[Desktop13.04-Topic] GNOME plans review

Robert Ancell robert.ancell at canonical.com
Tue Oct 16 21:24:33 UTC 2012

On 16/10/12 23:47, Sebastien Bacher wrote:
> Le 16/10/2012 06:08, Jeremy Bicha a écrit :
>> On 15 October 2012 13:50, Sebastien Bacher <seb128 at ubuntu.com> wrote:
>>> That's going to be a controversial topic but I want to suggest we
>>> stay on
>>> stable GNOME this cycle, the reasons are (in random order):
>> Well you've been following GNOME development for longer than many of
>> us. What is it that's making GNOME 3 releases more unstable than GNOME
>> used to be? Is it just that GNOME development has sped up and the
>> developers don't care enough about API stability?
> I think there a different factors there:
> - we never had great quality, Ubuntu is trying to address that and aim
> at better testing, less bugs, no regression, etc where GNOME didn't
> make that shift (yet?)
> - GNOME2 has been "less dynamic" than GNOME3  (at least the 2.n
> version during the Ubuntu time, which was not the start of the 2
> serie, by then things were already settled down and in maintenance
> mode) which also made for less breakages
> - GNOME started to focus on "GNOME OS" and give less importance to
> what distributors think or do. It's a fair choice, they think they
> should better focus on building the best system they can do and should
> not compromise to "accommodate" others. I'm not even sure they see
> distributors as partners or if they just aim at deprecating those by
> shipping GNOME OS directly...

>From what I have gathered GNOME OS is a number of things:

- It's about standardising the stack from the kernel to the
applications. This is mostly a non-issue for Ubuntu as the stack that is
being standardised on is pretty much what we have in Ubuntu. There is a
mismatch if GNOME standardises on systemd and we continue with upstart,
but from what I understand about the technical differences the issues
are being exaggerated and it is not something we can't solve.

- It's about making GNOME testable [1]. It has been (correctly)
identified that through distributors GNOME cannot ensure a consistent
experience. In advisor board discussions at GUADEC it was suggested that
perhaps the GNOME OS term should be dropped and Testable used instead
due to the confusion surrounding GNOME OS. Testable is obviously a great
thing for Ubuntu in that it will hopefully improve quality (so Seb GNOME
is making that shift now) and allow people to run the Vanilla GNOME at
any point.

- Part of standardising the stack is increasing the scope of what GNOME
is. So there's experimentation going on around packaging and user
feedback which is the bread and butter of the traditional distributions.
This seems like it could be a challenge for us, but it's too early to
see where these experiments are going.

- There's a logical conclusion that once you have Testable complete then
that is a distribution. I get the impression that this is what some
people want to go to but I've heard no actual strategy on how this will
be a success for GNOME. I think this idea is built on the naive idea
that you build the perfect OS the users will come. It would be suicide
for GNOME to ruin their current distributor relationships at this point
unless there was a strong chance of this succeeding and I haven't seen
anything close to that.

In conclusion I don't think we have anything to be worried about with
GNOME OS at this point and by the time it did matter we may be
sufficiently different anyway that it doesn't matter.


[1] https://live.gnome.org/GnomeOS/Testable

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