Re: Question to the candidates (what is a "complete" desktop?)

Hi Erick,

This is such a large question, and possibly a fairly technical one, I'm
not sure it is within the scope of board candidates to debate this.

Unless you clearly define what you mean by "complete, fully integrated
desktop environment"… as everyone is going to have a different opinion
on what that means. Besides, plenty of people are going to disagree and
say that Free desktops like GNOME are already technically better (or
equal to) OS X (or Windows) and inherently better "by definition of
being different and Free". On a UX level, some people can't stand using
Windows or OS X after seeing what GNOME has to offer (ie: using other
platforms then feels like stepping back ten years and swimming through

Not to say that our app ecosystem is perfect. We have yet to have
something to counter the infamous "Creative Suite" on a professional
level when it comes to video/multimedia (non-linear and/or node-based
video and audio editors and compositors come to mind). But hey, part of
that puzzle is just something I've been working on for a decade!

Besides the multimedia-specific area above, make GNOME a "creativity &
workhorse platform" is the global goal we should be aiming for. And by
that, I include stuff like mindmapping, annotating documents (with
easily typed or handwritten notes in PDF or ODF documents for example)
or filling dynamic PDF forms.

By the way, LibreOffice is making fantastic progress lately. I can
really feel the improvements with each release (couldn't say that from
its predecessor), and it seems that we will soon have something very
solid on the "office productivity" front. Additionally, LibLibreOffice
(semi-official nickname?) could be an interesting opportunity for
developing a "LibreOffice-based GNOME Office Suite" as a simplified set
of frontends (think: "alternative to Apple iWork"), providing a more
GNOMEish UX for simpler everyday office work needs (closer to the
simplicity of Google Documents, for example). There has to be a
significant amount of interest in the community for people to step up
and do that work though.

Personally, I want our desktop to have incredible performance and be
*solid as a mountain's bedrock*. The core/shell experience must not ever
slow down or freeze. It must gracefully handle driver bugs, apps
deployments and upgrades, and system resources (we need watchdogs,
everywhere). I've lost count of the times I had to hard-reset my system
(or quickly kill things through SSH, with some luck) because of some
random pointer grab deadlock, because of a network IO deadlock
preventing my mail client from exiting, because the system can't cope
with a browser having "too many tabs open", opening "too big of an
image" in EOG (which kills the X server!), opening too many images in
GIMP without shutting down my web browser first, etc. We can do better.
There's lots of work to do in this area, but it's a vast metaproject to
undertake and it will take a concerted effort (ie: making one or two
GNOME release cycles all about performance, or some desktop-wide
performance & reliability hackfests, maybe).

In theory, the browser story is probably best solved by the combination
of sandboxing with improvements to Epiphany (aka "Web"). Epiphany is our
window into the biggest information & application market out there, the
World Wide Web; it needs to have a much better UX and performance for
handling tons of active and "inactive" tabs, and "transient information"
in general, such as a way to painlessly manage reading lists and
bookmarks. You'd be shocked if you saw how many (groups of) tabs I have
stashed in Firefox's "Panorama" feature.

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