Re: Helix Gnome?

On Wed, 08 Mar 2000 15:46:04 EST, "Poletti, Don" wrote:

>Can anyone (Havoc) give a good explaination as to what's going on
>with Helix gnome?
>Its seems to me Miguel forked his own project.

While I suspect that someone who actually works for Helix will 
probably be able to improve on this answer, I'll try my best to 
explain the situation:

Helix Code is a corporation dedicated to GNOME development.  It 
employs *many* GNOME hackers, including Miguel, Nat Friedman (its 
president), Federico, Jacob Berkman, Michael Zucchi, and a bunch of 
other people I'm going to insult by not naming at this point- see 
their website for a full list.  Their primary project at the moment 
is writing Evolution, the next generation PIM/mailer for GNOME.

Helix took the initiative of packaging the latest releases of the 
various GNOME packages and wrote a new package to handle automatic 
installation, and called the resulting set of packages "Helix GNOME." 
 Essentially, they did the same thing for GNOME that the Linux 
distributors do for "Linux"- assemble the various packages they want 
to distribute, package them up, add some value (in this case, the 
installer), and make a "branded release."  That doesn't mean that 
they've forked the GNOME project any more than the fact that Redhat 
releases "Redhat Linux" and Debian releases "Debian GNU/Linux" means 
that they have forked Linux.

The GNOME Project consists of the various programmers who work on the 
various GNOME programmers, the translators and documentation writers 
who actually make them usable :), etc.  Each package maintainer 
releases his or her package when he/she chooses, although there are 
sometimes coordinated releases of related packages (including the 
"core" GNOME components).  At that point, anyone is free to convert 
those source releases to RPM's or debs, to include them on a CD they 
are burning, etc- that's what GPL release means.  Sometimes the 
maintainer releases an RPM or deb at the same time, but most 
frequently, someone else does that later...  Helix has simply done 
that for the current versions of the various GNOME components which 
have already been released.  (Note that this is similar to what 
Redhat does for its releases- it makes a coordinated set of RPM's 
based on the most current GNOME sources at the time of their release. 
 That's how the "official" RPM releases of October GNOME and GNOME 
1.0 were made, AFAIK.)

I know it's tempting for some people to see this as a grand 
conspiracy of some sort, but as a GNOME developer who has no 
affiliation with Helix, Eazel, RHAD, or any other GNOME development 
company, please take it from me: it's not.

Or at least if it is, nobody's told me. :)


Russell Steinthal		Columbia Law School, Class of 2002
<>		Columbia College, Class of 1999
<>		UNIX System Administrator,

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