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That's completely untrue. KDE and GNOME are very different:
- Politically: GNOME is more centralized, with an official leadership. KDE is decentralized, with unofficial leadership. GNOME is more market-oriented, and more corporate-oriented, while KDE is more developer-oriented.
- Philosophically: GNOME is persuing a Mac-like design. Everything is supposed to follow the HIG, simplicity is preferred over features, etc. KDE is looser, and tries to follow whatever design makes sense to the developers. There is very little desire to compromise features (power), for simplicity. KDE will reinvent features when existing code doesn't fit well into theframework, while GNOME is much more willing to live with a little inconsistancy in the framework to be able to import existing code.
- Technically: GNOME is more low-tech, and attempts to derive most of its usability and consistency through external factors. KDE is more dependent on technology to achieve consistency. For example, the Okay/Cancel button order in GNOME is specfied by convention (in the HIG). The button order in KDE is enforced by the framework. A lot of GNOME's focus in 2.x has been on the UI, while a lot of KDE's focus in 3.x has been on core technology. Integeration of technology is pervasive in KDE, nearly and much less so in GNOME. For example, KMail uses the same HTML widget as Konqueror and KHelpCenter. Epiphany, Yelp, and Evolution all use different HTML widgets. Editors are a pluggable component in KDE. That means you can use Vim as an editor in KMail or KDevelop. Spell-checking, toolbar editing, password management are all built into the framework, and thus available throughout the environment. Now, the downside to this is that KDE is usually viewed as more monolithic, while GNOME is viewed as loosly-coupled.