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Why a different distribution mechanism

Why a different distribution mechanism

Posted Sep 22, 2011 22:06 UTC (Thu) by jspaleta (subscriber, #50639)
In reply to: Why a different distribution mechanism by otaylor
Parent article: Managing GNOME shell extensions

Everything else aside for a moment.

I don't see how extensions.gnome.org actually helps GNOME prevent OEMs and distributors from passing off customized deliverables as the authoritative/sanctioned/canonical/orthodox GNOME experience.

There's certainly nothing here which prevents distributors from rolling packaged versions of these extentions and nothing preventing them from pre-installing them as part of the advertised GNOME experience for their distribution.

Distributors and OEMs that want to ship customized GNOME will still ship customized GNOME and call it GNOME. Is there anything I'm not aware of that actually prevents an OEM or distributor from doing exactly the type of out of the box customization you don't want to see and calling it GNOME?

-jef


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Why a different distribution mechanism

Posted Sep 23, 2011 17:06 UTC (Fri) by otaylor (subscriber, #4190) [Link]

If we hosted the official GNOME modules and then a whole bunch of extensions all as tarballs to be downloaded from ftp.gnome.org and packaged, then it would be pretty hard to say with a straight face that any combination of those tarballs wasn't equally GNOME.

GNOME doesn't enforce Mozilla-style or event Fedora-style trademark restrictions on the use of the GNOME trademarks with modified versions of the GNOME software, and there never has been much enthusiasm for that in project, but we generally work with the assumption that distributions won't patch up GNOME with arbitrary upstream patches that completely rework the user interface and then claim to be shipping GNOME.

Extensions can completely rework the user interface so it's important to keep a firm distinction in everybody's mind about what's GNOME and what's an extension.

Why a different distribution mechanism

Posted Sep 23, 2011 17:25 UTC (Fri) by jspaleta (subscriber, #50639) [Link]

I understand why GNOME is choosing the technical measures it is making to try to make the distinction. I have nothing to comment on the technical measures GNOME is using to delineate a space between extension and the base.

But I continue to be baffled by where the line in the sand is in regard to allowable downstream customization. How much downstream changes in default UI is too much and still be GNOME? It's never been clear in the 2.x timeframe and I'm still not seeing clarity for 3.x. That lack of clarity is in direct conflict with assumptions you want to make about distributor actions. Without clarity as to what you expect distributors to refrain from doing, they will wander out of bounds again and again without meaning to act in bad faith. Because well, you haven't defined the boundaries of what good faith action is.

I'm not suggesting that you _have_ to pull out the trademark enforcement big stick. But you need some form of clear guidance. You don't even have a compliance test suite or a standing set of "thou shall not" commandments...bright line tests of any sort...which define the narrow path of correct action with regard to what is expected of a downstream vendor who wants to label the deliverable GNOME.

-jef


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