Re: question for candidates

hi Andy,

On Wed, 2011-05-25 at 11:10 -0700, Andy Tai wrote:
> As Fedora is the only current GNU/Linux distribution adapting GNOME
> 3.0 as the default desktop, how would you facilitate to make GNOME
> technologies to work well (meaning minimal local patching needed) on
> other GNU/Linux distributions like Debian, and such distributions
> which may work on components competing with certain parts of GNOME,
> such as Ubuntu?  And how would you facilitate to make GNOME 3 run well
> on other free OS environments, especially the BSD based ones, like
> OpenBSD and FreeBSD?

>From a technical standpoint, I believe these issues to be outside of the
duties of the foundation board.

Personally, I put a good deal of effort into insuring that our software
ports to non-Linux platforms and I think that the effort is worth it.
Just yesterday I was consulting with the OpenBSD project about how a
change to GLib might effect them and I installed a Windows VM to check
that the change didn't have a negative impact there.  I'm willing to put
the extra effort in because I don't believe that we gain a whole lot by
ignoring other platforms.

> And how would you facilitate collaborations with Ubuntu, especially,
> despite the different viewpoints of developers on issues like GNOME
> Shell vs. Unity?

I have a somewhat privileged vantage point here, having attending the
past 11 Ubuntu developer summits.  As far as I'm concerned, our projects
have gone separate ways.  There is no hope, at this point, for a
Unity/GNOME merger or anything of the sort.  I don't consider Unity to
be "part of GNOME" in any way, nor do I think that it ever will be.

I believe, though, that we still have responsibility to Ubuntu as a
downstream project.  They are a lot like Nokia was, in my mind -- using
GNOME technologies to implement an alternate user experience.  As users
of our software, we should treat them well.

One thing that very many people at Canonical have told me is that they
are unsure about how the GNOME project views them and what they can
expect from us.  They are particularly unsure about if our developer
platform is meant only for "GNOME OS" or if it welcomes outside uses and
takes their needs into consideration.  I think that as a project we
should clarify our positions to them and our expectations of them.  A
lot of the damage coming from silly blog posts and comment threads is a
result, partially, of unclear communication on our part.

I think that the greatest advantage that we could gain from our
relationship with Ubuntu at this point is their use and promotion of
GNOME as a developer platform.  Mark wants 200 million devices running
Ubuntu -- a concern which probably isn't shared by a lot of GNOME
hackers.  Those 200 million devices will attract external developers,
though, and if those developers are using the GNOME platform, I think
we're all better off for it.


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