Poll for GNOME dependencies

Vincent imnotb at gmail.com
Fri Aug 10 14:38:44 UTC 2007

On 10/08/07, Diego Ongaro <ongardie at gmail.com> wrote:
> I think I'll send a controversial e-mail since it's my birthday:


Why does Xubuntu have to be "feature-complete"?
> If there's no good GTK-only CD-burning app, then don't ship with one.
> I don't even have an optical drive on my computer, so honestly, I'm OK
> with it.

I think this is a good point. If Xubuntu is used on older hardware, then
it's probably also likely that there's no CD-burner included. If it's used
on more modern hardware then the user might look for burning software, and
then it wouldn't really matter if it's not that light-weight.

If Pidgin now has too many dependencies to include lightly, don't ship
> with it. I might still install it, but really, that's easy to do.

Pidgin would be quite a loss... But I still wonder how come Gstreamer is
that heavy? In any case, I'm not that impressed by Gxine, but, well, that's
a personal bias.

The archive managers available each have their issues. It's hard to
> recommend not to ship with one, since they are fairly expected.
> However, if there's no archive manager that's satisfactory as of now,
> then just don't ship with one.

I think all the software that comes with Xubuntu except for Xfburn are
satisfactory. I think satisfactory for now is a good level for Xubuntu to be
at. However, we should not go lower than that. Xarchiver now is more than
sufficient for extracting archives and creating archives by selecting files
in Thunar and then selecting "Create archive" works fine too. If you need
more than that, you're probably not a newbie and can find a good alternative
by yourself.

> So now you're going to say: But what about the noobs? Please, think of
> the noobs!
> Let's be honest here: Xubuntu doesn't have a target audience. There's
> really no valuable information out there on who uses it.
> Xubuntu is not ready to target to noobs. The quality of the software
> leaves much to be desired. When a particular piece of software works,
> it's inconsistent with the thing next to it. And from what I've heard,
> documentation is pretty lacking as well.
> Xubuntu's resources are spread too thin to try to create a
> full-featured Xfce-based, light-weight distro with the quality
> necessary to target new users. Ubuntu can only do that because they
> are standing on the shoulders of giants (How many Gnome-based distros
> are out there?).
> What Xubuntu can do, then, is reconsider every single GUI app
> included. Keep Xfce, Thunar, Abiword, Gnumeric, Firefox, Thunderbird -
> those are pretty essential. But then let's improve the Xfce part for
> consistency, and let's reconsider every panel plugin used.
> Then, once we're happy with this, let's build an abstract list of
> applications whose spots we'd like to fill, e.g., CD burner, archive
> manager. We can go to other light-weight distros and see what they're
> using. We can take polls. We can have discussions about each one. And
> it might take a long time to fill some of these spots, but as we do,
> we'll make sure their behavior works (consistently) and the
> documentation is up to speed.

IMNSHO we should not remove the apps just because they're not at Ubuntu's
user-friendly level. We can, however, over time reconsider each app and
default configuration etc.

It's too late in gutsy's release cycle to start something like this.
> We could start at gutsy+1, and it'll take several additional release
> cycles before there's something to be proud of.
> What if we fail after gutsy+1? We'd end up with a minimal Xfce desktop
> and few applications. And that's perfectly acceptable. It's not hard
> to install packages.

But in that case you could just as well do a base install and then install
the Xfce packages yourself...

Finally, I'll anticipate the: "you're all talk and don't do anything"
> accusation. Fine, I don't do a whole lot for Xubuntu. I have two jobs,
> and I'm about to start school again. I learned C and wrote the
> xfce4-places-plugin, for which I'm currently trying to stabilize the
> 0.4 release. I've submitted a few patches for Squeeze. I also keep up
> with this mailing list. But no, I'm not one of the two Xubuntu
> developers, sorry.

What's wrong with trying to help improve the operating system you like?
We're a community, aren't we? ;-)

-Diego Ongaro

Happy birthday again!

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