KDE Announces Launch of the KDE League

The KDE Team today announced its collaboration with industry leaders to
form the KDE League. The League will focus on facilitating the promotion,
distribution and development of KDE, with the goal of establishing KDE
as a desktop standard for PCs, workstations and mobile devices. The
League will not be involved in KDE development.
The League will be holding a press conference at 2:00 pm Las Vegas (PST)
time on Wednesday, November 15, 2000, in Room B in the media tent in the
silver lot of the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC). This is great news for KDE -- finally the marketing support that will help people learn about the technical excellence of KDE, without any changes in the KDE development model! The full press
release follows.



Open Source Developers and Industry Leaders Unify
to Create the KDE League

League Will Promote KDE as a Desktop Standard

November 15, 2000 (Las Vegas, Nevada). Developers of the
K Desktop Environment (KDE), the easy
to use, Open Source desktop environment, today announced the formation
of the KDE League, a group of industry
leaders and KDE developers focused on facilitating the promotion,
distribution and development of KDE.

The founding members of the League include leaders from a cross-section
of the computer industries:
Hewlett-Packard Company,
Klarälvdalens Datakonsult,
Trolltech and
TurboLinux. The League
is an open organization and other corporations
who support the goals of the League are encouraged to apply for

The League will focus on promoting the use of the advanced Open Source
desktop alternative on PCs, workstations and handheld devices by
enterprises and individuals and on promoting the development of KDE
software by third-party developers. The League will not be directly
involved in developing the core KDE libraries and applications,
although League members are encouraged to contribute to the KDE
codebase in the spirit of KDE's wildly successful 'Bazaar-style'

Instead, the industry leaders have united to provide financial, moral
and promotional support to KDE with three principal goals in mind.
First, to ensure that KDE remains a desktop standard for Linux and other
UNIX workstations and PCs and that KDE becomes a desktop standard on
handheld devices. Second, to help KDE compete effectively, on its
merits, with proprietary and other desktops prevalent today. Third,
to encourage third-party developers to develop for the KDE platform,
thereby providing KDE users with a wide assortment of software that
makes use of KDE's cutting-edge technologies.

"The creation of the KDE League marks a vital step forward for KDE,"
said Matthias Ettrich, founder of KDE. "With the support of our
corporate partners, we can work together to ensure KDE gains wider
recognition, a greater number of applications and increased
functionality, while maintaining the open development model and
technical excellence that has made KDE the most popular Open Source

Governance of the League will be controlled by a Board composed of
representatives of the core KDE developers and of each KDE League
member, with the developers and corporate sponsors sharing power

In conjunction with the announcement of the KDE League, IBM announced
that it is working with key Linux development partners such as
Trolltech, Mandrake and other League members to deliver components
of IBM's ViaVoice
on KDE. IBM's ViaVoice is
currently the only voice recognition software commercially
available for the Linux operating environment.

About KDE

KDE is an independent, collaborative project by thousands of developers
worldwide. The KDE team recently released KDE 2.0, which for the
first time offers a fully object-oriented, component-based desktop and
office suite. KDE 2 promises to make the Linux desktop as easy to use as
the popular commercial desktops while staying true to open standards and
empowering developers and users with quality Open Source software.

For more information about KDE, please visit KDE's
web site. For more information about the KDE League, please visit the KDE League's web site.

Press Contacts:

Andreas Pour
[email protected] 
Kurt Granroth
[email protected] 
Chris Schlaeger
[email protected]

Dot Categories: 


This is very clever, a much better idea than that foundation.

by Secret_danger_man (not verified)

I was wondering if you could elaborate on how it is better? It is easy to say things but to support it is another!

by Albert Knox (not verified)

Yeah right, there is actually no difference to the gnome foundation.


Bazaar good, committe bad.

by Secret_danger_man (not verified)

You need to do better than that you crackhead! Gnome is still under a bazaar style of development, it just a has a steering committe. The steering committee most likely even a good idea because decisions have to get done somewhere. I is really quite funny you are talking about developement models because KDE is actually closer to the catherdal than bazaar! Gnome releases early and often but when how long was kde1.1.2 and kde2.0? You get the idea, a steering committe has little, if any, affect on the development model.
You are welcome to try again, but be warned I am loaded and a crack shot.

I personally don't like the corporate control that the KDE League has given in to. One of the great things about the GNOME Foundation is that companies can't be members of the Foundation. Foundation membership is only open to contributors (ie: Hackers, Documentors, Translators and Artists). The board consists of members and is elected by members. Corporate interests are relegated to an advisory board where they can give advice and advocate their point of view - but have no direct control over anything - neither technical direction nor PR.

The KDE League model seems to give the member corporations all the control and power in determining the PR and advocacy direction. I hope that taking the control of the public face of KDE away from the hackers that built it won't harm the project too much in the long term.

by Anonymous (not verified)

I expect that this would cause lots of troubles at Slashdot.
I we will get lots of flames in a short time, just like when the Gnome Foundation was announced.

But what does this differ from the Gnome Foundation?
Both are non-profit organizations (altough some ignorant Slashdotters claim that they aren't).

by Shawn Gordon (not verified)

There is a hug difference between the two groups. The Gnome Foundation is a steering committee that controls the direction of GNOME. The KDE League is simply a single source PR organization (essentially) to promote KDE itself, there is absolutely no control over KDE development.

by Eron Lloyd (not verified)

Hello, Shawn. Even though it's still very early, could you give us a *hint* of what exciting things theKompany plans to bring to the table in regards to the KDE League? I know I for one am always wondering what next you are up to ;-).


by Shawn Gordon (not verified)

Our plan is to lend advice from the perspective of a small software company and what the League might do to help promote the KDE mindshare. I have a different perspective than many of the members, simply because we are smaller and younger. The meeting we had the other day to discuss it was very positive, I was quite impressed with all the members and there very good ideas and suggestions.

I really think this is a good thing and I'm proud to be a founding member.

by bart decrem (not verified)

People keep saying this and it's blatantly wrong.

The GNOME Foundation is run by a board of directors which is elected by the members of the GNOME community. Elections just ended and we had our first board meeting yesterday.

The corporations who are supporting GNOME are on an Advisory Board which has no decision-making authority whatsoever.

So the GNOME Foundation is NOT run by the companies on the Advisory Board.

If you go to http://foundation.gnome.org, you can read more about this.

Let me know if I can further clarify this.

Congratulations on the launch of the KDE League.

by bruce (not verified)

The term adviser reminds me of the cold-war term "adviser", as in such-and-such third-world country had US/Soviet advisors.

In reality is that the corporate advisors can and probably will influence the decision making processes due primarly to the influence that these
organizations can exert. Pressure could include threatening to withdraw unless a certain agenda is followed.

by Anonymous (not verified)

And why should there be pressure?
It's not like that the companies can force the foundation to do something.

by Chris Bordeman (not verified)

I strongly _advise_ you you keep your opinions to yourself, Bruskey!

by hauguel julien (not verified)

comment fait on pour rentreé a la CIA

by Anonymous (not verified)

Same thing could happen on the League:
"If you don't do as we tell you, you won't get any publicity..."

Gnome have kommisars, KDE have bazaars.

by Anonymous (not verified)

You KDE guys sure know how to write good marketings articles ;-)
Maybe Gnome should write their articles the same way, then there will be less flames from Slashdot.

by Richard Moore (not verified)

Sadly, this is not the case - we've been very poor on the marketing side of things historically, despite our technical achievements. The league should help a great deal in this respect by allowing the developers to get on with coding, rather than having to waste time writing press releases/brochures etc. Keeping the league out of the development process itself means that we avoid the issue of creating a centralised authority which is something that would be totally against the KDE philosophy.


by Anonymous (not verified)

I don't understand.
KDE's marketing seems to be one of the best out there.
Look at all those KDE users/zealots!
Nearly all computer magazines who writes about Linux thinks that KDE is the only desktop for it.
Most distros install KDE as default desktop.
How can you say that the marketing is poor?

by Afrosheen (not verified)

The marketing is poor, it's true. The fact that alot of developers/magazines have nearly all their screen shots from KDE is due to KDE's stability. Gnome code has been buggy from the beginning (either that or Enlightenment, the old default WM, was full of bugs) and was quite unstable. Things have changed for Gnome since it began using Sawfish as it's admittedly excellent WM, but old time KDE users have even more to love about KDE2. In the Linux world, unlike the Windoze world, people like things for stability and functionality rather than PR. But I admit that KDE is in need of good PR. Who isn't?

by Dirk Manske (not verified)

The marketing from magazines was poor cause mostly they show the ugly default look. If they compared kde (1.x) with Windows they always said kde has _four_ virtual screens...

by Anonymous (not verified)

Doesn't it?

by Dirk Manske (not verified)

No. Using default settings kde have four screens. It is configurable (2 to 8).

Speaking solely on my own behalf, I want to point out that there is a bigger picture involved here. The way I see it the KDE League is not set up to compete with GNOME; instead the KDE League is set up to promote KDE as a desktop standard. Let's not forget that the Open Sources desktops are still hovering around 5% of the PC desktop market, with an even lower market share on mobile devices. The goal is to tap in on the 95%, not to try to gain more market share of the 5%. Bear in mind that many of the KDE League members are also members of the GNOME Foundation.

I personally hope the two projects can coexist in harmony and provide all users of PCs, workstations and mobile devices excellent Open Source alternatives to the proprietary systems that currently dominate the PC and mobile device markets.

Groups like the KDE League will hopefully go a long way to help Open Source projects compete for the mindshare of all computing users against the marketing muscle that the proprietary software vendors can muster.

by Confused (not verified)

Now we have been asked "Will KDE ever create a KDE Foundation in the same sense as the GNOME Foundation?" The answer to this is no, absolutely not. KDE has always been and always will be controlled by the developers that work on it and are willing to do the code. We will resist any and all attempts to change this

It is quite a semantical difference here. I see very little difference between the above statement and what is really going on, despite the claims otherwise.

Face it, you guys got caught in a pissing match with the GNOME people, and now it is too late to get out of the "stream",

I love KDE, but fail to see the need for this given its position as the leading desktop envrionment. I think both groups should go sit in the corner for a while and think about what they have done.

by Shawn Gordon (not verified)

The League has been in discussion for something like 16 months actually, and KDE 2 was more the motivation than anything else. The two groups are vastly different in their mission.

If you sit back and look at how KDE is promoted, you will find there is no single source, to the outside world it is a very nebulous thing to try and get your hands around. A single press contact, and single source to support trade shows and promotional materials and things is a very good thing, and that is mostly what we are talking about here.

by Fredrik Larsson (not verified)

I for one don't agree with you in this, there is from what I understand a big difference between what was stated in the above press release and what I have heard about the Gnome Foundation.

As I see it, the Gnome Foundation is for the companies so that they can change/twist ;) Gnome to suit them, with KDE League it will, according to how I interpret the press release, be /for/ the users.

The reason I think the League will work /for/ the users is that by having a well oiled "PR machine" without control of the development, more applications will be ported to the platform without the developers having to change the codebase to suit any one company. Offcourse it would be stupid to refuse to even consider changes suggested to the League, it might end up giving us users a much better environment to work in (if that is possible)

As for "pissing match", I think KDE did fairly well before the League was created, just think of the possibilities with an active PR organization.

When it comes to need for this kind of organization, well, maybe KDE doesn't /need/ it in the near future, but I can see a clear need in the future. Without the porting of commercial grade (not nescesary commercial) applications to KDE, in my nightmares KDE becomes an environment for like Anonymous called them in the article 'Re: KDE Announces Launch of the KDE League' zealots or worse and all the rest choose Gnome or some other environment out of nescesity to be able to integrate some functionality in thier working environment.

Well...this was just my $0.2.

// Fredrik

by bart decrem (not verified)

Hi Fredrik,

To repeat: People keep saying this and it's blatantly wrong. The GNOME Foundation is run by a board of directors which is elected by the members of the GNOME community. Elections just ended and we had our first board meeting yesterday. The corporations who are supporting GNOME are on an Advisory Board which has no decision-making authority whatsoever. So the GNOME Foundation is NOT run by the companies on the Advisory Board. Thus, as far as I can tell, the GNOME Foundation's Advisory Board and the KDE League are almost identical in function. More info about the GNOME Foundation is at http://foundation.gnome.org. Let me know if I can further clarify this.

I think I speak on behalf of the GNOME Foundation's Board of Director in congratulating the KDE community on the launch of the KDE League. I think it's a positive development that both projects are establishing venues for dialogue with the companies whose support will be integral in bringing a free desktop to the mainstream.

Also, I for one am excited to see that a number of companies participate in both the GNOME Foundation's Advisory Board and on the KDE League. I hope these cross-memberships will encourage greater collaboration between the two projects.

by Anonymous (not verified)

Finally, somebody who knows what's really going on.
You heard that, FUD distributors (no I don't mean you)?

by Shawn Gordon (not verified)

OK, I've read this over so now I'm better educated :). You're right in terms of the similarity, they both say they will act as PR and media contacts, however that is where the League stops. The Foundation, according to the web site "the Foundation will coordinate releases of GNOME and determine which projects are part of GNOME."

That is the critical distinction that I think I, and others are making, it doesn't have to do with the corporate sponsorship. That said, hopefully this can also act as a unified conduit for communcation between the two groups to work together.

by bart decrem (not verified)

Hi Shawn,
Yes, the GNOME Foundation does release coordination and other functions that, I understand, are handled by KDE Core in the KDE project. But those functions are handled by the Board of Directors, which was elected by the hackers.

The Advisory Board is just like the KDE League (as far as I know).

by Aaron J. Seigo (not verified)

yes, that's right. i nice democratically voted in Board of Directors that has nothing to do with the companies that are part of the foundation.


4 from Eazel, 2 from Helix, 2 from Red-Hat and one from Sun. leaving 2 that aren't from companies in the foundation and 0 unaligned members.

Get real and see through the smoke.

by Anonymous (not verified)

Oups, how many members of the KDE Core Team aren't
employed by companies in the league ?

by CP (not verified)

That's another question; at KDE even "employed" programmers have to discuss their ideas with _everybody_ (including interested hackers that do not really participate in the project), while in the GNOME foundation, the Directors can make the decicions as it pleases them (or their employers?).
If it happens that nearly every Director has a job at a member-concern, they can (and as nobody can stop them, I'm sure they will) act not only like individual GNOME programmers, but also the way it fits the needs of the companies.

by Anonymous (not verified)

In case you don't know, those are individual persons too.
They are humans and enjoy programming.

by ac (not verified)

Looking at who was elected, there is indeed a lot of corporate involvement in who now steers GNOME! This is very different from before!

by ac (not verified)

Well, the core developers of both KDE and Gnome tend to be hired by corporations, so it's really pretty inevitable.

by Yakk (not verified)


You are indeed a funny man.

The Board of directors is pretty much exactly who was steering GNOME before. We have ratified this through a democratic process. I'm sure the KDE group have a similar process for electing the KDE Core.

by bart decrem (not verified)

Hi Shawn,
Yes, the GNOME Foundation does release coordination and other functions that, I understand, are handled by KDE Core in the KDE project. But those functions are handled by the Board of Directors, which was elected by the hackers.

The Advisory Board is just like the KDE League (as far as I know).

by Fredrik Larsson (not verified)

Thanks for clarifying things for me.

As I said in the post, it was based on how I have percieved the Foundation from the little I have heard of it.

I was not out to shake a fist at anyone but to explain that from my point of view there was a big difference between the Foundation and the League.

Anyways, my point (even if I failed to get it through) is that an active PR organization is good for KDE no matter who is running it as long as it stays just that, a PR organization.
Seeing that a few huge companies are willing to spend time and money on helping and supporting a non-profit development project will hopefully tip the scales for those small/mid and large sized companies who is deciding if they should stick with just Windows or port thier product to Linux.

It isn't like it is a competition between Gnome and KDE, we have like 90% or so market shares to Konquer from Gates if we have to compete with anyone.

If anyone took offense at my post, I am sorry.

// Fredrik

by bart decrem (not verified)

Hi Fredrik,

No offense. It's just that I too have seen many stories misrepresenting what the GNOME Foundation is. In a way it's understandable given the hooply that was created by Sun etc. But since I've done a lot of work coordinating the Foundation, and I've spent a lot of time working to keep control with the hackers, I wanted to set the record straight.

I agree that we need to find more ways to work together and focus on converting the rest of the world to free desktops.

Also, I figure this is as good a place as any to start clearing up the miscommunications between the two projects so we can better work together in the future.



Does it mean, that we'll be able to get AIX binaries of KDE2? GNU tools sucks on AIX, and KDE is a pain to compile on AIX :-/

by SelectSpec (not verified)

Will Red Hat be a member of the league?

by Shawn Gordon (not verified)

both RedHat and VA are still considering joining from what was discussed at the meeting.

Redhat, as always, has its own agenda. Remember is is RH who was very instremental in promoting GNOME (the other desktop) and even did not supply KDE (back in 5.x series, I think). I would imagine that them not being part of KL is probably more of the same political bullshit. They can't use the excuse of "bad license" anymore so lets see some (real) reasons.

by Nick Robbins (not verified)

I'm pretty sure RedHat 5.2 had it... 'Cause that's the first Linux distro I *really* used... But it was hidden... And I didn't find it untill *after* I had already downloaded and installed it...

by Matthias Ettrich (not verified)

Red Hat always had a strange attitude towards KDE. Remember that they shipped it in there offical german version, while they still claimed doing this was illegal on their web site? These really were the days..

While I'd like to see Red Hat joining, one has to notice that they don't do much on the desktop anymore. There desktop has pretty low priority and is poorly maintained (compared to for example Mandrake, S.u.S.E. or Caldera). They are clearly aiming at the server market only.

According to what Miguel de Icaza ones posted about the early days of Gnome, it was Red Hat that motivated him to start the project by promising commercial backing. Remember Red Hat Labs? They did a big part of the early Gnome work and now they are maintaining Gtk. When they started doing this back then, it was seen as THE BIG THING. They had more developers on following up KDE than Trolltech had for Qt development at this time.

Just imagine what they could have achived using the right tools rather than duplicating efforts.

Sometimes I think it might be interesting for KDE to do a small distribution poll among the developers. At Trolltech, we are using a polical correct mixture of Caldera, S.u.S.E., Mandrake, and Debian. And I believe we have a few Corel machines as well.

by Navindra Umanee (not verified)

Speaking of politically correct, don't forget Bradley T. Hughes and his FreeBSD. ;-)


by John Califf (not verified)

It doesn't do much good further alienating RedHat. Remember how things were with Kde and Debian a few months ago? All that is different now. It can also be different with RedHat.

I'm using RedHat 6.2 right now as a Kde developer simply because when I messed up my partition table removing MS Windows from my machine, the fastest way to reinstall Linux was to run down to Best Buy and pick up a boxed set of RedHat. The support for Kde is not good. I had to uninstall all the RedHat Kde stuff which is was /usr and rebuild everythig from source to be able to switch Kde environments between stable and development versions. There were other problems with kppp. However, it was all worth it to get rid of Windows forever, and everything now is set up about like a Suse or Caldera box, with RedHat. For end users, I can imagine the difficulties especially with RedHat 7.

RedHat seems to be even more interested in the embedded and internet appliance market than in servers. Perhaps Trolltech's inroads into embedded systems will provide an incentive to RedHat open its doors a little more to Kde as well, if Qt really takes off in embedded devices and appliances.

If I can learn to be diplomatic certainly you can as well. Your continuing hostility over what properly belongs in the past is unnecessary. Please think about it, especially considering your position of influence in Kde circles.