProjectRidley

So jumping to GNOME 3 will not be as disruptive and a huge leap also. What will be the most visible user-changes: new theme engine, to make easier to be integrated in 3rd party applications, GNOME Shell and Vala (a language that remove the ugliness of C and GLib programming in it's most parts).

What will happen if Thom will make a review and it happen to hate the GNOME Shell, or don't like the theme engine or he starts programming and find a lot of bugs in Vala environment? His entire written application will work with minimalist of change using old libraries (excluding he don't use a lot of deprecated things, but he have still 1 year and a half to remove them).

Also, having a disruptive "break the past", means always break the present: there is Mono (which is in itself a big project), there is a great integration already of GTK with JavaScript, Webkit, Python (or Py3k), already existing IDEs (Anjuta and MonoDevelop), most Java applications targets GTK. What means breaking them today? Would you handle the risk being let's say RedHat to use the new GNOME in your Enterprise Linux!?

So for me seems not an apple to apples comparison.

This development model reminds me on Vista, still Vista was not so disruptive as KDE4. Vista by breaking things and habbits adds a hate in review for around 1 year.
The Leopard adds to experience and simplify (but not change how looks it's Control Panel component). And for sure have mostly positive reviews.

Which would I chose from this two models? I am to pick OS X one.

Edited 2009-03-30 20:15 UTC

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