Re: Having external control panels in System settings

On Mon, Feb 6, 2012 at 10:56 PM, Sergey Udaltsov
<sergey udaltsov gmail com> wrote:
> 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
> Ubuntu;)
> 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
> them.
>> 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.
> Regards,
> Sergey

tl;dr (properly)

Sergey, this isn't a conspiracy. This is an open project - anyone can
contribute, and they can help to shape what GNOME becomes. GNOME also
collaborates with other Free Software projects where it makes sense to
do so; indeed, I beleive that that commitment to collaboration is
particularly strong in the GNOME project.

The whole problem with GNOME design in the past was that we failed to
properly define a product. That led to fragmentation, inconsistency
and a lack of integration. This has been a curse for distributions
too. Just as GNOME has never defined a product, neither have they. I'm
sure that everyone in this project wants distributions to work with us
to create something truely competitive.

Being Free Software does not mean you can't define a product. Indeed,
the best thing for Free Software right now is that we do exactly that.
It's what our proprietary rivals are doing, and they're winning.

It may sound like I'm defending the decision on panel extensibility.
Actually I'm not. I don't have a strong opinion on it. What I disagree
with is your suggestion that the decisions that have been made here
are malicious is some way or that they are against Free Software.
They're not.


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