[linux-elitists] Clarifying the GConf and GNOME issues...

Jeff Waugh jdub@perkypants.org
Tue Oct 14 19:06:40 PDT 2003


The discussion has forked too many times to sanely share useful knowledge
about the issues raised. There seem to be two:

  1) GConf, whether it is a good solution to GNOME configuration, and where
     the documentation is lacking

  2) GNOME, and the project's perspective on building a usable desktop
     environment for everyone

Karsten also raised a number of other issues (quoted below). Is everyone
here for the flaming, or do we actually want to get something out of this?
What needs answering? I'm happy to answer questions about these, but not in
the context of the other thread (too unwieldy, intersecting arguments, etc).

- Jeff

> - The project has repeatedly made major, and I mean truly sweeping,
>   changes in both "preferred applications", and in underlying
>   libraries.  This has lead to abandonment of such very promising
>   projects as Enlightenment, Galeon and AbiWord by GNOME (in favor of
>   Sawfish/$WINDOWMANGER, Ephiphany and OOo, respectively).  Yes, the
>   user remains able to choose alternatives, but the application
>   situation is a bit rocky as a result.
> - Library changes mean that small development teams for small but
>   useful projects are forced to choose between developing for the new
>   targets, _or_ supporting and updating existing releases.  This
>   creates a new development treadmill situation which developers can
>   barely manage to keep abreast.
> - Complex relationships among libraries mean that applications are
>   saddled with fundamentally broken, half-assed crap like libbonoboui.
>   If anyone ever wants evidence that free software can result in
>   terminally fucked up designs and solutions, they need look no
>   further.  Again, the costs of this screwup are huge.
> - Ironically, RH tends to push GNOME, while Debian until relatively
>   recently IIRC tended to provide a WindowMaker desktop by default
>   (this may be inaccurate).  But Debian's vast superiority at
>   dependencies resolution made it far easier to pick and choose from
>   among specific GNOME apps to install, particularly without a full
>   GNOME desktop environment installed.

linux.conf.au 2004: Adelaide, Australia         http://lca2004.linux.org.au/
                Patches are like Free Software love letters.

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