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Linus doesn't seem to be criticizing GNOME per se

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on February 18, 2007 06:42 AM
Other than saying it is "limited", which implies he prefers the more extended configuration - and possibly functionality - capability in KDE.

This may or may not be a valid criticism. I've never used GNOME and have no particular desire to, since I've never read anything but arguments over its method of displaying windows.

And I don't even customize KDE very much - actually, at all - so I'm really not that interested in how customizable KDE is vs GNOME.

But what I DO see Linus saying is that the GNOME developers are not INTERESTED in hearing complaints - or if you wish - suggestions for improving - their product.

THAT is a valid criticism in my opinion.

I know there are tons of people who will say that an OSS project is strictly for the benefit of the people working on it, and using it, and therefore everybody else should shut up about ALL of them and NEVER criticize a project. This sort of comment comes up everytime the GIMP is criticized for not being a Photoshop equivalent.

This is bullcrap.

EVERYTHING is subject to criticism, in OSS and everywhere else.

If Linus doesn't like GNOME, I don't know why he feels the need to use it and thus subject himself to its "limitations", or whatver. But suffice it to say that he clearly has an opinion - and he backs up that opinion with code patches.

So he has the "right" - or the reason - to criticize.

The GNOME people have the "right" to refuse to listen to criticism as well. But if they do, and if they do without clearly and logically defending their design decisions, then they are violating the spirit of OSS by making OSS into a "fanboy" environment, instead of a development environment.

Not that it matters in the end. When an OSS project stops satisfying the needs of the overall community of users or keeping up with the adopted technology trends, it will fall by the wayside.

So in the end, criticism is either irrelevant - or the way that an OSS project can prevent itself from becoming irrelevant.

Take your pick.

OTOH, what everybody COULD do is tone it down polemic-wise.

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