Documents and core apps

On Thu, Jan 17, 2019 at 9:25 AM, Bastien Nocera <hadess hadess net> wrote:
I think the release team is wrong in the first place. Lack of
maintainership and bugs don't equate to removal. Otherwise there would
be plenty more applications to remove there...

These were secondary reasons. The main reason is that we never really figured out how Documents was intended to be used. The app was basically just "bad evince". Cloud integration was of limited quality and limited usefulness. Documents get jumbled together, not reflecting familiar disk layout, which was intended to be less confusing to users, but actually just made the app suck to use. All my attempts to use it wound up in my returning to evince. As best I can remember, I don't think I've never seen anyone, even at GNOME conferences, using Documents. Even Epiphany seems more popular. Removal was requested by the previous maintainer, Rishi, and approved by design team (albeit after sustained prodding).

My request to Rishi and to the designers was that we either really rethink the purpose, use case, workflow, and utility of Documents. And after a lot of thinking, we just couldn't figure out how the app really fit into our desktop. Maybe if a new maintainer takes over and can find answers to those questions, we could reconsider removing it (there's still time to reconsider this before 3.32 is released! the removal is not set in stone!) but it would really require some sustained design and development effort that I don't expect to materialize.

Release and design teams also don't want redundant apps in core, and there is interest in somewhat reducing the number of apps in core. We had been planning for several years to remove eog (obsoleted by gnome-photos and to remove evince with gnome-documents. Now it looks like gnome-photos and evince will be the winners instead. (eog is a very nice app, but once gnome-photos gains the ability to handle images, it becomes kinda redundant, right? I only hesitate due to nomenclature: not all images are photos. Maybe gnome-photos needs a rename.)

Maybe we should touch in on desktop-devel-list more often to make sure the entire community is aware of plans for core apps. Other major goals are to obsolete file-roller with nautilus (which we have not yet done only because nautilus's archive support is not yet very good) and teach gnome-music to open audio files (it's absurd that Videos is our default audio player currently).


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