[linux-elitists] Re: Yet another mozilla atrocity

Jeremy Hankins nowan@nowan.org
Thu Oct 9 06:53:12 PDT 2003

Martin Pool <mbp@samba.org> writes:

>  - try to reduce complexity

Reduce, yes, that's reasonable, and desirable.  But surely no one
thinks gnome, or even just gconf, will ever qualify as simple?  In
which case it's clearly vital that you have ways of managing the
complexity.  That's where a well-designed, structured, and *complete*
configuration system comes into play.

I'm all for simplicity, don't get me wrong.  Simplicity kicks ass.
But the interface is only one bit that can get complex, and a
relatively small bit at that.  My impression is that the gnome folks
are all for simplicity in the interface, and will in fact *sacrifice*
simplicity elsewhere in order to have a simple interface.

But, frankly, I'm about burnt out of this thread, and I'm ready to
start winding it down.  You're quite right to point out that, as a
non-gnome-user, there's not much point in me getting riled up about
the issue.  In fact, the main reason I started in was because Jeff
seemed to be applying his (IMHO misguided) theories on design as if
they were universals rather than narrowly applicable to the gnome
development process.  Getting bogged down in the details of gnome was
probably a mistake on my part.

So how's this:

Sane, reasonable, and even intelligent people can disagree profoundly
with the approach gnome is taking when it comes to issues like
configurability.  But the world's a big place, and there's plenty of
time for folks to try different things and let history sort out who
was right, and I'm content to let it do so.  The question has not yet
been settled.

Yes, I do feel a bit of frustration with gnome, mainly because I find
myself having to choose whether to put up with stuff I don't like in
order to have access to the stuff I do.  This is an issue mainly with
new software projects that are doing cool things (gabber comes to
mind) but have chosen to integrate with gnome.  I really wish there
were a way to use gnome apps without having to take on the whole
complexity (and resulting headache) that is gnome along with it.

Perhaps what we need is a set of compatibility libs that will allow
one to run gnome apps without gconf, the gnome configuration center
(whatever that's called nowadays), a gnome-ish wm, desktop icons, and
all the rest -- call it gnome-lite.  ;) You probably have a much
better idea than I how feasible that is.

Jeremy Hankins <nowan@nowan.org>
PGP fingerprint: 748F 4D16 538E 75D6 8333  9E10 D212 B5ED 37D0 0A03

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