Linked by Eugenia Loli on Sun 10th Oct 2004 05:47 UTC, submitted by Andrew
Slackware, Slax This is a message from Patrick Volkerding in regards to his thoughts on Gnome and Slackware. It was originally posted on the Dropline Gnome Forum. Editor's note: Pat has made similar comments to me as well regarding Gnome's bugs and maintainance problems.
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KDE support
by csabimano on Sun 10th Oct 2004 14:38 UTC

I'm dual (well, trial) booting between WinXP, FreeBSD 5.3 and Slackware. Spend most (90%) of my time in BSD, and slackware is there only because I'm interested in linux. Someone said that GNOME fits better into Slack's philosophy, because of simplicity.

Why I choose Slack to play with linux? Because of its simplicity, which amounts to a clear system layout, init system, configuration files, and most importantly: the cleanlyness of the system. (It is not a coincidence that among BSD users, Slackware is the favorite linux distro). What I am trying to say is that you confuse a clean system with a simple interface (UI).

I always thought, or rather felt that there is something in KDE development that resembles FreeBSD philosophy (and slackware's too, and I'm not surprised that Pat is a fan). And here is a very recent example for that.

A very serious bug was discovered in kdebase port (related to KDM) on current mailing list. The bug was in a FreeBSD specific patch. The first reply to the post came from a KDE developer, offering to test the patch supplied with the bug report AND to merge it upstream into KDE CVS! Note, that the bug wasn't a KDE bug, it was a bug in a FreeBSD specific patch - and the KDE developer first thought that it is a KDE bug. After clarifying that, he still offered to merge the (now repaired) FreeBSD patch upstream, explaining that:

"To me, however, (part of the KDE side of the club) it looks [the patch] fine. I agree
that it's an obvious typo that should be fixed immediately. Whether that (my
support) is enough for portmgr@ to go on and fix it, is a matter for y'allses
policies to decide ;)

Still, the (corrected) patch itself oughter be merged upstream - we do try to
keep the number of OS-specific patches to a minimum."

Now that's what I call a clear and visible sign of the project's commitment to keep their codebase portable (which has also something to do with being clean). The more portable the codebase is, the more likely that it would build cleanly on the various linux distroes. OTOH gnome only tests for RedHat. And this is the difference that counts. This is why saying GNOME fits better with slackware's philosophy is not true. It's not about UI design principles (which can be debated to death - there is no empirical evidence that having less features makes a desktop simpler to use). It is about simplicity as: clean codebase, portability, easy maintanance. And whatever the merits of GNOME UI-wise, this is where KDE is undoubtedly ahead.