Pleasantness [was: Re: Sound effects]


Behdad Esfahbod wrote:
> Iain * wrote:
>> But I see that no-one else cares
> Or, you are not effectively communicating what you mean.

Actually, I understand Iain getting annoyed here. He makes a proposal
which has its merits, and likely has counter-points that have merit.

But it's very quickly descended into a completely unproductive flamewar
because of some aggressive emailing. Thus guaranteeing the end of all
useful discussion and an "Ignore thread" from, I'm sure, more than one

I would like to see more pleasantness on GNOME's email lists in general,
and in this case specifically.

Let me summarise what's happening here:

Iain wonders why there are 125 user-configurable system sounds in GNOME.
He sees that most of the sounds are application-specific, not
system-general, and suggests doing away with most of them, and letting
applications handle application-specific sounds, and having the system
configuration only be used for system-level sounds.

This is a perfectly reasonable starting principle. And for a while there
was lively, useful discussion.

Lennart didn't respond to that argument by responding to the principle,
and explaining the reasoning behind theming in the first place, he
started arguing against the details of the proposal of Iain.

In my opinion, what would have been more productive would have been to
explain the principles behind sound theming and why those principles are
useful. If I understand correctly, sound theming came about for the same
reason as icon theming - to prevent every application doing its own
thing and defining its own set of sound files and filenames, instead of
maintaining consistency across the system.

This is an admirable goal, and doesn't necessarily go counter to Iain's
goal, which is to symplify configuration of system sounds and make them
really useful to people who don't have the time to decide which of the
125 available sounds they want turned on and which they want turned off.

Instead, Lennart's been talking about shipping as few, or as many, sound
files as you like - this is a lower layer of abstraction that Iain has
been looking at.

This entire discussion has been symptomatic of a malaise in GNOME
discussion lists, where obstreperousness has consistently put an end to
interesting debate and turned it into flamewars. The project is better
served by people arguing principles than attacking either the messenger
or the grammar of the message.


Dave Neary
GNOME Foundation member
dneary gnome org

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