Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 14th Aug 2007 22:04 UTC
Gnome "We want to develop a free and complete set of user friendly applications and desktop tools, similar to CDE and KDE but based entirely on free software." Those were the opening lines of Miguel De Icaza's email announcing the GNU Network Object Model Environment, better known as GNOME, exactly (in my timezone) ten years ago, on 15th August 1997. They have come a long way from this, to this.
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RE[2]: It's a Good Thing™
by lindkvis on Thu 16th Aug 2007 08:30 UTC in reply to "RE: It's a Good Thing™"
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"However, the standard answer is words to the effect of "No ordinary user would ever want to do this". I don't see any definition anywhere in Gnome's HIG or on their site that defines what an 'ordinary user' is, or does. Go on to Amazon, buy any standard usability book that people tend to use, and you will never find that phrase, or anything like it, anywhere. I guarantee it. "

You are right. This is currently handled as a judgement call by the maintainers. Havoc has actually pushed on more formalisation on what the target market for GNOME actually is. But even as it is, GNOME with the fuzzy idea of "ordinary user" is a more clearly defined project than most free software projects.

The main problem with integrating "your pet functionality" is that every user has their own pet functionality that does not match yours. So in order to please everyone, GNOME would have to pack in loads of features and configuration options and basically end up pleasing nobody but the "power users" that love to tweak and configure things. A horrible example is Emacs, which has so many obscure options that it is impossible to find the straightforward and simple ones.

That is why everything is weighted so carefully before integrating it. If Linus feels GNOME is too restrictive, he should just keep on using KDE, there really is no reason for him not to.

Also, there is no reason for Metacity to integrate loads of "power features", because people can just keep using sawfish or whatever window manager they please.

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