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Has GNOME Rejected Canonical Help? Shuttleworth Responds 181

Posted by Soulskill
from the can't-we-all-just-get-along dept.
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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Has GNOME Rejected Canonical Help? Shuttleworth Responds

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  • 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 wh

    • by Anonymous Coward

      "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: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        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, et

        • by Patch86 (1465427)

          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.

          • by maxume (22995)

            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).

            • 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

              • 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

                • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Thursday March 10, 2011 @02:54PM (#35445612) Journal
                  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).
          • by blizz017 (1617063)
            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.
          • 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.

          • On the other hand, Apple only has to make their OS work with an extremely limited set of configurations. Microsoft has farms of machines and it's still a minority. GNU Linux distros have to rely on voluntaries.

          • by tehcyder (746570)

            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.

            So you were never forced to use OS9?

    • by VortexCortex (1117377) <VortexCortexNO@S ... t-retrograde.com> on Thursday March 10, 2011 @01:44PM (#35444790) Homepage

      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).

      • 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?

        • 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?

          No, I'm not saying that at all -- I'm just repeating what's in TFL... But, yes, it does seem to me that it took over ten years to be fully available.

          For example, early in my tenure, our group of very clever graphics experts invented a way to display text on screen called ClearType. It worked by using the color dots of liquid crystal displays to make type much more readable on the screen. Although we built it to help sell e-books, it gave Microsoft a huge potential advantage for every device with a screen. But it also annoyed other Microsoft groups that felt threatened by our success.

          [...]

          Engineers in the Windows group falsely claimed it made the display go haywire when certain colors were used. The head of Office products said it was fuzzy and gave him headaches. The vice president for pocket devices was blunter: he’d support ClearType and use it, but only if I transferred the program and the programmers to his control. As a result, even though it received much public praise, internal promotion and patents, a decade passed before a fully operational version of ClearType finally made it into Windows.

          --Dick Brass (Vice president at Microsoft from 1997 to 2004).

          I agree the time line may seem a bit dubious -- the sub pixel rendering method was patented in 1998 [google.com] -- it could have been invented before that time... According to the Wikipedia article [wikipedia.org]

          ClearType was invented in the Microsoft e-Books team by Bert Keely and Greg Hitchcock. It was then analyzed by researchers in the company, and signal processing expert John Platt designed an improved version of the algorithm

          So I suppose, according to Dick Brass, Keely & Hitchcock would have had to invent the system prior to 1991, b

    • by Trufagus (1803250)

      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 fai

    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      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

      • I was going to mod you down, but I couldn't find "-1 Clueless" in the options.
      • by MBGMorden (803437)

        When the hell did they let out Jared Loughner?

    • by Kjella (173770)

      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 contr

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by pieterh (196118)

      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

    • But when a software company, usually proprietary, is ran good

      Ran well.

      • by turgid (580780)

        But when a software company, usually proprietary, is ran good

        Ran well.

        Run well.

  • meanwhile... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 10, 2011 @01:30PM (#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?

    • Uhhh, how about VoiceOver [apple.com]?

    • Re:meanwhile... (Score:4, Informative)

      by advocate_one (662832) on Thursday March 10, 2011 @02:04PM (#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: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by MBGMorden (803437)

        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 lon

        • by Ancantus (1926920)

          Before you go back to windows, try other distro. Ubuntu isn't the only linux around.

        • 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.

          If you actually read their reasoning, they removed the maximize window because there's two other ways to maximize: double-clicking and dragging windows to the top. They removed the minimize button, not the feature, because workspaces (in most cases) negate the need for it (the desktop doesn't even draw icons by default, so minimizing to see things on the desktop is no longer a good reason). Even still, if you HAVE to minimize, there are still many other ways to do it (right-click, etc.). They didn't want a

          • Re:meanwhile... (Score:4, Informative)

            by MBGMorden (803437) on Thursday March 10, 2011 @05:12PM (#35447350)

            Did you not read my post? I don't like the way the whole setup of Gnome Shell 3 behaves. Saying that the minimize function was depreciated because it's no longer relevant in Gnome Shell isn't helping the case.

            • I don't see a good reason to keep a feature (in it's current state, that is) that is no longer relevant. It is, for the most part, obsolete and the team's working on different ways to handle "hidden" windows in the Shell.

        • by Jesus_666 (702802)
          Ever tried OS X? Yes, there are no cheap Macs and Apple isn't exactly the nicest company either but you do get a Unix with a very nice GUI. Admittedly, the latter is subject to taste but they did put a lot of thought into it and it shows. I like customizing the hell out of the Linux DEs I use but OS X meshes well enough with how I work that I can live with the lack of customizability - although that too is highly subjective, of course.

          Modern Windows is... different... from the Windows of yore but whenever
        • Well, if you hate the Gnome and Ubuntu interface changes, here's another. MS(huttleworth) has announced that the next (Natty) version of Ubuntu will have disappearing scrollbars [markshuttleworth.com]. Basically, the Natty scrollbar will be a moving scroll button that only appears when you need to vertically or horizontally pan a window.

          The so-called "overlay" scrollbars will be shipped in a special "liboverlay-scrollbar" package.

          To be sure, there will still be a permanent indicator to show relative position within a window. Bu

        • by shish (588640)

          at least Microsoft isn't shaking stuff up just for the heck of it

          Ribbon

          • by MBGMorden (803437)

            A fair point, but even on Windows I'd be using LibreOffice ;). I really do like open source apps and would likely still use them for the most part regardless of platform. I just want a good solid and simple underlying OS for it all to sit on. Linux doesn't seem to be happy occupying that position, and hence they rock the boat. Microsoft is changing stuff too, but realistically, I still have the same bar at the bottom, file manager, and window layout as I had back in Windows 95.

    • by antdude (79039)

      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.

    • by LingNoi (1066278)

      So what's the best solution for notification bubbles?

      It's easy to karma whore and say people should be "working together" but it seems like you're just ignoring the fact that software is difficult to produce and not everyone agrees what the best solution for problem X even is.

    • by Risen888 (306092)

      This is probably a stupid question, but have you tried KTTS [kde.org]?

  • Competition is good, infighting is bad. People need to realize then they're on the same team.
  • Aaron Seigo (Score:5, Informative)

    by molnarcs (675885) <molnarcs@@@gmail...com> on Thursday March 10, 2011 @01:39PM (#35444710) Homepage Journal
    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?

  • by TheModelEskimo (968202) on Thursday March 10, 2011 @01:39PM (#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.)
    • (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: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by elysiuan (762931)

        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

    • by DrXym (126579)

      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

  • Not surprised... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Andy Dodd (701) <atd7 @ c o rnell.edu> on Thursday March 10, 2011 @01:43PM (#35444782) Homepage

    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.

    • by DrXym (126579)

      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.

    • 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.

      • Power users today (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I remember when a "power user" was someone who tweaked compile time options or applied a little patch. These days it seems that if there isn't an option right there in the UI then the "power users" aren't happy. They accuse projects of "dumbing down" but in reality I think it's (self proclaimed) "power users" who have dumbed down to the point that they see having to touch anything vaguely approaching the internals (such as gconf) an outrageous hurdle.

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      GNOME without Compiz is like using a damned Mac, and an old one, but with Unix-y dialogs. With Compiz and you can make it more like a new mac, except more configurable. With Emerald you can make it prettier than any Mac or Windows interface. I do wish Emerald would blow up less.

    • by segedunum (883035)

      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.

      It doesn't have to be like that. Windows and even the Mac present most things in a coherent and usable with way with a vast number of powerful options available if you need them. I've never got this mental disease from Gnome when it comes to usability. Entry-level users become more powerful users quite quickly, and most people are going to be severaly confused with the lack of functionality in Gnome coming from Windows or Mac.

      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 license wasn't a problem. Look at how far Qt has come on with the dual licensi

  • by gQuigs (913879) on Thursday March 10, 2011 @01:45PM (#35444806) Homepage

    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/).

    • 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.
    • 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.

    • by tyrione (134248)
      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.
    • by fwarren (579763)

      I've tried them both and GNOME Shell is sooooo much better than Unity.

      Back when I first ran RedHat in 1999, I could only stand Gnome for about 2 hours. I HAD to switch to KDE. Still to this day, GNOME has been my least favorite DE.

      I want to see open source leapfrog ahead of Apple and Microsoft by being bold and trying something new. I thought Unity would have a better chance at delivering that than Gnome 3. Neither are shipping products yet. So far, Gnome 3 has proven to have a better workflow and does not have the stability issues that Unity is suffering from.

      Now if GNOME wo

      • by jrumney (197329)

        Now if GNOME would not put my laptop to sleep every time I shut the lid.

        That's not GNOME doing that, it is handled in the ACPI configuration. You can change it to hibernate or shutdown if you prefer, or if you really want, you can overheat your laptop by leaving it running with the lid closed, though you'll probably have to disable some more ACPI triggers to avoid suspending and obtain the ultimate Windows experience of a system crash when the CPU or GPU decides to protect itself against overheating (or no

  • Some more details (Score:5, Informative)

    by halfaperson (1885704) on Thursday March 10, 2011 @02:09PM (#35445090) Homepage
    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.

  • by macraig (621737) <mark.a.craigNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Thursday March 10, 2011 @02:10PM (#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?

  • 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,
  • 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.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      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.

      • by Risen888 (306092)

        1. Package signing certainly isn't a silver bullet in terms of package security. You're still trusting someone.
        2. If you're that bent out of shape about it, Arch makes it insanely simple to roll your own packages from upstream sources. It is a one step process.
        3. They're working on it anyway, if only to shut you up.

  • 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 environm

  • I'm wondering if the fact that contributions to Unity require copyright assignment going to Canonical has anything to do with the GNOME resistance to working with them on Unity.

    Mark neatly does not mention this aspect of the division in his blog post.

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