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O'Reilly Network Weekly
Open Source Roundtable
Sponsored by IBM developerWorks
The GNOME Foundation: Is "As Good" Good Enough?
|Listen to this discussion (9:15 mins, 2.7 MB):
Of all the announcements at LinuxWorld last week, the one that may have
had the biggest effect on the rest of the world -- the folks who didn't
make it to the show -- was the launch of the GNOME Foundation. This
consortium of several traditional IT companies, like IBM,
Hewlett-Packard and Sun Microsystems, as well as Linux companies like
Helix Code, Red Hat and Eazel, aims to build a unified, easy-to-use
desktop environment for Windows, based on GNOME. All of the members are
contributing money to the foundation, some are kicking in technology as
When you talk to members of the Foundation, they often say that the goal
is to build a desktop environment and application suite that's as easy
to use as Microsoft's Windows. But will "as is" be good enough?
O'Reilly Network talked to GNOME advocates from Hewlett-Packard, Sun
Microsystems, and Eazel.
Vice President and General Manager
"We have a concept that we call user levels, so that if you're at a
novice level, you can click on novice, and the way that it presents
Nautilus to you will be more for your grandmother. And we have a level
for intermediate and advanced. Obviously if you're a sysadmin with a
ponytail, you probably want to see more."
Vice President and General Manager of Webtop and Application Software
"That's the whole point of the foundation. Their goal is to make the
GNOME desktop, which runs on both Linux and Unix easier to use. That's
what OpenOffice.org will do. That's what Eazel Nautilus will do, that's
what HelixCode's Evolution will do. That's the whole point: making it
more accessible, making it easier to install, easier to use."
Product Manager, R&D
Linux Kernel Development
"GNOME is an evolving desktop. All the source is available, so a lot of
users are adding features they want. ... So it's not just Microsoft or
HP or Sun deciding what our users want, it's actually what the users
want. It's actually the user community itself that can decide what it
wants, and add it."
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