GNOME Workstation OS

I wanted to give my one cent about the GNOME project, and where I think it could be successful. It would be two cents if I were actually involved in any constructive manner, but I am not. So it is one cent.

Ever since I started contributing to GNOME, the looming questions have been mobile, web, and social. Every keynote at GUADEC has tugged us in that direction, or promised to “reboot” the effort. If it is Big Board and Mugshot, Pyro Desktop, Telepathy and the collaboration it was supposed to bring, the countless OpenedHand and Nokia innovations, etc. We have all been running around like a chicken with its head cut off ever since I remember, trying to capture the essence of these new trends and remain relevant.

We failed.

Apple revolutionized not just mobile, but reinvented the mainstream computing form factor. Facebook made “social” ubiquitous, and Google is doing what it is doing to the web. In the meantime, I never gained any following on Last.fm from all those years of scrobbling music with Rhythmbox and Banshee, I never got an opportunity to use Telepathy tubes with any real live person, and apparently my Mugshot profile is gone. My eyes also got tired of squinting at XTerm on my N900.

Last year in Berlin, the lack of direction was apparent. Almost every keynote that I remember was given by one kind of designer or another. Somewhere along the line we confused design with leadership. At least there wasn’t as much self delusion about our bright future on mobile.

But there is a way out of this rut. And it requires acknowledging our weaknesses and exploiting our strengths.

Our weak areas are apparent: We are not mobile and we are very far from it. We will never achieve any significant social critical mass, we have had limited successes in embracing web technologies, but the web will always be a better web. Deploying “apps” is a nightmare.

Our strengths are pretty obvious too: In the last few years we successfully refreshed the desktop work flow and our entire framework. We support many productivity and authoring tools. We created a distraction free environment that lets users get work done. We run on commodity hardware. We are free. We have a windowed multitasking environment. We work really well with a screen, mouse and keyboard (not to be taken for granted, look at all the awkward Android tablet keyboard combos out there). More than one web browser supports us. There is a more than fully functional office suite that works well with us. Etc.

So instead of aspiring to be in every consumer gadget out there, I think we should aspire to be the work horse of choice for every content creator out there. This includes mobile/web developers, graphic designers, artists, bloggers, video bloggers, authors, journalists, podcast producers, and every other kind of content creator that makes the mobile web and social such a vital space for the rest of the world. We need to refocus on the desktop.

Let’s leave the mission of bringing free software to mobile and the web to others. Other groups are doing a great job there. They are in their element; let’s remain in ours. We should focus on the production end of the New Media pipeline.

Projects such as The GIMP, PiTiVi, Anjuta, Blender and Libre Office should be our bread and butter. We should strive to stay ahead of the curve on the authoring end. We should document and support Android and Unity development. The Wacom tablet support that landed recently is a good example of what we could be doing.

It feels like GNOME is being maintained by a skeleton crew, and a shrinking set of corporate stakeholders. I think it is time to be realistic about what we could excel at, and go there. We don’t have to be on every existing form factor to achieve world domination. The cloud, and all these cheap new gadgets have lowered the barrier to access. We could lower the barrier of authorship, and enable people to create new and rich content.

GNOME Workstation OS

43 thoughts on “GNOME Workstation OS

  1. Ray says:

    I fully agree. Also I love Gnome 3 and the Gnome Shell. The only thing that has to be improved is the notification area (will hopefully be fixed in 3.6) and the way the Developers interact with the community.

    I dont like to explain all the usecases, sometimes its just nice to have choice. I’m really missing built in theme support. there are Themes out there, but none work really well with the current Gnome Shell. And i think this is because no one cares, because its not wanted. Just look at Cinnamon and the vast amount of themes theyre offering. I just want to customize it a little to make me feel at home.

  2. thinkabout says:

    Amen, it’s really confusing to see all the people talking about Mobile all the time as if one Project has to fit everywhere. Why not leave the mobile space to android, tizen and whatever Products we have there.

  3. gnomer says:

    “So instead of aspiring to be in every consumer gadget out there, I think we should aspire to be the work horse of choice for every content creator out there.”

    To me it sounds that GNOME 1, FVWM, TWM, etc. were good enough already.

    GNOME 3 seems to be the first desktop environment for Linux that is really designed from the bottom to up and it really shows. It’s beautiful and works very well with mouse+keyboard and touch screen as well. Unfortunately GNOME developers has to work under constant attacking.
    Sure, there’s still work to do as Allan just wrote earlier today.

  4. Simeon says:

    Thank you, I agree.

    “We are not mobile and we are very far from it. We will never achieve any significant social critical mass, we have had limited successes in embracing web technologies, but the web will always be a better web.”

    Epiphany, even with webkit, was once an altenative. Now it is broken compared to major browsers.

    ” I think we should aspire to be the work horse of choice”

    I agree so much. Please, gnome-devs, the cloud is one thing. But wordprocessing in the cloud? Personal Photos and Documents in the cloud? No, thanks, I wouldn’t install an OS myself for that. Business/Work related data would never go to the cloud. And even if, I would rely on a major browser, not special software components that break every two months.

    “Projects such as The GIMP, PiTiVi, Anjuta, Blender and Libre Office should be our bread and butter.”

    Yes, these are exactly the tools I love Gnome for. And the Gnome-Shell with its extensions, Inkscape, AbiWord, Gnumeric, Hamster, Evince, Evolution, F-Spot, Pidgin… stuff that just works fast, reliable and great.

  5. treitter says:

    This clicks for me a lot more than the forward-looking talks I saw at GUADEC this year. We’re a pretty good desktop and we should expand on that.

    We’re a really painful platform to do new development on, but I think we could fix that with consistent, concerted effort. I haven\’t had a chance to try it yet, but ostree looks like it could be a great step in that direction.

    But in the meantime, I think there\’s a lot we could do to be a nicer place to create new content. And a lot of that seems like low-hanging fruit.

  6. Mathieu Pellerin says:

    +1, it’s one of the first GNOME-is-in-crisis blog post that offers a way forward which sounds right :)

  7. You mostly agree with me!

    Since late GNOME 1, early GNOME 2 days I have said the target should be workstation users: all the creators that aren\’t married to Mac. (Maybe those later though.) One of the things I hated about Eazel Nautilus was that it appeared to be geared entirely toward consumption and offered nothing for creation.

    GNOME Shell\’s being extensible in a common language like JavaScript could be another way to support creators, but I get the impression that there are some pretty high barriers to doing that. I really thought the goal was something along the lines of Apple\’s Automator.

    GNOME still has users in the scientific community, but they are quickly leaving for Mac.

  8. jewelfox says:

    We do this, and GNOME dies.

    Every one of the applications you mention is unnecessarily bloated and complicated. Maybe they were “good enough” alternatives to gigantic, hundreds-of-dollars things like Photoshop and Office in their day. But content creation is moving towards $10 iPad apps, and even free web apps. This is the market that’s growing, and that is displacing ours at an alarming rate.

    At what point do we start addressing its needs? When their apps can do 80 percent of what ours can? 90 percent, and with 10 percent of the headache?

    I use GNOME 3 because that’s what it is for me; 80 percent of Windows or OS X’s functionality with a fraction of the headache. That’s the strength we need to build on, not our compatibility with third-party apps which a) we have no control over, and b) don’t really fit in to GNOME 3’s design to begin with.

    1. Can’t think of the (core) content school children or office workers would create on an iPad. What a painful way to write a paper, do a budget, analyze data or research on the web.

  9. Martin says:

    Wise words, wise words! I can swallow everything that was written above me. Re-focus on the most popular applications based on GTK+ toolkit; and / or help others port their legacy implementations of it to third version. Newbies and people who need to get their jobs done will easily get used to GNOME Shell environment (compared to UI offered by the fresh successor of Redmond’s system line). Also keep in mind, that overdoing it with social bulls#!t integration might politely said pi$$ off your most loyal users (we simply have to unite effort within StatusNet, Libre.fm, Diaspora, GNU MediaGoblin and perhaps even Friendica projects, rather than plugging in well-known encapsulated XMPP deployments in form of Facebook or quasi interoperable Live network; not mentioning propagating of Skype directly inside application store of Shuttleworth’s flagship). Even mentioned notification area does not seem that much of a problem to me.

    I have to admit that right now I’m still sticking with provided fall-back mode and overhauled panel, however I won’t consider switching to any reincarnations be it MATE, Cinnamon or completely off-topic ones e.g. Trinity and Unity.

    To quickly sum up: Just forget about all the available form-factors and cloudy or shall I say “foggy” dreams; mobile space push should be left to Mozilla Foundation with B2G / Firefox OS / Firefox/Linux and / or more freed Android/Linux. We shall see yet about Tizen and slowly rotting WebOS remains.

    If you are like all of the globalized world & advanced tech corporate movement, that you have to constantly reinvent the wheel and annoy happy conservative beings then aim rather for tight cooperation and intertwining with KDE Software Frameworks and Qt libs.

    PS: Piece of advice, beware of Mono (= && disrupting community with upcoming ALSA PulseAudio KLANG disputes.

    All the best!

  10. Wise words, wise words! I can swallow everything that was written above me. Re-focus on the most popular applications based on GTK+ tool-kit; and / or help other developers port their legacy implementations of it to third version bump. Newbies and people who need to get their jobs done will easily get used to GNOME Shell environment sooner or later (compared to UI offered by the fresh successor of Redmond’s operating system line). Also keep in mind, that overdoing it with social bulls#!t integration might politely said pi$$ off your most loyal users (we simply have to unite effort behind and / or within StatusNet, Libre.fm, Diaspora, GNU MediaGoblin and perhaps even Friendica projects, rather than plugging in well-known encapsulated XMPP deployments in form of Facebook or quasi interoperable Live network; not mentioning propagating of Skype directly inside application store of Shuttleworth’s flagship).

    Mentioned notification area does not seem that much of a problem to me, I’ve been using it to my satisfaction within Parabola project a while ago.

    I have to admit that right now I’m still sticking for the production machine with provided fall-back mode and overhauled panel (as arranged by Trisquel project), however I won’t consider switching to any reincarnations be it MATE, Cinnamon or completely off-topic ones e.g. Trinity and Unity.

    To quickly sum up: Just forget about all the available form-factors and cloudy or shall I say “foggy” dreams (if it’s desperately bugging your mind, just think of seamless ownCloud and Google Drive file syncing within Nautilus, but no more); mobile space push in my humble opinion should be left to Mozilla Foundation with B2G / Firefox OS / Firefox/Linux and / or more freed custom ROMs of Android/Linux. We shall see yet about Tizen and slowly rotting WebOS remains.

    If you are like the rest of globalized world & advanced tech corporate biz, in the meaning that you have to constantly reinvent the wheel and annoy happy conservative beings then aim rather for tight cooperation and intertwining with KDE Software Frameworks and Qt libs. Those folks need help!

    PS: Piece of advice for the time coming, beware of Mono (= && disrupting community with upcoming ALSA PulseAudio KLANG disputes.

    I wish you all the best, thank you for all the hard work and hacking done on GNOME Project & send you huge greetings from Slovakia!

  11. I fully agree that content creation is important; content creation is not workstation, though: it’s still laptop (which, if you read Allan’s blog post, is still considered the main target for Gnome), and it’s increasingly going to move towards tablets.

    also, I don’t think we did a good job in the past 15 years at content creation apps; the examples you give are well behid the curve of what’s available on other operating systems – mostly because of the tons of swamps we still have to drain for apps development, and the bikeshedding and infighting of the community.

    making Gnome work better on hybrid devices in the next 12/18 months, and preparing it for touch devices, does not prevent making great content creation apps; a lot of the application development story is going to be part of that push (again, as Allan writes and as we discussed during the Gnome OS BoF at GUADEC).

  12. Hert says:

    Are you sure GNOME excels in the desktop? What I see is an absolute disaster with GNOME 3 and GNOME Shell. It’s so bad people have started to look for alternatives (see XFCE, KDE, Mate, Cinnamon…).

    Yes, sure there will be people who like it, but come on… Look at the general picture, this is not working and the devs are just ignoring this.

  13. Observer says:

    Most agreed about gnome gunning for the authoring space.

    Also, the android development environment can be a great add on.
    It’s ironic that android being linux, does not have any deb / rpm packages available for installation.

  14. This post really speaks to me. I’m one of the content creators and in my roll I wear many hats… UX Designer, Frontend Engineer, Backend Engineer, DBA, System Administrator and janitor. My primary desktop is Mac OS X but I really want it to be some Linux distro based on Ubuntu since I’m using that for all my servers. I spend 80% of my day in a shell (tmux, vim, irssi) and the other 20% on the desktop (Chrome, Firefox, Mail, IM, Skype, Photoshop, MS Office, Garmin Ant Agent). The part that keeps me from switching over fully is a minor portion of that 20% which could be satisfied in a VM (also hardware… let’s face it from a hardware quality perspective the Macbook Pro is outstanding compared to what the PC manufactures put out. The new Ultrabooks are starting to get there but I digress.)

    I agree that Gnome (and the Linux Desktop community for that matter) should be hyper focused on satisfying the content creator’s itch. Forget Mobile, unless you’re Apple or Google you will never win. Gnome shouldn’t work towards dominating the entire desktop market, just the developer’s desktop environment.

    As a side node… I also feel Unity is starting to fly off the rails. On my desktop computer (which I only use at night or when I have to work from home) I finally decided to switch over to Linux Mint (XFCE). I guess less is really more because it’s been a very refreshing experience. Unity is slow and had way too much crap crammed in there. I know that a lot of it can be found in Mac OS X but the execution is off pudding.

  15. Rar says:

    I don’t want to be mean, but i dont think Gnome 3 and GNOME Shell was a big win or a strength. I’ve met few people that like it and its WAY harder to use than Gnome 2. I only use it now because Unity is worse. The UI is confusing and everything that was handy to get to is now ‘hidden for your convenience’ and has to be painstakingly brought back with extensions.

    I think the real mess is not doing a/b testing and not getting a real UX designer involved instead of just some random people that fancy themselves so.

    This is not meant to sound mean, but Gnome 2 -> 3 has made me lose a huge amount of faith in the Gnome project and with unity in tow, Linux as a work station in general.

  16. I’m also a Gnome 3 lover. Tried out OSX recently, but came back to gnome because OSX was bizarre, obstuse, and harder to develop on.
    So I agree. How can we integrate rails, java, and php development deeply into the GUI the way it’s integrated into the OS?

      1. Why not? I’m not suggesting creating a gnome IDE. I’m suggesting making gnome 3 into a gui tool that can work as seamlessly with command line and development tools as pipe.

        I’m thinking that rather than having gnome be about building more tools, having the tools gnome has have a much deeper ability to handle URIs, pipes, etc.

        GUI tools still don’t work in a linux piped workflow. I still can’t do things like this (and probably I can do some of this stuff, but it’s not obvious and trivial the way it is on the command line):

        ls -1 | sort | gedit – | ftp 192.168.0.1 dir.txt
        convert -g 1024×768 foo.jpg | gimp – | thunderbird tim@example.com

        I still really work in two work flows. One GUI and one CLI.

  17. Mark says:

    Bryan Lunduke gave a talk on how to move Linux forward along those lines (and more in depth on how to archive the goal):

    Why Linux Sucks | LFNW 2012

  18. Draeger says:

    ” We created a distraction free environment that lets users get work done.”

    if you are talking about Gnome2.x then you are correct, if you are talking about Gnome 3.x then you are absolutely wrong. Gnome3.x is a Unity wannabe and why I’m switching to MATE.

  19. rafirafi says:

    It’s very refreshing to read something realistic about gnome.
    For now I’ve switched to xfce but I regularly try GS and it’s beautiful but I somehow feel like when I discovered Windows 3.1, it was not perfect and I had to learn everything.

    Perhaps it’s not the place but I want to ask : do you think gtk applications (pitivi, gimp, nautilus…) should be better integrated to gnome-shell even if it means a less practical user experience with other environement such as xfce ?

  20. Marco Shamas says:

    I agree with you about many things…
    But Gimp, Blender and Libre Office are available for Windows. Why a user should switch to Linux because of those?

    PiTiVi it’s a long time I don’t look at it, but as far as I remember it was pretty raw.

    From wikimedia stats we see that Linux users on the desktop aren’t growing. Only Android on tablets and smartphones is doing good.
    Linux is stagnating at 2%…the only change is about users that switch to anoter distro.

    Is it important that Linux isn’t growing on the desktop?

    I think it is and we can’t just say: “oh I’m fine with my OS. Who cares about the rest of the world?”.
    The reason is that while on the servers you can choose to use whatever software you want. For example you want to use mysql, apache, python etc…for your website? It’s fine!
    Do you want to deliver videos in ogg/theora format? Yes you can. Who can stop you?
    That is because on the server you’re the king and the users must take what you give.
    It’s one of the reasons why Linux had not problem to grow in popularity on the server side.

    But on the desktop you (as user) don’t decide everything, because in many cases you’re just a passive actor.
    The Linux market share is only 2%? Well the consequences are that Adobe stops delivering the Flash Player (while before was delivering a flash player that was crap). Netflix doesn’t ship his client for Linux. Games are not made for Linux (yes I heard about Steam but we’ll see how it goes). Maybe the Olympics in your nation will be streamed using a DRM that is not available for Linux . And *most important*: many professional programs will never land on Linux.
    So not only Linux won’t attract any new users, but also this will have the consequence to cut you out from many different things that will make Linux an inferior OS choice for the Desktop.

    Then some Stallman’s fan could jump out and say: but I don’t want those things! I want to stay pure and do what Stallman says: use only software that respects my freedom.
    Yes sure…too bad that I don’t see a lot of the Linux people using gNewSense, having no proprietary drivers installed, no proprietary codecs and watching youtube videos without using the Adobe’s flash player (probably there are better examples)
    .
    I believe that most of the Linux users are not so strict to desire a 100% open source software on their machines. They love open source, but they also don’t want to be marginalized and they care about being able to use their computer to satisfy their needs

    So I said all this to explain that:
    a) The small market share has side effects on users on the Desktop and so is very bad that doesn’t increase
    b) Most of the people want to use Linux not because they’re crazy about Free Software, but because they want an alternative between Microsoft and Apple
    c) You can’t increase the market share if you have less to offer in respect of the other operating systems

    So how do you increase the market share?
    In my opinion: You need to make great software that is not available for Windows and OSX.

    Is it possible to do that with open source software? I’ve no idea. Probably not. Also I’m sure many open source developers don’t even like it.

    I think most of the Gnome developers just don’t care if Linux is at 2% of if there are some annoyances, especially because I believe most of them don’t use Linux as their primary OS. They just love working together on Gnome, but they don’t have the pressure to reach real pragmatic goals. Because that would require some compromises.

    So the only way to create an alternative to Microsoft and Apple (that is what I care most) will be to hope that one day some big company creates a new brand and ships computers with Linux and at the same time makes available some of the coolest proprietary programs you’ve ever seen. That someone could only be Google.
    Not like Dell and HP that keeps selling hardware with Linux as a third class choice, with no marketing and no ideas behind.

  21. lottin says:

    Glad to know there still somebody with common sense in the Gnome project! I’m beginning to think that those “designers” that apparently are in charge of Gnome development are simply MicroSoft agents in an undercover mission to undermine free software initiatives. They are definitely doing more harm that normal stupidity would normally do.

  22. I came here by a wall post in facebook, and I have to say I fully agree. We need a content creation platform in linux side.
    I’m a graphic designer and I’m willing to jump off the windows and macos ship anytime if I get some serious staff on content creation, on the linux side.

    I use a lot of open source programs and I even write a column about them in PcMaster magazine (Greece) but when it comes to work they have a lot of serious flaws that make me use commercial counterparts.
    Some of them are ok even to use them in my workflow, for example scribus, inkscape, blender, are strong and they seem to be made with the content creator in mind, also they are pretty fast. When you try to meet deadlines every second counts, because 10s here, 20 there, and another 10 there, sum up to a great amount of time that push you back and is completely unacceptable if you are a professional.

    There is also a great need to be a connection between the programmers of applications like gimp etc, with the actual users, and I don’t mean other users or programmers (I don’t have anything against programmers, I just know they don’t share the same vision with designers when it comes to UI design) and try to adjust their programs based to the real work needs and the casual needs of the everyday users.

    If I can have a reliable and fast alternative in linux side, well… it will no longer be just an alternative but my tools of trade.

    I couldn’t mind to have commercial programs like adobe suite in linux as well, and not I don’t have any problem using those programs. I only care to do my job as efficient as possible.

    So the only way to have gnome as a workstation OS is to have great software with it, that can do the job. Otherwise it is completely pointless.

  23. lcrs says:

    I don’t know how much this means to the GNOME team but there an awful lot of motion picture and VFX artists using Linux already. All the applications in that world work best on Linux – Maya, Houdini, Nuke, Flame, Smoke, Baselight, PFTrack, Naiad, Realfow, Mari etc etc etc. These are all closed source, but various open source stuff gets involved – XnView, Gimp, all the text editors etc.

    People tend to default to the KDE shell, which with KDE4 has led to a lot of less experienced artists getting confused, particularly with the *awful* file manager and the bizarro desktop widget changes.

    I wonder if there might be a foothold for the GNOME shell, which in GNOME 2 at least was much simpler and had a file manager that actually worked worth a damn. There are also smaller apps that are useful to artists – colour pickers, screen magnifiers, interactive python shells, image scrapboard type things.

    Just a thought. Trying to unseat the commercial content creation apps is a hell of a misison, but a lot of those people could be using the GNOME desktop anyway.

  24. Content creation is good, but Gnome really needs a way to create software before the rest of the pieces will click into place. The current toolchains are decades out of step with the rest of the world, and it shows. Anyone coming from a Microsoft or Apple development environment is shocked when they see how Gnome apps are created.

  25. I have been using gnome from the first time I ever touched Linux. I fell in love with gnome from the first day

    Even I use Linux for over 10 years. I am just a regular user. And I loved the simplicity gnome provided AND the fact that I can change few things that suit around *my* needs. I remember being excited what you guys was going to bring with gnome shell.

    Well, what you did was throw away the best things that I loved about GNOME, and make it a useless POS. The backend changes were so good .. there could have been so many possibilities. But you guys throw it away!?? for something that nobody gonna ever care for! Tablet friendly interface?!! Are you kidding me?!

    Yeah it looks good, give you that. But it’s also useless. Its not simple to use for me. Using Multi monitor is nightmare. and broken shit.

    Dash … worthless … gnome-do version that was around the time gnome-shell release will still outperform and more useable.

    You guys tried to reinvent the wheel and made it a square which fails to go anywhere. And you are still delusional that it is a great success. And reading through the newest changes in nautilus … well makes me furious cause you are STILL NOT going to listen what we user have to say.

    Don’t worry if it goes this way, in a year only users who use gnome-shell will be … only Gnome developers.

    I use unity now, they still listen to the users. Gnome’s bug tracker is probably full of bug reports marked with wontfix cause gnome ‘designer’ thinks it is the right way.

    /frustratedrant

  26. abrander says:

    I’m just a programmer with a strong interest for marketing, but here’s my thoughts of Gnome.

    1. Forget the mobile world. Really. Just forget it. It’s over. Apple, Google and Microsoft owns that space. It would be futile without a BIG bag of money to go against them. The battle is already lost.

    2. Developers, developers, developers. We laughed at Ballmer when he yelled those words, but the irritating thing is that he was right. Without developers an OS is NOTHING. Gnome need to give the developer experience EVERYTHING they possibly can. The Gnome developers can start by producing an application from scratch using off the shelf software (Ubuntu, Anjuta and Glade as packaged by the distribution), my guess is that they will give up within 10 minutes and open up a terminal and emacs. This is broken in so many ways. I ofter glance at collegaues developing in VisualStudio and I ENVY them. The experience is so smooth.

    3. Gnome should start to throw out projects. Really. There’s so many applications being developed under the Gnome umbrella, that everyone has the feeling, that if you’re not under the Gnome Foundations umbrella, you’re not in the cool crowd. Gnome needs to be core development, backend and documentation for application developers.

    4. Positioning. Gnome needs to position itself in the desktop space (mobile is futile, remember?), and differentiate itself from the competition. We don’t need ANOTHER OSX or Windows. We need something that is NOT Windows or OSX. People don’t dring Pepsi because the like Pepsi. They drink Pepsi because it’s not Coca Cola (whether they admit it or not!). Please. Find a strong position for Gnome and market the hell out of it. I think we should go after developers, not casual content creators. But I’m probably biased because I don’t see any content creators use Gnome – but almost all the programmers I know use some form of Linux. Bonus is that if all programmers on the planet uses Gnome everything else will follow without Gnome doing ANYTHING but support them.

    5. App Store. Think about it. Developers need a way to push their applications to end-users. Make it simple. Don’t require that everything is compiled at compile-farms. Allow closed source. Allow end-users to pay and donate – take a 25% percent cut. I know this conflicts with distribution repos. Well. They’ll just have to cope with this.

    6. Do something different and easy. Let users know Gnome care. On top of gnome.org there should be a vote-box, where the users can vote on upcoming decisions (That’s democrazy for you!), let the users feel empowered by giving them an easy way to help direct the next release. It doesn’t have to be big or important decisions. A quick poll: “Which of the following checkbox-widgets would you like to see added in the next Gnome-release?” would be enough to give users a sense of power. And by the way… Nobody likes Bugzilla. Really.

    Well… That’s just my thoughts.

  27. John T. says:

    I completely agree. The hype about mobile taking over everything is nonsense. No mobile platform offers anything close to the productivity of a large screen, mouse and keyboard. The traditional desktop is still every bit as relevant for productivity work as it ever was.

    What people are missing is that a huge part of desktop machines used to be used for content consumption/light gaming/web browsing and other tasks that don’t require the fine control of a mouse or the typing productivity of a keyboard. Those kind of use cases were always desperately waiting for a simpler/cheaper/more portable platform anyway. They were merely done on desktops because that’s what was available. The PC market it shrinking because it was only ever as large as it was *artificially*.

    I see people experimenting with tablets and bluetooth keyboards, claiming that’s all they need to get work done. Quite frankly, it’s embarrassing, squinting at a tiny screen and using ridiculously crippled, under-featured apps.

    We have consoles for gaming, phone and tablets for mobility and quick consumption, racked servers for the data center. GNOME needs to decide what it is. If the answer is going to be “a jack of all trades” it’s going to fail miserably.

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