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Has GNOME Rejected Canonical Help? Shuttleworth Responds

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the can't-we-all-just-get-along dept.

GNOME 181

akgraner writes "When Canonical made the decision to make Unity the default desktop, some questioned the GNOME/Canonical relationship. Adding fuel to this fire was the recent distribution split of revenue generated by Banshee. These decisions caused the Ubuntu, GNOME and even Fedora community members to ask why these things were done. In Dave Neary's 'Has GNOME rejected Canonical help?' post, he states, 'I have repeatedly read Canonical & Ubuntu people say, "We offered our help to GNOME, and they didn't want it."' Neary gives examples in his post of what others have said to back up the 'they didn't want it' claim by Canonical and Ubuntu people. Today, though, Shuttleworth responds on his blog. 'Competition is tough on the contestants, but it gets great results for everyone else.'"

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181 comments

Nokia had the same problem (1, Interesting)

devxo (1963088) | more than 3 years ago | (#35444512)

Shuttleworth notes to that end, "Weâ(TM)ve failed." He adds, "Much of the language, and much of the decision making Iâ(TM)ve observed within Gnome, is based on the idea that Unity is competition WITH Gnome, rather than WITHIN Gnome."

There was a story on The Register today on why Nokia failed [theregister.co.uk] . They had the exact same problem - teams that should be working together are fighting against each other and in the end just losing together. That seems to be a large problem in OSS community too, and it's no wonder Nokia had it too (they had many Linux developers). But when a software company, usually proprietary, is ran good, it doesn't suffer such problems as management makes good decisions and gives orders. That is why Windows works good and why the quality is consistent.

Re:Nokia had the same problem (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35444732)

"That is why Windows works good and why the quality is consistent."

Consistently good, bad or meh? Vista, Clippy, Kin One/Two, WinME,... i kid, i kid. Sorry for the sidetrack but it was just too good to pass up.

Re:Nokia had the same problem (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35444872)

We all know Microsoft's failures, but the reality is they are only failures because Microsoft has to program for the 90% of the market that has no idea how to use a computer instead of the 1% that do. If it were somehow switched and 11.04 was installed on 90% of the machines out there and people knew kinda how to use it (I'm hypothesizing OS switching and knowledge switching too) Ubuntu would be in the same situation with driver issues, machine speed issues, 3rd party add-on issues, hacker target issues, etc.

It's really not funny anymore so it is easy to pass up. For the absolute magnitude of stuff that Windows does right, even Vista and ME can be considered good code. Not the greatest, Not Microsoft's best, Not worth the price tag, but still good.

Re:Nokia had the same problem (2)

Patch86 (1465427) | more than 3 years ago | (#35445002)

Apple (dare I say it) markets to an even less tech-savvy demographic than MS, and they've rarely ever had "misses" as painful as some of the MS ones.

Not that I'm an MS hater, mind- they've produced some good nuggets over the years. It'd be much easier to like them if it weren't for all the evil.

Re:Nokia had the same problem (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 3 years ago | (#35445116)

What about everything before OS X?

What about their ongoing questionable hardware issues (you know, stuff like the grip of death, things that aren't fatal to a project but are hard to classify as anything but stupid).

Re:Nokia had the same problem (1)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 3 years ago | (#35445306)

What about everything before OS X?

What about their ongoing questionable hardware issues (you know, stuff like the grip of death, things that aren't fatal to a project but are hard to classify as anything but stupid).

Apple get's things wrong too. It could be argued this is what happens when you try pushing the edge, but in reality it was probably an oversight due to other priorities getting in the way.

Before Steve Jobs was brought back to Apple, the company was quickly going down hill. Their arrogance cost them the market, and the OS had some serious stability issues. Rebuilding MacOS X on the foundation of OpenStep, and thus BSD, was a big help in changing the appealing, but unstable OS, into an appealing and stable OS. From what I have read Steve Jobs likes to keep a tight ship and the employees benefit and suffer at the same time. They benefit because they end up excelling at what they do and they suffer because the demands put on them are high.

Microsoft from what I read, at the time of Vista, suffered from internal competition that was actually hurting the company, since teams almost acted to sabotage the efforts of other teams. I don't know whether Steve Balmer shaped things up after that, since Windows 7 seems to be a better OS, or whether they are just cruising on the same trajectory, but no one has noticed the direction?

The quality of the leadership counts for as much as anything.

Re:Nokia had the same problem (2)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 3 years ago | (#35445434)

Apple get's things wrong too. It could be argued this is what happens when you try pushing the edge, but in reality it was probably an oversight due to other priorities getting in the way.

Before Steve Jobs was brought back to Apple, the company was quickly going down hill. Their arrogance cost them the market, and the OS had some serious stability issues. Rebuilding MacOS X on the foundation of OpenStep, and thus BSD, was a big help in changing the appealing, but unstable OS, into an appealing and stable OS. From what I have read Steve Jobs likes to keep a tight ship and the employees benefit and suffer at the same time. They benefit because they end up excelling at what they do and they suffer because the demands put on them are high.

Switching to OpenStep wasnt' a panacea. While I never used it, I heard OSX 10.0 was a real mess too, which is why 10.1 was quickly pushed out as a free update.

Re:Nokia had the same problem (4, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#35445612)

The main problem with OS X 10.0 was performance, and this wasn't due to adopting OPENSTEP (not OpenStep - OpenStep is a specification, OPENSTEP is an operating system), but due to replacing code. One of the biggest changes between OPENSTEP 4.2 and OS X 10.0 was replacing Display PostScript with Quartz. This moved to a compositing model, rather than a direct drawing model. This gives a significant performance advantage on modern machines. If you drag a window across the screen on OPENSTEP, every application underneath gets a load of redraw events and has to run some quite processor-intensive code to update the display. With OS X, the GPU just draws a few textured rectangles. With 10.0, however, this was all done in software, and on a 266MHz PowerPC was very slow. Especially since the software paths weren't very well optimised (10.0 was the 'make it work' release, 10.1 was the first 'make it fast' release).

Re:Nokia had the same problem (1)

blizz017 (1617063) | more than 3 years ago | (#35445176)

Except for that whole period of time from the mid/late 80's to late 90's where Apple was on the verge of being bought about by Sun for $5 a share and doing absolutely nothing to make a mark on the consumer market in any fashion.

Re:Nokia had the same problem (2)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 3 years ago | (#35445244)

Apple (dare I say it) markets to an even less tech-savvy demographic than MS, and they've rarely ever had "misses" as painful as some of the MS ones.

Not that I'm an MS hater, mind- they've produced some good nuggets over the years. It'd be much easier to like them if it weren't for all the evil.

It's the difference between having an established market and custom-building a market. When you're a small player (10% now, 0% at start) you can afford to take some chances and break away from established ways of doing things . You don't really have that option when you're a big player, not without alienating a significant portion of your customer base.

Re:Nokia had the same problem (1)

LandoCalrizzian (887264) | more than 3 years ago | (#35445444)

It's the difference between having an established market and custom-building a market. When you're a small player (10% now, 0% at start) you can afford to take some chances and break away from established ways of doing things . You don't really have that option when you're a big player, not without alienating a significant portion of your customer base.

I doubt anyone can really argue that Steve Jobs really cares about alienating his customer base. He's designed the iProducts to function exactly how he would want them to be and openly states that you're holding it wrong. He's just lucky enough that millions of people are OK with doing things his way. Sheer dumb luck, not really. Out-innovating everyone else definitely. I find Apple products very restrictive but I am willing to concede that they only trail Google as the most innovative software company out there.

Re:Nokia had the same problem (1)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 3 years ago | (#35445606)

My point is that he was able to take those steps in the first place because of how small apple's customer base was. If they had MS's install base at that time, it could never have happened.

Re:Nokia had the same problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35444940)

If Ubuntu was at bad as Vista it'd have ~15% market share today. If Vista is so bad, there are no words to describe that horror that Ubuntu or any other desktop Linux is.

Re:Nokia had the same problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35445170)

You have no idea what you are talking about.

Re:Nokia had the same problem (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 3 years ago | (#35445280)

It is inappropriate to compare Ubuntu and Vista in this way. There is no "if-then" relationship between the two at all.

The struggle of Linux and the struggle of Microsoft are completely different. One struggles to maintain its monopoly and the other struggles to get acceptance and neither of these struggles are rooted in their quality or if one is "better" than the other.

Re:Nokia had the same problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35446410)

trollololforgotvistaispreinstalledinthecomparisololololol

Re:Nokia had the same problem (5, Interesting)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 3 years ago | (#35444790)

Shuttleworth notes to that end, "Weâ(TM)ve failed." He adds, "Much of the language, and much of the decision making Iâ(TM)ve observed within Gnome, is based on the idea that Unity is competition WITH Gnome, rather than WITHIN Gnome."

There was a story on The Register today on why Nokia failed [theregister.co.uk] . They had the exact same problem - teams that should be working together are fighting against each other and in the end just losing together. That seems to be a large problem in OSS community too, and it's no wonder Nokia had it too (they had many Linux developers). But when a software company, usually proprietary, is ran good, it doesn't suffer such problems as management makes good decisions and gives orders. That is why Windows works good and why the quality is consistent.

Infighting in Microsoft is why we didn't get clear-type for over 10 years after it was available... (Clear-type is the software that gives fonts 3 times the horizontal resolution on LCDs) The Office Suite devs wanted it for their own -- to boost their own team's importance, and refused to fix the the MS Office font system to work with clear-type unless the clear-type devs were placed under the Office Suite team's umbrella.

This is just one small example of MS infighting stifling innovation. [nytimes.com] Please take your closed source software down from the pedestal. Management is the problem -- That, and a "not invented here" mentality. It can happen anywhere.

Ubuntu and Gnome are diverging because they each have their own goals and any interference with one's goals is not tolerated -- I've found that true collaboration basically requires an alignment of our goals -- Seems to me like human nature.

The difference is that when Canonical and Gnome bicker, I can still use the features that they independently develop... I'm not stuck waiting for 10 years (like for Windows clear-type).

Re:Nokia had the same problem (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 3 years ago | (#35445496)

Infighting in Microsoft is why we didn't get clear-type for over 10 years after it was available... (Clear-type is the software that gives fonts 3 times the horizontal resolution on LCDs)

Maybe I'm misremembering, but hasn't Clear Type shipped in Windows since XP launched in 2001? So, you're saying that this technology was available in 1991 or earlier?

Re:Nokia had the same problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35445900)

Oddly enough, zealotry is one of the reasons that most Linux distributions still have horrible font rendering. Ubuntu, SUSE and Arch patch Cairo to improve the font rendering, while most of the other popular Linux distributions, including Debian and RedHat, let the user suffer with terrible font rendering because of their ridiculously misguided fear of vague software patents.

Re:Nokia had the same problem (0, Flamebait)

WaywardGeek (1480513) | more than 3 years ago | (#35446236)

The OSS community has innovation upside down. We let upstream teams (In this case Gnome or Nokia) stand in the way of innovation as gate keepers. We need to switch to a model more similar to Android, where any innovator can share their work quickly, without having to jump through hoops and waiting years. A new package system in Ubuntu could take the innovations we see in the Android app store, and build on them. It could enable not just apps, but libraries to be shared, with apps running in app jails, and with the exact libraries they were compiled and tested against. We need to enable innovation from individual coders, by promoting their work immediately, and freeing them from the hassle of convincing large upstream teams to adopt their changes. That would enable us to say "There is an app for that" about Ubuntu. As it is, OSS land is mostly a bunch of coders practicing mental masturbation, because there is little chance for most coders to share their work widely as simple installable packages available in Software Center. Instead, we have to copy source files from sourceforge or github, and paste them into our projects, with no system to push improvements upstream.

Mark Shuttleworth is mad because upstream didn't simply include all is work quickly, and without having to fight for it. I guess he knows now what it is like for the vast majority of coders who just want an app in Ubuntu. Similarly, Google is mad at Linux [kroah.com] because Linux removed Google's Android contributions.

There should never be a gate-keeper on innovation. The setup we have now in OSS land is unacceptable. And, it's fixable.

Re:Nokia had the same problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35446934)

"A new package system in Ubuntu could take the innovations we see in the Android app store, and build on them. It could enable not just apps, but libraries to be shared..."

I think you ought to learn a bit more about the nature of some of the packages on a Ubuntu/Debian system.

"...with apps running in app jails, and with the exact libraries they were compiled and tested against."

Such as chroot/FreeBSD jails, and static linking?

"We need to enable innovation from individual coders, by promoting their work immediately, and freeing them from the hassle of convincing large upstream teams to adopt their changes."

Given the knowledge you've displayed thus far, I would be reluctant to accept any of your "changes", and I haven't even seen any of your code.

"we have to copy source files from sourceforge or github, and paste them into our projects, with no system to push improvements upstream."

What the hell are you talking about?

You're a fine one to speak of others "practicing mental masturbation".

Re:Nokia had the same problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35444824)

That was (is) Nokia culture, nothing to do with open or closed source... In fact, when ever the bean counters actually let Nokia linux engineers work out in the open, they did it in a very "upstream first" fashion, working together with others.

Re:Nokia had the same problem (2)

Trufagus (1803250) | more than 3 years ago | (#35444898)

You are comparing Apples to Oranges.

Nokia and Canonical are companies. It is managements' job to make everyone in the company work towards a coherent goal - the fact that this includes Linux developers is irrelevant. Companies selling/using open-source technologies are just as capable as proprietary companies of doing this effectively, or (as in the case of Nokia) of failing at it.

Nokia and Canonical both also worked within a community. That adds an extra level of complexity. That is where Canonical failed.

No one is suggesting that Canonical failed at internal management in the way that Nokia failed.

Re:Nokia had the same problem (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35444978)

Competition is never for good. It causes that competitors starts lowering prices and so on quality. They start pushing products out faster to be first to release something. It just causes problems for all who are part in the development and leading the projects. And customer suffers most of the whole competition. No one actually wins at competition as everyone is stabbing to back to maintain their jobs or marketshare. Even the stores selling the products needs to compete each other with lower price and that means less money what is less people to be hired and less services....

Ripping competition off does not mean that we need to give monopoly for one company.
We need teamwork, standards and higer prices and much higer salaries for low lever workers (bosses has got enough already... they should instead be fired)
We need to discuss about what is best option for most people. We need to support those who are trying to serve minority with own products and services.
We really need teamwork to push up the whole humanity to actually gain something great. Competition is just like shooting own leg while shooting competitors leg as well and everyone runs slower or not at all and the race is very boring to watch.

It is smarter and more beneficent to share information to everyone and get everyone to focus same goal.

Other big mistake in the whole economical world is the revenue. Every money what gets printed, has revenue on it. Every product what gets sold has own revenue on it. Every product what gets manufactured has revenue on it. In the long run, there is less money on the markets than what the total cost of everything is. It just ends up to catastrophic economical situation where poor (80%) people pay everything what rich (5%) people had done to gain more wealth and power.

Re:Nokia had the same problem (2)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 3 years ago | (#35445270)

I was going to mod you down, but I couldn't find "-1 Clueless" in the options.

Re:Nokia had the same problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35445334)

I think it's a joke, an exaggerated stereotypical portrayal of a certain type of young clueless leftist... but I'm not sure. I hope it was, though.

Re:Nokia had the same problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35446032)

Don't waste mod points on an AC anyway.

Re:Nokia had the same problem (2)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#35445076)

To be honest I don't care if Nokia tanks, but I think they took Qt down with them. For the last three years it has moved *very* slowly when it comes to desktop features and by relicencing from GPL to LGPL I think they killed off any chance to reboot the Trolltech business model of GPL/commercial dual licensing. Digia may milk the existing customers but they lost both three years working on mobile features no one will use and many proprietary software vendors will use the LGPL version without paying or contributing. That sucks because whatever you may think of KDE, Qt is actually a very good development platform. If Gnome won't cooperate, I think Shuttleworth should just clone the look and feel and make Unity/Qt instead.

Re:Nokia had the same problem (2, Interesting)

pieterh (196118) | more than 3 years ago | (#35445174)

It's hard to know if you're serious when you say "Windows works good" but okaay....

You kind of miss the point about how open source teams organize. Competition is 80% of the reason for writing software as a sport. The infighting and hatred you see in these FOSS communities are the flip side of their creativity. Whereas the same infighting and hatred in a business setting is toxic.

FOSS communities that are polite, fully collaborative, kind, and patient, will die. They won't attract people who have emotional ties to the work they make; their contributors won't defend their works against criticism, won't defend them at conferences and in blogs.

I'm very happy each time I see these arguments. They are the best sign that FOSS is not just alive and healthy but an intrinsic expression of creativity that will never go away, and will continue to feed me an endless supply of alternatives.

Re:Nokia had the same problem (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35445506)

That is why Windows works good and why the quality is consistent.

Yeah, and it only took them 15 years to get out a somewhat usable release. Although I have no idea where you got the consistency part from though...

WTF (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35447072)

What's your game? Can we have one tech-related story that does not have a Microsoft Apologia as the first post from you?

I'm also deeply suspicious of the moderation your comment received. Aside from being wrong and ill-informed, your comment is waaaaay off-topic and should have been modded that way.

Lemmee guess... New hire? Still impressed by the cafeteria? Brownie points for "developer outreach"? It's really just one step away from spam, and unless you start your comments with "As a Microsoft employee...", it's dishonest.

Spam away, but at least put your cards on the table as the other Microsoft-employed slashdotters do.

Extremely Aerogant (0)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | more than 3 years ago | (#35444580)

Canonical and ubuntu ran a train on the gnome guys and then were surprised gnome didn't want help from the same people who had just screwed them over? Well I'll be dipped....

Re:Extremely Aerogant (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35444656)

Extremely Aerogant

This is between Unity and GNOME. Leave Windows out of it!

Re:Extremely Aerogant (1)

Trufagus (1803250) | more than 3 years ago | (#35444786)

I don't know the details of how Canonical handled communications/relationship with Gnome, but I think we need to give some leeway to a business that is trying to pursue profit.

Let's remember, the vast majority of companies out there use open-source daily and give nothing back at all. Canonical has given back tons.

Re:Extremely Aerogant (0, Flamebait)

DShard (159067) | more than 3 years ago | (#35444992)

I disagree. Canonical has always been and always will be a leech. They work poorly with upstream. They happily gobble up the communities efforts and wall off their additions. They are a bottom feeder, even if they are popular. They were right to be criticized by Debian, Greg Kroah Hartman and now Gnome. The fight with Gnome is illustrative of their mindset. Refuse to be part of the community, then lament the community is closed off to them. It boggles the mind how much wind power their hand waving has generated. The best thing for the community is for shuttleworth to pack up his toys and go home like the spoiled man-child he is.

meanwhile... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35444602)

Some of us disabled users are looking for an alternative operating system for our Windows XP netbooks. The compiz magnifier is great, but GNOME is the _only_ desktop environment that has a screen reader. The GNOME screen reader performs _very_ slowly on a netbook though. It even runs slow on a modern system sometimes.

My point? Can we stop with the political issues and try to just produce the best, stable, reliable system we possibly can? Can we stop changing the underlying components every two years? Can we stop changing things that don't make the system any better (like notification bubbles that require more daemons) and fix what we do have?

Re:meanwhile... (1)

asher09 (1684758) | more than 3 years ago | (#35444692)

Mod parent up! Too bad that GNOME doesn't want Canonical's contribution - it will hurt them in the long run for sure... I would like to see Canonical buy out GNOME and do those things that the AC above suggested

Re:meanwhile... (2)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 3 years ago | (#35445042)

I would like to see Canonical buy out GNOME and do those things that the AC above suggested

Don't get me wrong, I love Canonical. I use Mint, which is one of the "respins" of Ubuntu. Canonical has contributed a lot to the Linux world, and I value those contributions greatly.

Ubuntu doesn't like Gnome 3 Shell, so they want to write their own Shell over the underlying Gnome 3 infrastructure. That does not mean that the Gnome team's goals are not equally worthy or without merit. Having Canonical "buy out" the Gnome team because they want their own shell would be a great loss to the choice that makes the Linux community so vibrant (and, of course, occasionally confusing to the uninitiated).

Ubuntu has the resources to just do the things they want to their own shell, while leaving Gnome Shell alone to pursue its own (possibly incompatible) goals. They're both based on Gnome 3 anyway, so I bet a lot of the features are going to turn out to be portable between the two once any hurt feelings pass and the two project teams start looking at each others' work.

Canonical contributes a lot back, and they do great work. That doesn't mean the rest of the upstream community should be FORCED into accepting their changes. That's not how OSS works.

Re:meanwhile... (1)

asher09 (1684758) | more than 3 years ago | (#35445186)

I very much appreciate your concern about having choices, which is one of the good things that I love about all things OSS. But my bigger concern has to do with OSS efforts being diluted by forks and people doing very similar things separately. I fear that if Unity and Gnome shell go separate ways without inter-compatibility, Gnome will lose out on public attention and contributions that they could get through being associated with a Linux OS giant like Ubuntu. Besides, all this move towards Unity and Shell seems to be largely in the category of "eye candy", which is cool, but that has not been Linux OS's strength or the main reason why so many people migrated to Linux. Apple OSs already have the upper hand in that department anyways, and so big players in the Linux OS community should be focusing on what made Linux great in the first place: stability, non-clunkiness (if that's a word), etc first. Then we could work on eye candy stuff. It wouldn't be too late.

Re:meanwhile... (1)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 3 years ago | (#35445302)

I very much appreciate your concern about having choices, which is one of the good things that I love about all things OSS. But my bigger concern has to do with OSS efforts being diluted by forks and people doing very similar things separately.

I think this is similar to the kind of thinking that leaves RIAA execs believing that if people didn't pirate, they would suddenly start buying albums.

Maybe the things are similar to you and me - but obviously not to the people doing it, or there wouldn't be any debate. And the blessing and curse of OSS is that no one entity has the option of saying "No, your way is worse, we're using mine." While sometimes frustrating, that's also a Good Thing.

Re:meanwhile... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35444756)

In before: "If you want a screen reader, write it yourself, gimp!"

Re:meanwhile... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35444788)

Err . . . have you looked into Knoppix/Adriane? (http://www.knopper.net/knoppix-adriane/index-en.html)

Re:meanwhile... (3, Informative)

advocate_one (662832) | more than 3 years ago | (#35445040)

My point? Can we stop with the political issues and try to just produce the best, stable, reliable system we possibly can?

you've obviously never tried to get Gnome devs to change things back... they're absolutely obsessed with making things as unconfigurable as possible for the end user as they believe what they offer is right and the user is an idiot for wanting to changing some options... Just try configuring the screensaver to use images in a directory OTHER than the one they want you to use... it's impossible without doing some manual editing and diving deep... the options are just not there in the screensaver itself...

Re:meanwhile... (2, Interesting)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 3 years ago | (#35445766)

This is the main thing pissing me off about the direction of Linux. Too much being different for the sake of being different. Ubuntu moved the buttons on me - ticked, ok, but whatever. I can use gconf to switch them back. Now Gnome is looking into the horrible travesty that is Gnome Shell 3, and recently has decided (in one of the most WTF moves in history) to kill off Minimize and Maximize buttons. Yes, Ubuntu is going with Unity instead of Gnome Shell, but we'll see how that goes. It still was a long ways from ready last time I tried it.

Overall, I think my Linux desktop experience may have peaked with Ubuntu 10.10. I've been a full-time user for 2 years now (and a dual-booter/occasional user for 12 years now), and at this point, I'm really looking at the possibility of just going back to Windows. Palladium/Trusted Computing seems to be dead in the water, and at least Microsoft isn't shaking stuff up just for the heck of it.

Re:meanwhile... (1)

TigerTime (626140) | more than 3 years ago | (#35446330)

I'd agree with that. You'd think improvement would be offering more customization on the platform that already existed. NOT a different style of platform with fewer customizations.

I'm not sure if Ubuntu/Gnome developers are trying to push people away or just keep them on their toes to an infuriating degree.

Re:meanwhile... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35446878)

Overall, I think my Linux desktop experience may have peaked with Ubuntu 10.10.

Wait, you're ranting about the way Linux/Ubuntu has been developing, and then you claim praise on the latest Ubuntu?
And this greatest experience is now motivating you to turn back to windows to avoid future experiences which sound less than nice to you?

Weird, you are. My advice: updating: it is not mandatory.

Re:meanwhile... (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 3 years ago | (#35447028)

Most of my problems with Linux are rooted in Gnome. The only thing I don't really like about Ubuntu 10.10 was the title bar button order changes, which as I said, were quickly changed back. Gnome 3 has been out for evaluation for a LONG time now though, and I dislike virtually everything about it - even moreso as time goes on. Ubuntu is going in their own direction which I admittedly do find more appealing than sticking with Gnome as is, but I'm not sure if it'll be sufficient to keep me there. Then again, I may still be able to cobble something together that meets my needs (I'm already running a fairly non-standard setup). We'll see.

Re:meanwhile... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35446960)

Go back to Windows. Try it. You will come running back to Linux in two weeks tops. I don't know if you ever tried to use a modern Windows, but they are horrible to use when you're used to contemporary Linuces.

Re:meanwhile... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35445600)

Gnome will never be free of political issues for the simple reason that most gnome core projects are developed by employees of corporations who have their own agendas to pursue. What's been going on with Gnome and in general with Linux is the same thing that caused the Unix market to fragment back 60's and 70's. If it weren't for the GPL, this would have happened long ago. Instead, what going on now is you have a DE that's dominated primarily by one company who makes decisions that work towards its advantage and excludes newcomer companies looking to contribute. It's very much page from Microsoft's playbook of controlling "standards" to create barriers of entry to potential competitors.

Re:meanwhile... (1)

antdude (79039) | more than 3 years ago | (#35446716)

How about stop upgrading for those things that work fine? I am still using updated Windows 2000 SP4, XP Pro. SP3, Debian with KDE v3.5.10, etc. I avoid major software updates like KDE4.

Same for electronics like bone conduction analog hearing aid, VCRs from dotcom days, 20" CRT TV from 1996, etc. I know they won't last forever due to hardware failures, support, etc. At least you get more time to look for alternatives.

Aaron Seigo (5, Informative)

molnarcs (675885) | more than 3 years ago | (#35444710)

Aaron Seigo also has his say on this topic - collaboration's demise [blogspot.com] scroll down to see comments from Shuttleworth and others. Quite nice, some entertaining (in a sad way) flamewar towards the end... I do believe aseigo has a point there, and provides lots of specific examples where collaboration was refused for no good reason. Some juicy bits from the comments:

also, this is not an odd "oops, we just didn't get around to it" event on the part of GNOME: how's that job D-Bus implementation in GNOME 3 coming? you know, the one that needlessly duplicates the one KDE implements, which we actually designed with thought of cross-project use including getting some feedback from non-KDE devs? or how about the screensaver D-Bus API which we implemented specifically with collaboration with GNOME devs at SUSE, only later to have GNOME not implement it and then complain to us that it used the org.freedesktop namespace? or how about how GNOME devs specifically blocked the formation of a common git repository for fd.o specs, and then when there was finally agreement (after an in-person meeting) insist on implementing it themselves, ignoring that repo had already been started but by people with @kde.org email addresses, and then after taking months to eventually duplicate that effort not implement the most critical part of it: the metadata?

Re:Aaron Seigo (1)

tyrione (134248) | more than 3 years ago | (#35446940)

From the guy that forced Plasma all over KDE as if it improved one's experience and productivity isn't one person I'd lean on for validation.

FreeDesktop.org is probably the way to go (4, Insightful)

TheModelEskimo (968202) | more than 3 years ago | (#35444720)

Shuttleworth suggests that building development around FreeDesktop.org specs (as suggested by Aaron Seigo) is probably a good route to take, especially since Ubuntu is NOT just GNOME, but also KDE (Kubuntu), etc.

I heartily agree with that. I want to see Unity come out and kick butt, and it sounds like as good as GNOME Shell might be, GNOME people are forcing this into a you-vs.-us fight.

(It doesn't help to see Jeff Waugh being all complainy on Mark's blog, either.)

Re:FreeDesktop.org is probably the way to go (4, Interesting)

molnarcs (675885) | more than 3 years ago | (#35444862)

(It doesn't help to see Jeff Waugh being all complainy on Mark's blog, either.)

He does the same thing on Aaron's blog, only a bit worse - drives the whole discussion off-topic with blathering about timelines and who said what at a conference three years ago and such... He was very good at destroying a conversation and degenerating it into an I said-He-said flamefest with personal insults directed at just about anyone who disagreed with him or who tried to get the conversation back on topic. Ironic, isn't it? He just proves the exact issues and points both Mark and KDE devs have with GNOME (specifically, the lack of cooperation on fd.o standards).

Re:FreeDesktop.org is probably the way to go (2, Insightful)

elysiuan (762931) | more than 3 years ago | (#35445732)

Jeff Waugh is an absolute cancer in the GNOME project. He adds nothing to the project but is a constant source of frustration and drama. How he maintains the influence he has is truly beyond me. My only supposition is that because in the past he has done some work in the past and runs P.G.O the other members of gnome's super cliquely inner circle (what you thought getting into the foundation meant you were a real part of the project? Think again!) feel some kind of perverse loyalty towards him.

This came across as a bit ranty but Jeff Waugh really pisses me off.

Re:FreeDesktop.org is probably the way to go (2)

DrXym (126579) | more than 3 years ago | (#35445070)

Shuttleworth suggests that building development around FreeDesktop.org specs (as suggested by Aaron Seigo) is probably a good route to take, especially since Ubuntu is NOT just GNOME, but also KDE (Kubuntu), etc.

You'd think this would be a no brainer. Why would GNOME or KDE want to duplicate functionality which they can reasonably share. Both desktops have similar requirements, run on the same OS, and could & should be sharing functionality. It means less bugs, lower install / runtime footprints and more time for devs of both projects to work on other things.

Personally I consider GNOME to be a better desktop but I think it does a massive disservice to be refusing functionality offered up on a plate. I'm not surprised either if Ubuntu laid out what they need for their dist and when GNOME didn't offer it chose to go their own way. What I take away from this spat, is the potential it has to turn into all out war come the time that Ubuntu (correctly) chooses to migrate to Wayland. I can imagine the fun and games that will come with that.

Re:FreeDesktop.org is probably the way to go (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35445758)

What about GNOME shell sounds good? The elimination of maximize and minimize buttons? The removal of the task-bar? More mono (it's even NAMED after a disease)? GNOME Shell and GNOME 3 sound about as good of an idea as release your alpha DM as KDE 4.0

Re:FreeDesktop.org is probably the way to go (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35445814)

Canonical will get resistance there too. A lot of Freedesktop.org projects have Redhat employees working on them, and they are, IMO, quite obstructionist against anyone contributing something that doesn't jive with Redhat's plans. There's a a definite Not-Invented-Here attitude prevalent among Redhat programmers. I guess they believe their own press releases.

Not surprised... (3, Interesting)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 3 years ago | (#35444782)

It's pretty clear that there are some massive egos/control-freaks within those running the GNOME project.

As far as user interfaces go, it is Havoc Pennington's way or the highway. Havoc has this crazy "usability comes from crippling" approach that dumbs down GNOME for entry-level users but makes it wholly unusable for power users.

Whereas KDE keeps "entry level" defaults and makes some of the niche/advanced configuration options (such as edge flipping) harder to find, GNOME's approach is to outright remove the feature. There are only so many features you can remove before your approach becomes unusable for many.

That's why I used to be a staunch GNOME supporter and fairly anti-KDE (I'm still not a fan of how they handled the Qt/GPL license incompatibilities, the issue didn't get resolved until Qt was effectively forced to change their license. The KDE developers had a consistent attitude that there was no problem and refused to take any approach to address), but have now pretty much changed over entirely to KDE. Around the same time the KDE license incompatibility issue was resolved is when Havoc began his reign of "cripple it in the name of usability" terror. Not only did the GNOME team remove edge flipping, they made it as difficult as possible to add it in after the fact (Brightside effectively broke after every GNOME release, and eventually GNOME broke the interfaces Brightside used to the point where the Brightside maintainer gave up.) It's always been there in KDE.

Yes, the KDE team has gotten a bad rep from KDE 4.0 getting shipped too early. I don't think there was any graceful way to do things here - there always comes a time when a project has to do a major rearchitecture, and sometimes that can't be done without some user pain. Later KDE4 releases are excellent. The key here is - KDE went through some pain in order to greatly improve the flexibility of the platform and leave them room to grow. GNOME didn't - in the short term that was good for GNOME, but in the long term that inflexibility is going to hurt.

Re:Not surprised... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35444988)

With you there -- used to dislike KDE and so naturally supported GNOME. After getting burned by the feature-deletionism once too often, I stepped back from my boosterism and looked at what GNOME really stood for. I still disliked K, but now I hated GNOME -- so what to do? Well, that lead to the last several years enjoying the likes of awesome, enlightenment, and dwm.

Re:Not surprised... (2)

DrXym (126579) | more than 3 years ago | (#35445134)

As far as user interfaces go, it is Havoc Pennington's way or the highway. Havoc has this crazy "usability comes from crippling" approach that dumbs down GNOME for entry-level users but makes it wholly unusable for power users.

GNOME is not unusable for power users. Maybe sometimes it doesn't get things right but on the whole it does what it sets out to do - be a modern, clean, intuitive desktop. As a power user myself I'm quite happy to use it. It lets me launch apps, has settings for things I might ordinarily like to tweak and otherwise tries to stay the hell out of my way.

Re:Not surprised... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35445404)

As a power user myself I'm quite happy to use it. It lets me launch apps, has settings for things I might ordinarily like to tweak and otherwise tries to stay the hell out of my way.

Ehh, yeah, that makes you exactly a non-poweruser, of your desktop environment.

Re:Not surprised... (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 3 years ago | (#35446358)

How does one get a job as a power user of an desktop environment?

Usually when I use my PC I'm looking to do things other than tweak the interface the entire time. If someone wants to pay me to "power use" a desktop, I'm game.

Re:Not surprised... (2)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#35447014)

How does one get a job as a power user of a [browser]? Usually when I use my [browser] I'm looking to do things other than tweak the interface the entire time. If someone wants to pay me to "power use" a [browser], I'm game.

With your logic, Firefox wouldn't need extensions. Hey, it lets you view web pages and that's all everybody could ever want from a browser, right? I do agree that there's people that go way overboard and spend more time tweaking their computer than using it, but that doesn't take away that many of those extensions are useful. If all you do when you boot is launch Photoshop and work there all they, you're a power user in many respects but not of the desktop environment. Maybe that's all you need, but it's not all everybody needs.

Re:Not surprised... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35445336)

this crazy "usability comes from crippling" approach

Shared by the Canonical design team. They're planning to get rid of the ability to quit applications. http://design.canonical.com/2011/03/quit/ [canonical.com]

Re:Not surprised... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35445628)

Matthew Paul Thomas would appear to be an idiot who doesn't know his computing history. Seems to think that the "Quit" option was invented by Apple. Here's a clue, that sort of functionality predates the GUI. And when I have 20 tabs or sub-panes open and I *want* to close them all, what do I do? Does he add a "close all" option? Moron.

Power users and GNOME (1)

tjwhaynes (114792) | more than 3 years ago | (#35445420)

As far as user interfaces go, it is Havoc Pennington's way or the highway. Havoc has this crazy "usability comes from crippling" approach that dumbs down GNOME for entry-level users but makes it wholly unusable for power users.

I'd most definitely stick myself into the power user category. I've been a GNOME user since 1.4, anything I do more than once has been scripted or bound to custom keys and I have Kupfer for the fast access to anything I can think of, including custom plugins for work-specific tasks. GNOME stays the hell out of my way and that's the way I like it. When I need to reach for something unusual, I can normally hook it via DBus or gconf.

Re:Not surprised... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35445450)

This really isn't difficult to figure out. Gnome design and development is dominated by Redhat and Novell employees. To say that the decisions that are being made affecting Gnome's "vision" by these employees are somehow separate from the agenda's of their respective employers is absurd. And right now, Redhat and Novell do not want another competitor infringing upon their markets, so there is definite antipathy against Canonical among those Gnome core projects which have Redhat and Novell leads. And its no wonder because Canonical has done what both Redhat and Novell had utterly failed to do within the last decade or so, which is to create a polished linux desktop experience that appeals to non-geek users.

A bit more untrue canonical 'we thought of it' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35444784)

I know at least one .png has floated a png showing unity as a design inspiration. This is not true, the screenshots are undated for a reason!

http://www.markshuttleworth.com/archives/611/comment-page-1#comment-345769

GNOME Shell vs Unity (2)

gQuigs (913879) | more than 3 years ago | (#35444806)

I've tried them both and GNOME Shell is sooooo much better than Unity. I really have been disappointed by many UI changes in Ubuntu in recent releases. All heralded as being great usability decisions.

Cleaning up the Status panel, by adding more clicks to get to functions... Why?
The notification system I just have never gotten used to. Why must I be notified of new IM's by seeing the IM text, but when I go to try to get rid of it, it fades out.

Perhaps their just not as good as "usability" as they think they are? Hardware that just works is different, they still are the best I've found in that category.

For GNOME Shell, I'm currently testing out Fedora 15 Alpha. They also now offer nightly builds so you can test without breaking your system (http://alt.fedoraproject.org/pub/alt/nightly-composes/).

Re:GNOME Shell vs Unity (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 3 years ago | (#35445100)

Yeah the notification system needs to give me a clickable bubble. I've had a couple years to get used to it, and I learned how to get to IMs and such, but really... Thunderbird uses its own system, and when I click on the window it pops up I get those messages. This is fucking AWESOME, groundbreaking, amazing... it'd be a huge step forward if the entire notification system behaved like this.

Re:GNOME Shell vs Unity (1)

LateArthurDent (1403947) | more than 3 years ago | (#35446200)

The notification system I just have never gotten used to. Why must I be notified of new IM's by seeing the IM text, but when I go to try to get rid of it, it fades out.

I believe that settings for everything should exist so that you can set things up to your personal liking. That said, for the notification behavior that they've set as default, you're not supposed to try to get rid of it. You're supposed to look at it, read the text message, and ignore it until it fades, while keeping doing your thing. Unless you want to reply, but the point of the notification isn't to help you reply, it's to help you decide whether you want to stop what you're doing and actually reply.

I like it a lot. That said, I completely see your point in that you want it to do something else, and there should be an easy way that you could change the behavior so that it does what you want it to do.

Re:GNOME Shell vs Unity (1)

tyrione (134248) | more than 3 years ago | (#35446994)

The same notification behavior has spread across KDE. It's nauseating feedback that is mainly useless dribble. A notification for a service that is failing is useful, but a notification that I've deleted 500 files after deleting 500 files is pure mental masturbation. I'm looking forward to GNOME Shell.

Shuttleworth is an asshole (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35444844)

We don't need his dirty money in the open source community:

Canonical = Microsoft

Re:Shuttleworth is an asshole (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35444968)

Yeah, it's not as if all the vital pieces of a FOSS operating system are mainly developed and maintained by paid developers. Oh wait...

Some more details (5, Informative)

halfaperson (1885704) | more than 3 years ago | (#35445090)

Some interesting details from Aaron Seigo in a blog post here. [blogspot.com] While his post makes a pretty strong point, for those of us who are looking for more specific critique, I found the most interesting parts hidden in the comments, such as this, also from Aaron Seigo:

@Lennart: "If you list this notifier spec, then I can list you the sound theming/naming specs which KDE has shown no interest in."

that's an incorrect comparison.

if we (KDE) had offered a bunch of critique on the sound theme spec, had someone come to us with an implementation in Qt and then still gone off and done our own thing instead, then it would be an adequate comparison. but that isn't what happened, is it? :)

we (KDE) simply haven't gotten around to implementing the sound theming spec. why? as you note, it's not a high priority for us. but i guarantee you that if someone stepped up to do some work on the event sounds infra in kdelibs, stop #1 would be that naming spec.

also, this is not an odd "oops, we just didn't get around to it" event on the part of GNOME: how's that job D-Bus implementation in GNOME 3 coming? you know, the one that needlessly duplicates the one KDE implements, which we actually designed with thought of cross-project use including getting some feedback from non-KDE devs? or how about the screensaver D-Bus API which we implemented specifically with collaboration with GNOME devs at SUSE, only later to have GNOME not implement it and then complain to us that it used the org.freedesktop namespace? or how about how GNOME devs specifically blocked the formation of a common git repository for fd.o specs, and then when there was finally agreement (after an in-person meeting) insist on implementing it themselves, ignoring that repo had already been started but by people with @kde.org email addresses, and then after taking months to eventually duplicate that effort not implement the most critical part of it: the metadata?

in contrast, we could see how KDE implemented support for the visual notificatons D-Bus protocol as implemented in GNOME, even though it has evident limitations and is a 100% subset of something we already have in the form of KNotify ... simply to provide compatibility. would GNOME devs do that today? doubtful, because our priorities, as you point out, are indeed different.

what GNOME needs is not more apologists making excuses for poor behavior but people who will stand up and take ownership of their actions.

Ummm... not "canonical", then? (2)

macraig (621737) | more than 3 years ago | (#35445106)

I find it thoroughly ironic that this commentary issues from the head of an organization named Canonical. So does this mean that Canonical will shortly be changing its name? Will there be a contest - err, competition - with a prize to choose it?

Sign in Mechanic's shop (1, Funny)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 3 years ago | (#35445136)

Labor 15.oo dollars an hour

if you watch 20.oo an hour

if you help 30.oo an hour

metaphorically speaking: i bet the Gnome developers had something like this in mind,

Jump that Shark Mark (0)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#35445194)

From what I've seen of Canonical's strategic direction, it is little wonder that GNOME doesn't want their help.

I can't say that I blame them really.

To a considerable degree, Ubuntu succeeds in spite of itself.

Re:Jump that Shark Mark (1)

jdgeorge (18767) | more than 3 years ago | (#35445702)

Hmmm... Sounds as if it's Canonical that wants GNOME's help, but some of the GNOME leads don't want to give it.

In any case, Canonical will likely do better to support and work with Freedesktop.org than tying themselves to a single desktop implementation.

At the end of the day, Ubuntu will succeed because it is well funded, and because it has something similar to the great virtue of Apple; a technically involved leader who has the final say on the user experience.

six of one ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35445560)

No interest in taking sides in this, but certainly my *perception* of GNOME, and especially "GNOME on Ubuntu" is a long way from flattering towards either.

File a bug against a GNOME component in Ubuntu, and 99.9% of the time you know what BOTH parties' responses are going to be: Ubuntu will push it upstream and ignore it; and the GNOME devs will either reject it and pretend it's deliberate, or ignore it if that's too brazen even for them.

I don't mean "I want Thing X to be Color Y" non-bugs; but real, crystal-clear, user-facing, "even the app itself says this is a bug" bugs.

Given that sort of attitude to bugs, I can see features being cared about even less (regardless of any merit they might actually have, which appindicator is a pretty weak claimant to, especially since the design is mediocre and the scope/impact so unbounded; but the same would hold even if it *did* have merit) so when such a feature is the pet project of someone "senior" at Canonical, it's not really surprising that both sides will try and spin things to blame the other.

In an ecosystem like that, collaboration is next to impossible. So yet again, an entire desktop gets thrown away rather than fixed / improved, and Something Else is started from scratch so one side has the level of control they want, condeming us to another 5 years of a half-assed front end, and the never-ending chant of "NEXT year will be the year of Linux On The Desktop (tm)".

I'll just watch from the sidelines. (1)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 3 years ago | (#35445586)

I use Arch, so I'll always have the choice on exactly how I set up my desktop. Personally I don't see a need for Unity. I'll just use Gnome-shell when it comes out. Although I'm starting to see why some people in the FOSS community are starting to view Canonical in a negative light.

Re:I'll just watch from my rooted Arch box (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35446740)

It's ridiculous to run a distribution that doesn't have package signing. Especially one that pushes out updates as frequently as Arch does. Arch's complete disregard for basic security measures is truly amazing.

Summary of whole GNOME Vs Canonical, freedesktop (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35445776)

A neutral observation and a summary of the whole GNOME vs Canonical, freedesktop.org is available at:
http://psankar.blogspot.com/2011/03/gnome-vs-canonical-freedesktoporg.html

Covers about the blog posts from Dave Neary, Aaron Seigo and Mark Shuttleworth and adds the Author's opinions in the end.

Sigh... (1)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | more than 3 years ago | (#35446492)

With all this bickering of rival interests, here's proof it wouldn't be the 'year of the Linux desktop' any decade soon. It certainly could be the 'year of the Linux phone', with Android steadily encroaching on other platforms.

And what's all this bickering over? Gnome and KDE (bring back kicker!) weren't fancy enough it seems, so now we have this meaningless 3D eye-candy that the average user doesn't give a flying crap about.
} // end rant

There was a discussion yesterday on webOS. A functional linux environment with an intuitive touch screen interface. I'm not sure if HP is pitching for world domination here but its plan to upscale webOS to desktops could actually succeed if they can pair the card-based UI with X11. As I understand it, webOS uses directfb on phones - primarily as a technical constraint that no ARM SoC has a working gallium3D-acclerated Xorg driver. Target an X11/Wayland backend on nvidia/ati/intel and instantly you gain the entire Linux back-catalogue. :) Any 'native' app on webOS uses SDL/OpenGL for rendering, so should be trivially portable, i'd guess.

Maybe it's just me but I'd gladly take a semi-proprietary UI deployed on millions of actual devices over some over-polished hotchpotch of ideas. One consistent minimalist but intuitive interface that runs on phones, tablets and desktops sounds like a great advance.. Oh darn, I think I just described the Apple vision. :) Long live Meego!

Re:Sigh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35447006)

This just cracks me up.

Gnome-shell is "meaningless 3D eye candy", because apparently everyone wants things to look like it did 10 years ago. However, webOS is very interesting and something people want instead... Only webOS is very similar in style to gnome-shell, in fact its been used as a major inspiration for gnome-shell.

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