Modulesets Reorganization

Hi all,

The release team would like to propose some important changes in the way we
organize our modulesets. GNOME releases are currently organized into the
following modulesets: Desktop, Platform, Bindings, Mobile, Admin, and Dev
Tools. This model has served us well and has actually evolved through time - we
didn't have the Admin and Dev Tools modulesets initially. However, we feel that
this organization is reaching its limits, and we have explored several
potential changes.

Current issues

A set of issues makes it clear the need for an evolution here:

1. The arbitrary separation between Platform and Bindings can lead people to
think that the bindings are second-class citizens while this is certainly not
the case.

2. The Desktop moduleset has expanded so much that it's now unclear which type
of application should go in and which shouldn't; it's also forcing us to choose
one application over another, or to avoid any decision - like in the famous
Rhythmbox vs Banshee case.

3. We strongly believe that we should encourage a strong ecosystem of apps
around GNOME, and integrating all applications in the GNOME Desktop moduleset
is not the best way to achieve this.

4. Some libraries should be used by developers even if the API/ABI guarantees
are not as strong as our GNOME 2 Platform (e.g. GStreamer, e-d-s, and others).
Such libraries should be labeled as such, obviously.

Proposed (re)organization

With that said, the release team would like to propose the following
reorganization of the modulesets:

1. The Desktop moduleset will only contain the components needed to get a
desktop session running and provide core functionalities (e.g. gdm,
gnome-session, gnome-settings-daemon, nautilus, etc). All applications
providing extra relevant features to the desktop (e.g. gedit, Totem, Tomboy,
etc) will be moved out from the Desktop moduleset. See the Extra Information
section for more details.

2. Bindings will be merged into the Platform moduleset and become first-class
citizens on the development Platform. The goal is to make the bindings more
prominent from a communication perspective.

3. Create a moduleset to hold our highly recommended libraries such GStreamer,
e-d-s, and others. This moduleset will be called Extended Platform.

4. Admin and Dev Tools will be dissolved and will be promoted like any other
GNOME application. See the Extra Information section for more details.

In summary, this means that the GNOME releases would be composed by the
following modulesets:
 - Desktop
 - Platform
 - Extended Platform
 - Mobile

Extra Information

We're planning to do the actual reorganization of the modulesets as soon as
possible during this development cycle. The idea is that GNOME 3 is released
using the new modulesets.

The long term plan for the GNOME applications that were removed from the
Desktop, Admin and Dev Tools modulesets is to simply highlight the high-quality
applications using the GNOME platform through our communication channels
(release notes, website, etc). There will be no "official" apps anymore and no
'Applications' moduleset in the GNOME releases. The goal here is be more open
with the app developer community around GNOME and to highlight all the nice
things that can be created using our platform.

Comments, ideas, and suggestions are welcome.


The Release Team

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