Novell to Standardize on GNOME
November 5, 2005 1 Comment
With the acquisition of Ximian some time ago, you kind of had to see this coming. Novell will move future versions of SLES and NLD to Gnome. KDE will continue to be supported in OpenSuse. This will likely cause a lot of fallout from KDE users and traditional Suse users as Suse was one of the most popular KDE-centric distros (and in fact had a ton to do with KDE development in the past). This distinction now goes with Mandriva. It's interesting that KDE tends to be extremely popular in Europe. The reality however is that SLES and NLD users could probably care less for the most part. While we in the OSS world tend to love choice and tinkering with our desktop, enterprise users (and especially admins) tend to like uniformity and simplicity. While we tend to be vehement about some of our choices (KDE vs. Gnome, vi vs. emacs, etc), enterprise users usually don't even know what they are running (or know that there even is a choice). With RHEL standardizing on Gnome a while back, Novell acquiring a Gnome company and also having to cut costs – well, like I said…you probably saw this coming. The sad part is, the further these large companies get into the enterprise markets, the more of this we'll see. For this mainstream Linux adoption that everyone has been talking about to happen, consistency is a must. You think most OSX users know if they are running a Cocoa app or a Carbon one? This is going to be a tough pill to swallow. Luckily most projects will probably live on in a niche capacity for those of us that like choice, but some will probably unfortunately fold when the lack of corporate funding starts to kick in. For those of you who wanted corporate adoption, I hope you knew this was the price that was eventually going to have to be paid. When you shift from doing it for the love to doing it for the money, sometimes the rules change. It's not all bad though. In the end stability and ease of use should vastly improve, “porting to Linux” will begin to get easier as there are less platform choices and mainstream adoption will become a reality. Will the price have been worth it? We'll see.
Suse, Novell, KDE, Gnome, Linux, Open Source