Re: Rules for design in Gnome

OK first let us all please calm down (This does not apply to Emmanuele, since he seems always calm :P)

We all have the best intentions at heart. I think Federico knows exactly that the design team has best intentions. And I hope the design team knows that Federico has the same intentions.

This thread sums up and shows the communication flaws between the design team and some of us in the community. There must be a reason why this E-mail was sent and it is not to flame or anger people. We are discussing a problem here. We all agree that:
  • No one is in charge. GNOME designers know they don't decide on behalf of GNOME.
  • We are trying to build a product here. 
Yet how can we build a product if *some* developers don't feel attached to what they are contributing to. Should those leave the community just because they don't share the vision of the design team. 

If a designer designs a feature for an application, but the maintainer of the app does not like it, who will implement it? And the other way round we can not develop applications without designing them else no one will use them and we will lose a developer base.

There is a perception that GNOME design team are the ones decided the direction. This perception did not come out of thin air and is not a conspiracy. It is a communication problem.

From my observation I think the design team cares more about building the product and sometimes forgets about the community and the social capital of GNOME. This might be based on the fact that *most* of the designers are hired by companies. So if a maintainer doesn't want to implement their designs they can rely on the financial capital to make it happen.

This leads to some developers feeling helpless about how to influence the direction of GNOME

Also some designs of applications are not done, and mostly are a revamp of currently existing applications. Suggesting adding a feature to one of the applications is the considered invalid because they don't fit the future plans of the design (that might not be done). Can a developer add such a feature without the design team getting upset?

As someone who held a grudge for around 2 years against the design team, I managed to somehow communicate with them in the last 6 months. And they are awesome. Once the communication bridge opened I now understand them and enjoy working with them ==> I trust their ideas.

But I still see the how hard it is to get to them. It was not easy. So communication efforts have to be done from both sides.
If designers expect developers to implement their ideas then they should also tolerate and work around the fact that developers want to implement their own ideas. 


On Tue, Apr 24, 2012 at 12:08 PM, Emmanuele Bassi <ebassi gmail com> wrote:
hi Federico;

I think this email is not at all warranted - and it generates more
fuel for flames.

On 24 April 2012 02:58, Federico Mena Quintero <federico gnome org> wrote:
> The design team IS welcome to:

> The design team IS NOT welcome to:

these elements contradict what you write below

> * Second-guess maintainers or well-intentioned contributors.
> * Block development based on existing designs.
> * Block development based on incomplete or planned designs.
> * Veto development except in modules with branches that the design
>  team maintains.
> * Be dismissive of other people's own approaches to design.
> * Dismiss or handwave requests for clarification about decisions taken.


> * Every decision is up for review.  The state of the world changes,
>  not everyone shares your assumptions, and matters which seem settled
>  may need revision.

so, if every decision is up for review, why shouldn't the people doing
design second-guess or block?

finally, and particularly, this is wrong:

> * Assume that no one but them does design that is good for Gnome.

if you're designing for Gnome, then *by definition* you are on the
Gnome design team.

if your designs are in conflict with what other people doing design
are trying to achieve, then you should talk to them, and revise them
and/or achieve a rough consensus on what is the direction to take.

by the way, since we're dropping rules by fiat, and given that at
least I'm empowered by the fact of having been elected on the
Foundation's board, I think people on this list are welcome to assume
that people mean well, and are NOT welcome to assume conspiracies or
assume that people do stuff just because.


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