Re: Minutes of the Board meeting of October 29th, 2013


On 11/25/2013 10:35 AM, Tobias Mueller wrote:
There is no "Fedora GNOME", right? Then I think the situation there is 

Only because you declare it so. It is the same issue ("what is GNOME?
When do we desire/require differentiation?").

I don't think that not shipping (some parts of) GNOME, or patched versions 
thereof is problematic.

Phew. Thank god for that. For a while there I was worried GNOME might
not be free software any more. </joke>

From my understanding, calling it "GNOME" is, from a trademark 
perspective. Especially if the name "GNOME" is combined with another product's 
name. The problem is, IIUC, twofold: Is it (legally) possible to have the 
GNOME brand diluted now while still being able to defend it later?
And do we, as a community, actually want our brand to be diluted?

In your question is a premise (a) that GNOME has a brand (whatever that
is), (b) that this brand is valuable in some sense, and (c) that it is
"concentrated" - ie. that we can clearly define what GNOME is, and point
to something else as "diluting" the brand.

I don't accept the premise.

GNOME, for some people, represents a specific set of projects integrated
together. For others, it represents an entire "soup to nuts" user
experience & stack, including themes, fonts, system components, etc. For
others, it's basically a GTK+ based desktop environment.

So I would dispute whether the GNOME brand is as concentrated or
valuable as it was (say) 5 years ago.

Next: Do Ubuntu GNOME or Fedora's GNOME represent dilutions of the GNOME
brand? Only in the sense that people using our software results in
dilutions of the brand. We called Maemo and Sugar GNOME-based a few
years ago. Ubuntu was GNOME based until Unity. The hard line "our way or
the highway" view of GNOME is a recent phenomenon. I suggest that this
position has not resulted in the growth of the GNOME brand.

I think maybe GNOME is now at a point where "let a thousand flowers
bloom", and welcome anyone who is happy to use the GNOME label who has
any relationship with GNOME, would be a better strategy. Reaching out to
Cinnamon, MATE, even XFCE, and welcoming them (if they want to come, and
it's unclear that they would) under the GNOME banner may be the best way
to make the GNOME brand relevant in future.

My stance is that I am happy for them (or anyone) to include GNOME in their 
product. They have permission (IIRC) to name it "something GNOME". So it's a 
different product, i.e. not "GNOME". I am happy if they use our logo. I'd be 
more happy if they also silghtly modify the logo as they slightly modified the 
name. I assume it's relatively low effort and helps us to defend improper usage 
in the future and them to differentiate their product. If it's not low effor to 
slightly modify the logo, then I might come to a different conclusion.

I totally agree Toby.


Dave Neary, Lyon, France
Email: dneary gnome org
Jabber: nearyd gmail com

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