Linked by David Adams on Fri 11th Mar 2005 18:56 UTC, submitted by Thom Holwerda
Editorial Thom Holwerda has written a reply to Eugenia's editorial yesterday: "Yesterday, Eugenia, editor-in-chief of OSNews.com, published an editorial that angered the open-source software community. Even though I believe Eugenia can manage on her own just fine, I do want to support the editorial, with the use of some elaborations and clarifications."
Order by: Score:
I agree
by erik h on Fri 11th Mar 2005 19:17 UTC

You can't simultaneously call yourself user-centric in a press-release and openly admit you ignore user requests. You also can't simultaneously call yourself professional work environment and back away from feature requests by calling yourself hobbyist-driven. You can have it both ways, but at the expense of your credibility.

I don't have any problems with Gnome itself, just the press about it, I guess. I have no problem with large, hobbyist-driven projects.

v Amen
by Anonymous on Fri 11th Mar 2005 19:19 UTC
20 points
by allanon on Fri 11th Mar 2005 19:20 UTC

Can we see your 20 points, Eugenia? Is launch feedback one of them?

KDE
by TheDude on Fri 11th Mar 2005 19:21 UTC

How does KDE handle problems like this? Are their developers this bad?

Not really fair
by ralph on Fri 11th Mar 2005 19:22 UTC

Sorry, but though I still think Eugenia has a point the summing up of the mailing list thread wasn't really fair to the developers. Especially singling out one admitedly not very impressive response and presenting it as somehow the overall tenor of what the devs said simply isn't right. And leaving out Eugenia's, how to put it, very emotional style of arguing and the fact that this was on a development mailing list where it didn't belong doesn't really help either.

Overall I got the impression from reading the mailing list that the issue is not that the devs don't want to listen to the user (though they should certainly have asked me before removing menu editing from the new Gnome release :-), but that the infrastructure to receive user requests and feedback in a meaningful way is not really there yet.

OSS fulfills user needs?
by Mark on Fri 11th Mar 2005 19:24 UTC

"Open-source advocates claim that OSS projects better fulfil the needs of their users, respond to and fix bugs faster, and generally respect the users more than their closed-source counterparts."

I thought OSS projects better fulfilled a user's need by allowing him or her to contribute. Expecting those contributing to be directed by those who aren't is contrary to the spirit of OSS.

Why not auction feature requests on eBay so that those not contributing with actual labor can incent those who are?

Can I complain to a Microsoft development mailing list?
by Anon on Fri 11th Mar 2005 19:24 UTC

The discussion brings up some interesting points about the FLOSS community. However, can this sort of discussion be possible in the proprietary setting? Can I complain to a Microsoft development mailing list? Won't I get the same answer? "A feature will be implemented if and only if there is a company / entity that Microsoft cares about, regardless of the number of users impacted by it". At least, I am envisioning postive proposals / framework coming out of this discussion. This would never be possible without the FLOSs movement.

If You make a promise...
by Robert on Fri 11th Mar 2005 19:29 UTC

I think it is just about maturity - if You are an adult, no matter if it is payed work or voluntairy work - just do what You promised.

Don't generalize
by Utsav on Fri 11th Mar 2005 19:35 UTC

Both this article and the last one generalize about OSS developers. I've seen some really nice OSS developers who are ready to implement feature requests that are popular. YEs, the experience on the GNOME mailing lists was nasty. I'd expect better from them.

Here's an idea, go ahead and implement your website. The good developers will look at it. The ones who don't care, won't look at it.

once again missing the point
by Eric Warnke on Fri 11th Mar 2005 19:39 UTC

If a corporation or buisness has a burning need for a feature, they are free to add it themselves and contribute the overall wellbeing of the platform.

So shut up and recreuit developers if you are not one yourself.

v Re: Anonymous "Linux Stuff"
by TheDude on Fri 11th Mar 2005 19:59 UTC
From the other thread
by AQ on Fri 11th Mar 2005 20:00 UTC

Hope Jesse doesn't mind me reposting this from the other thread, but it defines the attitude of Eugenia very clearly. We aren't talking about some kind hearted saint who was rejected communion here.

"Ironic stance given Eugenia's statements about OSNEWS
By Jesse S.A. Bridgewater (IP: ---.ee.ucla.edu) - Posted on 2005-03-11 18:10:57

On Eugenia's editor page , http://osnews.com/editor.php?editors_id=1 , she says the following:

I do OSNews for pure fun (it is just a hobby for me in order to fill up my free time), so if you have a problem with my spelling and grammar either:
a) do not come back (spare us and save your time too) b) send me a proofread version of the article in question.
Whining about something I can't radically improve overnight, is not an option.


She donates her time and is not that interested in hearing whining about what she produces in that donated time. This sounds alot like how FOSS developers feel about their code.

Jesse"

Are we forgetting something here?!
by MacTO on Fri 11th Mar 2005 20:03 UTC

Regardless of whether these developers incorporate your "must have" feature, they have already created excellent software which satisfies most of our needs. They even allow us to use, distribute, and modify it as we please. Before open source became popular, you would be lucky if a developer would allow you to use and distribute software without restrictions.

Now I don't know about the rest of you, but I would burn out pretty quickly if I were an open source developer and had people continually placing demands upon me (fix this, add that, etc.). It isn't a matter of renumeration, nor is it a simple matter of having the time. It is a matter of how much we can physically and psychologically handle.

I should also add...
by AQ on Fri 11th Mar 2005 20:08 UTC

that what they both are suggesting is a democratically decided directive, slave-based community.

Re: I should also add...
by ralph on Fri 11th Mar 2005 20:09 UTC

"that what they both are suggesting is a democratically decided directive, slave-based community."

They are? Care to explain?

Re: Can I complain to a Microsoft development mailing list?
by Sagacious on Fri 11th Mar 2005 20:14 UTC

Absolutely. I would love for someone in here to explain to me how this is anything more than the usual OSS bashing that this website is famous for. Because I'm pretty sure that if I send an email to either Gates or Jobs, NEITHER of them is going to add a feature just for me. You think either of them gives a f**k what you think?

Novell is no different, and that's who your issue is with if you are a disgruntled Gnome user, not the developers. What part of this is so complicated? Why would you expect more from OSS than you from closed source?

Different users
by clausi on Fri 11th Mar 2005 20:16 UTC

A good editorial.

However, the users vs. developer distinction is misleading. An Open Source project that big as GNOME has several 'parties' to look at: developers, non-dev contributors (docus, translations, etc.), enthusiasts, trolls, and users.

I don't think, those users mentioned in the press release, and that GNOME develops for, will ever hit an online forum, vote, or fill a bug report. These are people buying an OS preinstalled only, or that have to deal with the one the admin in their company set up for them, as far as I understood.

If I'm right, this point hasn't been made clear enought yet, obviously.

RE: KDE
by Amadeo on Fri 11th Mar 2005 20:18 UTC

KDE uses the bugzilla voting system and generally cares about the votes.

This is too long
by poofyhairguy on Fri 11th Mar 2005 20:21 UTC

I can refute the last editorial in much less space. Thesis of last article:

What I like to see instead, is some market research. Approach all kinds of users, put their gripes in line, make a note of their features they really need and evaluate them. Then, create a project plan and distribute the tasks that need to be done to your developers and make sure they deliver what they must deliver. People will say "that's not how OSS works", but as a user, I don't really care how OSS works. I care about using software that's been properly developed taking users into account rather than purely developers' needs.

The complaint is that OSS developers (actually just Gnome developers, but this editorialist loves to generalize) refuse to incorporate features that users want. Obviously the open source model doesn't work like that- in the OSS model you only get to call the shots if you are adding something and "I'm using your work for free and I demand you give me more" is not adding something. If a developer adds a feature that you- a person that has added nothing- want than that is because he/she is either being nice or recogizes the need for such feature. The editorialist says that "I don't care how OSS works," I just want what I want dammit. Of course in any other industry, these sorts of claims are only to be laughed at. Imagine is a lifelong Ford customer walks into the dealership and says "I want a Ford that can fly. I don't care how Ford's work, I just want to fly." They would tell you nicely to leave. Its amazing the editorialist thought that the same could be demanded from people who are mostly doing community service.

In fact, this model "I want it developers so you make it for me" is not only not how OSS works, its not how any part of the software industry works (sans custom development where you pay money to get what you want). Imagine how many Window's customers have asked for things like free antivirus software or CD burning software. Microsoft develops what they think people need based on their needs. Sure they do some market research, but thats not the same as OSS users demanding apps (it more like OSS users reporting bugs to get them fixed). Apple is the same way with OSX.

What the original editorial wants is selfish and impractical. You can't change the world by bitching at it. You want those features? Fine- do the work to add them. Don't want to? Fine- don't bitch when they aren't added. Thats how OSS works. Not liking the system does not exempt you from it.

Re: I should also add...
by Michelle of the Resistance on Fri 11th Mar 2005 20:22 UTC

"that what they both are suggesting is a democratically decided directive, slave-based community."

As opposed to the "eat my crap or shut the fuck up" community it's now.

@ Ralph
by AQ on Fri 11th Mar 2005 20:25 UTC

Maybe read the other thread, it is fairly clear.

They want some strange democracy of users to decide the fate of developers who work on a project for free of their own free will. And don't accept their own responsibility for the freedom that they've been given, which is not to become a lobby against the hobbyist developers, but to become involved by learning a language and using it, or paying a programmer to develop the feature you want.

I have no problem with her pressing the companies that make money off of it, but she has no right to enslave hackers to the will of the majority, as they aren't elected, and they aren't slaves. They enjoy to help where they can as they see fit, and it is their freedom to do so.

Forgot to add
by AQ on Fri 11th Mar 2005 20:27 UTC

A user to FLOSS:

"Ok... We've accepted freedom now. We were slaves to proprietary companies, but now we are owners of freedom... so where are our slaves?"

Re: This is too long
by ralph on Fri 11th Mar 2005 20:28 UTC

"I want it developers so you make it for me"

Nice little post, the only problem is nobody said would you claim they said. They want Gnome to take user feedback serious (which I think everyone agrees it should) and think that Gnome isn't doing that right now (now here's a point where people tend to disagree). So please people, stop the whining and comment on the issue, not on something nobody said.

RE: AQ
by Thom Holwerda on Fri 11th Mar 2005 20:30 UTC

I have no problem with her pressing the companies that make money off of it, but she has no right to enslave hackers to the will of the majority, as they aren't elected, and they aren't slaves. They enjoy to help where they can as they see fit, and it is their freedom to do so.

You don't get it, do you?

Gnome states that they are user centric-- yet they obviously aren't as they said that they'll only implement features THEY deem nescessery. That is LYING. I'm fine with a development model where the actual devs decide, solely, what happens. However, then you should not claim otherwise.

And that is my major gripe.

Re: I should also add...
by Sagacious on Fri 11th Mar 2005 20:31 UTC

"As opposed to the "eat my crap or shut the fuck up" community it's now."

This is different from proprietary software how?

Re: AQ (IP: ---.201.40.69.ip.alltel.net)
by ralph on Fri 11th Mar 2005 20:32 UTC

I read the other thread and it was painfull, however I don't see them wanting what you claim they want anywhere.

And really, there is a middle ground between users should STFU and the developers should do what they want to do and not listen to users on one side and developers should fullfill every last user demand now and on the spot on the other.

Note
by Sagacious on Fri 11th Mar 2005 20:33 UTC

This piece is by the guy who said Linux would "never" be read for the desktop then changed his mind when Ubuntu came around.

what?
by AQ on Fri 11th Mar 2005 20:35 UTC

WOw.. you missed where Eugenia wanted there to be a polling system where users decide the direction of the project features which developers whould be forced to implement? What the hell have you been reading? That's what this whole thing is about.

RE: AQ
by Thom Holwerda on Fri 11th Mar 2005 20:38 UTC

WOw.. you missed where Eugenia wanted there to be a polling system where users decide the direction of the project features which developers whould be forced to implement? What the hell have you been reading? That's what this whole thing is about.

You obviously missed the point. Eugenia never proposed that the entire direction of Gnome should be based upon those polls. What Eugenia wanted was the devs take a look at the polls and base the direction on what the polls tell them.

Re: what?
by ralph on Fri 11th Mar 2005 20:43 UTC

What Thom Holwerda said.

@Thom
by AQ on Fri 11th Mar 2005 20:44 UTC

You don't get it Thom... developers should drop whatever they're doing right now and implement whatever Eugenia asks for? They should stunt their own desires which might lead to actual innovations because someone in Idaho wants a feature right now without having to be responsible for it herself.

Ok... then someone else wants a feature. And another. Soon you have no direction for the product whatsoever and have a loose connection of strange features which amount to nothing. Soon, instead of breaking into new heights, you are being lead by a tyranny of the majority.

FLOSS is not democracy, it is freedom. Much like the freedom of speech, which is not at the whims of a democracy to decide what you can say.

And finally, I think you really miss the point of what user-centric can mean. User-centric doesn't mean that we do whatever users want, it means that we create what an imaginary typical end-user might want... even things they can't imagine they would need, until it was created for them and they had a chance to try it.

The tyranny of the majority guarentees that innovation will be stifled.

@AQ
by Jon on Fri 11th Mar 2005 20:47 UTC

> developers should drop whatever they're
> doing right now and implement whatever Eugenia asks for?

When did Eugenia asked for specific feature requests? She didn't! She just wrote that Gnome devs should take users into account! That's all. Stop writing things like "eugenia is asking for her feature requests to get realized" because it ain't true. My idea of her article and d-d-l posts were that she asks gnome to take more user feedback into account.

Re: AQ
by Darius on Fri 11th Mar 2005 20:47 UTC

You don't get it Thom... developers should drop whatever they're doing right now and implement whatever Eugenia asks for? They should stunt their own desires which might lead to actual innovations because someone in Idaho wants a feature right now without having to be responsible for it herself.

As far as I'm concerned, FOSS developers can do whatever the hell they want. If there's a feature I need added and they don't want to add it, not like I actually have to use it either ;)

Re: @Thom (AQ)
by TheDude on Fri 11th Mar 2005 20:48 UTC

Wake up and read the article/thread. She proposed a way for people (users, not JUST Eugenia) to VOTE on what they think Gnome needs. I don't see how you can read this as a personal request from Eugenia for her favorite features to be added.
Eugenia, thanks for waking some people up.

Lets be reasonable....
by Anonymous on Fri 11th Mar 2005 20:50 UTC

I think a large part of the miscommunication here comes from a conflict, not the normal conflict between users and developers, but between open-source advocates and open-source developers.

If a normal user tries Fedora out and doesn't like Gnome, that user probably won't even complain. They go back to using Windows or OSX or whatever. Done. But that's not what's going on here.

Let's start with the fact that, on many tech sites, we're being bombarded with constant posts about how OSS is both technologically and morally superior. According to the zealots, it's the way that all software will go eventually, and disagreeing makes you an idiot. So, you say things like that, and most simple "users" just ignore you because they've tried dealing with OSS and found it to be a PITA. Ok.

But here's where the advocates come in. See, the advocates want open source to do well. They want users to like OSS, and even if they don't have the programming skills or influence over specific projects to ensure that users' concerns are addressed, they desperately want the user's concerns addressed. They want to be able to tell Dad and Grandma about these great alternatives, switch them over, and feel confident that everyone they migrate over to OSS will be pleased.

To many advocates, this is more than an issue of "getting the software they want", it's a part of a moral campaign. For many advocates, the appeal of open-source is not that they can develop their own programs for their own purposes, it's totally an issue of getting out from under the thumb of big corporations.

So some of these advocates spend their time trying to figure out how to expand the appeal and market share of OSS, and in an attempt to be helpful the only way they know how, they come up with suggestions. The response to these suggestions, often enough, is something too similar to, "We don't care. This software is for us, and we'll make it how we want it. If you don't like it, screw off."

And that's the developer's point of view. Fair enough. But the advocates point of view is that this software is not just for the developers. When it comes to projects that are large and infuential, advocates tend to believe that the developers actually have an ethical responsibility to the current users in helping them with their needs, and a moral responsibility to the FOSS movement to grow their user base and help make OSS a success.

I'm not fully taking sides on this one, but sometimes we do find ourselves in the position of having far more responsibility than we ever meant to take on. I believe those who run large FOSS projects are in that situation.

In closing, I use Gnome, I really like Gnome, I think Gnome developers do a good job, but given their position, yes, I believe they ought to pay attention to user complaints/suggestions. I don't mean they should necessarily impliment things just because some person wants it, or even that the majority wants it. However, if there is a major and reoccuring complaint being made by large numbers of people, developers should, at least, listen, look into it, and see if there's a solution that won't cause greater problems.

RE: TheDude
by Thom Holwerda on Fri 11th Mar 2005 20:51 UTC

Eugenia, thanks for waking some people up.

Definitely. Let's hope more people that share my and Eugenia's opinions come around and put a little pressure on the Gnome team to take user feedback more nto account-- Again, I'm not saying they should do whatever the users think of, I just want them to take the user into account a bit more.

That's all. Gnome is still my number one DE.

RE: Thom Holwerda
by poofyhairguy on Fri 11th Mar 2005 20:52 UTC

You don't get it, do you?

Gnome states that they are user centric-- yet they obviously aren't as they said that they'll only implement features THEY deem nescessery. That is LYING. I'm fine with a development model where the actual devs decide, solely, what happens. However, then you should not claim otherwise.

And that is my major gripe.


Well, the problem is that a claim like "we are user centric" is not a concrete term that can be defined in a dictionary. To you, user centric means that "the concerns of the actually users come first" (or something like that, I'm not trying to put words in your mouth but I wish to correctly imply your meaning). So in your definition by not being more open to users' demands, the Gnome developers are lying about their goal.

The difference is in the definition. To me "user centric" means that the project or institution wishes to target its efforts at the most common demographic of users. I personally think Gnome is honest when it says it is user centric- I use Gnome everyday because (don't laugh at me) I like how the options menu and feature list don't runnith over with tons of things most computer users don't use. To me, the opposite of a user centric project would be "developer centric" and would have more options and features only users at the far ends of the bell curse ever touch at the expense of most of the users.

Gnome's best features are features that aren't "officially" part of Gnome but every Gnome distro includes. The ability to be extended easily (by users) is what allows Gnome's strategy- targeting only the largest demographic of computer users- to work and succeed. They would only be liars to me if they began to complicate their desktop and add in tons of features that most people don't use.

Re: Lets be reasonable....
by ralph on Fri 11th Mar 2005 20:54 UTC

"According to the zealots..."

And what an impressive job you did at being reasonable...

Silly Thom ...
by KadyMae on Fri 11th Mar 2005 20:55 UTC

Silly Thom ... using earth logic and reasoned discourse in an attempt to make a point to zealots.

---

In the mean time, I think I'll print out some of the "Why should they listen to what the users think? The Gnome Team knows best and you'll eat their shit and like it" responses and bring them to a web-dev team meeting I've got.

(We are in the midst of a user-feedback driven project. We asked what users thought, and what we can reasonably fix/change, we're changing.)

---

Moral of story: If you're not going to listen to/act on user feedback, don't claim to be feedback responsive and don't solicit it to begin with.

(And for god sake, don't drop trou and piss on a person who offers to donate her time to set up a system to help organize and filter feedback to better aid developers in making informed choices.)




RE: Thom Holwerda
by sw on Fri 11th Mar 2005 20:56 UTC

I believe the problem is that the press releases are being taken a little too far. Yes, the 'user centric' line may be just SLIGHTLY too strong a word to describe it. However, look at it this way: it's free. I'd say that anyone, or group, willing to do so much work for the USER (even if they don't listen to everything the user asks for) and just give it away, is user-centric. They're not user-slaves, but they do serve the user, there can be no doubt about that. I just can't agree with either editorial. However, there's a good point further up in this discussion which cites Eugenia's own view on how OSNews is run. Additionally... cmon, the gnome devs DO do what the users want. Users want a nice integrated desktop environment, and that's what they have, the devs DO implement the features that people want as one of the developers on the list stated.

Now it just seems as if people are squabbling over the finer details.

Eugenia
by AQ on Fri 11th Mar 2005 21:05 UTC

actually had 20 features, supposedly, and instead of presenting them, wanted them to be voted on, which is exactly what I wrote about a tyranny of the majority, which supresses the interests and freedoms of the developers and minority opinions... though some of you must be from slashdot considering your inability to read.

Gnome developers x gnome users
by Paul on Fri 11th Mar 2005 21:06 UTC

This is a really sad situation. All this "Develop the feature you need yourself or shut up" attitude don´t improve the reality that Linux (Unix, whatever) still has a long way to go on the desktop arena. This discussion reminds me of the problems that caused the Xfree/x.org fork. Let´s hope it doesn´t evolve into something like that.

Maybe all that is needed is a proper place for gnome enthusiasts to discuss which features are important and things like that. KDE-Look.org seems to work that way on the KDE front. Unfortunatly, GNOME-look.org is not on the same level yet.

Millions of users.
by d on Fri 11th Mar 2005 21:13 UTC

If millions of users request a feature and each donated $1.00, the feature would be worth $1,000,000.


Why is this hard for others to understand? The purpose of open source is to prevent software from dying off with companies.

With the available source you can

a) learn to code your requirement yourself
b) contract someone to do it for you
c) ASK FOR SUPPORT FROM THE DEVELOPERS. Note that you are asking.
d) Go to Http://www.rentacoder.com and setup a bounty for the feature.

Chill out.
by Niran on Fri 11th Mar 2005 21:14 UTC

This whole discussion started becaude the Gnome developers were against a poll asking people what they wanted to see in Gnome. It's fairly obvious why they were against this. Sooner or later (I lean towards sooner), the community and the developers will disagree about an issue. When this happens, people will scream "Look! Gnome developers don't listen to users! The feature with the highest number of votes hasn't been implemented!" I don't see why the developers would want to set themselves up for unnecessary turmoil. All it would do is make people think (moreso than they obviously already do) that the developers have some sort of obligation to implement exactly what they want. If you don't think their development style works, then why are you using Gnome?

Software design by committee is bad.

Once again missing the point
by Bryant on Fri 11th Mar 2005 21:16 UTC

Thomas talks about "maturing" and all this other business, but misses the point about incentives.

Give the developers an incentive to implement features. Set up a bounty system, where users pre-pay into an escrow account and if the feature is completed by some picked date and judged to have implemented the feature request, then they are paid. If not, the users get their money back.

Re: AQ (IP: ---.201.40.69.ip.alltel.net)
by ralph on Fri 11th Mar 2005 21:17 UTC

Yes she had 20 proposals and she presented her inability to make herself heard in any way as an example to what is wrong with Gnome in her opinion. She didn't suggest anywhere that the Gnome devs had to implement them.

And frankly, you are the last person on earth commenting on the reading abilities of others.

Slashdot
by Brett on Fri 11th Mar 2005 21:19 UTC

This place is getting just as bad as /. ... pathetic.

Re: Bryant (IP: ---.dialup.stlsmo.swbell.net)
by ralph on Fri 11th Mar 2005 21:19 UTC

The incentive should be pretty clear I think:
Improve Gnome.

I don't know what you seem to think, but I generally get the impression that the Gnome devs are working hard on achieving this goal.

Gnome vs users
by agreen on Fri 11th Mar 2005 21:20 UTC

I use gnome, it does lack some things that I would really like. A good menu editor and command center would be great.

But, I also realise "I am not the average user, nor is anyone here or anyone on bugzilla".

So lets say 100 users vote to add a feature... even 1000. So what? How many people use gnome?

Now if Red Hat asks for a feature they probably got a little more sway, same as any company that pays a good chunk og gnomes bills.

But for a small percentage of end users to say "we want this", well, my guess would be that would give it a low priority because all the developers doing the "requests" got their hands full with requests that carry more weight.

Leaving it in the hands of the hobbiest programmers, who well, lets face it, are hobbiests and will do as they please regardless.

OSS is freedom, if you don't like it you can add it yourself, or pay someone to add it for you. If there is such a huge demand for these features set up a collection and hire someone to do it.

Could even look at setting up a site where you can "buy" votes, once there is enough money in the pot things get done by a paid team.




That is the important point
by AQ on Fri 11th Mar 2005 21:22 UTC

they want the free software community to act like a company, when its underlying principles is for all to have equal freedom. They don't realize that the idea of FLOSS is for us not to be beholden to one entity for answers, but to use freedoms to create answers outside of the entity, which might be found valuable then and possibly reincorporated into the entity's project.

This is exactly the same as what Eugenia's profile says in my post on the first page, "Or send us a proofread copy". There certainly are reasons why this would be preferable... such as a respect of freedom.

@ralph
by Bryant on Fri 11th Mar 2005 21:22 UTC

The incentive should be pretty clear I think:
Improve Gnome.


"Improve Gnome" means nothing. Improve for who?

Re: Bryant (IP: ---.dialup.stlsmo.swbell.net)
by ralph on Fri 11th Mar 2005 21:27 UTC

As it is meant to be used, for the users?

use XFCE4
by Brett on Fri 11th Mar 2005 21:28 UTC

I switched a while back, and crap like this makes me glad that I did ...sheesh.

@ralph
by Bryant on Fri 11th Mar 2005 21:32 UTC

Once again, "users" are not the borg collective and have their own ideas on what should be "improved", so saying the goal of gnome developers should be to improve gnome for users means absolutely nothing.

A bounty system with an escrow system gives a lot of incentive.

Bryant (IP: ---.dialup.stlsmo.swbell.net)
by ralph on Fri 11th Mar 2005 21:35 UTC

"Once again, "users" are not the borg collective and have their own ideas on what should be "improved", so saying the goal of gnome developers should be to improve gnome for users means absolutely nothing."

It doesn't? Does that mean Gnome should shuff the HIG down the toilet? What exactly are you trying to say here?

@ralph
by Bryant on Fri 11th Mar 2005 21:41 UTC

What I'm saying is that every individual gnome user has their own ideas on what "improve" means, so to throw out the word "improve" doesn't really say much unless you can agree on what that improvement is.

The HIG is a set of general guidelines on how an app should look, but doesn't address such things as what should be included in Gnome, what the general focus of Gnome should be.

Bryant (IP: ---.dialup.stlsmo.swbell.net)
by ralph on Fri 11th Mar 2005 21:44 UTC

"What I'm saying is that every individual gnome user has their own ideas on what "improve" means, so to throw out the word "improve" doesn't really say much unless you can agree on what that improvement is."

I agree, deciding what really is an improvement is the hard part and is up to the developers in the end. However you asked what the incentive for the developers is and I still think that making the project they put much hard work in even better is a strong incentive in and off itself.

@ralph
by Bryant on Fri 11th Mar 2005 21:52 UTC

Obviously developers want to "improve" Gnome. What, you think they want to make it worse?;)

Don't underestimate the power of money to get people motivated. It's hard work to wrap your head around large code bases.

Bryant (IP: ---.dialup.stlsmo.swbell.net)
by ralph on Fri 11th Mar 2005 21:54 UTC

"Obviously developers want to "improve" Gnome. What, you think they want to make it worse?;)"

And that answers your question about incentive, doesn't it? :-D

@ralph
by Bryant on Fri 11th Mar 2005 22:07 UTC


And that answers your question about incentive, doesn't it? :-D


Not alt all, because a developer would only want to improve what he feels is an improvement, unless there's a money incentive. why would a developer waste his time working for other people when he's not getting paid and would rather work on something else that he feels is more important

Bryant (IP: ---.dialup.stlsmo.swbell.net)
by ralph on Fri 11th Mar 2005 22:28 UTC

"Not alt all, because a developer would only want to improve what he feels is an improvement, unless there's a money incentive. why would a developer waste his time working for other people when he's not getting paid and would rather work on something else that he feels is more important"

He wouldn't and he shouldn't, what's your point? This is not about developers puting features into Gnome just because someone requested it, this is about developers being aware of what users want, deciding what they deem important and then implementing it.

Some users shouldn't be listened to
by Uno Engborg on Fri 11th Mar 2005 22:29 UTC

If you develop something you usually have some intentions of what it will become, who will use it and for what.

Sometimes you get requests to do this or that. The idea might even be a good one, taken out of perspective from the goals you have set for your application. Your current users may also not always be the inteded ones.

E.g. if you want to develop a system that is easy to use and listen to what advanced users want you never get that simple to use system. Not even if there are more users that benefit from the simple system than from the more advanced.

The spatial Nautilus is a typical example of this problem as its bad for advanced users with root priviledges and good for the "normal" office worker.

Open source by democracy will only lead to mediocre results. In the world of FOSS forking is always available
if sombody thinks that the direction of the development should change.





...
by Anonymous on Fri 11th Mar 2005 22:31 UTC

OSnews should hire this guy because he knows how to write a good persuasive article. I'd like to see the resonse of the GNOME team.

Feedback does not equal implementation
by KadyMae on Fri 11th Mar 2005 22:35 UTC

Again, to take an example from where I work (this is a public project, so don't think you're getting any of the nitty gritty "good" stuff or anything you can hang me out to dry with) we solicted feedback and ranked/sorted it.

Several very popular requests we dismissed out of hand. These were simply not possible for a variety of reasons. (Technical, in-house HIG guidelines, U rules, state code/law.)

Other popular requests we dismissed after further deliberation exposed the problems these would cause down the road.

However, we discovered several design shortcomings we could fix quickly and easily. Feedback has also given us insight into how to avoid further pitfalls.

Are end users going to get everything they want? Hell no.

Was their feedback valuble to us? Very. It gave us insight into what worked, what didn't, and pointed us in the direction for future growth.

I also don't think the people who did the survey are under any delusion that they'll get every single thing they wanted when the updated/fixed/improved project goes live.

But I do think they will see immediately that yes, changes were made and things are better.

The person(s) creating a product always reserve, for whatever reasons, the right to say no. I don't think Eugenia or Thom question this one bit.

I do think it is silly in the extreme to solicit feedback and then say "oh, we'll listen to it ... if we feel like it." We know better than you do what you need/want.

You can't be user centric if the user's responses/needs do not enter the equation. And, unless you're a telepath, how else are you going to know?




re: ...
by Youlle on Fri 11th Mar 2005 22:40 UTC

yeah thom is quite pursuasive when he wants to be, and yeah he is a great addition to my websites team, i personally think Developers should do what they want... but to within reason. if they dont listen to the userbase the userbase will look for something else where the Dev's do listen.

@ralph
by Bryant on Fri 11th Mar 2005 22:44 UTC

We can agree on developers needing a forum where users can express their wishes, but that is completely orthogonal to motivation and incentive to implement.

Well said
by Roedhaette on Fri 11th Mar 2005 22:46 UTC

The "counter attack" responce to this article kinda emphasizes the problem...
For the problem itself, KDE is not much better.

duh!!
by rspickles on Fri 11th Mar 2005 22:48 UTC

Yes developers will only develop what they want to – True, some want to so as to get a paycheck - others want to because they like praise, yet others want to because they like seeing some new feature work well at their doing and of course the classic “I needed it myself” and about a zillion more. Even Bill Gates and his minions do it because they want to at some level and for some reason, and that reason is not greatly different from Red Hat people have. Both are commercial firms out for a profit. Both will do things that will maximize their profit in their own view.

In fact contrary to popular opinion commercial software firms do not listen all that closely to customers – Think of all the times that commercial software suppliers have added features just to sell the upgrade. These are cases of development not to make you happy but to separate you from some of your money, if you walk away happy so much the better.

What makes Open Source different in not that it is being developed just to make you, the end user, happy – it is that the developer has made the decision to open the source code to anyone who wishes to look. In fact this is only thing truly different about OSS – it can be sold – I in fact chose to purchase my preferred distro (Suse) rather than do network install I started purchasing Open Source software and saw no problem with paying for it way back in the late 70s and early 80s – Referred to then as “open code” or “in source” software. If you don't like what the Gnome team is doing you have every right to do it or fix it yourself. Can't code yourself – you can hire someone.

One last note – every software project (and commercial firm) has its own structure and functionality, everything from flaky home-brew hacker to very polished and professional I have had both close proprietary and OSS software that was so badly done that it was nearly useless and seen both done so fine that they were pure joy to use. I now use KDE mostly over Gnome because it just feels more right to me (Windows feel flat and ugly). However, both Gnome and KDE seem to have a good professional development team working on them.

PS – For all the good work – thanks

Strange
by somebody on Fri 11th Mar 2005 22:49 UTC

But to sum it all up.

I want feature A, somebody else wants feature B. Other hundred people want their own features. And their preference would change order all the time.

Projects large as Gnome must have their grand design, and it is not prefferable to mess with it. As long as all goes with schedule everything will work. Messing with it is a NO GO. Project looses its ground.

Problem introduced here is not what Eugenia wants or is prepared to do. Problem is where she wants to do it: "Gnome.org already has its grand design and its schedule". Maybe if Eugenia and Thom would think a little they would see where the solution lies. DO NOT bug developers that already are on tight schedule. Start outside project to improve gnome. Make a voting outside gnome.org. Like:

Voting for most annoying bug
Voting for missing gnome features
Voting for most wanted application (or type of it)
Possibily for people to start funding features they miss (outside gnome, novell and ximian bouties).

Do it on gnomefiles. Yes, I admit it: as much as I bashed Eugenia, gnomefiles rock, in fact its the only place where you can really get everything for gnome. This will make a lot bigger impact than buging developers. And it will bring development of missing features one step nearer to community.

As a developer I must say that I understand gnome developers, even though I sometimes feel (when I look at gnome from my user perspective) like Eugenia did on the mailing list (probably that is the reason why I never submited my wishes to gnome-devel community, but rather did it on my own). And as a developer the thing I hate most: well,... messing with my plans when work is half done and submitting wishes for features that aren't in work now.

somebody
by AQ on Fri 11th Mar 2005 23:05 UTC

Yes.. that is indeed the crux of the issue... they don't want to do something proactive outside of gnome.

Eugenia has an apparantly decent sized audience here from which she can say... I would like to form a band of developers to work on some gnome features I'm thinking about. And I would like them to work on things that a poll decides they should work on. If you are interested in this, then please join us. We'll even set up a donation fund on the front page so that our readers can support your work and offer specific bounties.

That would be essentially electing volunteers, which you can then hold accountable.

But of cousre that isn't their answer. Instead they want to force something on the developers of gnome who were never conscripted under or for the purpose they want to impose on them.

Users will be GNOME's judge
by Scott Cabana on Fri 11th Mar 2005 23:26 UTC

When a Dev no longer gives me the features that I need in any application tool I simply find a tool that does; simple as that. I agree that GNOME Devs should say what they do and do what they say, but after all is said and done, if it no longer suits my needs, I just wont use it. I love GNOME, its my primary desktop manager and so far everything I need it for is there, but I would recommended listening to users needs, because after all, a project is useless without the support of its install base.

RE: various
by Thom Holwerda on Fri 11th Mar 2005 23:32 UTC

But of cousre that isn't their answer. Instead they want to force something on the developers of gnome who were never conscripted under or for the purpose they want to impose on them.

You still don't get what my and Eugenia's points are. It's not about that we want the Gnome devs to implement OUR requests; we simply want them to listen to their users more. That's all. Is that too much to ask?

OSnews should hire this guy because he knows how to write a good persuasive article.

Actually, I've written quite some original content for OSNews before eXp Zone transformed into what it now is (general OS/Computing newssite). Now, I'm the "main news-posting guy" (we don't do titles) at eXp Zone. I'm not leaving ;) , but thanks for the compliment nonetheless.

I'd like to see the resonse of the GNOME team."

So do I. I hope they get a chance to openly reply to me and Eugenia. Actually, by this I invite them to write a rebuttal and post it on eXp Zone and OSNews ;) .

AQ, are we even reading the same things?
by KadyMae on Fri 11th Mar 2005 23:45 UTC

But of cousre that isn't their answer. Instead they want to force something on the developers of gnome who were never conscripted under or for the purpose they want to impose on them.>>

1) I read posts from E L-Q in which she offered to make a database from bugzilla responses which would show at a glance to Team GNOME what the most popular requests were. The purpose was to help organize data to make it most useful to them and aid them in prioritization of projects and coders.

The reply boiled down to "Don't bother, we don't pay attention to that crap anyway. If one of us feels like taking a stab at it, we will."

2) E L-Q writes an editorial about the implictions of this sort of response for OSS as a whole and cites the example.

Many responses ensue.

3) TH writes an editorial about E L-Q's editorial and points out that if you say you are user-first and yet say you don't listen to user feedback ... then how can you be putting the needs of the users first?

So, AQ, can you please explain:

(a) How E L-Q's offer to organzize bugzilla feedback forces the Gnome development team to act on it? (More so than the mere existance of bugzilla forces them to act already.)

(b) How feedback = dictation which must be acted upon.(Because I will print that out and take it to my IT department and get a PowerMac and kiss this Gateway good bye!) (Oh happy day!)

(c) How TH and E L-Q's editorials about what user centric really is impose or force the Gnome team to do anything other than possibly reexamine their paradigm and priorities?

(d) How a person's questioning those paradigms (and pointing out the ways in which they may be flawed and/or incredibly frelling stupid) is imposing or forcing?

Perhaps in your replies you can show how feedback to the KDE team has forced them to do anything.





It implies a bit too much
by AQ on Fri 11th Mar 2005 23:53 UTC

You are implying that they obviously aren't listening to their users enough now. You are demanding on top of that implication that they listen more... which would mean what exactly?

You believe the proactive action is to politically lobby them instead of take the responsibility of the freedom given and create actual proactive action for yourself by creating change for yourself.

As an example, I have a huge problem with the wordpress developer right now, as he is starting to put links to images out of the image folder and onto the wordpress site, so they can essentially spy on how many times people are viewing their wordpress admin folder everyday. I asked him politely on his blog, photomatt, if he could tell me where all of these callouts are in wordpress so I can take them out. He deleted my message, and is trying to ignore it completely. I personally believe that the only person who should have control of any part of my site is me.

Well, I know he's not going to listen, and I believe he has his own desire and agenda. That is his choice and he is free to do so.

What can I do?

Well, I will likely try to create a forked, non-spyware version of wordpress which is exactly the same but has all of these callouts ripped out.

Of course it would be much better if he wrote wordpress so that the users would have the choice when they install it whether they want to allow images to be hosted on an outside server or not. But I don't expect that of him, even though it makes me hold him in much lesser regard for carrying out his agenda under the nose of unsuspecting users. He is free to do what he wishes.

But I also have options which I can exercise freely, such as writing a tutorial or a forked version, and you have the these options and more too.

I have a responsibility to freedom to use it.

RE: various
by clausi on Sat 12th Mar 2005 00:12 UTC

Thom Holwerda wrote: Actually, by this I invite them to write a rebuttal and post it on eXp Zone and OSNews ;) .

Looks like a general reply (sort of) by Havoc Pennington:

http://log.ometer.com/2005-03.html#11

@Erik h
by Magic8 on Sat 12th Mar 2005 00:17 UTC

"You can't simultaneously call yourself user-centric in a press-release and openly admit you ignore user requests. You also can't simultaneously call yourself professional work environment and back away from feature requests by calling yourself hobbyist-driven."

Erik h, what does "user" mean to you? In OSS, everyone is a user including developers. OSS means that a "user" has the power to contribute and moreso, the power to change the software to fit their needs. Not through handy options that someone else provides, but through rolling up their sleeves.

Please STOP with all the "you represent yourself as X but are really Y" FUD. They are what they represent themselves as. Compare to MS spouting that Win95, Win98, et al. are safe, bug-free environments. You were not mislead -- you simply expected too much. Why? Greed, I suspect.

Gnome is not a for profit organization like Microsoft or Novell or Apple. Go cry to them.

This article...
by Lennart Fridén on Sat 12th Mar 2005 00:24 UTC

...is spot on! Unless you're prepared to deal with users' needs and not your own, you shouldn't claim to be user-centric or enterprise-ready or whatever.

I am curious..
by vondur on Sat 12th Mar 2005 00:28 UTC

Just how many as a percentage of the total gnome devs are employees of Sun/Redhat/Novell?

volunteer work
by mark on Sat 12th Mar 2005 01:15 UTC

the basic response people seem to be having is the "Why should devs who are not getting paid do something they don't want to do?"

A project as big and as used as gnome really should break away from the do whatever whenever setup used in hobby projects to a more organized volunteer setup.

Take free health clinics for example. Doctors, nurses, and every day people volunteer their time to work at one. when someone is asked to do something they don't want to do they do it anyway for the greater good and if they don't do it they get sent home.

Of course it would be difficult to setup as well as finding people willing to do it. But in my opinion it would ease the mind of people and businesses that are holding back from using linux because of the do whatever whenever setup of FOSS

AQ ...
by KadyMae on Sat 12th Mar 2005 01:41 UTC

<<You are implying that they obviously aren't listening to their users enough now.>>

From the Oxford English Dictionary:

Imply 2.To involve or comprise as a necessary logical consequence; to involve the truth or existence of (something not expressly asserted or maintained). 3. To express indirectly; to insinuate, hint at.

EL-Q and TH haven't implied anything. The response EL-Q got was a direct statement that no, they aren't listening to bugzilla requests.

EL-Q and TH have expressed the opinion this approach in OSS is foolish and short sighted.


<<You are demanding on top of that implication that they listen more... which would mean what exactly? >>

Again from the OED:

Demand: 1.To ask for (a thing) with legal right or authority; to claim as something one is legally or rightfully entitled to. 3.To ask for (a thing) peremptorily, imperiously, urgently, or in such a way as to command attention.

While urgent, because they believe that there are some real, and serious problems and the issue is not trivial, the words of EL-Q and TH meet neither definition of "demand".

Neither writer is saying that Gnome must do as they say, right now!

What they are saying is that the Gnome repsonse is very short sighted and does not compatable what their stated mission is.


You believe the proactive action is to politically lobby them instead of take the responsibility of the freedom given and create actual proactive action for yourself by creating change for yourself.

Poltically lobby? Really, what party?

And in what way is speaking up and lobbying any any software creation team NOT being proative and taking action for oneself?

For example, beyond HTML, I do not know how to code, nor do I have any particular interest (and, I suspect, talent) in that arena.

Frankly, I mislike the way your posts imply that writing code is the only way to make a contribution to OSS. That if one does not like a program or a practice, then one should shut up and go write code, that feedback, commentary, and questioning are of no importance.

Coding is NOT the only way to contribute to the OSS community. And DIY is NOT the only answer a problem/issue.



I meant "is not compatable"

(Now y'all see why I don't like ye olde CLI).

Beggers can't be Choosers
by A Begger on Sat 12th Mar 2005 02:15 UTC

This applies to the original article as well:

Beggers can't be choosers

Plain and simple. And if you wan't to have a say in how THEY develop THEIR software at least be NICE about it and RESPECT their decision.

Heck, even when you dont "beg" (i.e. pay for commericial software), you still dont have a direct say in how its gonna progress.

You're really trying to ignore obvious answers
by AQ on Sat 12th Mar 2005 02:32 UTC

Look up mislike in the dictionary, and I hope you don't use it in daily conversation (hint: archaic), maybe you should intersperse some Latin or some other dead languages in your writing when you feel you're making a point.

Yeah, their opinion is so short-sighted and foolish that most of distros use gnome as their desktop environment.

Yes, Eugenia lost her mind on the mailing list of developers and told them that if they didn't agree with her, then they obviously didn't care. Throughout that thread she received responses from people who politely disagreed, along with others who thought her guns blazing style was BS. The fact that you're willing to lump them all into one group says volumes about your level of disrespect for their freedom to say "no".

"For example, beyond HTML, I do not know how to code, nor do I have any particular interest (and, I suspect, talent) in that arena."

Then hire someone, cheapskate! Pay a bounty! You think that you are entitled to something from other people, when the only thing you were entitled is the freedom to use the software as you see fit.

And trying to get a gang of people against the gnome developers, not to mention smearing all of foss because she doesn't understand it, with her article, to press those developers to give up their freedom and submit to user requests, rather than inspire them to take responsibility, is a political lobby.

It's not proactive because you do nothing but criticize. You do nothing to solve the problem, and you refuse to even try. Criticism is not an answer. Actually doing something yourself to make a change and show it to others is. Why you are so against that is unfathomable.

"Coding is NOT the only way to contribute to the OSS community. And DIY is NOT the only answer a problem/issue."

You're right, coughing up some greenbacks might actually get you somewhere.


Did you see the inconsistency of Eugenia's opinion I wrote about on the first page of this thread?

You need to listen to the Bradley Kuhn lecture at gnu.org/philosophy so that you might actually understand what the FLOSS movement is actually about (Hint: it's not about the tragically lazy controlling others because free software has to inherit all the obligations which proprietary software has never fulfilled, it's about equal freedom for all).

As I wrote earlier:

"Eugenia has an apparantly decent sized audience here from which she can say... I would like to form a band of developers to work on some gnome features I'm thinking about. And I would like them to work on things that a poll decides they should work on. If you are interested in this, then please join us. We'll even set up a donation fund on the front page so that our readers can support your work and offer specific bounties.

That would be essentially electing volunteers, which you can then hold accountable."

Tell me why this isn't a reasonable solution, as it respects your own freedom and that of others.

They are demanding change of the gnome developers, and asking nothing of themselves.

I love gnome and I use it every day.

But .... I have a feature request over 2 years old. Its a simple brain dead obvious request in my opinion.

Add search functionality in Nautilus. Just a search option on the right click of folders or a Search button or option somewhere in the interface.

I mean come on it seems pretty darn basic to me.

Launch feedback on desktop items is another one. Sure you get launch feedback on launchers but you click a folder and - nothing - no feedback at all. Drives me nuts.

What about an option to browse as user for samba support? That would eliminate the I can Connect to server but cannot browse a share bug fest.

What about an option in the preferences to turn on browser mode by default instead of that gconf key to eliminate one of the most common FAQ questions received since the spatial Nautilus became the default?

Its not just Nautilus though.

I mean users get to their menu through the panel and I put in a feature request years ago to extend the remove and edit launcher functionality to include adding removing and editing submenus and adding new launchers all through right click menu actions in the panel.

Now with gnome 2.10 all menu editing is gone. I know why. But that does not make it any easier. Editing of menus is something that is very basic to a desktop imho. Too many apologists are popping up making excuses the same they used to do for the horrid File Selector widget back in the day.

Come on I love gnome. But I cannot abide ignoring its problems.

Things like the almost corporate decision to rely on OpenOffice for Office functionality and most of the gnome community ignoring criawips or barely speaking of rounding out the gnome-office is silly because imho mind you OpenOffice is a huge slow dog.

What about the constant digs that now KDE is faster than gnome? The speed optimization bounties are like rabid troll food and this sort of thing from startup times to panel menu redraws really need attention. I know part of its X but I also know that gnome panel hackers and Metacity hackers and nautilus hackers and other folks have to try and work around X.org. I know that say XFCE has less features but that cannot be a crutch excuse. I mean at least in XFCE I can edit my menus and that menu editor is xdg compatible too.

What about the fact that esound is old as dirt and no real total and complete alternative has taken shape? Come on we have all known that esound was limited and needed replacing. We have all known this for years.

What about little bugs like the icon theme installation that lingered for far too long?

What about the lack for years of a good basic ppp dialer? While it may not seem like a desktop failing most users want this and needed this for connectivity.

Window Manager focused folks routinely complain about the lack of this or that feature even as a gconf setting for Metacity?

Are we just complete whiners?

I don't buy that.

I understand that people do this for free. But I also see RH, and Novell employees running a lot of the show. There are a handful of basic desktop functions that need to be implemented and its tough to watch my favorite desktop sit there on the edge of greatness only to be cut down by some toad for the fact it does not have this or that minor bit of basic functionality that the majority of people in the computer using universe associate with a functional desktop.

I even see some patches rejected out of hand that give the functionality but do exactly match the implementation first envisioned by the maintainers that they themselves have not moved to implement since the creation of the project.

Still, I see progress mind you. I am using the Arch main .9 version of Rhythmbox and I see those features we have been asking for and how tag editing and burning to CD of a playlist works and it is truly grand.

But am I the only gnome user that ever gets frustrated by all the other stuff I listed?

Expectations?
by Magic8 on Sat 12th Mar 2005 05:09 UTC

At one of the clients I contract at they have 11 fulltime Microsoft employees on-site (eleven! at one location!). They are permanently assigned there, have their own desks and phones. Imagine the insane amount of software and services that this client purchases from Microsoft to get that sort of attention. Do you think for even one second that they can demand Microsoft change their software to meet their needs? They can ask, and Microsoft will surely listen. At best, their input will be filtered to other groups. Maybe, just maybe a developer will end up hearing about it. Obviously, that much process is not cheap and it still doesn't imply that end-users get every scratch itched. In fact, the end-users aren't even consulted for their input on the Microsoft software, rather it is the managers and decision makers who provide all the feedback. Eugenia makes it sound so simple but the reality is something quite different.

Never mind not understanding what OSS is all about. These articles demonstrate a complete lack of the way things work in so many areas that it is embarassing. If it was at least done tactfully...alas, insults, FUD (despite some claims, Gnome is an excellent desktop, thank-you very much), and finger-pointing.

If you don't value getting open sources to useful software or you have no interest in becoming a constructive member of the community you are joining -- by all means, use an alternative. Sure, you won't get any more traction with your complaints from the companies that sell you your closed, expensive software--but companies tend to have more good humour towards their rude, crying (but paying) customers.

I really hope Eugenia summons the inner-fortitude to make an apology, plain and simple.

Whatever happened to artistry?
by Anonymous on Sat 12th Mar 2005 05:21 UTC

I get paid to write software, and what I find frustrating at work isn't that I have to do boring stuff like documentation, but rather that there's so much of a rush that corners get cut. And not just technical ones: Bad documentation, lack of solid testing, no real thought to usability, all of it. The end result, no matter how great on one metric, is more or less half-assed on another.

When I code on my own time, that's my chance to try to live up to my own standards of what well-crafted software is: delivering -to the best of my ability- a tool that solves a real-world problem in a polished, consistent, easy to use, bulletproof, and well documented manner. And no rushed schedule...

So I can't understand the "you got it for free, so suck it up" attitude. Am I really such a rare developer because I think it's my job to create something that makes it easier for the average Joe? Hell, I thought that's who all these personal computers were supposed to be benefitting.

RE: Expectations
by Johnathan Bailes on Sat 12th Mar 2005 05:26 UTC

By Magic8 (IP: ---.qc.sympatico.ca) - Posted on 2005-03-12 05:09:45
......
Never mind not understanding what OSS is all about. These articles demonstrate a complete lack of the way things work in so many areas that it is embarassing. If it was at least done tactfully...alas, insults, FUD (despite some claims, Gnome is an excellent desktop, thank-you very much), and finger-pointing.


Gnome IS an excellent desktop that I use every single day at work and at home.

Why is it FUD to say that I am frustrated that I cannot edit my menu and find it bizarre that for example there is no link in the default filemanager (Nautilus) to the default search tool (gnome-search-tool)?

There are simple some things that are not frilly features but pretty damn basic things in terms of what people typically expect out of a desktop.

It is not about one customer making a bizarre demand. It is about my favorite desktop which has all the potential of being able to stand toe to toe with the commercial big boys hampered by the lack of a handful of basic features and being in bad need in certain concentrated not even wipespread areas for speed optimizations.

Too many people are either talking past each other or purposely trying to make excuses and steer the conversation away from the fact gnome does NOT have to paint itself as a user centered desktop. But they do.

At least they could is not fully admit in a mailing list that they do not want to listen to their own users.


"They"...
by AQ on Sat 12th Mar 2005 05:44 UTC

being a list for developers who already have a full plate of work to do, who would like it if people wouldn't litter their forums with requests, because it is a list for development issues, not a user wishlist.

One of the messages was very clear in stating that the developers need a place where they can work and discuss work and not be attacked while they are there working their nose to the grindstone without a bunch of non-proactive cheapskate freeloaders yell at them from the sidelines.

This is what Eugenia writes... "But I am increasingly frustrated with Open Source software written by hobbyists".

She attacks the hobbyists... it's really disgusting. How lazy a freeloading do you have to be to attack hobbyists? ItWhile at the same time your own user profile, on a site that makes money for advertising(!!!), states that people who criticize her writing should f off.

I don't know if Eugenia gets paid to write here, but if she does, she should hang her head in absolute shame for criticizing people who work for nothing.

by . on Sat 12th Mar 2005 08:14 UTC

Eugenia's proponents fail to understand that free software development is not founded upon democracy. Free software development is fundamentally based on meritocracy and user contributions.

When free software developers establish a project, they expect to create a community of contributors (i.e. hackers, artists, testers, documentation writers, specialized experts, feedback/suggestions from dormant users).

These projects do not exist to satisfy a bunch of whiners who clamor for features, but aren't willing to help the project implement these features seamlessly.

User Centric
by Sage Marigold on Sat 12th Mar 2005 08:48 UTC

Gnome is "User-centric"- this means that all sorts of users can use it as they see fit. That's all it means, and nothing more than that.

It does not mean that Gnome developers are waiters at Denny's hovering at your shoulder waiting for your "Request-O'-the-Day".

Even is GNOME developers listened to absolutely no requests at all, if the GNOME product is constantly improved, modified centrally ( officialy ), and made available for private modification, then it can legitimately be described as "User-centric".

You see user-centric claims made for all sorts of consumer products that are laden with DMCA devices, and which the manufacturers expect absolutely no user modifications or changes to be made. I think GNOME trumps these "user-centric" products hands down.

Even waiters at Denny's expect a tip!

@Johnathan Bailes
by Till on Sat 12th Mar 2005 09:42 UTC

I agree one hundred percent with all you said, I also noticed your comment was reported as abusive. You see that's the problem, gnome and linux in general will never advance while people keep clicking the report abuse link, they can't handle the truth and that's a shame really ;)

@ Thom
by shaunm on Sat 12th Mar 2005 10:29 UTC

You don't get it, do you?

Gnome states that they are user centric-- yet they obviously aren't as they said that they'll only implement features THEY deem nescessery. That is LYING. I'm fine with a development model where the actual devs decide, solely, what happens. However, then you should not claim otherwise.

Where? Who said that? When?

I'll give you a direct perspective from an actual Gnome developer. I have a limited amount of time. There's a lot of stuff I'd love to do, but I just don't have time to do it. So yeah, I work on the things that I think are most critical. But how do I decide what's most critical? I base it on what I think will benefit users the most. Users, not me.

I try my best to figure out what will help users the most. This means I listen to user feedback. And I don't just take every suggestion on its face. I try to figure out the actual problem the user is having, so I can solve it better.

Go ahead, accuse me of only writing software for myself. I maintain Yelp, the Gnome help browser. Do you really think I use a program that lets me read documentation on how to double click? Come on. The only thing I use Yelp for is to help me write better documentation, and I only write documentation to help more users.

Everything, and I mean everything, I do for Gnome is focused on the users. There are a lot of things that I actually use, and I'd love to be working on them for my personal benefit. But I work on the help system, because I know it needs a lot of work, and because I know it helps a lot of users.

I was one of the people that responded to Eugenia on desktop-devel-list. (Hey, everybody posting comments here, did you read the thread?) My response was simply that polls on sites like OSNews are covered in sample bias. It is not a good method for determining what will help users the most. As a mathematician, I'm telling you that bad statistics are worse than no statistics at all.

Was I the exception? Not at all. I know, nobody likes to wade through nasty email threads. Fortunately, Elijah has saved you all the effort. Here's a sampling of how the Gnome developers responded:

http://www.gnome.org/~newren/blog/2005/Mar/11

The overwhelming message from the Gnome community was this: We know we're not doing a perfect job of getting user feedback, but we're trying very hard. We would love to have more oppurtunities to get user feedback, but web polls are not the answer. They do more harm than good.

So am I lying? Am I not user-centric? Am I shutting users out?

...
by Anonymous on Sat 12th Mar 2005 12:36 UTC

I like the fact that the team leaders of GNOME development responded to this issue. I had figured that Eugenia either did not go through proper channels or else over reacted. Had Eugenia been motivated to try a different approach, perhaps go beyond a web poll, than I'm sure that the serious developers would make some effort to participate.

I respect Thom's effort because he formed a thesis and therefore he was able to defend his position (Eugenia should take a lesson), however his thesis position was satisfied by Havoc Pennington's (and others) response(s) when he suggested that GNOME at least at some point in time, was developed in response to end user feedback that was set up by corporations like Rhat, SUNW, and IBM. The GNOME by extension of Fedora was their approach toward metting the user need of the "geeks".

RE: Shaun
by Johnathan Bailes on Sat 12th Mar 2005 13:35 UTC


I'll give you a direct perspective from an actual Gnome developer. I have a limited amount of time. There's a lot of stuff I'd love to do, but I just don't have time to do it. So yeah, I work on the things that I think are most critical. But how do I decide what's most critical? I base it on what I think will benefit users the most. Users, not me.


Thanks Yelp is a hell of a quicker and the progress on the app has been very nice in general especially enjoy using it to browsing man pages.

That whole horrid thread drifting from off the original topic very quick.

Somebody said wouldn't be nice to have more user input. Eugenia jumps in and give out an idea of how to get that input.

Now I despise the idea of asking developers to follow the every whim of the user. But you know what? I despise the idea of ever shipping a desktop without the basic functionality of the editing the menu too.

All the original idea was ever about if you read the thread carefully is how to get input from the user on which of the most reported feature requests they really, really want.

Yet the two extremes of this conversation say all gnome developers are elitist schmucks who hate the user or bury your head in the sand and ignore the fact that gnome however great it is still misses some basic functionality like I don't know being able to browse most samba networks. Sure I can connect directly to a share but you cannot browse as a user so in essence in most networks you can browse.

This is just an example but god Shaun you got to know gnome has plenty of these kinds of things. Where is the big developer focus? What is Havoc thinking about? Rasterman Enlightment style eyecandy crap like the blog stuff that came out of Guadec?

Come on how is that user-centered.

Why would you expect more from OSS than you from closed source?

Because OSS projects are supposed to be more open to suggestions. Isn't that the main difference between Bazaar-style and Cathedral-style projects?

Look, let's all ignore all the flaming and try to get to the meat of the stuff: A lot of users are having a hard time migrating to Linux, and they voice their hard time by complaining to any public channel open to them. Now lots-and-lots of OSS developers get psychologically barraged by the flood of millions of letters of complaints, while lots-and-lots of potential OSS converts walk away disgruntled because they 'just' can't seem to 'get it to work.'

Logically speaking, to stop the flood of emails you would need to make your OS 100% perfect. That's impossible, wether you're open or closed. What is possible (and Eugene points this out in the article) is to identify (and solve) the most pressing of issues.

And no, Bugzilla does not identify the most pressing of user issues. Any marketing communication student can tell you that the most effective way to obtain feedback on usability issues of anything is to conduct an honest and systematic study (the most common form being either a Focus Group Discussion or a random-cluster survey, but let's leave that to Novell and Red Hat's marketing department). You cannot expect the answer of what the user need to fall down from the sky. You have to actively seek the answer.

And that's what relying on Bugzilla for common user feedback means. Waiting for the answer for stopping user gripes to fall down from the sky. Neither Microsoft nor Apple rely on their developer mailing lists to monitor usability issues; they conduct usability surveys and studies. Not (solely?) because they don't have time to listen to ordinary Joe, but because they now its impossible to make their software usable for everyone. Though they can make it usable for almost everyone.

But of course all this means nothing if you only mean for FOSS to be used by FOSS developers only, e.g. yourselves :)

Link?
by Anonymous on Sat 12th Mar 2005 13:42 UTC

I can't read the editorial....

Unable to load database indicated by configuration file.

Umm.. just a quibble,
by QuantumG on Sat 12th Mar 2005 14:11 UTC

It's GNOME, not Gnome.

Serious misunderstanding
by AQ on Sat 12th Mar 2005 14:13 UTC

That isn't FLOSS. FlOSS doesn't care if people don't convert because they aren't getting the same experience they imagine they are getting from companies. FLOSS is about freedom. And people who want to come to it have to have a respect for freedom, and understand their responsibility to it.

This isn't about winning converts from Microsoft and destroying companies so that Linux can win the desktops of businesses and home users. It is about freedom. It isn't about homogenized crap churned out through market research and group studies. It is about the freedom of opinions through actions.

FLOSS is about the experience of freedom. As I said before, listen to this speech by Bradley Kuhn http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/audio/audio.html#RUTGERS2003
which really explains what the movement is about.

It isn't this non-political entity that is trying to win the marketplace, as Eugenia seems to believe with her disgraceful article. It is a political entity trying to ensure that computer users have freedom if they choose to. It has nothing to do with market, especially for the hobbyist hackers she attacks.

Talk about ignorant
by QuantumG on Sat 12th Mar 2005 14:16 UTC

All developers wishing to take part of the Gnome community automatically inherit this responsibility; it's not something you can choose to ignore simply because you only want to work on the features you find exciting for yourself. That's not only a tad bit selfish, but also a tad bit ignorant. Not only millions of ordinary users depend on you, but also big corporations deploying Red Hat and Novell Linux Desktop. If they (these oh-so-important companies running Linux/Gnome) see a lack of interest from the developers to fulfil their wishes-- then say bye-bye customers.

<p>Uhhhh, Novel and Red Hat hire their own developers to work on GNOME and implement the features their customers want. It's hardly the responsibility of the volunteers who work on GNOME to serve the interests of these companies.
<p>All in all, I really do think this boils down to non-developers telling developers what to do. If that's what you want, go hire someone. Otherwise, please do fuck off.

/.
by newbert on Sat 12th Mar 2005 14:20 UTC

This place is getting just as bad as /. ... pathetic.

not quite as many dupes though.

And
by AQ on Sat 12th Mar 2005 14:52 UTC

to play that speech, since it is in ogg format, get the gpl'd videolan client (vlc) at http://www.videolan.org/vlc/

They have versions for many different linux, bsd, and windows.

Commercial software
by Everyone who thinks they ar on Sat 12th Mar 2005 15:04 UTC

Commercial software works entirely different from volunteer based software. I'VE ACTUALLY WRITTEN SOFTWARE FOR ONE THING.

Due to the profit motive, companies do not do things out of charity, unless that charity is tax deductible or has another benefit to the company.

Software marketers are SUPPOSED to find out what the market's needs, like-to-have's, and would-be-nice-to-have's are. The markets are supposed to determine HOW MUCH THE USER WILL PAY FOR EACH FEATURE and ask project managers how long the features would take to code. A schedule is assembled and a business case is made for the software. Pay-back periods are estimated as well as development cost and time-to-develop. Once funding is signed off and the project is sanctioned, all of the project's stake holders are identified and milestones are clear (hopefully.)

During the scheduling, if project-critical features are determined to take too long to implement in-house, outsourcing is to be considered. In the long run outsourcing is bad for the company if used in excess since your own staff doesn't cut their teeth on more difficult projects and get better.


One of the critical points though is to put together a "value list" of features where each feature is weighed by its cost in time to develop and how badly the customers want it.

This is EXACTLY what the people who recommend an escrow account are talking about. If enough people want something done, the $$$ in the escrow account will be higher than for other projects.

Incidently, since the people who want this GNOME feature really bad apparently do not know how to code (or there wouldn't really be a problem,) how on Earth do you intend to maintain it? How will you add in new features or bugfixes as the GNOME source code advances?

The answer is lying on your dinner table. FORK IT. It is only impossible to fork software if you are lazy or unmotivated or not willing to pay for what you want.







Re: Commercial software
by Johnathan Bailes on Sat 12th Mar 2005 15:32 UTC

Commercial software
By Everyone who thinks they ar (IP: ---.union01.nj.comcast.net) - Posted on 2005-03-12 15:04:26
Commercial software works entirely different from volunteer based software. I'VE ACTUALLY WRITTEN SOFTWARE FOR ONE THING.

.....

One of the critical points though is to put together a "value list" of features where each feature is weighed by its cost in time to develop and how badly the customers want it.
....

Incidently, since the people who want this GNOME feature really bad apparently do not know how to code (or there wouldn't really be a problem,) how on Earth do you intend to maintain it? How will you add in new features or bugfixes as the GNOME source code advances?


Bullcrap. There are people who do code who know enough to submit patches that are ignored but they simply do not have the time to support a full fork like the Nautilus deriative fork that is floating out there.

Havoc himself admits that projects ignore a lot of patches because merging in patches is no fun. But a good bit of the work done on gnome IS commercial software work when Sun, Red Hat, and others bankroll part of the development on a desktop that is wonderful in many ways but missing a handful of seriously basic functions like editing the menu or searching the file system from the file manager.

Re: From the other thread
by dpi on Sat 12th Mar 2005 18:18 UTC

Hope Jesse doesn't mind me reposting this from the other thread, but it defines the attitude of Eugenia very clearly. We aren't talking about some kind hearted saint who was rejected communion here.

"Ironic stance given Eugenia's statements about OSNEWS
By Jesse S.A. Bridgewater (IP: ---.ee.ucla.edu) - Posted on 2005-03-11 18:10:57

On Eugenia's editor page , http://osnews.com/editor.php?editors_id=1 , she says the following:

I do OSNews for pure fun (it is just a hobby for me in order to fill up my free time), so if you have a problem with my spelling and grammar either:
a) do not come back (spare us and save your time too) b) send me a proofread version of the article in question.
Whining about something I can't radically improve overnight, is not an option.


She donates her time and is not that interested in hearing whining about what she produces in that donated time. This sounds alot like how FOSS developers feel about their code.

Jesse"


Touche.

So the limit of your effort for your proposed change is to contact the developers and if that doesn't work, post on their blog and complain?


LOOK AT TRANSGAMING.

RE: d
by Johnathan Bailes on Sat 12th Mar 2005 19:04 UTC

Re: By Johnathan Bailes (IP: ---.chvlva.adelphia.net) - Posted on 2005-03-12 15:
By d (IP: ---.union01.nj.comcast.net) - Posted on 2005-03-12 18:41:29
So the limit of your effort for your proposed change is to contact the developers and if that doesn't work, post on their blog and complain?


Who is posting on a developer's blog?

It would really be cool to have the time to learn gtk2+ and write some patches. But why in the hell bother when guys on the top of the food chain on the developer's list tell you they don't have the time for patches and regularily ignore them because they are pain.

What do you contribute? I hear this all the time. Most people do not even bother looking at bugzilla. I post my bugs and feature requests and try to be a good user.

Then I look at the developer lists too long and become frustrated. I see them ignore or turn down patches out of hand. Why bother trying to patch any of the stuff in gnome-love (go to footnotes its a list of needed patches and things the gnome devs need from the community) if its just going to get ignored and the developers themselves have the gall to admit it freely like its some damn inside joke.

Transgaming??? I mentioned nothing about the state of gaming in linux. Though I was going to buy Majesty Gold soon. I like that game.




OUT OF CONTEXT
by d on Sat 12th Mar 2005 19:39 UTC

Holy Out of context replying batman!


reread what I wrote earlier.

Transgaming is the result of WINE changing licenses and leaning towards application support first, games second. Codeweavers' is another attempt at going the support MS Office 1st route.

They forked wine when it changed licenses, found new developers, created a business to sustain their developers and have made great products. THEY WILL MODIFY THEIR SOFTWARE TO SUPPORT USER DESIRES because they are paid to. They have a patch request area. They have a voting scheme to determine what gets fixed / supported next. THEY USE IT.

IBM and RedHat sell support and make a pretty good living on it and for customization. Mandrake was Red Hat. It was forked and a company was formed to keep the project going and to pay developers. The result is feely-downloadable software.

It boggles the mind what people have posted here. THINK for 2 seconds. Personally, I would LOVE a new GUI installer for Debian, but I'm not a huge fan of Progeny. I don't berate the developers of Debian for not having a GUI installer--They don't OWE it to me to make their software easy to use.

RE:OUT OF CONTEXT
by Anonymous on Sat 12th Mar 2005 20:15 UTC

"I don't berate the developers of Debian for not having a GUI installer--They don't OWE it to me to make their software easy to use."

Sheesh. Talk about beeing out of context.. Where does debian claim to be the pinnacle of usability? Where do they claim to be the easiest and best choice for beginners?

The point here is that we are constantly washed over with propaganda that tells us how great gnome is, it's "usability", "HIG", "productivity" and what not. Then, when finally it's showtime, someone tries to give some input into the project we are frankly told that in the end users opinions doesn't matter one bit, in fact sometimes the project seems to get out of it's way to make things hard on you.

Don't promise things in your marketing you can't or won't live up to. If you don't want other people to use your software, and you aren't prepaired to accept input on it, keep it in your closet, and don't put it in such a high profile project as gnome, which has a hughe number of users, with a large number of them depending on it.

Irony
by David Adams on Sat 12th Mar 2005 20:27 UTC

She donates her time and is not that interested in hearing whining about what she produces in that donated time. This sounds alot like how FOSS developers feel about their code.


I think this is a valid point, in that just because Eugenia and other people who spend their time working on articles for OSNews without compensation doesn't absolve them of all responsibility do to a good job. If they write an article that's full of grammar and punctuation mistakes, fails to make a valid point, or is plaigarized, they deserve to be criticised for those shortcomings, whether they're volunteers or not.

But Eugenia's not saying that you have no right to say that her English isn't perfect. She knows that. She's not prideful about it at all. But I believe that she's right to say that it's pointless to gripe about her English ability because unless you're willing to take the time to send her specific edits, so she can learn from her mistakes, it's not going to be much help. Most of the people who have jabbed at her for her grammar aren't doing it because they genuinely want to improve the grammar at OSNews. They do it to try to undermine her credibility.

Eugenia is not criticising the Gnome developers because of Gnome's shortcomings. On the contrary, she has put dozens if not hundreds of hours into working to provide specific feedback in order to try to make Gnome better, because she really wants the project to succeed. And she feels like the Gnome developers are treating her like she's some asshole who comments on OSNews, "learn how to spell, idiot."

So your criticism is thought-provoking, but if you examine the facts of the case, I don't think Eugenia's being hypocritical at all. Her comment on her "about us" page" "do not come back (spare us and save your time too" is a little cheeky, and maybe even rude, but she's talking about a completely different kind of mean-spirited criticism than what she's directied at the Gnome developers.

In Many Ways I Agree
by David on Sat 12th Mar 2005 21:11 UTC

I actually do.

First off, I think Eugenia has slightly left behind the notion that in an open source project you have a finite amount of resources, and they're doing a lot of it in their free time. Even the developers paid to work on projects have other responsibilities to their companies, and can't really do it full-time. There is that to consider, which it doesn't look like she's done. You just cannot get past that - it is a physical reality.

However, you've got a lot of OSS developers mouthing off about the many thousands of seats that they have running Gnome etc. etc. and the number of users they have and what they're going to do to challenge proprietary desktops (blah, blah, blah) and yet they won't take the rough with the smooth. On that, I think Eugenia does have a pretty legitimate point even though she may come across as ranting. It pays to pause and think about what someone has actually written rather than reaching for the keyboard.

How will this be solved? I haven't got a clue. I think it will continue to be a problem unfortunately.

...
by Anonymous on Sat 12th Mar 2005 21:35 UTC

It appears that GNOME 2.10 implemented many features and that this project is alive and well. I think that they want to make the DE user friendly yet try not to limit the freedom of power users. I'm trying to figure out where GNOME has gone wrong, and I can't think of anything.

Eugenia is a flip flop, because she jumps from OS to OS and does not retain objectivity. I don't trust her because she has not followed a consistant and professional approach other than to haunt these boards.

....
by Anonymous on Sat 12th Mar 2005 21:36 UTC

well the last of my comments perhaps applies to me too, but I'm no damn flip flop.

Eugenia is just keepin' it real. give her credit for that.
by Mike on Sat 12th Mar 2005 21:59 UTC

>>>>I do OSNews for pure fun (it is just a hobby for me in order to fill up my free time), so if you have a problem with my spelling and grammar either:
a) do not come back (spare us and save your time too)
b) send me a proofread version of the article in question.
Whining about something I can't radically improve overnight, is not an option.<<<<

You're right... she donates her time, and doesn't want to be given any crap for her cultural linguistic limitations. But the point here... is that she TELLS YOU THAT from the beginning. It's a disclaimer. She's not pretending to be anything else.

GNOME's official position, in black and white, is to be "user-centric." As stated earlier... if they want to turn a blind eye to user feedback, they shouldn't make the claim. And don't waste your time with the lack of an 'operational definition'.... USER-Centric in this sense refers to decisions implemented with the user's needs in mind. If a user is trying to express their need, and no one's listening.... then you're not user-centric.

Oh and....
by David on Sat 12th Mar 2005 22:21 UTC

And in the middle of all of those e-mail conversations:

What would be really valuable is to go out there and do some field research. Ask end users, not enthusiasts, what their top-5 annoyances are. Find a list of big deployments of GNOME (City of Largo, various cities in Germany and Spain, Brazilian Telecentros...)

That's what I mean. When you want to promote this kind of stuff (and let's face it, go mouthing off about it) you have to take the rough with the smooth. Havoc Pennington claims that the overlap between polls on web sites and Enterprise(tm) users is about 5%. He obviously doesn't have much experience with Enterprise users, as all they will do if they find something annoying is work around it and/or swear and curse at the screen. There is a heck of a lot more overlap than you think because Enterprise users simply don't tell you anything.

As an aside, deployments in Germany are definitely not Gnome-based (they're not even Suse either) and Largo is not a Gnome deployment either. People claiming that this was happening in Largo were doing so because they couldn't get any significant deployments of Gnome in five years of trying.

A lot of hype and nonsense about an organisation replacing Gnome with KDE when there certainly aren't many deployments of KDE in the world?! It fills you with confidence, and is really related to the sort of attitude Eugenia was talking about.

RE: .....
by Johnathan Bailes on Sat 12th Mar 2005 22:40 UTC

...
By Anonymous (IP: ---.cg.shawcable.net) - Posted on 2005-03-12 21:35:04
It appears that GNOME 2.10 implemented many features and that this project is alive and well. I think that they want to make the DE user friendly yet try not to limit the freedom of power users. I'm trying to figure out where GNOME has gone wrong, and I can't think of anything.


Actually if they implement everything they say in 2.12 I might say the same thing.

Where did Gnome go wrong? Hmmmmmm.....

All I know is that a lot of people I felt that gnome 2.0 was faster yes I said it than Gnome 1.4 which was light years slower than gnome 1.2. Nautilus was waaaaay faster but still needed improvement and te startup was at least 3 seconds faster than the latest KDE on the same box.

I don't know exactly what went wrong but slowly every app became more amd more like gnome-terminal feeling slow and leaky. Evolution was always a hog but as the minor numbers progressed Nautilus and the panel took longer to launch. Though I have to say spatial nautilus seems snappier than the browser version.

It looks like a great developer has plugged up two or three major leaks in gnome-terminal and if they can gnome-terminal feel fast and not suck resources I would be happy and its a good clue that optimization is not impossible.

What is coming for gnome 2.12?

1) Menu editing

2) Beagle included

3) better network support -- fix the samba browsing problem? Browse network --- browse to host --- click host and no permissions to view but no prompt at all for username and password?

4) Use gstreamer backend instead of esound -- thank god! --

That made me feel a lot better when I read that. If they at least get the samba browsing issues and the menu editing fixed, then I will be happy.

Re: RE: .....
by David on Sat 12th Mar 2005 22:49 UTC

Where did Gnome go wrong? Hmmmmmm.....

This discussion wasn't just about Gnome actually, and isn't just related to Gnome software and development efficiency issues.

This is a river a lot of open source projects have to (and are trying to) cross - not just Gnome.

A real shame.
by AQ on Sat 12th Mar 2005 23:55 UTC

David Adams... does Eugenia get paid to write for this site? I see advertisements all over, I imagine they're paying something.

Because you both fundamentally misunderstand FLOSS, apparently because you've fixated on the "for free" aspect instead of the freedom aspect that it is actually based on, you disgrace yourself by targeting hobbyist developers. That is from the very first paragraph of what Eugenia wrote: "But I am increasingly frustrated with Open Source software written by hobbyists." The rest of the rant goes on to say how hobbyists need to be lead by users. I suppose you misunderstand this because the OSI has done all it could to water down the FLOSS movement into a "for-free" open source movement. She only calls it open source, underlining her disregard for the freedom it brings.

It is a literal shame that you all seem to support this attitude, because it has absolutely nothing in common with the concepts of freedom nearly all gpl software is based on.

It is very interesting that you all are pretending that she wrote some rational, thought provoking piece... when in actuality all she did was attack the most charitable people, the hobbyists, among us.

If you continue to defend that, then that is certainly a black mark for this site.

To clear up
by AQ on Sat 12th Mar 2005 23:56 UTC

And when I say "you all", I mean the editors/posters of this site.

@Johnathan Bailes
by Magic8 on Sun 13th Mar 2005 03:46 UTC

You know Johnathon, for someone who seems to mainly be concerned about the editability of menus, you sure do seem to have a lot to say. Bullshit, but a lot of it. Its very sad that you aren't happy with Gnome. Why do you use it? I've been tracking Gnome since before the 2.0 days and I can assure you that the level of quality and its general robustness has come a long, long way. In fact, it is now a generally stable, usable and reliable system. Still has a long way to go.

This argument between Eugenia and the devs was never about your precious menu editing -- if you mention it one more time I'm sure I'll scream. Do you think you need to say it again? Are you certain that you are the only one aware of that and without you crying about it at every opportunity no one would understand how devastatingly important it is? Please--its been reported by multiple people in multiple ways at multiple places at multiple times. Everyone knows and there is work being done on that front as we speak. That's the point -- Eugenia was really saying, "hey, me and a bunch of my nerd-pals are pretty peeved about the following items. I'll make a list and a poll and I'll submit the top 50. That way you'll know exactly what you must work on because if its not on the list, it shouldn't be on your agenda." You see, its not about a specific feature. Its about Eugenia (and apparently people like yourself) not understanding decorum or process. Does Eugenia have a looking glass where she has some sort of vantadge point that is more privldedged than the people actually working on the problem? Is Eugenia, who is not considered a contributor, somehow more likely to understand the deep issues or have better insights into the process than people who have been struggling with it for years?

Just because Eugenia's squeek didn't get oiled does not mean the community is ignoring these usability issues. What it means is that arragance and hostility are not received well (anywhere) and that not all ideas will be accepted -- period.

So please, get off your high "user" horse. Everytime you say that Gnome is somehow not "user centric" you come off looking like a spoiled brat, a goon -- an idiot really. Save yourself. Be nice. That doesn't mean you oughtn't be critical or point out problems. It just means you shouldn't point fingers and go "woes me" all the time.

AQ=a real shame
by Anonymous on Sun 13th Mar 2005 03:53 UTC

You haven't read the other thread? It was stated explicitly in one of the comments that Eugenia does NOT get paid for her work @OSNEWS. Frankly, your personal attack on Eugenia is simply appalling.

@ Johnathan Baile
by Finalzone on Sun 13th Mar 2005 05:40 UTC

The reason menu editor is disabled on GNOME 2.6->2.10 are it was buggy. Since menu editor is not on developer priority during that time, it is a small problem. Apparently, 2.12 will be based from freedesktop standard.
I remember that I have tested Fedora Core 3 Test 3 with udev that pratically detected all partitions (even FAT32 and NTFS) but it didn't make on final version because of a nasty bug from RAID. I learned a lesson to not bashing developer decision, afterall, they are human like us.

v ....
by Anonymous on Sun 13th Mar 2005 06:16 UTC
I must be a minority here
by foo on Sun 13th Mar 2005 07:30 UTC

I kind of like the rate that OSS is developing. It seems quite natural. I've been following it since about 2000-ish, may be sooner if you count some horrible experiments with early redhat and "redmond Linux" ;-)

Sure, there are many features and bugs I'd like to see taken care of, but on the whole, I love the Open Source community's ability to solve my software needs. Slowly, but surely. Not to dog on E L-Q or Thom (your site is down - can't get to your article, mate) but I just want to send a big THANK YOU out to the devs. I dig your work!

-foo

v compromises
by Omega on Sun 13th Mar 2005 09:18 UTC
v Re: AQ=a real shame
by Shagrat on Sun 13th Mar 2005 15:30 UTC
v RE: various (Thom)
by Shagrat on Sun 13th Mar 2005 15:39 UTC
re: Shagrat
by Johnathan Bailes on Sun 13th Mar 2005 16:48 UTC

...

WTF are you talking about? Are you brain dead? Aside from the ads on the page, OSnews does charge $20 for membership. Read the media kit for Christ sake:


She said she did not own either Osnews or the Gtkapps page is what she said and that total revenue for the pages barely cover the expense in bandwidth anyway.

It would help if you read the threads from the devel list.

v RE: Shagrat
by Thom Holwerda on Sun 13th Mar 2005 17:34 UTC