Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 20th Aug 2012 21:04 UTC, submitted by suka
Gnome In a recent interview with the Austrian newssite derStandard.at, GNOME designer Jon McCann talks about GNOME OS, the consequences of Canonical leaving GNOME behind, the purported removal of features and the future role of Linux distributions. "I think there was a time when GNOME had kind of a crisis, we didn't know where we wanted to go, we were lacking goals and vision - that was the end of the GNOME2 cycle. So we pulled together and formed a vision where we want to go - and actually did something about it. And now we have been marching on that plan for quite some time."
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Comment by Sodki
by Sodki on Mon 20th Aug 2012 21:51 UTC
Sodki
Member since:
2005-11-10

Disclaimer: I am a GNOME lover, either GNOME 1, GNOME 2 or GNOME 3. Recently I've forced myself to use GNOME 3, first with lots of extensions, but then without any extensions. At work I have to use GNOME 2 due to Ubuntu's previous LTS, but I hope I can upgrade soon to get back to GNOME 3 for most of my day. Having said this...


I think there was a time when GNOME had kind of a crisis, we didn't know where we wanted to go, we were lacking goals and vision - that was the end of the GNOME2 cycle.


Oh no, don't give us that. GNOME might not have had a "vision", but it had a goal: being a damn fine desktop environment. It was the desktop of choice for most GNU/Linux users, it was well respected, it was well backed up by corporations and it was very good.


So we pulled together and formed a vision where we want to go - and actually did something about it.


Yes, and you also lost the majority of your users and corporate support. Ubuntu didn't came up with Unity out of thin air, it was a clear response to GNOME's new "vision". Ubuntu knew it couldn't count on GNOME 3 because it was too radical: to an outsider it felt like developers were having "visions" while completely ignoring the bad feedback received from users. The transition from GNOME 2 to GNOME 3 wasn't good at all.

And why do you think Fedora 18 will have the MATE desktop (a GNOME 2 fork) on the official repositories? Hint: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 will be based on Fedora 18.


And now we have been marching on that plan for quite some time.


GNOME 3 technology is vastly superior to GNOME 2 technology. There is a huge potential there, but that potential has to be exploited, otherwise only the abyss awaits. People need to know they have that kind of flexibility with GNOME 3.

I see a lot of talk about "vision" and "design", but you must know your target audience. I'm glad you have tablets in mind, but you are forgetting about your real users, people who use the desktop right now. A prime example was the removal/hiding of the "power off" button. Not everyone has a laptop that goes to sleep well. Not everyone is interested in wasting power during the night. I, for example, shut down the power socket completely during the night to save power.

This is not a failure of GNOME 3 technology, it's a failure of "vision" and "design". Another prime example is usability. I've done usability tests, both as a user and as a developer. I know they're hard. I hear GNOME 3 developers talking about usability all the time, but I doubt they've either done usability tests or look at the results properly.

It's not that GNOME 3's "vision" is completely wrong. I mean, I was a huge critic of GNOME 3, but I've learned to love it. But the "vision" has to have some connection with reality and with users, otherwise it will definitely fail and leave us all poorer.

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