Tuesday 9 May 2006
The KDE e.V., the organisation that represents the K Desktop Environment (KDE®) in legal and financial matters, and the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) are proud to announce their associate status, working together for the promotion and protection of Free Software on users' desktops in Europe and worldwide.
"The Free Software community started to build freedom into the most basic building blocks of an operating system, finishing the operating system GNU/Linux in the early 90s, taking over more than 60 percent of the web servers with Apache and has become a seminal building block of the networked society and economy", says Georg Greve, president of FSFE. "As a community, we then tackled the desktop as the next big step. Today we have two fully functional desktops that bear comparison to any other desktop in use around the world: GNOME and KDE."
"Although GNU/Linux and KDE are used on desktops in many companies and governments around the world, some people still have preconceptions about lack of usability of GNU/Linux on the desktop," Eva Brucherseifer, president of the KDE e.V., points out.
She continues: "KDE has embraced the OpenUsability project and we are now working closely together with their developers. This has already led to numerous improvements on the usability side of KDE but will have even bigger effect in the KDE 4 release cycle where we are able to make more intrusive changes leading to enhanced usability in all kinds of areas."
"The desktop is one of the most important battlefields for the long term success of Free Software. In the antitrust cases it has become apparent how Microsoft could take its quasi-monopoly on the desktop and use it as leverage in other areas. FSFE is helping to put an end to this in the EU antitrust case, but this is not enough: we need to put an end to proprietary desktop monopolies that made such abuse possible," Georg Greve explains the background for FSFE's decision to take action in this area. "Together with the KDE e.V. we seek to break the stranglehold on the desktop, give people freedom, and explain to them why this is important, and why they should not give it up again."
One of the first projects discussed between the organisations will involve the provision of more information to interested parties about Free Software and inform them about alternatives. "But this can be only the first step", adds Eva Brucherseifer and points out: "Ultimately our goal must be to help build a strong environment of Free Software service companies. We have been cooperating unofficially in the past, and are now very happy to also work with the Free Software Foundation Europe officially towards this goal."
The KDE project consists of hundreds of developers, translators, artists and other contributors worldwide collaborating over the Internet. The community creates and freely distributes a stable, integrated and free desktop and office environment. KDE provides a flexible, component-based, network-transparent architecture and powerful development tools, offering an outstanding development platform. Reflecting its international team and focus, KDE 3.5 is currently available in over 80 different languages.
KDE, which is based on Qt® technology from Trolltech®, is working proof that the Open Source "Bazaar-style" software development model can yield first-rate technologies on par with and superior to even the most complex commercial software.
About the Free Software Foundation Europe
The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSF Europe) is a charitable non-governmental organisation dedicated to all aspects of Free Software in Europe. Access to software determines who may participate in a digital society. Therefore the freedoms to use, copy, modify and redistribute software - as described in the Free Software definition - allow equal participation in the information age. Creating awareness of these issues, securing Free Software politically and legally, and giving people freedom by supporting development of Free Software are central issues of the FSF Europe, which was founded in 2001 as the European sister organisation of the Free Software Foundation in the United States.
KDE e.V. Eva Brucherseifer <eva at kde.org> Phone: +49 6151 3 969 961 Sebastian Kügler <sebas at kde.org> Phone: +31 6 483 709 28 FSF Europe: Georg C. F. Greve <greve at fsfeurope.org> Phone: +41 76 561 18 66 Joachim Jakobs <jakobs at fsfeurope.org> Phone: +49 179 6919565
KDE® and the K Desktop Environment® logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of KDE e.V. in the European Union, the United States and elsewhere. Trolltech and Qt are trademarks or registered trademarks of Trolltech AS in Norway and other countries. Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.