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A leading KDE developer has quit Red Hat, in objection, he says, to the leading distro's decision to "unify" the desktop.

"I don't want to work on crippling KDE, and they don't want an employee who admits RH 8.0's KDE is crippleware" wrote Bernhard 'Bero' Rosenkraenzer in a posting to the KDE developers list. People leave projects citing all kinds of reasons, sometimes these aren't what they say: but we'll take Bero at his word.

In August Red Hat debuted the beta of version 8.0 of its distro, which tries to erase - the hygienic word is "nullify" - the difference between the Gnome and KDE user experiences.

It's easy to blame Red Hat, so we won't: it has a good business case for making the user experience consistent, even though it's carried it out in a ham-fisted fashion.

There are two Linux desktop environments, and the two parties would rather hang separately than stick together. One common environment would still offer users a million ways to customize the look and feel of the desktop, and we'd be applauding Red Hat, not jeering. We'd also have a much more efficient experience: to use the best browser under the most reliable desktop now, entails loading KDE, loading Mozilla libraries, loading the Gtk libraries, then firing up Galeon.

As a seasoned observer (who shall remain nameless) described it, "they'll be screaming 'choice!' all the way to the $3.99 bargain bin at CompUSA". ®

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