Re: Having external control panels in System settings

Hello Allan

Thanks for explaining me your opinion (as far as I can see, generally
shared by the g-c-c maintainers). But this topic was discussed many
times already. Obviously there is a conflict of values here - which
makes agreement very hard to reach, if possible at all.

I am still amased to see that the architecture that is "asking" for
openness, that was open for years, from the very start - suddenly
becomes closed just because of the lack of the detailed UI guidelines.

I still fail to understand why all proprietary OSes have open
extensible architecture around that area - while free software
requires and effectively promotes patching which, from the overall
attitude POV, looks like twisting of hands and intentional alienating
of 3rd parties (in particular - hardware vendors).

While g-c-c cannot prevent extension (thanks to free licenses), it
just makes it hard and painful. Sometimes I even wonder if some people
on that list could consider closing the source code in order to
protect the well polished GNOME UI. Heh?;) Well, this is too much of
trolling even for me. Let's get to some details...

> situation. The best way we can promote Free Software is by making
> products that people want to use.
GNOME has never been end-user product. And it is not, so far. End-user
product is a distro. GNOME is a product for distromakers. Should GNOME
be friendly to its customers? Extension by API is orders of magnitude
more friendly than patching - which is available anyway, so if some
distro really wants to provide broken GNOMEish experience, wants to
screw it, it has all possibilities (of course, I am not talking about

If GNOME insists it is an end-user product ("GNOME OS"), it is a
marketing move against independent (I mean - not affiliated with
Redhat) desktop distros - they should either patch GNOME (and break
the polished experience anyway) or just redice their activities to the
packaging system and branded background image. Will they be happy? I
doubt that.

> Remember that distros extending the system settings in a haphazard way
> in GNOME 2 resulted in all kinds of pain and seriously undermined the
> user experience. We really need to do better this time around.
I generally agree. And I completely support your point about lack of
strict UI guidlines, perhaps more streamlined APIs etc. There are many
ways to work on that issue. But closing the architecture is the worst
of them.

> We actually want distributors to extend GNOME 3, but we want them to
> do it in a way that doesn't make the system worse for users.
I guess distromakers are totally with you on this point. They are
friends, not someone who's intention is to screw users and make them
dislike GNOME. May be we should trust them? Cooperate? And proactively
help them to create nice and consistently looking UIs. Not to fight

> That's one reason why I'm working on a new version of the HIG.
It is a very important work - but I hope it does not directly conflict
with the idea of open APIs, does it?

> There are also plans to have other integration points within the
> system settings, such as with the privacy and sharing panel [1] and
> with a notifications panel [2].
These integration points are all good and useful. But sometimes
something more generic is required (the examples were provided in this
thread, and in some earlier threads).

My apologies, again I could not stop myself from getting into that
topic. I am just very happy to see this time someone as respectable as
Federico tried to explain why extensibility is a benefit, not a curse.
But still I do not expect anything to change in this department. I
would be glad to be wrong, but I suspect g-c-c is going to remain as
it is - without ability to add extra panels. That is why I am advising
Petko to give up. Unless, of course, he wants to maintain some set of
patches  that keeps g-c-c open.



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