Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 4th Jan 2008 20:47 UTC
KDE KDE's Aaron Seigo (who owes me a Martini) wrote about a few often-heard misconceptions and questions regarding KDE 4.0, which is supposed to be released January 11th. "Now that 4.0.0 is tagged and out and that bit of worry and concern is behind me for the moment, I wanted to take a moment to talk really bluntly about 4.0. In particular, I'm going to address some of the common memes in fairly random order that I see about kde 3.5 and 4.0. I'm going to speak bluntly (though not rudely) so prepare yourself."
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RE: re: kde 4 in distributions
by elsewhere on Sat 5th Jan 2008 09:02 UTC in reply to "re: kde 4 in distributions"
Member since:

Furthermore, since probably 80% of Linux users use either Ubuntu or Fedora (rough guess here, could be wrong, there's no hard way to prove an actual figure), and both are Gnome based environments that conveniently do their best to make it time consuming to get KDE onto the system (no, downloading it as a package is not what I consider time consuming, I'll talk more about why I think that in a little bit). There is a strong distribution led movement to actively encourage and entice users to use Gnome. Even Suse, which once reliably used KDE has been moving more and more to Gnome.

Ok, seriously, 80%? WTF?

I've seen some wild proclamations for Gnome marketshare, but that implication, particularly based solely on Ubuntu and Fedora, is pretty out there.

KDE has an established commercial and community footprint in Europe, for instance, something the Gnome org (if not the userbase) has grudgingly acknowledged in the past. And then there's Asia, that little spot of the world where linux lives quite comfortably, and Gnome barely exists. Red Flag and Turbolinux, two of the predominant distributions in Asia, are KDE-based, yet they rarely receive mention, yet they very likely both exceed RH or Novell for desktop marketbase (servers are a different story).

Novell still has a predominantly KDE userbase, both with the community-based openSUSE and the commercial SLED product; though this is owing mostly to the SuSE heritage and legacy userbase, it's evidence that Novell's Gnome "focus" hasn't really done much beyond incite the community.

Gnome has certainly earned a respectable marketshare, but I think any speculation that it has exceeded KDE is simply speculation. The only metrics we can potentially rely on require commercial sales numbers, and in that area, KDE dominates. Red Hat doesn't have a significant desktop product, Novell is a fence-sitter, but the rest of the commercial distros are pretty much KDE exclusively. Linspire, Xandros (and the Asus Eee), the Asianuxes etc.

Yes, Ubuntu is popular. But even when Shuttleworth proclaims that 7 million people are using Ubuntu (the last figure I saw him state), it doesn't break out the Kubuntu users, and it means nothing to the ISV's anyways. They'll be more interested in commercial sales than free-downloads, in terms of early-market opportunities.

I won't argue your implication that agendas are involved with the distros that try and distance KDE, but people have been claiming Gnome dominance for some time now, yet strangely, nothing seems to have changed in the big picture.

edit: forgot this part of your quote ;)

<<Sometimes, I wish IBM would buy trolltech and then release all the QT code under the GPL as an act of good will. I wonder how many enterprises would then look at KDE/QT?>>

How many enterprises are looking at Gnome/Gtk? In other words, how can you point to Gtk's free-as-in-beer status as being proven to be better value?

The majority of Tt's licenses come from Qt/Win32 customers. So if customers are willing to pay for a high-quality framework for Windows development, despite the "free" framework Microsoft already provides, why would the same equation not hold true for linux?

Gtk already exists as a free toolkit for price-conscious commercial developers, and Qt exists for developers that value a well-documented and well-supported cross-platform, feature-rich development framework. The armchair quarterbacks in the community should simply leave it up to the commercial companies to decide which way they want to go, but you can rest assured that they use a different set of ROI measurements than the general userbase does when it comes to expenditures.

Ok, just my 2c...

Edited 2008-01-05 09:18 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 9

GeneralZod Member since:

To be fair, we also have reasonably large-scale polls like this:

and so claims of GNOME (and Ubuntu) dominance aren't completely without merit. Having said that, it hasn't made one whit of difference to the development of KDE: it's still a *hugely* active project and has a very bright future, IMO.

Reply Parent Score: 3

elsewhere Member since:

To be fair, we also have reasonably large-scale polls like this:

The problem is the poll lacks any form of statistical relevancy and by it's nature targeted a relatively specific segment of the global userbase.

That's kind of my point, though, that surveys like that are given more validity than merited, which fuels the perception that Gnome has somehow achieved an escape velocity to attract the mainstream market.

Heck, the mere fact the survey was Digg'd renders the results questionable, that's a ferociously Ubuntu-biased userbase... I'm frankly surprised that the polling server didn't bow out under a Digg-effect ;)

Reply Parent Score: 4

WereCatf Member since:

There's just one thing about such polls: they should rather ask which DE the users use. You can install KDE or GNOME on any of those distros so those numbers really prove nothing either way. And it seems like Ubuntu and Kubuntu are counted as being the same, SuSE and OpenSuSE are counted as being the same, Gentoo doesn't even have any "default DE" to install etc..

So, that was an interesting poll but that can't be used as an indicator about which DE is winning ;)

Reply Parent Score: 5

KAMiKAZOW Member since:

Well, that poll only covers Linux. DesktopBSD and PC-BSD are both KDE-based.

And then the poll only reached a certain audience:
1.) By getting to the digg front page, probably more North American users participated than people from other regions of the world. At least due Mandrake/Mandriva and SUSE, KDE was more popular in Europe in the past (I don't know about today).

2.) Only a certain audience was reached with this poll. You had to be a geek to even know about that poll.
Do you think that the average eeePC user will participate at 2008's survey?

GNOME might be the most used free software desktop. The thing is, that we just can't know for sure. It's pretty clear that both KDE and GNOME have a huge share of that cake. But how huge? I have no idea.

Reply Parent Score: 5

melkor Member since:

I'm not saying that QT isn't any good, or that Trolltech doesn't deserve to charge for QT for commercial usage, I think that they do deserve that. But - I think that many developers avoid QT because of the licence costs, and look at GTK instead since they are no fees involved. Personally, and I'm no developer by any means, but from what little I've read on the subject, QT is a dream to work with, whilst GTK is an absolute nightmare.

As to my comments on usage, nearly everyone that I know, that uses Linux uses Ubuntu. True, I don't know everyone in the world ;-)

In terms of desktop usage, Ubuntu has more users than any other distribution. Whilst I don't have empiracal numerical proof of this, I feel very confident in making that statement.


Reply Parent Score: 0

superstoned Member since:

There are more costs involved in developing software than just the costs of the toolkit. GTK might be free for proprietary software, but it is also less efficient as Qt to develop software with.

Reply Parent Score: 3