An Official Desktop Standard for GNU/Linux?
by M. David Peterson
Linux vendors are set to back a new desktop standard, but observers question whether it can really end the problems caused by the diversity of Gnome and KDE.
More than a dozen technology companies, including IBM, Red Hat and Novell will support a desktop Linux standard, included in the newest version of the long standing server specification, Linux Standard Base, and intended to help developers write applications for both the main Linux desktops.
This could make things interesting, although much like the Mac, winning over users to an official GNU/Linux desktop has a lot more to do with support for desktop applications than it does anything else. Still, this is REALLY cool to this effort taking place... It's needed and I don't necessarily believe that the GNU/Linux communities as a whole are all that concerned with winning over the hearts of Windows users, and instead with providing a choice.
Good for them! By definition we need choices to be enabled to choose... keeps the "competition" competing, and results in better products because of it.
Something to keep an eye on for sure!
I was under the impression that the desktop projects are promoting interoperability of their own accord...see www.freedesktop.org . I'm more inclined to believe that unofficial, collaborative, bottom-up "standards" will have more real-world impact in the free software bazaar than official, committee-written, top-down Standards. On the other hand, if the companies, who pay the developers who do most of the work, decide to get behind a standard, then it could work regardless. Yet if the desktops put out by all the companies work the same, then there's no competitive advantage there...
|M. David Peterson