EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

01.14.14

GNOME’s Leadership and Old Misconceptions About Diversity

Posted in GNOME, GNU/Linux at 12:31 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Back are the claims that we need just one “universal” GNU/Linux

GNOME is a very active project that involves hundreds if even thousands of developers (GNOME is a set of applications, not just a desktop environment/shell). The project’s Bugzilla statistics (not for 2013 alone) reveal about 46,000 open bug reports [1]. In 2013 many bugs are carried on from prior years (including duplicates) and resources for managing them are pooled because several environments are derived from GNOME and they share code (bug fixes can be pushed upstream). Now that 3.11.3 is available for testing [2] and bugs are being squashed [3], new features are added [4], and the underlying framework improves [5] we can expect a good, diverse future for the GNOME family (with about half a dozen branches/forks). Allan Day, a GNOME designer, recently gave an interview [6] and to quote the interviewer, Day’s “design workflow is also wonderfully straightforward and helps to address the concern that good design work can’t be done on Linux.”

GNOME is a simple environment to use. Some try to simplify it further to improve the overall experience (same thing Android backers are doing on phones, desktops, and tablets). GNOME cannot be treated a one-size-fits-all solution because it runs on many different types of devices. It is possibly even simpler to use than Mac OS X and Windows (depending on how they are judged). The GNOME Activity Journal, an important component that simplifies operations and logging, is now approaching version 1.0 [7] (stable) and one pundit asserts [8] that GNOME is the “key to Linux desktop unification”. He makes the common mistake of assuming that lack of diversity would be pleasing to more users and attract more people to GNU/Linux. It’s not so-called ‘fragmentation’ that weakens GNU/Linux on the desktop (in terms of adoption). People typically fail to explore GNU/Linux due to biased information in the corporate media, or complete lack of information. There are other aspects too, including anti-competitive practices.

Uniformity is important within a particular desktop environment (that’s what developer guidelines are for), but it’s not the same across desktop environments, which can vary in order to accommodate the requirements of different types of users (e.g. advanced users as opposed to beginners). Beware those who try to convince everyone in the Free Desktop world that having one “universal” GNU/Linux distribution (with one kernel, one desktop environment, one set of application) is what’s needed. What makes GNU/Linux strong and attractive to developers is diversity, not authority.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. GNOME Ended 2013 With 46k Open Bug Reports

    Earlier this week Andre Klapper shared the annual GNOME Bugzilla statistics for 2013. The GNOME project ended out 2013 with 46,130 open bug reports, compared to 43k bug reports at the end of 2012 or 44k bug reports at the end of 2011. Of the 46k bug reports open at the end of 2013, 25k of them were opened in 2013 while 22k were closed in 2013.

  2. GNOME 3.11.3 Is Now Available for Testing

    The third development release towards the highly anticipated GNOME 3.12 desktop environment has been made available for download, bringing many updated core applications, libraries, and updated translations.

  3. Glade 3.16.1 UI Designer Repairs Numerous Bugs
  4. GNOME Settings Daemon 3.11.3 Adds Bluetooth Killswitch Support
  5. Client Side Decoration Improvements Land In GTK+

    These improvements landed for the GTK+ 3.11 development series and will form the basis of the GTK+ 3.12 stable release in March. Overall GNOME 3.12 is shaping up to be an interesting GNOME update with GNOME Shell and Mutter improvements, greater Facebook integration, the GNOME Terminal finally has text rewrap on resizing, and there will be much better support for Wayland.

  6. The Linux Setup – Allan Day, GNOME Designer

    Part of the reason GNOME is such a successful project is the focus and dedication of its members. I’ve interviewed a few of them and common strands always emerge — ideas like GNOME as an operating system, GNOME staying out of the user’s way, and GNOME as a way to enhance Linux. Allan, a designer for the project, touches on a lot of these points. His design workflow is also wonderfully straightforward and helps to address the concern that good design work can’t be done on Linux.

  7. GNOME’s Zeitgeist Finally Nears v1.0

    The Zeigeist framework that is responsible for much of the logging responsibilities in the GNOME world and powers the GNOME Activity Journal is finally nearing version 1.0. The 1.0 milestone comes after landing a number of improvements recently and after nearly a half-decade of development work.

  8. GNOME: Key to Linux Desktop Unification?

    One of the greatest differences between an open source operating systems and those that maintain a proprietary code structure is the flexibility in customizing each one.

    While Windows and OS X offer a set-in-stone desktop environment, Linux enjoys a robust number of desktop environments from which to choose from – including the highly popular GNOME. Some may even argue that having a limited number of desktop environments would allow those distributions to hone in on gaining a larger market share. And perhaps that’s true, though I believe that most Linux enthusiasts chose Linux because of its diversity. In this article, I’ll look at where GNOME came from, where it is now and the end goal I think it’ll reach within the next couple of years.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. More Fake News About the Unified Patent Court (UPC) Based on Lobbying Tactics From Bristows UPC and the Preparatory Committee

    Unified Patent Court (UPC) lobbying has gotten so bad that it now infiltrates general media outlets, where people are asked to just blindly assume that the UPC is coming and is inevitable, even though it's clearly in a limbo and is unlikely to see the light of day



  2. EPO Totally Silent for a Month, But Deep Inside There Are Serious Cracks

    The situation at the EPO seems to be pretty grim, even at the top-level management, and the EPO has gone into permanent silence mode



  3. Links 16/1/2017: Linux 4.10 RC4, Linux Mint 18.1 'Serena' KDE Edition Beta

    Links for the day



  4. 'Financial Director' Publishes Fake News About the Unitary Patent (UPC)

    Response to some of the latest UPC propaganda, which strives to misinform Financial Directors so as to enrich the author and his firm



  5. Independent and Untainted Web Sites About Patents Are Still Few and Rare

    Commentary about news sources that we rely on, as well as the known pitfalls or the vested interests deeply ingrained in them



  6. The 20% Rule: Patent Trolling Suffers Double-Digit Declines and Patent Troll Technicolor is Collapsing

    Significant demise or total catastrophe for the modus operandi (method) of going after companies with a pile of patents and threats of litigation



  7. US Supreme Court Did Not End Apple's Patent Disputes Over Android (Linux), More Cases Imminent

    An overview of some very recent news regarding the highest court in the United States, which has been dealing with cases that can determine the fate of Free/Open Source software in an age of patent uncertainty and patent thickets surrounding mobility



  8. Links 15/1/2017: Switching From OS X to GNU/Linux, Debian 8.7 Released

    Links for the day



  9. Number of New Patent Cases in the US Fell 25% Last Year, Thanks in Part to the Demise of Software Patent Trolls

    Litigation and prosecutions that rely on patents (failure to resolve disputes, e.g. by sharing ideas, out of court) is down very sharply, in part because firms that make nothing at all (just threaten and/or litigate) have been sinking after much-needed reform



  10. America Invents Act Improved Patent Quality, But Right Wingers Threaten to Make It Worse Again

    The past half a decade saw gradual improvement in assessment of patents in the United States, but there is a growing threat and pressure from the patent microcosm to restore patent maximalism and chaos



  11. PTAB -- Not Deterred by Courts -- Continues to Invalidate a Lot of Software Patents

    The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) continues to make progress reforming the patent system by eliminating a lot of patents and setting an example (or new standards) for what is patent-eligible after Alice



  12. EPO Abuses Come Under Fire From Politicians in Luxembourg

    Luxembourg is the latest nation in which concerns about the EPO's serious abuses are brought up not only by the media but also by politicians



  13. Constitutionality as a Barrier and Brexit Barriers to UPC Keep the Whole Pipe Dream Deadlocked

    The UPC is still going nowhere fast, but the demise (or death) of the UPC as we know it must not be taken for granted



  14. Links 14/1/2017: Wine 2.0 RC5 and AryaLinux 2017 Released

    Links for the day



  15. Links 13/1/2017: Linux 4.9.3 and Linux 4.4.42

    Links for the day



  16. Brexit Means No UPC (Unified Patent Court)

    Now that Jo Johnson, Boris Johnson's brother, is officially declared the new minister for intellectual property in the UK everything that Lucy Neville-Rolfe wrote is as solid as paper bag on a rainy London day



  17. Patent Trolls and Software Patents: CloudTrade, Patent Practitioners Density, and Via Licensing

    Software patents armament from a British company, charted concentration of the patent microcosm in the United States, and US-leaning patent trolls that prey on China



  18. Patent Maximalism -- Like Copyright Maximalism -- Relies on Misconceptions and Mass Deception

    The latest examples of discussions about patent scope, courtesy of those looking to benefit financially by pushing such monopolies to the max



  19. Software Patents Still Promoted by IBM and Its Lobbyist (and Former Employee) David Kappos, in Defiance of Much-Needed US Patent Reform

    While the corporate media celebrates IBM as though it's some kind of 'champion' for hoarding patents that it then uses to attack companies which actually grow



  20. Brexit/Trump Effect: Patent Systems With Institutional Corruption and Nepotism

    Rumours about Britain's head of patents (and copyrights etc.) being the brother of the Brexit campaigner and Foreign Minister; meanwhile, on the other side of the Atlantic, rumours suggest that the corrupt judge Rader might be the next head of patents in the United States



  21. Links 11/1/2017: X.Org Server 1.19.1, GitHub's Atom 1.13

    Links for the day



  22. The Patent Microcosm is Already Sucking up to Donald Trump in an Effort to Enrich Itself at Everyone's Expense

    Four new examples of patent maximalists embracing/adopting the pseudo-populist slogan to advance their goals of increasing litigation (which they profit from) and undermining PTAB (which made patents great in the quality sense)



  23. Patent Quality in the United States Can Only be Assessed at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) and the Courts

    The travesty of patent offices in the US and China, where the goal or the accomplishment is measured in terms of the number of patents rather than their quality



  24. Gradual Collapse of Microsoft's Extensive (and External) Patent Trolling Operations

    The President of Microsoft Technology Licensing LLC (patent troll) leaves and the founder of Intellectual Ventures, Microsoft's largest peripheral patent troll, joins Sherpa Technology



  25. No End to Battistelli's Witch-hunts Against the Media, Against Staff, and Against Politicians

    Rumours about the fate of people who are (or have been) criticising Battistelli's reign of terror at the EPO



  26. Links 10/1/2017: Synfig 1.2, Kodachi Linux 3.7

    Links for the day



  27. With Help From the US Supreme Court (Key Cases), Patent Trolls Are Going Away

    The demise of patent trolls in the United States, a trend partly attributable to Alice and other Supreme Court decisions, will likely accelerate soon (later this year) as the future of the Eastern District of Texas courts is at stake



  28. Patent Maximalism on Display: Patent Aggressor IBM Celebrated in the Media

    The patent lust at IBM, which is suing if not just shaking down companies using software patents, earns plenty of puff pieces from the corporate media



  29. FFPE-EPO, the EPO Management's Pet/Yellow Union, Helps Union-Busting (Against SUEPO) in Letter to Notorious Vice-President

    In a letter to Elodie Bergot (as CC) and Željko Topić, who faces many criminal investigations, FFPE-EPO ringleaders reveal their allegiance not to EPO staff but to those who perpetually attack the staff



  30. Links 9/1/2017: Civilization VI Coming to GNU/Linux, digiKam 5.4.0 Released

    Links for the day


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts