Re: Mummy, I made a platform in my pants! [Was: focus!]

Federico Mena Quintero wrote:
GNOME is a *great* platform to build desktop-ish apps *right now*.

Tech-wise strongly agree; ecosystem-wise no, because the number of users is too low for (non-hobbyist/volunteer) developers to care.

That's our platform's space.  People who get scared that "Web 2.0" is
going to replace us need to remember that the web needs a good web
browser to run on, and that web browser needs a toolkit to be written
in, and that toolkit is GNOME.  It's there right now and it works.

All the advancements in software for end users are happening elsewhere:
in the web, and in high-level languages.  That's fine.  That stuff also
needs a desktop-ish foundation to be built upon, and that foundation is

While I agree with most of your post, here I think you're missing an important point:

 - for almost everyone in the world, that foundation is _not_ GNOME.
   It's some other desktop.

 - in fact much of the recent innovation does not work on GNOME, and
   many of us don't notice since we just don't use sites like MySpace
   and Xanga, or commercial music services, or whatever, and thus don't
   experience their frequent IE/Windows-specificity

i.e. just because people use/need "a desktop" doesn't mean they use/need "any desktop" or specifically "our desktop."

The benefit to audience has to be *vs what they have* not *vs nothing*

The relevance of not-just-a-desktop as a direction is that it allows you to think about this question.

"make a desktop" alone almost by definition means failure - it defines the project as an existing product category that everyone already owns - why do they need a new one?

GNOME at least needs to say "make a desktop that _______" though for many cases of "that _______" the desktop aspect will be an artificial addition rather than an essential element of the user benefit, and thus very vulnerable to someone offering the same benefit minus the desktop requirement.

I always have to add the disclaimer that people are free to be disinterested in market share, mass adoption, and what have you. There are many other measures of success.

However, to me it's very clear that "make a desktop" has no chance of getting to "10x10" - this is the "safe" yet guaranteed-to-fail path.


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