Re: My thoughts on fallback mode

2011/1/4 Mario Blättermann <mariobl gnome org>
Am Dienstag, den 04.01.2011, 20:58 +0100 schrieb Christopher Roy
Have a look at the most important GNOME-reseller Ubuntu: There will be
no gnome-shell by default, they have decided to use Unity. Well, due to
it is also clutter-based, there will be similar problems. Moreover, the
help browser doesn't show the usual overview of the GNOME docs, instead
users see the Ubuntu Help Center, and there's no way to browse to
GNOME's Desktop User Guide. Most distributions have such »features«,
which lead the user to accept his distribution as a unique OS, and to
accept GNOME as a second stage free gift. Could be that the gnome-shell
won't flop because of misusability, but because of too less users take
notice of it.

Yes, we were concerned about this as a Marketing Team when we met in October 2009 at Google's office in Chicago and decided then to make a special effort to reach out to distributors to offer marketing assets that they could brand with their own logos. Unfortunately, Ubuntu made their Unity decision before we could get to that point and for business reasons. I still hope that users will see a vastly superior experience in other distributions (ie. Fedora) which ship Shell by default and encourage Canonical to reevaluate their decision. And we will still make the marketing assets in such a way that any distribution can take and remix them for their own use. Hell, we don't even care all that much that GNOME plays a prominent role in downstream distributions' marketing. Enthusiasts who can become developers will understand what GNOME is. All we have to do is help distributions get users excited about the improved, awesome user experience--that's the only way an end user can get GNOME anyway. We understand that this is a very different situation from, say, Firefox.
It can't be the goal to win new users with a »bleeding-edge new desktop
experience« and, on the other hand, to ignore the other ones which want
to keep the well-known desktop principles (kernel, X11, WM, DE) which
allows them to put their own desktop experience together, if they like
it (!).

I can't speak for the Shell team (my impression is that they are merely interested in a great user experience) but the Marketing Team is focusing entirely on current users for the 3.0 marketing push. We are not looking for new users with 3.0--if they come it will be as a side effect of this effort on current users. Specifically, marketing assets will focus on how your user experience is better in GNOME 3 versus prior releases, especially with regard to long-standing and now resolved "warts" on the GNOME 2.x user interface.
And, we shouldn't speak about »selling« GNOME. We don't sell it,
we provide it. That's an important difference. If we would sell it, we
had to concentrate our efforts to ship new hardware with an OS with very
nice and exiting features. But because we provide it, we must recognize
more than these users and their moneybags.

Yes, we know this and it's was an unintended implication of the "car" analogy. We don't think of GNOME as a product; it is an upstream project that is ultimately made available through distributions.
As I already wrote, one of
the most important advantages of GNOME is its modularity, which doesn't
preclude integrity.

But modularity is not implicitly integrity.
A desktop as strong bolted as Windows or MacOS which
forces people to use this and not that is misplaced.

I think we are saying that Shell will be a better user experience because we were able to much more rapidly develop GNOME Shell and that's partially *because* the window manager cannot be switched with another. I just want to make it abundantly clear: that is all that has changed. No other component in the existing GNOME stack has lost its modularity.
BTW, all these thoughts are from a user's point of view. I'm not a
developer, just a translator, and I have subscribed to this list
actually by accidence. But it is very interesting to see how decisions
for the future are seem to made, ignoring a considerable number of
long-standing users. It is more than a handful, be sure.

No one is ignoring anyone. We are listening.

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