Re: Underlying DE for the Fedora Workstation product

Traditionally, GNOME shipped itself as a bag of parts that distributors would rearrange into whatever they wanted, and we were happy with this. You'd take a dash of gnome-panel, mix it with metacity or sawfish or i3wm, and then slap on some nautilus or gnome-commander.

That's not how we can build a well-integrated, compelling OS. Mixing and matching components means that it's hard to test, and hard to define: all GNOME 2 was just some tarballs and some code.

Projects like Cinnamon and MATE are happy to use our code (it's free software, after all), along with our infrastructure for building their own OS, so they don't have to re-translate the same strings and keep track of the same bugs, but those teams are focusing on building their own OS, not GNOME.

The GNOME we're trying to build has its own vision, and it's trying to become its own well-defined product: The number-one free software operating system.

On Wed, Feb 5, 2014 at 2:26 PM, Alexander GS <alxgrtnstrngl gmail com> wrote:
On Tue, 2014-02-04 at 13:09 +0000, Allan Day wrote:
> Hi Alex,
> Thanks for reaching out with your ideas. I'm afraid that you're
> catching us at a bad time - we are really close to UI freeze and a lot
> of us are working flat out on that. I personally don't have much time
> to spare on mailing lists right now. :)
> Can you explain what the GNOME 2 sub-project would actually look like?
> It's hard to respond without knowing details about how it would
> actually work. I understand that you are proposing to utilise some
> GNOME 3 modules, but how would it differ? Would it have a 3.x
> gnome-control-center? Would it have a shell? If not, which pieces
> would you use instead? Would you expect the GNOME project to make
> regular GNOME 2 releases alongside GNOME ones? Would we work to ensure
> we produce quality GNOME 2 releases as well as GNOME 3 releases? How
> would we market these two experiences? What would we recommend to
> distributions?
> Thanks,
> Allan

After some deep reflection and considerations I finally got the root of
my frustration with the GNOME project.  In reality I don't have anything
against GNOME 3.  It's that GNOME has been slow to adapt to the changes
in the GNOME ecosystem.  The central problem is the idea of having a
single dedicated desktop product.

That's why I propose the GNOME Meta-Desktop. Posted below is the Problem
statement of this proposal as a preview.  I've posted the full proposal
to the so you can comment on points directly.


GNOME Meta-Desktop


For some time now, Linux has been evolving beyond the idea of the
"single" desktop platform. This is not Windows where each platform is
bolted down to a single desktop interface design. Unfortunately projects
like GNOME have been slow to adapt. GNOME's focus on a single dedicated
desktop interface design has caused the Linux desktop space to fragment
causing divisions and frictions between the various communities. This
has also deprived commercial Linux platforms the ability to shape
desktops that fit strict requirements demanded by their target markets.

Currently and unofficially GNOME is evolving into a meta-desktop with
GNOME Shell, Cinnamon and MATE the resultant outputs of this evolution.
This brings along with it several problems such as fragmentation and
redundancies. The GNOME meta-desktop needs to be standardized, needs
community collaboration and needs GNOME in-house desktop products to
drive it forward.


Thank you for your time and attention.

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