Focus: Linux on the Desktop

by Marjorie Richardson

It has long been agreed that for Linux to succeed in a business environment, it needed to have a user friendly desktop that competed with MS Windows and the Macintosh, and included all the usual applications for the office. Today we have two desktops being developed for Linux: KDE and GNOME, with KDE having a bit of a head start. Both have their supporters and both are in active development by team members. Reports from those teams tell us just what each is up to and where they are headed in order to make our job of choosing one or the other easier.

Linux Journal's publisher, Phil Hughes, feels GNOME should be dropped in favor of getting KDE to the finish line. I feel differently. One of the pluses of the Open Source movement is that we have options. We're not stuck with an environment unsuited to our purposes just because it happens to have a stranglehold on the market. Both of these desktops look good and both have made a good deal of progress toward that finish line. Let's support both and offer the world a choice.

Applications are presently another area of choice—isn't it wonderful that so many are appearing each day? Two office suites have been available to the Linux user for some time now: Applixware and StarOffice. This issue, our Technical Editor and product reviewer Jason Kroll looks at these two products. Next month he will review the spreadsheet XESS. Let him help you make the decision about which product is best suited for your office.

Even with window managers, we get choices. Michael Hammel begins a new series in this issue to tell us about them from an artistic perspective.

Choices—don't you love them? I do.

—Marjorie Richardson, Editor in Chief


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