Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-project (783 mails)

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[opensuse-project] Re: Draft of Desktop Policy
  • From: Jim Henderson <hendersj@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 7 Aug 2009 14:24:10 +0000 (UTC)
  • Message-id: <h5hdea$c6p$1@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
On Fri, 07 Aug 2009 12:50:07 +0200, Martin Schlander wrote:

Fredag den 7. august 2009 00:41:25 skrev Jim Henderson:
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.

Stop trying to raise doubt about the vastness of the KDE majority in
openSUSE - the picture is quite clear and consistent no matter if you
look at surveys, build services stats, iso download stats, mailing lists
subscriptions or whatever data we have - or simply hang out in the
online community.

You misunderstand my point. I don't doubt that there are more KDE users
than GNOME users, but I wonder if the gap isn't less large than it
seems. While you can look at download stats, mailing lists, etc, the
fact of the matter is that unless you survey every user who runs
openSUSE, you can't have an accurate picture of what the balance *is*.
Yes, you can have a good idea, or a high degree of certainty. That's not
the same as knowing the precise distribution of choices.

And then there are those who use both, or use applications built on
both. Like me. I use things like k3b, k9copy, and Quantas+, but use a
GNOME desktop. There are those who use both desktops as well. How do
they fit in the picture, when you look at the picture as either/or?

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.

Ubuntu users don't do support in openSUSE forums or IRC channels, they
don't build packages for openSUSE, don't write howtos for openSUSE, and
they don't know anything about openSUSE at all.

Excuse me, I came here from being a RedHat user, and I think I knew a
thing about openSUSE when I started using it, because both are Linux. I
don't think it helps us to pretend that other distros don't exist.

And the last three or so years of (subtly) pushing GNOME haven't exactly
been very succesful have they? Have Ubuntu and Fedora GNOME users
flocked to our distribution?

And yet the threat of not having KDE be the default selection is so
great....because? There again, you can't have it both ways. I still
stand by my earlier proposal (ie, that as long as the KDE camp concedes
that it's OK for GNOME to be on that selection menu in the installation
and won't push for it to be removed from the menu or the distro in the
future, I'm OK with a KDE default selection and even having KDE listed
first), but this debate reminds me a lot of another rather politically
charged debate currently going on in the US because the side with the
stronger opinions expresses those opinions by applying two inherently
contradictory sets of principles.

In this case, either GNOME isn't "good enough" and will never exceed KDE
in <whatever>, therefore it shouldn't be presented/shouldn't be selected/
shouldn't be listed first; or GNOME is "good enough" and thus is a
"threat" to the continued dominance that KDE enjoyes in the distribution,
so making KDE the default selection/only selection/only option is the
only way to ensure the continued dominance of KDE on the openSUSE desktop.

(That's an extreme view of this debate, yes, but to make a point here -
that you can't have GNOME be perceived to be so unpopular that it's not
an issue and yet it's a threat that has to be 'prevented from taking
over'. Those are diametrically opposed ideas and both have been used to
some degree to defend this idea of making KDE the default, which as I've
said, I'm OK with because it really doesn't matter to me as long as GNOME
is a choice and users see it during the installation).

Imitation of Ubuntu or Fedora won't work. A differentiation strategy is
more likely to be succesful, and Kubuntu and Fedora KDE users (being
second class citizens) are much easier to sway than their GNOME

Well, we agree that a differentiation strategy is more likely to be
successful, we just disagree on what that differentiation should be. I
think that the strength of openSUSE in the DE area is the presentation of
choice - be a KDE user, be a GNOME user, we don't care, we'll accept you
and support you equally.

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

In my mind it's a matter of balancing the interests of the existing
community and new users. And leveraging the existing community to become
more succesful, instead of working against it, as has been the practice
in recent years.

I don't see how a default selection of DE is "leveraging the existing
community" and how not doing so is "working against the existing
community". But like I said earlier, if the default setting of KDE will
make the KDE camp happy, then by all means do it. It's one radio button
or check box in the installation screen, and personally I don't think it
makes that much difference either way. Just leave the option for GNOME
there so those of us who choose to use GNOME primarily don't have to jump
through a bunch of hoops to install our DE and preferred apps.

Jim Henderson
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