The New Holy Wars

And so it came to pass, that in the land known as Int-ar-net the prophet Linoos did say unto the masses that Gur-nome doth suck and that only those who go by the name of Id-e-ut would use it. The enlightened will turn to Kay-Dee-EEEE and will find true contentment.

Well, maybe not. But he has raised something which probably would have arisen sooner or later. For the uninitiated, Gnome and KDE (the K Desktop Environment) are the two primary desktop environments in the open source world. The majority of users in the Linux world use one or the other of them and they are both the products of much discussion and more work. Or is it the oter way around? No matter. Gnome is, in my opinion, great for enterprise users – the interface is slick and clean and they have taken away all the options you don’t want your users to see. A lot of work has gone into making it “human friendly” and they are reaping the rewards. More than one enterprise focused distribution uses Gnome as it’s default and more power to them. KDE, having far more available options, suits people like me.

The thing is, both desktops have their pros and cons (I won’t go into them here, if you want to know the arguments go to any tech or open source forum and past this question: “which is best, KDE or Gnome?” and sit back.

Now, the father of Linux, Linus Torvalds, said, in a message that we should “just tell people to use KDE”. As far as Linux was aware, this was posted to a private mail list and was not for public consumption. He was discussing this with developers he knew who took the mail in the spirit it was intended – as part of an ongoing discussion. But, he forgot one thing, this is the internet and messages like this get round quicker than in the school yard. Slashdothas the story and so does LinuxQuestions.org and The Age and probably almost every other place on the internet too. Just remember, this was considered to be a private conversation and the normal rules are, if not suspended, different.

Unfortunately, this is now public and we will see flame wars and trolling all over the place because of this. And then someone will say that Linux should issue a retraction. It’s all going to get silly.

My advice is to stay away from any arguments on this and let it die a death.

Anyway, KDE is best.

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Posted on 14 December, 2005, in Computer Stuff, News, Open Source. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. My advice is to stay away from any arguments on this and let it die a death.

    Anyway, KDE is best

    Hehe! Oh, and you got onto the topic much faster than I did… šŸ˜‰

  2. I saw it on Groklaw and on LQ. Luckily, it’s not so topical that being beaten matters overly.

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