FEB
13
2001

"Business Ethics" in the Open Source Community?

What do we do when one of our own, a company with long-time roots in the Open Source community, rejects our code of ethics and resorts to deceitful tactics for the express purpose of undermining an Open Source project? It appears that the newly-named Ximian is doing exactly that.
This open letter (authored by Kurt Granroth and Andreas Pour) describes how Ximian is hoping to create and capitalize on a new user's confusion for the express purpose of "tricking" them into buying Ximian products over downloading KDE.
Is this what we are reduced to? Unethical (and potentially illegal) tactics so that we can win at all costs? Update: 02/13 03:36 AM by Andreas Pour: I am happy to report that this dispute has been put to rest. After discussions between Nat Friedman, CEO of Ximian, and me, Ximian has resolved to revise its advertisements on Google to eliminate the possibility of confusion, and not to create new advertising campaigns based on KDE-related keyword searches. The full details are available here. Thanks to Ximian for helping to resolve this issue amicably and promptly.

Comments

My two cents -

I find it amusing that some people are totally flaming this letter. Let me recreate the situation in another light - imagine doing a search on "linux" or "BSD", and getting the little ad to the left that links to M$. And someone who doesn't know better takes that link to M$, and these other OSs are totally ignored. Most everyone I know would be up in arms over this.
Just because Ximian has it's roots in free software doesn't make this any different other than the fact that we expect more of them. To undercut KDE like this is something truly worthy of M$ marketing.


By Jano at Tue, 2001/02/13 - 6:00am

IMHO, nobody would care if MS did such a thing. Granted, MS would never pay Google for such an ad-- they'd end up paying big bucks to target only 1% of desktop users. No offense, but none of the Open Source desktops are there yet.


By Suomynona at Tue, 2001/02/13 - 6:00am

Well, I'd care. I agree I'd be in a small minority of computer users overall (your average Windows user couldn't care less), but that doesn't make Ximian's behaviour any less reprehensible.

What Ximian did was pay Google for an advertising placement, and hijack KDE's name to advertise their own product. I don't understand how you can possibly defend them for this. At least they've had the good sense to remove the KDE name from their advertising, but I think they owe the KDE guys an apology for this.


By Des Herriott at Tue, 2001/02/13 - 6:00am

OK, having read Ximian's statement, it looks like they're acting in good faith. Good to see it's been settled amicably.


By Des Herriott at Tue, 2001/02/13 - 6:00am

The ad has been changed!

It now reads:

Free Linux Desktop
Ximian, Inc.
Download Ximian GNOME now!
www.ximian.com

Hooray for Ximian! Hopefully we can put this silly dispute behind us now.


By not me at Tue, 2001/02/13 - 6:00am

the ad is gone now. even better.


By Anonymous at Wed, 2001/02/14 - 6:00am

Too bad this confuses a very real issue regarding commercial interests with open source.

And the KDE folks that manage to make a great desktop? Just sue instead of running your mouths if you think you have a case. The fact is you don't have a leg to stand on.


By Dyna at Tue, 2001/02/13 - 6:00am

why didn't anyone sue Trolltech/KDE then in the past for using the GPL/QPL? Ok .. because nobody had a leg to stand on ...


By bla at Tue, 2001/02/13 - 6:00am

...they're not there now. Perhaps the squeaking wheels have received some oil?

-pea


By Paul Ahlquist at Tue, 2001/02/13 - 6:00am

The ads appear to be completely gone now from all KDE search terms.


By caatje at Tue, 2001/02/13 - 6:00am

Ximian has a legal right to have advertisements appear for whatever keywords they wish. Open Source companies provide their source code not because its ethical, but because it provides extra value to the user. Do free software companies believe they will be taken seriously in the business world when they act like little babies sucking their thumbs? Grow up.


By Suomynona at Tue, 2001/02/13 - 6:00am

Ximian has a legal right to have advertisements appear for whatever keywords they wish.

I am curious, are you an attorney? I have done a good amount of reading on trademark law, and I don't believe you are right. The cases involving META tags would support my conclusion as well. Perhaps you just don't have any idea of the legal issues involved; in which case, please refrain from making claims about them.

Do free software companies believe they will be taken seriously in the business world when they act like little babies sucking
their thumbs? Grow up.

Will the big business world take seriously any business which does not protect its trademarks and which does not protest against someone confusing their users into buying another product using their trademark?


By Dre at Tue, 2001/02/13 - 6:00am

I am curious, are you an attorney? I have done a good amount of reading on trademark law, and I don't believe you are right. The cases involving META tags would support my conclusion as well. Perhaps you just don't have any idea of the legal issues involved; in which case, please refrain from making claims about them.

I am not an attorney. KDE should consult an attorney first instead of acting like fools whining about how some company is ethically wrong. From what I understand, Ximian is 1: not using META tags and 2: Neither Google nor Ximian is a Germany company. How KDE plans to use German laws to sue U.S. entities is beyond me.

KDE should do their homework first before posting this stuff on their frontpage. It's not news.


By Suomynona at Tue, 2001/02/13 - 6:00am

I am not an attorney. KDE should consult an attorney first instead of acting like fools whining about how some company is ethically wrong.

No they shouldn't. They should consult an attorney if they are claiming that something is illegal, but they are not. They are saying that they think that it's a grey area. This is different from saying that they believe it is ethically wrong. Ethics and law do not have a 1:1 correspondence.

Of course, you should consult an attorney before saying things like "they haven't got a leg to stand on in court".


By Jim at Tue, 2001/02/13 - 6:00am

> How KDE plans to use German laws to sue
> U.S. entities ...
Huh?

> ... is beyond me.
Definitely.


By Alex Hamer at Tue, 2001/02/13 - 6:00am

KDE should consult an attorney first instead of acting like fools whining about how some company is ethically wrong.

I can assure you that attorneys were consulted. Strange that you would accuse us of jumping to conclusions when in fact we did quite a bit of research and all I see from you is jumping to (wrong) conclusions.

Sorry, I can't understand the rest of your comment. To the extent it refers to the areas of international law governing the applicability of German law to Google's and Ximian's conduct, one would have to contact a pretty expensive law firm with expertise in international trademark law (I would note that Google does operate in Germany and I believe Ximian does commerce in Germany as well). However, it is not clear from your comment that you considered the fact that US law also applies to Google and Ximian and that you don't have to be a US citizen to make use of US law. As to your META tag comment, that was an analogy


By Dre at Wed, 2001/02/14 - 6:00am

Acting like fools?!?! hiring an attourney when they could have settled it quietly (which they did) would have been foolish and babyish. "Oh, they hurt us, so we have to call on someone bigger to do them justice instead of facing them ourselves." The KDE people did the right thing in confronting Ximian before hiring a lawyer.


By Anonymous at Wed, 2001/02/14 - 6:00am

In case you caught it, sorry for the bogus/stupid update on my part. I was out of the loop and should have been more careful. Hindsight is 20/20 as has been said. Situation being rectified.

-N.


By Navindra Umanee at Tue, 2001/02/13 - 6:00am

I personally don't care about the GNOME-KDE fan fights, as long as they sponsor Google, thus helping keep it banner/portal-free.


By Ilya Konstantinov at Tue, 2001/02/13 - 6:00am

I do not like this sort of practise, but there are is a thing the KDE-developers could do, to keep the whole competition between KDE and Gnome friendly.
What is it? The "Legacy theme importer". The whole concept is just so truly obnoxious that it irritates me.

I use both KDE and Gnome on a regular basis, though now more KDE than Gnome. But GTK+ does have more themes than KDE, and this makes me want to import themes, through a very useful utiliy included with KDE2. But naming it legacy, and having a highly obnoxious text stating what the "theme importer" is for, is not excactly helping the good spirit of competition.

KDE2 kan (pun intended) stand on it's own merit, it is a fine product, and does not need this.


By Gaute Lindkvist at Tue, 2001/02/13 - 6:00am

That's the point. I totally agree with you...


By thomas at Tue, 2001/02/13 - 6:00am

KDE now refers to KDE1 themes as legacy themes too. Get over it.


By David Walser at Tue, 2001/02/13 - 6:00am

Gtk+ is a competitor, and it's not even a global truth that KDE/Qt -themes are better than Gtk+ ones.
If Microsoft had a way of running Linux-binaries, and calling them "legacy applications", a lot of people would be upset.


By Gaute Lindkvist at Wed, 2001/02/14 - 6:00am

This isn't an aesthetic distinction, it's a technical one. GTK+ themes are pixmap themes, KDE2 ones are gradient themes. Much more flexible, smaller size, better performance, etc.


By David Walser at Wed, 2001/02/14 - 6:00am

it all depends on what theme engine they use... some are pixmap engines, some are not...


By bla at Wed, 2001/02/14 - 6:00am

I think the word "legacy" was replaced recently. Maybe it did not make it through because of the message freeze. I think the original authors of that language did not understand that some people might perceive the term "legacy" as derogatory.


By Dre at Wed, 2001/02/14 - 6:00am

Anybody doing a search for 'kde' or some such thing, will likely be aware of gnome already, and has choosen kde. Or they are doing a bit of research on linux desktops and WM's etc, and will want to try out a range of offerings. And how exactly is someone who uses Linux going to avoid hearing about gnome in the first place, as it is probably included in their distro along with kde anyway?

Another thing, how many people even look at banners ads, let alone click on them?

To summarise my feelings for Kurt... you are paranoid and need a holiday if this is all it takes to upset you. You have my deepest sympathies.

L Brookes


By L Brookes at Wed, 2001/02/14 - 6:00am

This is not exactly a matter of ethics, it is a
matter of legality. I'm not sure if "KDE",
"KDE Project" or whatever is trademarked. Even if they are not trademarked, it doesn't matter.
All trademarking does is officially designate it yours in the eyes of the govt. However, it is NOT concidered fair use to use a competitors
trademarked phrase in your advertisement. That
is concidered unfair trade practices. If you
do not believe me, call a law office and ask a lawyer.
This is EXACTLY the same thin my company had to deal with.
Another competitor was using the name of our product
in their meta tag. Not only that, their product
came up first. Since it was a competing product (software)
and not some type of dish soap or anything compeltely remote, this
is what caused it to be unfair trade practice.


By Wally Eckbar at Wed, 2001/02/14 - 6:00am

Can't anyone see the funny side? Its amazing how time makes people forget....

Gnome was founded because KDE used a non Free toolkit, QT and hence Gnome was given backing by GNU. The shoe is somewhat on the other foot now though. QT is now licensed under the GPL and KDE is still the same as it always was, nobody is directly in the KDE project to make money as KDE is a non comercial entity that does not pay coders for there work. Gnome on the other hand has at least two comercial companies coding on the core infrstutcture of Gnome and intend to make money off this effort. They are comercial, thats what they do and that why the adds were posted. I think the best way to make this point is with a question: If all of the Linux desktop users stopped using KDE tomorrow what would happen to KDE? Maybe the project would stop maybe not but would anyone lose venture capital? Would the stock price fall? What if everybody dropped Gnome? Ximian wouldn't have any users and hence no business model for start.

A simple thing that you might have learnt about life, becareful who you trust and be extremely careful if you trust anyone with a vested interest. KDE's motivation is to produce the best Desktop enviroment for Linux, the companies behind Gnome motivation is to make money.

It's natrually understandable that a lot of people here have strong feelings about the ads, try for one second to supress them and think about this, keep an open mind please.

Ximian's ads were aimed at who? Newbies to linux, nobody else would search for KDE it's self on Google, this was even stated by Ximian and I agree. Now, this is called sucker advertising; the only people that follow your ads are people that don't know better. This says a lot about Ximian's business model and tells you a lot about what they plan to do in the future. Expect the following from Gnome: A desktop that is delivered with ads and intergrated tie in services. An example from History would be Microsoft shipping MSN with windows. This was also a sucker trick, add an icon to the Desktop that said "Connect to the internet" and then bring up MS's own service. Someone that doesn't know any better is just going to enter thier credit card as they want to be on the internet. Expect this theme to get a lot worse with Gnome or Ximian's version at least as services is their whole business model. Two things that will hinder Ximian, one relates to Netscape 6, Netscape 6 is Mozilla except that it comes with a load of ads, does any one use the Netscape 6 version or would you rather use plain Mozilla ? Secondly, most people get Linux via a distribution and I see this trend continuing, do you think Distributions are going to leave Ximians ads in tact? The GPL doesn't force them two and Ximian realize this will happen, this is why the Comercial Gnome companies are writting there own installer as a high priority that downloads the newist software from THEIR site, this enables them to have more control on what they put on your computer. It's a very clever tactic and means they can keep you up to date with their latest services and add the icon back to your desktop. Lets try another one, where is another place where you can sell system services like auto update etc? A system configuration utility.

There tactics aren't hard to figure out, of course getting through the zealot nature in most of you will be difficult but all I can say is watch the future. These ads are just the start of some interesting times for Ximian and this trick is very preditory, Ximian are not here to make the world a better place but to make money, you don't get venture capital unless you can provide a return. Ximian's business model is not great, they rely on users and furthermore users that will use their paid services. The more users you have the more potential clients.

Some of the hard core GNU/Linux fans will no doubt get more than a bit disgruntled in the future with Ximian and I expect a mini backlash against them at some point. They have to be preditors and they have to get as many users as possible, it will start with "Please sign up for our services as it helps gnome" and then get more desperate when people don't. I'm not saying this is right or wrong, if you like Gnome and like Ximians services please do, but a company is not a charity, the FSF is.

Is this good for Open source? I can't answer this but there is little doubt in my mind that the comercial nature of Ximian is already affecting the Gnome project, currently Gnome 2 is being planned around GTK2, many Gnome deveopers are pushing for Gnome 2 to clean out the bad designs and basically start again from scratch much in the same way KDE 2 did over KDE 1. KDE2 took a while as this approach would but now it's here it's design is solid and is a great foundation. Ximian are callign this approach Bluesky, hopefully developers that read this will see that this is the right thing to do. Miguel first proposed bluesky but has since changed his tone, the main reason being that the timescales are too long and it would mean that Sun would not ship version 2 of Gnome (with Ximian tie ins) but version 1.4. Gnome 2 will be hurried out of the door in not as good shape as it could be despite the wishes of a lot of the free developers.

There are several replies that could maybe argue these points where as distros pay towards KDE development yada yada yada. This post doesn't really want to split hair over that, all I want to point out is that if you compare the two project 18 months ago the tables have turned a lot. The only desktop enviroment and toolkit that is covered under the real GPL is KDE, there are comercial sponsors that help with some expenses but that's it. You certainly don't see bookmarks to to IBM placed "conviently" for you in Konqueror do you? Distro will no doubt add their own.

There was also a point raised by someone else here in an earlier thread that stated that KDE was wrong to pubish the letter while also mentioning that nobody really wants to code on Mozilla as they didn't want to help AOL get richer. Maybe but Mozilla isn't sold for profit. However, with the same reasoning you could also say that giving your time coding on gnome will help make Ximian richer. Ximian, don't actually sell gnome but there business is solely based on selling support for it and tie ins.

A note to the KDE PR people, you did the right thing to raise this issue, the letter was correct in most things you stated but was very imflamatory. The posts here prove that, the posts here also prove that you have an army of Zealots to help with these issues. Fighting fire with fire isn't the best way to handle these issues, make people aware of the facts: "Ximian ads.. to KDE sites blah blah, we asked them to remove them, they said no". This states the facts and lets people make up their own minds over the issue, people aren't stupid (mostly) and will reach their own conclusions. Given the current dis-trust that a lot of people involved with Opensource have of comercial interest, this would have been enough. Instead it's now a case of "Ximian are sly Hmm.. but they KDE crowd are a little bit agressive, maybe because Gnome is better technically?". What I'm saying is the orginal issue has been over shadowed by the letter and both KDE and Ximian look as bad as each other. Ximian are going to upset quite a few more people in the future, try not to get too involved and do what the KDE devlopers do best, code.


By David at Wed, 2001/02/14 - 6:00am

GNU is about FREE software, not about uncomercial software.
in this way gnome is till "more free" than KDE, cause you can write comercial and unfree software for gnome without paying to trolltech if you want to.
you can do whatever you want to do.
and it's almost funny that there are more closed source applications for qt/KDE than for gnome (just look at opera, the kompany or yahoo).
hopefully people will get the point of "free software" someday...


By Spark at Wed, 2001/02/14 - 6:00am

Spark, you're made an an easy mistake. I guess there does seem to be some confusion regarding the word Free and there always has been to some extent. Find out who Richard Stallman is (maybe you know) and why GNU & hence the GPL came about, it's really quite interesting. The history behind it is the important thing, what the GNU goals are.

You will then see that why the GPL and comercial software can not get along. Why do you think that QT is dual licenced? For a starter though take 5 seconds and think if you can name one bit of software released *solely* under the GPL that is comcercial?

You CANNOT write comercial software with QT when it's licensed under the GPL. As with all licenses the GPL is complex and can't be summarised in one sentence but: the only thing you can charge for under the GPL is the cost of the distribution media.

Although the Free does mean freedom, but with the GPL it mutually means Free as in beer as well by the fact that you can only charge for the cost of distribution.

My post above refers to this point: Gnome came about and was backed by GNU because of licensing issues with QT, wrongly or rightly I don't care but Richard didn't like it. Now KDE and QT are using the GPL which is a license that impliments Richards ideology. GTK uses the Lesser GPL which means that closed source apps can use it and remain both closed and commercial, not exactly what Richard wanted. You state that someday people will get the idea of Free software meaning that I miss the point of Free, I'm sorry spark but the below will prove that you have indeed mistaken it for free beer:

Company A writes an app with GTK and it's closed (not free) and is commercial. The libary costs them nothing but the software they write is not free as in freedom.

Company B writes the same app with QT it's closed (not Free) and commercial. They have to pay QT money for a commercial license as they should for such a tool kit. Again not free as in freedom.

Company (let call them K) writes the same app with QT, they do not want to pay for the toolkit so they chose to license it under the GPL. Hence there software must also be Licensed under the GPL which means it's Free as in freedom and the world is a better place.

So this is why I stated that the shoe is on the other foot, KDE with QT are now more in line with the ideals of the GNU than Gnome is. You said this "gnome is still "more free" than KDE", I hope you understand now that gnome specifcally it's toolkit GTK creates less Freedom code than KDE does, GTK creates one freedom above QT now and that is the freedom for a commercial company to make money from someone elses work without giving anything back (either code or money to the toolkit developers). So, the GTK tool kit costs them nothing. In other words it's free as in cost, which spark, is not what the GNU orginally intended.

You mention that there are more commercial applications for QT/KDE than for Gnome, this is a good point given the above, why would a company pay to use a toolkit when they could write software for Gnome and avoid this charge? After all software companies are in business to make money and saving costs on the toolkit would be a nice benifit. I think this should tell you a great deal about the quality QT has over GTK.


By David at Wed, 2001/02/14 - 6:00am

Actually Stallman requests that free software libraries be licensed GPL (like Qt) and not LGPL (like GTK). That's why the LGPL (formerly "Library GPL") was renamed to "Lesser GPL". So the irony is that while GNU is backing GNOME, KDE is more in line with GNU's own recommendations for free software.


By Haakon Nilsen at Wed, 2001/02/14 - 6:00am

i never read stallman requesting every library to be GPL. instead he wrote an article (or someone else, i can't remember) stating that you should not use the LGPL for EVERY library. that does NOT mean, that you should use GPL everytime.
it has to be decided from case to case. if the library is something that is not available as an closed source alternative, GPL should be used so that everyone that want's to use this great new library, has to write GPL code.
but for libraries like toolkits, for which a lot of proprietaere alternatives exist, LGPL should be used, so that it gets used as much as possible.
yes, it even encourages to create proprietary software for this toolkit, but this can't be avoided. you can't have ONLY free software but i would those proprietary software rather like to see written for my free toolkit of choice, than for any other proprietary toolkit just because it's not possible with the license.
that's why Gtk is NOT against the GNU recommendations. Qt as GPL only would be absoluetly senseless and so would be a GPLed Gtk.
Qt is not senseless now because it is dual licensed and because Qt will become BSD code if trolltech dies, but if there would be no trolltech, Qt would be senseless. there is no company behind Gtk so they had just the choice between GPL or LGPL.
it would have been just plain stupid to put Gtk+ under the GPL.
i hope you got my point, i fear the text above is a bit confusing. ;)


By Spark at Thu, 2001/02/15 - 6:00am

no, i'm not mistaken. ;)
and you didn't tell me anything i didn't know.
as i explained in my answer to Haakon, Gtk had no other choice than to be GPL. Qt is a special case, cause they have the backing of a commercial company for commercial applications who provide a alternative license which makes commercial software still possible, although the GPL license forbids it.
without this second license and trolltech, that would just not work!
but this was not my point. my point was not to bash KDE/Qt in any way. i think they are both great and trolltech is a nice company which hopefully won't bring any harm to the free software community.
my point was to defend gnome. you said they forgot their principles and turned from a "free" project into a "commercial" project.
and this is wrong. the whole point of the GPL is, to provide great (commercial or not) FREE software. free software is software, that i can modify and give away in any possible way, as long as i don't restrict those rights for new consumers.
and that's what gnome is. it is free by every means. just look at all those "commercial" software. nautilus is free. evolution is free. ximian gnome is free. everything is free. commercial? yes. that's why they are able to provide us with great polished and FREE applications. there is nothing wrong with it and nothing inkonsequent. both desktops are doing an outstanding great job, we really shouldn't waste time bashing "the other one" if there is no real need to.
maybe i think so because i used KDE for years and currently prefer gnome. i KNOW that both are great and i wouldn't have a lot of fun if one of them wouldn't exist...


By Spark at Thu, 2001/02/15 - 6:00am

Hey nice, that was quite an entertaining read there.


By ac at Wed, 2001/02/14 - 6:00am

You make some very good points. Its true the Ximian and Eazel will be making their cash out of seducing wide eyed newbies like my mom into their branded Gnome, complete with paid product placements and banner adds riddled through the interface like MSN and NS6.... but like Mozilla, those of us who care will go ahead and ignore their branded version and use the less commercially polluted Branch. And this is great. The people who don't care (my mom) fund the development by paying the wages of the developers, which gives back to those of us who do care. Not much to complain about at all. I'm damn happy running my Gnome, KDE and Mozilla, and am very thankful for all the companies paying developers to bring them to me faster.

Josh Steiner - http://mp3.com/bluevitriol


By Joschi at Wed, 2001/02/14 - 6:00am

It's a good point but I can see one issue with it, won't your mum also install Linux from a distribution? What happens when the Distro also uses the "the less commercially polluted Branch" which I think they will and here's why: Their installer is great, it looks good and when it's finished it will add a nice needed feature to the Linux desktop arena. So it's an appealing feature. Lets take this a step futher:

Ximian's installer is GPL'ed. The code can be borrowed, changed etc... All Ximian's code will be GPL'ed too and all your paying for is the update service. What would you prefer as an update service, just a service that updates the desktop or a service that can not only update your desktop but your whole distribution? So what if a Linux Distro took the Ximian updater and made it the Redhat updater, that would update your whole distro including the latest Ximian code from one single app. I know what I would chose and as this tool is installed for your mum with her distribution, I'd take a good guess at what she would be using too.

Currently the GNU/Linux distributions don't provide this service as they would lose money, Debian has done it for ages with APT but Debian is a non-profit distro but it proves that it can be done. If such an installer shipped with Redhat for example and it kept your distro upto date painlessly, Redhat might percieve their box sales of the dot releases would fall.

If Ximian's services do take off however, the distro's will be emulating this in a very short time with their own installer and as it will update your whole system, it adds more value. The time to market is also very short as well as the fact the distro's already, 1, have the code and 2, a mirror's network and high bandwidth links.

The GPL or Free software in general does not lend it's self well to a business out for profit if you write code. If you spend money on giving something away you have to be damm sure you will get it back by another means or else your business model doesn't hold water. A better example would be Razor companies who sell the razors cheap and makes the money back on the blades. With the GPL it works this way: Give the razors away and try to make money on the blades expect for the fact that you have given the moulds for the blades away as well, so other companies can make them to fit your razor. As the other companies don't have the cost of the razor to recover, they sell the blades cheaper than you.

The best way to make money in Opensource is to 1, be a blade salesman (Distro, consultancy) and feed the Razor maker a donation once in a while to keep the demand up or 2, Control the makers of the blades (e.g. TrollTech) giving the razor away but if a company wants to make money from just the blades they have to buy your blade moulds. Or something like that anyway.


By David at Wed, 2001/02/14 - 6:00am

The point of your post seemed very much concerned about peoples desktops being polluted, which as i have described is no problem at all. As for the bussiness models of the Gnome supporting companies (SUSE, Redhat, Ximian, Eazel), don't ask me to defend that, they will have to work it out on their own. Though their is a large market for exploiting the fact that Mom's don't want think about their computers for a second, and will follow the most beaten path even though that means paying a small sum to a company to not have to think about it. Look at the huge 800 software tax they pay to play in the Windows world. The Gnome people are starting to partner their services (i can't find the article on slashdot right now, nbut either Ximian or Eazel's updateer is going to be used in one of the main distro's) ... if they asked me i wold tell them to go all the way and merge. buy no one is asking me. In the meantime, we geeks who post long threads on dot.kde.org and new.gnome.org will go ahead and use the less cluttered alternatives, and everyone will be happy. :)

Josh Steiner - http://mp3.com/bluevitriol


By Joschi at Wed, 2001/02/14 - 6:00am

A decent post, although you're majorly wrong when you assume that KDE has no companies paying people to code. Troll Tech, SuSE, Mandrake and more pay the core KDE developers to work on KDE full time. So saying that KDE is a non profit group is true, but so is GNOME. Both of them, however, have large companies with lots of money backing them.


By Joakim Ziegler at Wed, 2001/02/14 - 6:00am

This is not the point of my post, if you look at the post again you will see this:

"There are several replies that could maybe argue these points where as distros pay towards KDE development yada yada yada. This post doesn't really want to split hair over that, all I want to point out is that if you compare the two project 18 months ago the tables have turned a lot. "

I agree with what you say both Gnome and KDE are non-profit and both do have backing but the issue is not really Gnome and KDE it's Ximian. Troll Tech, SuSE etc would love KDE to be the #1 Desktop BUT it is not 100% critical to their Business model.

Please though Joakim, I'm not really talking about Gnome, I think its a good project and have no religous war between the two desktops, I use them both. I'm more concerned with how Ximian are going to change the friendly competition between the two projects and more importantly how Ximian will affect the Gnome project. I am more concerned with Free software as a whole, that it stays Free and we keep a sense of community instead of worshiping the almighty dollar.


By David at Thu, 2001/02/15 - 6:00am

> I'm more concerned with how Ximian are going to change the friendly competition between the two projects and more importantly how Ximian will affect the Gnome project.

yes, we will see. we should just wait and give ximian a chance to show their goodwill, right?
and chances are, that there will be a KDE selling company soon. or two... or three... ;)
we don't know. at the moment there is no reason to be worried about ximian.
btw, i recently tried evolution and i'm really happy that there is a company to make such great free programs. :)
also i can't wait for red carpet and ximian setup tools. just look what they do in such a short time. and look what the kompany did for KDE. commercial company's aren't bad at all, just give them a chance.
free, commercial software... my dream. :)
and yes, i would pay for services...


By Spark at Thu, 2001/02/15 - 6:00am

I see nothing wrong with advertising Ximian during a search for KDE. People who are interested in one free Linux desktop would naturally find information about other free desktops relevant. Ximian and KDE are so obviously different from each other that there is little opportunity for confusion, and KDE doesn't have to fear comparison.

Tone down the rhetoric. Shrill reactions like these to perfectly normal advertising practices are no recommendation for KDE or the KDE community. Besides, I have seen a lot of Troll Tech ads on news stories related to Linux, many of which probably talked about Gnome/Ximian/Helix.


By Mike M. at Thu, 2001/02/15 - 6:00am

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