GMOME, KDE Developers' Open Statement on XFree86

Ralf Nolden nolden at
Mon Mar 24 16:44:20 GMT 2003

Hash: SHA1


attatched you'll find a joint statement from KDE and GNOME developers 
concerning the recent issues around XFree86 that are affecting us as desktop 
development groups together.

Have fun.

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We're not a company, we just produce better code at less costs.
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Ralf Nolden
nolden at

The K Desktop Environment       The KDevelop Project    
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A sizeable group of developers from the two leading free software
projects developing desktops based on the X Window System, KDE and
GNOME, have been discussing the current situation among themselves
and decided to draft and release this document.

We acknowledge the dedication of the XFree86 project in providing us a
free and innovative implementation of the X11 industry standard,
something we benefit from on a daily basis.  Therefore, we want to
share our joint point of view with the community.

 1. XFree86's recent technical progress, culminating in the 4.3
    release, brought significant advancements to the X desktop. Prior
    X Window System implementations were lagging behind the needs of
    modern desktop users.

    Cursor theming, simplified font configuration, dynamic screen
    resizing, and so on address long-overdue usability issues with X
    desktops. XFree86's robust solutions in these areas have been

    However, the work is not done. Our goal is to provide the
    community with desktop systems far beyond what anyone offers
    today. We are ready to take advantage of an X Window System
    implementation that continues to innovate.

 2. GNOME and KDE have two interests in X:

     - We would like to have a single organization where X innovation
       occurs. By innovation, we mean the definition of new APIs,
       specifications, and features - new additions to the foundations
       that KDE and GNOME rely on.
     - We would like to have a frequently-released, robust, stable,
       open source implementation of these APIs, specifications, and
    We are explicitly distinguishing innovation from implementation,
    because standards should be adequate to allow multiple
    fully-interoperable implementations.

    Within the development organization responsible for defining and
    crafting new features to be adopted as standards, innovation
    should happen in the open, with all affected parties able to
    participate early in the process.
 3. We do not want to take sides on the recent political wrangling of
    who did what when and who should be in charge. Our hope is that as
    a community we can find a way to involve everyone in X's
    development and move forward with solving technical challenges.

 4. It makes sense to us if the organization responsible for X
    innovation also develops the most widely used open source
    reference implementation. This ensures an emphasis on working
    code, and provides a pool of active technical expertise.

 5. We would like to see this forum work toward a unified
    organization, governed by active contributors, that implements,
    deploys, and standardizes new X innovations.

    We do not want to take an a priori position on how this
    organization should be organized or governed - that is a
    conversation we're trying to start, rather than one we're trying
    to end. We trust and will support the X community as they work to
    address this issue.

Best wishes

Waldo Bastian
Jonathan Blandford
David Faure
Glynn Foster
Jim Gettys
Jody Goldberg
James Henstridge
Chris Howells
Miguel de Icaza
Stephan Kulow
Antonio Larrosa Jimenez
Daniel Molkentin
Dirk Mueller
Ralf Nolden
Havoc Pennington
Zack Rusin
Daniel Veillard
Jeff Waugh

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