Re: Certification for GNOME apps

Ciaran wrote:

    "Is free software" should be a requirement, not "a level".

I think that's true in some cases, but not all.  Being free software
should be a requirement for GNOME to talk about the app, or for the
app to use a symbol that could be taken for a GNOME seal of approval.

Daniel Veillard wrote:

    We want ISV to code against Gnome/GTK+, this is a Foundation position,
    reflected by the licences of our platform libraries.

That is true too.  The reason Miguel and I decided in 1997 to use the
LGPL for the basic GNOME libraries is that it's advantageous to have
proprietary apps encourage the use of GNOME.

This factor is less important today than it was then.  In 1997, if
apps used Qt, that was a disaster, since it was non-free.  Today that
isn't a disaster, but we still appreciate boosting GNOME's popularity,
all else being equal.

But that effect should go in one direction only: proprietary apps
should encourage use of GNOME, but GNOME should not encourage use of
proprietary apps.

So how do the proposed plans fit into these issues?

    - A sort-of checklist to let ISVs know what they should do in their apps
    to integrate well with the desktop --- to make their apps more

If this checklist exists, it will be usable for both free and non-free
apps.  That is no problem; if developers of proprietary apps follow
this checklist, that is all to the good.

    - A way for GNOME to say, "app Foo integrates better with GNOME than app

This is the place we need to be careful.  It is useful to say this
when the programs are free software.  It can also be useful in special
cases where Foo is free while Bar is proprietary and well-known.

What we should avoid doing is to praise a non-free program, or to
announce the existence of an obscure non-free program.

    - A way for users to know which app is more GNOME-like; hopefully this
    will give them a way to pick the better product.

If this means another checklist, something that helps users judge for
themselves how well an app works with GNOME, that is a useful thing to
do.  However, there is a tendency for people to think that "better
program" means "better in a narrowly practical sense only."  We should
make sure not to appear to endorse that view.  Once sentence at the
end, to explain that "better" includes ethically better as well as
technically better, and that free programs are always ethically better
than proprietary programs, would do the job.

    Certification for GNOME apps

Certifying non-free apps can be a useful thing to do, as long as the
certification can't be misunderstood as a general kind of endorsement.
For instance, if the app is permitted to say "This program
interoperates with the GNOME desktop", that makes it clear what is
being said, and what is not being said.  However, allowing that program
to simply use the GNOME logo would allow it to give the impression
that GNOME endorses the program, and that would cause trouble.

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