Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-project (783 mails)

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Re: [opensuse-project] Re: Draft of Desktop Policy
  • From: Dean Hilkewich <deans.mail.list@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 06 Aug 2009 13:30:56 -0600
  • Message-id: <4A7B2F70.1030702@xxxxxxxxx>
Jim Henderson wrote:
Looks good to me.

A couple of thoughts (after reading much of the discussion on this

1. "Most popular" is a difficult metric. Some suggest that KDE is the
most popular based on the older user survey, and that because the
openFATE request mirrors this, that makes it a valid figure. However,
I'm sure that not all users are aware of the openFATE request or the user
survey (this is the first I'd heard of either of them, in fact). At best
the survey and the request represent the opinions of the majority of
people who know about them, which may or may not be a reasonable sampling
of the user community at large.

OK that argument is really weak. It implies that Gnome users are less
aware of the issues then KDE users. AFIK gnome users have the exact
same access to all the resources (mailing lists, email, web content,
etc) as any KDE user. If they don't there maybe an issue with Gnome's
network capability and you could conclude because of that Gnome has a
lot of work ahead of them to equal KDE. ;D
2. Having used both KDE and GNOME (GNOME much, much more than KDE,
admittedly), it seems that saying "KDE is most popular" has the potential
to scare new users off. Much of the openSUSE community is made up of
highly experienced Linux users, and KDE is an excellent desktop choice
for users who have a lot of experience and like the flexibility that KDE

However, that flexibility comes at a cost of complexity that can (not
necessarily "is", but "can") be daunting to a new user. So if the
argument is to make a choice for new users, shouldn't we look not at the
use case for "the popular choice in the community" but rather "what suits
a new user coming from Windows or another platform best"? We talk a lot
about the success Ubuntu has had with a single desktop model (with GNOME
as their choice) in attracting new users, so it seems that there is a
consensus that new users benefit from using GNOME.

If we want to grow the community, we have to attract new users as well as
experienced users. Something to think about.

Ubuntu's popularity is not because of desktop choice but because of
their supporting infrastructure. Active forums, mailing lists,
documentation, publicity, plus it was one of the first well rounded
distro's that allowed a live CD executed in a way that allowed the
timid to kick the tires before making the leap in linux. Ubuntu's name
probably has more to do with it's popularity then the choice of desktop
as Kubuntu and Xubuntu, etc don't exactly roll off the tongue.
3. Perhaps rather than look at the user base/potential user base as
"those who currently use openSUSE", we should look broader at how the
desktops are split amongst all Linux distributions.

If we're interested in *growth*, then we have to look beyond the current
user base and at who we wish to attract to using the distribution.

This also ties into the point someone (I apologise, I forget who) who
mentioned the accessibility needs he has being better met by GNOME than


We are not worried about servicing the entire linux community, we are
however worried about servicing the openSUSE community and as such
should base decisions on their opinions.

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