Re: Interview enquiry for German open source site heise open

Hi Vincent,

On Tue, 4 Aug 2009 17:03:50 +0200
Vincent Untz <vuntz gnome org> wrote:

> Le mardi 04 août 2009, à 16:52 +0200, Alexandra Kleijn a écrit :
> > Dear Vincent,
> > 
> > As an editor for heise open (, one of the
> > larger German news sites about all things Open Source, I was
> > wondering if you would dedicate some of your precious time to
> > answering a few (e-mail) questions on Gnome for us. If so, I would
> > send you them by e-mail in the next few days.  
> Sure, I'll be happy to answer your questions!

Well here they come :-) Thanks again for your help!

Looking forward to hearing from you


### Gnome questions ###

Could you tell us what your role in the Gnome project is?

With Version 3.0 Gnome is getting a major overhaul which some will say
is long due. The user experience is one of the main aspects that the
team will be working on. The current Gnome UI has a, shall we say,
quite traditional look and feel. What would you aspire for it to be

How will Gnome Shell and Gnome Zeitgeist - both scheduled for inclusion
in Gnome 3.0 - change the way users work with their desktops?

Gnome is often critized for its apparent lack of customization options.
Will it become easier to change the desktop configuration in the future
or do we still have to resort to gconftool and gconf-editor?

Gnome has always had a great focus both on usability and accessibility.
Do you think some of that might be sacrificed for the sake of bringing
new features to Gnome 3.0? I can't help thinking of KDE 4.0 which was
released in January 2008 with a shiny new interface but being far from
ready for productive use...

Who is Gnome for? Do you think Gnome is equally well suited for linux
beginners and more advanced users?

How well do you think GNOME is adapting to the smaller screen space of
netbooks? Will there be a simple "small screen" detection mode in the
future to reduce the need for the user to customise fonts?

Inversely, how well do you think GNOME is taking advantage of bigger
screen sizes on the desktop?

How is Gnome Mobile coming along? Where does it fit in with 
initiatives like Moblin or Android?

Seeing that Gnome 2.0 was released back in 2002 the project must have
accumulated a lot of cruft along the way. The next major release should
be a great opportunity to do away with ancient APIs and libraries. Do
you have a plan in place for that?

Then there are also new APIs and technologies and even GTK+ 3.0 looming
on the (distant) horizon. How are you going to deal with all that new

With all those changes the Gnome project has a lot on its plate.
Version 3.0 is slated for March 2010. If it turns out that that
timeline is not realistic, the Release Team will put out Gnome 2.30 and
postpone Gnome 3.0 by six months. When can we expect a decision?

You will be laying the foundation for some of the Gnome 3.0 stuff in
the upcoming version 2.28 for which the Feature and Module Freeze is
now in effect. I'm thinking about things like the new Clutter based
window manager Mutter for example which will be presented as an
alternative to Metacity in 2.28 if I'm not mistaken. Any other visible
changes in 2.28 that herald the coming of a new aera?

The KDE project is steering in the direction of a "social desktop",
with features like Geolocation making an appearance in the KDE 4.3
which was released this week. What does Gnome have in the pipeline in
that respect?

### Gnome questions end ###


Alexandra Kleijn
Redakteurin / Technical Editor heise open
c't Magazin für Computertechnik
Heise Zeitschriften Verlag Helstorfer Strasse 7
D-30625 Hannover, Germany akl ct heise de
Tel: +49 (0)511 5352 300
Fax: +49 (0)511 5352 417

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