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. Links 24/10/2014: Microsoft Tax Axed in Italy, Google's Linux (ChromeOS/Android) Leader Promoted

    Links for the day



  2. Links 24/10/2014: GNU/Linux History, Fedora Delay

    Links for the day



  3. Links 23/10/2014: New *buntu, Benchmarks

    Links for the day



  4. Links 22/10/2014: Chromebooks Surge, NSA Android Endorsement

    Links for the day



  5. Links 21/10/2014: Debian Fork Debate, New GNU IceCat

    Links for the day



  6. Criminal Microsoft is Censoring the Web and Breaks Laws to Do So; the Web Should Censor (Remove) Microsoft

    Microsoft is still breaking the Internet using completely bogus takedown requests (an abuse of DMCA) and why Microsoft Windows, which contains weaponised back doors (shared with the NSA), should be banned from the Internet, not just from the Web



  7. Microsoft 'Loving' GNU/Linux and Other Corporate Media Fiction

    Microsoft has bullied or cleverly bribed enough technology-centric media sites to have them characterise Microsoft as a friend of Free/Open Source software (FOSS) that also "loves Linux"



  8. India May be Taking Bill Gates to Court for Misusing His So-called 'Charity' to Conduct Clinical Trials Without Consent on Behalf of Companies He Invests in

    Bill Gates may finally be pulled into the courtroom again, having been identified for large-scale abuses that he commits in the name of profit (not "charity")



  9. The Problems With Legal Workarounds, Patent Scope, and Expansion of Patent Trolls to the East

    Patent trolls are in the news again and it's rather important, albeit for various different reasons, more relevant than the ones covered here in the past



  10. Links 20/10/2014: Cloudera and Red Hat, Debian 7.7, and Vivid Vervet

    Links for the day



  11. Links 20/10/2014: 10 Years Since First Ubuntu Release

    Links for the day



  12. How Patent Lawyers Analyze Alice v. CLS Bank

    Breaking down a patent lawyer's analysis of a Supreme Court's decision that seemingly invalidated hundreds of thousands of software patents



  13. Is It Google's Turn to Head the USPTO Corporation?

    The industry-led USPTO continues to be coordinated by some of its biggest clients, despite issues associated with conflicting interests



  14. The EPO's Public Relations Disaster Amid Distrust From Within (and EPO Communications Chief Leaves): Part VII

    Amid unrest and suspicion of misconduct in the EPO's management (ongoing for months if not years), Transparency International steps in, but the EPO's management completely ignores Transparency International, refusing to collaborate; the PR chief of the EPO is apparently being pushed out in the mean time



  15. Links 18/10/2014: Debian Plans for Init Systems, Tails 1.2

    Links for the day



  16. Links 18/10/2014: New ELive, Android Expansion

    Links for the day



  17. Another Fresh Blow to Software Patents (and With Them Patent Trolls)

    Another new development shows that more burden of proof is to be put on the litigant, thus discouraging the most infamous serial patent aggressors and reducing the incentive to settle with a payment out of court



  18. Links 16/10/2014: New Android, SSL 3.0 Flaw

    Links for the day



  19. How the Corporate Press Deceives and Sells Microsoft Agenda

    Various new examples of media propaganda that distorts or makes up the facts (bias/lies by omission/selection) and where this is all coming from



  20. Vista 10 is Still Vapourware, But We Already Know It Will Increase Surveillance on Its Users and Contain Malicious Back Doors

    The villainous company which makes insecure-by-design operating systems will continue to do so, but in the mean time the corporate press covers only bugs in FOSS, not back doors in proprietary software



  21. Links 15/10/2014: KDE Plasma 5.1 is Out, GOG Reaches 100-Title Mark

    Links for the day



  22. With .NET Foundation Affiliation Xamarin is Another Step Closer to Being Absorbed by Microsoft

    Xamarin is not even trying to pretend that separation exists between Microsoft and its work; yet another collaboration is announced



  23. The EPO's Protection Triangle of Battistelli, Kongstad, and Topić: Part VI

    Jesper Kongstad, Benoît Battistelli, and Zeljko Topić are uncomfortably close personally and professionally, so suspicions arise that nepotism and protectionism play a negative role that negatively affects the European public



  24. Corporate Media Confirms the Demise of Software Patents in the United States; Will India and Europe Follow?

    It has become increasingly official that software patents are being weakened in the United States' USPTO as well as the courts; will software leaders such as India and Europe stop trying to imitate the old USPTO?



  25. Links 14/10/2014: CAINE 6, New RHEL, Dronecode

    Links for the day



  26. Microsoft's Disdain for Women Steals the Show at a Women's Event

    Steve Ballmer's successor, Satya Nadella, is still too tactless to lie to the audience, having been given --through subversive means -- a platform at a conference that should have shunned Microsoft, a famously misogynistic company



  27. SCOTUS May Soon Put an End to the 'Copyrights on APIs' Question While Proprietary Giants Continue to Harass Android/Linux in Every Way Conceivable

    Google takes its fight over API freedom to the Supreme Court in the Unites States and it also takes that longstanding patent harassment from the Microsoft- and Apple-backed troll (Rockstar) out of East Texas



  28. Patent Lawsuits Almost Halved After SCOTUS Ruling on 'Abstract' Software Patents

    The barrier for acceptance of software patent applications is raised in the United States and patent lawsuits, many of which involve software these days, are down very sharply, based on new figures from Lex Machina



  29. Links 13/10/2014: ChromeOS and EXT, Debian Resists Systemd Domination

    Links for the day



  30. Links 12/10/2014: Blackphone Tablet, Sony's Firefox OS Port

    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