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Journal Journal: Gnome versus KDE

Today I decided to write another journal entry.

Gotta make it sound like it's a big deal or something. After all, I write this more to stroke my own ego than to entertain those who read this. But hey - if you like it, then my ego thanks you. It's small and shy, and so needs as much attention as it can get.

One thing that's bothered and confused me lately is this almost religious-like fervor in the debates about KDE versus GNOME. GNOME is better for this, KDE is better for that, blah blah blah. If half the amount of the effort that was wasted in arguing the merits of one over the other was channeled into programming effort, then every app in existence would support both GNOME and KDE, and the point would be moot.

What's got me confused is the concept that such an argument would even exist in the first place. After all, isn't Linux (where they are most commonly used) designed with the purpose of providing multiple application choices for any particular task? Isn't that what makes Linux (and other *nix's) better than Microsoft? Most people think of specific utility programs - server daemons, word processors, etc., as examples of multiple choices in apps. But when it comes to the GUI and desktop environment.....oh no no no, such a concept is inconceivable! (/sarcasm)

I like the idea of multiple desktop environments. I spend most of my time in GNOME, and I like it mainly because the interface is less Microsoft-ish - as if their purpose was to create the interface from scratch. Compare it to KDE, whose aim seems to provide "Windows-On-Linux" look and feel. But that's just my personal opinion. I like the fact that I can switch from one style interface to another with no major problems.

I think the whole basis for arguing KDE versus GNOME is plain foolishness. You don't hear this type of argument over Apache versus Tux, or AbiWord over Use what you find works best for you, and if you can, contribute to that app's growth. People have forgotten that choice is far more beneficial than a single unified option. The cream will rise to the top, and the scum will sink to the bottom.

You want a gui interface that is consistent across the board, and works the same everywhere (mostly)? Then use Windows. But be prepared to accept the limitations that come with the system. With greater interface consistency comes less room for innovation and improvements. You're locked in to ensure that things stay consistent.

For those who say choice is a bad thing, I have only one thing to say, and that is - you chose to stick with the status quo. Congratulations. But I want to make a different choice. In fact, I want to be able to change my choice whenever I feel the need. You may be happy where you are, but dont expect to insist others do it just because you are.

GNU is Not Unix

Journal Journal: Richard M. Stallman

Today I decided I would write a journal entry.

I had thought of a number of different topics to write, but there seems to be one in particular that I seemed to get off my chest. However since it seems be be taboo to say anything bad about Richard Stallman, it'll just have to be between you and me, my trusty journal. (And yes, those that see it 8)

For those techno-voyeurs out there who like to read these journals, I'll give a quick intro to who Richard Stallman is. Long story short, he's the feller who started the Free Software Foundation. The FSF has had a large role in sparking the current popularity of the open source movement. That's the reader's digest version, and probably doesn't adequately explain even the smallest part of it, but it'll do for my purposes.


Is it just me, or has RMS (Richard M. Stallman) gotten a little too arrogant and a little too fanatical lately? Based on his interviews, speeches, etc., I keep being left with the impression that he wants all corporate software companies to give away their software for free, all software of all types to be open source and everything to be under the 'protective' wing of the GNU God, aka RMS. Don't get me wrong - he's contributed in a very positive way to open source and Free (as in speech) software. But his fanatacism lately has been leaking out, and it's not leaving me with a warm and fuzzy feeling.

What the heck does he think he's doing?

I'm a big support of open source software, and a huge fan of the GNU system. It's worked wonders in providing a genuine alternative to the big greedy companies that would rather squeeze a person of every cent than create genuinely competitive, innovative software. But for all the benefits of open source software, there's no profit in it. At least not in the software itself. There's plenty of profits in the support of said software, and of the services a company can offer using such software, but - the software itself is by nature no commodity. For many companies that think of software as a 'product', this makes them cautious, suspicious and leery.

In other words...they're nervous enough about open source without then putting in their face a fanatic whose antics boil down to 'be open-source, or be evil scum-sucking corporate pigs'. Nice sales pitch, RMS. Not only scare them away with such attitude, but make sure they'll never want to touch anything open-source because of the sour tastes in their mouths.

As much as it's easy to hate big corporations (and trust me, I do it too), this type of attitude by RMS hurts not only the big companies, but the little guy too. We all need to make a living, and not all of us are entrepeneurs, so....we need to be able to work for a corporation. If there's no software corporations that are making money, then there's no place for us starving techies to work. I can't contribute my skills and work to the open source community if I'm too busy trying to find my next meal.

RMS, if you're reading this - it's time you moderated your rhetoric, and start working on convincing companies that they will benefit from open-source, not just berate them for being evil and greedy b*****ds. It's hurting the image of all things open-source, and it's not helping the cause - if anything, it's chipping away at the progress that's already been made.

Enough ranting for one day. I hope you'll keep this to yourself, trusty journal - I'd hate to see something like this get out. *grin*

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"Luke, I'm yer father, eh. Come over to the dark side, you hoser." -- Dave Thomas, "Strange Brew"