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LWN.net Weekly Edition for May 23, 2013
An "enum" for Python 3
An unexpected perf feature
LWN.net Weekly Edition for May 16, 2013
A look at the PyPy 2.0 release
Posted Jan 26, 2013 14:43 UTC (Sat) by pboddie (subscriber, #50784)
One can claim that the product is now different and that you can't compare the old product with the new one (that conveniently uses the old product's name), but to the person thinking that they're getting an update of the same thing, it's a step backwards.
This means that when we try and put a modern distribution in front of people, instead of explaining how it is mostly the same (and thus what they are used to themselves) but better, we now have to explain why it is different and things that used to work no longer do so.
Frequent blog posts by people pretending to be brand strategists and visionaries don't actually placate user concerns because the users are mostly concerned with whether stuff does what they need it to, not whether the "positioning" of the software is right according to current market trends, or whatever.
After all, no amount of blogging can make something work again or even work in the first place.
Posted Jan 26, 2013 15:38 UTC (Sat) by mjg59 (subscriber, #23239)
Posted Jan 26, 2013 16:37 UTC (Sat) by sorokin (subscriber, #88478)
Posted Jan 26, 2013 17:09 UTC (Sat) by mjg59 (subscriber, #23239)
Posted Jan 26, 2013 18:10 UTC (Sat) by nix (subscriber, #2304)
Posted Jan 26, 2013 18:33 UTC (Sat) by mjg59 (subscriber, #23239)
Posted Jan 26, 2013 19:19 UTC (Sat) by bronson (subscriber, #4806)
And, whenever you remove a feature from a large project, no matter how meaningless or crappy, you will find somebody who cares.
Posted Jan 26, 2013 20:54 UTC (Sat) by mjg59 (subscriber, #23239)
Posted Jan 26, 2013 21:18 UTC (Sat) by khim (subscriber, #9252)
By this sense, changing from GNOME 3 to Cinnamon would be a regression.
No. If things is mostly the same but has different name people expect that some features will not be available. When something is billed as "pure upgrade" but it removes features - people become quite vocal. Is it fair? No. But that's life. Deal with it.
Posted Jan 26, 2013 21:29 UTC (Sat) by mjg59 (subscriber, #23239)
Posted Jan 27, 2013 16:16 UTC (Sun) by bronson (subscriber, #4806)
Sounds like a meaningful conversation to me. Where's the confusion?
Posted Jan 28, 2013 22:51 UTC (Mon) by sorokin (subscriber, #88478)
In GNOME -- yes. In other reasonable projects that is simple not true. I would say that for most projects that is not true.
Posted Jan 26, 2013 16:56 UTC (Sat) by pboddie (subscriber, #50784)
You can make the case that the lack of a gold exhaust pipe on a hypothetical electric car - let's call it the Ford Luxury - is not a regression since its non-electric predecessor - also called the Ford Luxury - needed such a thing, whereas no-one is really going to miss it on the electric model. The argument in such cases is that technology has made something obsolete and thus the need to choose between, say, gold and steel has been eliminated.
The problem is that the view (or excuse) that technology has made something obsolete is brought out far too often. GNOME 2 won't let you do something that GNOME 1 did? It's because it's all better, that's why! When the developers famously closed bugs against GNOME 1 because GNOME 2 was new and different (http://www.jwz.org/doc/cadt.html), they illustrated precisely this phenomenon.
People want the benefit of brand recognition but also the benefit of not having their current product compared to the previous one, even though having the same name on the product is inevitably going to invite such comparisons. If you want to enjoy the former benefit, you have to relinquish the latter.
Posted Jan 26, 2013 17:10 UTC (Sat) by mjg59 (subscriber, #23239)
Posted Jan 27, 2013 15:44 UTC (Sun) by pboddie (subscriber, #50784)
Perhaps launcher buttons couldn't be transparent before and the background setting was a workaround that was made obsolete, just like the absence of an exhaust pipe on a hypothetical car whose predecessor required one. Since the result is almost completely superior, there's little reason to complain about it, but that almost certainly cannot be said for many consequences of these big product upgrades.
Posted Jan 27, 2013 16:27 UTC (Sun) by mjg59 (subscriber, #23239)
Posted Jan 27, 2013 17:52 UTC (Sun) by pboddie (subscriber, #50784)
I also noted that if a feature goes away because it is obsolete - to take an ancient example that once applied to some desktop systems, you don't have to allocate memory manually to a process because the system now does that for you - you can ignore the regression because nothing that anyone was doing before that they can no longer do now (say, allocate a process size of N) is anything they still need to be able to do (because the system will give the process N if it asks for it). Since there is no longer any benefit in even being able to do those obsolete things, there's no general functional regression (you can still run that process).
None of this has anything to do with whether I "like the changes". The issue I have is the way that people deny the experiences of the users by playing games with definitions of what the system was and is, as if the users were supposed to care more about the brand gymnastics than the features actually being delivered.
Posted Jan 28, 2013 14:04 UTC (Mon) by nye (guest, #51576)
Clearly, everything you say is therefore correct. It must be wonderful to know that you are so much better at everything than anyone else. I hope you enjoy your future career in law, and wish you all the best.
Posted Jan 28, 2013 16:05 UTC (Mon) by mjg59 (subscriber, #23239)
Posted Jan 28, 2013 16:17 UTC (Mon) by patrick_g (subscriber, #44470)
With Gnome 2 I was able to control my CPU governors with a graphical applet.
With Gnone 3 there is no applet and I can't control my CPU governors through the GUI.
For me it's simply a regression.
Posted Jan 28, 2013 16:40 UTC (Mon) by mjg59 (subscriber, #23239)
Posted Jan 28, 2013 17:02 UTC (Mon) by pizza (subscriber, #46)
Perhaps there isn't an "applet" but there is an extension, available through the extensions.gnome.org website.
Posted Jan 28, 2013 18:52 UTC (Mon) by patrick_g (subscriber, #44470)
You're right. The extension is here : https://extensions.gnome.org/extension/444/cpu-freq/
It didn't exist six months ago and I'm glad someone took the pain to create it. I retract my comment about this regression :)
Clasen: GNOME 3.7 at the halfway mark
Posted Jan 26, 2013 20:31 UTC (Sat) by jubal (subscriber, #67202)
Posted Jan 27, 2013 21:38 UTC (Sun) by pizza (subscriber, #46)
Here's the problem with that.
Pretty much any change (short of a crash fix) will qualify as breaking someone's workflow -- ie "it's different than what I'm used to"
It's been said many times over in this thread; nobody's forcing you to update anything. Your three-year-old Fedora/OSX/Windows/DOS/whatever installation works as well (and identically) today as the day it was released. Heck, go with something like RHEL and it'll be continually supported for a decade.
But don't complain about it lacking $randomfeature, because in the real world nothing is independent.
Posted Jan 28, 2013 7:21 UTC (Mon) by ebiederm (subscriber, #35028)
It is a cop out to say that you can't have that in other UIs.
Posted Jan 28, 2013 7:40 UTC (Mon) by mjg59 (subscriber, #23239)
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