Proposal: include gnome in xubuntu

Gauvain Pocentek gauvainpocentek at
Thu Feb 14 05:28:39 UTC 2008

First of, sorry for the previous email of which I'm not really proud but it
was a start ;)

After some more reflection I think I see why I'm not happy with the changes.
In fact it's not really a matter of gnome or not gnome (not entirely).
Having the best softwares in a distribution is a good thing, no doubt about
that. But I feel that the way it's been done since Gutsy (read, add
applications, no matter where they come from) is probably not what I expect
from a distribution built by a community. The goal seems now to provide a
fully featured distribution, in the easiest and fastest way possible for
devs. This is what Ubuntu wants to provide, and what users expect Ubuntu to
be, this is the way a distro which aims to be the leader has to proceed (and
thus use a fully featured DE as base). Is that what we want from Xubuntu as
developers (and as users too)? I don't want of this, and I find way more
interesting to spend some time on improving the distribution by other means
than just using what's been done by the others (yes, that's a dev POV, but
we are on a devel list, right?).
I do care about users, even though I've been blamed several times already
for not taking real care. That's a blame I have to accept I guess... :)
If building an Open Source distribution is just a matter of collecting
pieces here and there without doing anything else, well I'll have to find
other things to do in my spare time, this is not interesting.

This might sound silly, but why not take more time between the releases? The
6 months based schedule is a good point for Ubuntu, is it really useful for
Xubuntu? Jérôme has done a very good work on the bug triaging, and managed
to build the best relation I've seen since the birth of Xubuntu with the
Xfce developers. How could Xubuntu have a good relationship with upstream
when the only feedback is "This xfce application is not as good as the gnome
equivalent, we won't use it until it's better" ? Taking the time to test the
applications, make them crash, report and fix bugs is certainly a better
way, isn't it? But yes, it takes time. Does Xubuntu have deadlines? Does it
have something to demonstrate to some customers or investors?

Maybe I didn't realize what really is Xubuntu after all. Please tell me if
this is the case.

Quick note on the technical side, I'm working on a Xubuntu derivative for a
very low end machine (256 Mo RAM, 700Mhz equivalent processor) since one
year, adding gnome libs has a real impact on the performances (but no, I
don't have numbers to show, so it probably means nothing...).


Jani Monoses-3 wrote:
> Gauvain Pocentek wrote:
>> Oops sorry, it's already happening.
>> I didn't react until now because I thought the "discussions" were
>> useless, but I think I care too much to be totally quiet (well, I did
>> care at some point, not that much now).
>> I'm sorry to see this distro turning into a Pseudo Ubuntu with bits of
>> Xfce, after having spend so much time working on it, trying to make it
>> different and lighter.
> It is lighter. I am not sure why users would want it different. Xubuntu 
> was primarily about being a lighter Ubuntu using Xfce. That is still 
> true today. It is definitely ligher and can be very close featurewise.
> I am sorry you too mix developer-only PoV into what should be mostly 
> user oriented. What most users will care about is working apps not 
> necessarily Xfce labeling, so chosing the latter when it has drawbacks 
> it is ineffective.
> I don't see why you think adding apps which do not affect anything 
> besides neing in the menus are wrong? Xubuntu is supposed to be light 
> not minimalist. There's a difference.
> Lightness is resource related and we all experience it so the lighter 
> the better.
> Minimalism is more of a philosophy and it is preferred by experienced 
> users. It has no technical sied to it, it is a matter of prefenece.
> I think these two are often mixed up in our discussions and bloat as in 
> resource abuse is mistaken for bloat as in too many installed apps.
> Newbies will want as many useful apps (one per cantegory) as possible.
> Experienced users may want minimalism. the latter category can more 
> easily get what they want than the former so we cater, as Ubuntu, to new 
> Linux users.
>> Sorry to not provide constructive ideas or proposals to solve the
>> problems, but I don't see how I could bring something new or useful when
>> all the efforts made by Lionel and Jérôme has been treated like crap
>> (sorry if "crap" is not CoC compliant).
> I am sorry that you see it this way. It's ok to use 'crap' btw, I do not 
> mind :)
> I still do not see how J&L's work is treated like crap. Their work on 
> packaging and bugs and their idea of what Xubuntu should be are not the 
> same thing. Otherwise you could say my previous work is treated like crap.
> We cannot have any change in distro leadership turn into treating users 
> like crap. So their work is still here, but I wish they hadn't spent too 
> much time on squeeze and fixing other apps when their time is limited.
> Jani
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