Re: roadmap status update/update request

Rob, I don't know if you are representing the Gnome Project with your reply, but if you are (you are a Gnome developer anyway so I take it you have reasons to write what you wrote), here's my response to you, Havoc and the Gnome Project:

A feature will be implemented if and only if there is a developer who wants to implement it, regardless of the number of votes it's received.

Which is exactly why open source software will never replace commercial software or Microsoft.

Without market research to find out what "people want" you are codemning your software to be "the software of its developers" instead of the "software of the people". It is a short-sighted view on the evolution of the project. With great success, great responsibilities arise too. Sucks, I know. But that's the reality.

Sure, no one wants to work for free for arrogant users that only know how to demand things like little children ask for candy (I realize, I am one of them), but the Project should have thought about this earlier, before releasing software to the world for public consumption and doing marketing pushes, and doing press releases and all that jazz. Keep it to yourself then and close down Bugzilla too.

You make Gnome sound ellitistic, and that's bad PR business to start with.

I can already hear Havoc in my head telling me "that's not how Free Software works", but you know what? Who cares how it works if its software is not as usable or full-featured as Microsoft's or Apple's? Software is software, and software is nothing but tools to get some work done. Open, closed, red, green, whatever, it's all software made out of bits and bytes.

The _only_ question for the 99% of the users is: how well the software does its job? You obviously, don't wanna know about how well your software performs in the minds of your users (point: after so many years, the No1 user request, a menu editor or something similar that actually really works, is still not a reality). And if that's so, there's a major problem in the Gnome Project IMHO, and the Foundation (or whoever else who can) should do something about it. And fast.

The [user's] help can be in the form of homework and analysis

Havoc, about users writing docs and analysis when they want a particular feature: *I am* going to write such an analysis for each one of my 20 feature requests and then file them on bugzilla. Then, I will sit back and watch how many of these bugzilla entries, if any, ever get a response from its respective maintainer, let alone get realized in the next 1 year. My experience so far with feature requests on Gnome is that they are getting completely ignored and devs just do the few things they want to do for themselves (except when there's a Sun/Novell/RH corporate decision to develop something specific), and that's that.

Also, why have the devs get "angry" (as you said) for showing them a web page with the most wanted features? I TAKE MAJOR OFFENSE as a user and a Gnome advocate & supporter, you telling me that the developers of a particular product don't even want to HEAR about what their users need. It makes me feel that Microsoft and Apple are WAY more friendly and more open to users' needs. Unlike most in this mailing list, "normal" people won't use OSS software because of political reasons, they will only use it only if it "does the job".

IMHO, a voting-like effort should take place every year or every 6 months, before the next release cycle. There, users will be able to vote for 3 options out of 50-60 feature requests, yes, each one complete with "analysis and homework" links. The 6-7 most-voted ones and after the gnome devs have decided that the XYZ features is indeed worthwhile and makes sense, should be implemented for the next release. I don't see any problem with this from where I stand. Sure, someone will have to sit its bum down and write code, but that's what developers do, right? That's why they joined the Gnome Project in the first place, right?

Lastly, I realize that Gnome is not a democracy. It is still governed by its developers and I am perfectly ok with that. But that's not a reason to shut off the users out of the procedure and only "use" them for bug reports. It royally sucks to be a Gnome user these days.


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