Re: New module proposal: LightDM


On Fri, May 13, 2011 at 12:55 PM, Robert Ancell <robert ancell gmail com> wrote:
>>> - LightDM is a cross-platform solution.  Ubuntu is planning to switch
>>> to it this cycle, and other distributions have expressed interest in
>>> the project.  By sharing this piece of infrastructure GNOME can spend
>>> more time working on important GNOME components.  LightDM is aligned
>>> with
>> There isn't a lot of value in having a core GNOME component be cross
>> platform or cross desktop.  There certainly isn't any value in that
>> for a user.  There are, however, a number of reasons why this isn't a
>> good thing.  GDM was explicitly designed to be a core GNOME component.
>>  The primary goal is to have a consistent and unified experience from
>> power on to power off.  Having a cross desktop component in there
>> doesn't really make any sense to the end user.  It doesn't match the
>> look and feel, the interactions are different, the default settings
>> and behaviors are different.  That is what GDM circa 2005 was like.
>> And it wasn't good.
> There is a huge amount of value in having shared components where
> appropriate.  And this does have a direct value for users - if we
> spend time duplicating common elements then that is time not spent
> working on the the part the users do see.  LightDM makes a very
> explicit boundary between the core aspects and the UI, I really fail
> to see how using a shared component for the lower level has any
> negative effect on users.

In your proposal you did not mention one thing that would
significantly or directly improve the user experience.

>>  * I don't see any compelling reason to architecture astronaut a new
>> display manager
> I am completely sick of the lack of respect shown by some in the GNOME
> community to alternate viewpoints.  I'm tired of being compared to an
> attention-deficit teenager, told I have not-invented-here syndrome,
> told that the team I work on only chose this project because we want
> to be different to GNOME, told that by not continuing on existing
> codebases (regardless of how much time and effort I have spent on
> that) I am betraying GNOME.  It's just beyond acceptable.
> I was not going to propose this project because I am sick of this sort
> of unprofessional response, especially from leaders in the community.
> It was the insistence of other leaders in the GNOME community that I
> did end up proposing and the continual complaints from users,
> sysadmins, customers, designers, and programmers about the login
> experience.

I have no idea where this is coming from.  Is this directed at me?  It
is certainly a serious overreaction to my statement that a proposal
that is based on an internal architecture change, that uses lines of
code as a metric, and didn't include a single thing that would improve
the user experience seems to me like architecture astronauting.

>>  * None of the stated reasons have a significant user visible benefit to GNOME
> You really need to really consider that this model of what benefits
> users is an over-simplification.

No it isn't.  It is what matters most.

My recommendation would be to first focus on improving things for
users (like some of the things listed in my previous message) and then
think about what internal architecture you require in order to get
that done.  That's how we normally do things in GNOME.  This proposal
appears as a bit of a departure from that.  I would also recommend
that you listen to the folks giving you advice on these matters rather
than think of it as a fight of some kind.  Don't take it so
personally.  Many of us have been down these roads many many times.
It isn't about you - people are naturally concerned when it appears
(rightly or wrongly) that lessons of the past are being ignored.  I
also caution you and others from thinking of freedesktop as some kind
of cross platform sanctuary.  It isn't.

I think the reactions you are getting here are entirely due to the way
you are pitching the project.  And nothing at all to do with you, the
quality of your work, or the leadership of GNOME.


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