Whatever the reason(s), his latest comments - in an interview given to the publication derStandard.at - make for interesting reading.
Like many others who are part of some camp or the other, people who are part of the free and open source software community often tend to fall into the mistake of circling the wagons and not admitting to essential truths, even when these become self-evident. If we do happen to ventilate - and I'm often "guilty" of that cardinal "sin" - then the rest of the righteous crowd shouts us down.
Given the amount of flak that the recent KDE release - 4.0 - has taken from the pro-GNOME pundits at sites like linux.com, you would think that the worst possible thing any supporter of GNOME - as Shuttleworth is perceived to be - could do is to speak out in support of anything associated with KDE.
But you would be wrong. Shuttleworth is now floating the idea that there can be a QT-based GNOME.
For a long time, the fixed six-monthly release cycle of GNOME - with changes from release to release often resembling the difference in two positions from the Kama Sutra, where position 23 differs from position 24 in that the big toe is bent (thanks, Bob Cringely) - was the strong point of Ubuntu.
Now something seems to have changed. Shuttleworth, who confesses to using KDE on his own desktop (it's not specified since when he's been into that), is quoted as saying: "...I enjoy seeing the pace of change there, there is a lot of innovation in KDE4. I think the KDE guys have a point when they say their approach has made it easier for them to make leaps forward than the GNOME approach which has very predictable release schedules."
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A professional journalist with decades of experience, Sam for nine years used DOS and then Windows, which led him to start experimenting with GNU/Linux in 1998. Since then he has written widely about the use of both free and open source software, and the people behind the code. His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.