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Submission + - Has the GNOME community gone crazy?

An anonymous reader writes: Vincent Untz, former GNOME release manager and developer and current cloud wrangler at SUSE gives a talk at FOSDEM 2013 titled Has the GNOME community gone crazy?

Untz's talk started out a bit strange, with him seemingly equating the rumored 'death of the desktop' to the complaints about GNOME 3. Also, his observation that when GNOME 3 came out he 'saw so many news , so many articles on how GNOME 3 is horrible', gave him the appearance of a detached observer without the ability to confront these issues head on. He says that GNOME users accuse developers of 'hating the world' and wanting to 'destroy the planet'.

His stated goal for the talk is 'convey a bit on why we do things this way or that way and debunk some myths'. Untz unfortunately reduces GNOME users right of the bat by stating that their concerns are just 'emotional reactions to GNOME 3, people don't have an idea why they don't like GNOME 3, they just repeat stuff and maybe they have never tried GNOME 3. Their opinions/reactions to GNOME 3 are so wrong that we have to explain why that is'. Take note that Untz states the biggest myth is GNOME doesn't listen to feedback.

Untz doesn't address the many in depth blog posts, reviews and critiques of the GNOME 3 UI from users who have actually used GNOME 3 and do have an idea why they don't like it. Untz admits that the developers community is 'bad at communication, we don't explain features or changes well', but things are starting to change, he says, and the developer community is now starting to post to their blogs on whats happening and are more directly getting feedback.

Untz cites the new GNOME classic as debunking the myth that GNOME doesn't listen to feedback . Although he personally has not has not tried it he says it looks like GNOME 2, jokingly saying it has the same colors, seemingly equating GNOME 2 appearance with GNOME 2 functionality. 'we made that for users, because we heard a lot of feedback from them'. His indifference here to gnome classic enforces his early statement that the gnome developers have moved on and 'staying with GNOME 2 would have been just wrong, GNOME 2 is old and not a desktop of today'.

Another one of Untz's myths is that 'GNOME 3 keeps removing options and features'. He understands why people feel that way. He states that you will not have a good UI if you put all the options there. He goes on to say 'We need to remove some features in order to provide other features and it is usually temporary'. (I guess Nautilus may be getting some features back then).

Untz goes on to reveal some interesting tidbits.

What is GNOME OS?

For people who where eagerly awaiting for their very own operating system based on GNOME (the GNOME OS) they may be a bit disappointed. GNOME OS 'is not an OS, its a code name for big goals that we want to set for the project'.'Some of the developers within the project want to kill the distribution[model] but that is not the goal of the project'.

Is GNOME 3 build for tablets?

'It's not made for tablets. We don't make GNOME 3 for tablets, we make GNOME 3 for real computers'. Untz says that touch screens are not something they can ignore so they have to be ready for that, so that is why they make GNOME 'touch aware'.

What is the GNOME 3 focus compared to GNOME 2?

GNOME 2 focused on 'Usability' and GNOME 3 focuses on 'User Experience'.

Whats the future of GTK?

The plans are to merge GTK with Clutter.

The presentation starts off a bit wobbly but towards the end and by the time you get to the question period, with Bastien Nocera, and another developer chiming in you get the feeling that the GNOME developers are a serious and dedicated bunch who truly believe in their project. As these GNOME developers keep on telling us, GNOME 3 is a different project from GNOME 2 with different goals and Untz states that several times throughout his talk. After watching his presentation I'm actually surprised that GNOME classic made its way into GNOME 3. I guess the constant chipping away at the GNOME developers by die-hard GNOME 2 fans may have made a small impact in this regard.
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Has the GNOME community gone crazy?

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Karl's version of Parkinson's Law: Work expands to exceed the time alloted it.