Re: GNOME and Ubuntu GNOME


On Fri, Sep 26, 2014, at 09:04, Alberto Ruiz wrote:
From my point of view it is really hard to figure out how to help if we do
not know what the problems are. Sebastian's suggestion is not so bad,
working closely with the Debian guys and reuse the work, however if you do
not state what the problem really is (manpower, technical,
infrastructure...) it is really hard for anyone to figure out if we can
help at all.

The problem is pretty simple to understand.

Ubuntu has been bitten by some changes in GNOME modules in the past --
often late during the cycle.  This has particularly happened to us with
respect to Gtk where we've had to put substantial effort into developing
approaches to dealing with upstream changes that don't work for us. 
Some recent examples are changes to dialogs, headerbars, theme changes
and popovers.

Because of being hit by these problems one too many times and being left
in a mad dash to come up with a solution, we've adopted (for now) the
strategy of staying a cycle behind on Gtk releases.  This gives us more
visibility on upcoming changes and gives us an extra 6 months to decide
how we will integrate them.

Although these changes are a good thing for GNOME, they often don't make
sense on a Unity desktop.  Unity is the main product of Canonical, so
it's no surprise that the needs of Unity take precedence here.

Once we have a 6-months-old Gtk release, it becomes more or less
impossible to ship the latest version of GNOME, which is where we end up
being left.

From our side, something that would help is clearer planning of features
from the start of the cycle so that we could have visibility about what
changes are in the pipe.  This is something that we've asked about quite
a lot of times.  Of course, everyone realises that this is not really
possible without (a probable) substantial negative impact on the
development rate of Gtk and GNOME.

All around, there is not a whole lot that can reasonably be done about
the situation that we're in.  What you're experiencing is different
stakeholders with different needs, and Ubuntu GNOME being pretty low on
the list of priorities of the people who are making the decisions.

I hope that clarifies things a bit.


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