Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-project (783 mails)

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Re: [opensuse-project] openFATE feature #306967 , my KDE summary
  • From: Alberto Passalacqua <alberto.passalacqua@xxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 03 Aug 2009 02:58:07 -0500
  • Message-id: <1249286287.7897.47.camel@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>

Il giorno lun, 03/08/2009 alle 01.09 +0200, Lubos Lunak ha scritto:
The openFATE request says "make KDE the default desktop" and it doesn't
request anything else. It doesn't request anything happening with GNOME, in
fact it explicitly mentions that it should remain supported as a choice. It
can be interpreted in slightly different ways, my personal interpretation is
that this can be achieved by just preselecting KDE in the installation
dialog, nothing more. I consider it to be the minimum acceptable for the
request and at the same time I believe it can bring the benefits described.

I would say everyone agrees with the idea that preselecting the checkbox
would not make, formally, any difference.
I am personally more worried by how this can be used in marketing and in
discussions about openSUSE. For example, I don't think it is a good idea
to market openSUSE, as someone suggested, as a "KDE-centric
distribution". It would maybe increase somewhat users on the KDE side,
but it would also damage GNOME, quite clearly.

An important point that many people here fail to realize that this is not
asking for granting a special priviledge to KDE. In fact, it is asking for
removing a special priviledge that makes many in the KDE community feel that
KDE is treated unequally in openSUSE. In all other cases, when there is a
clear preference, it is selected as a default, sometimes not even offering
the user an easy choice. In this case, however, while KDE is the clear choice
in the openSUSE community, it is not treated the same like in other cases.
Instead, GNOME is given a priviledge that a preference must be explicitly
expressed here, and this priviledge, to my knowledge, is not given to any
other openSUSE component. No other non-default browser, mailer, shell,
filesystem, etc. has this luxury. This is interpreted by the KDE community as
a message from openSUSE that it values GNOME more, that GNOME is forcibly
pushed into openSUSE and that KDE is not equally welcome in openSUSE. The
openFATE request, in practice, asks for removing this GNOME priviledge and
fair treating of all openSUSE components.

You are literally stretching it so much it sounds a joke. According to
you, not selecting KDE by default is a privilege for GNOME, but
selecting KDE by default does not represent a priviledge. It does not
make any sense. As it does not make any sense what you write about
filesysems, shells and other defaults, which are not chosen as default
to my knowledge because of the openSUSE survey, but because they are
used by the vast majority of Linux distributions.

This should also make it obvious that the current situation is not

What is not correct is to base this proposal on a survey which has no
real statistical value. In addition it is also outdated, and based (if I
remember right) on the pre-kde4 period. I'm clearly not going to claim
GNOME is now more used than KDE, but I would think its share increased

Since now openSUSE positions itself as an open community
distribution, refusing this openFATE request would also be an action that
would further stress the perception that the KDE community is not as welcome
in openSUSE as the GNOME community and that openSUSE can again choose to hurt
the KDE majority despite the obvious preference. Therefore, just as there is
the risk that aknowledging KDE's position in openSUSE by accepting the
openFATE request would have a negative impact on the GNOME community, there
is also the risk that continuing to treat GNOME specially in openSUSE would
have a negative impact on the larger KDE community, already treated

I asked you evidences about these damages in another reply. We all
remember the discussions about making GNOME default pushed by someone at
Novell some year ago. I personally was against that. I'm also against
making KDE default, for exactly the same reasons. The current situation
_works_. OpenSUSE is probably the only distribution with equally clean
GNOME and KDE, just use the current situation when marketing openSUSE.
Reopening this discussion is trying to bring things back.

For similar reasons I believe that the pros/cons analysis in the original
thread is partially incorrect, as it assumes that the current situation is
not problematic and keeping the status quo does not cause any harm, or that
resolving the situation requires removing choices. And yes, I believe that
just changing the radio button would be a sufficient message from openSUSE
that KDE is not considered less important than GNOME, likely resulting in
increased KDE interest and involvement with openSUSE that could even lead to
openSUSE becoming an outstanding KDE distribution, without having to
negatively affect GNOME in the process.

I actually don't think openSUSE KDE implementation is considered bad.
OpenSUSE popularity is affected by more general problems, and it would
be off-topic to explain them here. However it is really more frequent to
say to people that openSUSE has a good GNOME implementation, simply
because openSUSE is still associated to KDE by many users.

So, once again, the openFATE request is not about granting KDE any special
advantage, nor it requests doing anything with GNOME other than removing this
advantage that is considered unjust. It is about signalling the KDE community
that they are not treated as 2nd class citizens in openSUSE, which would
prevent further alienating of the KDE community and allow increase KDE
involvement in openSUSE, currently hampered by the perception that this is
not as welcome as GNOME involvement. And while it is considered that focusing
openSUSE more on KDE would bring openSUSE more advantages, it is not
necessary for KDE, nor any removal of choice of GNOME in openSUSE.

This is not about treating KDE users as second class citizens. They are
already not treated as such. I have some difficulty to see why
contributors are actually blocked now, and can become suddenly more
interested by selecting a radio button during the installation. Is there
any actual contributor that explicitly said "I do not contribute because
of that"? Did anyone actually say it would be more interested in
contributing if the default DE were KDE?

This is my interpretation of the openFATE request and the position of the
community on this issue and what would be the minimum acceptable to make them
actually feel welcome also by openSUSE acts and not just words. As I said,
different people have slightly different views, so there are certainly people
who have stronger views on this or would disagree with me somewhere (in fact,
my own personal opinion here is not exactly in line with this, so am I not
just pushing my personal agenda). I however hope this gives an overview and
explains some things that many people seem to misunderstand. If you want to
have a complete view, of course, enjoy reading the whole thread. In the worst
case I've at least saved you reading my mails there :).

Well, the fact you feel the need to summarize the discussion, smooth it
to make it more acceptable ("it's not my personal agenda") and write
quite a long message on this topic, which is quite unimportant for the
future of the distribution speaks by itself.

PS: For those who still don't undestand how the current situation can be
considered unfair, an attempt at an analogy: There is an art gallery, showing
and selling pictures of two artists. One of them is considerably more popular
than the other, thus clearly the gallery benefits more from this artist. Yet
the gallery pays both of them the same. That is maybe equal, but it is very
unfair. In addition to that, it is also demotivating - the more popular
artist has no reason keep doing well or may try to go elsewhere, and the less
popular artist does not have a very big motivation to try harder.

The good artist would concentrate on his work, and (going back to
openSUSE) try to fix the actual problems that alienated people from KDE
(as you claim it happened), like, for example, the mountain of network
problems users met in the last two releases (I actually had to help
quite some of them to use nm-applet for from GNOME on local forums).
And again, the good artist would not spend time by re-opening a
discussion done already too many times, and concluded with a neutral
If KDE really has to excel, it will do anyway, default or not: the good
artist knows also this, and that's part of the reasons why he is good.
He does not complain for a checkbox, he just works hard to paint better
and improve things.

Anyway, good luck. In my book the GNOME guys are the real winners,
without spending many words on this thread and on this topic. After all
in a few years they had the merit of bringing GNOME from an actual
second class citizen, to one of the most polished GNOME around. Now
someone is asking to make KDE as default, and claims this will actually,
not only not damage, but help the GNOME team, giving them more
motivation. It is kind of ridiculous. Really.


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