Need Leadership

I know that a lot of discussion around this topic will be taking place (in smoke filled rooms) at GUADEC but for those of us who can't afford to make the trip, some of this conversation needs to be had here on this mailing list (and pointedly not on foundation-list on which many developers are not subscribed). This mail is born out of a combination of frustration over a lack of action taken from Decadence Thread and the continuing reality check that Linux Haters Blog is giving our collective community.

We need to tap in to the wave of energy generated by the The Thread on Planet Gnome. Already, it's apparent that the fervor that surrounded it has started to dwindle. A ton of interesting ideas were thrown out and lot of belly-aching about no one taking responsibility for making it happen was heard.

I'm going to keep this short because I know attention spans are, as well. Please keep the conversation here and NOT on P.G.O--this should be a conversation that everyone feels invited to participate in and which hopefully spans the length of GUADEC, itself.

It's clear from The Thread that we need to "Get Our House In Order". There's nearly universal agreement that Gnome lacks leadership in the sense that there's someone that sets release goals.

In my opinion, whatever "The Next-Gen Gnome" is, it isn't going to happen until we really, really have a deep maintenance cycle going on here. That means fixing a Handful of Giant Warts on our maintenance process:

1. DVCS needs to happen; now. It's time. The number of people using a DVCS frontend to circumvent the insanity of SVN continues to grow. In that vein, we need to a) debate the One True DVCS for Gnome, b) delinate the work that needs to be done to get there and set a timeframe, and c) find the man power to do it.

2. The Giant Rift in the Gnome community over Mono has to end. I hate Mono as much as the next guy but it's quite apparent now that some really cool stuff with financial backing from Big Linux Distributor is not going away: Gnome Main Menu, Banshee, F-Spot, Beagle, Tomboy, etc. We have to get rid of the rift and bring the two diverging communities back together. Whatever damage that might incur in the minds of the Slashdot crowd has already been done--Gnome is perceived (rightly or wrongly) to be largley 'infested with Mono' in the minds of our critics. We cannot capitulate on this to appease a vocal minority of users that detest Mono. It's obvious it's not going away and, with a trivial amount of work, we can mend the rift by including the afore-mentioned mondules in our official releases. Let's just do it and move on with our lives.

3. Marketing to developers must get ramped up; we agree that we need a new generation of awesome developers to bring new ideas and blood in to our process. A number of our Gnome modules are in "barely maintained" mode. With new blood, we can reinvigorate 2.x while looking to the future. And I've volunteer for this one in the form of 15 minute screen casts. However, it needs web hosting space. And that needs Gnome resources. What do we have to do to make this hosting happen? What else can we do to get more developers?

Please keep this thread a conversation and not an arguement.

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