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November 11, 2005 10:00 am





There has been a lot of debate over the last few days in the media and on message boards about what is happening regarding GNOME vs. KDE at Novell. Here’s the situation. All future enterprise-class Linux product releases, including Novell Linux Desktop, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server and Novell Open Enterprise Server, will continue to ship with both the GNOME and KDE desktop environments. In upcoming versions of Novell enterprise applications, the default desktop environment will be GNOME. When customers install Novell Linux products, they will be given the option to choose either the GNOME or KDE environment during the installation process. If the user makes no explicit choice, GNOME will be installed. This change has no implication for current Novell customers. Novell will continue to invest in both GNOME and KDE and we will continue to offer maintenance and support for these products and their desktop environments throughout their planned product lifetimes.This decision has very little impact on either the openSUSE project or future versions of SUSE Linux. SUSE Linux will continue to showcase the newest open source desktop, development, and server technologies in a complete, stabilized operating system. SUSE Linux will continue to deliver both the GNOME and the KDE desktop environments along with the latest open source packages for those environments.

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Categories: Expert Views, General, PR Blog


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  1. By:Chuck Davis

    Thank you for the clarification. I was thinking it was time to check out Kubuntu which is now certified for DB2. The day KDE does not have parity with GNOME at SUSE I will be using something else.

  2. To bad Novel decided to be a follower. As it is there seems to be very little between it and Redhat. Making KDE your standard desktop would have been risky, but I think going the Redhat clone route your Novel to just agonize in lost market share over time.

    Also most very Linux distributor ignores the desktop, the greatest of all untapped teritories for corporations.

    Rather then pick the low lying fruit of web services Novel could really clean up my producing and selling corporate desktop apps.
    Of course that requires hard work of actually writting code, something more difficult then providing easy web roll outs. But as Microsoft has shown with its Office products, Thats where you win customers.

    If only Novel had the courge to see this as an opportunity. Nw they show the opposite. We see people in suits whose job is to minimize risk. Novel management is scared of risk, I would encourge them to just take what ever money is left from their MS settlement, and put it into annuties.

  3. I think it has little to do with being a follower and more to do with being able to get government contracts. Gnome has gone to great lengths to meet the usability requirements for disabled persons which can be the difference when it comes to getting government contracts.

  4. By:Elliot

    I think this is pure business, this have nothing to do with KDE. I think Novell selected GNOME as default because Ret Hat have the goverment and enterprise user base in US and Europe. These users are using GNOME right now and Novell have to fight hard to get some slice of that pie. If Novell gone the KDE route, I think they beleave that many possibly users won’t choose Novell because they haven’t got a familiar Desktop interface and this can hurt Novell business.

  5. By:Daniel Cardozo

    As a consultant, I’ve been using and recomending SuSE to my smb customers since version 6.X
    Mostly, this recommendation was due to its stability and its KDE-centricness, that made it specially useful for desktop users.
    Gnome is OK for servers, but it’s impossible to business desktop users.
    It looks like I’ll have to try Mandrake.

  6. By:Anonymous

    At the risk of doing too much clarifying, I’ll point out that Novell is continuing to ship BOTH KDE and GNOME in all its Linux products. So users can choose which works best for their particular needs.

  7. KDE’s usability with respect to disabled people isn’t that bad, and in some areas may exceed Gnome’s.

    Goverernment contracts – sorry state of affairs if this is their priority.

    The fact is plain and simple KDE is the most popular Linux desktop amoung user’s. As a developer I can tell you that it’s true C++ API is a developer’s dream.

    Granted KDE lacks some vision and leadership with respect to corporate needs, but this is where Novel could have come in and filled the big shoes.

    Daniel is right, feeding off the crumbs that fall from Redhat’s table will keep Novel from starving, But it’s pathetic that they have to stay alive this way.

  8. By:Ruben Marquez

    Unfortunately, most of us that are not disabled, feel disabled when using GNOME, especially their file manager. (Are you still forced to open a new window for every folder you open, yuck!) If there are really a problems for disabled users in KDE, just help KDE where it is lacking. I can’t imagine it to be that hard. Now, if the real reason is a different one, well, speak up. Lets air out those issues so they can be addressed. We all want Novell to succeed, if only because it helps Linux to do so too. There are a lot of us willing to help out, even doing your work for free. But not if we can’t trust you. So, open up and communicate! Red Hat has done a good job at earning loyalty and trust from its users. Many of us don’t use Red Had simply because we don’t like GNOME, and for historical reasons Red Had got stuck with GNOME. There is a huge opportunity on the Desktop. A large number of companies are stuck on Windows because of one single application not available on Linux (AutoCAD for example). Work with the makers of those applications to provide a port or go to their competitors and explain to them the opportunity that they have by porting their apps to Linux and have them certified to run on your OS. So many companies would be more than willing to leave Windows if only they could do their work with Linux.

  9. I feel novell will lose alot of marketshare over the next 12-18 months, in 24-36 months, they may end up sold.

  10. “Red Hat have the government and enterprise user base in US and Europe”

    You must be from the US then, not from Europe.

    While I tend to believe what you say is true for the US (I do not know for the better, I am ignorant on that field) — it is certainly not true for Europe.

    I know for a fact that more than 80% of SUSE and openSUSE users prefer KDE. And many NLD installations which default to Gnome have beend switched over to KDE due to customer demand.

  11. Why would government contracts be a bad thing. Do you honestly not want the companies supporting open source to make money? I don’t understand this thought process. Government contracts a great way to make money and the bid process often favors small businesses due to new regulations. If switching to gnome would make Novell more money, I’m all for it. I’m all for it regardless as they still give you the choice, and when all the dust settles all most of us care about is being able to choose for ourselves what to use.

  12. By:Daniel Cardozo

    At the risk of being REALLY clear, I will remember the obvious:
    When a Linux distribution chooses a default desktop, it puts all its energy in it. The other desktop environment is usually shipped only to placate the other side.
    You can choose KDE on Redhat, but it’s crap. You can choose Gnome with Mandrake, but you don’t get the same user experience.
    So, this choice, for everybody that’s been in the Linux business over the last year, means SuSE is becoming a Gnome distro. Period.
    The same thing are thinking some of most bright SuSE’s developers, who are abandoning the ship right now.

  13. Why not focus on Government contracts ?
    Because any of the following:Financial,Banking, Retail, Whole Sale makets each outweigh Governemnt Services by a large margin.

    I doubt that IBM, HP, or Microsoft make governemnt services their primary focus. But I am no expert on this and perhaps you are right.

    Getting on a government dole is not my idea of being a commercial success. If that’s how they plan to create wealth, then I am glad I am not a stock holder in Novel.

  14. By:Andy Witter

    Here is the mistake Novell made. They jumped into Linux without understanding the politics of it. They have presented themselves with a huge internal conflict of interest. How? By purchasing Ximian, the creators of Gnome then purchasing a KDE based distro. This is simply a HUGE mistake. The Should have started with a Gnome based distro such as white box, rebranded it then develop from there.

  15. im glad that theyve changed to gnome, kde might be fine for home users with all its eye candy bloat and child-friendly themes but in a proffesional business environment gnome is more integrated and runs better on lower spec machines. also the gnome libraries are LGPL meaning commercial companies can make apps for linux without an expensive qt license which will encourage more apps for linux which can only be a good thing.

  16. By:martijn

    GNOME brings better perspectives for enterprise environments, imho. Standarising on Desktop Environments was just the next thing to do.

  17. By:Robert Moore

    Mike Morely wrote:
    “gnome is more integrated”.
    Integrated with what? What do you mean?

    “the gnome libraries are LGPL meaning commercial companies can make apps for linux without an expensive qt license”

    What does the Desktop Environment license have to do with the applications? According to your argument BSD should be more successful than Linux because of its license. It isn’t, because people prefer the GPL for OS and general foundation software since it promotes a level playing field. The fact that most of KDE is GPL is no disadvantage for it. All current GNOME apps run just fine in KDE, and there are no license issues.

  18. By:Macfield

    Oh dear oh dear, Novell is off making a classic mistake. Instead of carving out a position for it self and the solid army of loyal Suse users, it is off sniffing round after Red Hat. While there is money to be made in the Government and Corporate market, it is the SME which holds out the greatest revenue earning opportunity for Linux giants like Novell. Why should anyone buy Suse when they can get Gnome by default from Red Hat.

    If I want Gnome then I will go out and buy Red Hat or get Fedora, that is not to say that I do not use Gnome, but I choose to work with KDE for most of what I do. KDE gives a far richer experience to my customers than does Gnome. Time and time again I get a wow response from new comers to Linux, whom I am converting away from Windows. This is almost never seen when Gnome desktop is put before them. Gnome is good, its dam good and I will be the first to acknowledge this, but its not what is going to do it for the Windows die-hard.

    There is clearly a place for supporting and developing both desktop systems, after all Linux is about choice. But base on what I see out there, it is KDE that has the greatest potential to stand up to Windows in the much bigger SME space. Red Hat has taken the government market, and Novell might as well accept that and stop trying to play second fiddle.

    Novell is on a trip to nothing if it tries to emulate Red Hat, and time will prove this if it continues. The shareholders of Novell deserver better and should be told and shown the future and potential of Suse Linux.

    It will otherwise be better for Novell to put the original Suse business and team up for sale and stick with its Ximian lot. Release the chains and send Suse back to Germany please !!!

    To make Gnome the default desktop is the same as saying that KDE will be dropped in the near future. The writing is on the wall. It is not to late for Novell to make the right decision, but god help them if they think that following after Red Hat is it. Just when Suse 10.0 has shown once more it strength and polished finish, Novell seems hell bent on topping its self.

    All is forgiven Mandriva

    What a shame

  19. By:Jorge Luis

    So, mandrake, there we go!!! bye good old suse!!

  20. By:George

    Outside of the hothouse world of developers no one knows or cares about KDE or gnome.
    Novell can contribute to a number of business goals by favoring one GUI over the other:
    It can cut its own development costs.
    It will conform to the more common interface found in large enterprises.
    It will add its’ weight to the momentum that may ultimately make that interface the sole one.
    These are all positive business goals.
    Furthermore, it’s in the interest of all Linux enterprises that a single standard emerge; wether it’s the better technology is not terribly important.
    The only downside I can see is the additional demoralization of the pre-acquisition SUSE staff, but hey, it’s time to grow up; SUSE’s part of a global business, not an idealistic hobby project, and Novell’s a firm that has to urgently embrace change.

  21. By:Rene de Boer

    i love suse, esp the kde polish/support. I hope that novell support kde also in the furture. I bought nearly every version. Don’t let me change from distribution!!!

  22. By:Joe Almeida

    I’m glad that the choice will remain, and that I understand why GNOME is being picked for the server as it is less resource intensive. I am partial to KDE, partly because it seems that KDE seems to work more smoothly in SuSE than GNOME. I believe it’s because the German developers of SuSE know KDE better than any other GUI, and it shows. Just try and browse an SMB network with KDE and GNOME and you’ll see what I mean. I have also found that users from a Windows environment seem to adjust to KDE quicker because of general layout, right mouse click options, etc. Many in the Linux world may scoff at that, but Novell is a business that needs to make money, and anything that fits within paying customer expectations brings profit. I came from the Windows side, and with all of Windows faults, one thing that MS does right is the GUI environment. KDE has matched the feature richness of MS Windows. Someone made the comment that a default choice means that that’s where the programming focus is. I hope this person is not correct, but I’m afraid that it may be. The bottom line – SuSE is technically the best of the Linux suites out there. KDE is part of the success mix. Don’t fix what already works, and don’t give your customers a reason to switch.

  23. By:Richard Plana

    Too bad Novell did a turnaround. One of my problems with considering developing software in the Linux world is the availability of too many different platforms and APIs. In Windows, even though there are various versions and iterations of the platform, there is really only one overall “standard” to consider. Having a monoculture is only bad when that culture is stagnating or isn’t improving itself.

    On the bright side, with this most recent development, there’s now a greater assurance that the Gnome libs and subsystems will be present in the major commercial distributions, so it makes sense for me to choose that one.

  24. By:Petri

    Novell was never dropping the complete KDE desktop from the consumer-oriented SUSE/OpenSUSE line, only making GNOME the standard on their enterprise offerings, so I am truly astonished by the aggressiveness of KDE followers.

    GNOME on the SUSE line has historically suffered from poor quality exactly because nearly all development was concentrated towards KDE. OpenSUSE was created to allow outsiders to get involved more easily. I don’t know how many of these aggressive KDE supporters are involved there, but surely the fact that the Novell’s SUSE developers must now split their duties between the Novell-branded enterprise offerings *and* the historical SUSE-branded consumer offerings leaves them with less resources to concentrate on the SUSE desktop line.

    The bad-mouthing of Novell and Ximian, and the threats of dumping SUSE if Novell were to adopt GNOME as their *enterprise* standard has left me to believe that the most vocal of KDE fans posting about this issue have only loyalty towards the KDE project and none for Novell’s Linux efforts.

    Congratulations. Your arm-twisting seems to have worked to perfection. Let’s hope that the consumer version of SUSE’s KDE desktop won’t suffer as a consequence of the developers’ new dual duty, and that you guys are as effective in your assistance to OpenSUSE as you’re making corporate decisions on Novell’s behalf.

  25. By:Joe Klein

    The problem for Novell at this point is that they are between a rock and a hard place. If they continue on their GNOME path, they will loose all the KDE supporters (the mayority of their users). If they back pedal half way (as they seem to have done by saying that they will still support KDE but that GNOME is their default desktop) some KDE users will stay and see if it is true, while many other KDE users and developers will simply move on, not truly believing that KDE will continue to be as supported as before. And I believe this would be true even if they were to back track all the way and say that neither desktop will be more prominent than the other. The trust is broken. Personally, I think, they blew it. They should just buckle up and go down with the chin up. (I do hope I’m wrong and they don’t go down at all, but…)

    Some, as Petri, may percieve this a being aggressive, but that is not the case. It is just that Linux is a much more personal OS than traditional closed source OSs. Why, well, because it has our own work in it. Even non developers contribute to it by their word of mouth help in spreading it and teaching new users. So, Linux is *everyone’s OS*. Naturally then, we want to see it succeed. And many offer free advice as their way of contributing to that cause. Some of this is sometimes unimformed, and that is why open discussion is necessary. Uninformed advice offered behind closed doors does not get the chance of being debunked, and can therefore lead a company to make ill informed desitions…

  26. By:David

    So basically the Gnome people at Novell have to make Gnome the explicit default in order to get people to use it! That sounds about right based on my experiences.

  27. By:Don

    Theres should be no religious war about this. GNOME is more suited for sme application developers. Theres no QT license.

  28. By:Paul.

    KDE has always been unstable for corporate use and more is suited for the home user market. GNOME on the other hand, though not perfect, is a far better Desktop for the corporate environment. The reasons for this is self-evident for anyone who has actually used both desktops for lengths of time since the late ’90s.

    Novell needs to concentrate on the corporate markets, not the home user market. It is also important that Novell offers proper updated built-in support for the KDE Desktop for KDE applications and as well, Novell should only offer GNOME as the default desktop.

  29. By:David Murray

    I am a Linux-on-the-desktop user.

    I use the Suse distro because of it’s smooth KDE interface.

    If Novell goes the same way as Fedora, and starts to use Suse as little more than a buggy testing ground, then I’ll dump it just like that!

    I want and prefer a clean, smooth KDE desktop, and Suse so far has definitely provided that. But if it becomes clear that Novell is treating KDE as the poor unwanted adopted child, then not only will I dump Suse, but I’ll tell everybody I know who uses Linux to also dump all Novell products.

  30. By:EX-Gnome User

    As a former contributor and developer on the GNOME architecture for many years I can say that GNOME is in no way ready to serve as the corporate desktop. There are simply to many issues inside and around the entire GNOME movement that should be mentioned here.

    First of all GNOME has a very broken development framework with a lot of fragmentation. A lot of libraries are not working properly enough even in stable releases to give users a full working desktop environment. A lot of stuff are simply not working properly and a lot of stuff simply look too far disharmonic to be usefull. Not to speak about the poorly written third party applications that exists that don’t serve any corporate needs.

    From a developers view I believe that GNOME has reached a dead end where scalability isn’t possible anymore. People have realized that with the C languge there is no progress and thus decided to code under Python, C++, Java, Ruby or MONO. But personally I believe that having a mature GNOME desktop these days require you to have Python, MONO, Java running next to your regular application, which makes it hard to have all of them incooperate correctly (to work correctly). This is not the problem of having different languages laying around or running in the background but more architectual nature as soon as it comes to bugtracking, feedback, expandability etc. Many bindings are not well implemented and have a lot of attributes not correctly defined which makes applications look and behave differently.

    As example I always get back to the legendary Toolbar issues that I like to explain. I do explain it because it’s the by far easiest thing people can test on their own system.

    When looking at this legendary example picture:

    You see a bunch of GNOME applications showing different types of Toolbars. I don’t want to speak about the images inside the Toolbars but rather how they look. They all look differently, behave differently, react differently, some toolbars are higher than others (a few pixel) others have a drag handle, others show icons only, then others again show text below icons. There is no common approach of doing this correctly. Sure some people say these things are not important. But from a developers point of view – they are. It only shows in what bad shape GNOME really is even today with latest CVS you see the same issues still present. It should give the beginner and advanced users an impression what’s wrong. A Desktop Environment should provide a consistent API and framework to do these things correctly. Please load up GNUMERIC, Abiword, Evolution, Evince and a few others and go through your “Menus & Toolbars” capplet (control center) and change around the values and you see that the majority of applications bundled in the corporate GNOME desktop do not react on these changes. Personally I consider these things to be a bug. I already reported many of these issues and recently my toolbar bugreport to gnumeric got closed as NOT A BUG with some random intransparent excuses why the HIG cant be applied to gnumeric. This is quite frustrating since the applications look bad that way (only the aesthetic view that GNOME always wanted to lay big values on). There are so many other areas like button padding, button padding between other buttons and and and.

    It’s a never ending story. Also I ask myself why tools like Evince or Epiphany (both part of the GNOME desktop) come with an own Toolbar editor while other applications don’t support that. From a developers point of view this should be part of the GTK+ Toolkit and made available default to all apps or everything that uses the Toolbar.

    Thats the big disadvantage of writing apps in C without proper object orientation (yes I know GNOME has some sort of object orientation). If we look over to KDE for example then we see that every application that uses a Toolbar (not all apps need one I know this too) share the same Toolbar object, if you change global settings then it automatically affect all applications (icons only, text under icons, drag handles etc.) the Toolbar object comes with an toolbar editor (to change icons, text under icons, draghandle, icon size etc.). This speaks about KDE’s great architecture which is pretty well designed.

    Again this is just a small example to not make the understanding overwhelming complex. There are many other issues (architectual nature) inside GNOME and it goes on in many areas such as gnome-vfs (which is quite broken, there is no progress information when copying files from FTP (deep directory structures with many files), aborting is nearly impossible and so on (not to speak about many other modules, but FTP is the one I know best) like copying 0 byte files over and so on.

    Basic stuff still in stable GNOME that don’t work reliable enough to get serious work done. People always come up with the same BS that GNOME is the light desktop, that it’s so great, clean and so on, that it’s the desktop to get work done. Evince crashing when selecting text, crashing on exit, gnome-print saving documents as *.ps files show other font or save corrupt data and and and.

    But this is not the case to say the truth. As a former student of computer and economics science as well as I am now an IT-Project leader I depended on doing stuff for University such as drawing diagrams or UML stuff. I depended (since I was a hardcore GNOMER) on tools like DIA to try getting the work done. But DIA was a poor applications that gave bad results, felt really bad, saved corrupt data to disk (with lost hours of work). My university professor one day looked at me, and asked me whether I painted the use case diagram with a paint program. I told him that I was using DIA and I saw a smile on his face which he left uncommented afterwards.

    Even printing doesn’t work reliable in DIA, nor does it work reliable enough in other applications. I had to search for alternatives and landed on KDE using Kivio and Umbrello. These apps surely aren’t the best apps existing, but they gave me more the feeling to get my work done. They worked, felt ok and the printout results was great. Not to mention that my learning curve was minimal since the apps reminded me quite a lot on commercial counterparts found on Microsoft Windows.

    Like printing GIF images as black image (totally black paper printout), like not supporting printing more pages on one physical sheet (evince for example) and these things exists in gnome-print/ui and are an elementary thing of the stable gnome releases recently. I wanted to print a document with 120 pages in evince on 4 pages per 1 physical sheet, which should end up in 30 pages of paper. but after I came back from dinner I saw that evince printed it on 120 pages rather than 30 as I was assuming. These things can not be.

    Same applies for Evolution which recently (before the 2.4.0 announce) started to trash all my sync files mf my local mailbox. It’s quite frustrating and irritating to get dialogs all the time telling one that something is broken. same applies for the “get emails as soon as you start evolution” bug, specially if you use freemailers with timeout you keep stuck in getting dialogs all the time you start evolution telling one that it can not pop emails due to timeout of the mail isp.

    Such things can not be in corporate desktops. If you really consider people and companies who spent a lot of money into their busiens to use GNOME then please make sure these issues don’t exist anymore.

    Continuing with my work. As I said I am an IT-Project leader now and need to deal with projects these days. Again using Planner as the only existing GNOME Project management software I ended up in frustrations since Planner is more like a toy than a mature application. Again I had to switch over to KDE to use Task Juggler for this kind of activity, simply for the fact that Task Juggler came quite close to MS Project, offered a lot of features and is free to use.

    Same applies in many other areas comparing GNOME with KDE (Rhythmbox vs. amaroK) and so on. We see how quickly KDE applications progress and become mature. Now with better C++ support and more developers and users KDE becomes better and better. The applications are miles ahead of what GNOME has to offer and basic functions like sound, printing, good looks, consistency, integration and interoperability simply works. Sure KDE is far from perfect but chosing between these two desktops KDE simply wins in all areas.

    And that’s an important factor. Of course GNOME has the same choice to lead the desktops but sadly it hasn’t and I am not willing to wait years over years only to see GNOME making less steps forward.

    KDE is also not resource hungry or bloated as many people trying hard to make you believe. Who judges about resource hungry, who juges about bloat or too many objects on a toolbar ? What is the ones disadvantage is the others pet feature. Some people say that KDE is overengineered but I say that GNOME peoples lost focus. I recall when SUN started doing the usability studies some years ago. It didn’t took long and the majority of people magically became all usability experts over night. And good applications became got turned nearly into a productivity barrier (if you ever happen to be productive with GNOME at all) I always find myself fiddlign around in things that simply don’t work. And I keep spending more hours in fixing the issues rather than start using the Desktop to get anything done. Always when you quickly need something you end up being lost on GNOME and its tools.

    Another big issues is trying to contribute to GNOME.

    Look, when I started to help out GNOME around 1999 or so I defiantely didn’t came and called the people “jerks”. This has been grown out over the long time of six years. I have never been treated like a piece of shit as I was when trying to help GNOME to help shape GNOME, to be part of it. But I had to deal with ignorants, hardheaded people, egoists and a lot of people who are incapable to work together with others.

    Even if you as developer want to contribute to GNOME you are under permanent attack, you receive nothing else than huge diffamation, attacks, namecalling, slandering and so on. This drives people away from contributing to GNOME.

    Most developers around GNOME are some sort of having found themselves in “groups” they usually block every contribution from outside and usually declare valid and good stuff as stupid, silly or as troll attempt. This is quite frustrating for people who want to contribute. The attempt to contribute something towards GNOME is a very stone way and usually leads to frustrations at the end.

    The best thing for contributors is to do the dirt work. The leftovers which the GNOME developers don’t want to work on. Like writing documentations, doing the translations and so on. But as soon as it goes to normal bugfixes for bugs that are known for years these bugreports stay in bgo without attention. If you happen to have some time please head over to bgo and have a look on your own and you see how many bugs have been left there without attention. No comments, not even a feedback why the bug has been rejected or what was wrong with it.

    Totally impossible is it as soon as you want to contribute some sort of features (because you reject working on the dirty leftovers or the simple patches that no one gives a f–k for). Working on features is usually the fun part of contributing. You are then directed to put your patches on bgo with comments like “we will have a look at that later” and then it stays there without any feedback for years. They are not interested to get new people helping that project.

    Now I hope you may imagine why I don’t have very good words left for GNOME. Sure not everyone is guilty not everyone is an ass or behaves like that, but you need to take my apology that I stopped separating the good ones from the bad ones. I am seriously tired doing this.

    Also really frustrating is the heavy abuse inside the GNOME community, those whom we as members have elected behave like patrons on their positions. A lot of my friends whom initially tried contributing to GNOME has been scared away due to bad practices and always repeated attacks (its like a dejavu now). Most normal people never heard about these kinds of practices or can’t imagine that this can really be happening – but sadly from my perspective this is the case.

    Normal ordinary people who want to contribute or come up with an idea are treatened with disrespect and kicked with the bare foots. One day a friend of mine also a valuable member of the GNOME community came up with an idea (together with his girlfriend) to shave “GNOME GIRLS” he brought up that idea on the mailinglists (iirc) but everyone told him to go away, and that his ideas aren’t great. But then some months later some girls from Red Hat have shown up with a brilliant idea (guess what, yes) to create “GNOME GIRLS” and voila they have been getting mailinglist acces, cvs access, all permissions granted everywhere and everyone called it a great ide. Why ? We talked about that for quite a while and concluded that this is due to the Red Hat position they keep wearing. Same applies with other companies that have been founded around GNOME, they immediately been granted warm seats in the foundation, in the board, while others (no company related ones) have been left out and ignored for years. How comes and how can GNOME still be called a community project and why do people still defend their practices ? GNOME totally lost it’s roots and focus for users and users needs.

    Well trying to come to an end here. What I want to say is that there are a lot of issues inside GNOME, it starts from many small and bigger bits of GNOME as desktop itself. From broken architecture, as well as not getting people on one table to have the work together (HIG is an example here) or to have simply basic stuff working good enough to get at least the basic things done. Over to the problem with the acceptance of people inside the community as well as the abuse everywhere.

    That’s why I recommend everyone these days to go with KDE. Their entire community is by far more friendly, the people are great, the developers are totally differently compared to the ones working on GNOME (its like day and night). Bugs are fixed immediately, patches are accepted. The framework (once you deal with it a bit more) is so great, things simply work. Sure sometimes problems occour on KDE as well, nothing is perfect, but the amount of problems is by far minimal if we consider how big that project is.

    KDE from rough guess is 3 times bigger than GNOME (also a lot of translations stuff, source code). It’s easier to build, it’s all based on C++, no need to deal with different languages or getting upset or split an entire community because someone is using C, other C++, Python, Perl, Mono, Java (this will cause a lot of problems in GNOME camp too once the transtion to GNOME III starts. Already now a lot of people aren’t really happy about all this). KDE works, offers great tools, looks mature.

    KDE isn’t much bigger than GNOME actually, on my system a normal KDE installation consisting of these tools:

    qt-copy arts kdelibs kdebase kdeutils kdenetwork kdegraphics kdemultimedia kdegames kdepim koffice kdesdk kdevelop kdewebdev kdeedu kdetoys kdeartwork

    Requires around 650 mb including headers and stripped binaries. The same amount I get with GNOME installed + Firefox + Evolution + headers etc. But I get much more tools for KDE. Sure I don’t need all of them, but maybe I will need one of them one day and I would be happy if it’s there.

    Also whenever I hear GNOME devs talking about integration (like the evolution-data-server integration in the calendar/clock applet) I need to start laughing. It’s no real integration, just some “hack” which was rewarded with money. Real integration is shown on KDE for example. Share of addressbook data across all applications (and it works today already). Oh and there is so much more.

    Well I gave you an idea Novell. I really wonder who set that itch in your head to make GNOME the default. Was it a politics decision or a rational technology one ?

    I am quite unhappy that all this politics stuff is being done on the heads of users, customers and people. Linux is a great System, KDE is a great environment many times better than GNOME and the momentum damage you caused with the recent announcements will stay in peoples head for a long long time. I feel sorry for your decision on making GNOME default regardless if you steer back now. Please consider again and listen to your customers. These are who feed your children, clothe your family and make you pay your rent and car.

  31. By:EX-Gnome User

    To my lengthy comment in #30 I would like to add something more. See I keep forgetting things.

    I have no issues with GNOME, I do like GNOME and it deserves its place. But what I don’t like is the bad practices around GNOME, e.g. the bad marketing, lying to their customers and then the agressive marketing that GNOME is so much ready for the corporate desktop. I really hate this. I hate being lied as customer and I hate it as developer who spent years of his time in GNOME and being not asked whether I like that GNOME is being sold that way.

    Corporate have needs, they rely on working things, they spent a lot of money, they want the things to simply work and not toy around in things first.

    To say the truth, all this talk about evil Microsoft (yeah there are people who try making a competition out of it) is pure bullshit in my opinion. Windows isn’t a bad Operating System (regardless of the practices of Microsoft). It offers a lot of tools and its still being used everywhere and it still leads the desktop. I really dislike seeing GNOME as the default desktop in the Linux world because I know that things will not change. If it hasn’t been changed by now then it probably will never ever change at all. GNOME has a long way to go, a very long way, and that long way only to catch where KDE is today, not to speak about catching up with Windows or even MacOSX. So please don’t decide about political stuff, decide of what works. KDE these days is used by 2/3 of all Open Source Desktop users and these values (as often seen everywhere in polls) are speaking for itself.

  32. By:Peter Spuhler

    Default desktop means resources go into this piece of software and not the other. As many people have pointed out we use SuSE because of the polished KDE desktop. If not for this mandriva has very good hardware support and so do many other distributions. Gnome is nice but sorry i’m not interested. Don’t do a Sun. Listen to your customers if you have any sense. And yes i have been a paying customer.

  33. By:John Kloosterman

    Well – what can i say?

    I have learned to use Novell products for many years now (started with Netware 3.x and evolved to 4.1x, 5.x, 6.x as CNA), and was very delighted to see Novell join the Linux comunnity by getting Suse (still too bad Novell never made a admin utilty for Linux like the one written for Windows – i think it would be a big boon to have this).

    Well – i am using Suse from version 5.x and it allways has been KDE centric (tough you have the choice to use GNOME, as well as other desktop-environments). For me – it was (and is) one of the strong points of this distro. You may like or like not the idea KDE resembles Windows and has a lot in common, but is was absolutely a great help in making the transition from Windows to Linux for a lot of people.

    As making such a transition its absolutely vital to give the users as much less hassle as could be possible. Now KDE serves a good job here. To be earnest – i dont think i have could persuade all this people by showing them, an let them work with, the GNOME environment. Now i am not saying GNOME is that bad, but from the point of a ex-Windows user view it is a (too) big step. And please dont forget a lot of users in a corporation environment are used to do things the “Windows” way.

    Now – i understand Novell is still supporting KDE, but going to use GNOME as default. To me that sounds like a bad choice. By biasing commitment towards GNOME it is possible the development and integration of KDE in Suse will suffer. This would really be a bad thing as other distro’s would go on in fast-mode while Suse would lag behind.

    For now – i will stick with Suse, but if the above scenario would be become a reallity i really cant make recommandations to my custumers to use Suse any longer. I may have to switch to Mandrake instead (witch i think is at the moment on par with Suse).

    I can only say – lets see what the future brings…..

  34. By:trebor iksrazal

    “At the risk of doing too much clarifying, I’ll point out that Novell is continuing to ship BOTH KDE and GNOME in all its Linux products. So users can choose which works best for their particular needs.”

    Thanks Kevan, the silence this last week was deafening and resulted in a lot of wasted energy. I’m a long time Suse user and have my mom, wife, many colleagues along with my clients using Suse professional. I’m a KDE user, but bear no hostility to gnome. I just want my KDE – it may seem strange to some that KDE is so important to many Suse users but so be it.

    In short, for now I’m giving Novell the benefit of the doubt. Its “trust but verify.” I look forward to your new products and I’m taking your word there will not be any unpleasant suprises, ie, as a KDE there will be no change as long I choose the correct install choices.


  35. What a sad and revolting development. I’m glad I’ve switched to Mac at home. I used SuSE with KDE for 7 years, and it was the only Linux environment that was competent, professional, and did not require hours of my life to maintain and configure.

    At work, I’m still using Linux + KDE, and given the corporate environment, that won’t change for years, if ever.

    GNOME is a disaster. It’s amateurish, unstable, inconsistent, and incomplete. The settings don’t work, apps don’t communicate, and no two apps behave the same way; it’s not a desktop suite at all. It has never been designed or planned, they just maliciously do the exact opposite of whatever anyone else in the industry is doing.

    GNOME exists for one reason and one reason only: because the religious GPL fanatics hate everyone who wants to make money on their software, and so they try–and fail–to make equivalent GPL-virus software. Like almost every GNU project, it’s a waste of time. Allying yourself with them is incredible folly for any software company, and I hope you get exactly what you deserve from this partnership, good and hard.

    Qt is an excellent toolkit, and KDE has done an excellent job of building a real GUI on top of it. It’s not quite up to Mac standards, but it’s far cleaner and more consistent than Windows.

    Novell is doing its customers a giant disservice by making GNOME the default, and I will not be buying or recommending SuSE for any future systems.

  36. By:Gonzalo

    En el mundo de las coporaciones, el negocio es su principal objetivo, y despus viene los dems. Tratando de analizar todo esto desde un punto de vista estratgico y del negocio, mi parecer es que, a parte de otras cuestiones tcnicas, Novell est intentado meter a SUSE en el mundo del Linux corporativo para competir con RedHat en vez de competir contra M$. Novell piensa que debe utilizar una GUI muy parecida a la de RH para poder competir, ya que los usuarios encontraran un dektop comn y esto sera un paso adelante que las corporaciones veran si deciden cambiarse a SUSE. Adems, SuSE y KDE nacieron en Europa, Novell y Gnome nacieron en Amrica, recordemos que la mayora de las corporaciones ms grandes e importantes del mundo son Americanas y son territoriales, posiblemente este sera otro punto de atraccin para las coporaciones, ya que este es el mercado de negocio principal de Novell compitiendo con un paquete de productos “americanos”. Por lo dems Novell tiene una gran ventana abierta con SUSE para competir contra M$ en el desktop, pero no est aprobechando el momento. Yo inici con una PC con procesador 8088 de Intel y MSDOS 3.1, pansando despus por Win 3.1, Win 95, 98, etc… hasta XP y he estado tratando de hayar un reemplazo desde siempre, cuando hace 3 aos empec a probar Linux lo hall y ahora con SuSE pro 9.3 encontr lo que buscaba. Espero que Novell le de ms peso a la vensin de SUSE para desktop y que lo impulse a travs de OEMs y VSPs

  37. By:HexJam

    Such a shame, I always chose SuSE as it was a distro focused on KDE and as a result had by far the best desktop. “Still supporting” KDE means nothing; I don’t care if you “still support it”, I want a disro that is focused on it as it’s the only desktop I use or care about.

    If you truly want to be open about all this, why don’t you ask your users to vote on which destop they would prefer you to focus on? (Instead of resigning yourself to being Yet Another RedHat Clone.) As I can tell you now GNOME’s not going to win the poll.

    Guess I’ll be following the crowd over to Mandriva & Kubuntu…

  38. By:Suzy

    For the last 7 years I’ve been a loyal SUSE customer, for a number of reasons:

    1. large collection of software that actually works (no more need to hunt down an obscure version of some small, but required, library before you could build your favorite tool)
    2. many software packages come on the distribution media (compared to, say, gentoo where one is forced to spend a couple of weeks downloading and compiling to get a haflway decent working system)
    3. support web site
    4. KDE

    Unfortunately, the RPM dependencies tend to become more of an obstacle then an aid for keeping your system stable: if you want to experiment with a more recent version of some package, it becomes near impossible to do so because of the RPM dependencies. LSB does not help much either (ever tried to write a /etc/init.d/ startup script?)

    The second selling point, having all your software on the install media, is quickly becoming a joke. A modern desktop environment without any MP3 or decent (that is: not crypled) DVD player? Surely you must be joking.

    When I last went to the SUSE web site I ended up on some Novell page: without registration the support database is no longer available. WEven worse, it is not possible to submit a complaint via the web site without activating cookies and javascript.

    Having experimented with most window managers (including enlightenment Startrek themes and even evilwm) I still find GNOME quite unusable. This is a personal point of view and YMMV, but it matters to me. Big time.

    What’s more, KDE has been a strong selling point to get computer illiterate people to start using SUSE linux instead of keep on using a virus infested windows environment.

    The recent signals given by Novell regarding SUSE and KDE are clear to me: forget SUSE if you have any long term plans for your computing environment (long being defined as roughly 6 months: one SUSE release cycle) Novell has made it clear that they do not hesitate to make changes to their product that will upset most of their customer base. The fact that they released a second message in about one week time just illustrates the speed at which they may change their minds. What’s going to be next week? OpenMotif and CDE? Javadesktop?

  39. By:Jason

    Perhaps I am one of few in the world who do not always get everything I want, but I just help but feel there is a tad bit too much personal feelings involved here and not much good sense.
    I don’t particularly care for Gnome overall and I currently use KDE. XFCE4 has been my favorite by far and even FVWM was on a few machines up until recently.
    What I care about is really simple. Can I be able to “leverage” the “power of OSS” in a realistic, efficient, and effective manner with Novell’s offerings?
    Will my desktop (or Server) crumble to nothing but a dedicated GUI service due to bloat?
    Can I efficiently make use of applications regardless of my window manager, theme, etc?
    When something is described as being “a GTK front-end” to a particular app/lib/service can I trust it to mean only that and not require a bloated chain of dependencies to slow me down?

    Or to sum up: Can I spend time working FROM my computer and not ON it because of cobbled together disparate pieces that require weeks of hacking, googling, reverse engineering, and testing?

    Oh, and based not just on my experiences but googling around would reveal:
    * many GTK apps do NOT work reliably on KDE
    * web services != SOAP
    * CLI (mono, .net, whatever) != web services
    * the average corporate desktop competes on ease of use and administration, not eye candy or zealotry
    * Windows is the choice by many because “it just works”
    * pissing-contests are the primary source of computer related pain, not technology or available engineering aptitude
    * component based engineering approaches work best when common concerns are normalized while allowing for functional expansion.

    as for the last point, consider this cliche example:
    What is the probability of a component failing within an environment? Come on now, be honest. If you say things like “well if the idiots use it correctly, whine, gripe, moan…” then you know in your heart that a chief problem is that said component is academic and not prepared for the rigors of the real world (read: theory ALWAYS trumps reality)
    Now factor in the relational failure probability. Basically, what (or under what conditions) components decrease/increase likeliness of failure of others and vice versa.
    Basically you will find that the more components present the exponentially higher the probability of failure. This is even if they are not “line items” or even used at all (read: primary components or subcomponents for normal operation and operating conditions).
    So, was this really a bad decision by Novell? Has OSS learned that with the “freedom to choose” comes certain realities and responsibilities?
    Will current and future projects and their members ever realize that forking and creating armies of clonish “choices” is the problem and not the answer? (read: they should work together and create choice as a primary feature… call it a realistic requirement if you will… and then you don’t have the litany of dependencies and their inevitable instability… and thus the inevitable higher cost of enterprise administration and support.)

  40. I have been using SuSE non-stop since 1997. I have deployed it professionally in many many projects.

    This sucks.

    I want KDE. I want it as the detault.

  41. By:EazyVG

    I have also been a long time user of SUSE, and especially since it featured Yast and maybe even above that the KDE integration that is unfound on other distros.

    Diverging towards Gnome can make me switch to other KDE based distro, though as said above KDE will be fully supported. But if I find that KDE is not as tightly and nicely integrated as it previously used to be ….. that will be a very serious argument!

    I am also a Gnome user, primarily with Ubuntu on my notebook, but I think that SUSE should be KDE centralized with Gnome support rather than the opposite.

  42. By:EazyVG

    BTW, why not keep NLD Gnome oriented, while SUSE Linux which is more for enthusiasts such as us, KDE oriented.

    After all you have several products based on Linux. Don’t keep all your eggs in one basket!

  43. By:David

    GNOME is more suited for sme application developers. Theres no QT license.

    That’s always an interesting argument that keeps cropping up. OK, let’s look at this from a Novell perspective.

    Novell write mostly GPL’d software with Qt so it isn’t an issue, but if they develop under other licenses (with Qt) then they pay some developer licenses. That costs money. OK. From a Novell point of view, how much in developer salaries, resources and time do you think they are going to spend developing development tools that they will then give away for nothing and not recoup any investment? People always point out that Novell don’t want to dictate what you buy licenses for, but it does this already with stuff like Windows! Developers would rather use good development tools, and would rather see Novell partner with something viable, than see Novell try to keep treading water on something that is not economically viable. Of course, Java or other development options isn’t going to affect them.

    Just how much do you think all that development is going to cost Novell, and if you add it all up are the cost of any Qt licenses going to be a problem if you do that?

  44. By:Frederik Soerensen

    As a SuSE user since 8.0, I must say that supporting KDE as a desktop may be the bedst choice, if Novell would like to get back a lot of lost Netware costumers in Europe – and thats what i think you could call businees, and what could happen.

    In the past years i have suceeded converting home users and next enterprise user to Linux, and this only on the account of simularity in use of the KDE desktop and the well running SuSE Linux OS, with the extraordinary good hardware support. As happend in the past for the Microsoft OSes, this has lead to accept of the (SuSE) Linux on the serverside too, which has been rather hard to get in other wayes.

    As statet more than once in above comments, I also think choosing Gnome by default, indicate that support for KDE will become secundary. This may already now lead to loss of potential costumers, as it will lead to difference in dayli managment of the serveres and desktop computeres – in a smaller European businesses simularity is of major factor, as dayli operations often i done by employees educatet as superusers.

    About Government contracts, i cirtanly agree with the comment about Europe vs. US. There could be a great maket for Novell/SuSE in Europe, if they deside to keep on the the good track SuSE has made until now, which include to KDE stay as default on both Servers an desktops – the RedHat way has only lead to customers here leaving Linux.

    All this is statet as a former implementor of Microsoft OS on servers and desktops in smaller Businesses, and a great lover of the idea that Linux especialy with its open standards (and open source) may become the OS of the future. And therefor NOT as a Gnome or KDE freak in any way.

  45. By:Renato S. Yamane

    Simply Funny!
    The SuSe make GNOME as default graphic ambiente is equivalent the FERRARI choose a duck instead of a horse in your logo!
    MY GOD!

  46. By:Roger

    George wrote:
    ” Outside of the hothouse world of developers no one knows or cares about KDE or gnome.”

    Wrong! I assure you that a lot of the comments on this thread are probably from non developers.

    “Novell can contribute to a number of business goals by favoring one GUI over the other”

    OK. I can agree with you on that. But, which one should they choose?

    “It will conform to the more common interface found in large enterprises.”
    You must surely mean Windows here right? GNOME is used in a tiny little percentage of enterprise desktops. Going after the Red Hat market rather than going after the Windows one would not be a very business savy move.

    “It will add its’ weight to the momentum that may ultimately make that interface the sole one.”

    Migel is that you? Do you really see a momentum going on for GNOME. Sure, Ubuntu has proven to be popular, but Kubuntu is the one with the current momentum. And, just wait and see what happens now that Novell has done this.

    (I wouldn’t worry about Mandriva though, unless they change their “Club” strategy. It was fine to get them out of trouble. Everyone was willing to chip in a little and help them. But, it is getting old now.)

  47. By:Brad Johnson

    I’m a bit surprised that people are surprised by Novell’s decision to standardise on the GNOME desktop. Really the writing was on the wall when they purchased SUSE after purchasing Ximian.

    As a long time SUSE user/admin the question I’m asking myself at this stage is Kubuntu or Mandriva? Or maybe it makes sense to go with the flow and start to migrate onto running KDE on Redhat?

  48. By:George

    Re Richard in comment 46:
    a) My statement Outside of the hothouse world of developers no one knows or cares about KDE or gnome was not accurate. I shouldve said developers and I.T. staff. What I was trying to communicate was that none of the people who make purchasing decisions among our clients, or most clients, I expect, have ever heard of gnome or KDE.

    b) When I said it was in Novells interest to conform to the more common interface, I meant the more common Linux interface. My source is
    which states: Sun Microsystems and Red Hat currently have GNOME as their default desktops.

    c) Re: Migel is that you? – My name really is George. I am not a Novell employee; I imagine that Novell employees are prohibited from participating on this site. I infer that theres a momentum towards gnome because other larger players in the linux space such as Sun and Red Hat appear to favor Gnome.

  49. By:Roger

    Fair enough, George. I still think you are on the wrong track though. But, this whole tread is way to long and I’m sick of it. Bye!

  50. By:Macfield

    I will throw my last “pebble in the pond” on this matter.


    If both Gnome and KDE had been brewed up
    inside of Ms Redmond, and the marketing boys
    had to choose. Which do you think
    they would let loose on the market…

    Pick your choice, but I will tell you this,
    KDE would win hands down and
    Gnome would come a distant second at best.

    Why, because KDE works, its user-centric and and it can serve
    a much larger cross section of the the marketplace.

    Now there’s a thought…

  51. By:KDE Feedback

    I run a training course at college for adult education, teaching people basic IT skills. We started on KDE approximately 6 months ago, but switched over to GNOME recently. After several feedback sessions, it became clear that we all felt that KDE had some serious practical issues. We all tried to warm to KDE, but everyone was complaining of the same issues – many people found it to be slow, resource hungry, and unreliable. Everyone found the KDE interface to be confusing and unintuitive. Ater an initial trial period with the GNOME environment, it was almost unanimously(all except 1 person out of 54) passed as being the preferred desktop. GNOME has none of the aforementioned issues, hence our decision to go with GNOME. Novell has made the best choice.

  52. This has been one of the most informative blogs that I’ve ever read. Thanks everyone for your input.

    FWIW, when I’d install SUSE in the past, I’d always pick GNOME. I’m using KDE for v10, and haven’t had too much trouble so far. I’m sure I’ll re-install and put GNOME, to see the difference.

    My biggest concern is getting it to login to the NetWare servers. A functional client that doesn’t require a whole lot of tweaking would be nice.

  53. I don’t simply get it, You bought SUSE linux and Ximian and now you are changing the core of SUSE the KDE.
    SUSE became famous only for the quality of KDE and its application. Your constant bias towards GNOME is non-understandable. I have worked on both Gnome and KDE projects. One I worked on KDE I decided never going back to the GNomeish apps.
    GNOME is a bad desktop implementation in C, which you are trying your level best to keep competiting with upcoming advanced Desktops and with KDE.

    The whole coding senario for kernel and Desktop environment is different and you can’t just ask ppl to do coding in C when they can do it more easily in C++. For kernel it makes sense, coz the number of developer is less and they are mostly very fundo once. But for newbies etc who only want to code and maintain some good Apps, GTK API sucks so much.
    Mono would be a good idea for new apps but KDE should remain default until Mono comes of age. See the quality of apps in Gnome and KDE and ask ppl what they like, or better see the results of Popularity votes for apps.
    I bet if GIMP was written with KDE libs it could have been very very user friendly.
    Just my 2 Cents.

  54. By:Ryan Sinn

    Having used both KDE and GNOME over the last eight years. I can honestly say that KDE wins for usability.

    Every time a new version of GNOME is released I try it out, but always find myself going back to KDE.

    I consult to various businesses and when bringing Linux into their office environment I allow them to try a few flavors of Linux to determine what they prefer.

    I usually provide them with discs for OpenSuSE, Debian, Kubuntu, Ubuntu.

    In every company that currently runs Microsoft Windows on the workstations have stated they dislike GNOME. It doesn’t make sense to them and it’s very “blah.” The lack of “roundness” to icons and the lacking uniformity and “common sense” have made it unappealing. They love KDE every time.

    The IT Departments love OpenSuSE’s installer and administration tools that JUST WORK above and beyond all the others.

    I honestly still run Debian because I like to have my desktop development environment mimic my servers. I am however running OpenSuSE on my IBM Thinkpad laptop without issue.

    Please stick with KDE. Do not default to GNOME. Work with the KDE development teams to resolve any sticking points you have and bring the great KDE look, feel and functionality to the next level.

    Feel free to contact me with any questions.

    Thank you for your time,

    Ryan Sinn

  55. By:Peter

    ΟΚ, I have read all comments so far.
    I am using Suse at my home pc from ver 6.1. All of them are bought, if someone cares.

    I work on the IT department at the second biggest telco at my country. On my home office I use Suse on 3 different systems (1 headless server, 1 desktop 1 laptop).

    At my office I use WinXP Pro. Now, We try to find out our next desktop OS for the IT department.

    I am responsible for the proposal and for that I run a test program. I asign 1 desktops with KDE and 1 with GNOME to each personel for 3 weeks.
    The tests are over. Here are the results:

    90% of the personel preferes KDE
    10% preferes GNOME because they already using it at SUN (yes they are the sysadmins!)

    no crashes on major softwares/desktop for 3 weeks for KDE users.

    More than 20 (still!) open tickets for support regarding the GNOME desktop.

    A lot of complains about usagility, fonts (no we are not using the simple latins…), printouts, hardware support etc…

    Our choice was OpenSuse or Suse Pro. The IT manager put on hold the migration after the announcemnet. He prefers to stay at WinXP than to migrate to a “buggy” desktop…

  56. By:Peter

    I long time ago, I made the “migration” to Suse linux, mainly because it’s hardware support.

    I tried GNOME a lot time ago, I decided that it wasn’t for me. I liked it’s look, but I did not liked the fact that each application was a new story.

    Thus, I stayed with KDE from version 1.1.
    When Novell bought SUSE I know that I had to find another distro. It doesn’t make sense to own GNOME and sell KDE!

    I already try KUmbuntu, since KDE is the future. BTW, I still wait for a new European distribution that will take Suse’s place.

    Thus, purcharging Suse 10 Pro was my last contact with Novell and Suse, I suppose. I want KDE adn really the excuses of Novell are nothing.

    For the visitor on comment 51:
    Well, my girfriend knows nothing but Windows. She worked on my KDE without noticing anything unusuall, while I was triyng to fix the fonts on my laptop (FC 4 with GNOME, only for test). She could not even find the firefox…

  57. By:Todd Longfellow

    I tried an older version of Red Hat and Gnome. I didn’t care much for either. I’m not saying that RH is not a good distro, but I much prefer SuSE. I have versions going back to 6. As for the desktop, from a developer’s point of view, KDE wins hands down over Gnome. I will also add as an ex-Windows junkie, KDE is easier for the Linux convert to understand and use. I think making Gnome the default desktop is a tactical mistake, but then I am just an end uers…

  58. By:Birger Kollstrand

    It is facinating to read all these comments. I am a KDE user my self and have been for a few years. Both personally and coporately in my job.

    From my professional view I can clearly accept that Novell goes down the Gnome road. Tha will mean that they loos some customers, but it will sharpen their focus. Which might help Linux as such.

    From our point of view it would imply that we probably would change to another distribution when the next upgrade is taking place in the company. We use Kontact extensively, we use Qt for our own development and all users are used to KDE and it is easier for Windows users to use KDE. (We are 50/50 win and lin)
    GTK is a joke on Windows compared to Qt. Qt/Trolltech gives us professional support and the ability to move code on almost all platforms availabele if we need to. Who was talking about eas in the SMB market? If you can not afford a Qt license…… Then make a nice buisiness model on support in stead of licenses.

    Now I realy hope that the upgrade from one version to the next is not adding the Gnome as default….

    Regards Birger….

  59. By:Leon van Bakel

    Dear Novell, Your choice to have Gnome as default can probably benefit on short term. I can imagine that and I can also understand a company’s search (or even urge) for revenue. But PLEASE PLEASE CLEAR YOUR VISION! With Suse+KDE you have absolute GOLD in your hands! Why? Because Suse+KDE is currently the only distro that can seriously compete with Windows on the desktop. Yes, I know, Linux-server market is more interesting at this moment. There is no doubt however, that a massive switch from Windows to Linux is about to happen. Simply because millions of people (and fast-increasing) want that to happen and only a few ten-thousands of people (mainly in Redmond) don’t. One more thing is sure: it’s going to be Linux with KDE, not with Gnome. Regardless of the distro! Don’t give away your gold!! Consider a fork with Gnome focus if that really suits your shortterm goals. Or consider a light-weight KDE fork for servers. Or only NLD with Gnome (Which I hope not), not Suse. Or any other creative solution. If you feel the urge to choose between either desktops for future releases, choose KDE and help to improve performance (the main argument pro Gnome) and help to improve intuitiveness, consistence and integration to conquer Windows users. Never -NEVER!- give up Suse+KDE!! Yes, I know you only stated a change of default desktop but everyone understands that this means change of focus and thus less integration and less development efford.

    Apart from the fact that KDE is just better (in so many ways) than Gnome, there are other reasons why this is a bad dicision. First of all, the KDE prominence is the major point of distinct next to Redhat. KDE is one of the major reasons to choose Suse over Redhat. Wiping that face away means eliminating arguments to choose Suse. Of course, a few Gnome-preferring companies and governments could choose Suse then, but that is not very likely because Redhat already has the Gnome name-and-fame. Let them! Don’t try to lick up a few spilled drops there! Choose your own distinct direction and emphasize the numerous benefits (and work on the few disadvantages). Secondly, this major decision of direction change is very destructive in itself. Despite your attempts to let the announcement look not so very major, the whole IT-community will experience it as major! You become very difficult to trust when you suddenly make such direction changes and I experienced the consequences of that as explained next.

    A company that I work for was considering Linux on about 310 desktops in stead of a new Windows version. I was one of the initiative takers and member of the workgroup. After comparing distro’s, KDE and Gnome, we decided to do an extensive pilot with Suse+KDE. Your announcement to use Gnome as default, forced the majority of the workgroup to vote for stopping the pilot and upgrade to the next Windows! So that became the decision! I could almost cry!

    Do you have any idea of the potential of Suse+KDE?? If you let this gold fall, others will definitely pick it up and within, let’s say, about 5 years, you will understand the protests on your decision and see how others are making huge profits using your golden concept!

    Please, restrict the damage already done and tell the world that you will keep on focussing on KDE for Suse (‘supporting’ is NOT convincing AT ALL!). I predict that when you boost the development of KDE, you will speedup the process of replacing Windows with Suse in home and enterprise. As a user of Suse+KDE I can confirm (regrettably) that it is still far more easy to get things done in Windows. I mean: being productive as an enduser. And I excluded learning time in this statement. But as long as the development rate is high enough, I don’t worry about that too much. The availability of a download for Suse was a great step because lots of people are willing to give it a try now and Suse+KDE will gain familiarity rapidly which will speedup the acceptance for sure.

    Dear Novell, you are on top of the edge right now! Don’t slide back! Don’t cripple your baby before it even reached it’s adolescence! Clear your mind, look a bit furher into the future, listen to your users! Come to reason! Be confident and radiate that! Stick to your golden concept! Stick to Suse+KDE! (No, I’m not a pastor, not even a marketeer, just an enthusiastic computer user).
    Regards, Leon

  60. By:MIlan Zimmermann

    Fire the decision Maker. Stupid Business Decition at it’s Best.

    Let us be clear: Whoever made or approved this decision should be fired, because it makes absolutely no business sense.

    It is one classic mistake. SuSE’s success was built on KDE. Their customers were buying SuSE instead of RedHat based on the fact SuSE is nicer, because it’s KDE. (What exactly was the other differentiator?) Now Novell are destroying that trust, brand and love.

    It is like a company building cars suddenly decides to start building bicycles. Talk about going back in time also. And do not pretend thew car line will be well-supported.

    For me personally, shame for having recomended SuSE to people who will have to switch. I was buing each new SuSE version, now am going to have look at alternatives. Anyone has a suggestion apart from Mandriva and Kubuntu?

    Bye Novell, soon bye to my Novell shares and to Novell shareholders: your managers are really great, smart business people – NO.

  61. By:marcus

    Novell should ask itself:
    1) What was it about SuSE that made it so attractive to want to buy it?
    2) Does it make sense to piss that up against the wall and become a clone of your major competitor?

    If it aint broke, dont fix it!!!

  62. By:Jim

    Yes, maybe KDE makes money but do you blame novell for not wanting to continue to pour all its money into it if the technology behind it has licensing issues?

    or am i not understanding this?
    please let me know if i am wrong.

  63. There is no way I’m sticking with Linux now. KDE is the reason people choose to migrate from Windows. Gnome is plain ugly and doesn’t have any interesting features. There’s no reason to stick with this ultra-geek Desktop. Most people hate GNOME’s 1994-like look & feel. And you can’t blame them. Why aren’t there XGL videos showing off KDE? When I look at those GNOME screenshots I can’t help but vomit. It’s that ugly. It’s not even close to KDE or Mac OS X. The first thing my girlfriend asked me when she saw XGL in action was “When will KDE learn to do stuff like that?”. “I’m afraid it’s gnome-only for now” – I replied. “Yuck” – is what she said to that.

    Novell, please, for God’s sake stick with KDE before it’s not too late for Linux! There’s no way people will abandon Windows for Gnome! It’s like stepping backwards!

  64. By:Doug

    Well as a very new linux user I believe that Novel has based its decision to go with Gnome on the very reason posted above , The ease to learn and less options to learn. If your teching people for a few days a new system in a class room environment you want a Distro thats simple and easy to manage, does’nt have to many horns and whistles so the new trainee can e-mail, and open doccuments in a couple swift click and dosen’t get lost on the options page.
    Most of the anger comes from people who are linux experts, I understand you pain, my guess is Novell is trying to compe up with a quick and dirty training program for new employee’s and probably has doccumentation to prove the learning curve is much faster with gnome, if your selling software to companies for function and eas of use with low budget training curves gnomes fits.

  65. By:Aslan

    > I believe that Novel has based its decision
    > to go with Gnome on the very reason posted
    > above, The ease to learn and less options to
    > learn.

    Well it also means that the audience needs to learn more about BugZilla then. To report all the million of bugs found in GNOME and GNOME-Applications. Even small stuff don’t work reliable enough to have people get their crappy work done. GNOME is a feature and plattform mess.

  66. By:Cristian Rodriguez

    I think this is the bad decision.

    KDE is much superior to GNOME in ALL aspects.

    This move will not help the Linux Desktop adoption.

  67. By:josh

    the day when KDE will disappear ill blame to NOVELL and put in a trash can my Linux, so ill use maybe BSD as my UNIX, or BETTER still being a Windows USER so KEEP MY KDE ALIVE KDE AND GNOME CAN BE BOTH LINUX IS FREE FOR CHOICE YOUR DESKTOP SUSE WAS FOR KDE

  68. By:Prakash Jose Kokkattu

    THank U novell for supporting GNOME-GNU’s Pioneer project.
    GNOME is easy for me and many millions of users.kde -i tried liking it but it sux.also it is backed and made by trolltech and uses qt library instead of gtk2.I like gtk2 apps.qt creates problems for even no qt apps in my Debian and Ubuntu.

  69. By:john

    I use Xandros 4 Pro, which means I paid for my Linux and use KDE. I also try other distros (on old computers or as a live CD). Gnome gives the impression of being sparce and, yes, simpler to use. That said, the Xandros desktop is very Windows-like and is an almost identical user experience.

    People who are interested in operating systems are not, I fear, the best people to judge the experience of people who just want to get work done on a computer. I showed someone a clean Gnome desktop, and the first thing they said was,”Oh, there are two bars. Windows only has one bar.” Removing the top bar and putting the windows list on the bottom bar changed their perception.

    Anyway, isn’t it supposed to be about choice? Most of the above comments make it sound like a war, in which one desktop must triumph at the expense of the other. With (Linux) friends like these, who needs Microsoft?

  70. By:Ross Lunsford

    I am the IT manager at a small but technically sophisticated company. I have installed openSUSE 10.2 on some new servers. People are blown away by both the Gnome and KDE interfaces. They are both literally interchangable and the choice devolves to user preference. I assure you neither KDE nor GNOME is being slighted in any way. Both interfaces are very polished on this distribution.

    I should point out an extremely important advantage of this distro – it’s trivial to use Active Directory for authentication, and it’s bulletproof. I have people processing enormous TIFF files from Windows clients over Samba with Winbind, and have had many comments on how transparent everything is and how much performance has improved over serving from Windows. I can have a fully functioning, patched SuSE 10.2 server authenticating against AD with only root as local user, in half a work day. SuSE 10.2 is by far the best distribution around. It just works.



    Read that. As far as qt vs gtk, I really think they are evenly matched, each with pros and cons. The above URL isn’t the best or necessarily reliable, but it gives a quick approach to it.

    I like both GNOME and KDE, although I tend to prefer KDE for desktop, GNOME for servers. When I made the change from Microsoft to Linux, I defaulted to GNOME. It was simply the default environment on both distros I tried. Then I found Ubuntu/Kubuntu. I learned the linux way in KDE, but when I went back to GNOME, I loved it more. I still change which environments I use; I like them both.

    As for GNOME vs KDE on openSUSE, again they seemed matched. Will they stay matched? I doubt it; if they default to GNOME, then they will focus more on GNOME. It’s as simple as that.

  72. By:Marco Delgado

    KDE to the end! No matter who tells the opposite, even Novell