Re: huge weblog post with my suggestions for improvement in Epiphany

On Wed, 2008-04-02 at 23:16 +1300, Matthew Paul Thomas wrote:
> However, the Epiphany team
> lacks programmers far more than it lacks ideas. :-)
If this has already been discussed to death on this list, please feel
free to ignore.  But that sounds like a serious problem.  What can be
done about it?  What potential effect, if any, does the WebKit decision
have upon this issue?  Should the project be recruiting PR people?  Or
not?  Any chance of getting Epiphany included in the default install, or
even as default browser, in more Linux distros? (Fedora comes to mind.
Especially considering the WebKit move.  I wonder if Debian is tired of
maintaining IceWeasel?) What have F-Spot and Tomboy done to gain the
position of "The Golden Ones" while Epiphany gets treated like a
neglected step child?  Can anything be gleaned from other projects which
have successfully claimed their fair share of the limelight?  Epiphany
has, of course, lived in the shadow of Firefox for a long time.  But
I've watched as the cracks have appeared and spread, and today it's
fairly obvious that distros are frustrated with's policies
and might be interested in making a break for it.  The Linux browsing
experience, has itself increasingly lived in the shadow of Firefox for
Windows(tm).  And I wonder if that galls any other people the way it
does me? (Obligatory reminder that a rising tide lifts all boats...
Firefox's popularity helps us all... etc. etc.)

One other note which is not strictly related, but sort of is.  Firefox
has a bad case of what I call singluseritis.  It tunes its memory
related settings based upon total system ram, and has been quite
aggressive about sucking up memory in the name of performance.  Its
problematic "profiles" and lock files.  A configuration system that
really doesn't work on a multiuser server. (I know.  I admin it in that
topology.)  Setting a system wide policy is confusing, and last I
checked, didn't really work.  Only affected new accounts.  Lockpref
didn't really work right.  The natural way to deploy Linux desktops in
the enterprise is to roll out thin clients (either PC or appliance)
running against XDMCP or NX servers.  WebKit's lighter memory footprint,
combined with gconf configuration and perhaps some changes to the way
memory sensitive options get set (we inherited
browser.sessionhistory.max_total_viewers=-1), might just be Epiphany's
ace in the hole for Enterprise Linux deployments, which are, after all,
the next frontier for Linux.  Pervasive single user Linux for the home
desktop is still a ways away.  But pervasive enterprise deployments?
Much more likely, and much more immediate.  Gnome already has that
market sewn up through its hard work and dedication to the UI, and
that's half the battle.  Now Epiphany needs to claim its rightful place
on the Gnome business desktop.

-Steve Bergman  

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