Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-project (68 mails)

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Re: [opensuse-project] openFATE feature 306967, KDE default
  • From: Vincent Untz <vuntz@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 31 Jul 2009 16:53:38 +0200
  • Message-id: <20090731145338.GY14341@xxxxxxxxx>

Here are some quick random thoughts on this. I might have more thoughts

Disclamer: I'm of course biased on this topic, but I think those
thoughts are at least not strongly biased (and hopefully, unbiased ;-)).

Le vendredi 31 juillet 2009, à 14:06 +0200, Michael Loeffler a écrit :
So what do we have so far?
- a feature request [1] from one of the KDE e.V. board members
- the feature asks to make KDE default. Reason for that, is to make openSUSE
more simple for newbies and to make openSUSE the best KDE distribution around
- Through the discussion in the feature I'd translate that feature into put
the radio button as default to KDE on the desktop selection screen during
installation instead of today's status where everybody needs to make a choice
- the highest rated feature in openFATE [2] until today
- a majority of people supporting this feature (currently approx. 90% pro, 1%
neutral, 9% against)

If we want to consider votes for this (and I'm not convinced we should
consider votes for features in general, but I won't enter this debate
in this thread -- feel free to start another one if you're interested in
discussing this), then we should split the vote in two parts:

+ should openSUSE have a default desktop?
+ if openSUSE has a default desktop, which one should it be?
(and people should reply to it not as if it was "what do I prefer?"
but more as if it was "what do I think will make our project grow?")

<biased opinion>
My answers would be "ideally, yes; concretely, depends on how it's done
so that it doesn't alienate a good part of our community" and "GNOME",
fwiw, which can be seen as the opposite of the proposed feature.

I could elaborate on why I'd reply GNOME, but this would probably not
lead us anywhere useful (except maybe if you enjoy endless GNOME vs KDE
threads) ;-)
</biased opinion>

What I clearly see as pro is:
- listening to our KDE community we may gain more KDE contributors. But don't
forget this feature is also about making openSUSE an outstanding KDE
distribution. And for that just voting for a feature is not enough. For
becoming an outstanding KDE distribution we need you to contribute

(So, hrm, yeah, but this is valid for GNOME/XFCE/LXDE/etc. too ;-))

- we simplify the installation by one click for 2/3 of our users, according
question no. 11 in our  last openSUSE survey [3] made in 11.0 time frame

Btw, I think would help us get more
detailed information about the users for cases like this.

- the GNOME users keep status quo and need to set the radio button as before

<biased opinion>
Not really a pro item. It sounds more like a neutral one.
</biased opinion>

What I clearly see as con is:
- our pretty active GNOME community won't be very happy about it
- our strength is to support choice and two major desktops
- with the CD you always get a default desktop

What might stay doubtful?
- Would changing a radio button really drive lots of users and contributors
- Would already KDE as a default make us to an outstanding KDE distribution?
- Does openSUSE need a default desktop?

To really decide on what to do here, I think we have to ask ourselves
what is the goal of the openSUSE distribution. Here are some ideas of
what it could be (they are not all incompatible with each other, btw,
but knowing which one is what we want to do helps with decisions):

a) be the best distribution for first-time users of a GNU/Linux
=> this is relevant in this topic since that person won't know what
GNOME or KDE is, and a default is necessary. I would even say it
doesn't make sense to have a page in the installer asking the
question of which desktop should be installed...

b) be the best distribution for users at least a bit familiar with
the free software world
=> in this case, asking for GNOME or KDE can be acceptable (would
still be better to not ask, IMHO), but a default could be nice.

c) be a bleeding-edge distribution
=> probably requires familiarity with the free software world (like
b, or more?)

d) be the best distribution for X users (where X can be KDE, GNOME, but
also Apache, Postgresql, etc.)
=> decision could be straight-forward

e) etc.

I guess it's not really option d or e. In your list of cons, you said
"our strength is to support choice and two major desktops", so it would
position us in b.

Then, there's also the question of how will it affect our community? Eg,
just removing the page in the installer and choosing KDE by default will
probably just make people of the GNOME team go away. Preselecting an
option in this page would probably not lead to this result, but might
still affect a team in some way (or maybe it won't have any bad effect).

Finally, communication is important. If the decision is communicated as a
some kind of political (X is better than Y) or technical (X is better
integrated in openSUSE thany Y) statement, then this will certainly harm
part of the community. The only way to communicate this that makes sense
to me is to say that this makes things easier for our users. (And also
to do it in a way that doesn't imply the other solution is not good or is
not well integrated)


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