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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The Elephant in the Room
by segedunum on Mon 30th Mar 2009 22:09 UTC
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Put simply, Gnome does not have an application developers' framework and a common set of libraries underpinning it that everything uses, and it never has done. It really doesn't matter what is considered for Gnome 2.3 you can only ever be as good as the tools that you use and stand on. I'm afraid users out there just don't care about fanboys shouting about bloat, simplicity or how 'clean' a desktop is. If it doesn't have the applications and the functionality and doesn't have the tools to build that functionality then you're on the road to nowhere. Having a go at KDE 4.0 isn't going to change that either. XFCE? It sort of fills a niche, but don't make people laugh.

KDE has always had a very good object oriented framework in Qt to build from, it's gone on to another level with 4.x, is squaring up to some of the things you can do visually with Vista and OS X and with Plasma we're finally getting a decent container for developers to write all those little desktop applications and applets that provide the functionality that users want. What new applications can people write with Gnome and how will they go about doing it? Right now, the best way of getting into Gnome and GTK development is with Mono, regardless of how people might feel about it. Gnome need to recognise that to be relevant and they need to either embrace it or put serious work into learning why that is and doing something about it.

Alas, Jack Wallen's 'article' quoted by Byfield just seems to be another sad attempt to stop discussing the elephant in the room, or to stop people from seeing it because he doesn't actually discuss Gnome at all, quite apart from the deliberate inaccuracies. It's only going to get worse for people like him.

There's a lot of things in and around KDE that need improving, but I see no one else at all in the open source desktop world looking ahead and being able to look the proprietary competition in the eye developer-wise, visually or functionally.

If there ever is to be a 'Year of Desktop Linux' then open source desktops need to catch up to proprietary alternatives, not be afraid to try new ideas and make it easy to develop with for their developers. If they can't do that then we need to accept it and then all these silly articles can just end.

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