Some Thoughts

These are some thoughts that I talked out with Miguel at one point, though
he really didn't say yea or nay on them. So, I'm going to post them here
and see what flames or handclapping results, be it as it may.

* Wanted Applications Database

Where people can think up software that they would like to see worked on,
be it a GNOME front end to an existing application or a new piece of
software. People should be able to put in a name for it and a good general
description of the software. For instance:

	** GDisk

	A GNOME based system that will display with a GUI interface each disk
in the system, broken down by partition, flagged as to the partition type,
labelled as currently mounted or not, if so where... If using mirroring/
striping (RAID functions?), then it will either show in a metadevice format
or in a component format (standard for un-mirrored systems). This should
allow superusers to fdisk or fsck slices and to create metadevices, etc. if
supported in the system.

	** GBackup

	A GNOME based system that will allow a superuser to configure 
compressed and uncompressed files and/or file systems to be backed up with
a supported media in the system. This should be able to perform via find
commands generating a list of files that are passed to tar, dd, cpio, cp,
gzip, etc., to be directed to the tape machine or via operations performed
on the filesystem itself. Email notification and GUI status display very

This database will be very important. It will allow us to step back and get
a better idea of not what we want to see in the application world, but what
the community and users in general want to see. It will also help new
people who want to code, because they will be able to look at the projects
desired by the community and take something they think they can either
handle or can grow to match the project.

	* Needed Developers Database

	Projects as a whole need one thing above all else: people. Whether it
be beta-testers, graphic designers (some of us who can code can't do jack
for graphics), or code hackers, I am sure that there must be projects
languishing because people do not have the support that they need. And
there are also some people who want to help but are not sure as to how
useful their skills may be or how to best apply them to one of the many
tasks at hand. This would be mostly for project coordinators to convey what
type of support they need and help us get them that support.

	* GNOME WM Spec Re-write

	This was something I was talking with Miguel about as well, and he is
very interested in seeing this happen. I have to say that in some ways I
am a perfect test case for this; I have recently acquired the position of
becoming the maintainer of the GNOME Compliancy Patch for BlackBox. I have
many questions about how a WM should integrate with GNOME, and some basic
questions, like what is GNOME compliance? How should this be achieved? The
current "spec" is, in my opinion and the opinion of the BlackBox mailing
list, less a specification and more of a HOWTO. This isn't really good,
because if I don't understand the concepts, there is no way it's going to
happen short of a miracle.

	Not all WMs use pagers... for instance, BlackBox does not. For us to
support the GNOME pager, we need an idea of how it works. How a WM should
prepare itself to receive a message from the pager that the user used the
pager to shift workspaces/areas. The best way to rewrite the spec in my
opinion is to start with defining and explaing the common terms. Then move
on to how they should interact. Then give example code.

	CORBA compliance is another issue to be addressed in the revised spec,
listing the pros and cons GNOME/WMs would gain by interacting in this 

	And if we can find some way to generate some basic code to implement
in a WM, that would be even better. Right now I am taking the previous
patch and shifting things to a separate file. Hopefully by writing
generic functions, we can possibly even develop an API for the
communication between the WM and the GNOME applications.

	Another thing that needs to be explained is what applications need
to be supported to be considered "compliant". Obviously, the pager is, and 
GMC should be. Are there any other applications besides these two that should?

I realize that this is a long post, as they go, but some topics to think
about, and I'll be monitoring this thread closely. I'm very interested in 
helping to contribute, and have some specific issues that I feel are important
to help us move on. Without a strong WM support, there is a lot of user choice
and configurability that will not be existant in our desktop environment, and
while we could write one and tout it as "the" GNOME WM, this should not be
the case.


Nathan P. Clemons                       "Peace favor your code."                 ICQ: 2810688
IN CONSTRUCTION:              

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