Short bio: Computer Scientist, FOSS supporter (read more)
Tux Machines (TM)-specific
What follows is a fascinating interchange between Linus Torvalds and Chris Blizzard on the Desktop Linux (public) mailing list. Linus' comments on the value of source code, the importance of letting developers run amok, and other sundry things is great fodder for those looking to better understand how to make open source projects thrive.
On Tue, 13 Dec 2005, Christopher Blizzard wrote:
I suspect that what you see as a raging hatred for user configuration is instead just a symptom of what we consider important in GNOME. We are willing to prioritize "working well out of the box" and "consistent and easy to use" over user configuration. So that particular set of features just never bubbles up to the top. As near as I can tell it just is a question of priorities.
[Linus]I don't understand why you and Havoc seem to be of the opinion that working well out of the box and having good defaults is in any way something I argue against.
I absolutely don't. I think it's very important that defaults should be sane, and the "out of the box" experience should be what a user can be expected to, well, expect. I was kidding about "focus-follows-mouse" being the only true window focus method: click-to-focus does actually make sense as a default, because it's what a lot of users are brought up to expect.
Similarly, I do actually agree with people who say that KDE is cluttered. The KDE menu system is overwhelming. But that's a totally separate issue from the notion of _capabilities_. You can decide to have a uncluttered desktop that is still _capable_. I believe we've seen that with some of the distros that do use KDE, eg Linspire.
So you can have your cake and eat it too. It's not an either-or thing.