FESCo meeting summary for 2009-06-26

Kevin Kofler kevin.kofler at chello.at
Sat Jun 27 23:16:03 UTC 2009

drago01 wrote:
> Yeah but only because it is treated as a second class citizen (I hate
> using this kind of arguments but I think you should get the point).

There are plenty of distributions shipping XFCE or LXDE by default. Even the
fairly-famous Knoppix is now defaulting to LXDE. So the choice is there.
Still, all the evidence I've seen so far is that the vast majority of
GNU/Linux (not just Fedora) desktop users use KDE or GNOME.

> No its not, the above point is simply replacing KDE with something
> else so that you can see how your own arguments sound to others.

The thing is that KDE is vastly more popular than what you substitute for
it, so it's not the same thing.

That said, I do think XFCE, LXDE and Sugar could use more visibility. I'm
intentionally not including WM-only solutions because they simply can't
compete in functionality with a complete desktop environment.

What I'd do to the download page is to feature KDE right on the main page
and then to add sidebar links (like the one currently used for KDE) for the
XFCE spin and other desktop spins if they get built (LXDE would get
featured if they produce an official spin, for Sugar we could either point
to the Education spin or produce a CD-sized Sugar-only spin). That would be
much fairer treatment:
* the 2 most popular desktops, which are both significantly more popular
than any of the alternatives, would be treated equally and featured on the
main page.
* other options would be more visible than now.
(That said, the sidebar links would have to be more descriptive than "*
fans, go here!" to make sense.)

> We can't simply provide a list of 15000 packages and tell the user
> "please choose" we have to select a default set of packages. (ie what
> we are doing now).

1. This is clearly not what we're doing now.
2. The initial choice wouldn't be among all 15000 packages, but among 2 main
spins (GNOME and KDE, which should be equally featured) and ~3 secondary
spins (XFCE, LXDE, Sugar, though the selection could vary) each
corresponding to a desktop environment and defaulting to applications
written for those environments where it makes sense. That choice already
exists, but KDE is treated as a second-class citizen (hidden behind an
extra link), XFCE as a third-class one (listed only on
spins.fedoraproject.org) and LXDE as a fourth-class one (no official spin
yet, only an unofficial remix).
3. Of course, users can then choose the applications they want to add! How's
that a bad thing? Many of those packages are niche apps, some people need
them, so it doesn't make sense to drop them, but most people don't, so it
doesn't make sense to install them by default either.

> This has nothing to do with KDE, I just think that asking the user
> tons of question "what would you like to use" is simply wrong its OUR
> (ie. the distro) job to do this choice.

And I have to disagree with this statement. It's our choice what exactly to
offer on each of the "flavors" (though it's conditioned by integration
considerations: for example, it doesn't make sense to ship Sugar activities
on the KDE spin, it should default to KDE apps!), but I don't see why
letting the user choose between 2 primary "flavors" is bad. GNOME and KDE
are approximately equally popular in the GNU/Linux world and they primarily
target different user bases (GNOME wants to make things "just work" with as
little configuration as possible, KDE focuses on configurability). It makes
sense to offer both.

        Kevin Kofler

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