Repeat After Me: No More Linux Desktop Forks

Opinion: If you're adding yet another desktop to the Linux mix, you're making it harder for any Linux desktop to ever become popular.

In front of me, I have an interview from The Modding Den with Emre Sokulla, the leader of the SimpleKDE project.

Sokulla said SimpleKDEs goal "is to create a KDE based (which can be the best base in my opinion), enterprise level, simple, easy to use, secure desktop environment. So we want to make something between Gnome and KDE. Some people consider our relationship with KDE [similar] to the one between Gnome and Xfce. But this is not true; we are not that far to KDE, we are forking KDE."

Oh. No.

This is just what we dont need: Yet another Linux desktop fork.

Why are Sokulla and friends doing this? "The main reason is that we find KDE too cluttered and too bloated; and we want something faster, more simplistic and easier to use."

Fair enough, but they should be working on this within the KDE community, not from one step outside it. After all, a few months back SimpleKDE was doing just that as it prepared to become part of the KDE Quality Project.

Perhaps, Sokulla, who is not a native English-speaker, was misunderstood by the interviewer?

No, alas, he wasnt.


Sokulla went on to say, "We have changed some of the KDE libraries; so in order to fully enjoy SimpleKDE, you need to use our libraries. But this does not mean that theres an incompatibility between the projects. KDE folks have officially contacted us, and wanted us to keep the compatibility. And we ensure everyone that SimpleKDE will remain fully compatible with KDE."

Sigh. That is a fork. If you need different libraries, youve forked the project. And, this, this is a bad thing.

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