Re: On the Interaction with the design team


Emmanuele Bassi wrote:
> can you please explain to me, in a short sentence, what do you want to
> achieve? not how, but precisely what.

I have said that already: I want to enable the design team to work
productively with the entire GNOME development community.

Right now a small number of designers are working effectively with a
small number of developers, and I've observed increasing discontent
among developers not on the inside.

> Dave, Johannes: do you want to participate in the design decisions?

No - I think that designers should be making design decisions, after
collaborating with the developers affected.

> do you want some history and/or accountability?

Yes. But this is a side-effect, rather than a primary goal.

> do you have *specific* issues related to you (sorry, no "the community
> might feel" or "there have been rumors" or "people can misunderstand")?

Yes. *I* was annoyed by the recent Deja Dup discussion, and felt that
the developer got short-changed at the end of the day. I was very
annoyed at the "systemd as external dependency" discussion, and the
message that some people following along the "GNOME OS" meme sent to
developers on other platforms. I feel that the current operation of the
design team is hurting our relationship with Canonical, who also have
designers who have, I believe, failed to influence design discussions in
the same measure as the "core" members of the design team like Lapo,
Allan, Jon. I think the lack of documentation of the core design team
makes it harder for new designers to get involved. To sum it all up, I
believe the current dynamic of the design team is doing damage to GNOME
as a community.

And since I care about GNOME as a project and as a community, I was
hoping to help change things to address that.

> do you want to manage expectations? is this some community management
> direction?

Is this an effort to say that it's unimportant? For me, since this is a
community issue, and I would like to see us manage it, that makes it
"some community management thing", yes.

> because I honestly don't understand what's the point of all this.
> if we did a pass of sed and changed gnome-design team to gnome-utils
> maintainers, would you expect the gnome-utils maintainers to use
> a mailing list and document every decisions made in the project and
> involve everyone (and yes: it's a serious question)?

First: - so, in
short, if there's anything controversial in gnome-dictionary, I know
where to get you.

Second: - so I know who the right
person to talk to is/who makes final decisions.

Third: - documents every
decision that was made (in principle).

So, in short, I would like the design team to act like the gnome-utils team.

There is one other parameter which doesn't map exactly onto gnome-utils:
design doesn't produce code, so designers need to work with developers
to make their designs happen. In this sense, it's more like the release
team - who make decisions, but the things they decide on are proposed
and discussed in a project-wide public forum.

While the design team shouldn't have to "involved everyone" (and that's
not what I'm asking for), they *should* involved everyone affected by
design team decisions - and not to communicate the decisions, but to be
sure that they've got the right question. And in the same way as a
module maintainer can ask the release team to make decisions about the
module, I'd like to see maintainers be able to approach the design team
for help with their module.

Has this cleared things up for you?


Dave Neary
GNOME Foundation member
dneary gnome org

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