Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 19th May 2011 18:59 UTC, submitted by fran
Gnome Something's - once again - brewing within the GNOME project. While a mere suggestion for now, and by no means any form of official policy, influential voices within the GNOME project are arguing that GNOME should become a full-fledged Linux-based operating system, and that the desktop environment should drop support for other operating systems such as Solaris and the BSDs. I have a feeling this isn't going to go down well with many of our readers.
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Meh
by Soulbender on Thu 19th May 2011 19:52 UTC
Soulbender
Member since:
2005-08-18

It's a discussion, those happens all the time.
Not surprised that it's Mr "Write-for-Linux-only-and-fsck-everyone-else" Poettering who would suggest such a thing though.
I don't really see what you'd gain from making GNOME Linux only though or why on earth you'd want systemd to be a hard dependency.
Also, since when is GNOME the OS core? Why would system settings have to be Linux specific?
Pretty much nonsense arguments.

Reply Score: 7

RE: Meh
by jgagnon on Thu 19th May 2011 20:11 in reply to "Meh"
jgagnon Member since:
2008-06-24

If your desktop environment isn't an OS and the kernel isn't an OS then what exactly is an OS? I'm thinking there is more than one legitimate answer to this question.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Meh
by barbieri on Thu 19th May 2011 20:21 in reply to "RE: Meh"
barbieri Member since:
2007-07-30

yes, OS definition is broad. You can't use a kernel by itself, as you can't use the programs without a kernel. (I'm over simplifying it and ignoring RTOS, special purpose OS) so we often considered the GNU userland together with Linux kernel a "GNU/Linux OS".

While this is good for servers, it's not good at all for desktops. Okay, you can assume you have GLibC and POSIX, but you can't know what sound server do you have, or which graphics system, ipc and all. Then we used to write generic system that talks to multiple (or none) of these...

This effort can be called "lost" because it could be used to improve the applications or libraries themselves. We used to have lots of half-working applications since developer focus incorrectly switched from "making it useful" to "make it usable anyware", so yes, it barely provided its core features but would run on a toaster :-D

For a while developer of various systems, not only GNOME but also E17 (which I'm a developer) started to assume some things and don't care about portability. Assume DBus, assume X11, assume Linux. When people came and complained about not working on other systems, these could be considered... particularly if the complain comes with patches ;-)

So I don't see GNOME doing any radical change other than being clear and stating what was indirected told before: developer focus is on the system they use, Linux.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: Meh
by Neolander on Thu 19th May 2011 21:11 in reply to "RE: Meh"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

If your desktop environment isn't an OS and the kernel isn't an OS then what exactly is an OS? I'm thinking there is more than one legitimate answer to this question.

IMO, an OS is an interface between people, hardware, and software. You can't get much more precise than that.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Meh
by barbieri on Thu 19th May 2011 20:13 in reply to "Meh"
barbieri Member since:
2007-07-30

To be more clear (and I'm not even GNOME hacker, but e17 one) non-linux systems lacks lots of desktop-interesting features (ie: udev), software stack lags behind (ie: xorg) and mainly lacks developers interested in desktop.

Sure, the second topic (lag) can be fixed if the last point is fixed (more developers). One can argue the first issue (lack of features) is not an issue but different opinions, but why the developers of the Linux front should suffer because the lack on the BSD side? This would be called priority inversion on other situations :-)

Also Linux itself is not perfect. But given developer interest we're working on making it better, see the recent commits to aid desktop use cases and even systemd: cgroups, extended vt controls, etc. They don't exist in BSD, but they didn't in Linux as well. People worked on getting them ready in Linux, while nobody cares about this in the BSD land. So why bother about BSD in the desktop land?

Reply Parent Score: 10

RE[2]: Meh
by Soulbender on Thu 19th May 2011 20:38 in reply to "RE: Meh"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

I don't really care if GNOME focus only on Linux. They can do what they want. What does annoy me is that this comes after god knows how many years of listening to Linux users and devs endlessly whining about how this and that software does not support Linux. Now, all of a sudden, it's ok to fsck everyone else because *Linux* needs to evolve. A bit two-faced.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Meh
by sorpigal on Fri 20th May 2011 11:39 in reply to "RE: Meh"
sorpigal Member since:
2005-11-02

There's a big difference between not including support for systems you don't personally run and not accepting compatibility patches. Few projects promise to maintain portability absolutely but to refuse to attempt to be portable where it doesn't hurt makes no sense. Add all the Linux-specific code you like! Throw it all inside #ifdef if you have to and gracefully degrade the experience that people see on e.g. Solaris. But don't stop supporting Solaris just because, that's just mean.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Meh
by tyrione on Fri 20th May 2011 12:54 in reply to "RE: Meh"
tyrione Member since:
2005-11-21

To be more clear (and I'm not even GNOME hacker, but e17 one) non-linux systems lacks lots of desktop-interesting features (ie: udev), software stack lags behind (ie: xorg) and mainly lacks developers interested in desktop.

Sure, the second topic (lag) can be fixed if the last point is fixed (more developers). One can argue the first issue (lack of features) is not an issue but different opinions, but why the developers of the Linux front should suffer because the lack on the BSD side? This would be called priority inversion on other situations :-)

Also Linux itself is not perfect. But given developer interest we're working on making it better, see the recent commits to aid desktop use cases and even systemd: cgroups, extended vt controls, etc. They don't exist in BSD, but they didn't in Linux as well. People worked on getting them ready in Linux, while nobody cares about this in the BSD land. So why bother about BSD in the desktop land?


Why the hell do you think OS X cares about udev? Sorry, but udev is not something OS X is lacking. Not by a long shot.

Reply Parent Score: 1