[Desktop13.04-Topic] GNOME plans review

Martin Pitt martin.pitt at ubuntu.com
Wed Oct 17 04:54:41 UTC 2012

Robert Ancell [2012-10-17 10:24 +1300]:
> - It's about standardising the stack from the kernel to the
> applications.

Right, that was mostly what I've heard about the idea as well.

> This is mostly a non-issue for Ubuntu as the stack that is being
> standardised on is pretty much what we have in Ubuntu.

We deviate quite far already, using upstart, ConsoleKit, and upower,
while GNOME moves towards systemd. As you said, none of this is
insurmountable (it just comes with an ever-increasing maintenance
cost), but it certainly invalidates the upstream testing that this
would bring up to some degree, especially in areas like
settings-daemon and control-center. But we can solve that by running
all of upstream's tests (both automatic and manual) on our own again.

> - 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 don't think this will happen anytime soon. Anyone who says that
seriously underestimates what a distribution does and entails ("stuff
that other people do is always easy"). I don't have the impression
that most GNOME upstream devs want to carry the burden of supporting
several releases over years, providing security fixes, maintaining and
installer, preparing and testing images, doing user support, and all
that (that doesn't even begin to scratch the areas that Canonical does
very well, such as custom engineering or building relationships with
driver vendors). The pragmatic solution will probably be to declare
Fedora as the GNOME reference platform, which in a way it already is

> 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.

I agree. I for one appreciate the practical efforts that have been
made in this area, such as OSTree. It's a very nice basis for doing
continuous integration testing on a standardized, and "hot off
plumbing git master" of current git master GNOME, and will hopefully
lead to a lot more robust upstream development process, as well as
allowing developers to easily reproduce bugs on the "standard" stack


Martin Pitt                        | http://www.piware.de
Ubuntu Developer (www.ubuntu.com)  | Debian Developer  (www.debian.org)

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