Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 7th Sep 2009 22:38 UTC, submitted by EvilWells
Debian and its clones Developer Frans Pop, author of debtree, posted an article showing the evolution in size of the GNOME desktop environment in recent Debian releases. The picture he paints isn't particularly pretty: the default GNOME install has increased drastically in size over the years.
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Comment by kaiwai
by kaiwai on Mon 7th Sep 2009 23:24 UTC
kaiwai
Member since:
2005-07-06

I do thinnk he does go over the top in some regards although the current situation is absolutely stupid. There is gvfs which is supposed to replace gnome-vfs. By 2.28, there should be no reason why gnome-vfs is included anymore. FAM has been replaced with gamin, why then hasn't GNOME standardised on one piece of technology instead of offering numerous variations? The spiderweb of dependencies has been known for ages, there has been a plan to simplify it but no one is willing to put the hard word on the maintainers by saying, "no, if you don't upgrade your application, your application will be booted from the GNOME desktop".

I mean, Christ almighty, Bonobono (plus CORBA and numerous other components) has been deprecated for how long and Evolution *STILL* uses it?! webkit has become the de-facto standard open source rendering engine and yet GNOME is still hobbling around with gtkhtml and ghecko? All of this should have been sorted out by now - 2.28 should have heralded the shedding of all this crap.

Don't get me started on HAL; bless the cotton socks of the programmer who originally came up with something to address the original aim of trying to get Linux to 'just work' to improve the desktop experience but things should have moved well beyond HAL by now to a system where detection is based on the hardware notifying the kernel of its presence which then sends a signal via DBUS to a a hardware 'management' dispatcher which decides based on a set of rules how to handle a given device. HAL right now is still using the retarded CPU hogging, unscalable polling that even a person with computer 101 knowledge can see as being retarded.

There are problems and they're not being address; you need leadership from the top down where a target can be set, a roadmap laid down and for contributing programmers to know, "ok, this is the target we're aim to get to" instead of a project wandering around the wilderness trying to work out what is supposed to be moving towards in terms of a target.

Edited 2009-09-07 23:28 UTC

Reply Score: 9

RE: Comment by kaiwai
by cjst on Tue 8th Sep 2009 00:39 in reply to "Comment by kaiwai"
cjst Member since:
2009-03-30

Actually one should use inotify instead of FAM/Gamin...

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by kaiwai
by strcpy on Tue 8th Sep 2009 05:01 in reply to "RE: Comment by kaiwai"
strcpy Member since:
2009-05-20

And add more Linux dependencies?

The tunnel vision. Monoculture there, monoculture here.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by kaiwai
by kaiwai on Tue 8th Sep 2009 11:25 in reply to "RE: Comment by kaiwai"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Actually one should use inotify instead of FAM/Gamin...


The solution isn't even that - what is required is a grand unified HAL which abstracts all what the desktop needs via an abstraction layer so that all one needs to do is port the HAL and the desktop will compile on top.

The HAL needs to be operating system agnostic and the GNOME programmers unconcerned about the underlying operating system; if a feature is missing in HAL then it needs to be added; if the underlying operating system is deficient then the maintainers of that operating system need to be notified of such a deficiency and put the responsibility of implementing it on their shoulders.

There was a talk about such an idea but it never got off the ground - but it is needed; evidence alone is how horrible some of the GNOME code is trying to accommodate every operating system in the software itself rather than all calls be made to one consistent underlying API which abstracts all the operating system dependent calls. Oh, and it would not be dependent on GNU extensions; it would only use what is uniform across all platforms - for example, if you need to use grep, don't use the GNU extensions to the standard grep. Many times these libraries can achieve what is required without the GNU extensions - you just need to build several components to reach that end result.

Its not going to happen because it would require 6-12 months of solid of design to ensure that it covers all which needs to be covered as well as designing it in such a way that features can be progressively added without breaking compatibility. I'm willing to work on such a project but like previous attempts to make a contribution - they have fallen on deaf ears. So rather than persevere I roll up my nap sack and mosey on back to Mac OS X with the occasional glancing over my candy coated iMac to see how things are going over there. Once I see nothing has happened - I go back to enjoying what I have.

Edited 2009-09-08 11:41 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Comment by kaiwai
by Karitku on Tue 8th Sep 2009 12:02 in reply to "Comment by kaiwai"
Karitku Member since:
2006-01-12

You are wrong. What we clearly need is people who use these software to contribute by coding. Surely anyone can code, it's not much harder than learning new language. We don't need leaders and heavy organizations, community driven model is much better since person who codes what ever he likes makes best code. Did you know that time that it took for you to write this complaint you could have improved those things by contributing code that could have saved baby seal ... Wait a minute, this isn't my MOSS cup, FO...

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by kaiwai
by darknexus on Tue 8th Sep 2009 14:29 in reply to "RE: Comment by kaiwai"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

You are wrong. What we clearly need is people who use these software to contribute by coding. Surely anyone can code, it's not much harder than learning new language.


Wow, what planet are you living on exactly? Or is it a parallel universe where most people work for the computer instead of having the computer help them get their work done? Most users do not want to code, do not ever want to know how the computer does what it does, and shouldn't have to care. This is a growing attitude problem in the foss community of late, next thing we all know if people like you had your say we'd all have to contribute x amount of coding hours before the software would even work for us. Ridiculous.

We don't need leaders and heavy organizations, community driven model is much better


Which is why the community-driven model has resulted in such a rat's nest? We really do need someone to take the rains and say to all the developers: "This is where we are going, if you don't like it go code somewhere else or start your own project." A thousand people pulling in a thousand little directions is precisely the problem. They need to lay it down and stick to it. That's how Microsoft and Apple got where they are--they know what they want and that's the end they code for. It doesn't please everyone but, as the massive ubiquity of Windows should tell you, it's good enough for the average Joe. That's also the reason Apple is on the rise at least in the U.S, they're delivering an attractive alternative to a good majority of people (myself included). Is it perfect? No. Do they clearly have a design in mind? You bet your ass.

person who codes what ever he likes makes best code.


Agreed, but there are low level things that almost no one ever likes to work on and those get neglected under the current community-driven model. While the person who codes what they enjoy certainly writes the best code, what about those parts that are necessary but that no one enjoys (low level abstraction, debugging, adding features that are demanded but aren't wanted by the coder)? There are a lot of projects that become abandonware or otherwise don't really improve because once the coder is done and it "works for me" as most of them seem to say, it needs tested and debugged in a variety of different setups. It's not fun, it's not glamorous, but it is necessary... and almost no one in the foss world really wants to sit down with their projects and really iron out all the bugs that are reported by users. Do you know how many legitimate bugs get triaged by developers who either don't think it's an issue or just don't want to deal with it, and that's if the users are lucky and don't get a response back saying something egotistical to the effect of"Well, if you can't fix it, shut the f**k up?" Most of those responses come from people with your view, I would guess... the egotistical children of foss.

Did you know that time that it took for you to write this complaint you could have improved those things by contributing code?


Oh, sure. Provided upstream likes it of course and allows the fix in, as long as it doesn't stomp on some other idiot's ego that someone else dare modify his feature or add something new. And don't tell me it never happens (Glibc, anyone?).

Reply Parent Score: 2