Re: Getting to Topaz (Was Re: getting on a longer release cycled)

Havoc Pennington wrote:
Maxim Udushlivy wrote:
I remember somebody compared Gnome with a car. But the desktop is an environment, so it is not a car, it is a parking. The same goes about a hammer: desktop environment is a collection of tools. Different tasks require different collections. The items that you mentioned may fit very well into one desktop ideology (e.g. simplicity) as several profiles.

It is possible to make a parallel with Eclipse IDE which has profiles (they call them perspectives). There are profiles for Java source code editing, SVN browsing, debugging, etc. Every profile has its own layout and a set of opened sub-windows (hammers). All profiles are Eclipse-style.

Desktops have so-called workspaces (never used them), may be they could be extended into task-oriented profiles?!

The Eclipse platform is a great example really, let's contrast it with GNOME.

First, there's an Eclipse "rich client platform" which is roughly on the level of gtk/dbus/gconf/gnome-vfs type stuff, i.e. it's libraries.

On top of that there are at least two large projects.

One is the Eclipse IDE, which is already narrowed in scope to software developers; it can make some UI decisions intended for that audience in a global way. Inside the Eclipse IDE, there are task or audience oriented perspectives and plugins for different kinds of software developers.

Another large project is IBM Workplace, which is (in some sense) "a desktop." However, it's a desktop very specifically for corporate office workers. And IBM does not leave it at that, they tune the desktop for very specific vertical markets. So here's an example that Google turned up (everyone will have to look past all the corporate buzzword speak):

click on "tech specs" on the right, and look at slide 2 in the powerpoint deck. Slide 1 is the title slide. So the first slide with content is labeled "value proposition" and that slide has a table. The first two rows in the table are:

For: Chief Operating Officer, Chief Information Officer, Procurement Team
Who needs: Enhanced collaboration across the organization and with OEMs, Streamlined service and parts operations, and more efficient buying and procurement processes

Made clear just before that in the slide is that this is specifically for the automotive industry.

Now, I don't think this is the _best_ example:
 - it's all a bit too "market segment" instead of "ethnography/persona"
 - the Eclipse UI does feel a little clunky imo, like it's wedging
   everything into a Grand Unified Platform whether it wants to fit or

Still, the broadest, most general-purpose description of IBM Workplace is still tightly focused on corporate office workers with IT staff (GNOME has not narrowed down to that) and the broadest, most general-purpose description of the Eclipse IDE is that it's for developers (GNOME has not narrowed down to that either).


I used Eclipse IDE just as an example of perspective (profile) switching. Like Eclipse, Gnome may have different perspectives: one for developers, another for internet browsing and email, third for office-related tasks, etc. These perspectives form *one* desktop by means of several workspaces, one workspace for each perspective. I wanted to say that there is no need to narrow Gnome to only one audience/task/perspective. Of course Gnome must target certain category of users, but that should not be done by limiting the whole Gnome to a some subset of all possible desktop tasks. Desktop is a general-purpose environment and Gnome should find its users by promoting certain ideology (for example UI simplicity, extended functionality and minimal configuration effort).

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