Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

How GNOME and KDE Spend Their Money

Comments Filter:
  • TFA has no charts or graphics. Is this why the summery has no real info beyond the link?
  • What? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Pig Hogger (10379) <pig.hoggerNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Thursday September 17, 2009 @10:49AM (#29453477) Journal
    They don't spend it (all) on beer???

    Shocking!!!

  • simple. (Score:5, Funny)

    by thhamm (764787) on Thursday September 17, 2009 @10:50AM (#29453481)
    GNOME: beer & smokes
    KDE: blackjack & hookers
  • by Pig Hogger (10379) <pig.hoggerNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Thursday September 17, 2009 @10:51AM (#29453501) Journal

    How GNOME and KDE spend their money

    Sep 16, 2009 10:20pm GMT

    Bruce Byfield

    Quarterly reports are the stuff of business. In most people's minds, they are as far from the spirit of free and open source software (FOSS) as anyone can imagine. All the same, as non-profit organizations, many FOSS projects issue them. And while your first reaction may be to avoid quarterly reports, they can give some insights into projects, especially if you read between the lines.

    For instance, if you have been assuming, as I have, that GNOME has more corporate support than KDE, and a larger budget, a look at the latest report for GNOME [gnome.org] and KDE [linux-magazine.com] may surprise you. Together, the two reports give an entirely different impression than you might assume.

    Neither quarterly report has much in common with the glossy publications offered by multi-national publications. Both are PDF files with undistinguished layouts and a minimum of graphics. Even head shots of people mentioned or reporting are absent. Compared to corporate reports, those of both GNOME and KDE are practical, unadorned publications.

    Of the two, GNOME's (its first, covering June, July, and August 2009) comes closest to the spirit of a corporate report. It includes not only the obligatory message from GNOME's executive directory, but also reports from the Release, Bugsquad, Marketing, Web, Usability, Accessibility, Documentation, Art and Localizations Teams. Although some of these reports were outdated by the time the report was released, their overall impression is of a multi-tiered multi-national's executives reporting in. In general, the report fits in well with GNOME's traditional tendency to favor the corporate side and with its recent interest in marketing. Like most quarterly reports, it is as much a public relations document as an effort to provide concrete information (although it does both). The one non-corporate note is at the beginning, when executive director Stormy Peters asks readers, "please let us know if you find it useful!"

    In comparison, KDE's report for March through June 2009 is less than one quarter the size of GNOME's. Although it includes the usual redundant introduction -- this time by Aaron Seigo, it contains far fewer individual summaries from GNOME's report. These differences may reflect the greater experience that KDE e.V. -- the German non-profit that manages KDE -- has with the whole idea of reports, and has the advantage that it is more likely to be read completely. At the same time, because it is so short, the KDE report seems less corporate, an impression that is fitting for the project's more community-based orientation.

    Beyond these general impressions, what is most interesting is the financial accounting in the reports. The two reports are not strictly comparable, given that many FOSS activities occur in the northern hemisphere's summer rather than spring. Nor is it always obvious in either report what falls under each line item. Still, some differences emerge.

    For instance, GNOME lists an income of just over $102,000 for the quarter covered by its report. This income includes $65,000 from the Desktop Summit, $20,000 from "advisory board fees" (which I interpret mainly as donations from corporate sponsors), and $12,400 collected by the Friends of GNOME [linux-magazine.com], a promotional and fund-raising project.

    Omitting the Desktop Summit as a one-time source of income, these figures mean that GNOME has traditionally relied on corporate supporters. Corporate supporters continue to provide the bulk of GNOME's income, but the total from Friends of GNOME suggests that GNOME may be switching to a more community-based source of income. However, given that GNOME reported an approximate income of $54,000 per quarter in 2008 (ht

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Or you can use the Coral Content Network [coralcdn.org]:
      http://www.linux-magazine.com.nyud.net/Online/Blogs/Off-the-Beat-Bruce-Byfield-s-Blog/How-GNOME-and-KDE-spend-their-money

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 17, 2009 @11:20AM (#29453809)

      Arggh, getting confused here. If the article is in the comments, am I supposed to read it?

      • by Dishevel (1105119) * on Thursday September 17, 2009 @11:42AM (#29454089)

        Arggh, getting confused here. If the article is in the comments, am I supposed to read it?

        No!

        No matter how they try and trick you as a /.er you should never allow yourself to come into contact with the facts of a situation before commenting thoroughly.

        Now after you have commented to your hearts desire you can ( If you choose to.) read the articles and even dive deeper into the facts of the situation. Just make sure you are "Fact Pure" while you are posting.

      • No, just mod the parent down.

    • by Bigjeff5 (1143585)

      Compared to corporate reports, those of both GNOME and KDE are practical, unadorned publications.

      No it doesn't, it means their reports are less professional. See, professional writers understand that you need to break up the text by inserting graphs that summarize or support the text, pictures that allow for facial recognition of individuals, etc. because someone with Very Little Time (i.e. your average businessman) is going to skim it first to see if there is anything actually worth reading.

      If you don't have these things, they assume it is not worth their time. And they are usually right if the repo

    • The problem with all this is that it only looks at contributions to these organisations. It ignores contributions such as employing developers to work on these desktops, which we need to tell us what resources are actually available to develop these desktops.

  • by Hognoxious (631665) on Thursday September 17, 2009 @10:54AM (#29453525) Homepage Journal
    They spend it on usability studies and graphic design, isn't it obvious?
  • Considering most large enterprise distros (RHEL, SUSE, etc) ship with KDE as the main DE, it shouldn't come as a shock that they are growing. That, and the infamous statements made by Linus concerning KDE vs. Gnome, perhaps?
    • by yuna49 (905461) on Thursday September 17, 2009 @11:16AM (#29453771)

      Last time I looked RHEL shipped with GNOME as the default. A quick search through redhat.com did nothing to disabuse me of that notion.

    • by arizonagroovejet (874489) on Thursday September 17, 2009 @11:17AM (#29453783)

      Considering most large enterprise distros (RHEL, SUSE, etc) ship with KDE as the main DE

      Both SUSE's Enterprise offering (SLED) and RHEL default to GNOME. I don't know about etc.

    • by bheekling (976077) on Thursday September 17, 2009 @11:18AM (#29453789)
      No "large enterprise distro" currently ships with KDE as the main DE. SUSE is the only one that has decided to ship KDE by default, and that too very recently. Also, Linus's infamous statements are not a factor for people when deciding which DE to use. Seriously, they're not.

      The reason why KDE is growing so much is because their community is insanely motivated. The only other community I've seen more motivated is the Drupal community. KDE is able to project a halo of (mostly valid) hype around itself which attracts users and hence contributors, which results in more features and hype, and so on.

      OTOH, a lot of GNOME development is done by RedHat/Fedora dudes, and I constantly get the feeling that they are a closed book and don't pay attention to engaging the community and gaining contributors. There are exceptions of course, such as Richard Hughes [gnome.org] and Dan Williams [gnome.org].
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        SuSE had KDE by default back in 2000 when I was using it.

        • by Carewolf (581105)

          SuSE has always had KDE as default, though a few years ago it started leaving the choice open like in Debian. A month ago, OpenSuSE reintroduced the default to KDE.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by gbjbaanb (229885)

        As GNOME foundation is running out of money, will this change the major distro's support, or will they stump up the shortfall when Gnome needs it?

        Personally, I'd like to see Redhat, Debian or Ubuntu take KDE as the default. There's no reason not to now, and I'd like to see the competition between the desktop environments increase, that should drive more features and polish! If the KDE community have made such significant feature updates without being a major distro's default says a lot (of good) about it.

        On

        • Personally, I'd like to see Redhat, Debian or Ubuntu take KDE as the default.

          There'd be no point in Ubuntu taking KDE as the default, except creating confusion as Ubuntu with KDE as default changed names from "Kubuntu" to "Ubuntu" and Ubuntu with GNOME as default changed names from "Ubuntu" to, presumably, something like "Gubuntu".

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Dark_Gravity (872049)
        SuSE 5.1 had KDE as the default DE back in 1997.
        • by Grishnakh (216268)

          Yep, they had KDE as default up until around 2006-2007, when they hired Miguel de Icaza and he started pushing Ximian and Mono stuff into (open)SUSE.

          My group at work just installed openSUSE on a system here (against my advice--I advised Ubuntu) in a move to start using Linux for development, and it came with Gnome by default.

        • Back in the 0.x days? KDE 1.0 was 1998 IIRC.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by hduff (570443)

        No "large enterprise distro" currently ships with KDE as the main DE. SUSE is the only one that has decided to ship KDE by default, and that too very recently.

        Mandriva has long shipped with KDE as the preferred desktop and offer a good implementation of it, but they also offer a choice of several desktops.

      • Slackware has used KDE as the default for ages. What? Its not a large "enterprise" distro? Says who! ;)

        Well I have used it in some pretty high end enterprise servers... Of course these were all headless so KDE wasn't all that useful....

        Its also my choice for my home PC for me and the rest of the family.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by CAIMLAS (41445)

        That's kind of the impression I've always gotten from GNOME and KDE - all the way back to 1.x versions of GNOME and KDE.

        GNOME has always had a very "business" feel to it, almost like it took a great number of its design decisions from CDE or UNIX heritage and tradition - not only in design decisions but also in philosophical, organizational ones. Unfortunately, it seems to me that a lot of those decisions result in a lack of usability on the desktop/GUI where they might work just fine with CLI. Organization

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by bill_mcgonigle (4333) *

          It's also (arguably) a much better framework

          I have to admit, the KDE stack's design always bothered me, and I used GNOME (well, mostly I used Macs, but I did fire up a GUI on my servers now and then). But when GNOME started heading towards .NET, I looked again, and KDE had re-done their architecture into something very elegant (KDE4). Now, at that time, KDE 4.1 had just come out, and was a steaming pile of dung, but then 4.2 was much better, and 4.3 is really solid. Meanwhile, Nokia got on board, did th

    • by walshy007 (906710)

      Considering most large enterprise distros (RHEL, SUSE, etc) ship with KDE as the main DE

      While that might have been the case some time ago, for quite a while now most of the major distro's have been heavily focused on gnome

      Kubuntu plays second fiddle to ubuntu, and a lot of ubuntu users have never even heard of it before. On fedora while kde is still well supported the default install does gnome, etc.

      • by bcmm (768152) on Thursday September 17, 2009 @12:37PM (#29454941)

        and a lot of ubuntu users have never even heard of it before

        To be fair, a lot of Ubuntu users haven't heard of Linux either.

        • Are you saying that this Ubuntu can run on a computer without Linux underneath it, at all ? As in, without a boot disk, without any drivers, and without any services ?

          That sounds preposterous to me.

          If it were true (and I doubt it), then companies would be selling computers with a Ubuntu. This clearly is not happening, so there must be some error in your calculations. I hope you realise that Linux is more than just the kernel ? Its a whole system that runs the computer from start to finish, and that is a ver

  • What else do dot-com startups need to spend money on when they never actually have to sell product and make money?

  • by should_be_linear (779431) on Thursday September 17, 2009 @11:09AM (#29453697)
    KDE already spent donated money buying all buttons and check-boxes available on the market.
  • by jdgeorge (18767) on Thursday September 17, 2009 @11:13AM (#29453749)

    This seems to be saying that the GNOME and KDE organizations' funding are not a significant factor in the development of their related software.

    In other words, this comparison tells very little of the actual funding that supports the development of either system. Presumably, those efforts are primarily funded through other entities (such as Trolltech, Linux distros, embedded device makers, etc.)

    How are we supposed to have a GNOME v. KDE flame war without any significant data? That's like trying to have a debate about whether EMACS or vi is a superior editor on a device that has no keyboard!

    Crap, I need a car analogy; can someone help me out here?

    • by oiron (697563)
      Debating whether Audi or Ferrari are better in a world without fuel, maybe?
      • by Burz (138833)

        Debating whether Audi or Ferrari are better in a world without fuel, maybe?

        Or Gremlin vs. Pacer

    • by Chris Burke (6130)

      Crap, I need a car analogy; can someone help me out here?

      "That's like trying to have a debate about whether EMACS or vi is a superior editor on a car!"

      You're welcome.

    • by gbjbaanb (229885)

      From TFA:

      Considering these figures, you should not be surprised that KDE was reporting a positive balance of over $288,000. GNOME's total balance was not reported, but, considering that last year GNOME was expecting a short fall of some $40,000 [markmail.org], the chances are that its bank balance is nowhere near KDE's.

      Crap, I need a car analogy; can someone help me out here?

      So, KDE is a well-run BMW type of organisation - all German efficiency, modern design and cutting-edge technologies; whereas GNOME is more a bloated GM type org that desperately needs some bail-out money for its obsolete, resource-hogging designs and massive employee wage bill.

      As car analogies go, I think that one works on so many levels :)

    • by Belial6 (794905)
      It's like debating fuel economies of the Chevy Volt vs. the Nissan Leaf.
    • Significant Data to a flame war is like water to a fire.

      Now insignificant data is another story completely.

      But anyway. KDE is better and both EMACS and vi sux lemons.
    • Well, you could always install some voice recognition application on emacs... By the way, is one already available?
  • Nitpick (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Comatose51 (687974) on Thursday September 17, 2009 @11:38AM (#29454015) Homepage

    "Neither quarterly report has much in common with the glossy publications offered by multi-national publications. Both are PDF files with undistinguished layouts and a minimum of graphics. Even head shots of people mentioned or reporting are absent. Compared to corporate reports, those of both GNOME and KDE are practical, unadorned publications."

    What quarterly reports has this guy been reading? Playboy's? The reports I got from Berkshire Hathaway and GE are both pretty boring, unadorned, and filled with numbers and text. There is very little graphics. It just annoys me a bit that the author just wrote that, especially when it adds so little to the article itself. Stop writing for word count.

  • Sorry to say that the guy dribbles on for half the article about what the reports LOOK LIKE. Why? Dunno. I reached this paragraph about halfway through the document: "Beyond these general impressions, what is most interesting is the financial accounting in the reports..." and thought to myself "finally!" Honestly. I don't need someone to describe the appearance/layout/graphics of the report. I daresay most folks going to read the article don't either. Still, the finance info was interesting - as interesti
    • He was trying to show that both organizations are efforting themselves into the realm of true businesses probably in hopes of gaining more corporate support and investment.

      Look, Linux is nearing 100 million users world wide at this point. That's major. It also means that there's investment opportunity there. Zimbra has open source products and they were bought for a considerable sum. One of the SQL database products was also sold for a hefty sum. Those two remain open source. The possibility for these

  • by Meltir (891449) on Thursday September 17, 2009 @11:59AM (#29454357) Homepage
  • Both (Score:5, Interesting)

    by HermMunster (972336) on Thursday September 17, 2009 @12:50PM (#29455141)

    I've used both environments over a long period of time on dedicated linux desktops. Both are competent products. Gnome looks good under Ubuntu 9.04. KDE 4.3 looks awesome as well. Both are sufficiently feature rich. Both add features rapidly on an ongoing basis. Both are solid products. The money is being well spent no matter how you look at it. I like that KDE has about a quarter million dollars banked. It shows strength and greater longevity.

    My personal favorite, after using gnome for years, is KDE (which I have used since KDE 4.2). On a regular basis I see fixes and upgrades, though there still are some annoying aspects to it. After 25 years in computing and having dealt with Windows for most of that, KDE is probably the best and most well rounded desktop manager, even well beyond windows Win7, and certainly Vista. I have 4 Vista boxes in shop and I have a Win7 RC box for testing. I also have 3 Apple OSX systems. Nothing generally impresses me about them. I've watched compiz, beryl, and kwin turn into super feature rich, well balanced, polished and tailored products that in many ways existed before Vista was released.

    Let's just say that I'm very impressed that these two organizations are producing products comparable or better than the competition. It is good to see that they are doing so much with so little.

    • I've used both environments over a long period of time on dedicated linux desktops. Both are competent products. Gnome looks good under Ubuntu 9.04. KDE 4.3 looks awesome as well. Both are sufficiently feature rich. Both add features rapidly on an ongoing basis. Both are solid products. The money is being well spent no matter how you look at it. I like that KDE has about a quarter million dollars banked. It shows strength and greater longevity.

      My personal favorite, after using gnome for years, is KDE (which I have used since KDE 4.2). On a regular basis I see fixes and upgrades, though there still are some annoying aspects to it. After 25 years in computing and having dealt with Windows for most of that, KDE is probably the best and most well rounded desktop manager, even well beyond windows Win7, and certainly Vista. I have 4 Vista boxes in shop and I have a Win7 RC box for testing. I also have 3 Apple OSX systems. Nothing generally impresses me about them. I've watched compiz, beryl, and kwin turn into super feature rich, well balanced, polished and tailored products that in many ways existed before Vista was released.

      Let's just say that I'm very impressed that these two organizations are producing products comparable or better than the competition. It is good to see that they are doing so much with so little.

      Unfortunately the KDE 4.3 control center still feels crippled compared with old 3.5 stuff.

      • Not in my opinion. It is sufficiently advanced to have caught up with most of the features, especially those that we all use day in and day out. Sure there are esoteric feature sets that haven't been implemented, but not everyone wants them nor needs them.

  • Jokes aside regarding how I shouldn't read the article, but the article doesn't even hint at where Gnome and KDE spend their money. Once again Bruce Byfield writes an empty piece of fluff.

    I would be very interested in reading a nice, detailed article on where they do spend their money.

Remember, UNIX spelled backwards is XINU. -- Mt.

Working...