Fri, 09 Apr 2004

the blog tool needs a ‘do what I mean, stupid’ option.

Just read Havoc’s post, and I do think he has it mostly right- GNOME does do it better than most. That said, some comments on his, Benjamin’s, and Jeff’s posts:

  • I don’t see why having the Foundation employ some hackers would be a bad thing, as long as it remains a fairly small number when compared to the size of the community. It would be great for admin to be done by a Foundation employee, for example, and I think having most bugzilla maintenance done by someone with more neutral affiliations and more permanent committment probably wouldn’t be a bad thing.
  • Being more transparent about where influence is coming from is not enough- companis must be transparent about where the influence is going.
  • Benjamin, remember that we are all doing this for the ‘right’ reasons. We’re not doing it perfectly, but I haven’t met anyone at Red Hat, Sun, or Ximian who isn’t doing this with the best of motivations. I hope we can all be actively aware of our tendencies to look inward (as I mentioned with the UI stuff) and avoid it. There is no perfect answer, though.
  • At least for me personally, there is no difference between what I wanted as an unemployed volunteer and as a paid contributor- either way, I wanted the free software desktop to survive and improve and eventually win. Having a higher-level language to write in is (to me) perfectly in line with that- if I’m still dealing with app crashes because someone did their pointers wrong in C in 2-3 years, we’ll have lost.
  • It is ridiculous to claim that Novell is writing apps in Mono as a ‘carrot’ for the community. We’re writing apps in Mono because we think C# is the best language out there for writing large apps in, or in the case of f-spot, because the original author had heard a lot about C# and wanted to try it out. If that has a carrot effect, fine, but that’s never been mentioned in either of those cases, to the best of my knowledge. (FWIW, it has been mentioned in the evo case- and you’ll note that is mostly on hold until the community has more clarity on this issue.)
  • Other than that quibble, I mostly think Jeff’s analysis of the language thing is pretty damn good- it certainly jives with my sense of where things should be going.
  • GNOME has never been healthier, from a code perspective, than when Sun, RH, and Ximian were all actively hacking on GNOME 2.0 and 2.2. The next cycle threatens to have all the corporate types hacking on ‘enterprise’ versions of 2.6 instead of 2.7, which I think would suck a lot. I’d like to see us focus instead cooperatively on making 2.8.0 be the most stable, functional release ever, and shipping that, instead of hacking off in our own private corners. But I don’t get to make these decisions, particularly not for Sun and Red Hat :)

Anyway, that’s one morning’s ravings. NB: I dreamed about a Novell employee who snapped and shot all her co-workers in the non-existent Minneapolis office last night. It was scary as hell, and may have affected my mindset this morning :)

[Later] One other thing about Havoc’s post- I don’t think the thrust of my usability post was about communication, but rather about investment- it’s not sufficient in my mind for the usability community (regardless of who employs them) to say ‘here is what we’re doing’; it must also educate about how it is being done so that others in the community can learn and add on. I’ve tried to do this with bugsquad; the evo team failed to do this for a long time but is now more actively trying to promote this kind of thinking, which is awesome.