Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 24th Apr 2014 23:06 UTC, submitted by sheokand
PC-BSD

The PC-BSD project is developing its own desktop environment from scratch! The ultimate plan is for Lumina to become a full-featured, open-source desktop environment that may ultimately replace KDE as its default desktop environment.

A Phoronix reader, Ryan Bram, wrote in to share word on this new desktop environment being developed by the PC-BSD crew, the popular desktop-focused derivative of FreeBSD. This new desktop is called Lumina and is being developed as a home-grown desktop environment catered toward this BSD operating system.

While it's obviously cool, I wonder if it's a wise idea to undertake such a huge endeavour. I honestly doubt PC-BSD has the developers, testers, and users required for creating, maintaining, and improving an entire desktop environment.

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It actually makes sense
by ddc_ on Fri 25th Apr 2014 01:09 UTC
ddc_
Member since:
2006-12-05

Though whis undertaking seems to be obvious stupidity (KDE/GNOME/XFCE are out there, requires resources, etc), from BSD perspective it is not os obvious:

1. KDE, GNOME and XFCE are increasingly Linux-only. Among BSDs, only OpenBSD succeeded porting GNOME 3 (FreeBSD is close, but not there yet). And this port is done by exmployees of M:Tier, who provides commercial support for OpenBSD, including commercial desktop deployment. KDE appears to be an easier task, but, as OpenBSD port maintainer said, porting KDE means developing KDE. XFCE is yet easier, but the port still lacks some features of Linux version. In fact, neither BSD has desktop environment on par with Linuxes. There is LXDE, but...
2. Everything comming from Linux tends to increasingly depend on systemd. While ubiquitous on Linux, systemd doesn't fit BSDs in any way. Frankly, much of the desktop stuff that comes from Linux doesn't make sense on BSDs.
3. Building desktop environment is not as difficult task as it was say 10 years ago. Lots of already BSD-enabled libraries that can be used. I won't be at all surprised if building desktop environment, that would be on par with GNOME on Linux, requires less effort then porting desktop environments.
4. PC-BSD is backed by iX systems, rather well-off company that earns its money selling BSD hardware and services. They pay BSD awareness, FreeBSD events, etc. They largerly benefit from any positive news about BSDs. Given that desktop environments are one of the most problematic areas of desktop BSD adoption, most likely they would sponsor the effort.

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