Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 14th Dec 2009 15:16 UTC, submitted by chully
Gnome Over the weekend, there has been a bit of a ruffling of the feathers over in the GNOME camp. It started with complaints received about the content on Planet GNOME, and ended with people proposing and organising a vote to split GNOME from the GNU Project.
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RE: Spectrum of opinion.
by sorpigal on Mon 14th Dec 2009 22:06 UTC in reply to "Spectrum of opinion."
sorpigal
Member since:
2005-11-02

Good post.

The GNU was originally a grand plan to create an OS, but it will never achieve that; that task has been delegated to the Distributions. So what is the GNU now, other than a loose collection of software projects with a common set of values. So if GNOME doesn't fit with those values any more, then it really doesn't belong in the GNU.


I think it goes the other way: GNU should ditch GNOME. Since the GNU OS wont be done any time soon there is no imperative for its desktop environment to work at the moment. As such they should really choose the desktop environment that is best from a technical standpoint and back it. Just like the HURD is a great technical solution to an OS but is not presently as good as Linux in reality; this is no impediment to GNU because their goals don't include short term commercial viability, their goals are simply to make things that are good (and Free, of course).

GNOME was never a great project. It was a desperate attempt to undermine KDE, based on the then non-Free QT. Admittedly it succeeded, and we should be glad, but there is little else to recommend GNOME or any of its technologies.

If it were me and I could make it go any way I wanted I'd get GNU to back GNUStep. OpenStep is still the only open specification for a cross platform GUI that doesn't suck. The main issue with it is Obj-C, but there are many solutions for that.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Spectrum of opinion.
by lemur2 on Mon 14th Dec 2009 22:22 in reply to "RE: Spectrum of opinion."
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

GNOME was never a great project. It was a desperate attempt to undermine KDE, based on the then non-Free QT. Admittedly it succeeded,


How do you figure this?

Of the notable distributions: Ubuntu (via Kubuntu), OpenSuSe, Fedora, Mandriva, Mint, Arch, Sabayon, PCLinuxOS, Ultimate and Slackware all ship both KDE and GNOME desktop variants.

Pardus, Sidux/Knoppix and MEPIS ship only with KDE desktops.

I think it goes the other way: GNU should ditch GNOME.


That is an interesting concept. GNOME is currently a GNU project. AFAIK, it is one of the few GNU projects to refrain from adopting the GPL v3 (is that correct?).

OTOH, GNU itself is a Free Software project (and not simply an open source project).

If the GNOME board want GNOME to move towards being an open source project only, then a split of GNOME from GNU would seem to be quite logical. At least then GNOME would be what it is ... open source, but not Free Software. Truth in advertising.

I have no idea what that would do to its relative popularity.

Edited 2009-12-14 22:29 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: Spectrum of opinion.
by Ed W. Cogburn on Mon 14th Dec 2009 23:05 in reply to "RE[2]: Spectrum of opinion."
Ed W. Cogburn Member since:
2009-07-24

How do you figure this?

Of the notable distributions ...


KDE showing up on those distributions only happened *after* Qt was dual-licensed under the GPL. Prior to that (when Qt was effectively proprietary) it wasn't supported by any commercial distro (AFAIR).

If the GNOME board want GNOME to move towards being an open source project only, then a split of GNOME from GNU would seem to be quite logical. ...

I have no idea what that would do to its relative popularity.


Agreed, and Gnome's popularity wouldn't be effected that much by this change. Its only the incorporation of proprietary stuff like Moonlight that would have a dramatic effect (up to & including some distros dropping it as their primary DE if that were to happen). Gnome's association with GNU is not now important or essential to either one.

Reply Parent Score: 0

RE[3]: Spectrum of opinion.
by fossil on Tue 15th Dec 2009 02:13 in reply to "RE[2]: Spectrum of opinion."
fossil Member since:
2009-05-29

Not to pick a fight, but I don't think that Gnome has been an install option in Slackware for some time. I installed Slackware 13 a while back and vaguely remember KDE, XFCE, and Fluxbox being options, and perhaps others but not Gnome. A quick check via Google shows a post by Pat V. dated 23 Mar 2005, stating it was being dropped and why.

Be that as it may, if GNOME finds itself in fundamental disagreement with GNU's core principles, i.e. the four freedoms, it should do itself, GNU, and everyone else a favor be leaving gracefully. Personally, I don't care what GNOME does or if there is a GNOME tomorrow, XFCE and KDE,are preferable DE's for me, and I'd really rather use Fluxbox or LXDE than GNOME. Not sure why. Full disclosure: posted from Debian Squeeze, using Opera on an XFCE desktop. Oh, and ... FSF dues-paying member.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Spectrum of opinion.
by sorpigal on Thu 17th Dec 2009 17:35 in reply to "RE[2]: Spectrum of opinion."
sorpigal Member since:
2005-11-02

"GNOME was never a great project. It was a desperate attempt to undermine KDE, based on the then non-Free QT. Admittedly it succeeded,

How do you figure this?
"

Simple: Most distributions use GNOME by default. Even if this were not true, most applications use GTK. Even if this were not true, there isn't a defacto DE.

If QT had been LGPL or GPL or BSD then GNOME would not exist and there would *probably* be a defacto DE and QT would *probably* be the most common toolkit. So, GNOME succeeded.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Spectrum of opinion.
by Ed W. Cogburn on Mon 14th Dec 2009 22:55 in reply to "RE: Spectrum of opinion."
Ed W. Cogburn Member since:
2009-07-24

OpenStep is still the only open specification for a cross platform GUI that doesn't suck. The main issue with it is Obj-C


I have nothing against OpenStep or ObjC, but its ironic you seem to have forgotten the very thing that created Gnome in the first place: Qt.

Its now dual-licensed under commercial/GPL3/LGPL2, which makes it as Free and Open (if not more so?) than GTK, and is now *more* cross-platform than GTK is and likely even OpenStep (has that been ported to Nokia's phone platforms?). At least the major platforms are all actively supported by Qt now: Win, Mac, X11, Embedded Linux, Win Mobile, plus Nokia's Symbian and Maemo platforms.

Now for some people, Qt being written in C++ may be as problematic as OpenStep being written in ObjC, but probably like OpenStep, its got wrappers/bindings to use it with just about every other language out there.

Since Qt is (now) also an "open specification for a cross platform GUI", to say that OpenStep is the only one is just false I believe.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: Spectrum of opinion.
by sorpigal on Thu 17th Dec 2009 17:30 in reply to "RE[2]: Spectrum of opinion."
sorpigal Member since:
2005-11-02

I have nothing against OpenStep or ObjC, but its ironic you seem to have forgotten the very thing that created Gnome in the first place: Qt.

Its now dual-licensed under commercial/GPL3/LGPL2, which makes it as Free and Open (if not more so?) than GTK, and is now *more* cross-platform than GTK is and likely even OpenStep (has that been ported to Nokia's phone platforms?).


I choose my words carefully, please read them carefully. Quoting myself:

OpenStep is still the only open specification for a cross platform GUI that doesn't suck.


QT is GPL, but where's the QT spec so I can write compatible software? If there is I haven't seen it. Plus, as wide as QT's coverage is, it does not cover the full swath of technologies you need to make a desktop environment.

QT's language of implementation is abhorrent to some, but as long as it has bindings for C, etc., this problem is not insurmountable.

Reply Parent Score: 2