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Proposal For Gnome To Become Linux-Only 292

Moderator writes "Could Gnome drop support for non-Linux operating systems? That was a recent proposal on the Gnome mailing list, although there were significant objections in response. Quoting: 'It is harmful to pretend that you are writing the OS core to work on any number of different kernels...the time has come for GNOME to embrace Linux a bit more boldly.'"
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Proposal For Gnome To Become Linux-Only

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  • Dumb Idea (Score:5, Informative)

    by Perl-Pusher ( 555592 ) on Thursday May 19, 2011 @11:39AM (#36179836)
    Since developers from other OS's have contributed to Gnome. KDE would then be the only recourse for them. I think gnome would quickly lose support based on the ill will that would generate alone.
  • by KiloByte ( 825081 ) on Thursday May 19, 2011 @11:49AM (#36180016)

    As a dev of Dungeon Crawl [], I see that systems that smell like Unix these days are a monoculture of Linux and Linux only. Even though you'd expect roguelike players to be biased towards obscure systems, I don't recall a single bug report from a *BSD or Solaris user. Even Hurd had one. Big-endian systems are dead too (two distinct users, one with an old MacOS X, one with Debian on powerpc).

    Everyone these days uses either Windows, Linux or x86 Mac.

  • Re:Lets look at it (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 19, 2011 @11:56AM (#36180084)

    In the BSD community, there is a desktop movement (PC-BSD, several smaller forks out there). While I haven't seen a lot of support behind Gnome (most BSD desktop projects default to KDE or something even leaner), Gnome going Linux only would force the desktop movement in BSD to pretty much go KDE.

    Frankly Gnome is too bloated for most users at this point. Going Linux only wouldn't fix Gnome's problems, their projects are much, much bigger.

  • Re:Abandoned (Score:5, Informative)

    by Dr_Barnowl ( 709838 ) on Thursday May 19, 2011 @12:05PM (#36180228)

    Or maybe I'm talking out of my butt, and it IS about the shell. Should RTFA.

  • Re:WTF? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Lunix Nutcase ( 1092239 ) on Thursday May 19, 2011 @12:07PM (#36180264)

    Because it's claimed that systemd will provide "better user experience" as espoused here []. I don't really buy most of the arguments like since many them don't seem to be things that should require a dependency on an init system to fix.

  • Re:Dumb Idea (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 19, 2011 @12:13PM (#36180394)

    KDE on the next release is looking to be the same. Hello? release it as early beta and do NOT call it a release until all the tools that are used to make it useful to noobs are ported to the changes.

    Instead we get a mature interface that is abandonded and will not support it anymore because they all moved to the new shiny.

    The "mature interface" was quite frankly the result of years of hacks, that were somehow superglued together.
    The most basic change sometimes involved rewriting major subsystems, and tons of projects ended up being abandoned because they were practically impossible to incorporate into KDE 3.5.

    The real problem with KDE 4 though, was distros making it default AGAINST THE WISHES OF KDE DEVELOPERS.
    KDE Developers has specifically stated that distros looking for stability and feature-parity should wait until later KDE 4.X releases, but distros wanting to be "cutting-edge" forced it on users.
    KDE 4.0 was intended as a call to developers to port their applications over with a promise of relative stability in the KDE libraries from that point, and a call for theme developers and the like to do the same, and a chance for the morbidly curious or advanced users to get used to the new system, it was never intended to be "finished".
    I won't say I agree with their decision to bump the version number, but it was already delayed and they decided that to not put it off further would speed up the porting of applications and the finishing of the DE, and they were very clear about what the release was and wasn't.

  • Re:I support this! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Aighearach ( 97333 ) on Thursday May 19, 2011 @12:15PM (#36180430) Homepage

    Gnome isn't the controlling factor for Gtk+, and that support would never have OS lock. We're only talking about "Gnome" here, not Gimp or the Gimp ToolKit (Gtk). Gnome is just another user of the widget set that happens to share a first letter.

    We're actually not even talking about most of Gnome. Just Gnome Shell.

  • by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Thursday May 19, 2011 @12:15PM (#36180432) Homepage

    "Sending vector images, common commands to the X Server to display the images worked wonderfully in a world of simple graphics and low bandwith. Today it is becoming extra overhead. " says the man who does not manage a large deployment...

    Sorry but MOST linux enterprise installs used X heavily. it's call thin clients and the biggest selling point to get Linux in the door.

    $250.00 per user cost with no per seat costs and a reduction of IT staff by 50% is HARD to ignore..... X is what delivers that ability.

  • Re:Lets look at it (Score:5, Informative)

    by fusiongyro ( 55524 ) <faxfreemosquito@ya[ ].com ['hoo' in gap]> on Thursday May 19, 2011 @12:15PM (#36180454) Homepage

    I think you're missing out on PC-BSD [], which is a more desktop-oriented FreeBSD. There's also DragonflyBSD which was developed to improve SMP support, again largely for desktop performance.

    If you'd run CDE, you'd be in a better place to appreciate GNOME's usability on Solaris. I don't see what this has to do with thin clients either.

    Gtk support on OS X has traditionally been kind of iffy. I haven't had luck running Haskell + Gtk on OS X. I am not aware of any apps that use it. It doesn't help that Qt supports OS X natively.

    Ultimately, I think the question is whether or not the loss is worth the gain. I don't personally use GNOME but I also don't see the potential gain here as being worth the loss of community. It's not a great idea to abandon any segment of your userbase, because the rest of your userbase will get skittish. Not something you need with a combination of high-profile competition (Unity) and consistently eroding support. I don't think this is likely to go through, but if it does, I'd say you can expect GNOME to be dead within two or three years.

  • by tvelocity ( 812600 ) on Thursday May 19, 2011 @12:17PM (#36180504)

    This "GNOME to drop non-Linux support" sensationalism on the net is ridiculous. There has been no such proposal! Yes, I RTFA and the full mailing list discussions.

    The proposal in GNOME's desktop-devel-list was by the author and maintainer of systemd to let GNOME adopt systemd as the mechanism to configure certain system-wide settings, like locale and timezone data. This would be implemented as a dbus interface which would spawn a mini-daemon via systemd when that was required. This would solve the age old problem of every distro having their own slight variation on how to configure these things.

    Notice the key part of the proposal: the dbus interface. This is the proposed dependency, and not the whole of systemd which, yes is Linux only, but in reality is just a reference implementation for this dbus interface which can be VERY easily reimplemented on any system (the minidaemons themselves are very trivial, porting systemd to other platforms however is not).

    What this proposal ACTUALLY means: (a) Non Linux platforms, or Linux distros not yet using systemd, would initially have grayed out certain configuration options in the control center, like locale for example. (b) These settings can be made available just by implementing a trivial dbus interface.

    Nothing of this dropping non-Linux OS support nonsense. Hope this clears up the nonsense somewhat

  • Re:Abandoned (Score:4, Informative)

    by Filip22012005 ( 852281 ) on Thursday May 19, 2011 @12:53PM (#36181092)

    GNU's not Unix Image Manipulation Program Toolkit is the foundation fro the GNU's not Unix Network Object Model Environment. So getting that wrong isn't really your fault.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 19, 2011 @12:56PM (#36181156)

    Nope. Neither GNOME nor KDE are "X11 window managers" by the accepted use of the term.

    You may want to look through this website
    to get a better idea of what distinguishes a window manager from a full fledged desktop

Adding features does not necessarily increase functionality -- it just makes the manuals thicker.