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Wy did Skolelinux choose a KDE desktop back in 2001?

Fredag 01 desember 2006 07:48, skrev Andreas Tille:
> The only pro I accept in the sense of Debian-Edu
> are the educational applications that integrate that nicely
> into the desktop.

There was several reasons focusing on one, and only one desktop when 
Skolelinux was initiated back in 2001. 

1. KDE was fully translated to new Norwegian in 2001. Non of the other 
desktop solution had as comprehensive language support back then 
(including Microsoft and Mac). KDE was translated to significantly more 
languages then GNOME back in 2001. 

One of the core goals of Skolelinux is to support the users mother 
tongue. Most of the pupils in the world don't speak English. We want to 
ensure that there are no language barriers hindering the majority of 
pupils access to the information highway. 

2. KDE worked with thin clients (LTSP). GNOME did not work as expected 
in real life situations back in 2001. 

3. We did not have the resources to give full support for GNOME on the 
desktop when staring Skolelinux back in 2001. Initially 25 persons said 
they would contribute. We had to focus. Making a new Debian installer. 
Making everything work. All our contributions is now a part of the 
Debian project. In my view, Ubuntus success stands on the shoulder on 
the job Skolelinux and Debian did with the Debian Installer. 

It has taken years for Ubuntu, with their 75+ full time staff, to 
support KDE and other desktop. It's still not doable to do a clean KDE 
upgrade from Dapper to Edgy. I encountered some language issues, 
wireless card issues etc. But it works much better than other non 
Debian based distroes. 

There are still issues when upgrading from Skolelinux 2.0 to 3.0, even 
if we work as hard as we can to make the upgrade as easy as possible. 

* Later we can add this experiences: 

-- KDE uses less memory than GNOME and Xfce. Municipalities report that 
they got 60-70 thin clients on a 4 GB RAM server, running KDE desktop 
with 40-50 concurrent users. Memory tests suggests that a GNOME desktop 
could support 50 thin clients with 30-40 concurrent users. Applications 
as KOffice is usable in lower grades. For lover grades OpenOffice.org 
is to big and complicated. For schools with little money, the 25% 
different is important. They are looking for the solution which gives 
the highest number of clients. 


-- Several times we have invited people to help out with the GNOME 
support in Skolelinux. Luckily Skolelinux is based on Debian, wich have 
excellent GNOME support. Also use of ICEwm is a success at several 
schools in Kongsvinger, a city in Norway. They use ICEwm with Windows 

-- For many teachers and pupils support for USB memory, sound, DVD and 
other media is important. The web browser must support everything out 
there. By doing that, there is almost nothing stopping free software. 

It's easy to sum up: Choosing a desktop is not as clear as some people 
think. Luckily The Portland Project makes it easy to integrate 
different applications into different desktops -- given that 
applications and desktops are supporting the Portland standard. 

Best regards 

Knut Yrvin

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