OSDL links battling Linux factions

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OSDL links battling Linux factions

Project Portland version 1.0 launched.

The Open Source Development Labs (OSDL) has released version 1.0 of its Project Portland application to link rival Linux technologies. 

The software provides developers with a set of tools to create applications that execute on the KDE and Gnome Linux desktop environments.

KDE and Gnome define the graphical user interface, replacing the command prompt with a more user friendly environment similar to the interface for Apple's Mac OS X or Microsoft's Windows.

The Portland application is available for download from the Project Portland website, and is supported by the Debian, Fedora and OpenSUSE applications. 

Red Flag and Xandros have promised to support the tool in the forthcoming version of their distributions, and the OSDL expects it to become integrated into the Linux Standard Base initiative.

"For the first time, independent software vendors [ISVs] are able to port their applications to Linux regardless of desktop environment," said OSDL chief executive Stuart Cohen.

"This release gives ISVs the opportunity to increase their customer base and for users to gain access to new applications."

Project Portland was first unveiled at LinuxWorld Boston in May. Although Gnome and KDE are built on top of Linux, there are subtle differences between the interfaces that require developers to tailor software to each of the environments.

While the differences between the two platforms may seem trivial to the outsider, they have been the subject of heated debate between backers of the rival environments.

"The KDE guys desperately wanted to look and feel like Windows, and the other guys desperately wanted to make it as hard to use as possible," said Dirk Hondel at LinuxWorld in San Francisco in August. 

Hondel is the former chief technology officer at SuSE and currently heads up Linux and open source strategy at Intel.
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