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I'd say that is a very unfair characterization. When I say "GNOME development is more top-down" I don't at all mean to imply that it is a bad thing. GNOME's centralization allowed it to have a decisiveness and a clarity of message that KDE's looser organization does not allow. Each model has its upsides and its downsides, and lead to each project having a decidedly different character and feel. That's why there are two projects, after all.