The Open Source Development Labs (OSDL) and Freedesktop.org have launched the Portland project to allow developers to create a single application that works on the KDE and Gnome Linux desktop environments.
"Portland will allow for a platform to be developed so that if you're an ISV or an open source project you can write your code once and use it in either a KDE or Gnome environment," Stuart Cohen, chief executive at OSDL, told vnunet.com in an interview.
The organisation hopes that the project will increase the appeal of Linux as a desktop operating system.
A preview of Portland was unveiled at the LinuxWorld conference in Boston on Tuesday. A first beta is scheduled for May 2006 and version 1.0 is slated for June.
KDE and Gnome are desktop environments for Linux. They define the graphical user interface, thereby creating a more user friendly environment similar to the interface for Apple's OS X or Microsoft's Windows.
Gnome and KDE are built on top of Linux but there are subtle differences that require developers to tailor software to each of the environments. The Portland project aims to eliminate those differences.
While the differences between the two platforms may seem trivial to the outsider, they can be the subject of heated debate between backers of the rival environments.
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