Re: On the Interaction with the design team

Dave Neary wrote:
> Hi,
> 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.

This is something that we're all committed to improving. I honestly
think it's largely a problem of perception, but it's still a problem.

> > 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. 

There seems to be some confusion here. Frankly, I have no idea what the
design team has to do with either the Deja Dup or systemd discussions. I
only ever received positive comments about having GNOME Backup from our
designers. As for GNOME OS, though members of our designers are involved
in some related work (all in the open: see [1]), I wouldn't say that the
team is a driving force behind that initiative (though I'm pretty sure
they all think it's a good idea).

It feels like our design team is being blamed for every controversial
decision or discussion here. It might come as a shock to some, but we're
generally just busy designing UI. :)

> 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.

The only Canonical designer that I have ever known to try and get
involved in GNOME design was Calum Pringle. I spent a good deal of time
bringing him up to speed, as did Jimmac, but he disappeared off the
scene pretty quickly. My impression was that he was pulled away to work
on Unity.

> 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.

Again, I think this is more perception than reality (which is still a
problem). There is already a pretty decent amount of documentation,
though some kind of archived records of progress and decisions would
certainly help.

The challenges that GNOME design faces are the same as any other part of
GNOME. Writing documentation and communicating your activities is always
difficult when you're busy and focused on other things. This isn't to
say that we don't need to do better, of course.

> > 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.

GNOME design has all the equivalent facilities [1, 2, 3] excluding the
mailing list.

Again, I agree (and have never disagreed) that we need to do better. The
only question has been around the appropriateness of a mailing list.


IRC: aday on

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