The evolution of the GNOME Project

TitleThe evolution of the GNOME Project
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2002
AuthorsGerman, DM
Secondary TitleProceedings of the 2nd ICSE Workshop on Open Source
Keywordscommercial software, gnome, organizational sponsorship

The GNOME Project is an attempt to create a GUI desktop for Unix systems. Originally started by a handful of volunteers in 1996, GNOME has become the desktop of choice for Solaris, HP-UX, and Red Hat Linux, and it is currently developed by a team of approximately five hundred people around the world. The importance of GNOME to the Unix world has attracted the attention of several software companies who are actively participating in its development. At the same time, some of its volunteer developers have created enterprises who expect to sell services and products around GNOME. This extended abstract describes, first, the development model of GNOME, then the influence that private companies had had on the project: on one hand they are contributing a large amount of resources to the project, accelerating its development, and increasing its reliability and documentation; and on the other hand, the GNOME Foundation has been created to maintain the goal of the project to provide a free (as in freedom) software desktop for Unix, and avoid that the commercial interests of these partners could jeopardize the interests of the community.

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