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Novell Software Linux

Novell to Standardize on GNOME 599

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the rollin-with-my-gnomies dept.
Motor writes "In what must be one of the least unexpected announcements of recent times, Novell says that they are standardizing on one desktop rather than supporting two different codebases. From the article: 'Novell is making one large strategic change. The GNOME interface is going to become the default interface on both the SLES (SuSE Linux Enterprise Server) and Novell Linux Desktop line. KDE libraries will be supplied on both, but the bulk of Novell's interface moving forward will be on GNOME.'"
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Novell to Standardize on GNOME

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  • by edfardos (863920) on Saturday November 05, 2005 @03:24PM (#13958628)
    dang, KDE was a reason to like SuSE too, so what's the best KDE-centric desktop distro now?
    • "what's the best KDE-centric desktop distro now"

      The only one I know of is Knoppix, but it's a live CD, and not typically installed like SuSE is.

      http://www.knopper.net/ [knopper.net]
      • It's interesting to note that Novell open sourced SUSE, is now cutting 20% of Novell jobs and is standardizing on Gnome. I've heard speculation that the SUSE acquisition was to remove a competitor and they could proceed with Novell plans.

        I'm not advocating that, I'm just noting that Novell has done a 180 and seems to be regressing. SUSE has always been considered one of the best distros out there, and at least OpenSUSE will continue with community support.
      • Personally I use Kubuntu, it has been working very well and they do have latest and greatest versions.

        However I do support Novell on this, the linux distributions need to standardize on some desktop, and it was not helping having different distros from novell and suse using different window/desktop/ui managers.
      • by opkool (231966) on Saturday November 05, 2005 @08:37PM (#13960229) Homepage
        Mandriva, of course.

        KDE is the "default GUI" for a basic install, although Mandriva also comes with Gnome, IceWM and others.

        I use Mandriva/Mandrake since it has always provided such a great support for KDE, "everything just works" approach for hardware, easy system administration (both GUI or command-line) and urpmi, the best package manager for rpm. As good as "apt-get".

        Everybody seems so "Ubuntu" centric today, singing praise to Ubuntu's "new stuff"... when all that "new stuff" has been in Mandrake/mandriva since version 8.0 (and we've had 8.1, 8.2, 9.0, 9.1, 9.2, 10.0, 10.1, 10.2 and now 2006.0; one release every 6 months). So, you see, all that "new" stuff is "old news" for the Mandrake crowd.

        And then, KDE is an almost alien part of Ubuntu (Kubuntu)

        Ubuntu is all hype.

        Anyway, back to my boring Mandriva (yes, boring as all works, and all has been working for so long...)

        Peace
    • I'm sure that KDE will continue to work fine on SuSE, but I wonder if Novell will provide less resources to KDE development as such.
      • The question is more: What will SuSE users say when SuSE is switched to GNOME. Who will buy it? SuSE is a KDE Distribution and that is their market.

        In Europe you cannot conquer the Desktop market with Gnome.
        • Well, speaking as a SuSE user, I am a bit disappointed in this move. I just can't stand GNOME, sorry. The only good thing I can say about it is that it gives KDE healthy competition.

          As others have pointed out, I am concerned that KDE support in SuSE will lag.

          As an aside, I've been using SuSE through the last 3 major versions and have bought and paid for a copy of each to support the distro. When I found out Novell was to acquire SuSE, I commented that I didn't care who made the distro, as long as they
          • by tomhudson (43916) <barbara@hudson.barbara-hudson@com> on Saturday November 05, 2005 @05:25PM (#13959296) Journal

            Until a month ago, I would have agree with you

            However, I switched to dual monitors, and they just don't work under kde (t's probably just me, I'm NOT flaming the kde developers). So I've been using gnome for the last month, and, surprise - it's a LOT better than it used to be, and it runs faster than KDE.

            Te KDE apps work just fine (Kontact and KWallet are running all the time on this box).

            My only question is - do I try to install a 3rd monitor (I've got 2 19" ones, but I could still use a smaller one for keeping a small to-do list, etc., front-and-center.

            • Why don't you just get a pad of paper, and a pen? Then you write your todo list on that, and save a fair chunk of pence because you don't need to buy and power another monitor.

        • by soloport (312487) on Saturday November 05, 2005 @04:03PM (#13958844) Homepage
          "In Europe, you cannot konquer the Desktop market with Gnome."
        • But SuSE is no longer a European company. They're a Utah company now. And thus things like the fantastic i18n, l10n, and l12y capabilities of SuSE no longer matter. Indeed, it most likely will be their downfall. The quality of GNOME's support for such technology falls short of that of KDE.

          But when the feeble die, young blood arises to continue on. And in that case it will be distros like Kubuntu.

    • http://www.kubuntu.org/ [kubuntu.org] is one option.
    • by Kjella (173770) on Saturday November 05, 2005 @03:30PM (#13958665) Homepage
      what's the best KDE-centric desktop distro now?

      I don't want a KDE-centric distro anymore than I want a Gnome-centric distro. Personally my favorites are Ubuntu/Kubuntu for the latest desktops, Debian for server/workstation machines that need to be rock stable. And they both should do a good job at running Gnome apps in KDE and KDE apps in Gnome.
    • Kubuntu [kubuntu.org], which is a KDE version fo the wonderful Ubuntu [ubuntu.org] distribution, which incidentaly standardised on GNOME also. If you wait long enough, I expect you will see a supported version of Novell's distribution, but with KDE as the desktop.
    • I just switched to SuSE because I prefer KDE. GNOME strikes me as cobbled together and amateurish. Oh well, there is http://kubuntu.org/ [kubuntu.org]
      • where does it say SuSe Pro is switching to gnome ? it only mentions SLES.
      • by drgonzo59 (747139) on Saturday November 05, 2005 @04:02PM (#13958841)
        I, on the other hand, have always used KDE on Mandrake (now Mandriva), on SuSE, on RedHat. Then I gave Ubuntu a try, which uses GNOME as the default desktop. I thought "stupid GNOME" and went right way and installed the KDE Desktop with all the libraries and utilities. I used that on Ubuntu, but then eventually I found myself logging into the GNOME Desktop more and more and now I am only using GNOME.

        Honestly I don't even know the reason, maybe it is the Dark Side of the Force, or maybe the panels just have less clutter, maybe stuff just works better. I don't miss the transparency, the shadows, the SVG icons of KDE, at first I thought they were great, but after a while it didn't matter. Maybe it is also less stuff to configure and less options to worry about. Sometimes I think in UI design "less is more", but of course it is still very much a subjective thing, so I am glad there is the choice and the options for everyone KDE, GNOME, Blackbox, Xfce and others.

    • Fedora Cora is pretty KDE-centric as well. I run a couple of FC4 machines with KDE 3.4 which works well. My MythTV box even runs on FC4+KDE.

      But when I RTFA, it seems that Novell is just undergoing some internal restructuring (read: sacking people) and it says:
      "The entire KDE graphical interface and product family will continue to be supported and delivered on OpenSuSE," said Mancusi-Ungaro."

      And if it all goes south, you can still compile from source, no?
    • by Jerry (6400) on Saturday November 05, 2005 @05:01PM (#13959166)
      Commercial?
      Xandros, and several other Debian based clones.

      OpenSource
      SimplyMEPIS, KNOPPIX, Kanotix, and a plethora of Debian based clones.

      My favorite is SimplyMEPIS

      But, considering that regardless of the distro the same release number of KDE behaves the same way on all distros that deploy it, any is as good as another, all other things being equal. So KDE is not a reason to choose a distro unless that distro is the first to release with the latest version of KDE and you want to move to it.

      Linux distros that feature GNOME still have to install connectivity to KDE functionality because the VAST majority of applications are written using QT widgets. Companies wanting to create cross platfrom applications to enable their move to Widnows without reinventing the wheel will use QT because it is the smoothest route to take.

      I find it rather ironic that GNOME was created as a GPL response to QT's propritary widget set, but after the KDE Foundation negotiated with TrollTech to continually release a GPL version of QT the reason for GNOME's existance became moot. Now, ironically, GNOME is being favored by the Linux distro makers who are selling proprietary brands and services.
      • Well GTK is under the LGPL which makes a big difference for commercial software vendors. This probably why GTK has (generally) proved more popular with commercial vendors. Ofcourse you can purchase a commercial license for Qt too, but that does add to your budget and I believe it's licensed on a per programmer basis, though I might be wrong there.
      • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Saturday November 05, 2005 @09:57PM (#13960512) Journal
        But, considering that regardless of the distro the same release number of KDE behaves the same way on all distros that deploy it, any is as good as another, all other things being equal. So KDE is not a reason to choose a distro unless that distro is the first to release with the latest version of KDE and you want to move to it.
        Not really. If you've seen SuSE, you know there are a few nice tweaks there, such as automatic selection of Gtk+ theme to match your KDE theme. This and other small, but neat things aren't in KDE by default, and many people have no idea how to do them on their own.

        Also, a KDE-centric distro means that default software packages offered for installation are KDE-based. So you get JuK rather than Rhythmbox, and your OpenOffice will have Qt native widgets rather than Gtk ones. Again, nothing a user can't do on his own, but why should he waste time on finding out how?

        Linux distros that feature GNOME still have to install connectivity to KDE functionality because the VAST majority of applications are written using QT widgets.
        It works the other way around, too. When have you last seen a distro which doesn't provide base Gtk and GNOME libraries for the same reason? As for vast majority of applicatons being written in Qt... please. You certainly can have an all-Qt desktop, but just as well you can have an all-Gtk desktop. However, Gtk is currently the dominant widgetset for Linux; see the numbers for yourself here [sourceforge.net] and here [sourceforge.net].
        I find it rather ironic that GNOME was created as a GPL response to QT's propritary widget set, but after the KDE Foundation negotiated with TrollTech to continually release a GPL version of QT the reason for GNOME's existance became moot.
        This implies that GNOME is only good as a replacement for Qt, and does not have merits of its own, which is obviously false. On a side note, have you noticed that most Linux commercial applications lately are also favouring Gtk and GNOME? RealPlayer, Acrobat Reader, Nero... I wonder if it is because of LGPL, or because they see that GNOME is a de facto standard for a Linux desktop these days.
  • by Dark Paladin (116525) * <jhummel&johnhummel,net> on Saturday November 05, 2005 @03:27PM (#13958639) Homepage
    Granted, I'm on OS X user who uses Linux servers, and I really don't give a rats ass about Gnome versus KDE - I just look at whatever I'm using and launch the app I need.

    For Novell to work on one interface isn't saying "Oh, Gnome is the Hawt and KDE is not!" - it's just a cost saving move, and I can agree with that. The question is: will this help lead to a "one Linux Desktop" future where the de-facto standard is Gnome. When that happens, will more apps be Gnome based, or will we continue to see the dual-track desktop development?
    • by MrResistor (120588) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <ffoharetep>> on Saturday November 05, 2005 @03:52PM (#13958794) Homepage
      For Novell to work on one interface isn't saying "Oh, Gnome is the Hawt and KDE is not!" - it's just a cost saving move, and I can agree with that.

      No, it's a lot more than that. Suse has been a KDE-based distro forever. Many of the KDE developers are Suse employees, and while Gnome has been included pretty much as long as it's been available, it's been practically unusable. (I don't know if it's just been a Suse thing, or if the Gnome tools really are that much more primitive.)

      This is a sea change.

      The question is: will this help lead to a "one Linux Desktop" future where the de-facto standard is Gnome.

      I wouldn't be surprised if this were actually Novell's intention. I'm sure there are plenty of vendors who will be quite pleased with this decision. Unfortunately, I think a lot of Suse customers will not be so pleased. Maybe it's the Novell curse striking again?

      • KDE must-have apps (Score:5, Informative)

        by billybob2 (755512) on Saturday November 05, 2005 @05:59PM (#13959492)
        I think a lot of Suse customers will not be so pleased.

        Of course SUSE customers won't be pleased. There are many must-have desktop apps built on the KDE framework that don't have any good gtk equivalents:

        AmaroK music player [kde.org] -- Steve Jobs' nightmare, the single greatest threat to Itunes on the Free Software platform.

        DigiKam [digikam.org] -- The most feature-rich application for digital photo management.

        Konqueror File Manager" [konqueror.org] -- Embeded image/PDF/music/video viewing (via KMPlayer [kde.org]) and a tree-view arrangement of the filesystem familiar to Windows users (Nautilus doesn't come anywhere close)

        Seamless, transparent network file access [kde.org] on SMB, FTP, SSH and WebDav networks from _any_ KDE application.

        Kaffeine [sourceforge.net] -- The most polished FOSS movie player.

        Baghira [sourceforge.net] -- A native QT style that faithfully imitates OS X eyecandy, aimed at new users coming from the Mac world.

        KDE and QT also make up a technically superior platform for developers, drastically lowering the learning curve for programmers new to FOSS development. KDE apps can be built from the ground up using the best development tools in the Free Software world (which also happen to be built on QT/KDE):

        QT designer [trolltech.com] for GUI development

        Kdevelop [kdevelop.org] for syntax highliting, application templates, and project organization.

        BKSys environment [freehackers.org]for a complete replacement of the autotool chain (libtool+automake+autoconf+make) that will make dependency a whole lot more simpler and efficient.

        Gnome is way behind KDE with regards to these features. The only reason Redhat's doing so well with Gnome is because they're targeting geeky sysadmins who don't care about having a good-looking desktop. The other 99% of the world does care, and gnome just doesn't fit the bill.
  • Oh well (Score:2, Insightful)

    by 42Penguins (861511)
    If you really want to, you can still use KDE, right? This seems like a change that would mainly affect newbies, from a company with a network OS that a newbie can easily use. I welcome our Novell overlords that make things simple, if lacking in choice.
  • by EnronHaliburton2004 (815366) * on Saturday November 05, 2005 @03:30PM (#13958662) Homepage Journal
    RedHat, Sun and Novell all now standardize on Gnome, correct? Do any major distros standardize on KDE anymore?
  • Gnome can be good (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    ...as far as style and eye candy, take a look on gnome-look.org!
    I've customized my Ubuntu 5.10 with the metacity theme "Blended 1.5", the "NuoveXT" icon theme and the grass wallpaper from one of the leaked longhorn/vista betas. Try it!
  • by anandpur (303114) on Saturday November 05, 2005 @03:30PM (#13958664)
    May be somethink like this, you can see some names from Novel
    http://tango-project.org/ [tango-project.org]
  • Management (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Elektroschock (659467) on Saturday November 05, 2005 @03:30PM (#13958668)
    SuSe is a KDE distribution and SuSE customers want KDE. Desktop-Linux means KDE in Europe. So what do some managers of Novell do? Listen to Ximian which is a developer's booth without a market.

    Unbelievable. They ruin a distribution.

    A real company would listen to customers first, then allocate the ressources to development. Suse was very good on that in the past.

    A bad company is driven by engineering. The role of marketing is to sell what the developers invented or want to create.

    The second approach is doomed to fail.
    • Re:Management (Score:5, Informative)

      by craXORjack (726120) on Saturday November 05, 2005 @03:45PM (#13958761)
      A company that stays in business does what is necessary to keep costs down. If you read the article:

      The GNOME interface is going to become the default interface on both the SLES (SuSE Linux Enterprise Server) and Novell Linux Desktop line.

      All that is happening is that the distributions they are pushing to corporations will use Gnome as the default. Big deal. SuSE Personal/Professional/whatever will continue as normal.

      • Re:Management (Score:5, Insightful)

        by nutshell42 (557890) on Saturday November 05, 2005 @05:34PM (#13959327) Journal
        You didn't understand the GP. Most of Novell's Linux business comes from SuSE and most SuSE customers are in Europe. Together that means most of them use KDE. Now to save a few bucks (either for Qt licenses or a developer to perfect a Qt-GTK-compatibility lib -- all it'd really take is a themeing engine which already exists and an abstraction so you can change some common properties of Gnome programs like the button order with a simple setting like in KDE) Novell decided to screw over the part of their company that actually makes a profit and instead switch over their user base to a new Desktop environment.

        Imagine the sales pitch when they tell the customer that they have to retrain all their staff for the next upgrade. Microsoft, RedHat and every other competitor probably opened a bottle of LouisXIV 1714 in celebration =)

    • where does it say that SuSe Pro will be using gnome ? they mention SLES only.
      • Re:Management (Score:2, Insightful)

        by sjvn (11568)
        Here's the deal. First, read the fine article. It does say that it's both the desktop and SLES. You'll also see that the SUSE Desktop--the community version you can grab at

        http://www.opensuse.org/ [opensuse.org]

        will continue to support both KDE and GNOME.

        SLES, the server version, and Novell Linux Desktop, the commercial distributions. though, will be built to use GNOME as its primary interface.

        Now, if one is at all clever, you can certainly run put KDE on SLES or NLD. After all, besides the fact that it's not that much tr
        • Re:Management (Score:3, Informative)

          by kayen_telva (676872)
          heres the deal: it says the novell linux desktop, which is a distinct product from SuSe Pro or OpenSuSE

          here is a tip, NLD has always been Gnome. So basically, SLES is going gnome. BFD.

          kde is not going away in OpenSuSE (the replacement for SuSe Pro)

          holy crap, the GP is modded interesting.. its like talking to a wall

          "The entire KDE graphical interface and product family will continue to be supported and delivered on OpenSuSE," said Mancusi-Ungaro.

          wtf has happened to reading comprehension in t
          • Re:Management (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Jason Earl (1894)

            Yes, KDE will still probably be on the CD. However, Novell is not going to be paying for KDE development to the same extent that they have in the past. Since Novell was basically the last big KDE development sponsor this is going to make it harder for KDE to compete in the long term with Gnome.

    • Re:Management (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Sri Ramkrishna (1856) <sriram.ramkrishn ... OWcom minus city> on Saturday November 05, 2005 @03:46PM (#13958770)
      It isn't GNOME thats interesting it's Mono. Novell needs to standardize on one platform in order to create a single homogenized environment. My guess is that they plan to sell their commercialized applications using Mono. Since Mono uses GTK for it's toolkit it's going to look odd to have one desktop using one toolkit and their tools using another toolkit. It creates a disharmony.

      As for customers, they won't care what the desktop is as long as it does what they want it to do. Corporate customers are not addled and opinionated like us FOSS types. They don't have a favourite distro. It's whatever it takes to get the job done. If they do have opinions by in large it's going to be a miniority. As you say, as long as Novell listens to it's customers they can put resources into extending GNOME to do what customers need. The desktops are not that different, perhaps one provides more customization than the other but there is nothing that can't be added since it's all open source.

      sri
      • Well, who cares about toolkits. Why not run Mono under KDE? Why not develop GTK apps for KDE. KDE is a desktop environment, no application toolkit.

        The visual differences are mostly artificial ones. We will see crosstheming very soon.

        "As you say, as long as Novell listens to it's customers they can put resources into extending GNOME to do what customers need."

        No. SuSE has a market and has customers. They chose SuSE because of SuSe's KDE committment, because they know that KDE is well supported under SuSE and
        • Re:Management (Score:3, Insightful)

          by T-Ranger (10520)

          How is Mono related to GNOME?
          In a number of ways. This project was born out of the need of providing improved tools for the GNOME community, and will use existing components that have been developed for GNOME when they are available. For example, we plan to use Gtk+ and Libart to implement Winforms and the Drawing2D API and are considering GObject support. Mono team members work actively on the Gtk# (http://gtk-sharp.sf.net/ [sf.net] project: a binding of the GNOME class libraries for .NET and Mono.

          Yes, you c

      • My guess is that they plan to sell their commercialized applications using Mono.

        If that's true, then I wonder why they cut some of the Mono staff. Consolidation of the Mono sales team into the Novell Sales Team, or something?

        From the article:

        "There have been minimal cuts in Mono [an open-source implementation of Microsoft's .Net], and none of those cuts were in developers."
    • Seconded.

      Typical case of American disregard for market needs outside America.

      Seen that many times in the days when I used to work for an American company. As one of my coworkers used to say: American "technical" middle management are like seagulls, they come from across the ocean, shit all over you, nick your sandwiches, scream loudly for a while above your head, make a right mess and after that fly back leaving you to do janitorial work for a few weeks.

      It is a real pity that this has happened to SuSe. And
      • And based on what I see I think I will drop out of consideration any Novell products for the foreseeable future. I do not like seagulls.

        That's a pretty myopic view. Aside from standardizing on Gnome, do you really have any other gripes with what Novell has done with Linux? They've actually done a lot to free previously non-free software.

        • Re:Management (Score:3, Interesting)

          by arivanov (12034)
          Myopic? Gimme a break.

          First, A company that buys top of the line technology and after that screws it magestically for the sole reason that it is "Not Invented Here (tm)" is bound to have some serious troubles down the road.

          Second, Suse marketed towards Europe and was quite successfull. KDE was one of the major pieces in the puzzle and one of the reasons for SuSe success. By taking this step, Novell shows that it does not give a flying shit about the Europe market wishes.

          So there is nothing myopic here. It i
    • Re:Management (Score:2, Interesting)

      by rthomanek (889915)
      I can only second that.

      I am not really sure whether the desktop preference has something to do with Europe vs. US - though, incidentally, I *am* in Europe, I *am* using SuSE and I *am* a strong KDE supporter - I detest Gnome, to put it straight (why? HUGE widgets, esp. buttons, swapped "OK" and "Cancel" - the list is long; OK, the rant is over, it is not the time nor the place to discuss personal preferences).

      The fact is that both Gnome and KDE have huge userbases and the decision to favor Gnome is at least
  • nuts (Score:4, Interesting)

    by arkhan_jg (618674) on Saturday November 05, 2005 @03:32PM (#13958680)
    This is not good news. SuSE was one of the big beasts that helped develop and improve kde in a distro, and is one of the main reasons I used it in the past. I did get sick of RPMs in the end though.

    Why is that so many people prefer kde over gnome, yet redhat, debian-based distros like ubuntu and now SuSE use gnome as their primary? What main distros will be left that uses kde in preference? I can only think of mandriva now.

    I'm not criticising gnome, it's a fine project and a good desktop environment, but I really like the unified desktop, reusable kparts and configurability you get with kde. I'm far from alone, as the vibrancy of kde-look.org shows. How come gnome, which is not *that* much superior to kde (some would argue that it's inferior at the moment) is making all the headway?
    • Re:nuts (Score:5, Interesting)

      by slavemowgli (585321) on Saturday November 05, 2005 @03:36PM (#13958707) Homepage
      Debian etc. have historically rejected KDE because Qt used to not meet Debian's Free Software Guidelines etc. Those days are long over, of course, but the animosity towards KDE seems to have remained.

      As for Novell... hard to say. But it's worth noting that many core KDE developers are from Germany, and SuSE is (was), too; Gnome, on the other hand, is pretty much a US development, and Novell is also a US company. Coincidence? Maybe, but I wouldn't be surprised if these things did play a role, in both cases...

    • Re:nuts (Score:5, Informative)

      by diegocgteleline.es (653730) on Saturday November 05, 2005 @04:16PM (#13958912)
      How come gnome, which is not *that* much superior to kde (some would argue that it's inferior at the moment) is making all the headway?

      Usability. It's that simple.

      I mean, it's not the lack of a kparts equivalent, being programmed in a 70's language - c++ is a bad OO language, but C is much worse as "OO language" still gnome went with C (and you have to admit those even if you're a gnome zealot)

      Fortunately, KDE 4.0 is focusing in usability. The reasons that keeps many people away from KDE is usability, anything else. KDE is great, in some aspects their technology is ahead of other desktops and not just gnome (I love kparts). Bring usability to kde (ie: wait for kde 4.0) and you'll see lots of users switching to kde
      • Re:nuts (Score:5, Insightful)

        by chabotc (22496) <chabotc&gmail,com> on Saturday November 05, 2005 @04:52PM (#13959115) Homepage
        Actually i think usability is a 'small' part of the corperate move towards gnome .. Its accesability!

        Gnome has had a lot of contributions from Sun to improve accesability, high contrast/large font options, screen reader support, screen magnifiers, style guides and a lot of things refering to US and international accesability specifications that software needs to live up to before its acceptable to some goverment- / organisations. (great internationalization & font support thru pango, flexible text directions, etc must play a factor too)

        I think a lot of the big projects choose gnome/gtk for this reason too, and its definatly why redhat picked gnome, so they can sell to those markets, and its probably why Novell decided to pick gnome as well

        Big organisations and goverments have different demands, and gnome seems to fit them well; Home users might have different demands (though some do require the accesability!), but with all the $ flowing to gnome, the area's where its not up to spec yet, it will be soon i guess
  • Good Idea (Score:2, Insightful)

    by shinygerbil (926573)
    I use KDE and Gnome on the same distro. Generally I use KDE, but I can use either just as well, so if most major software companies go the Gnome way, I'll be right there with them. At least somebody is trying to make some useful decisions, rather than splitting things up. If only more companies would do this...
  • by matt me (850665) on Saturday November 05, 2005 @03:33PM (#13958689)
    This is another in a chain of announcements this year that show how much in the world of Linux. Today's is a final good riddance to the days when *the* choice was Red Hat vs SUSE, America vs Europe, GNOME vs KDE. I guess this is a move to make SUSE more comfortable for Ubuntu users, the product which I bet (open)Suse and Red hat (Fedora) see as their biggest threats right now. Windows users are difficult to pull. But to make users switch distros is easy (I'm in Fedora, but very much attracted to Ubuntu right now). I think we'll be seeing more user-pulling moves from distros soon. shipit is only a start.
    • the kind of fraternal war that killed pretty much all of the comercial unices...

      how many of them are still around ? HP-UX, AIX, Solaris, SCO...

      comercial distros should focus in bringing windows users on board the FOSS wagon, not trying to steal users from each other. in this regard KDE is a much better choice, mostly because is the one that looks and feels more like windows.

      techies can adapt to diferent paradigms much easilly than regular users, and what regular users know is windows. at the begining, give
  • There were signs (Score:5, Insightful)

    by saterdaies (842986) on Saturday November 05, 2005 @03:35PM (#13958702)
    To an extent, one could see this coming. SUSE 10 was the first edition of SUSE to treat both desktops equally. Rather than having YaST default to KDE, it now prompts users to select either GNOME or KDE with no indication of prejudice. They've also been adding GNOME-centric things like Beagle. Novell's own NLD chose GNOME over SUSE's KDE for NLD 9. SUSE 10 was one of the first distributions to support GNOME 2.12 (beating Ubuntu while Mandriva which came out significantly later still uses GNOME 2.10).

    While I'm still a bit surprised to see Novell give such a slight to KDE this soon, there were signs that they were becoming a GNOME operation.
    • Re:There were signs (Score:3, Interesting)

      by canuck57 (662392)

      While I'm still a bit surprised to see Novell give such a slight to KDE this soon, there were signs that they were becoming a GNOME operation.

      I am not, although KDE is a good interface, I have always favored GNOME. So to me, seeing SUSE carry GNOME right there along with KDE was good and is now one of the reasons why I now run SUSE 10. The other is SUSE 10 supports my 54g wireless card.

      But I suspect there is more to it. Proprietary Qt libraries inside of KDE have always plagued KDE adoption. And quit

    • by idlake (850372)
      While I'm still a bit surprised to see Novell give such a slight to KDE this soon, there were signs that they were becoming a GNOME operation.

      It's business, and I don't think they had a choice. Supporting both was costly and wasn't working well (Gnome on SuSE was no fun) and so they had to pick one. Gnome was the obvious choice: it's clearly good enough, it's what they use with Mono, it's what IBM picked for SWT, and it's what most other distributions use. And, most importantly, their commercial customer
  • Very surprising! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Morky (577776) on Saturday November 05, 2005 @03:36PM (#13958708)
    In a shocking turn of events, Novell goes with the desktop founded by one if their key employees. I really thought that Ximian purchase was just a ploy to take the top Gnome developers out of the game so that KDE could flourish. I guess it was because they actually like Gnome. Go figure.
  • To quote "Rumors circulating that Novell is going to kill off its popular Linux desktop lines are completely false. The GNOME interface is going to become the default interface on both the SLES and Novell Linux Desktop line - "The entire KDE graphical interface and product family will continue to be supported and delivered on OpenSuSE.""
    Just thought should port some accurate reporting over to Slashdot.

    http://www.osnews.com/story.php?news_id=12551 [osnews.com]

    • "will continue to be supported and delivered on OpenSuSE." So KDE will be supported as a second class citizen by SuSe? No thanks! They are not serious! Why did Novell buy a KDE distribution? In order to kill its market and convert it to Gnome? I think this management of Novell is 100% clueless about the market of SuSe.
  • Gnome is an error. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Lolaine (262966)
    When Novell Linux Desktop was released, we as Novell Partners started using it, and used it's default desktop (Gnome 2.6) as our desktop. Having used Gnome in the past year or so is my biggest computing life's error. Everything have been problems for us. Nothing works as expected, session management is a mess, gconf crashes a lot, esd is still there and nautilus is inflexible. Gnome is being guided towards being a Desktop for dummies, but it's weird behaviour only make users unconfortable with that Desktop
  • I really wish kde and gnome could somehow combine their projects. I primarily use gnome, but there's a ton of kde-centric apps that I love to use. Unfortunately they don't look good under gnome. Most people aren't going to go through the loops to get the fonts in kde apps to render properly in gnome.

    I think a gnome-style window manager with the features and app support of kde would be killer. Sometimes I think gnome is a bit too simplistic. It seems both projects have different design philosophies so I
    • Well, be serious. What real interoperability problems are left? Today you can configure Gtk apps to look like KDE ones. Intrestingly most "gnome" apps are just non-qt ones thus assimilated by the gnome desktop which lacks integration. It was a problem from Gnome that it is unable to interoperate properly with KDE. Is it visual appearence? Give us a few month and there will be no discussion on that anymore. Crosstheming is very close.
      • I agree, I've never had a kde app not work in gnome. As far as kde apps not looking good in gnome and vice versa, I don't think most people care whos fault it is. They only care if things work well. Cross theming, if it is what I think it is, would be a phenominal step foreward.

        If the two groups could interpolate perfectly, then there'd be no reason for a distro to pick one over the other. Obvously they're not there yet.
  • by jht (5006) on Saturday November 05, 2005 @03:53PM (#13958799) Homepage Journal
    Posters here on Slashdot and all over always wonder why Linux hasn't made more of an impact in the desktop world. Well, this is the biggest reason (or representative of it, at least). In the Windows world or even the MacOS world, no regular users give a hoot what window manager they run. They don't care which packaging system they use, either. All they know is that they buy the OS and it works, and that programs written for the platform just work. And if they go out and buy an off-the-shelf program for their computer, it just installs. The underlying technology is irrelevant. Windows users don't really care about the difference between InstallShield and .MSI files - they just know that they double-click on SETUP.EXE or INSTALL.EXE and it installs the darned program. Mac users know they either double-click to run an installer or just drag a program into their Applications folder. And yes, I know there's ways to run X11 apps on both Mac and Windows, but basically the user doesn't have to know the difference between, for instance, Carbon apps and Cocoa apps. They don't choose between competing windowing systems. They just use the computer.

    Linux systems are more or less founded on choice. Which is a great thing, but has no relationship with user-friendliness or consistency. Remember part of the original motivation behind GNOME - it was because a crew of folks was unhappy with the QT licensing. So they reinvented the wheel to deal with it. That's what's great about both Open Source and Free software, but it's also why a wide-open platform is not going to gain mainstream use anytime in the foreseeable future. Even if either KDE or GNOME shut down all their development efforts tomorrow, someone would pick up the dropped torch and keep it going. And then competing vendors would still have to pick one or the other.

    The day Linux desktops start spreading is the day all the big projects decide they need to focus less on eye candy and more on making the system as simple, consistent, and reliable as possible. Kind of like OS X.
    • Wait, what?

      the day Linux desktops start spreading is the day all the big projects decide they need to focus less on eye candy and more on making the system as simple, consistent, and reliable as possible. Kind of like OS X.

      Do you seriously think that Mac isn't BUILT on eye-candy? OSX has the most glitzy window manager out there.... fortunatly for Macintosh it also works.

      Trying to say that Linux will be sucessful if they don't focus on the "cool" factor is simply uninformed - the truth is they need to do
    • culture of elitism and is a desktop that spends less time listening to its users then most of the others. KDE has been a leader in both usability, flexibility and responsiveness. Unless the core Gnome development group starts making some serious cultural changes I think this is a lose-lose for both Novell and its users.

      Standardization *needs* to happen. But why choose the desktop that most frequently alienates it's own user base?

      I'm sure there are a lot of people who would argue against everything I've
    • by roystgnr (4015) <roystgnr@@@ticam...utexas...edu> on Saturday November 05, 2005 @07:36PM (#13959954) Homepage
      basically the user doesn't have to know the difference between, for instance, Carbon apps and Cocoa apps.

      Just to check, I started up a Gnome app while running KDE. No problem. The other way works fine too. The only things developers and users are forced to choose are what toolkits or what user interfaces they prefer.

      It always seems to be pundits like you who complain in the users' names about choice - users either don't know there is a choice (because they're using whatever was default on their distribution) or don't care there is a choice (because the existance of one compatible choice usually doesn't make the other any worse). Do you know any real users who don't like having choices? Tell them I ordered them to use Gnome. There, no choice anymore, it's all better.

      Different packaging systems are a much better example of problems caused by choice, because there you can have some incompatibility - I can't double-click-install every SuSE package or Mandrake package on my Fedora system, and I can't install *any* Debian package without digging into "Alien" howtos. That means more work or less compatibility for software developers, and that's a bad choice... but, of course, it's the same bad choice that developers are forced to make when they choose to write OS X applications or Windows applications. It's not even that bad, since Linux developers can statically link all libraries and make a self-installing install.sh script to be compatible with every distribution (or can distribute source code to be compatible with a dozen other Unices), but OS X or Windows developers who want to be compatible with OSes from multiple companies need to use crossplatform API wrappers from day one.

  • Nice... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Motor (104119) on Saturday November 05, 2005 @03:54PM (#13958804)
    I distinctly remember submitting this as "standardising"... only to have it edited and Americanized (both in the title and most irritatingly in the text itself). What a thoughtful action from a website with editors that wouldn't know the correct spelling of a word if a dictionary was violently shoved up their arses.
    • Re:Nice... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by JamesD_UK (721413)
      It doesn't particularly matter which way you spell the word or where you are. See http://www.askoxford.com/asktheexperts/faq/aboutsp elling/ize [askoxford.com]
  • Big Mistake (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ac7xc (686042)
    Novell is making a huge mistake by attempting to shove a Desktop down the throats of consumers and businesses. Some like KDE and others like Gnome it is the purchaser that should have the choice.
  • by DrXym (126579) on Saturday November 05, 2005 @04:25PM (#13958950)
    It's not because it's intrinsically "better" (it isn't), it's not because it's got better apps (some are, some aren't). But what it has in spades is simplicity and usability. KDE is a kitchen sink and it's a mess of options, buttons and menus that most people couldn't care less about. Anyone trying to appeal to enterprises (or just people who don't want a million options) would choose GNOME.

    As it happens I just installed SUSE 10 and I quite like it. I'm using KDE right now but even the integration efforts of SUSE can't paper over the cracks. Just seeing 6 menu items in a row in Konq that say "Configure" just makes me shudder. If I had a choice I would use GNOME, but the GNOME integration in SUSE is terrible (where is the input from Ximian?). Therefore it's a surprise to hear they're now going to favour GNOME. I guess they've decided its better to go with Ximian than with SUSE.

  • by IGnatius T Foobar (4328) on Saturday November 05, 2005 @04:47PM (#13959081) Homepage Journal
    In one of his typical prima-donna rants earlier this year, Jamie Zawinski (one of the "popular kids" here at Slashdot High) spoke of Netscape's acquisition of Collabra, and how the Collabra people ended up forcing their culture onto Netscape from the bottom up -- eventually destabilizing and destroying the company by sending them in all the wrong directions.

    It's clear now that the exact same thing is happening to Novell. The acquisition of Ximian was a BIG mistake. It added absolutely no value to Novell (I think it happened because "someone knew someone" in Massachussetts and they did it to keep Ximian's investors from losing all their money) and what happened next? Slowly but surely, the Ximian people are taking control of Novell. This latest move proves it -- SuSE was well known as a KDE powerhouse. They did more for KDE than any other single company out there (except maybe Troll Tech). Now, the Ximian people have dismantled SuSE's KDE leadership, and are probably well on their way to dismantling any other strategic advantage any other part of Novell may have had.

    So long Novell, it was a grand run, but you're letting the wrong people take charge and even though you may not realize it yet, you're in a downward spiral.

    And since I know Miguel and Nat are reading this -- listen up, guys, stop being a couple of pushy blowhards and do the right thing for your company. Let the grownups run the show please.
    • Correct you are my friend. Honestly, what did Ximian bring to Novel in terms of actual products? What happened to Ximian Desktop, that lovely modified Gnome with a devilish monkey wallpaper? Have you heard anything about it? No, it's been discontinued. Do you remember their Red Carpet? That usless shi!t that was supposed to unify software deployments? What happened to it? It turned out that Novel already had a similar product, and so RC has been discontinued. And you know what, as lovely as that crashoholic

      • Correct you are my friend. Honestly, what did Ximian bring to Novel in terms of actual products? What happened to Ximian Desktop, that lovely modified Gnome with a devilish monkey wallpaper? Have you heard anything about it? No, it's been discontinued.

        Mostly true ... XD is pretty much not needed since those changes have gone into mainstream Gnome.

        Do you remember their Red Carpet? That usless shi!t that was supposed to unify software deployments? What happened to it? It turned out that Novel already

  • by Qbertino (265505) on Saturday November 05, 2005 @04:51PM (#13959109)
    I'd pick KDE. KDE is more consitent than Gnome and does a better job at ridding the crappyness of the x86 Linux Desktop anachonisims, such as XFrees ancient non-existant Font management or the lack of XFree clipboard usage. Since 3.0 KDE just says "GIMME THAT! I'll take care" and gone are two major anoyances of the pure OSS Desktop. Be it that it weighs heavier than Gnome but if todays systems can take such behemoths as XP, Mac OS X, then they shure can handle KDE.

    I actually find Gnome prettier and less clutsy in apperance and I dislike the fact that default KDE apes the crappiness of Windows Keybindings, but on the other hand I love KDEs easy configurability. The utility libs are, afaict, more sophisticated (example: editor widget) and KWin has evolved from a joke of a WM it was to a solid foundation for KDE. Unlike Gnome the KDE people don't change their core WM every odd month - in the end it paid off.

    This is the general impression I've had about KDE/Gnome the last two years. I've actually wondered why Ubuntu uses Gnome as default. From what I can tell, the core Gnome team members are probably better at advocacy than the KDE people. That could be the reason.

    One last indicator makes the last solid point:
    The reality is that I miss an awfull lot in a pure Gnome enviroment, but I nearly miss nothing in a pure KDE setup.
  • by iksrazal_br (614172) on Saturday November 05, 2005 @05:05PM (#13959189) Homepage
    I was afraid this would happen once novell bought Suse. To Novell's credit, up until now they have played smart - don't alienate your base users - primarily KDE users since pratically day one. Up until now what has Ximian and Evolution done for their bottom line? Mono? Puhlease. Suse Professional is their cash cow. Lose KDE and I lose Suse, I stop buying Suse professional, and I stop installing and recommending Suse to my clients who are spending top dollar - its that simple. I have my mom running Suse, my wife running Suse, my colleagues running Suse, and I install Suse for large telecoms. I lost redhat in 2002 after using it since 1996, and though I'd be sad for a while I'm sure I can switch again.

    From what I have seen - unscientifically - KDE has been steadily gaining more market share then Gnome. I subscribe to the linux journals monthly desktop orientated pdf and they seem to agree. I have nothing against Gnome - I just happen to like KDE. Back in '99 I thought it was better for me and I have really liked KDE's progress ever since.

    Where to go from here? First, I hope this is all wrong - I'm an enthusiastic Suse user. Kubuntu I suppose, but its a tough sell for my clients. Kooler heads prevail and I hope Novell is smarter than this, but somehow I doubt it. History shows Intel let the engineers create Itanium, and Novell has in the past bought Unix for top dollar and sell it to SCO for a huge loss, along with Corel etc.

    Say it aint so, novell.

    iksrazal

  • by hagbard5235 (152810) on Saturday November 05, 2005 @08:13PM (#13960127)
    The general tendency of corporate providers of Linux to favor Gnome because of the licensing terms. If you are a writer of commercial software, or any software that isn't GPL compatible, you cannot use the Qt/KDE stack for your app. You can use the LGPL GTK/Gnome stack. Because a big part of the selling point of commerical Linux distros is the fact that other commercial software is certified to run on them, they MUST provide good support for GTK/Gnome. Now you get some bean counter coming through wondering why we are supporting two desktop environments. Well, you can't cut the GTK/Gnome stack, because of the commercial support, because of the licensing. So they cut (or under resource) KDE.

    Please note, I'm a GPL proponent for the most part. I understand fully *why* trolltech does what it does with QT, and approve of their business model, but it's the use of the GPL for infrastructure libraries in Qt/KDE that is driving the commercial side towards Gnome/GTK.

    As for me... I'd kill for Qt bindings for Eclipse... but the Eclipse Public License is not GPL compatible, and the GPL is intrinsically incompatible with the mixed open source /commercial plugin ecosystem around Eclipse, and so it will never happen. As a result I'm trapped with the Gnome moronicly 'usable' file dialog, which constantly makes my life hard...
  • explanation (Score:4, Funny)

    by bcrowell (177657) on Saturday November 05, 2005 @08:39PM (#13960241) Homepage
    For those not in the know, here's an explanation of what KDE and GNOME are:

    GNOME: A desktop system whose libraries will never be finished, and whose ABIs change several times a week.

    KDE: A desktop system whose applications have no documentation, print a lot of debugging information on stderr, and store their data in subdirectories 17 layers deep within ~/.kde.

  • by chris_sawtell (10326) on Sunday November 06, 2005 @01:44AM (#13961288) Journal
    I look forward to the KSuSe ( or SuSE-Europe ) fork of SuSE. GNOME is just a politically motivated Simplified Unix Interface with ugly graphics for the occasional user with no appreciation of the aesthetic. On the other hand KDE is a rich and rewarding computing environment which provides a visually tasteful and effective workplace.

    This is yet another classic example of an American Corporate being totally out of touch with the customer base out here in the Rest-of-the-World. Message to Novell:- "Enjoy the continuing death experience". Message to shareholders:- "Cash up quick before they stuff up completely and blow all your dough".

  • by Pecisk (688001) on Sunday November 06, 2005 @05:18AM (#13961817)
    First, I wrote very large comment, how GNOME is better, etc. etc.

    (Disclaimer: I am GNOME user for four years, and love progress and iniciatives of Ximian and Novell)

    But, then I thought all about this and went to try to understand - why such outrage? One point is clear - SuSE was very big sponsor of KDE and now there is going to be less money for that. That I understand - If they have been fired all Ximian team (and I don't agree that Ximian was just empty dose, Evolution, Mono, lot of integration stuff - it makes sence, they are NOT stupid, and they can create income for Novell - in many ways), I would certainly feel the same.

    But do I judge Novell? No, because they should do that. It was clearly painful choice - and they weren't ignorant about that. I even think that it wasn't easy choice in the eyes of Ximian team too - because in my opinion, they don't just be in war with KDE community. Actually, what I have seen that GNOME guys seems to want work more on common ground - desktop standards, D-BUS, HAL, etc. such things. However, KDE team looks for doing things their *own* way - and it is ok for that, but is is somehow childish. For example, KDE officially won't support gstreamer - there are some excelent KDE apps who does and will, but KDE just went to doing it in their own turf again. Why? Reading Gstreamer, everything is done to assure desktop envorement independence - gstreamer is NOT depend on ANY GNOME/GTK+ lib.

    As from my point of view, I see that KDE guys was in the first place. They were best, they had most brainshare, they were "Unix desktop #1" - because most Linux desktop users where power users and hackers. However, times has changed and now Linux user base are consists more of common users, which, _in my opinion_, more preffer simplicity of GNOME. So, problem is there - is KDE are ready to change and finally accept GNOME (and drop the stupid and childish trolls, modded insightful or interesting, claiming that GNOME is error, stupid, Novell will die, etc.) as viable brother _or_ they will continue claim that they are wholy one?

    In resume, I would like to say - I would like to see both desktops to stay and improve AND provide choice for many of new Linux users which will sure come. Let's not claim death of Novell, let's say - there should new coorporate desktop of KDE arise. Kubuntu could be good start for some company to create Kumbuntu Enterprise Desktop.

    Let's go with peace, brothers - and improve things in our backyards.

Reality must take precedence over public relations, for Mother Nature cannot be fooled. -- R.P. Feynman

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