back to article Gnome Foundation runs out of cash

The Gnome Foundation, overseer of the Gnome user interface, has run out of cash. The news isn't entirely bad: the Foundation says one of the programs it runs, the “Outreach Program for Women (OPW) … has proven to be extremely popular”. OPW engages interns who Gnome must pay on a regular schedule. But “incoming payments from …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wow! That many people moved to KDE or XFCE?

    I certainly did.

    1. Jordan Davenport

      Re: Wow! That many people moved to KDE or XFCE?

      I started with KDE 3.x and moved to GNOME 2.x when KDE 4.0 was as stable as a sandcastle. I moved back to KDE when GNOME 3.0 changed everything and KDE 4.6 was feature-complete as compared to 3.5 and becoming faster and more reliable with each release.

      That said, I've had a few problems as of late with 4.12 and 4.13 (yeah, I know, still RC) as packaged by Blue Systems and Canonical, but I don't know if that's a problem with upstream KDE or Canonical's patched MESA libraries or the transition to Qt5 or what. Specifically, using the Folder layout on my desktop, when logging in, it's sometimes shoved off the screen with only a scrollbar on the right.

      For what it's worth, I've tried giving GNOME Shell a chance with just about each new release on Fedora, but there's always some quirk that just drives me up a wall. Reducing features in core applications isn't helping out any either.

      1. SisterClamp

        Re: Wow! That many people moved to KDE or XFCE?

        I don't think I'd even want to spend the time trying to marry Canonical with KDE...assuming you're not talking Kubuntu.

        If I were you, I'd give Canonical a boot and move to Arch with KDE. The speed, she is fast.

        1. Jordan Davenport

          Re: Wow! That many people moved to KDE or XFCE?

          I'm talking Kubuntu, yes. I've set up Arch with KDE before, but I've been bitten by updates on multiple occasions when trying Arch. I don't feel like having to keep up with a website just to see if updates break anything on my system. If I were to move away from Kubuntu, it would probably be to Debian Testing. I really like Debian-based systems aside from the extraneous package dependencies and "recommends". The only reason I use Kubuntu in the first place is for the support I get from the Ubuntu base, especially with regards to proprietary drivers.

          Also, looking up more about Blue Systems, though their standard release is Kubuntu-based, I might take a look at Netrunner. The default package list seems similar to what I end up going with anyway. I may try the Manjaro-based (and thus Arch-based) rolling release version too. *shrugs*

          1. Zolko

            Re: Wow! That many people moved to KDE or XFCE?

            I were to move away from Kubuntu, it would probably be to Debian Testing.

            Good choice. I'm running Debian stable with KDE from testing (4.11), because "stable" uses an old KMail, not the 4.8 branch which introduced some very interesting features.

    2. yossarianuk

      Re: Wow! That many people moved to KDE or XFCE?

      Or Cinnamon...

      KDE 4.x is the best desktop I have used for any OS.

      Windows 7/Vista is essentially a KDE 4.X clone.

      The menu bar/widgets, etc all came out on KDE first.

      Windows 8.X is essentially a Gnome3/Unity clone (which is why its unusable crap)

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Re: Wow! That many people moved to KDE or XFCE?

        "Windows 7/Vista is essentially a KDE 4.X clone."


        On 11 May 2007, KDE 4.0 Alpha 1 was released marking.....

        PCs. Prior to its announcement on July 22, 2005, Windows Vista was known by its codename "Longhorn".[4] Development was completed on November 8, 2006

        So remind me again, who copied who?

        1. Chika

          Re: Wow! That many people moved to KDE or XFCE?

          I'd be inclined to say that you need to be careful about such accusations. Consider that while I agree that KDE4 at that point was only in its baby stages, KDE3 was certainly well ahead of anything that WXP could do and that there were a few things in the UI of KDE3 that Vista took on board.

          To be honest, having watched this situation for some years now, one thing I have noticed that UIs tend to "copy" each other quite regularly. My own background UI experience started with RISC OS and Windows 3 and even back then you could spot ideas from one UI being tried in another. If you really want to go down that road, we could go back to Xerox Parc!

        2. Oh Homer

          Re: "who copied who(sic)"

          Windows 7 copied KDE4, not Vista, and KDE4 most certainly did predate Windows 7. Vista, on the other hand, was primarily copied from OS X.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @ Lost all faith...

          So remind me again, who copied who?

          Dunno, go ask Gary Kildall.

      2. tony2heads


        what's that MATE?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Wow! That many people moved to KDE or XFCE?

      KDE is probably the finest desktop environment out there, extremely powerful, customisable and versatile.

      Agree with other comments here regards 4.0 through to about 4.6 there were some stability issues on the new code base to say the least. Let's hope KDE 5.0 (with qt 5) doesn't go through 4.0 pain.

    4. John Sanders

      Re: Wow! That many people moved to KDE or XFCE?

      XFCE here, not perfect but very good, better IMHO than Gnome2 ever was.

    5. John Hughes

      Re: Wow! That many people moved to KDE or XFCE?

      Ah, you used to give money to the Gnome foundation and now you send it all to KDE?

      No, you never gave a penny, so you not using their software has nothing to do with this story, but you just want to flap your mouth.

    6. Tyrion
      Thumb Up

      Re: Wow! That many people moved to KDE or XFCE?

      Yep, I moved years ago. XFCE is stable, performant, and doesn't get in your way like Gnome's new workflow.

  2. DougS Silver badge


    Hopefully the GNOME foundation falls apart, and someone picks up the pieces who doesn't share their moronic "vision" that has turned so many off from GNOME.

  3. raving angry loony

    That's what happens...

    That's what happens when you completely ignore the people actually using your product and go your own way, insisting that nobody else has a clue and nobody else can possibly have any valid opinions. Perhaps those who made those decisions should put their money where their mouths used to be? Unless they don't have any money? Oh well, goodbye Gnome. Someone will possibly re-use the nicer bits and pieces.

  4. Khaptain Silver badge

    Back to the basics, hurrah

    I have been running XFCE for the last year or so and honestly couldn't go back to the bloat or overkill of either Gnome or Kde, neither of which make me any more efficient.

    It's like adding Home Cinema to your car, sounds like a great idea but at the end of the day it's just way too much.

    Gnome went too far, MS are doing the same with Tifkam ( just a shame that Tifkam won't disappear as well).

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Back to the basics, hurrah

      Yes, XFCE4 is home for me too. Like many, I was a happy KDE3.5 user, then was pushed to gnome when 4.0 came out. Gnome 3 then pushed me to XFCE4, which Simply Works, and adds things like "Arrange desktop icons" to a new release rather than "Re-arrange user's head". Recent PR drives from KDE, talking up its speed and stability pushed me to trying it again, and I stuck with it for long enough to know that it's not the pig it was, but in comparison with XFCE, there was just too much of it, and too many places to tweak to get it running as I wished. The customisation attempts were worth it, as the KDE apps I routinely run under XFCE now integrate with XFCE better, but going back to XFCE was very sweet. Gnome doesn't seem to have a place any more, and that regrettably seems a self-inflicted outcome.

      Oh, and I am finding that refugees from Redmond are happy with the minimalist XFCE too. There's nothing to frighten them, and I end up learning from them, helpful little things, like right-clicking to open a terminal in a specified directory.

    2. John Hughes

      Re: Back to the basics, hurrah

      And how much money have you given to the XFCE developpers?

      1. Fibbles

        Re: Back to the basics, hurrah

        "And how much money have you given to the XFCE developpers?"

        XFCE has no sprawling bureaucracy. There is literally no one organisation which you can donate to.

        I wouldn't be averse to sending the devs a few quid if they needed it. That said, I quite like their current attitude of just being a group of like minded individuals getting stuff done rather than being an 'organisation' or 'foundation' with a 'vision'.

  5. akeane

    They should all stick together

    in a show of UNITY!

    or maybe not...

  6. Paul Webb

    "Laugh all you like at that last sentence."?

    I was laughing at the first one.

  7. ForthIsNotDead

    Socialism in Software Development...

    The same thing always happens when you use a Socialist/Communist "model" to get your work done: You run out of other people's money.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Re: Socialism in Software Development...

      I haven't seen Stallman running around, putting guns to people's head and demanding moneytaxescontributions.

      OTOH, I have seen lots of people running off with BSD and GNU work, unwilling to put up a single cent or contribute any code whatsoever.

      In other words: Your glib bullshit betrays a profound ignorance of what the difference is between "donations" and "reallocations"

      1. ForthIsNotDead

        Re: Socialism in Software Development...

        In other words: Your glib bullshit betrays a profound ignorance of what the difference is between "donations" and "reallocations"

        Re-allocations, eh? Wow. Spoken like a true Marxist. You, comrade, are a credit to your kind. The duma will be proud of you.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Socialism in Software Development...

          "Wow. Spoken like a true Marxist. You, comrade, are a credit to your kind. The duma will be proud of you."

          Yes, that's right, open source is a secret plan to 'reallocate' the resources of the running-dog bourgeois capitalists in accordance with the teachings of our dear leader.

          But wait, what's this? All these jobs on the job boards... all these IT companies with support contracts for open source software... all these web developers on the LAMP stack and Rails... the Capitalist pigs are making money from our socialist plot - foiled again!!!!

    2. TheOtherHobbes

      Re: Socialism in Software Development...

      > The same thing always happens when you use a Socialist/Communist "model" to get your work done: You run out of other people's money.

      That never happens in Capitalism[tm], because other people's promises to pay you are an infinite resource.

  8. Infidellic_

    GNOME == Red Hat?

    The unpopular voice here I know, I actually like GNOME 3. That aside though I thought the GNOME devs were near enough synonymous with Red Hat nowadays? Ok the foundation is more than overviewing development activities but nonetheless if that's the case then surely the biggest sponsor is Red Hat and it's like chasing themselves!?

    1. John Sanders

      Re: GNOME == Red Hat?

      There is no problem whatsoever in linking Gnome. That is not the point.

      The point is that a majority of users rejected it and after tiring of being ignored we all decided to left.

      Not all of the recent work in Gnome is bad (Ie: decent scaling on High Res screens).

      However in my opinion they can go S**** themselves big time as not only have they broke the Gnome desktop, they have promoted breaking apps and libraries widely used by other projects with no regrets.

      This is from one of the Gnome developers:

      """I guess you have to decide if you are a GNOME app, an Ubuntu app, or an XFCE app unfortunately. I’m sorry that this is the case but it wasn’t GNOME’s fault that Ubuntu has started this fork. And I have no idea what XFCE is or does sorry."""

      Read this article:

      Gnome has been actively harming the OSS desktop for the last 3-5 years.

    2. smot

      Re: GNOME == Red Hat?

      I'll join you in that unpopular vote. Gnome 3 (.8 and later) is really very good indeed. I don't relate to the opinion that it is unproductive - I've not found anything that I'm unable to do. The things I do I find easier and quicker with Gnome 3 over Gnome 2 and its -alikes.

      Don't get me wrong - I liked Gnome 2. But the ability to fly my mouse up to the top left corner and select a favourite app is all done in one move & click. No more running up & down nested menus. Bliss.

      And if the app is not in my favourites list, move mouse to top left, type one or two letters of the partial app name and it pops up in the suggested list. I can't remember when I last had to scroll through the installed app list to find something. Well, I can actually. It was using Gnome 2 or Cinnamon.

      For me, a return to the old menu style would be a distinctly retrograde step.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I guess if there was one woman before the prgarm started and two after it you could say it was successful as there has been a 100% increase.

    Maybe they make too many backhanders *cough* donations to the "design team".

    Maybe they should ask all these new users of touchscreens with gnome (and those who used xp) to donate money... as they obviously think they don't need to, because you know, someone told them linux is free and cheaper than windows to get them to switch in the first place.

  10. southpacificpom

    Laughing Gnome

    Whats the difference between Gnome and OpenBSD?

    People find OpenBSD useful in real life.

    And, what is it with the poncy pronunciation G-nome - perhaps Duh-nome is more fitting?

    Anyway, XFCE FTW!

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They should stop telling people... is pronounced guh-nome... it is an english word, it is gnome... it makes it sound too nerdy and stupid.

    Like ralph fiennes... it's ralph, not raif.... if you want people to say raif, spell it like that.

    1. Khaptain Silver badge

      Re: They should stop telling people...

      I presume that they pronounce it guh-nome because of guh-nu, gnu is pronounced correctly though whereas guh-nome is a little bit silly.

      1. FrankAlphaXII

        Re: They should stop telling people...

        Well I went through the first 25 years of my life pronouncing it as "new", as I thought the G was silent. A CompSci geek when I was in College pointed out that I was wrong one day in a database class when I was talking about the Army discussing setting up an Open Source lab inside its Commercial/Off The Shelf acquisitions center under MATCOM.

        Its not too terribly original but I have a new recursive acronym for GNU: Gnome's Not Useful!

  12. 's water music Silver badge

    Forward the Foundation

    They ought to have seen this coming really, or stacked the cards better.

  13. arctic_haze Silver badge

    RedHat will save them

    I do not know why but RedHat really loves the desktop. I don't but I value diversity so I see the positives.

    However, it would be nice if this made RedHat switch the default desktop to KDE.

    1. Oh Homer
      Big Brother

      Re: RedHat will save them

      Yes, sadly that seems inevitable, given how many Gnome developers and Gnome Foundation members are Red Hat employees (e.g. Poettering). In fact Red Hat should probably just buy Gnome; it already owns it in every practical sense anyway, and is essentially the only Gnome 3 distro (by default).

  14. Tromos

    Gnome Foundation runs out of cash

    Maybe get up and get a job instead of sitting around on a mushroom and fishing all day.

    1. southpacificpom

      Re: Gnome Foundation runs out of cash

      Perhaps they should write songs ala Bowie,

      Ha ha ha, hee hee hee

      I'm not a laughing Gnome and I'm out of money

      Said the (NOT) laughing Gnome...

  15. Tyrion

    XFCE wins hands down

    Ever since I set up my system with Arch Linux and XFCE, nothing's been able to tempt me away. I get a four second boot from grub to a fully working desktop (Vertex 4). I have yet to see another configuration that gives me the same performance, ease of use, stability, and compatibility. Most apps integrate well with XFCE, and there are many designed specifically for it, such as XFCE theme manager and Whisker menu (a real gem). I also like the well thought out built-in XFCE-4 apps. The optional compositor deserves a mention as well.

  16. Herby Silver badge

    Just remember...

    Nome is a city in Alaska (on the Bering sea coast). It gets cold there. I don't see how adding a 'G' is going to make it any warmer!

    We now return you to your regularly scheduled comments. This has been (well, you fill it in!).

  17. FuzzyTheBear

    Really ?

    So loading the Gnome Foundation with company men didn't do any good eh ?

    Until came the era of corporates leading the project everything was fine , it was user made for users.

    Corps went for any idiotic thing their board told them to , they obeyed their masters and totally flunked.

    Gnome is finished ? Too f******* bad , they just had to keep it real , hear the users and act to fulfill their needs , not those of greedy corps that don't give a shit if they torpedo the whole desktop.

  18. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

    interns get paid?

    That's a novel idea

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