[CS-FSLUG] Theory Exercise: Stable Desktop

Timothy Butler tbutler at ofb.biz
Wed Dec 31 17:14:18 CST 2008

> We have developers willing to work under this restriction. With what  
> you know about various window managers and desktop environments,  
> what would you recommend our team of developers work on? Among the  
> options would be forking a current project at some "really good"  
> release point and keeping it there (say, KDE 3.1.5), resurrecting  
> some long forgotten favorite (CDE?), or adapting some ideas and  
> building a whole new project (a la Xfce).

	I think a good baseline would be to go with a GTK-based desktop,  
since most "must have" apps use GTK or integrate well with it.  
Personally, since most business oriented desktops already use it, I'd  
suggest cleaning up GNOME. It has a much more stable binary  
compatibility plan than KDE/Qt and overall, while it could use some  
help, it seems to me is more oriented towards the stable, user- 
oriented desktop you are interested in. Note how long GNOME 2 has  
maintained binary compatibility versus KDE (KDE has had three ABI  
breaks in its lifetime, versus just one in GNOME's similar length  
life) -- neither is as good at this point as Apple or Microsoft, but...

	Also keep in mind that those coming from less stable Linux distros  
would be instantly familiar with it. After all, Ubuntu and Fedora  
default to it.

	Xfce is interesting, although I think it may be too light weight for  
the modern desktop and if your project caught on, you'd just end up  
further fragmenting the market that is now mostly divided between two  


Timothy R. Butler | "The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window- 
Editor, OfB.biz   | The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the  
tbutler at ofb.biz   | Licked  its  tongue  into the  corners  of  the   
timothybutler.us  | Lingered upon the pools that stand in drains."
T.S. Eliot

More information about the Christiansource mailing list