[thomasvs: Yes, I should have added to my raw notes that I understood how unlikely/impossible (for reasons technical and otherwise) the notion was. However, I still wanted to raise the idea, for whatever good it might do.]
Watching the Gnome/KDE fuss rage on the UserLinux project reminded me of my belief that having these two independant projects is not an advantage for Linux or open source software in general. I also remembered that I wrote some notes on this subject a few months ago, in preparation for an article I wanted to write on the subject. That never got done, and I have little time for it now.
Now that the topic is hot, I thought that I'd put my notes here on Advogato and that that might spark some discussion of the problem. They are very brief, unformed, inconclusive -- just notes, in other words. I hope they will soon be expanded on.
Why The Independant Existence of Gnome & KDE is Bad For Linux =============================================================
* Gnome and KDE, to all intents and purposes, do the very same thing * this provides not choice, but the /appearance/ of choice * this kind of choice is not a help, but a hindrance, overall * like a babel of tongues * for choice, users have the standalone window managers * IceWM * Windowmaker * Evolution * Xfce * [Black|Flux|Open]box * many more
* massive duplication of effort * duplication of * office suites * KDE -- Koffice * Gnome -- Gnome Office * feature-full graphical email clients * KDE -- Kmail * Gnome -- Evolution * desktop/file manager * KDE -- konqueror * Gnome -- Nautilus * component-sharing system * KDE -- kparts * Gnome -- Bonobo * that effort could be spent elsewhere * this is also duplication of functionality that probably confuses new users
* inconsistent end-user experience * often very inconsistent look-n-feel
* "The competition is healthy." * We don't need competition in the realm of the FLOSS desktop. We need more cooperation -- there's plenty of real competition out there. * The clash of loyalties creates a lot of unnecessary waste. Waste of time, energy, good will, etc.