Not logged in
Log in now
Create an account
Subscribe to LWN
LWN.net Weekly Edition for May 16, 2013
A look at the PyPy 2.0 release
PostgreSQL 9.3 beta: Federated databases and more
LWN.net Weekly Edition for May 9, 2013
(Nearly) full tickless operation in 3.10
It seemed like GNOME 3 was rammed down our throats.
I'm sure if Fedora and Ubuntu and SuSE came with both, there would be a lot less complaints.
"Oh this new GNOME is not quite there for me, I'll keep using GNOME 2 until it is."
MATE was forced to waste a heap of time renaming every executable in GNOME 2.
Only now are distros starting to package it.
Also I think it's foolish to assume that history is repeating. Sure there was a lot of flaming around GNOME2. But it was clear that the features were indeed coming back and things would get better.
With GNOME 3 it seems more like the devs are willing to say "We don't want your type around here no more". That moving icons or configuring the font size is something ridiculous to want.
The GNOME project at 15
Posted Aug 26, 2012 21:15 UTC (Sun) by hp (subscriber, #5220)
(btw, just compile one of them with a --prefix and I'm sure it could be made to work. The only problem is FHS fundamentalism.)
> But it was clear that the features were indeed
> coming back and things would get better.
It wasn't! A lot of features ("features"?) never came back.
> Also I think it's foolish to assume that history is repeating.
FWIW I agree that it's foolish to _assume_ this.
However. I also think we can say that people thinking/saying the same things about GNOME 2 were _wrong_. So I think it's also foolish to assume that similar comments are now on-target.
Now, I agree. GNOME 3 _may_ turn out badly.
But it won't be for the _reasons_ most people are talking about here.
We know from experience that the "methodology" Linux discussion forums have for trying to understand desktop UI changes and their effect is flawed.
It's because commenters have a lot of wrong "folk models" about what makes a good UI and what "most people" are like and so forth, which are simply not accurate. Commenters also aren't able to see into various tradeoffs (both design and resource based) that become a huge factor in real life outcomes. And nobody can predict what "batting average" developers will have in making the right judgments; or what random external factors will get involved.
I think a lesson from GNOME 2 is that flames and "widespread outcry" can be wildly wrong, because we have GNOME 2 as an example of success despite that.
GNOME 2 doesn't give us evidence that flames are _always_ wrong, just that they _can be_ wrong. So for GNOME 3 it remains to be seen.
However: here's what it means for the GNOME 3 developers. They should not "listen to" the flames. They may want to _extract information_ from them - there's some content there, about certain users. But they should not "listen" in the sense of doing exactly what those flames are advising.
The flames are one data point among many, just as they always are with every piece of software. Developers and designers have to go chase down the broader, more thorough data they need, and apply copious amounts of their own judgment.
They may get it wrong, or not. But that doesn't mean using judgment was a mistake, just that when using judgment, one can be wrong.
Posted Aug 27, 2012 3:15 UTC (Mon) by bronson (subscriber, #4806)
The features that lots of people cared about (printer settings, fonts, focus follows mouse, keyboard layouts, ...) did come back. This was definitely a sign of success, but perhaps it would have been better if they had never been taken away? Hard to say.
Also, you seem to be saying that anyone who liked Gnome 2.32 was wrong to dislike Gnome 2.0 (or that the success of 2.32 demonstrates the success of 2.0?). They're not the same beast. Gnome 2 improved a huge amount during its earlies and teens.
Other than those points, I totally agree, especially about not overreacting to flames.
It would be nice to be able to use Gnome 2.early or 3.early but both are pretty tough sledding... Maybe this is an intentional part of its development model? Shed hardware, users, and features in one giant release, then gain them back over the next few years. Maybe I should just plan on not being able to use Gnome between the second and fifth year of each decade. :)
Copyright © 2013, Eklektix, Inc.
Comments and public postings are copyrighted by their creators.
Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds