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Re: GNOME and non-linux platforms (release team please stand up)

From:  Colin Walters <>
To:  Calum Benson <>
Subject:  Re: GNOME and non-linux platforms (release team please stand up)
Date:  Wed, 22 Jul 2009 15:10:13 -0400
Message-ID:  <>
Cc:, desktop-devel-list <>
Archive-link:  Article

On Wed, Jul 22, 2009 at 10:31 AM, Calum Benson<> wrote:
> It goes without saying that I'd be disappointed if GNOME were to take any
> official Linux-only stance.  Sun has contributed a great deal to GNOME both
> technically and financially over the years.

Definitely, Sun's contributions have been awesome.

> That said, many of the Sun team do seem to spend more time than they ought
> to just to keep GNOME running on OpenSolaris on the various Sun platforms
> these days.  They often have to deal with various Linux-isms at a code or
> conceptual level, or with technologies that are coming late to Linux and are
> implemented completely differently from the equivalent used by Sun (e.g.
> RBAC v PolicyKit)

This is really the *only* one I can think of.  TSOL vs SELinux isn't
really relevant here since GNOME core doesn't really do much with
SELinux currently.

> Anyway, if anything, I guess I'd argue that it's time to actually reinforce
> the notion that the GNOME desktop is intended for use on any Unix-like
> system,

Here's the fundamental problem as I see it - GNOME filled the "Unix
like system desktop" checkbox over 10 years ago, on top of POSIX, X11,
and some random bits.  A lot of what we've been doing since is filling
in the stuff for a *complete operating system*, because POSIX and X
cover so little. Stuff like having USB devices work, power management,
and networking are hard problems that cross every layer from the
kernel to the desktop UI.  It's hard to build this kind of stuff upon
what I think of as "towers of turtles" i.e. abstractions.

I think it makes sense to continue to have GNOME work in the basic
"POSIX+X11" mode, i.e. gnome-power-manager just calls exit(0) if
devicekit-power isn't running.  But beyond that is hard.

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