Are the Open Source desktops too complicated?

Johnson David DavidJohnson at
Tue Mar 9 11:42:24 PST 2004

On Tuesday 09 March 2004 11:21 am, Drews, Jonathan* wrote:

>  I tend to agree with Victoria Livschitz, a senior IT architect with
> Sun Microsystems. Perhaps the Kde (and Gnome) desktops are becoming
> to complicated for volunteers to adequately maintain?

I would seriously discount Sun's musings. It seems like they're 
rehashing old ground that Fred Brooks has thoroughly explored. If 
they're having a problem with Sun's version of Gnome, they should look 
at themselves instead of Gnome.

I would definitely not take Victoria's comment of "buggy to a point 
beyond salvation" out of context. She was not talking about Gnome or 
KDE. She was talking about software projects in general. And to a Java 
community in particular.

Large programs do have more bugs. No one with any experience in the 
field disagrees with this. So what KDE and Gnome have done is to split 
up the desktop into small autonomous components. A bug in Kwrite does 
not affect Kwin, for example. Also, a less-than-conscientious developer 
for one component doesn't damage the quality of the remaining 

I agree with you though on documentation. I did some docs for Krayon. 
But this is nothing new. Developers of all stripes, proprietary or 
free, hate to do documentation. For them documentation is something you 
do after the code is finished, while for "process" people documentation 
is something you do before anything else. But somehow KDE and Gnome 
seem to produce quality documentation. Maybe not to the high standards 
of FreeBSD documentation, but then again, very few projects regardless 
of size are able to do that.


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