There are pretty many pros and cons and even more people with their opinion about the feature. I’d like to summarize what has been said in the discussion in the feature itself and during yesterday’s openSUSE project meeting. Unfortunately the only sure thing is whatever decision is taken – it will be wrong for some. This is why, at this time, we have no default – because openSUSE has strong GNOME and KDE implementations, we offer them side-by-side as equals. And we made 2 years ago on opensuse-project the decision that we stay with “no default” desktop.
So what do we have so far?
- a feature request from one of the KDE e.V. board members
- the feature asks to make KDE default. Reason for that, is to make openSUSE more simple for newbies and to make openSUSE the best KDE distribution around
- Through the discussion in the feature I’d translate that feature into put the radio button as default to KDE on the desktop selection screen during installation instead of today’s status where everybody needs to make a choice between
- the highest rated feature in openFATE until today
- a majority of people supporting this feature (currently approx. 90% pro, 1% neutral, 9% against)
What I clearly see as pro is:
- listening to our KDE community we may gain more KDE contributors. But don’t forget this feature is also about making openSUSE an outstanding KDE distribution. And for that just voting for a feature is not enough. For becoming an outstanding KDE distribution we need you to contribute
- we simplify the installation by one click for 2/3 of our users, according to question no. 11 in our last openSUSE survey made in 11.0 time frame
- the GNOME users keep status quo and need to set the radio button as before
What I clearly see as con is:
- our pretty active GNOME community won’t be very happy about it
- our strength is to support choice and two major desktops
- with the CD you always get a default desktop
What might stay doubtful?
- Would changing a radio button really drive lots of users and contributors to us?
- Would already KDE as a default make us to an outstanding KDE distribution?
- Does openSUSE need a default desktop?
What I suggest?
Due to upcoming feature freeze for openSUSE 11.2 we have now only the possibility to default the radio button to KDE. But this is IMO more a diplomatic solution which doesn’t help much anybody. We should give the feature one or two more weeks to evolve and need to do the decision for openSUSE 11.2 by mid of August.
Some other observations I have with respect about this feature:
- inviting people through blogs, web pages, mailing lists or twitter to vote has potential to set the credibility of the voting system at risk as people not involved with openSUSE or not using openSUSE express their thoughts
- the feature shows the success of opening up the openSUSE project. Few years ago decisions were made by Novell and nowadays decisions are challenged by our community.
- I’m pretty happy about the way the discussion is handled (impartial, no bashing etc.)
May wisdom be with us – and may we get in openSUSE the best GNOME and the best KDE desktops!
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