Adam addressed this adequately, but I'd like to add one thing: make it clear when you are just completely performing free-associative thought so the rest of us can have context:)
>That's laudable but you probably want some using alternate platforms just to shake out interoperability issues and have team members who are familiar with how other platforms have solved problems. You don't want to end up in an insular, but profitable, backwater where no one really knows what the state of the art is (aside from your locally generated software being "the best") because it's considered treasonous to use alternate platforms.
The goal I had in mind is so far from being the case right now that keeping an eye on other systems won't be problem unless a miracle occurs. If said miracle occurs there would still be people who need to run windows/Mac only software, in addition to "anything else". It's the "anything else" that should be oss if at all possible. That, and the amazing folks in qa should be enough to perform an adequate hybrid-dogfood.
The question of knowing what else is out there isn't a serious problem because that is something that happens now, and SHOULD continue, but this is mostly of concern to designers and analysts. It's a rare situation where you find state of the art solutions conceived/developed whole cloth from any of these platforms (Linux included), but they are still helpful to see trends and, perhaps, gaps in what solutions you provide.
>While its too late now, it would have smoothed the transition considerably if instead of a forced march to gnome-shell if it was offered as a secondary option and the traditional UI was maintained. Of course that would mean that gnome-shell would have less development resources available so it wouldn't be as polished today as it is but it would allow the end-user to have more agency which would have made them happier, usage could grow organically until the old design is deprecated because no one chooses to use it anymore. You think that we all would have learned from the KDE4 example but I guess not.
As you say, there was the issue of manpower, and how it's allocated. The decision was made, by gnome folks, to only offer the classic shell for a short period (i'm not counting the changes made to accommodate rhel7 as those are isolated). That's certainly a decision that could be questioned but I don't think it was the main reason why g3 doesn't seem, to me, to be the success that was hoped for. Again, I won't get into it here.
One further thing about the idea of RH controlling gnome.
Whitehurst gave a talk at some startup event where he mentioned gnome (well, the desktop, but really gnome) as something he wanted to get rid of early in his tenure to save money, but was told that it was important to the community. It was a cost of doing business.
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