Gran Canaria Desktop Summit: KDE and Gnome Formulate Common Goals

Jul 05, 2009

On the first day of the joint developer conference on Gran Canaryia, representatives of the desktop projects Gnome and KDE formulated common goals for their future development.

When KDE chiefs Adriaan de Groot and Sebastian Kuegler, together with Gnome's Dave Neary and Federico Mena met the press, Kuegler explained the idea for a joint desktop conference was born two years ago and is meant to save developers from having to travel to two conferences. Neary added that, now at last, they have found the right meeting place for all those working on free desktops.

That each project has its own identity is shown by the fact that, at this year's conference, the projects have again kept their individual titles, Akademy and Guadec. Meeting in person is important for the participants and according to Kuegler, to 90%, they are all working on the same goals. Also, the projects want to show that open source desktops are powered by a strong movement of dedicated developers and not just a bunch of nerds.

Noticeable by his absence, KDEs chief motivator Aaron Seigo, recently expressed concerns for the future of (we reported). Federico Mena welcomed Seigo's efforts to revive free desktop standards. Most developers are more interested in their own work than they are in keeping documentation up to standard. Individual projects are like different countries: at home the technology works, go abroad and the plug doesn't fit the socket. This is where freedesktop can help. A workgroup addressing the issue is to be held on Grand Canary this year, where the problems can be discussed without the barriers of email or IRC.

As an example, Kuegler told of a desktop-neutral communications system they've been working on for quite a while. Something has to be done about the confusing procedure at Adriaan de Groot mentioned Consolekit, Packagekit and Devicekit as examples of jointly developed components with the end-user being blissfully unaware of the fact.

Explaining KDE developer plans, Kuegler pointed out that KDE 4 had gone from zero to user-status in five years. They aren't going to sit back and relax now. For KDE, the way forward is semantic and social desktop.

Gnome developer Dave Neary emphasized further development of audio implementation, an area where some things still aren't quite right. Gstreamer and Pulseaudio developers will be working on the problems at the Gran Canaria Summit.

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  • Reinvention

    Why do people still believe that there is a large amount of waste when similar projects exist?

    Do you think that all the people who prefer working on GNOME would have happily worked away on KDE in GNOME's absence? My early experiences with Linux had KDE and it was so unlike my tastes that I'd probably be somewhere between Mac OS X and a typewriter if there wasn't a suitable alternative.

    KDE and GNOME are not directly substitutable for many things.

    That said, I do hope for improved recycling of things that can be and minimal duplication, and I think we have that more recently than we used to.
  • 10 years of waste

    After more than a decade of doing the same thing twice because Miguel de Icaza and friends thought KDE wasnt 'free enough' (and no, the irony that he is on the other side of the 'free enough' debate isnt lost on me. I think its karmic payback) and decided to form Gnome, maybe we can get to business without having to reinvent the wheel.
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