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

On Thu, 20 Apr 2006, Dan Winship wrote:

> Date: Thu, 20 Apr 2006 13:41:14 -0400
> From: Dan Winship <danw novell com>
> To: Andrew Sobala <aes gnome org>
> Cc: Alan Horkan <horkana maths tcd ie>,
>      desktop-devel-list <desktop-devel-list gnome org>
> Subject: Re: Gnome 2 infinity and beyond [was Re: Tango and 2.16]
> Andrew Sobala wrote:
> > And it can *all* be done *now.* That's the point. It's big. It's hard.
> > It's a lot of work. But there's nothing to stop any of these ideas being
> > implemented. And when we have the code to make this all work, we can
> > build something new: the next generation desktop, and call it GNOME 3.0.
> > But we can't keep doing "little" point-release things and pass a future
> > point-release off as GNOME 3.0 - it doesn't work like that. We'd be
> > crucified.
> Yes, we can do it now, and people *are* doing it now. And each cool new
> feature will get added to some release as it becomes available. And when
> the last feature on that list gets committed to CVS, and Alan says "OK,
> NOW can we call it 3.0?", people will say "Oh, come on! How can we call
> this release 3.0? It's clearly just an incremental improvement over 2.38!"

It does seem that Gnome 2.20 is far more likely to happen than Gnome 3.0
as the incremental improvements can continue for quite a long time.  As
comments in this discussion have shown there are plenty of people who do
not have a problem with Gnome 2.x continuing on for many years.

> The only way we can get a major-version-number-bump-worthy release is if
> we write a whole lot of cool code and then *don't release it*. We

I tried to point out that there have been major changes already and 3.0
could be used as a "milestone" to mark how far Gnome has come but since
those significant changes didn't all come at all once there was no call
for 3.0.  Part of what I was thinking when I brought up 3.0 was that if I
mentioned it now there might be a chance of plans being outlined and that
one or two significant changes would coincide with an upcoming release.

> The only way this is going to happen again is if there is similarly
> massive infrastructural change, and I don't see that happening. (Or if
> we deliberately held back working features in one app until there were
> corresponding features in every other app as well, and I see that
> happening even less.) I don't think there will ever be another quantum
> leap forward in GNOME functionality between two consecutive releases.
> And I don't think that's a bad thing. I'd rather get a new GNOME release
> with 1 point worth of improvements every 6 months than wait 2 years to
> get a release with 5 points worth of improvements.

Is well managed developement ever anything more than incremental?  Is the
relentless slow but steady improvement not characteristic of Open Source

> So I don't think we'll ever reach reach a point where we could jump to
> "GNOME 3.0" and not feel silly.  But at the same time, stick with "2.x"
> forever is just as silly.

Wonder what will happen if I make a hard bet about about 3.0 not


Alan Horkan

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