Page Two

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2002-09-16 Print this article Print

: Red Hat to Simplify Desktop Environs"> "One of the problems with the Linux desktop and, interestingly enough, one of its strengths, is that there are two main organizations working to create development platforms and desktops. Both these organizations are creating products that essentially do the same thing but often dont play well together. This is confusing for many new users. "Since neither KDE or GNOME appears to be going away anytime soon and both are used heavily, most distributions ship with both. Red Hat is trying to make the desktop more unified. A Red Hat user shouldnt have to worry about different tools for setting up their desktop, or wonder why applications look different, or why the icons look different in GNOME than in KDE," he said.
In addition, its likely that those "hardcore" Linux users would either just install Ximians GNOME desktop offering or KDE.orgs KDE on top of Red Hat after upgrading or installing the operating system. "Red Hats modifications really benefit the user who just wants to get work done and not have to tinker with things all the time, in other words, most people," Gray said.
Miguel de Icaza, president of the GNOME Foundation, told eWEEK that the Red Hat move was nothing more than a vendor adding value to its particular offering of open-source software by providing a better integrated system. "Red Hat is free to improve Gnome and KDE in any ways they see fit. I encourage them to continue their work in that direction. This move is, however, also very interesting as it makes the real applications available in a consistent fashion to both the KDE and Gnome desktops. "It also blurs the visual difference between the two desktops. But it is also important to note that both KDE and GNOME have been working for a while to make what Red Hat has done possible," De Icaza said, stressing that the GNOME Foundation was fully committed to the interoperability efforts between it and KDE. Last year, at the time the new GNOME 1.4 desktop environment was released, Maciej Stachowiak, a director on the GNOME board, told eWEEK that interoperability was a high priority for both GNOME and KDE. "Were working on a number of joint initiatives, like a common Window manager spec. Were also working on having a common system for file types and program mappings. We want applications to run well on both GNOME and KDE," he said at that time. Related Stories:
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    Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

    He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

    He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

    He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

    He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

    He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

    His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

    For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


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