My Letter to Withdraw Membership from the GNOME Foundation


With the recent 3.28 release, I have now realized that GNOME has failed continuously to be a project and 
desktop environment which puts its users and communities before its own visions. Sure, GNOME could be one of 
the most polished desktop environments on Linux, but it was almost certain that it is one of the most 
inconsistent and impossible to use on an extended period.

GNOME 3.28 embodies this concerning matter especially well, and let me briefly discuss this point with some 

- Desktop icons removed, why? Please do let me know if it's because being able to put icons on a desktop 
violates GNOME's human interface guidelines, a11y, ... - or, is it because that GNOME has never been able to 
show desktop icons under the Wayland session, which you guys are so enthusiastic to push forth?
- User Actions menu is now hidden when there's only one user or one session installed - I'm now no longer able to log 
out or to have a shortcut to change my user settings. As Florian Müllner pointed out in my recent report 
(, it is believed that "most people" won't get to use 
it anyways.
- The GNOME Usage App, which is already pushed out as a headline Application in the announcement video. Guess what, it 
doesn't handle file permission error at all, creating a folder in my home directory with inaccessible permission means 
that the "Storage" tab will freeze - no console output either, until I checked journalctl.
- ...

Sure, GNOME 3.28 remains streamline as ever, with a (heavy?) sprinkle of issues. As someone who have 
participated in the localisation effort for a couple of years now, I still feel a sense of pride and 
achievement when I see my name displayed in the About dialogues. However, with the issues of 3.28 and GNOME's 
own problems (in my opinion), it is difficult for me not to bring up another problem I have had with GNOME's 
zh_CN L10n team...

The team has great and responsible contributors, but they were rarely respected for their work. There are still applications with 
some simple typos, which fixes have been offered almost a year ago, that are not acknowledged by the committers 
("Tweaks" is still spelled "Teaks" in the zh_CN translation for GNOME Tweaks).

With my commitments with WineHQ and other projects utilising Transifex (and numerous other collaboration 
platforms), it is fair to say that GNOME has a relatively low chance of committing low quality translation - 
though it is equally likely that existing low quality translations could not be removed effectively, with 
this strict, hierarchical, and malfunctioning system.

I had high hopes when I joined the Foundation, and surely has hoped that I could do some good to the 
community. Surely I haven't been doing anything meaningful just yet, but I don't think I could respect this 
community enough for me to deserve this seat in the Foundation.

And thus this is my letter of withdrawal for my membership, and to announce an end to any of my future 
localisation contribution - unless there's a typo or obviously misleading translation.

I would like to wish the GNOME Community and Project good luck, and to express my gratitude for allowing me 
to improve my localisation proficiency over the years. But please, do take my words as a warning - or at 
least read it, even if you find it offensive or untruthful.

Good bye, and have a nice day.

Best Regards,
Mingcong Bai

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