Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-project (783 mails)

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Re: [opensuse-project] openFATE feature 306967, KDE default
  • From: Lubos Lunak <l.lunak@xxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 1 Aug 2009 14:35:36 +0200
  • Message-id: <200908011435.36197.l.lunak@xxxxxxx>
On Friday 31 of July 2009, Joe 'Zonker' Brockmeier wrote:
**For me, our selling point is choice:** Come for GNOME, come for KDE, we
have both, plus Xfce, and a whole slew of other great software (like YaST,
Zypper, etc.) and project tools (the openSUSE Build Service).

I think that in that case this should be somehow justified and summed up as
guidelines for the next time we run into a similar issue, as this is an
exception to the common practice and it is likely to turn up again somewhere
else. Nowhere else do we or anybody else require such a choice to be made, as
it would be just insane to ask the user about everything, so it would be
useful to know when such exceptions are made.

Take the web browser as an example. The default web browser for 11.2 is
Firefox, both in GNOME and KDE (see below). However, with Linux being just a
minor market to Firefox compared to Windows and the rise of the WebKit
rendering engine, it is not unrealistic that in a foreseeable future another
web browser would start taking Firefox's share, possibly even surpassing it
and making it a minor browser. Let's assume for a while that it would be an
open-source version of Google's Chrome, for simplicity.

Currently we have Firefox as the clear default and we do not even offer a
choice in any prominent place. I don't think there's anything wrong with
that, but if one day Chrome has 90% users and Firefox 9%, it would be clearly
very stupid to still keep Firefox as the default without any easy way to
change it. And as a web browser is a very important component to many users,
with many services being web-based for some even more important than the
desktop, we should somewhen on the way switch and/or provide a choice. Now,
how should that be? According to what we have now with desktops, we should
offer a choice to use Chrome as soon as it gets at least somewhat significant
user base, and after it exceeding about 25%, we should present a page during
installation where there is nothing preselected and the user must choose.

Would we really do that? It looks absurd to me and there would be certainly a
controversy about that too, but since we already have a very similar one now,
maybe we could sort it out now and save us from having to go through that
again in the future. The web browser makes a very nice example, but it's
possible there would be other issues in the future with no clear preference.


And this doesn't even need to be a future, as we have a very similar issue in
KDE right now for 11.2. The default browser on KDE was always a bit
schizophrenic, with the choice of either using the Firefox icon on the
desktop, or the Konqueror icon in the panel, or Konqueror launching when
clicking links in other applications. No clear choice, just like with the
desktop selection, and it was considered confusing, so the decision done the
last KDE community meeting was to make Firefox the default everywhere.

And there was also some controversy for this decision. Some users prefer
Konqueror for its KDE integration and it works for them, and those preferring
Firefox could already choose it using the desktop icon. It is a decision that
can affect many users, with KDE having the majority of users. Upstream KDE
can also interpret it as a political message, with openSUSE disrespecting KDE
once again, and we may lose more users because of the perceived negativity.
So maybe it would be safer to revert this back or require the user to make a
choice. Therefore, since a similar discussion is going on here anyway, it
might be simpler and safer for us to take the conclusion made here and apply
it too.

Having this as a clearly decided policy and not just a random ad-hoc decision
would avoid or at least minimize the problem that some would consider it a
political decision and reduce the damage that is bound to happen as a result
of this, no matter what the decision is.

--
Lubos Lunak
KDE developer
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