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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Duck and Cover
by segedunum on Mon 14th Mar 2011 20:31 UTC
segedunum
Member since:
2005-07-06

I don't get the point of Jeff Waugh. For years he's seemed to have been a corrosive influence, villified by people even in the community he claims to represent and for some reason he miraculously turns up over this issue and starts dishing out his pearls of wisdom.

I really don't know what else could have been done to get StatusNotifier into Gnome. It was discussed at length, it didn't just appear out of nowhere, the Gnome devs asked for some changes they seemed quite receptive to and when they were duly accommodated there was silence and it was duly rejected with few, if any, reasons given. That's usually a classic tactic. You ask for changes that you hope won't be done and then you stonewall when they are.

I think we can all agree that Canonical have got a lot of things a bit off skew, but all I know is that the stuff that Canonical put into Unity and KDE put into KDE actually works and it hasn't hurt anyone.

This little gem in Dave Neary's blog tells you all you need to know about how they really feel about collaboration:

This is not a compelling problem statement. No user ever had a problem because notifications didn’t use D-Bus.

I don't know what you can say to that. D-Bus was initiated many years ago, by a prominent Gnome developer no less, to ensure that apps and desktops could communicate with each and work, thus helping those very same users. KDE embraced and uses D-Bus extensively. I have no idea what's been going on with Gnome. As far as I can see they've reimplemented it several times with little in the way of results.

As for the Freedesktop nonsense, Seigo and many others have been trying to get Freedesktop working for years and haven't been helped one iota. Mainly Gnome developers then turn around every time and say that it is broken as a justification for not putting in any input. It will never be fixed, mark my words, but Gnome not being a part of it might not be very important anyway.

The distasteful thing is that various Gnome devs don't just come out and say "Look' we don't care about Freedesktop or collaboration and it's not worth our time". They paint their position as the exact opposite, reject anything related to it and then spin like crazy to try and tell everyone how they have 'misunderstood', certain things weren't done in a 'He said, she said' type exchange with people (very important that things can't be proved) and try and paint another different picture of what went on on mailing lists because they know the discussions are too broad to nail them down.

I've never got this distasteful attitude that seems to exist at the core of Gnome. It certainly doesn't happen everywhere in the project or many of its applications, but it does happen at the core of it.

Reply Score: 13

RE: Duck and Cover
by drcouzelis on Mon 14th Mar 2011 20:57 in reply to "Duck and Cover"
drcouzelis Member since:
2010-01-11

This is not a compelling problem statement. No user ever had a problem because notifications didn’t use D-Bus.


I think you may have missed the point of this quote. Dave isn't talking about collaboration. Instead, he's talking about how to write a good specification, which starts with defining the problem statement.

Dave is saying, in a slightly humorous way, that "Notifications don't use D-Bus" is not a proper problem statement. I completely agree.

Did you understand what he wrote differently than I did?

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: Duck and Cover
by _txf_ on Mon 14th Mar 2011 21:07 in reply to "RE: Duck and Cover"
_txf_ Member since:
2008-03-17

Dave is saying, in a slightly humorous way, that "Notifications don't use D-Bus" is not a proper problem statement. I completely agree.


Except that wasn't the problem and nobody ever said that it was. The problem was Xembed (which was unflexible and designed for a different era). The solution was to use dbus for ipc (would he rather people reimplement a new ipc just for systrays!?).

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Duck and Cover
by Thom_Holwerda on Mon 14th Mar 2011 22:06 in reply to "Duck and Cover"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

I've never got this distasteful attitude that seems to exist at the core of Gnome. It certainly doesn't happen everywhere in the project or many of its applications, but it does happen at the core of it.


Whatever it is, fear has been intensifying it. For all its flaws, Ubuntu is the most popular Linux distribution on the desktop, and therefore, one of GNOME's biggest customers - certainly the most visible customer.

And they've lost this customer.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Duck and Cover
by darknexus on Mon 14th Mar 2011 22:23 in reply to "RE: Duck and Cover"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

"I've never got this distasteful attitude that seems to exist at the core of Gnome. It certainly doesn't happen everywhere in the project or many of its applications, but it does happen at the core of it.


Whatever it is, fear has been intensifying it. For all its flaws, Ubuntu is the most popular Linux distribution on the desktop, and therefore, one of GNOME's biggest customers - certainly the most visible customer.

And they've lost this customer.
"

In order to be a customer, they'd have to be paying for something. Given the recent Banshee/amazon MP3 issue, I don't think Canonical are paying GNOME anything, somehow.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: Duck and Cover
by allanregistos on Tue 15th Mar 2011 04:46 in reply to "RE: Duck and Cover"
allanregistos Member since:
2011-02-10

"I've never got this distasteful attitude that seems to exist at the core of Gnome. It certainly doesn't happen everywhere in the project or many of its applications, but it does happen at the core of it.


Whatever it is, fear has been intensifying it. For all its flaws, Ubuntu is the most popular Linux distribution on the desktop, and therefore, one of GNOME's biggest customers - certainly the most visible customer.

And they've lost this customer.
"

A big yes. Sad news to Red Hat, but I will never recommend Fedora(I'm using it) to corporate users(those adventurous managers) and even Internet Cafes and home users, but Ubuntu, since it will be the obvious choice which has a long term support and commitment every three years for a desktop. Even The National Bookstore in the Philippines was using Ubuntu, I am quite sure they use it in servers(not necessarily Ubuntu), but the point is the GNOME Desktop, which was the default shell of Ubuntu and thus making GNOME more popular to the public.

I am the one who criticized GNOME Shell's hiding of Power Off/Shutdown button, and this design I think was created because of their short-sightedness and their unwilling to collaborate even to their very own users.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Duck and Cover
by dneary on Tue 15th Mar 2011 10:37 in reply to "Duck and Cover"
dneary Member since:
2011-03-15

I really don't know what else could have been done to get StatusNotifier into Gnome.


If you want to get GNOME to adopt an interface, then talk about what the interface is intended to achieve. Don't ignore the history in the discussions either. Look up Galago, for example, as some background context, and libnotify.

This little gem in Dave Neary's blog tells you all you need to know about how they really feel about collaboration:

"This is not a compelling problem statement. No user ever had a problem because notifications didn’t use D-Bus.

I don't know what you can say to that. D-Bus was initiated many years ago, by a prominent Gnome developer no less, to ensure that apps and desktops could communicate with each and work, thus helping those very same users. KDE embraced and uses D-Bus extensively.
"

Are you willfully and deliberately inferring something I didn't say, or is it accidental?

Look at what I said: no user ever had a problem because notifications didn't use DBus. Allow me to rephrase: No user cares what under-the-covers technology is used to fix the issues he has, or implement features he's interested in.

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.

Dave.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Duck and Cover
by Thom_Holwerda on Tue 15th Mar 2011 10:47 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

Reply Parent Score: 7

RE[2]: Duck and Cover
by Morty on Tue 15th Mar 2011 21:08 in reply to "RE: Duck and Cover"
Morty Member since:
2005-07-06

Don't ignore the history in the discussions either. Look up Galago, for example, as some background context, and libnotify.

He, he, don't ignore history indeed. Nice of you to bring up that particular fuck up, as it's another nice example showing off Gnomes cross desktop "collaboration" and illustrate the projects persistent NIH issues. It underline aseigos argument quite nicely, and show it's not a new problem.

Reply Parent Score: 5