Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 14th Mar 2011 18:59 UTC
Talk, Rumors, X Versus Y And over the weekend, the saga regarding Canonical, GNOME, and KDE has continued. Lots of comments all over the web, some heated, some well-argued, some wholly indifferent. Most interestingly, Jeff Waugh and Dave Neary have elaborated on GNOME's position after the initial blog posts by Shuttleworth and Seigo, providing a more coherent look at GNOME's side of the story.
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RE[2]: Duck and Cover
by Thom_Holwerda on Tue 15th Mar 2011 10:47 UTC in reply to "RE: Duck and Cover"
Thom_Holwerda
Member since:
2005-06-29

User problems are of the type: "I want to know when my computer connects to a wifi network" or "I want to know when I have an appointment coming up without opening a calendar application" or "I want to know when I have new email without opening my email client". And I don't care whether that's implemented in the back-end with DBus messages, shared memory, small applets that use inotify to watch mbox files, or whatever. It doesn't matter to me, the user what the desktop environment & application developer do to solve my problem.


Not directly, but it does matter indirectly, and that's what you're ignoring. Because of GNOME's my-way-or-the-highway approach to this particular issue, developers now have to go out of their way to support multiple APIs for something as elementary and basic as as this, meaning additional work, additional code, and thus, additional room for bugs. This WILL matter to users, even if they don't know about it or can't put it into words.

Worse yet - it may mean some developers will choose to ignore one implementation, which will also adversely affect users. They may think "screw this" and stick to Xembed, which will also adversely affect users. Especially now that the most popular desktop distribution is going all-out with Unity, you might see developers giving the virtual finger to GNOME, which will - again - adversely affect your users.

This is an element that I've been missing from GNOME's side of the story, and it's the element that actually matters. KDE gets this - interoperability benefits users, even if that means that KDE developers must swallow their pride and use something that could be a bit sub-par or didn't originate from within KDE.

As a user, it looks like to me that GNOME simply can't stand Ubuntu going with Unity - and that's fine. You have the right to be unhappy with this. However, fighting this out in a way that hurts users is bad - and antithetical to the values of Free/open source software. This is behaviour I come to expect from Apple and Microsoft - not from the Free software community.

Edited 2011-03-15 10:51 UTC

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