[forum] GNOME, KDE developer statement
Mon, 24 Mar 2003 11:45:41 -0500
A sizeable group of developers from the two leading free software
projects developing desktops based on the X Window System, KDE and
GNOME, have been discussing the current situation among themselves
and decided to draft and release this document.
We acknowledge the dedication of the XFree86 project in providing us a
free and innovative implementation of the X11 industry standard,
something we benefit from on a daily basis. Therefore, we want to
share our joint point of view with the community.
1. XFree86's recent technical progress, culminating in the 4.3
release, brought significant advancements to the X desktop. Prior
X Window System implementations were lagging behind the needs of
modern desktop users.
Cursor theming, simplified font configuration, dynamic screen
resizing, and so on address long-overdue usability issues with X
desktops. XFree86's robust solutions in these areas have been
However, the work is not done. Our goal is to provide the
community with desktop systems far beyond what anyone offers
today. We are ready to take advantage of an X Window System
implementation that continues to innovate.
2. GNOME and KDE have two interests in X:
- We would like to have a single organization where X innovation
occurs. By innovation, we mean the definition of new APIs,
specifications, and features - new additions to the foundations
that KDE and GNOME rely on.
- We would like to have a frequently-released, robust, stable,
open source implementation of these APIs, specifications, and
We are explicitly distinguishing innovation from implementation,
because standards should be adequate to allow multiple
Within the development organization responsible for defining and
crafting new features to be adopted as standards, innovation
should happen in the open, with all affected parties able to
participate early in the process.
3. We do not want to take sides on the recent political wrangling of
who did what when and who should be in charge. Our hope is that as
a community we can find a way to involve everyone in X's
development and move forward with solving technical challenges.
4. It makes sense to us if the organization responsible for X
innovation also develops the most widely used open source
reference implementation. This ensures an emphasis on working
code, and provides a pool of active technical expertise.
5. We would like to see this forum work toward a unified
organization, governed by active contributors, that implements,
deploys, and standardizes new X innovations.
We do not want to take an a priori position on how this
organization should be organized or governed - that is a
conversation we're trying to start, rather than one we're trying
to end. We trust and will support the X community as they work to
address this issue.
Miguel de Icaza
Antonio Larrosa Jimenez