Re: Gnome 2 infinity and beyond [was Re: Tango and 2.16]

  Please, don't take the 3.0 version lightly, only as a way to improve
GNOME marketing.  The jump to 3.x version is invaluable in helping
developers figure out which library versions break API and can be
parallel installed, and which versions are simple upgrades that retain
old API compatibility.  If we change the GNOME version to 3.0 but don't
break the API it is going to be very confusing for developers.

  Developers are the only ones that should be seeing the GNOME version,
anyway.  End users only see the distribution version, like Ubuntu 6.06
or Fedora Core 5.  Therefore, let's make the GNOME version something
that is useful for developers, not something to be used as marketing.

  But also note that we also shouldn't make 3.0 as an excuse for
breaking the API sooner than necessary.  We should stick to 2.x for a
long time still.  Most of the 3.0 ideas can be realized inside the GNOME
2.x platform.  Something like Project Ridley is very important to
provide developers with a shared and global view of where we want to go,
and therefore allowing us to align all efforts towards the common
vision.  But, IMHO, nothing more should be implied by such efforts,
neither API breakage nor major version change.

On Qua, 2006-04-19 at 04:25 +0100, Alan Horkan wrote:
> There is something I've been meaning to bring up for a few weeks now and
> I'll take Tango as an excuse to finally do it.
> Gnome has come a long way since Gnome 2.0 and continues to improve all the
> time.  Changes such as Tango, Cairo, DBUS, Gstreamer, Project Ridley and
> many other initiatives are slowing but surely making Gnome 2.x better very
> very different, to the point where it could be almost unrecognisable from
> Gnome 2.0.
> I hope you will forgive the word play in my subject line but in many ways
> it seems like Gnome 2.x could continue on quite happily with releases
> every six months or so until infinity (okay not literally but practically)
> with no sign of when Gnome 3.0 might ever happen.
> At the moment the best answer to the question of Gnome 3.0 seems to be
> "maybe later".  Gnome 3.0 (Topaz) not happen if there is no plan*.  The
> way I see it there are two major problems to be solved which I would
> summarise as Developer expectations and user expecations.
> Developers have made a commitment to keep ABI stability during the Gnome
> 2.x cycle.  This is a good thing.  This commitment could be extended if
> there was a Gnome 3.0 and to make myself clearer I repeat the point that
> Gnome 3.0 does not need to mean breakage or some wildly new radical idea.
> Development is evolutionary not revolutionary.  [1]
> User expectations shot wildly through the roof when the first murmer of
> 3.0 were mentioned.  The work of Project Topaz brilliantly (in my humble
> opinion) helped manage those expecations.  New ideas and energy were
> directed into Gnome 2.x where possible and other ideas were left to cool.
> Which brings us to the present where Gnome 2.16 will be the next release
> and 3.0 is not planned yet.  Managing expecations and keeping them
> realistic (but optomistic) will always be an issue.
> I understand the majority** of developers are not particularly interested
> by version numbers but I believe enough people do care about it that it is
> worth discussing what can be done and when it might be appropriate to go
> to the next major version number.  It is mostly marketing, but given a
> little thought it could be made meaningful and need not be just a
> superficial gesture to those who care too much about labelling, it could
> be significant and techincally justifiable.
> I return to my point about Gnome being quite different from what it was
> and all the change that have happened.  A developer (an Independant
> Software Vendor (ISV) for example) could create an acceptable gnome 2.x
> application but using older APIs that are supported but not exactly the
> ideally recommended choices.  Gnome 3.0 could be taken as an oportunity to
> clarify best practice and appeal to ISVs which has been previously
> mentioned as something people were interested in.  Gnome 3.0 could be
> taken as a way to celebrate all the progress and encourage people to take
> another look.
> Maybe it will be a year or two before Gnome 3.0 happens but I hope
> developers will reconsider Gnome 3.0 and see it as an opportunity and
> begin to make plans or clarify when it might be appropriate to bump the
> major version number in recognition of how far Gnome has come and how much
> as been achieved.
> Sincerely
> Alan Horkan
> Inkscape
> Abiword
> Open Clip Art
> Alan's Diary
> * Plan in the vaguest possible sense, the release team and community
> leaders taking a decision is still a plan even if done at short notice.
> ** I assume a majority but I may be mistaken, perhaps there value of
> marketing is understood even though most would rather focus on the real
> work.
> [1] Havoc Pennington said it better already
> I drafted the first version of this message before I saw the comments on
> planet gnome but it seems I'm not the only one thinking about 3.0:
> _______________________________________________
> desktop-devel-list mailing list
> desktop-devel-list gnome org
Gustavo J. A. M. Carneiro
<gjc inescporto pt> <gustavo users sourceforge net>
The universe is always one step beyond logic.

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