Re: About GNOME 2.0 - The end of a dream

This weekend flamewar was nasty at many levels.  Various people have
expressed their concerns about the GNOME community and we need to
address that problem. 

I do not care on arguing each one of my points in this e-mail, I am
just trying to paint a general picture of a problem.   And we need to
find solutions to the various problems here.  I am sure all of us can
come up with our own favorite example pointing fingers in different

> My personal view is that taking one's toys and going home is a bully
> strategy in any discussion. As someone I know once said, "always take
> people up on ultimatums." Either you participate in the community like
> an adult or you leave and do your own thing, but you don't hold
> leaving over people's head as a threat.

I did not see Martin's post as an ultimatum, I guess I saw it as
another instance when someone is too tired to keep arguing in his
defense when his work is being criticized.

I saw two people quit the Linux Networking project in the early days
of Linux due to flamage of a few people that were barely working on
the code, and limited themselves to criticize their work (whether they
were right or wrong is a different problem).  The same thing happened
with the original creator of Wine: he got tired of the attacks.

If anything, we have to turn the GNOME community around and make this
community a tolerant community, and a community of love.   I have to
say that I am surprised by how well the gnome-love mailing list has
taken of, and surprised to see various newcomers to the platform
actually writing code and becoming productive.

GNOME has reached a point where there is a lot of elitism, where
discussions are "too serious" for normal people, and where we have
stopped being warm and welcoming new people and let opinionated people
who have been out of the loop for months (Mathieu in this case) come
and flame a very active contributor that is doing some real day-to-day

I had to give up my proposal for GNOME 2 because of the "coallition"
against it.  It does not matter, what matters is that we achieved a
middle ground where everyone was happy, and at GUADEC we reduced the
flamage levels.  

Whoever thinks that there is a Ximian/Sun/RH conspiracy of any kind to
control the platform is just wrong.  Our executives could give a rats
ass about technical details in the platform, and I am sure the Sun and
RH executives think the same.  

So lets *please* put behind all the crap about conspiracy theories,
and try to do what is best for GNOME as a platform;  Lets compensate
and give our love and support to those who are actually contributing
their work and sweat to the project;  To those that promote the
platform;  To those that spend their time going through Bugzilla and
contacting maintainers and have little time to express their opinions
in public. 

Do I think this is fair to treat Martin in the way Mathieu did?  no, I
do not think so.  

I do believe strongly on the vision of making GNOME a component
platform: implementing well documented interfaces all over the system;
reusing interfaces to improve programmer efficacy and to make a system
that is fully scriptable. 

I still believe in this, because I have seen Windows do an exceptional
job at this, and I am sure we can do better than they can, I believe
strongly that Open Source can build a platform that is as good and
better than Microsoft can.  

You can now flame me, I am full of love, and will ignore any insults,
because that is how good my Gnus filter is.

But honestly, I am more interested in propositive, constructive
comments, anything else will just add to the already huge ammount of
noise.  Actually, I suggest that every party involved goes and reads
`The Art of Possibility' by Benjamin and Rosamund Zander which is one
of those self-help books that are designed to make you love your life.
(available on

Zander is the director of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra and has
written a very good book.  

Lets the love come back to this activity,

[1] The issues raised by Alan on the size of CORBA stubs/skeletons
have been a concern of the team for a long time.  That is where the
work of Michael enters the picture: he has been working on type-code
based marshalling.  Type-code based marshalling reduces significantly
the size of stubs and skeletons, by having a single marshaller that
just uses a table of types to encode data.  

Since I am not involved in the work directly, I would not even know
where to point you to see his work.   I know it is on CVS, and I have
seen the new marshallers, but we need to wait for him to tell us where
it is. 

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