Re: Gnome Office updates

From: Charles Goodwin <charlie xwt org>

Yes, the Gnome Office suite should be *best-of-breed* office applications for Gnome.

That doesn't mean we should not consider other office applications as integral to the community and the Gnome Office portal should be an entry point for all things office for Gnome although primarily focusing on Gnome Office.

The Gnome Office portal should focus on Gnome Office and Gnome Office alone. If a program is "office related" and otherwise meets our criteria, it should be in Gnome Office. If it isn't, I don't believe that it should be listed on the Gnome Office website.

I loathe the mess that is the GO page right now. There's no sense of unity or cohesion. Quite simply, it's a mess. What I see discussed here is a furtherance of this existing mess, and see that as only causing confusion for our users.

We need to put forward a clear and united front to the community. We're the late-comer to this party, and everyone - our users, developers, and competition - knows it. We're a running joke, a punchline to some sorry OSS gag. The solution to straigthen up this mess is not to add heaps of more stuff onto it, no matter how pretty and shiny that stuff might be. The solution is to take stock of our inventory, to set some hard-and-fast criteria for inclusion and to set some short and long term goals for our individual projects and our group as a whole. We need to pluck out the weeds. We don't need two copies of the same DVD. We need the one with fewer scratches on it.

Sure, I'm in favor of having a "related apps" page. But let's make it a page clearly and distinctly separate from the rest of our content. And let's have only one of them. I don't see the merit in having a "partners" page in addition to an "everything else" page. Our partners are our member applications. Everything else, is, well, "everything else."

Chosing best-of-breed applications can involve some guesswork, planning, and a bit of hope+luck. I don't think that it was wrong for Gnome to call Ephiphany its web browser of choice. Nor do I think it would be wrong if we chose (eg.) Inkscape over Sodipodi. This is because, at any given moment in time, some application better fits with our criteria and vision. The important part is that we publicly document our criteria, reasoning, and decisions. We're free to reconsider at some later point, should some program "leapfrog" another. And I'm willing to keep an open mind about that, should that time come.

"Lassie-faire" and reluctantness to exclude (or over-willingness to include) have gotten us where we are today. I don't like where we are. And I don't think the "cure like with like" mantra will solve this problem.


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