Re: Modulesets Reorganization

On Sun, Jun 6, 2010 at 8:55 PM, Johannes Schmid <jhs jsschmid de> wrote:
> Hi!



before addressing any specific point I just want to say that I pretty
much agree with the spirit of the Release Team's proposal, if not with
all its details, and that I'd rather see us engage in a bit of too
much destructive force on our desktop in order to sharpen our vision
than die of the infamous one thousand cuts of a directionless
moduleset that has, probably, grown a bit more than it should have.

With that being said...

> P.S: Background of my proposal for specific things that may look strage
> at first sight (some examples):
> * evolution: Many people just use webmail
> * epiphany: unsure. Most distros ship firefox. A webbrowser is definitly
> a requirement so.

It's very much true that for a long time pretty much every
distribution has shipped browsers other than epiphany as default, even
when they picked gnome as their default desktop environment.
Historically firefox has been this browser, and seeing recent trends I
wouldn't be surprised with chromium taking its place in the future.
This has made epiphany the odd duck in the eyes of many, and given
that, it's not surprising at all to see proposals like the one
Johannes makes.

I only want to answer with two ideas, one which should be obvious but
perhaps isn't, and other than hopefully looks towards a different
future for epiphany.

The obvious idea is that basing our decisions on what distributions do
is absolutely the wrong way of doing things. There's many
distributions around, and no matter what we do there will be always
some that will ignore decisions that the upstream community considers
core foundations of the software we work on. This is one of the
bittersweet facets of free software, and there's not really a lot to
be done about it. What we *can* do, though, is work as hard as we can
in shaping a coherent idea that the combination of our modules form,
and make it compelling enough that most people wouldn't dream of
taking it apart to build something else because they would be giving
their users an impoverished experience. I don't think we should be
satisfied with anything less than that.

The idea for the future is that we would like to change the vision
people have of epiphany. Some time ago we decided to switch our engine
and work on replacing gecko with a native port of webkit for our
platform. Saying that this is hard work would be an understatement,
but thanks to the work of many people and companies, including a
tremendous effort by the one I work for, I think we are doing great
progress in bringing this new crazy thing we call the web to our
platform in a way that does not feel alien to it.

The problem, of course, is that users don't use APIs directly, and we
still have much to do in making things usable for them. If we all
agree that the web is a vital part of any modern environment we must
use the opportunity we have and blend epiphany with the shell and all
the other parts of gnome in one indivisible unit. Let's integrate it
deep into the core experience, going where no other browser can, or
would dare to, go because no other browser can break the compromises
needed to sort-of-work in every possible linux environment. I've
always seen this as the role epiphany should play, and at least for
myself I'm more than willing to go there as long as we can figure out
something that we feel makes sense for us now and in the future.


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