Re: Fw: Incessant Horse Flogging.

On Thu, 2002-11-14 at 13:33, Bowie J. Poag wrote:
> Hi  Greg,
> > During the last few months some boring small steps in the wrong direction
> > have been proposed. Do you think they were in the right direction?
> Do I think Gnome is developing in the right direction? In an overall sense,
> yeah, i'd say things are going in the right direction, albeit slowly.
> Specifically,
> however, there are alot of things I would change.  In my opinion, this
> project is wholly concerned in imitating and/or building things which have
> already been built. It seems no one is willing to stop and look at it from
> 50,000 ones willing to try something new and unproven.  Its like
> the people involved in deciding what makes it onto the desktop are terrified
> of introducing an idea that isn't already seen in Windows or OS X.
There were many unproven things that went around in the Gnome system and
now they are old and boring (applets for instance). 

> > Then tell us what direction that is and show us why it is right.
> If you're in a situation where all you're doing is mimicking what someone
> else has already done, you are resigning yourself to 2nd place. 
Everything mimics something. It could be nature, a similar system, a
previous invention, etc.  The electronic desktop mimics the physical
In order to
> take the lead, _you_ need to be the one who's building something new... Let
> them play catch-up to _you_. Not the other way around. 
There is a thing called first mover syndrome.  All I should have to say
is Xerox Parc and you should get the idea.

It just seems like an
> awfully big waste of time to build something so wonderful, and shackle it to
> the "perpetually not quite as good as other platforms" monicker.
Which is why we have to do what they do even better.  Revolutionary
changes come once in a blue moon.  Evolutionary changes is where the
real inovation happens.

> > Tell us how can you can have a right direction when there isn't even
> > a destination. World domination doesn't cut it.
> I agree. World domination isn't the destination. The destination is to give
> something to people thats better than whats already out there. Nothing less,
> and nothing more. 
But you want to put the horse in front of the cart.  There can't be a
better system if it doesn't allow people to migrate from their systems. 
People will use what they are familiar with.  By all accound the Devorak
keyboard layout is more productive then QUERTY.  How many people do you
know use them?  GNOME is about being usefull.

I'm honestly surprised you think theres no ultimate goal
> to what people are doing here. Anything less than what i've just said
> summarizes Gnome as nothing more than years of pointless tail-chasing and
> directionless labor.
The ultimate goal is a usable desktop system.  If xyz cool new feature
will get us there then all the better but it also takes a firm
foundation to do that.

> > Since you're still thinking in terms of visions, you have a problem.
> I'm trying not to laugh at that statement....And failing miserably. :) You
> should write motivational posters.
Visions are like the gadgets in Star Trek.  Ya they are cool and I would
like to own a personal transporter but until someone sits down and
actualy makes one its just a prop in a film.

> > A vision cannot be shared.
> Gnome itself existed as a vision, and remained in that state for quite a
> long time. 
It existed as code before it became useful.

The thousands of people who have worked on it now and in the past
> didn't just fall out of the sky in a cosmic accident or stroke of enormous
> luck. They showed up here because they believed in a shared vision. Their
> work is done _completely_ on the basis of a shared vision.
And concreate code.

> > Even when everyone is looking at same thing -
> > and right now that is not so - they still see it differently. It takes
> > a lot of effort to get past the chimeras and know what you're looking at.
> I completely agree.... But wouldn't it be nice to know which are chimeras
> and which are tangible, implementable ideas? :)
No one is realy saying that new features can't be added.  Visions are
fine but it dilutes focus if all you talk about is visions.  One needs
to focus their visions into things like the Gnome system and then must
at some point relegate vision to a smaller timeslice as they work to get
the original vision to fuition.  That is what the core GNOME developers
are doing.  They are smart people.  I am sure they have visions all the
time.  They also have the wisdom to stay on the path and finish what
they are doing first before moving on to another task.  If you wish for
something cool try coding it yourself and discuss it with your friends
first.  Let the idea gain traction instead of bothering developers who
have little time on their hands.  

GStreamer is like this.  Someone wanted a cool multimedia library so
they developed a project.  Gave it its own mailing list and web page and
put some code in the CVS repository.  Before you knew it people begain
to take notice and say this is cool and started to jump on board.  There
was much vision which was effectivly channeled into progress in the form
of code.  GStreamer is not yet part of the Gnome core last I checked and
nobody complains about that.  It will most likely be put in sooner than
later.  GStreamer was so cool that some KDE developers started using it
too.  GStreamer proved itself not because of its vision but because
somone decided to take that vision and implement it.  This is a model of
how it should be done.  Not by complaining there is not enough vision.


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