What's going on with FLOSS devs these days

Barry Roberts blr at robertsr.us
Fri Nov 23 06:14:56 MST 2012


I admit I only read about half the article, but it my impression is of a
tempest in a teapot.

First, comparing to the kernel is probably a bad analogy here.  Linus has
long been adamantly opposed to a long-term stable kernel ABI.  And it seems
that's what most of the complaints are about here: shifting API's for
plugin, themes, notifications, etc.

Also, one of the primary complaints I hear about developing for Linux
desktops is the bewildering array of choices.  For Windows there is one
api, and now that's pretty much true for MacOS.  Having to choose right up
front whether to use Qt, GTK, wx, or other less-popular options is
confusing for a lot of commercial developers.  I think choices and freedom
are a good thing, but it is a very different mindset than the corporate
walled garden.

I'm not trying to make fun of my mother-in-law, but she's the kind of
computer user that when one of her grandkids changes her wallpaper, she
stops using her computer until she figures it out again (or she gets me to
change it back).  Users with that level of computer comfort vastly
outnumber folks like us (I think).  If GNOME devs think they're doing the
right thing for and targeting the average user, more power to them.  Let's
face it, the average Windows/Mac user if they used Linux would never
install a theme or completely re-arrange their desktop.  My m-i-l hated her
new Windows 7 computer for a long time because it was totally different (to
her) than her old XP machine.

I like having the choice of KDE, Gnome, Cinnamon, Unity, Enlightenment,
XFCE, LXDE, etc.  Some don't.  I think it makes perfectly good business
sense for RedHat (or Suse or Canonical) to make their distro friendly to
MSCE's and Windows users.  That doesn't mean I always agree with their
decisions, but I can see their point.  The most technical, demanding users
(like me) are an insignificant part of the market, and I have little brand
loyalty.  I can install whatever I want on a whim and make it work.
 Windows and Mac users expect consistency and lack of choice.  If it means
more people can use Linux, and more driver support, but I can still fire up
E17, no skin off my back.


On Thu, Nov 22, 2012 at 10:34 PM, Michael Torrie <torriem at gmail.com> wrote:

> I just read this very interesting (and frustrating) article and wondered
> if any of you have read it:
> https://igurublog.wordpress.com/2012/11/05/gnome-et-al-rotting-in-threes/.
>  Any thoughts?  While the kernel goes on under Linus' (prudent and often
> wise) direction, are things really this bad elsewhere in the FLOSS
> world?  Is it just "Linux" projects that act this way?  All this talk by
> developers of "brand" is just bizarre. The fact that they have any
> usership at all is thanks to other brands (Ubuntu, Fedora, Debian, or
> just "Linux").  I'm not referring to just Gnome here.  Seems like a lot
> of projects lately have devs who are hell-bent on heading down their own
> path despite what people who actually use their software would think or
> want.  Makes me really sad because Linux still has a lot of potential
> and I've enjoyed using it over the years because it could be made to be
> a useful tool to serve my needs.
>
> Anyway.  Maybe I'm just ungrateful.  Back to Metro... (I kid I kid)
>
>
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