Re: Gnome 3 Extensions/Themes Website?


On Fri, 2011-06-10 at 11:25 +0100, Allan Day wrote:
> Jasper St. Pierre wrote:
> > Welp, I was going to have a thread announcing my work on this, but I
> > guess I'll just hijack this one.
> I knew this was on the cards but I have to say that I am surprised that
> it is actually being pursued in this form.
> Facilitating the unrestricted use of extensions and themes by end users
> seems contrary to the central tenets of the GNOME 3 design. We've fought
> long and hard to give GNOME 3 a consistent visual appearance, to make it
> synonymous with a single user experience and to ensure that that
> experience is of a consistently high quality. A general purpose
> extensions and themes distribution system seems to threaten much of
> that.

I think there's an important point missing here - unless we remove the
extension feature altogether, there will be a distribution system for
extensions. Right now, both Fedora and OpenSUSE (and possibly other
distributions) have started packaging extensions - at least to me, this
sends a strong message of officially endorsed enhancements, which is not
at all what I think extensions are (or should be). So the question is
not about having or not having a distribution system, it is about having
a distribution system where we define the extension story, or having one
where we don't. In the latter case, I wouldn't rely on others conveying
that extensions are basically "hacks which void the warranty" rather
than "cool stuff for the 1337" ...

> One possibility for extensions would be to turn them into something more
> akin to Google Labs - that is, something that is communicated and
> structured as an experimentation ground, rather than a market place that
> we encourage users to use (the very name 'extension' does just that).
> The other nice thing about Google Labs is that the experimental nature
> of the features it contains is clearly communicated.

Doing this seems rather difficult if we let others shape the extension
story (and I don't think renaming "extension" to "mod", "hack", whatever
would help much). Communicating the experimental nature is best done in
the distribution system - which is why I'd rather see GNOME designers
and marketing people in charge of it.


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