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How GNOME and KDE spend their money

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Software

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 and KDE 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.

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