Re: Request for breakage in gnome-panel

<quote who="Elijah Newren">

> I belive you may be referring to my email.  I regretted sending it not too
> long after it was gone.  You are right that it was really lame.  I wish I
> could sugar coat it somehow, but the best I can do is chalk it up to a bad
> day and apologize to both you and Murray.  Sorry.

Not really, mostly Havoc and Bryan. :-)

> However, can I just state that the way this thread has turned really
> scares me?  This thread sounds to me like a step towards design by
> committee and removal of authority from maintainers (the thread sounds
> like a total rejection of the idea altogether rather than as a rejection
> of the patch for 2.10).  Perhaps there's an important difference between
> what's occuring in this thread and that, but I'm missing it.

I don't think it's scary in those terms. It will be removed in 2.12 whether
the peanut gallery (in this case, me) likes it or not. It was rejected for
2.10 because we're well enough into freeze that it just doesn't make sense.

My points were about entirely different issues to that of appropriateness in
the release process or maintainer responsibility. One of my growing concerns
is that we are becoming very blasé about changing things without focusing on
the costs and benefits of doing so. In this case, I felt that the cost
soundly outweighed the benefit.

"What are we *giving* the user when making this change?" was a significant
question when I set about writing the menu change proposal. My objection to
the removal of the "Run Applcation..." item was inaccurately characterised
as a fear of change or improvement, which was disappointing. In fact, it's
quite the opposite: it's a call for measurable user-visible improvement so
we're not making willy-nilly "fixes" that only serve to piss off our users.
Let's make *really* good changes, not just ones that appeal to our esoteric
sense of right and wrong.

I very rarely use the "Run Application..." dialogue. I don't particularly
like having it around. I hope we have a model in the future that makes it
wholly irrelevant. But I can't rationalise removing it, because I can't see
any direct benefit to users by doing so, or that it is inflicting obvious

We are very good at coming up with focused solutions to real user problems,
and pushing hard past the pain of change to deliver software that "Just
Works". But sometimes, we're too keen to fix some of the grubby symptoms of
brokenness - not the real problems causing it - and in doing so, we harm our
users (and our user appeal).

In fact, I think I've *just* realised why this happens, too. I will have to
think carefully about it, and then write something up.

- Jeff

UbuntuDownUnder: April 25th-30th            
     "So between a jazz musician, a murderer, and a congressperson, all
    called 'Dave Camp', I have a lot of pressure to be evil." - GNOME's
                                 Dave Camp

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