Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-project (783 mails)

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[opensuse-project] Draft of Desktop Policy
  • From: Andreas Jaeger <aj@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 4 Aug 2009 14:16:02 +0200
  • Message-id: <200908041416.03103.aj@xxxxxxxxxx>
After reading all emails and having many discussions about the default
desktop topic, I've wrote up the following draft proposal (at the end of my
long email) and propose to enact it.

Note, let's keep have the following important questions to keep in mind:
* What is a fair treatment all involved parties that do great work?
* What is the best for openSUSE? What will help openSUSE grow?


There are many decisions that a Linux distribution does for its users,
e.g. packages installed by default and version of packages, and also
which of these decisions can be changed by the user or where the
distribution limits the user or makes it difficult for the user to
decide. openSUSE's installation tries to ask the user as little as
possible and uses good heuristics e.g. on how to partition a
system. It also comes with an automatic configuration which sets up
the system in a default way. Nevertheless a couple of questions are
asked during installation - and some of these are considered difficult
questions for a user.

The decision about e.g. default editor (emacs, vi, joe,...) or default
filesystem are decisions that the distribution does on behalf of the
user - even while most users have a preference here. Users expect from
a distribution to adjust their system, e.g. change the default editor,
in an easy way.

The success of a distribution depends on both how it serves the needs
of its current users but also on how it addresses new Linux users.

While there is friendly competition between different desktops, the
real competition is between Open Source desktop environment and closed
source ones - and therefore the question of default desktop should be
considered on what's best for new Linux users.

Many think that openSUSE should decide for new users on a default
desktop - and on the other hand make it easy for users to choose a
different one or install additional ones.

A decision on the desktop question has to look not only on which
desktop is the default but also what this means for this desktop and
the other desktops. The Desktop Policy gives such a framework.

Making one default the desktop will not change the way that Novell
sponsors the openSUSE community project. There have been comments
that making a decision for a default will help both the GNOME and KDE
development teams to give users a better desktop experience. I'm
inviting those to stand up to their comments and really help out -
openSUSE as a community distribution will only get a desktop that is
as good as the development community will make it.

Desktop Policy

0. The following text uses GNOME and KDE in alphabetical order. These
rules apply to development of openSUSE only, not for any other
Novell products.

1. Both GNOME and KDE are first class desktops in openSUSE: neither is
technically superior to the other. openSUSE should be known as the
distribution with the best GNOME desktop and the best KDE desktop!

2. We make it easy to choose between these two desktops during
installation, install both of them - or install others as well.

3. On the relevant screen during installation the most popular desktop
is preselected, the desktops are listed in alphabetical order.

4. This screen will explain that both GNOME and KDE are first class
desktops and the default is based on popularity.

5. Let's sit together at the openSUSE conference and decide what both
GNOME and KDE beeing first-class desktops signifies and how all
desktop development teams can work together.

Andreas Jaeger, aj@{,}
SUSE LINUX Products GmbH, GF: Markus Rex, HRB 16746 (AG Nürnberg)
Maxfeldstr. 5, 90409 Nürnberg, Germany
GPG fingerprint = 93A3 365E CE47 B889 DF7F FED1 389A 563C C272 A126
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