The last post seemed to get some attention. I also think it has been misunderstood. So I would like to briefly reframe it.
It wasn’t a rant about GNOME Shell or about design driven development. Neither was it a dismissal of the urgency for a strong developer story. I like the fact that we take risks and innovate in design. I also think that our developer workflow is broken, and fixing it is a priority.
To sustain a healthy project and community, we need a mission. This is not news, and we have articulated our mission in the past. But I think it should be re-evaluated all the time, and tested against the real world. When we choose our mission, I think we could do better than blindly chasing the elusive User to the next frontier. I think we could re-evaluate our role in this ecosystem.
New magic gadgets are coming out every day. They have large screens that let you directly interact with the content displayed on them. Did I say magic yet? They are truly magical. They are very good at hiding all the nitty details. In fact, they do a really good job at that. Too good.
When I was first introduced to the web in ’94, I thought “Cool the Louvre has a virtual home. I want one too.” I was able to sit at that same computer where I witnessed that wonder and create “Eitan’s Slime Pit”. We are not far from a reality where a kid would look at the world through their tablet, enjoy their magical digital life, and have no means to truly create their own presence on the web or to author their own app.
This is where I think we should be. We should be a free and accessible environment that enables creation. I think that is an important and critical mission in the Free Software Movement.