Re: More Political Stuff

> On 25 Aug 2000, Sean Middleditch wrote:
> > So what exactly will make GNOME 2.0 so different that it can't just be
> > 1.6?  If it's going to use the same libraries, etc. what's so important
> > about it?
> I would assume its thinks like:
>   imlib depreciated and replaced with gdk-pixbuf
>   goad depreciated and replaced with oaf
>   bonobo as a central feature of the desktop
>   replacement of gmc with nautilus
> There are a lot of major changes to the base framework.  I won't list them
> all, as they can be gound on the gnome developer site.

OK, that makes sense.  Thanks for explaining!

> > GNOME DOES need some streamlining.  I can tell its built upon something
> > built upon something built upon something... at least integrate it for
> > the end-user, so all they need to know is "there's a new GNOME-libs, new
> > GTK, etc." and not have to keep track of 10 million packages.  Even the
> > Helix-Updater requires people to select the packages, and it can be
> > daunting to the newbie.  Yes, OSes like Windows require 10 million
> > different "components" to be upgraded, but almost no-one on Windows
> > does.  Linux or UNIX, you have to.
> Having a layered API != bloat. Though I'd agree that some steamlining
> would be beneficial. :)
> As for package tracking, what is necessary beyond what Helix does?  Click
> helix-update, click gnome-libs and it merrily downloads iand installs all
> the necessary RPMs for you. 

Again, most home-users don't understand what gnome-libs even
does.  Going in there and seeing 10 packages that need updating would
freak a lot of people out.  Perhaps an option for "Upgrade Core Gnome"
that downloads all updates essentional for GNOME or something would be
nice... a one click upgrade.

> > > AbiWord is barely useable, Gnumeric is not yet complete. StarOffice,
> > > as I can see it, is a way for us to be able to say "hey people,
> > > GNU/Linux is now even useable for end-users; you can now drop you
> > > proprietary programs and switch to our free system." without them to
> > > have an excuse.
> > 
> > So in short, yes, we're stuck with StarOffice?  Not to start pointing
> > fingers are starting a war or anything, but, for example, the KDE team
> > put together an excellent office suite all on their own.  Seriously,
> > many people who say Linux is ready for the desktop get criticized not
> > over the lack of office suites, but the lack of quality.  Bringing in an
> > inferior system wont make GNOME any better, its just going to show that
> > we cant develop our own software that works better.
> Neither AbiWord nor Gnumeric have stopped development people. Look at the
> Changelogs.  And I personally find both applications very usable.

Same here.  I'll repeat for 18th time, I'm just scared some crappy
office will be the 'default' and scare off new users.

> As for KOffice, I can't really comment as I've never tried it.  But I have
> heard that it is far from stable at this point in time.

Truly?  I'm of the understanding its almost ready for release... or so a
KDE person said while fuming about GNOME.  ~,^

> And how can you say that StarOffice being developed as a Gnome application
> is a bad thing? It's just another choice. 

Again, I want the 'default' to be the best choice, since most new users
don't give a damn about alternatives.  They just want to install and go.

> > Seriously, it is going to be a TREMENDOUS amount of work to port
> > StarOffice to GTK/GNOME/Bonobo.  In that time, perhaps developers could
> > make AbiWord usable, complete Gnumeric.  And they both have a lot more
> > potential than StarOffice.  I'm certainly not pleased over the prospect
> > that GNOME is simply going to make use of inferior technology just to
> > get something done quickly.
> Again, look at the Changelogs.  Abiword continues to have hundreds of CVS
> commits a week.  And they're ramping up for a new release RSN.
> Though I personally prefer Abi myself, there are still a lot of missing
> features.  For me, it doesn't hurt. But for people who need what's
> missing, StarOffice is a reasonable choice.

Will StarOffice be fully ported and ready before AbiWord has these

> Gnumeric is also still under active development. And Havoc has even stated
> that it may replace StarCalc in the suite.

OK then...  Still, I just think it's going to take a lot more effort to
port StarOffice than its worth, considering how badly put together it

> Even if it doesn't, both Gnumeric and the upcmong Gnome version of
> StarCalc will be using open XML file formats.  Either converting between
> them or, even better, making both use the same format, would not be THAT
> difficult a task.


> As for porting difficulties, I won't speculate, as I have not seen the
> current code base, nor do I know what will be done for the 6.0 release in
> October.  

Ya, I guess if they clean it up a lot, it could make it a lot more

> > Also, GNU/Linux isn't even close to ready for the desktop.  Even if
> > GNOME was complete, there are still way too many problems.  The whole
> > issue of "root" for example is confusing to newbies.  You'd be better
> > off developing a stable gnome-su and whatnot so that there is never a
> > need to open a terminal and su as root.  If someone has to do that even
> > once, then the desktop isn't ready.
> I tend to agree. Add gnome-su support to the admin tools. Between that and
> the capability existing in Helix Update, and you shouldn't need to touch a
> command line.

Yes.  As soon as the admin-tools can rival linuxconf AND be
cross-platform among the UNIXes, GNOME will be capable of doing
everything without a command line.  Not that I'll forsake it, I love the
command line a lot more than any GUI... ~,^

> Actually, something like sudo would also be helpful for business
> environments in particular.
> > GNU/Linux is also extremely unstable, in comparison to other
> > UNIXes.  While Linux itself doesn't crash that often (in 1.5 years of
> > use, I've it crash once, and that was because of a faulty patch I put
> > in), almost all of the software on it does.  XFree86 locks up, a
> > lot.  Even the old 3.3.x series.  Most of the 'stable' GNOME crashes a
> > lot.  You can throw in all the nifty programs you want, all the office
> > software you'd ever need.  But other OSes already HAVE all that.  So
> > what would be the point?  Really, the two reasons I stopped using
> > Windows was the crashing and lack of control.  I have lots of control in
> > Linux, but not by using a GUI: GUI's dumb the system down, no matter
> > WHAT you try to say, it's true.  The stability is only apparant if you
> > run in a console, too, or run the venerable x-lib software most distros
> > still come with.
> Ummm, I haven't had an X or Gnome crash in over 6 months.  Not to say that
> you might not have issues, but I would be prone to suspect hardware and/or
> configuration issues.

Everyone is saying that... I'm starting to wonder.  Most of my friends
that use Linux have problems too.  We all use Mandrake, which isn't
known for being stable, but I've cleaned it up a lot.  It very well
could be my video drivers, though... although I've had problems before
the nVidia GL drivers were released.

> > And finally, GNOME is about a lot more than Linux... if adopting
> > StarOffice is to make just to make Linux SEEM ready for the desktop, why
> > are we screwing over the OSes that use GNOME?
> I'm not entirely sure what you mean here.  How is adding an office suite
> (that's already available in one form) "screwing over the OSes that use

Saying they were using StarOffice just to make "LINUX" seem ready for
the desktop environment sounded like they were settling for StarOffice
just for that purpose, and not even thinking about the other platforms
GNOME runs on that might not care about being "ready for the average
moron'.  It was a stupid comment of me to make, I'm sorry.  ~,^

> > > If people still wish to develop other software, then I think there
> > > will be place for those. It just takes developers willing to spend time
> > > on those programs coding and *maintaining* them.
> > 
> > And are these developers that don't maintain their own software going to
> > want to maintain the StarOffice ports?
> Because Sun is paying them?  

... That's cheating!

Good point, though.  Personally, I'd like it if Sun paid them to work on
their own software, but that's me.

> > 
> > OK, that was a large rant about GNOME/Linux/etc. all in one.  Really, I
> > tend to bitch a lot, but aren't these valid points?  Are these kinds of
> > things taken into consideration by most developers?  What reasons do we
> > truly give people to use GNOME?  Yes, I use it.  But I'm not
> > dumb.  Windows is still easier, KDE is still faster, more stable, AND
> > easier...  GNOME is trying to put together a million features, a million
> > pieces of software, and we're rushing it.  No usable system was ever
> > made in 3 years.  KDE wasn't.  Windows wasn't.  MacOS wasn't.  We can
> > try to get everything done NOW, and screw it all up in the process.  I
> > love GNOME.  I love all of it.  But it feels like in the last couple of
> > months everything's been sort-of heading downhill... 
> I'm not going to get into a war about what is the easier environment. I
> personally find GNOME to be far simpler for what I use it for. Especially
> now that Helix has provided a service that makes it MUCH easier to get
> updates and new packages.

I'm still simply amazed with the cleannes of the KDE desktop.  I don't
use it except for playing games (a lot like how I use Windows only for
playing Stonekeep and Baldur's Gate), but I'm still a bit dazzled,
almost.  There are attributes of KDE, XFCE, Windows, Mac, etc. that I'd
love to see in GNOME.  Then again, my idea of the perfect desktop might
not be yours, or anyone else... but to me, I find KDE a lot than GNOME
in many ways, the same way I see GNOME a lot better than KDE.  I just
like the things I like about GNOME more than I like the things I like
about KDE.  My Gods that was a convoluted sentance..

> I'm curious to hear what has been rushed, in your opinion.  

In a few years, an awesome desktop has been put together.  So many
features, libraries, etc. have been created for an excellent desktop and
development.  But a lot of the flaws I see, a lot of the design issues
that we are reworking (replacing gmc, goad, etc.) I feel like it was
rushed, and we might not have to be replacing so much right now but
instead developing a rock-solid system.  Instead we're spending a lot of
time right now fixing a lot of old design flaws, replacing them with
better architectures that would allow us to make REALLY nifty stuff in a
year or so... but if we had slowed down a tad bit, and not made of the
design flaws we had, perhaps we could have been doing the nifty stuff in
only a month or two... sort of.. see my point?  Now that i've woken up I
think I've lost it...

> As for it going downhill, I can't imagine where that impression comes
> from.  The last few months have ushered in Helix as a reliable simple way
> to do upgrades, the release of Gnome 1.2, which is a major improvement
> over previous versions, the depreciation of older libraries with new
> cleaner ones, etc.
> Not to mention the developments of a lot of exciting new components, such
> as Evolution, Nautalis and yes, even StarOffice.

Perhaps its my opinion only, but I see a huge difference from the
direction we were heading in 1.0 to 1.2 than we are now.  I see so much
new, wonderful stuff some along in that cycle, but now it feels a lot
like we're running in circles or something.  Halted almost.  Yes,
Evolution is great (is what I'm using now), Nautilus looked good (the
preview didn't like my setup, apparantly).  I dunno.  It's hard to
explain really.  It may just be some weird psychological issue...  It
just "feels" that way..  A difference in the attitudes I've seen
displayed by the developers, maybe?
> > Sorry for being critical, but I want a clear understanding of where
> > GNOME is heading, and I want to make sure all of you have a clear
> > understanding of where you're going.
> This is the point of the Gnome Foundation. :)

Ya, but I'm not a part of it.  ~,^

> Matt

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