It is obvious that SUSE has to go a way now which is behind Fedora now – the way from a “closed” distribution to a community distribution with open build servers and all the stuff.
It will be a hard way with a lot of discussions, but it will work.
The aim is clear: to build up a Linux Distribution for everyone with a focus on desktop for normal users, too.
The technical direction is clear, too: there will be the equal support of both desktops, KDE and GNOME, with a focus on developing software which bases on the mono framework.
Sometimes I am a bit afraid that SUSE will neglect KDE a little bit because of the heavy influence of the GNOME developers inside of Novell, but at the moment everything looks like a equal software support.
But what about Fedora Core? Fedora Core is a community distribution with a clear community now in the background. The aims are clear, too: Enterprise Server and Enterprise Dekstop/Workstation, also a desktop for developers. The development in the near future will not change very much, although it will form some new structures in the new foundation.
But Feodara Core has some problems when it comes to the used technics: Fedora Core is GNOME based now, and that will not change very soon: all configuration tools are gnome based. Sure, KDE is officially supported, but if you have a closer look at this support it is not very serious.
If you now have a closer look at the actual gnome development you will see a large influence of the mono-people: much of the actual development is done at applications which are based on the mono technic, and some new and shine apps like f-spot, beagle, dashboard, muine and blam are mono-based, too.
And if ifolder will spread enough to become a new standard we will have another mono-based application.
The problem for Fedora Core is now that they can’t implement Mono support because of their own strict rules. Mono has no clear situation about possible patent violations because the idea behind it comes from Microsoft, and they have some patents around this technics (and will use them against the Open Source Community when the time comes).
To focus on one example: Fedora Core will not implement a desktop search machine: kat is too kde-based, and beagle is mono based and so unuseable.
So Fedora Core will have a lack in this killer app field. Another example is foto management: it looks like that the most people are looking at f-spot now: it develops very fast and is quite nice. KDE has digikam, which is alsmost perfect.
Again, Fedora Core will not focus on one of them, and will lack a good application in this field. Sure, thre are some gnome apps which are fine, but they will not stand against f-spot: the users will expect f-spot in a complete desktop system.
So what will happen next? What will Fedora Core do? Support the development of some new applications? Another gnome search machine, but not mono based?
I would propose and would love to see that Fedora Core should switch over to KDE 😉
But because of the fact that this will not happen Fedora Core has to check that they will not loose contact to the modern application developments. So I would suggest that Fedora Core keeps an open eye at the evolving of the software world and supports the apps they can use – and if these are KDE-apps they should support a command line version and an alternative gui.
This could be an option for several software projects, and that would help Fedora Core.
But I think they will start thinking about this when it’s almost too late. We will see if they fight this problem in a proper way… In the worst case they Fedora Core foundation will move more to KDE because they can get better apps there – something I would appreciate 😉