Re: Sorry State [Was: NLD10 and GNOME]

2006-02-11 Thread Lex Hider
On Thu, 2006-02-09 at 02:54 +1100, Jeff Waugh wrote:
 quote who=Anna Marie Dirks
 
  What a big jerkbird! So lazy! So community-tearing! Definitely the work of
  an evil, evil noncontributor.
 
 Anna, as I mentioned in another email, this frustration is about a broader
 problem we have in our community than the particular acts of contributing
 organisations or individuals. Definitely a large portion of the frustration
 you read in my email was aimed at *myself*, as I have also contributed to
 this 'sorry state' of affairs.
 
 It was not a good email. It was too emotive in precisely the wrong context.
 
 (A similar set of issues were expressed more eloquently in my GUADEC talk,
 if you want to watch that video.)
 
do you have a link?

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Re: Sorry State [Was: NLD10 and GNOME]

2006-02-11 Thread Jeff Waugh
quote who=Lex Hider

  (A similar set of issues were expressed more eloquently in my GUADEC talk,
  if you want to watch that video.)

 do you have a link?

http://stream.fluendo.com/archive/6uadec/Jeff_Waugh_-_Project_Topaz.ogg

- Jeff

-- 
FOSDEM 2006: Brussels, Belgiumhttp://www.fosdem.org/2006
 
 Old timers will tell you what a pain unstable was during the new
testament transition. - Jon Corbet on Debian's KJV packages
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Re: Sorry State [Was: NLD10 and GNOME]

2006-02-11 Thread Jono Bacon
Hi all,

My god, I am a little surprised at the discussion that has resulted
from a small comparison I made on my blog. :P I want to be entirely
clear in my opinion here - I was not criticising Novell for these
changes, just making the comparison.

In terms of the 'design behind closed doors', I think its a really
tough one to quantify and draw an opinion from. Sure, in a perfect
world, everything would be developed up front, in public and be
subject to full public discussion and commentary. I think for day to
day GNOME work and development - work that does not mean fundamental
changes to the user interface philosophy and direction of GNOME, this
is pragmatic and workable solution.

For fundamental changes to GNOME infrastructure or interface, the
problem runs a little deeper, and I can identify with the bike shed
analogy.  I think the problem is that to really push forward and make
fundamental innovative decisions, it requires someone to step up and
make a solid stand. The problem of course is that in a large
distributed project such as GNOME, few people want to step up and make
such a stand and risk treading on so many toes.

I think this is becoming an increasing problem for GNOME. As many of
you will know, I used to be heavily involved in the KDE project, and I
defected over to GNOME because I thought that the GNOME community (a)
had a finer understanding and appreciation of usability and (b) the
community had the balls to stand up and make decisions. In recent
months there seems to be some fragmentation in the community and
little spats like this really don't help. As I blogged about last
night (http://www.jonobacon.org/viewcomments.php?id=640), it seems
there is a cyclical wave of community confidence and ability that
moves between KDE and GNOME - and this is most certainly derived from
the social scenario of developing software within a public community,
and the competition and opinions that that infers.

So in summary, I can identify with both sides - I can sympathise with
developing going on behind closed doors to at least get *a* solution
up and running without it turning into a talking shop, but I can also
understand Jeff's concern that such things are not really under the
kind of 'community' banner that we would all like it to be. Its just a
same we have such 'sides'.

The concern I have is that unless some of these problems are resolved,
Topaz is only going to be a pipe dream - a pipe dream that no-one
wants to stand up and kick off due to fear that anyone standing up and
making a decision will involve a community backlash. With fundmental
changes like ones discussed in Topaz, we really need a decision to be
made at some point. I would be happy to stand up and propose
JonoGNOME, but I suspect you would all laugh at me and poke me with a
stick. :P

Cheers,

  Jono
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Re: Sorry State [Was: NLD10 and GNOME]

2006-02-08 Thread Vincent Untz
Le mercredi 08 février 2006 à 04:49 -0200, Evandro Fernandes Giovanini a
écrit :
 I think the process used by Novell is very common in the GNOME community
 (and Free Software in general).
 
 For example take metacity. Sawfish was the default window manager, so
 Havoc could have started a discussion
 should-our-window-manager-be-like-this-instead. But he didn't; what he
 did was write metacity following the design he had in mind in a window
 manager. Metacity was included in GNOME because most people adopted it
 and agreed that Havoc's design was better for the default window
 manager. 

AFAIK, Havoc used CVS for metacity. Everybody could look at it.

 The menu layout we use today is another example. If people had gone on
 discussions about which is better - the foot or the menu panel -
 perhaps things would have gone nowhere. But someone wrote the menu
 panel and eventually it became the GNOME default.

There were discussions about the new layout, but they were not on
d-d-l ;-) It was also done in CVS, by one of the maintainer.

 Ubuntu has also done some changes in the panel, like the 'Add to Panel'
 dialog. From what I remember this was first done in Ubuntu and after a
 release using that configuration discussion started on the usability
 list.

The Ubuntu Add to Panel dialog was developed with input from a
gnome-panel maintainer (who wondered what result it would give).
Discussion on usability list occurred because the maintainer was not
sure the result was okay. (maintainer being me, in that case)

 Another example is the log out dialog on the right top corner of
 the screen in Dapper, which wasn't proposed for discussion on
 mail.gnome.org, it was just implemented there when GNOME uses the window
 selector for the top right corner.

AFAIK, the log out thing in dapper is just a simple applet. The real
change is in the gnome-session dialog. I'm not sure the gnome-session
maintainers were aware of this change, but I believe that at least Mark
wanted to move this functionality to the panel, so...

[...]

I'm not saying design by community works. But people working on the
modules that will be changed should have the possibility to know about
the change. Don't ignore them. Be nice.

Another solution is to just proclaim we don't need maintainers any
more, everyone can do anything. Less work for me ;-) (but I'm not sure
this is a good solution).

Vincent

-- 
Les gens heureux ne sont pas pressés.

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Re: Sorry State [Was: NLD10 and GNOME]

2006-02-08 Thread Jeff Waugh
quote who=Anna Marie Dirks

 What a big jerkbird! So lazy! So community-tearing! Definitely the work of
 an evil, evil noncontributor.

Anna, as I mentioned in another email, this frustration is about a broader
problem we have in our community than the particular acts of contributing
organisations or individuals. Definitely a large portion of the frustration
you read in my email was aimed at *myself*, as I have also contributed to
this 'sorry state' of affairs.

It was not a good email. It was too emotive in precisely the wrong context.

(A similar set of issues were expressed more eloquently in my GUADEC talk,
if you want to watch that video.)

- Jeff

-- 
FISL 7.0: Porto Alegre, Brazilhttp://fisl.softwarelivre.org/7.0/www/
 
The cool stuff coming out of freedesktop.org doesn't just happen as
the result of an accident with a particle accelerator and a goat: it
only happens when people hack on it. - Daniel Stone
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Re: Sorry State [Was: NLD10 and GNOME]

2006-02-08 Thread Jon K Hellan
On Wed, 2006-02-08 at 11:28 -0500, Havoc Pennington wrote:
 If you guys want a specific productive suggestion, I think these are two
 de facto directions that could just be adopted; one is a kind of
 building block platform shared among the GNOME desktop, Maemo, GPE, XFCE
 even [2]; it might benefit from becoming explicitly targeted toward
 multiple projects? Emphasize fd.org more. I don't know. Two is a GNOME
 desktop that is still largely UNIX/shell-user/developer-oriented,
 designed for the customers of today's Linux distributions. Focus on this
 more and do it better.
 
 If the community wants to go beyond these de facto directions, I think
 it's possible, but only if people have the courage to commit to their
 chosen audience and recognize that it means not serving some other
 audiences. In the past, we lacked that courage for whatever reason.

Good thinking, as always.

However, if we decide to target a niche audience, on a niche operating
system, that's niche squared. I doubt if that's sustainable.

Jon Kåre

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Re: Sorry State [Was: NLD10 and GNOME]

2006-02-08 Thread Havoc Pennington
On Wed, 2006-02-08 at 21:54 +0100, Jon K Hellan wrote:
 However, if we decide to target a niche audience, on a niche operating
 system, that's niche squared. I doubt if that's sustainable.
 
Didn't say niche, I said specific. The group can still be large. There
are many, many well-defined subsets of the world's billions of people
that still contain a hell of a lot of people.

And the whole point here is to remove the nicheness of the software
(whether it's an OS, I don't know), by appealing strongly to a specific
group that wants to use it.

Would you expect a sports car with a truck bed to appeal to more people
than a regular truck or regular sports car? I would not.

Not choosing an audience doesn't mean you appeal to everyone. It means
you appeal to everyone in some ways *and* make everyone hate you in some
ways, so nobody really likes you overall. What you want to do is be sure
some group of people likes you in *almost all important respects*.

The fallacy is to think that indecisiveness avoids the decision and
leads to universal appeal. It does not. It leads to either a de facto
decision (best case), or a totally incoherent piece of software (worst
case).

Sure, the trick is in picking a group that's specific enough but not too
niche, and in trying to appeal to multiple similar enough groups,
while not breaking your appeal by chasing overly-dissimilar groups. But
life is full of judgment calls, no?

Havoc


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Re: Sorry State [Was: NLD10 and GNOME]

2006-02-08 Thread Jeff Waugh
quote who=Havoc Pennington

 On Wed, 2006-02-08 at 21:54 +0100, Jon K Hellan wrote:
  However, if we decide to target a niche audience, on a niche operating
  system, that's niche squared. I doubt if that's sustainable.

 Didn't say niche, I said specific. The group can still be large. There are
 many, many well-defined subsets of the world's billions of people that
 still contain a hell of a lot of people.

Apple have done this very cleverly over the past few years with OS X. They
concentrated on their core market, really worked hard to nail it, and have
been scaling out to other markets as the opportunity has come up and their
ability to focus on the broadening market needs balloons.

- Jeff

-- 
FISL 7.0: Porto Alegre, Brazilhttp://fisl.softwarelivre.org/7.0/www/
 
Basically my philosophy on release management is that it should be
like police brutality. - Maciej Stachowiak
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Re: Sorry State [Was: NLD10 and GNOME]

2006-02-07 Thread Evandro Fernandes Giovanini
Em Qua, 2006-02-08 às 12:16 +1100, Jeff Waugh escreveu:
 quote who=Dan Winship
 
  Two words: bike shed[1]. Or actually, stop energy[2] works too. Your
  pick.
 
 This is a very sorry state of affairs for GNOME. But it is not only Novell
 and its employees who have adopted this commons-sapping, community-tearing,
 morally and intellectually lazy approach to open design and development in
 GNOME.
 
 In contributing organisations, it is rationalised as a faster approach, a
 way to avoid massive discussions about inanities, and top of the list in
 these modern times, a way to avoid design by committee or stop energy.
 How on Earth *do* we manage design out in the open? It is easier to avoid
 that question, in the name of getting things done.
 
 Outside the contributing organisations, it's appeased as something we have
 to accept to get the cool stuff, and a side-effect of our ability to involve
 contributing organisations, who have their own priorities. It sounds a lot
 like, don't bite the hand that feeds you, whether that hand is delivering
 cool drops of code, or your pay packet.
 
 But ultimately, this is *killing our community*.
 
 And it must be fought.
 
 - Jeff
 

I think the process used by Novell is very common in the GNOME community
(and Free Software in general).

For example take metacity. Sawfish was the default window manager, so
Havoc could have started a discussion
should-our-window-manager-be-like-this-instead. But he didn't; what he
did was write metacity following the design he had in mind in a window
manager. Metacity was included in GNOME because most people adopted it
and agreed that Havoc's design was better for the default window
manager. 

The menu layout we use today is another example. If people had gone on
discussions about which is better - the foot or the menu panel -
perhaps things would have gone nowhere. But someone wrote the menu
panel and eventually it became the GNOME default.

Ubuntu has also done some changes in the panel, like the 'Add to Panel'
dialog. From what I remember this was first done in Ubuntu and after a
release using that configuration discussion started on the usability
list. Another example is the log out dialog on the right top corner of
the screen in Dapper, which wasn't proposed for discussion on
mail.gnome.org, it was just implemented there when GNOME uses the window
selector for the top right corner.

There are some people posting mockups of GNOME 3 and to be honest I
see very little discussion about them. People know (or learn) that
unless they code these mockups or convince someone to do it then most
likely nothing will happen. But if someone comes up with a different
concept for the panel and translates that into code then the community
will review and pick it up or reject it. Spending time discussing the
design first would IMO be a waste of time if the person has it clear in
their head what they want from this hypothetical new panel. The review
process will still happen, just not before the design. The design might
even have small changes after suggestions from the community, but the
basic idea of the original author is what makes this good or bad design.

I'm not sure I agree that you can't do design by comittee but I would
agree that a lot of the good design decisions we see in GNOME today came
from only a few coders doing their vision. I'd love to play with the
code as soon as possible but maybe there are other reasons for it not
being released yet. What GNOME can do is encourage the companies making
changes in their development branches to at least commit the patches in
a CVS branch. 

There's also the issue of who you target with the changes. Novell might
find in a usability test that the menu they designed is a lot better for
their target audience but most people in the GNOME community would
reject it in favor of the current panel layout (I'm one for example).
Should that stop Novell from doing what's best for their customers
(people used to Windows but now using GNOME because their company went
with NLD)?

My 2c.

Cheers,
Evandro

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