Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-project (783 mails)

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Re: [opensuse-project] Draft of Desktop Policy
  • From: alpha096@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 05 Aug 2009 06:39:37 +1000
  • Message-id: <4A789C89.9030907@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
I would not take a huge amount information away from the lengthy thread
on the KDE Default Desktop issue.
Certainly your Desktop Policy is a good idea but I would not get too
carried away with its implementation.

If we look at all the players of the very very very large thread on this
subject we only see the actual voices are no more than approx 12
different people.
This is a very very very small sample of usability expressions from a
market and huge conclusions can not be taken with
such a small sample. I am not suggesting we don't have a desktop Policy,
but I think we need to send it out as a survey to all user email
addresses we have.

With every KDE installation, before an update server is added the
software/hardware profile of every installation is sent to a "Novell Server'
In gnome this information is sent to a completely different server,
who's name escapes me right at this minute.

As we really do have the data in comparing KDE/Gnome installations over
a wide market place we need to use this information that has been
gathered since 10.3.

All the number and stats are ours for the taking. We only need to crunch
the numbers from both these different sources to get more answers on
desktop usage and other important statistics.

The Gnome statistics are published to indicate hardware platform and PC
vendor, but the numbers are there. I, and a lot of people, do not know
where all this info is located on a 'Novell Server' in the case of KDE;
but the numbers are there along with the other details.

We need a much larger sample of statistics to make any meaning and
substantiate change and get it right.

After we drag up the numbers I am speaking about, I think we need to
survey by sending out a survey to all the user emails we have before
setting any policy in cement, and answer, with quantitative number ; our
final draft Policy.

The numbers of different use opinions in the huge discussion thread is
far to small to be considered as the source for any user initiated
change in policy.

If I have missed any logic in the above please tell me.



Adreas Jaeger wrote:
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.


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