Xdg-list digest, Vol 1 #432 - 11 msgs

Havoc Pennington hp at redhat.com
Wed Jul 23 17:35:37 EEST 2003

On Wed, Jul 23, 2003 at 07:50:10AM +0200, Martin Konold wrote: 
> Basically xdg is more about common standards for interoperability and making 
> it easier for vendors like RH to "unify" the desktop offerings than about 
> sharing code.

Nitpicking, I would not say freedesktop.org is about unification, I
would say it is about promoting choice while avoiding fragmentation.
i.e. maintaining a base platform that ensures users get a sane
experience when we have

But still allowing people to choose the UI or API or programming
language that they like or consider the best.


So on one level freedesktop.org is about enabling diversity; EWMH for
example allows people to keep choosing lots of different window
managers, while still using kicker or gnome-panel.

Basically, even if only GNOME or KDE existed, we would still need
freedesktop.org - I started out mostly thinking about the GNOME/KDE
interoperability issue, but over time my feeling has become that 
this is not really accurate. The real issue is that when we list 
competing platforms for the desktop, we need to list:
 - OS X
 - Windows
 - X/UNIX/Linux
 - OS X
 - Windows
 - GNOME 1.x
 - GNOME 2
 - KDE 2.x
 - KDE 3.x
 - Mozilla
 - OpenOffice
 - Swing
 - ...

In other words, there should be a real mechanism by which those global
technical decisions that must be shared - for example, "how do users
install a font and what fonts are in the list of available fonts?" -
are in fact shared.

What we need to do, then, is get everyone together that cares and is
qualified, and have a way to work on "the X desktop platform"
as an entity.

Anyway, the word "unification" is right in that I think we should
unify some of the base platform, but really unifying the _desktops_ or
even _toolkit APIs_ is not in the charter and IMHO not a useful or
practical goal.

> Trying to stuff code down the throats of people not interested is 
> contra-productive and does harm to the whole idea of freedesktop.org.

I agree with this 100% absolutely. We have to operate here on the
principle that every major project effectively has veto power; given
that constraint, what things can we agree on?

So far there's a lot we can agree on. GNOME and KDE architectures are
*much* more similar than either is to Mac or Windows or even CDE, and
GNOME and KDE are effectively driving the base desktop architecture.


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