Revision as of 22:38, 23 June 2007 by Cbs (Talk | contribs) (The Porting discussion)

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Putting this here while I search for a better space. Also is down with a database crash.

The Porting discussion

A blog post by Nikolaj Hald Nielsen about Amarok 2 on windows sparked replies from Aaron Seigo, Derek Kite and Christian Ehrlicher as well as a lot of people commenting on these articles. In fact, this topic has had great response in 2004, when Aaron Seigo asked "how to kill the open source on the desktop?" and received roughly 170 comments. This page tries to present an overview of the arguments as well as an outlook on challenges and possible strategies. I will also post all the open questions that came to my mind. Enjoy

Disclaimer: Not all of these arguments reflect my personal opinion, nor do I claim that they are right. I merely try to collect the more reasonable ones. Feel free to add missing ones. I personally think that if it is not too much effort to port KDE applications, it will happen anyways and is not necessarily a bad thing. Just so you know.

Summary of Arguments
Arguments in Favour / Hopes Arguments against / Fears
Migration issues
KDE applications on Windows make switching to Linux easier. In fact, they allow Windows users to make baby steps on their way to Linux adoption, switching one application at a time. For a lot of people, this makes switching possible because once they have migrated to the applications, they can start thinking about migrating the OS. While switching is possible it also becomes uneccessary because windows now runs both the Linux apps as well as the Windows apps. In fact, we are increasing the value of Windows for no good reason, since Microsoft is not friendly towards Open Source.
If people have a good reason to stay on Windows, like 3rd party applications or hardware support, chances are that they would not have come over to Linux full time anyways.

By bringing KDE to windows, we can make it painless to move to linux with tools such as Kamion since we now where all the data is saved. The importance is that we let the users decide when to switch (i.e. when they feel that Linux is ready.

If switching is painless, people might switch back, e.g. to get around dual booting. For windows users there is no incentive any more and some people prefer windows for hardware compatibility and games.
User/Developer base
We have to opportunity to reach more users because it is easier to make people try out a KDE application if it runs on windows. A greater user base will help us find more bugs. KDE/Linux does not stand to gain if Windows only bugs are found (there are bound to be a number of them). Also windows users are not (yet) familiar with reporting bugs, since it hardly exists for commercial software, additionally the tools required for effective bug reporting (compiler/debugger) are harder to install on windows. The increased user base will thus be of little benefit.

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