Qt/GTK Skinning

Philip Van Hoof spam at pvanhoof.be
Mon Jul 25 14:07:03 EEST 2005

On Mon, 2005-07-25 at 12:20 +0300, Kalle Vahlman wrote:

> Gnome mostly already "Just Works", and I believe KDE does too. The
> fact that they would "Just Work" between each other is a secondary
> goal, since if users don't care about the difference, they probably
> will use the Gnome apps in Gnome and KDE apps in KDE. You can easily
> install any 3rd party app (which KDE  apps are from the
> Gnome-point-of-view) and claim that Gnome sucks because it didn't work
> well together with it. But would that be a fair statement?

I'd rather say it's no longer a secondary goal.

Reality differs from "if the user wants to stick with KDE he'll choose
KDE applications, if he wants to stick with GNOME he'll choose GNOME

Reality is that we need to start getting companies that develop custom
softwares for other companies to start supporting our platforms.

For example (and these aren't custom software builders but they can be
used as examples): If VMWare and Abobe want to produce a Linux desktop
application that will really really integrate well on every Linux
desktop users desktop, they would have to build two (or three)

- a GNOME one
- a KDE one
(- and a pure Xlib one)

So that basically means that they would need developers for GNOME (let's
say they need 15 such developers -- I honestly don't know how much they
need in reality --) and developers for KDE (another 15). They'll also
need 15 developers for the Windows version of the user interface.

So that makes 45 developers. If GNOME and KDE would share their
infrastructure in such a way that it wouldn't matter for the end user,
they could cut 15 developers.

If you calculate what 15 developers cost per year, you'll understand why
this is important.

Right now almost none of the application builders are targeting the
freedesktop. That's NOT because they dislike the concept of a free
desktop software environment! It's simply because we are way more
expensive to develop for than the Windows platform. And we have way less

Question: Why would they?!

Reality is that a customer who wants a custom Linux desktop application
right now needs to answer the question: "You want a KDE or a GNOME one"?

And depending on the answer, the salesmen of the software builder will
have to answer: "Oh I'm sorry, we can't help you with that. We don't
have developers for that platform".

And then the customer will ask: "Oh but, you have developers for
Windows?". And the salesmen will answer: "Of course!".

That's reality.

And I think it's important we (free software desktop developers) finally
start to see this.

Philip Van Hoof, Software Developer @ Cronos
home: me at pvanhoof dot be
gnome: pvanhoof at gnome dot org
work: philip dot vanhoof at cronos dot be
junk: philip dot vanhoof at gmail dot com

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