Formal complaint concerning the use of the name "System Settings" by GNOME

Torsten Rahn tackat at
Mon Jul 25 13:10:50 BST 2011


On Monday, 25. July 2011 02:37:15 Friedrich W. H. Kossebau wrote:
> controls settings of the KDE runtime env/platform, is at least also one
> who is insular and only cares for himself (or his workspace), no?

No. The application author has the freedom to come up with a creative catchy 
name - even a generic term - for his application. 

But the duty of the application author is also to check _beforehand_ whether 
the name of his binary executable and the name of his application are 

1. intuitively understood by the user
2. can easily be memorized by the user
3. are unique and don't clash with relevant and well-known _existing_ ones (or 
violate trademarks)

It's not his duty to prevent possible future clashes regarding 3.) at the cost 
of 1.) or 2.). That would be overly paranoid and would just result in cryptic 
fancy names.

This kind of research is common practice and it's the most basic kind of 
research every responsible and respectful programmer does.

If such basic kind of research is missed - even more so in a well-known, 
directly competing project - I can fully understand if the maintainer of an 
already existing application reacts angrily and questions motivations.   

Best Regards,

> Think
> about it. At least to me System =
> Shell/Workspace or OS/Computer even.
> And with my user hat on I would think this "Linux" is utterly shitty if I
> have to use different setting programs for all the existing toolkits out
> there, to do the same settings again and again.
> I am only looking out to also see Tcl Settings, EFL Settings, Gnustep
> Settings. Perhaps also some Motif Settings, to be old-school. Perfect! Not.
> If Joe user uses Unity and wants to use that hex editor Okteta someone
> recommended to him, would/should he need to know about "KDE" and that
> Okteta is implemented based on another toolkit than most of the default
> programs? I say No, and guess most users don't care as well (unless
> "toolkit racists"). And thus he should also not need to know he has to use
> that other "System Settings" then the general system settings.
> > In any case, we need a short term solution to this. Basically, we are
> > going to have to provide a different name under GNOME, because
> > otherwise  GNOME users will complain to distros, who will patch GNOME
> > to ignore System Settings (I refuse to acknowledge their app).
> Well, the two desktop file solution might work, no? Name it "KDE System
> Settings" or similar for non-Plasma envs in one file, and "System Settings"
> for Plasma envs in the original one. Make that other file a patch for
> 4.7.1. Or did I miss something?
> > A long term solution
> ... is to continue all the work that has been done to share as many
> settings as possible, and to support running programs in not-the-native
> environments, ideally without the need for a separate settings program for
> the toolkit in use, using some sane defaults there if needed.
> A big thanks for everyone who has done before or/and keeps pushing on this,
> like Aurélien with the "kdeui/kernel: Use platform palette and fonts"
> commit only last friday.
> And otherwise I completely agree with Cornelius.
> Cheers
> Friedrich

Torsten Rahn
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