Re: Questions To Answer

Alan Cox <> writes:

> > Standards may be important in the future, but right now we don't have
> > any, and have no plans to create any formally. What we have now is a
> Miguel talks a lot about API's and paths to gnome 2.0. If you dont have
> any plans for a consistent API shout now.

We do have such plans, which sometimes even get followed. :-)

> > Maybe standardization will be useful later, but that hardly makes the
> > GNOME Foundation primarily a standards body. In fact, if there are
> > standards, it would be better if they were promulgated by some
> > independent entity, e.g. LSB.
> The LSB doesnt care about GNOME. The GNOME foundation will be the body that
> needs to help the LSB set standards. And without them GNOME is dead, defunct
> gone and a waste of coding time. No vendor is going to commit to a random
> moving target for the interfaces they rely on for their applications.

"Without standards Linux is dead, defunct, gone and a waste of coding
time."  A lot of people used to say that. I haven't seen it
happen. Sure LSB is in the process of making some standards now, but
vendors have been doing OK without them. Hell, Linux doesn't even
follow all the POSIX standards fully (e.g. threads), and many vendors
don't actually follow FHS, one of the few Linux-specific standards
that has been around for a while.

> Miguel understands this, how come you cannot grasp some basics here.

I'm not saying that API stability or cross-compatibility is
unimportant. I'm just saying that GNOME's principal mission is to
develop a free desktop, not to create a standard for one. Creating a
standard is just one of the possible means to making the desktop
popular and widely adopted, and to encourage other developers to
contribute. As the Windows and Java APIs aptly demonstrate, it is not
a mandatory means.

> > we do NOW, not to handle someone's vision of what we really ought to
> > be doing.
> What you want to do is make gnome work - yes
> In which case you need to
> o	Have a clear compatibility between vendors (thats an API standard)
> o	Have clear compatibility between releases with a defined path
> 	for breakage (thats an API standard)
> The rest of the work the foundation needs to do is marketing, fluff, meetings
> between vendors and the like.
> If the gnome foundation wont address API issues, compatibility and a standard
> path then the vendors need to go and found a seperate gnome foundation 2 which
> does

It should address these issues. However, I see addressing those issues
as subordinate to the goal of creating a free desktop. I also
disbelieve any absolute black and white argument of the form "GNOME
must do X or it will die".

Anyway, this is a matter of perspective to some degree. I definitely
agree that at some point, making standards will be an important part
of organizing the development of GNOME - but I definitely do not agree
that the coding is secondary to the standards.

 - Maciej

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