Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-project (783 mails)

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[opensuse-project] Re: Draft of Desktop Policy
  • From: Jim Henderson <hendersj@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 6 Aug 2009 22:41:25 +0000 (UTC)
  • Message-id: <h5fm6l$6e7$1@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
On Thu, 06 Aug 2009 13:30:56 -0600, Dean Hilkewich wrote:

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

If you consider that the people we're talking about the pre-selection
being made for are "new users who don't know what to pick", I think the
argument is a bit stronger. I've only been a Linux user for about 15
years, and I wouldn't have known that this was in openFATE if it hadn't
come up here.

So it's reasonable to assume that people who aren't active in the
community (which may include many new users) wouldn't know about those
surveys or have taken the time to participate in them.

Also, if the enhancement is perceived as being to benefit KDE users,
GNOME users may well not feel it's appropriate to interject their opinion
in the proposal because it appears to be a proposal for KDE. Not saying
that it is, but that could be the light that some people see it in, which
would skew the "voting".

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.

Are you sure that it's not desktop choice? And more to the point, what
does it matter why people choose a particular desktop? If Ubuntu
accounts for say 30% of Linus desktops out there, then that's a pretty
significant GNOME base for Linux overall. You can't say "KDE is more
popular than GNOME so we should show a preference for GNOME" and then
when the counter back is that across all Linux distributions, it's about
equal and say "well, the desktop isn't the important thing". Either it
is or it isn't.

In the openSUSE distribution, we have liveCDs as well that let users kick
the tires before making the leap into Linux.

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

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.

So we're not concerned about growing the openSUSE community or user base?

That means that openSUSE is poised for a decline, one way or the other.
If we have people leaving and aren't seeking users to replace those who
leave for whatever reason, then the result is a net loss no matter how
you look at it. If we don't build appeal into the broader Linux
community (and into the general computing community), then we only stand
to lose users no matter how you slice it, because there's *always* going
to be someone leaving.

Jim Henderson
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