Re: community managers


On Fri, Nov 16, 2012 at 10:50 AM, Dave Neary <dneary gnome org> wrote:
Hi Jon,

On 11/15/2012 09:12 PM, William Jon McCann wrote:

On Wed, Nov 14, 2012 at 6:38 AM, Dave Neary wrote:

    I think that as a project, we have had trouble communicating our
    vision, because as a project we are not sure what it is.

I think this is the main thing I wanted to say. I have been involved in the GNOME project, albeit not as a core developer or module maintainer, since 2004. And I do not understand our vision. What is the dream that we're selling, and why should I be excited about it?

I was attracted to the GNOME project because of the vision and because I was excited by it. I became a core developer, maintainer, and designer. I understand the vision and I share it. I continue to be inspired by it - going on 10 years now. Inspired enough to put up with a lot of negativity.

Despite how some would portray it, this vision is shared by the current core contributors.

You'll find evidence of this everywhere, if you look. That said, we should do more to make it explicit. Make it clear. Not because of threads like this but because we are proud of it. Because we want to shout it and we know people will respond.
    For instance, the insistence that
    theming will damage our brand, or that Cinnamon is not GNOME 3, has
    led to missed opportunities for the GNOME project, and has not got
    grass roots support among the GNOME community (and I'm not talking
    about users here, I'm talking about contributors - developers,
    translators, user group co-ordinators, and marketers).

Let's be clear then. Cinnamon is not GNOME 3.

I understand that is your position. And I understand that as the maintainer and primary designer of GNOME Shell, you have a lot of weight in holding that position.

This is not just my position and again trying to characterize this as an opinion is just silly. I suppose I should refer to you as "Jon" from now on? Surely the idea that Dave is Jon is absurd. We can be different, have different ideas, have different goals, and still be friends. Sharing where it is mutually beneficial but still appearing separate and distinct. Standing on our own, proudly. With individual rights and responsibilities.

I have absolutely no problem with Cinnamon. I think I give them more credit than you do. They took a name, on purpose. To differentiate themselves - to allow people the freedom to choose a different user experience. They have different goals. A different appearance. Different behaviors. A different future. And that is fine.

I think it's a shame that Cinnamon users don't realise, for the most part, that they are using GNOME Shell, and the rest of the GNOME 3 stack

It is not a shame that users aren't concerned with or interested in implementation details. That is as it should be. We welcome it.

. I think that it's a shame that we have apparently gone out of our way to put a barrier between ourselves and the Cinnamon/Mint guys by saying "you're not GNOME 3". The message we're sending is, "your help is not wanted, we don't like what you're doing".

This is complete nonsense. Why does a fork happen? I don't know why these particular developers decided to split, but for forks in general I'd guess it is something like: "we don't like what you're doing." Well not entirely. There is one more part of the equation to determine if the dissatisfaction is great enough and the goals are divergent enough to make such a split worthwhile: "can I do it alone?"

If you can't do it alone then you shouldn't fork. That is the economic pressure that keeps us all working together towards shared goals.

If you do fork, you can't go complaining about how hard it is. And it is completely offensive to blame the original project for not wanting to share.

So, again, your characterization of this issue is completely wrong. We are not sending any message other than:

"We are deeply sorry that we could not agree on goals. We are always willing to have a conversation about how we may find common ground. We respect your difference of opinion and your right to identify and differentiate yourself. We would still like to collaborate on implementation details and shared technology. Perhaps we can agree on commonality in the application development experience, and application delivery and installation."

Suggesting otherwise isn't helping anyone.

Personally, I think that it'd be cool to have our community be the community of people who can go wild on the platform - "let a thousand flowers bloom". That the core GNOME project is solid and useful, but that we encourage experimentation, respins, freedom for our users. That seems inconsistent with the current GNOME messaging.

The open source community is larger than GNOME. This big tent that you talk about is over us - not in us. We are only one of many possible things. We have the duty to make something distinct. We are one of the flowers not the manure.


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