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The Full Story Behind the Canonical vs. GNOME Drama

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the paul-harvey-good-day dept.

GNOME 247

supersloshy writes this followup to our Thursday discussion of friction between Canonical and GNOME: "I've seen a lot of GNOME bashing for various reasons here on Slashdot as well as several other websites. The problem with all of this is that you never hear GNOME's side of the situation, making a lot of disrespectful comments about GNOME (or the others involved) rather baseless and illogical. Dave Neary has an extremely thorough blog post which details problems on all sides that make the issue much more complicated than 'GNOME is being idiotic by not accepting our technology.' The points covered in the blog post include, among others, how Freedesktop.org is broken as a standards body, that Mark Shuttleworth doesn't understand how GNOME works, that GNOME is not easy to understand, and that open discussions from the very beginning are important for specification development and adoption. Another blog post by 'Sankar' also covers similar points while defending GNOME."

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247 comments

Fuck canonical AND gnome! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35467686)

It's like watching two retards fighting. You might win, but you're still retarded.

Re:Fuck canonical AND gnome! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35467860)

Yes you are.

Re:Fuck canonical AND gnome! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35467940)

Just because you keep fighting with yourself doesn't make it "two" -- and that's not really called "fighting", what you're doing there... BTW

Kubuntu (0)

denshao2 (1515775) | more than 3 years ago | (#35467694)

I never liked Gnome and I hate Unity even more.

Re:Kubuntu (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35467712)

KDE is so klunky, it reminds me of Windows PRE-XP.

Re:Kubuntu (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35467738)

Seriously. I respect KDE and everything but I don't want to work with a playskool desktop manager.

Re:Kubuntu (4, Informative)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 3 years ago | (#35467876)

I don't use ubuntu but I support a bunch of people who do, and usually recommend xubuntu, which has the xfce4 desktop. Ubuntu users might want to get familiar with it now so that when gnome follows kde in snatching defeat from the jaws of victory you'll be undisturbed. sudo apt-get install xubuntu-desktop for ubuntu or kubuntu users.

Re:Kubuntu (2)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 3 years ago | (#35467780)

As pointed out in the Dave Neary's blog post, the same issues of opaque communication, people who are hard to deal with, and difficulty in implementing system-wide changes exist in KDE and many other open source projects. It's not limited to Gnome or Ubuntu.

Re:Kubuntu (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35468462)

Doesn't "hard to deal with" normally mean "I can't get them to do what I want"?

For those without the patience... (4, Informative)

Spyware23 (1260322) | more than 3 years ago | (#35467698)

For those without the patience to read this article (which is much longer than I intended it to be when I started!), here are the headline points:

-FreeDesktop.org is broken as a standards body
-Mark Shuttleworth doesn’t understand how GNOME works
-GNOME is not easy to understand
-Deep mistrust has developed between Canonical, GNOME & KDE
-Difficult people are prominent in each of these projects
-Behind closed doors conversations are poison
-For people to work together, they need to be in the same place

Pulled from http://blogs.gnome.org/bolsh/2011/03/11/lessons-learned/ [gnome.org]

Re:For those without the patience... (1, Interesting)

peragrin (659227) | more than 3 years ago | (#35467730)

If people need to be in the same place to work how does telecommuting work?

all conversations are behind some door that is closed, that is called being inside.

Difficult people are behind every project it is called pride, get over it

Mistrust develops because one side does all the work while the other complains about it.

If GNOME isn't easy to understand then I suggest you fix your design issues. it is a GUI not a rocket ship.

if GNOME isn't easy to understand how can anyone including mark shuttle worth understand it?

How it works (3, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 3 years ago | (#35467744)

If people need to be in the same place to work how does telecommuting work?

It doesn't. That's why people working remote often go visit the people they are working with, or at least they have one person who does if there are a group of them.

Telecommuting works because there is a buffer of understanding built up by in-person meetings and actions.

Re:How it works (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35468022)

I think it might not be too long before you have to rearrange your sig.

Re:How it works (2)

Capt. Beyond (179592) | more than 3 years ago | (#35468116)

and I suppose the telecommuting done with most open source projects doesn't work either?

That makes both kde and gnome are non working projects, but it seems both of them have been working for years, eh?

How many real open source projects are done in the same building?

Re:How it works (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 3 years ago | (#35468542)

and I suppose the telecommuting done with most open source projects doesn't work either?

I'll bet with way more of them than you think, the people involved have met in person.

It doesn't work well, no. Just witness the mess here where if everyone had met in person and hashed this out you'd not see the Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory spring to life in project management clashes between projects.

People are much more humane to each other once they have met in person.

Re:How it works (1)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 3 years ago | (#35468654)

Telecommuting works because there is a buffer of understanding built up by in-person meetings and actions.

And in the standard telecommuting situations, there is a written contract of expectations, priorities, chain of command, and such. Four volunteers who have never met each other can't work together effectively. The first opinion disagreement will result in resentment by at least one member, and more likely all four. Who is the leader? And if they just elect one, what happens the first time that leader is wrong and the other three can see it? In a business situation, if all three tell their manager he is wrong, they then do what he said anyway. In a volunteer situation, often they'll veto the "boss" leading to the "boss" quitting. But what's better for the project, doing one thing wrong (and documented well so that others can fix it) or to lose 25% of the workforce because the opinion of one person doesn't match the other three?

Telecommuting causes lots of problems for anyone. And it greatly magnifies some of the weaknesses in volunteer collaboration.

Poorly if at all (4, Interesting)

sjbe (173966) | more than 3 years ago | (#35467844)

If people need to be in the same place to work how does telecommuting work?

Poorly in most cases. Telecommuting can work in some cases but only for cases where the need to communicate is either minimal or well defined. I've telecommuted (worked from home) and I'm nowhere near as productive. Most jobs involve a significant amount of communication and it is MUCH easier to communicate in person. Emails and phone calls are great but there is no substitute for face to face communication and close proximity when collaborating on a project. There are exceptions where telecommuting works great but they are and will remain exceptions for most of us.

Difficult people are behind every project it is called pride, get over it

There is pride and there is arrogance and they are not the same thing. Being proud of what you have done doesn't give you or anyone else the right to be a jerk.

Mistrust develops because one side does all the work while the other complains about it.

Mistrust is caused by many things. Every argument has two sides and in almost every case both sides have a least some (though rarely equal) legitimacy to their arguments. People are political animals by nature and if they aren't able to talk about what they are doing AND their motivations for doing so in an efficient manner, mistrust is the inevitable result.

Re:For those without the patience... (3, Informative)

Daniel_Staal (609844) | more than 3 years ago | (#35467992)

If GNOME isn't easy to understand then I suggest you fix your design issues. it is a GUI not a rocket ship.

if GNOME isn't easy to understand how can anyone including mark shuttle worth understand it?

GNOME is two things: It is an set of code, and it is the organization and group that writes and maintains that code. It is the latter that the article is referring to. It's not easy to understand how the community of GNOME operates. And trying to get something done without understanding the community is likely to mean you'll not get anywhere, because you haven't convinced the community that it needs to be done.

Re:For those without the patience... (0)

suso (153703) | more than 3 years ago | (#35467754)

One point you forgot to obviously include.

- People are too lazy to read whole articles that explain everything and instead base their opinions on someone else's summary.

Re:For those without the patience... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35467890)

One point you forgot to obviously include.

- People are too lazy to read whole articles that explain everything and instead base their opinions on someone else's summary.

are you always this much of a self-serving douchebag?

On the other hand... (1)

IANAAC (692242) | more than 3 years ago | (#35468646)

One point you forgot to obviously include.

- People are too lazy to read whole articles that explain everything and instead base their opinions on someone else's summary.

When I read anything that starts with "The Full Story Behind..." I tend to discount it as just one side's agenda.

Re:For those without the patience... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35467906)

-Mark Shuttleworth doesn’t understand how GNOME works
-GNOME is not easy to understand

TFA offers these points as a defense of GNOME, but it seems to me that the opposite it true. If you want your application to be included in a distro then it's a good idea to make sure your application is easy to understand and that the leading person handling the distro does indeed understand it.

Re:For those without the patience... (1)

Tranzistors (1180307) | more than 3 years ago | (#35468148)

Reminds me of aliens, who land on Earth, goes to the neared bar and says "Take me to your leader". To solve this problem, we need new world order!
Also, Gnome is not a distro. I haven't seen a trend of them trying to adopt every peace of code there is.

Re:For those without the patience... (5, Insightful)

segedunum (883035) | more than 3 years ago | (#35468066)

Which is kind of what you'd expect from Gnome - claim that Freedesktop doesn't work and that no ne understand how Gnome works, it's all just a big misunderstanding and everyone is equally to blame.

Bullshit.

Re:For those without the patience... (3, Interesting)

Daengbo (523424) | more than 3 years ago | (#35468520)

Perhaps most the most telling thing about your summary is that you don't understand that "freedesktop.org is not a standards body," [freedesktop.org] which is clearly stated on the FD.o website. It helps with inter-desktop collaborations through specifications and their hosting. The process is very open and devs are welcome to contribute, fork, and modify specifications. You said "Mark Shuttleworth doesn’t understand how GNOME works," but apparently, GNOME doesn't understand how FD.o works. "The log in your own eye ..." and all that.

Why we don't hear Gnome's side... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35467700)

Their response is caugt in bloatware.

Damn their GUI is getting SLOWER and SLOWER every day it seems like.

Fuck GNOME (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35467716)

Gnome embraces Mono. -> Gnome is wrong.

It's that fucking simple.

The problem is that both sides are wrong ... (5, Insightful)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 3 years ago | (#35467724)

GNOME has a long history of "NIH" (not invented here), and Canonical has developed a reputation for trying to boss developers around (like when they wanted all the major projects to sync their release schedule with Ubuntu).

In the end, they're both going to be irrelevant. GNOME shell is too late, and doing it their own way, going further away from what most people want in a desktop, and Unity is already outdated when you compare it to what's happening in the tablet world.

So a pox on both their houses. They sort of deserve each other.

Re:The problem is that both sides are wrong ... (2, Insightful)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 3 years ago | (#35467822)

They're both going to be irrelevant?

Great, because the "screw you guys, I'm doing it my own way" mentality has worked SO well in the past for Linux on the desktop.

Re:The problem is that both sides are wrong ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35468222)

It's been working pretty doggone well for me on my desktop (variously dwm, e17, and awesome on different machines over the past 7 years), but then I don't see the need to engage in a dick-waving contest about marketshare -- it's not like, even if the year-of-Linux-on-the-desktop never comes, it will lose its utility for us who do use it.

Re:The problem is that both sides are wrong ... (0)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 3 years ago | (#35468752)

That depends on what exactly you do with it.

If you just like to write your own software and never use the internet, and never intend to upgrade to new hardware, you won't care if Linux marketshare goes to 0%.

However, for it to keep up support for newer hardware, and keep providing software for doing everyday things like web browsing, it has to have enough marketshare to support itself, and to keep enough developers interested to keep developing for it.

It also helps if it's popular enough for certain software bits to stay available for it, such as a Flash viewer so we can watch Youtube videos without dual-booting.

Linux doesn't need a majority of marketshare on the desktop to stay useful for Linux users. After all, Mac OS certainly doesn't have a majority either, but you don't see Mac users complaining much about that, or that they can't do (insert long list of tasks that can be done on Windows). However, it does need enough of a marketshare to be considered important enough by companies to give some attention to, or else it'll be completely irrelevant like NetBSD.

Re:The problem is that both sides are wrong ... (1)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | more than 3 years ago | (#35467832)

GNOME shell is too late, and doing it their own way, going further away from what most people want in a desktop, and Unity is already outdated when you compare it to what's happening in the tablet world.

I tend to agree in that phones and tablets will see a general erosion of the relevance of a desktop OS. 'Apps' are in vogue, whether they be html5-based (webOS), embedded java (Android), objective-c (iOS) or Qt (Meego)

In the case of Meego and, to a lesser extent, webOS the prevailing use of standard Linux components under the hood raises the question of whether we need a traditional Desktop Environment. These phone environments are set to make a splash on tablets. Does the addition of a keyboard and mouse disqualify there use in a desktop setting if they've been shown to scale up at least to XGA resolution? e.g. If webOS can host Qt and Gtk+ programs via the addition of X11, who needs a fancy 'shell', when the same card-based UI on one's palm pre becomes just as applicable on a 1080p screen?

Re:The problem is that both sides are wrong ... (1)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 3 years ago | (#35468102)

Since "app" is short for application, you can say apps have been in vogue since the EDSAC was built, in 1949.

Re:The problem is that both sides are wrong ... (1)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | more than 3 years ago | (#35468228)

Maybe so. Language evolves; current usage centres on pocket touchscreen programs, a trend you would acknowledge?

Semantics aside, my point being that as the phone OS successfully scales up to XGA screens (iPad, Android 3), the distinction between a tablet OS and a desktop becomes greyer. If a phone OS can seamlessly add support for hosting 'desktop' applications such as gimp, lyx, gnumeric, supertuxkart, Eclipse etc then at what point do we need a Gnome or KDE 'desktop' exactly?

Re:The problem is that both sides are wrong ... (1)

yoasif (969247) | more than 3 years ago | (#35468250)

Not even Apple (where the "app" store naming seems to be most popularized from) denies that it is about pocket touchscreen programs. Witness the Mac App store [apple.com] ...

Re:The problem is that both sides are wrong ... (1)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | more than 3 years ago | (#35468386)

I'd agree with you if the trend wasn't towards Apple regaining the desktop in terms of redefining it away from the traditional WIMP interface they popularized way back in 1984.

The 'OS X app store' is the adoption of a successful business model by OS X and eventual fusion the two operating system cousins. Rather than being merely a repackaging of existing desktop software, it's a gradual blurring of the distinction between phone and desktop OSes.

Soon any iOS title will run natively on OSX, from the same app store, from the same download. OS X then just becomes a beefed up environment to run additional software titles such as Photoshop.

The same touchscreen 'apps' on iOS will conquer the OS X desktop, via mouse and touchpad. If Apple can supply 9.7" capacitive tablets in 2010, it's only a matter of time before we'll see that as standard in their desktop displays too.

Any wonder HP is keen to deploy webOS on every piece of hardware they ship?

Re:The problem is that both sides are wrong ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35468282)

Since "app" is short for application, you can say apps have been in vogue since the EDSAC was built, in 1949.

Thank you for saying this...I've been thinking this for awhile.

The grandparent post sort of provides the reasons why I hope the mobile and tablet space doesn't expand too much (at least in the way it has):

'Apps' are in vogue, whether they be html5-based (webOS), embedded java (Android), objective-c (iOS) or Qt (Meego)

One thing I'm deeply concerned about is replicating functionality due to vendor lock-in. In this statement, you've basically illustrated that the "app" approach involves duplicating function across platforms.

The internet for a long time has been a standardizing influence. What's happening with tablets and mobile is that, because of restrictions in their functionality, you've had to create apps that are platform-dependent, destroying standardization. The limitations of mobile devices and tablets becomes an excuse to leverage proprietary lock-in.

For example, with full-featured systems, you have a nice screen, all sorts of inputs, full keyboard, etc. So you can use html5 to create platform-independent software assuming the browser. This doesn't make the OS UI obsolete, it makes it basic, fundamental. Now, though, you have smartphones with small screens, cramped keyboards, tablets with no USB, and the response is "well, now you have to write an app for our platform." So now the thing that was widely available through an html standard--write once and use everywhere, more or less--you have to duplicate 3 or four ways to target all of the major platforms. E.g., a major website has to have the regular website, the mobile website, the iPhone app, the Android app, etc.

At one time the argument was "you should use this proprietary software because the standard isn't advanced enough to accommodate it." Now it's "you should use this proprietary software because the standard is too advanced for our hardware to accommodate."

Maybe this is totally tangential to the GNOME-Canonical-KDE controversy, but I sure as hell hope mobile and tablets don't continue to grow in the way they have. For people like me, who get sick of the mobile-app-space (but nonetheless use it daily), the desktop space is a pleasant respite. And as I love Linux and open-source OSes, I want that community to do well, not worse. The health of the open-source desktop environment is as important as ever, as proprietary lock-in competitors grow.

Fork it, minus all the whining (4, Insightful)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | more than 3 years ago | (#35467748)

Gnome weren't interested? If it matters to Canonical so much, why not just contribute the necessary support into the core libs? Refactor the gnome library so it supports both the gnome way of doing things and this new-fangled KDE/unity way and can be pluggable. Strict Gnome implementations can do it their way or link your lib.

If Ubuntu Gnome desktop (even running gnome-shell) is nicer that official Gnome, your fork will be adopted by other distros and thus 'win'.

Re:Fork it, minus all the whining (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35468378)

patches welcome. put up or shut up.

Aaron Seigo (from KDE)'s perspective (5, Informative)

chrisl456 (699707) | more than 3 years ago | (#35467774)

blog post 1 [blogspot.com] and blog post 2 [blogspot.com] .

Enjoy.

Re:Aaron Seigo (from KDE)'s perspective (1, Interesting)

GauteL (29207) | more than 3 years ago | (#35467926)

It seems to me that Seigo could do with minding his own business in this situation. Instead his post reads like he is attempting to portray himself as more edible to Canonical than GNOME in an attempt to win them over to KDE instead. This is somewhat distasteful, although nevertheless completely legitimate. It would be a boon to KDE if Canonical decided to focus on it.

I'm personally very disappointed with Canonical recently. The mess with regards to the Banshee referral fees was bad enough. Developing Unity behind closed doors and then expecting everyone else to adopt it afterwards was worse. The worst, however, is the insistence on copyright assignment for contributing to Ubuntu, which I sincerely hope nobody is foolish enough to fall for. Assigning copyright to a company for your own voluntary contributions is a very bad idea and this alone should suffice to explain why libappindicator has received a lukewarm reaction from GNOME developers.

Re:Aaron Seigo (from KDE)'s perspective (4, Insightful)

segedunum (883035) | more than 3 years ago | (#35468120)

Well, it is his business considering that he and lots of other people within KDE have contributed greatly to Freedesktop and it has meant that those of us trying to use desktops with applications with differing toolkits that can actually work reasonably together. For some Gnome people to then wander along and say 'Freedesktop is broken and doesn't work' is simply not helpful in the slightest, nor does it cover them in any glory.

Oh, and Aaron has consistently been critical of Canonical over a long period of time over a lot of what they've done. That hasn't changed, although they share a little common ground here.

Re:Aaron Seigo (from KDE)'s perspective (1)

roju (193642) | more than 3 years ago | (#35468738)

he is attempting to portray himself as more edible to Canonical

Whoa, if the problem is that the people at Canonical are cannibals, someone should have brought that up way earlier! No wonder they're not getting along!

Gnome does it again. (0, Troll)

happyhacker5 (2012742) | more than 3 years ago | (#35467802)

Now, if you didn't hear about, they want to remove close buttons from applications.
They force on you to suspend your system on lid close,
They decide that you don't need toolbar applets, like cpu monitor.

I still use gnome, but my patience is almost broken.

Yesterday, for example I installed ADW home screen [tiny.cc] for my android phone, and boy did I have fun with it, because it has so
many settings.

(Note that by default, it was quite sucky, but with customization, it became just perfect).
Android just follows Gnome policy of 'No settings, we know whats good for you', thus I am giving that example.

I am really tired of lack of settings in Gnome, because that myth that it confuses novices is just a joke.
Novices can just not change the defaults, and devs are free to set defaults as they wish, and thus we get a gnome equivalent, but one that fits everybody, not
just a bunch of devs that think that they know everything.


So, next update, I am switching to KDE, I have had enough.

Re:Gnome does it again. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35467814)

KDE is interesting and all but GNOME lets me actually get work done; it wasn't designed to appeal to a 3-year-old.

Re:Gnome does it again. (2)

happyhacker6 (2012746) | more than 3 years ago | (#35467892)

KDE is interesting and all but GNOME lets me actually get work done; it wasn't designed to appeal to a 3-year-old.

Its not about pretty interface. It is about easy to use interface, and less options, mean less chance the interface will fit you. Remember that peoples are different, remember that small fact, that tends to be forgotten. Something that is easy/intuitive for one user, isn't for another and vise versa. Settings is exactly that, they allow the computer to be fitted for the user needs. If user doesn't know how to use them, then he uses defaults, just like in case of no settings.

Re:Gnome does it again. (1)

imthesponge (621107) | more than 3 years ago | (#35468012)

Yes, but it makes no sense to make things annoying for 90% of people to please the other 10%, when those 10% can change things to the way they want anyway.

Re:Gnome does it again. (4, Insightful)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | more than 3 years ago | (#35467908)

KDE is interesting and all but GNOME lets me actually get work done; it wasn't designed to appeal to a 3-year-old.

Indeed. I have myself tried KDE every now and then, all the way from KDE 3.x, and I still don't quite like it. It feels like they are simply trying to include way too much stuff and every imaginable configuration option. GNOME on the other hand feels much more consistent and clean and thus it suits my taste much better. I have only wished they'd switch over to Qt because it's quite a bit more powerful than GTK+, but in such a way as to keep the current feel to it all.

However, it is a moot point now: with GNOME3 removing minimize and maximize buttons and more-or-less forcing people into using workspaces I will have to seek a replacement. I just happen to like minimize and maximize buttons and my current workflow, I don't want to have to learn a new one just for the sake of it being new. It would be a different matter if it was somehow more powerful and efficient than my current one, but it isn't.

Oh well.

Re:Gnome does it again. (5, Insightful)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 3 years ago | (#35468110)

However, it is a moot point now: with GNOME3 removing minimize and maximize buttons and more-or-less forcing people into using workspaces I will have to seek a replacement. I just happen to like minimize and maximize buttons and my current workflow, I don't want to have to learn a new one just for the sake of it being new.

Yeah, it is annoying how they keep taking functionality out when there's no rational justification in terms of usability. My 11-year-old daughter was running Gnome on Ubuntu Lucid, and she had her login screen all customized so it looked cool according to her 11-year-old criteria. Then I upgraded her to Maverick, and her customization went away. I spent some time trying to help her get it working again, and basically learned that it's impossible (or would require more wizardry than I possess). Try explaining to an 11-year-old why an upgrade has removed a feature that she was using and wanted. Is there some usability improvement due to removing this capability for customization? Of course not.

But that's the beauty of open source. We have fluxbox, xfce, KDE, ...

Re:Gnome does it again. (1)

wuzzerd (1150445) | more than 3 years ago | (#35468408)

But that's the beauty of open source. We have fluxbox, xfce, KDE, ...

IMHO that sums it up, we can all stop posting now. Both KDE and Gmoan have made my setup unusable when upgraded. Always feels like a downgrade to me.

Now Flux: It has a nice menu that I can edit in xterm with my favorite text editor. It does NOT have a bunch of junk cluttering the screen like a desktop to annoy my ancient eyes.

For some reason anything I install just works[tm].

Re:Gnome does it again. (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#35468572)

I upgraded iOS on my son's ipod and many of this apps stopped working. This problem is not unique to OSS.

DONT CLICK THE LINK (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35467852)

It is Goatse.

Re:Gnome does it again. (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#35467864)

To be honest, I used to use gnome a bit, and KDE, but I've found that they're both just way too much. I don't need or use most of the stuff they insist on installing. One of the things that I'm digging about Archlinux is that they aren't forcing you to install anything in particular as a WM.

Re:Gnome does it again. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35467866)

Avoid the link to the ADW home screen, it goes to goatse.

Such a funny guy you are.

Why is gnome hard to understand? (1)

nzac (1822298) | more than 3 years ago | (#35467812)

Its not like windows, but all of the layouts i have seen (default and opensuse being the main ones) are somewhat obvious where everything is and extra features are pretty easy to ignore. Is the multiple desktops that are confusing or the bar on top?

KDE also has some confusing interface differences form windows in some of its applications. Such as the default single click opening of files and folders.

I am a long time gnome user and i never heard complain that the layout is confusing.

Or did i miss the part that is about gnome 3?

Re:Why is gnome hard to understand? (2)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | more than 3 years ago | (#35467918)

You're confused. They don't mean the UI is hard to understand, they mean GNOME as a loose organization of developers and goals.

Yawn.... another FOSS soap opera (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35467850)

After seeing similar dramas play out in other high profile FOSS projects over the years, it makes me wonder if this is how all semi-successful FOSS projects eventually end up. Politics exist in any organization, but at least in software development corporations, people have incentives to try to work things out. This certainly doesn't help the case for Linux on the desktop.

Gnome and KDE both suck (0, Offtopic)

Vinegar Joe (998110) | more than 3 years ago | (#35467870)

Window Maker rocks!

http://windowmaker.org/ [windowmaker.org]

Re:Gnome and KDE both suck (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35467914)

Window Maker rocks!

http://windowmaker.org/ [windowmaker.org]

Rocks my eyes with utter fuglyness...

Re:Gnome and KDE both suck (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35467974)

It seems to have one thing in common with KDE: that ugly-ass gray color everywhere.

Re:Gnome and KDE both suck (2, Informative)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 3 years ago | (#35468018)

Spoken like someone who doesn't know how to configure wmaker. It's as fugly or beautiful as you make it. Fluxbox is extremely good as well.

Re:Gnome and KDE both suck (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35468360)

uhhh, 1998 called, they want their desktop back.

Gnome made the right choice (1)

anomaly256 (1243020) | more than 3 years ago | (#35467872)

Frankly, seeing how Ubuntu totally gimped gdm-setup, removed the ability to use remote-x and a chooser and other such *digressions* they've implemented, I'm on Gnome's side.

Re:Gnome made the right choice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35468010)

Doesn't gdm stand for Gnome something?

Re:Gnome made the right choice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35468350)

That was actually done upstream. I even think ubuntu waited one iteration before using the new gdm.

Also, stop picking sides, it's not highschol. Help instead.

Wait, what? (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#35467910)

Just a few days ago, we were told that everyone is bashing Ubuntu and then a couple days later, we all bashed the crap out of Ubuntu regarding news about their interactions with GNOME. Now we're being told that we're bashing GNOME, even though we were bashing Ubuntu/Canonical all week?

Anyway, when I do need to use Ubuntu, I opt for XUBUNTU.

GNOME's own alternative? (5, Interesting)

ThePhilips (752041) | more than 3 years ago | (#35467928)

Dave Neary has an extremely thorough blog post which details problems on all sides that make the issue much more complicated than 'GNOME is being idiotic by not accepting our technology.'

Let's cut the chase: does GNOME provide an alternative notification area spec?

From all written, I can really comment only on the part about "fd.o is broken as a standards body". And all I can say is that pretty much all standard bodies work like that: they rely on cooperation. GNOME didn't take part in talk and later sent list of complaints - instead of drafting new (version of) spec. And GNOME has stopped there, at sending complaints. Standards and specs are not immovable targets, while apparently GNOME childishly refuses to take part in the process by only complaining and calling it "broken." Or I miss something?

Re:GNOME's own alternative? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35468392)

You're sort of missing something. FD.o is a neutral place for developers from disparate desktop environments to hold discussions and throw around ideas that can be used by everyone. The discussion about the notification spec took place on the xdg@ list after it was proposed in mid-December, 2009. You can find the thread in the archives. Before being proposed as the StatusNotifierSpec, it was the KNotifierSpec. Mostly KDE developers participated in the discussion, because they had already been discussion the spec for a while. Canonical developer Ted Gould sent a message to GNOME's desktop-developer-list@ in mid-January, 2010 to GNOME developers know that a new notification spec was being developed. Dan Winship, a GNOME developer, reads the spec and voices his concerns with in on the xdg@ list. He and Aaron Seigo from KDE lightly flame each other for a while.

A month later, GNOME developer Colin Walters (from Red Hat) asks about Canonical's libappindicator (an implementation of the StatusNotifierSpec) and its relation to GNOME. There aren't too many posts, some people like it and some people don't. Later that day, Ted Gould formally proposes the library for inclusion as an external dependency. (Note: in GNOME, an app is free to use any library it wants as long as it is dynamically loaded. Proposing the module as an external dependency allows an application to statically link the library.)

So it seems like Dan Winship was one of the few GNOME people actually aware that the spec was being drafted and subscribed to the xdg@ list. Canonical began implementing the spec way before it was formally drafted, and way before they notified any GNOME people that development was even going on. By the time someone in GNOME who was qualified to implement the spec heard about it, it was already well on its way to done. When he went to talk about it with the authors, flaming ensued. You can decided who started it.

There's no conspiracy or childishness on Canonical or GNOME's part. They just weren't communicating well.

Re:GNOME's own alternative? (2)

Daengbo (523424) | more than 3 years ago | (#35468576)

Why isn't every serious GNOME dev subscribed to the XDG mailing list? Heck, I am, and I'm not even a real developer. Heck, it's not even high volume, having fewer than twenty posts a month.

Re:GNOME's own alternative? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35468690)

First, because most discussion there isn't relevant to every GNOME developer. Second, because most developers are already over subscribed to mailing lists anyway. Adding XDG is mostly noise. Ted Gould did the right thing by pinging the GNOME people and letting them know a standard was being drafted, he just did it a bit late. Many people are recommending that FD.o implement a system that lists who's tracking a standard, and who needs to be pinged. That way there can be specialty mailing lists for individual standards, not one main mailing list like XDG now.

Where's the benevolent dictator? (4, Interesting)

Troll-Under-D'Bridge (1782952) | more than 3 years ago | (#35467944)

From TFA:

But then again, over the years I have heard similar feedback from GNOME Mobile participants, and people in Nokia --so it's not all Mark's fault. As Jono says here: GNOME does have a reputation of being hard to work with for companies -- no point in denying it (then again, so does the kernel, and they seem to get along fine).

Leaving aside the question of whether it's good for an open source project to have macho leadership, I think the comparison with Linux (the kernel) isn't valid. Linux, as every slashgeek well knows, is ruled by benevolent dictator [wikipedia.org] . What Linus wants, Linux gets. Or you fork the kernel, which is what most everybody does. I think the last Gnome BD was a guy named Miguel [wikipedia.org] , who has since gone on to other interests [wikipedia.org] .

But perhaps more substantively, Linux differs from Gnome in that Gnome tends to be modular, while Linux is modular only in the sense you can do "modprobe fu ; rmmod bar". So even if Linux didn't have Linus, people are forced by the monolithic nature of the kernel to be more careful with the bits they insert or remove from the kernel. Modifying the kernel is a more surgical operation when compared to the more Lego [wikipedia.org] -like nature of Gnome.

Gnome's modular nature thus makes casual forking (as practiced by Canonical, et al) easier than it is in projects of a more monolithic nature like Linux and, to a lesser extent, KDE.

The Desktop is Dead (1, Interesting)

HRbnjR (12398) | more than 3 years ago | (#35467952)

Am I the only one finding myself increasingly detached from caring about the desktop shell anyhow? It's like, can we just replace the whole desktop shell with a browser and be done with it (even if all the apps are still served from localhost)?

Re:The Desktop is Dead (1, Troll)

diegocg (1680514) | more than 3 years ago | (#35468092)

Indeed. Android is killing both Gnome and KDE. It is more succesful by all measures, it is already the leading "Linux desktop" (as in: "Joe User uses it"). KDE and Gnome are no better than XFCE - hacky and not very successful projects for people that doesn't want the mainstream.

It is happening much faster than everyone expected, and I'm very happy about it - Android knows what the user want and they know how to provide it and how to compete with propietary platforms, they are not a bunch of mental masturbators who spend their time with flamewars and continuous rewrites of everything. I really hope Android extends some day their APIs to allow desktop apps and not just touch stuff, so that we can forget this old G/K stuff.

Re:The Desktop is Dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35468190)

As adroid points out with the 2.x and 3.0 releases being targetted at devices with different screen real estates, writing a desktop (or any GUI) heavily depends on the capabilities of the presentation device.

Hence the success of andriod cannot be extrapolated to any linux desktop. Heck, android is not even multitasking ! (applications that are not visible are suspended)

Re:The Desktop is Dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35468370)

Applications, yes, but not services (which Android apps can spawn). I actually wish desktop OSes acted the same way: I never fucking want applications wasting CPU time in the background unless I explicitly allow it.

I guess the benefit to the mobile market is that it allows OS writers to challenge previous decisions that somehow became de facto standard (things like the user model, ring-based security, sandboxing & process isolation (no ReadProcessMemory), multitasking implementation, desktop-oriented focus, and so on).

Re:The Desktop is Dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35468330)

I love Android, and, like you, hope it expands and takes off.

But it's important to recognize that, while it's wildly successful, it's wildly successful in a relatively limited sphere.

E.g., I love Android on my smartphone but I would never want to use it the way it is for scientific computing, writing papers or books, creating posters, serious software development, or anything else that requires more way more than a smartphone alone can deliver (and I'd argue that's true by virtue of inherent space limitations of a smartphone). I sympathize with David Lynch on this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wKiIroiCvZ0

Maybe Android some day will become a full-featured OS for all sorts of systems, big and small. But it's not there yet.

Re:The Desktop is Dead (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 3 years ago | (#35468098)

How would you like to run photoshop in a browser? That's a good test for how close the browser is to replacing the desktop. For myself, I also try to think of what it would be like to get a programming environment going from a browser. Right now, it's not a pleasant thought.

Re:The Desktop is Dead (1)

smoothnorman (1670542) | more than 3 years ago | (#35468152)

And then the browser becomes the desktop and we can hate and dump that. (e.g. Cr-48) CLI projected on the left lens of my glasses and chorded keyboard inside my right shoe. Until then just watch the wrestling match over the blinky lights.

Re:The Desktop is Dead (1)

mangu (126918) | more than 3 years ago | (#35468176)

It's like, can we just replace the whole desktop shell with a browser and be done with it

KDE is very much like that if you use konqueror as the default file manager. The way I use it is having konqueror open in the file manager profile and maximized all the time.

Konqueror also has some nice shortcuts, like CTRL+SHIFT+L splitting the window so you can see two directories at the same time, that's great for moving files and for comparing stuff.

Gnome decides to remove minimize/maximize buttons (-1, Troll)

happyhacker6 (2012746) | more than 3 years ago | (#35467966)

Yes, you hear me right, I am not trolling. Here is the blog entry [tinyurl.com] about it

Warning: Goatse link in parent. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35468062)

Which seems really old to me. Perhaps I just don't read that many Slashdot threads, but I thought Goatse links had kinda died years ago.

As a side note, the picture seems way smaller than I remember it.

Re:Gnome decides to remove minimize/maximize butto (1, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 3 years ago | (#35468130)

OK, I thought that was bad, but they have a reason. They want people to use desktop pagers instead of maximize and minimize. After I read that, I tried it out to see what was so great, and indeed, having a separate pager for each project you're working on is amazing. So if it works like they expect, they will be pushing a lot of people to a better world (it drives me crazy when I see someone with a 21 inch monitor who maximizes every single window and uses the task bar to switch between them. Totally defeats the point of a large monitor).

Overall I'd rather have those buttons included, but I rarely use them anyway.

one, two, three, many desktops! (2, Interesting)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 3 years ago | (#35467976)

One of the many reasons why I would never consider using an OS other than Linux these days is that on Windows or MacOS there is no (realistic) choice as to which desktop you're going to run. I use fluxbox. My wife and daughter use Gnome. I've used xfce on low-end hardware sometimes. Some people like KDE.

If Gnome has problems, just don't use it. It's not a big deal. Apt-get install fluxbox, or apt-get install xfce4, or whatever desktop you like.

Re:one, two, three, many desktops! (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 3 years ago | (#35468140)

... and the added bonus is that you can install them all and just switch at login, with all of the software still working (for the most part). It really is hard to beat for flexibility, but loses a lot on consistency for the average user.

tl;dr (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35468068)

We're a disaster, but I can point out defects in others, therefore everything's fine!

Who should care? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35468168)

Not following now. I have been using cde, fvwm, blackbox, kde... I didn't like Gnome before Ubuntu. Gnome felt non trivial and retarded. Now most UIs are going back to basics. Too much framework overhead and 'clever' UI toys. I don't even have a wallpaper because my screen real estate has a purpose.

Chrome has clue and Amiga UI rocks.

Jeff Waugh's Summary (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35468272)

Jeff Waugh worked at Canonical until 2006 and was a member of the GNOME board until 2008. Since then he hasn't had a role in either project. He's been pumping out a series of blog posts cover this whole saga for the last few days.

Part 1
http://bethesignal.org/blog/2011/03/12/relationship-between-canonical-gnome/
Part 2
http://bethesignal.org/blog/2011/03/12/thoughts-on-gnome/
Part 3
http://bethesignal.org/blog/2011/03/12/the-libappindicator-story/
Part 4
http://bethesignal.org/blog/2011/03/13/love-flies-under-the-radar/

Gnome and the gulag mentality (5, Insightful)

Anne Honime (828246) | more than 3 years ago | (#35468358)

The biggest trouble I have with gnome is the designers constant push to force me using my computer their way 'for my own good'. No, sorry, I won't, thank you very much. I've used almost every other GUI / desktop manager around, none has tried so constantly to take away my freedom to organize the way I want to work. To add insult to injury, Gnome color schemes and icon design always seem to lag 10 years behind current fashion. Gnome reminds me of my childhood in the cold war era. Although I was born in western europe, it feels like soviets are rolling their tank divisions through my computer. You wait months in a line waiting for next release, just to hear : 'there's no more resize button, get away, and if you're not happy, praise tell me, comrade, why would you need one ? Didn't you know resize buttons are antisocial ?'. And you end up living in a concrete shack, decorated by shades of gray, praising the vision of the komintern. Just say no.

Re:Gnome and the gulag mentality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35468518)

What the fuck are you even talking about?

Re:Gnome and the gulag mentality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35468522)

Gnome color schemes and icon design always seem to lag 10 years behind current fashion. Gnome reminds me of my childhood in the cold war era.

The button layout on the telephone hasn't changed in decades. Just because something is older, doesn't mean it is garbage. If it works, why change it just because you can. Not all of us want the candy colored world.

Re:Gnome and the gulag mentality (4, Insightful)

Anne Honime (828246) | more than 3 years ago | (#35468614)

Case in point, why on earth then, did they dropped the minimize / maximize button ? Oh, yeah... sorry to speak about consistency, everybody should know by now that consistency isn't part of Gnome's roadmap. I'm not arguing that things should be kept around forever by default, neither do I think things must change for the sake of changing. What I want is the freedom to decide what I want to keep, and what i want to drop, and the way it's displayed. Easy enough. KDE, for all its shortcomings, does that very well. You have personalities, pagers, as much buttons as you like in title bars, wherever you like, arranged as you want them to be ordered, and you can suit your keyboard shortcuts to your needs. Stuff that, Gnome.

A pox on both houses (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35468388)

I am in desktop overload. Between the Mac re-inventing the concept of "pointless flash," Microsoft ripping it off, and Gnome and KDE running in wildly divergent directions "just because they can" I have had about all I can take. I don't want some radically different Gnome Shell. I fucking HATE KDE's Plasma (what ever happened to having stuff run outside of KDE guys?)

We have reached the point where we're all happy imitating each other, and now we're looking for excuses to be different where no reasons actually exist. We won, guys. We all have desktops on our respective platforms. We're all functional. We have window managers, file managers, a fleet of tools that do the work we need, and most of us are happy.

Well some of us. The desktop devs can't sit still it seems. We've all imitated the Microsoft Experience (TM) to the point where it's all too predictable, and we just can't HAVE that...let's pretend we are innovators! To boldly go and all that...and to hell with the users who just want something familiar.

Well I've had enough. I'm sick of the complexity. I'm sick of the SLOWNESS and the memory bloat. And I'm sick of having to dread the next iteration and the flights of fancy of the free desktop community.

So I'm going back. Back to a simple window manager, and the tools needed to make it laptop-ready. My recipe is simple: X-windows + MWM. Xterm for console. Dolphin or Nautilus as a file manager, when needed. To make it laptop-ready, I need Trayer so I can run nm-applet for my network, and gnome's power manager (sorry KDE, your damn plasmids won't work outside KDE.). And hell, that's about all I need.

Smart. Simple. Clean. And under my control.

To hell with the desktop wars.

Houston, we have a problem. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35468430)

Another angle, from 1+ year ago: http://blog.lxde.org/?p=361

Canonical must take control (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35468474)

If Canonical put forth the effort, they could drive GNOME wherever they wanted. Red Hat and Suse dominate GNOME because their developers step up and take charge. They become members of the release team, they become maintainers of important modules. They develop, in the open, technologies that become integral to GNOME. There's no one inside of Canonical that has bothered to do that. One ex-Canonical employee admitted that he was forced to stop contributing to upstream GTK+, stop using upstream's source control system, and stop using upstream's bug tracker. Canonical wanted the development done exclusively in Launchpad with bazaar. [1] That lessens Canonical's influence. If they had allowed that developer to continue contributing upstream, they would have 1) gained goodwill 2) improved GTK+ 3) gotten help from all the other GTK+ developers 4) positioned one of their developers in a position to take a leadership role in the GNOME project. Instead, they shut him down and forced him to work in a little walled garden. Canonical never finished the project, and it was eventually completed by other companies and volunteers.

That was a big missed opportunity.

[1] http://aseigo.blogspot.com/2011/03/collaborations-demise.html?showComment=1299807005600#c2417381301530751354

I have tried Unity... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35468656)

To be honest, i don't see what it offers that Gnome doesn't... Maybe I am just to set in my ways when it comes to the desktop but to be honest it really just seems to not be that different. and (At least on my machine) unity starts up about 2 seconds slower than gnome... So I am sticking with gnome.

I Am In Amazement (2)

hduff (570443) | more than 3 years ago | (#35468658)

The big story is that many in leadership positions are asshats? And these egocentric farts are acting like a bunch of bitchy little girls? And their constant need for self-aggrandizement has held back the development of FOSS in general (and GNOME and KDE in particular)?

Wow.

That's not news.

To summarize Neary's rant for the non-GNOME-KDE-Canonical-oriented:
1. the leadership is not well organized
2. the leadership does not communicate well
3. the leadership does not cooperate well

And Neary's solution?
1. bring all discussion into the open (good)
2. eliminate the riff-raff amateurs (elitist)
3. anoint the leadership through invitation-only (even more so)
4. coerce the asshats into behaving and cooperating with a code of conduct (delusional)

Really? And he expects success with a group consisting in large part of infantile prima donnas?

The current model works well enough with all those personalities involved. It's just messy and inefficient and unprofitable and not likely to lead to world domination. But it's a world where anybody can make a copy of the football and take it home with them and Neary's plan doesn't accommodate that. It attempts to offer the imprimatur of what a corporate world needs, to marginalize the 'amateurs' and consolidate power in a select few all at the expense of the chaos that makes FOSS a living thing.

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