All the other guys are not wrong

Sunday, March 13th, 2011

The discussion in blogs and comments on collaboration and standards is really important. It’s also easy to cast as “GNOME vs Canonical vs KDE”, and that would be incorrect. My critique here is not of the body of GNOME developers, it’s of specific decisions and processes, which in my view have let GNOME down.

The reason I care is, to state the obvious, a well-functioning GNOME is important to Ubuntu and Canonical. And I don’t think we’re there. Alternatively, a well-functioning is important, and we’re not there either.

Dave Neary, who to his credit has been trying to understand how matters reached this point, blogged his conclusions to date. They warrant a response.

He summarises: is broken as a standards body

That may be true today, but I think we should fix it. With Meego around, and other efforts that are lower profile, there are now even more reasons to have well specified standards for desktop interoperability. They won’t all work, but they deserve better respect and quality than they have today. So my response to Dave is: let’s fix that, rather than pretending “it’s broke so it don’t matter”.

Mark Shuttleworth doesn’t understand how GNOME works

Fortunately I’m apparently in good company because his next conclusion is GNOME is not easy to understand. Perhaps a more accurate summation would be “Gnome is not self-consistent, or deterministic, so it can often come to two quite contradictory conclusions at the same time, and Mr Shuttleworth didn’t understand the one we’d now like to promote.”

Dave mailed me to say that he’d got a “definitive” perspective on how the appindicator API’s came to be rejected. It includes pointers as to the requirements for submitting external dependencies. These are “make the case for the dependency, which should be a few sentences or so, and wait a short while for people to check it out (e.g. making sure it builds)”. Now, a reading of the correspondence around the API’s suggests that Ted and others did a lot more than the “few sentences and make sure it builds”, yet the proposal was rejected.

In addition, Dave got commentary from two members of the Gnome release team, who make these decisions. The two views disagree with one another.

I’m not sure what to think, then, about Dave’s assertion that I don’t understand Gnome. Seems the follow-on conclusion is closer to the truth.

Dave says:

[…] to get things done in GNOME, you need to talk to the right people. That means, defining your problem, and identifying the stakeholders who are also interested in that problem, and working out a solution with them (am I repeating myself?). Mark seems to want GNOME to behave like a company, so that he can get “his people” to talk to “our people” and make it happen. I think that this misunderstanding of how to wield influence within the GNOME project is a key problem.

But then again, over the years I have heard similar feedback from GNOME Mobile participants, and people in Nokia – so it’s not all Mark’s fault. As Jono says here: GNOME does have a reputation of being hard to work with for companies – no point in denying it (then again, so does the kernel, and they seem to get along fine).

Hold on a sec. There’s been ample documentation of conversations. Dave can’t even point to two stakeholder who agree with each other in the release team!

I also understand that there is an interest in putting on a good face, and not airing your dirty laundry in public (ironic, eh?) – for the past few years, the party line in Canonical has been “We love GNOME, we’re a GNOME shop” while behind the scenes there have been heartfelt conversations about the various problems which exist in GNOME & how to address them. The problem is, because these discussioons happen behind the scenes, they stay there. We never get beyond discussions, agreeing there is a problem, but never working together on a solution.

Yes, the stated line from Canonical has been exactly what Dave describes – we’ve worked hard to stay within the Gnome umbrella, even where we’ve felt that the deck was stacked against us. It’s tiring. After a year or so of being the public whipping boy for cutting commentary from competitors under the Gnome banner, a franker line is needed.

Owen Taylor, desktop lead at Red Hat and the person to whom Jon McCann referred the app indicators API decision, then weighed in. He suggests several things:

Mark argues that GNOME should be a place where we have internal competition. But his idea of internal competition seems to be competition between different end-user experiences. His entrant into the competition is Unity, an environment with a user experience designed completely in isolation from GNOME. The other entrant would, I suppose, be the GNOME 3 desktop that GNOME has created.

This competition doesn’t make sense to me: what would be left of GNOME if Unity “won” that competition? Not even the libraries are left, because every decision that is made about what goes into library should be driven by that same question “what does the user see?” No widget should go into GTK+ unless it makes sense in a GNOME application. GNOME cannot cede the user experience and still work as a project.

This is exactly why we proposed the app indicator API’s as *external* dependencies. They are capabilities which GNOME apps can take advantage of if they are around, but which are not essential if they are not there. Unity could quite easily move to the fore in GNOME, if it won this competition, just like lots of other ideas and pieces of code have started outside the core of GNOME but become essential to it.

Owen’s argument reinforces the idea (which is in my view broken) that the only idea that matter are the ones generated internally to the GNOME project (defined very tightly by folks who maintain core modules or have core responsibilities). It’s precisely this inward view that I think is leading GNOME astray.

Owen’s point that “no widget should go into Gtk if it is not needed by a GNOME application” is unlikely to be comforting to the XFCE folk, or other desktop environments which build on GNOME. If anything, it will make them feel that things in “core GNOME” are likely to be difficult to adopt and collaborate with, because their needs, apparently don’t matter.

He also says “But I’ve never seen Canonical make the leap and realize that they could actually dive in and make GNOME itself better.”.. which is rather insulting to all the people from Canonical who spend a lot of their day doing exactly that.

He talks about App Indicators, saying that “They didn’t even propose changes to core GNOME components to support application indicators.” Actually, we did, and those changes required App Indicators to be an external dependency. So we proposed that, and it was rejected. Repeat ad absurdum.

In the end, in comments, Owen says that “[It] is a common misperception [that Gnome Shell and Gnome 3 can be separated]. That somehow the work we’ve done on GNOME Shell is somehow separable from the rest of GNOME 3. The work on the GTK+ theme and the window manager theme is done on together. The work on GNOME Shell is done together work work on System Settings and on the internal gnome-settings-daemon and gnome-session components.” Well, that’s convenient. Define one piece – your piece – as critical, therefor making it above competition. I expect that Ubuntu will ship Gnome 3 perfectly well with Unity.

Also in comments, Owen points out that the work Shell developers did around messaging was done as an update to an FD.o spec. An update that AFAICT was not discussed, just amended and pushed. He says, in a triumph of understatement, “We certainly haven’t done a good job discussing the small additions to the specification we needed”.

Finally, Owen concludes that having Unity and Gnome Shell as separate desktops may be the only way forward. Seems like he’s worked hard to ensure that’s the case.

Next up, Jeff Waugh is writing a set of related blog posts. One of them walks through the app indicators timeline, and is relatively comprehensive in doing so.

Jeff draws a conclusion that we’re mistaken in feeling that App Indicators were deliberately blocked because Unity presented a risk of competition with Gnome Shell; but he draws that purely based on the timing of the conversation proposing App Indicators as an external dependency, which was four days *before* the name Unity was introduced.

Yes, that’s true. But Unity was simply the new name for work which has been ongoing since 2007: The Ubuntu Netbook Remix interface. That work was very much in the frame throughout, and it’s been suggested that it was that work which catalysed Gnome Shell in the first place.

So even though Jeff is right on the claim that app indicators were discussed *before* the Unity name was revealed, that’s not in any way material to a discussion of the motives of those who rejected app indicators. This was an API from Canonical, related to work in the Ubuntu Netbook interface, and it got rejected for reasons which are unlike any other response to a proposed external dependency.

Perhaps, in the light of changed circumstances, Jeff will change his opinion. Good commentators do.

Jeff also goes on to talk about Ted and Aurelien, who were proposing the app indicators work in GNOME and KDE respectively. KDE apps worked smoothly, Gnome rejected Ted’s proposal. Jeff says “I don’t believe the key difference here is between GNOME and KDE, it is in Canonical’s approach to engagement, and its commitment of developers to the task.” It’s worth pointing out that Ted and Aurelien were both working for the same manager under the same guidance with the same goals. Jeff draws the conclusion that Canonical could have done things differently. I would have drawn the conclusion that Gnome was less open to collaboration than KDE.

Finally, Jeff looks at the requirements for dependencies, and notes that Canonical didn’t need to engage at all, though he (and we recognised the same) says that would have caused other problems. He concludes:

Canonical barely made an effort to have libappindicator “accepted into GNOME” (which, in the context of his criticism, Mark believed was important or necessary)

As I’ve shown above, the stated requirements are a very low bar. We did that, and more, yet the App Indicator API’s were rejected. As I’ve said before, it’s bizarre that such a different standard was applied to this API, and not other API’s. The only rational explanation is that the decision is nothing to do with the API’s, and everything to do with politics. Those politics are bad for Gnome in the long run. I want Gnome to be healthy in the long run, ergo, my critique.

It did not even need to go through this process anyway, because it did not need to be an “external dependency” in order to achieve Mark’s stated goals (ie. application adoption of the API)

Unfortunately for Jeff, we’d been told in no uncertain terms that module owners and core apps were under pressure about these API’s. They wanted to see the external dependency blessed. So we proposed it. Owen says we “didn’t try to propose changes to core apps”… we did, and the external dependency was the blocker.

So the rejection of libappindicator, for all the sturm und drang, is essentially meaningless — it had no bearing on the opportunity for collaboration between Canonical and GNOME

In fact, it’s what’s left that collaboration in limbo. What to do with all the patches produced for GNOME apps that make them work with app indicators? Hmm… that would be collaboration, but the uncertainty created by the rejection as an external dependency creates a barrier to that collaboration. As Jeff says, those patches can land without any problems. But to land such a patch, after the refusal, takes some guts on the part of the maintainer. Lots have done it (thank you!) but some have said they are concerned they will be criticised for doing so.

Unity did not exist in the public sphere when libappindicator was declared irrelevant to GNOME Shell, and was not ever the reason why: (a) there wasn’t much interest in libappindicator, or (b) GNOME Shell developers decided they were on a different path

Correct, *Unity* was not the public name of the work at the time, Ubuntu Netbook Remix was.

Not proven in this part of the series, but worth noting: the person Mark specifically chose to attack, Jon McCann, did not decide to exclude libappindicator because — being a design contributor to GNOME Shell — he felt threatened by Unity. In fact, he had no part in the decision, and didn’t know Unity existed!

Jon certainly knew a great deal of work on interfaces was being done. That became branded Unity later, but the timing of the change in name is irrelevant.


There are good faith efforts being made to bridge divides all over the show, for which I’m grateful and to which we’re contributing. My comments here are to address what I see as convenient papering over, which will not stand the test of time. It’s important – to me, to the members of the community working on Unity and Ubuntu (and there are substantial communities in both) that simplistic accusations against us are not left to stand unchallenged.

The goal – for everyone, I think – is great free software. I know we’re committed to that, and doing what we think is needed to achieve it.

123 Responses to “All the other guys are not wrong”

  1. Jon Smirl Says:

    Where is the world going to be in ten years? How will Gnome fair vs a HTML5 based desktop like ChromeOS? Where do you want to deploy your resources?

    ChromeOS works fine in standalone mode too, just run the app server locally. An alternative path is to start pulling ChromeOS’ graphics system into Ubuntu on top of Wayland. Build the Unity GUI on the ChromeOS graphics API. Then focus on converting thousands of existing apps to become cloud based.

  2. Nathan Says:


    What would it take to have a public, mediated conversation? Right now it seems to be boiling down to a he said – she said argument. If I remember right, a poster on the last blog entry offered their services as such.

    On a separate note, if KDE is more receptive, why is ubuntu sticking with Gnome over KDE?

  3. Dextro Says:

    This is exactly why we proposed the app indicator API’s as *external* dependencies. They are capabilities which GNOME apps can take advantage of if they are around, but which are not essential if they are not there. Unity could quite easily move to the fore in GNOME, if it won this competition, just like lots of other ideas and pieces of code have started outside the core of GNOME but become essential to it.

    You lost me here because you keep banging on that “external dependency” key. If there’s one thing I noticed on the responses is that it didn’t NEED to become an external dependency and you could have simply started by offering patches to the applications that added libappindicator as a soft dependency that could be switched on/off at compile time. Of course I could be wrong and if so I retract my statement.

  4. cosmix Says:

    I’ve been using linux and *nix based desktops — as a primary working environment, as opposed to a curiosity — since late 1998. I have always been a believer that powerful free software can be usable, friendly and æsthetically sound, at the same time. I’m a software engineer by trade and I have traditionally been disappointed by how content the community has been with the mediocrity that free software has provided on the desktop, especially when it holds such great promise. I find the current state of the two major linux desktop platform projects almost as sad as I find Unity and the frustrating feud between the two projects. As a user and a developer I don’t care at all about the politics, the ad hominem attacks, or the frivolity of many of the arguments that, frankly, miss the point. GNOME has been stagnant for years, and KDE shot itself in the foot with the 4.x series and is still paying for that mistake (despite the progress it’s made since then). Both are a paradox: a combination of power and innovation (sometimes of the sort that’s seldom possible in commercial offerings) and at the same time anachronistic, design-by-committee sub-par pieces of software that irritate and malfunction as much as their satisfy the needs of their users. An argument that I, and many others, have had about the linux desktop for years is that it needed the focus and solid foundations that corporate support could provide. Support that would translate to the employment of people capable of improving it where it matters: usability, design, coherence, performance, while retaining the innovation and feature-set we’ve all come to love.

    Is Canonical going to be that corporation? Is Unity that project? Sadly, I don’t think so. For all Gnome Shell’s issues, in my experience with the Unity project (admittedly merely as a user), I found it to be lacking in all ways that matter and for which it’s supposedly a better choice: it’s slow and ugly; its usability is arguable and its feature-set limited. I found it to be all to similar to the classic desktop experience: not too different or improved enough as a design, as an architecture, as a user experience to merit all the fuss that Canonical has been making about it.

    If Unity is about revolutionising the linux desktop, of carrying it forward into the next decade, it seems to be on the wrong path. Right now it offers little more than GNOME 2.x + Docky + a launcher — arguably it’s much worse if you factor in performance. I find the whole back and forth a frivolity that harms the free software world. This is not about whether Canonical or Gnome is right or wrong, it’s about vanity and hubris: Unity (and to some extent Gnome Shell) fail to impress because they both were neither as well designed, nor bold enough to break from the norm — in so many ways, including the ‘exotic’ HTML5 powered desktop that Jon mentioned above. Their de facto dominant position in the linux desktop ecosystem will legitimise an anachronistic desktop experience in the form of new projects, and the mere fact that we’re talking about dichotomising the already limited resource pool dedicated to linux desktop development will make the possibility that in x years’ time we, as a community, will enjoy a modern, fast and usable desktop — as opposed to perpetually lacking ‘works in progress’ — even more remote.

  5. SImon Crowley Says:

    It’s nice to be hearing from mark more often, too bad it can’t be on more positive subjects.
    I hope for the sake of everyone involved this can be sorted out with little disruption and better collaboration, isn’t that the reason why we use/develop foss software instead of proprietary? so that we can create, collaborate and share together, instead of being dictated by one person or one organisation.

    disclosure – I am more excited about(and plan on using) gnome shell with natty

  6. jospoortvliet Says:

    What I personally thought when reading Dave’s blog is that he missed one point. He said correctly that there is mistrust between KDE and GNOME – but he didn’t acknowledge that GNOME simply IS hard to work with and less open to collaboration. The example you gave of Ted and Aurelien and the many others we’ve got (including the one by Aaron here ) make it clear that that is the case. And it is harmful for Free Software. It’s good that there are several desktops – GNOME, KDE, XFCE, LXDE – but applications should work as well as possible in each of them. It would be depressing to see that KDE applications fit in better in Windows and Mac OS X than in GNOME; and GNOME apps not working anywhere but in GNOME. And the at the rate things are going now, it seems that would happen.

  7. Albert Vilella Says:

    I think discussions like this are important because they show things are happening. They show people care, that all what is happening in the open-source desktop is relevant.

  8. Patryk "patrys" Zawadzki Says:

    AppIndicator was never rejected as an optional GNOME dependency. It could not happen simply because GNOME does not have a process for approving or rejecting optional dependencies. Each maintainer is welcome to pick as many optional dependencies as he sees fit as long as the application builds and works (to a degree that it’s still useful) without them being present.

    AppIndicator was rejected as an external GNOME dependency. Being an external dependency means being *required* for GNOME to build and work. It serves as a green light to app maintainers, it tells them “it’s ok to make this lib a hard dependency because despite being third-party it’s now a critical part of GNOME”.

    Please get your facts right :)

  9. Justyn Says:


    I do appreciate your desire to set the record straight. Evidently there are multiple viewpoints about how we reached this state. But let’s be frank about this: nobody can know for sure the motives of the parties involved.

    As an Ubuntu user and supporter, what I’d really like to see is for Canonical to step up and shoulder some of the responsibility for what has happened. We do believe you acted in good faith, but what all these discussions have brought to light is that the way Canonical collaborates with Gnome is not optimum.

    Clearly Gnome has real issues that need to be addressed. But as Jono points out [1] Canonical has “a public perception of developing things privately.” Cody Russel’s statement, quoted by Dave Neary in the post you linked to, is rather worrying. Perhaps you don’t want to go into the specifics on that matter – fine. But you must agree that the perception is there, and you have to ask why that is.

    Everything that has happened recently has generated bad feeling and left many people, including myself, disillusioned and unsure of what to believe. After all this, what we really need now is some indication that someone is prepared to make things better.

    That CANNOT happen without those involved being strong enough to admit that they need to improve. Canonical should be a leader in this matter.

    We could still come out of all this feeling inspired and believing that the future will be bright, but for that to happen we need to know that something is going to change. I think that pledging to do more work in the open could be how you do that.

    Please inspire us!

    Thank you.


  10. Brian Fleeger Says:

    @Cosmix: I completely agree about inter-desktop infighting being immature and demoralizing. No matter how “right” each party feels they are, when these fights break out into the public sphere it gives everyone a black eye and reduces people’s enthusiasm on the whole. At this point, I am torn between the two camps (Gnome and Ubuntu) because both offer some of the things I desire in a next-gen computing environment, but not all the things I want, and not in overlapping areas.

    As to the differences between Gnome-Shell and Unity, I find it very frustrating, because there are aspects of each about which I have very strong feelings. I find superior the way Gnome-shell offers in-line messaging response, modal dialogue boxes (via Mutter), smart workspace allocation, the way they eliminated the minimize and maximize buttons, and the way it places applications and open windows next to each other in their “Activities” overlay.

    On the other hand, I do no like the way Gnome-shell has a dedicated space for messaging in the bottom right corner, because that area is obscured most of the time and not easily discoverable. Other than the way it allows in-line responses to messages, I don’t see any advantage, and it wastes a whole side of the desktop which could be better used in another way later. I also do not like the way Gnome stubbornly sticks to GTK, even though it is hopelessly behind Qt both in terms of ease of use and aesthetically (just personal opinion here).

    In Unity, I like the messaging integration and the way it is persistently visible. The overlay scrollbars, and the 0 px window borders (please let them stay!) are to die for. And Unity seems to have a brighter future, because it is embracing the Qt language. But I do not like the way Unity uses global menus, and then obscures them most of the time with a window title. Unity in general does not respect negative space, and crowds too many widgits into too small a space, or even overlaps them, in the name of maximizing screen real estate. That is why Unity tends to look crowded and busy. I am also not convinced Unity would be as usable as Gnome-Shell in a tablet computing environment. Lastly, Unity is just not as visually pleasing as Gnome-shell.

    At this point, I do not think either party has any interest in reconciliation, which is sad. Instead of one great environment, I honestly fear the result will be two mediocre desktops. This is very disappointing for me indeed.

  11. Alistair Withworth Says:

    I’m not even an Ubuntu user, but I have to admit Ubuntu seems more concerned with the Linux desktop than, well, anyone else, including upstream. Now, I just have to learn me some bzr and get that hotness to compile on my system.

    Thanks, Mr. Shuttleworth.

  12. Zlatan Says:

    Mark, why GNOME for Ubuntu after all? Is there a better DE team to collaborate with?

  13. Henri Bergius Says:

    Making cross-project collaboration work can be frustrating, but rewarding when it happens. Having worked with both GNOME, KDE and Ubuntu communities on some ideas (like location-awareness), I know. Based on my experiences I wrote some guidelines:

  14. mark Says:


    That’s exactly what we’ve done – optional dependencies with compile time flags. However, several apps said they wanted to see the API’s as external dependencies before they would even take those patches. Hence our proposal. Moreover, the goal is to have exactly the same package of an app work just as well under Unity as with Shell or other environments, and again, that leads to wanting the external dependency status.

  15. mark Says:


    I never said App Indicators were rejected as an optional dependency, I said they were rejected as an external dependency. However, you’ll find if you dig that sevral apps even rejected it as an optional dependency on the grounds that it was “not a GNOME dependency”. That’s why it was proposed as an external dependency (as well as the desire to move to ever closer union).

  16. Patryk "patrys" Zawadzki Says:


    Individual maintainers refusing to pick you as an optional dependency has nothing to do with GNOME policies. It is up to the maintainer to decide what software he chooses to use. GNOME allows them to have as many optional deps as they wish. Or not to have them as seemed to be the case with AppIndicator. Anyway, this was not a GNOME decision but several independent app-level decisions as there is no process for giving additional “blessing” to certain optional dependencies.

  17. Shaun McCance Says:

    “””This is exactly why we proposed the app indicator API’s as *external* dependencies. They are capabilities which GNOME apps can take advantage of if they are around, but which are not essential if they are not there.”””

    Mark, I believe others have corrected you on this already. GNOME’s external dependencies are not optional. They are critical libraries that GNOME expects to exist on any system that runs GNOME. They’re external dependencies because they’re not subject to the GNOME release process. Go look at the 2.91 external dependencies: . Every library on that list is something any GNOME application can always expect to exist and be fully functional. They are not optional.

  18. mark Says:


    You’re right. Why, then, were we advised that core apps would not take patches creating even an optional dependency on the indicator API’s, without “blessing” in the form of the external dependency approval?

  19. Martin Owens Says:

    Although Gnome is hard to work with and as a collective culture it is very insular and gruff. Canonical is a pain in the arse to work with too. Hidden conversations, employees fearing speaking up, first decisions made by a dictator (instead of the last calls it’s supposed to be), copyright weirdness and a suspension of disbelief in motive.

    Let’s be honest here, both have problems and as a programmer I find myself not wanting to work with either group. Just to be safe.

  20. Jeff Waugh Says:


    Why, then, were we advised that core apps would not take patches creating even an optional dependency on the indicator API’s, without “blessing” in the form of the external dependency approval?

    Links to examples regarding libappindicator in 2010, please (I am almost 100% certain they exist, but I’d like references). The story is of course much longer than that, but your argument is based on this instance.

  21. M. Edward (Ed) Borasky Says:

    There’s one thing you simply must remember when fighting battles about Linux desktops – something like 99 percent of the people in the world do *not* use a Linux desktop! On desktops / laptops, about 89.5 use Windows and about 9.5 use MacOS X. And on those desktops, they use *browsers*, mostly IE, Firefox and Chrome. They use tablet / smartphone interfaces, mostly iPhone and Android.

    Only time will tell whether HP’s WebOS desktop will gain serious market share. Given the muscle that HP has, I wouldn’t be surprised, but given the muscle Microsoft has in desktops / laptops and Apple has in tablets, it’s not going to be easy for them. Ubuntu, Red Hat / Fedora, SLED / openSUSE simply aren’t in the game.

  22. Jef Spaleta Says:

    Mark said:
    “That’s exactly what we’ve done – optional dependencies with compile time flags. However, several apps said they wanted to see the API’s as external dependencies before they would even take those patches.”

    Can you point to bug tickets where the refusal to have appindicator as optional deps?


  23. Richard Dale Says:

    Thanks for starting this conversation and inspiring some very interesting blogs.

    From the point of view of someone who is familiar with how KDE works, what seems to be missing is a place in the Gnome git repo to put code that isn’t yet in the main release. In the KDE repo we have ‘playground’, and that is the place where you first check in your alpha quality code. Anyone with a KDE svn/git account can help you work on the code. When the code is a bit more mature it can be moved to the ‘kdereview’ repo where the code is reviewed. For a library like ‘libappindicator’ the review would be done on the mailing list. Then if the code passes the review process, and people agree it is ready for release in the next KDE release increment, it can be moved to ‘kdelibs’.

    If the libappindicator library was already done, and production quality, then it could be copied to ‘kdesupport’ at first. That is a repo for things that KDE depends on, but which aren’t part of KDE at the moment. That includes libraries like Phonon, or Nepomuk Soprano. Sometimes a library that was in kdesupport can be moved to kdelibs if people think it really should be part of KDE. There is a rule that at least two main KDE apps must use a library before it can be considered for inclusion in kdelibs.

    If you wanted a library like libappdicator to be part of kdelibs, it would have to be possible for anyone with a KDE svn/git account to work on the code without needing to sign any sort of license assignment agreement. KDE has its own licensing assignment called ‘The KDE Fiduciary license’ (or similar), but that is optional, and not required. Of course KDE now uses git, and any code would need to be kept in a git repo, and have a git history. You couldn’t expect code that was based in bzr to be included in a project that uses git.

    So as far as I know that’s it. The system seems straightforward to understand to me, and works well in practice. The blockers from the KDE point of view for code coming from Unity, would be the use of bzr and the Canonical license assignment. An you haven’t really explained what to do about those particular blockers for libs you want to get included in Gnome either, and I don’t personally see that Gnome devs are being unreasonable in seeing them as blockers.

  24. Jef Spaleta Says:

    seems _optional_ libappindicator support for GNOME Control Center went in without any drama.

    I did notice that a Canonical employee affirmed the need to actually have a real discussion with the shell devs about the role of libappindicator. There is still no record of that actually having happened.


  25. Owais Lone Says:

    Dear Mark,
    You are one of the best things that happened to Linux and Free Software in general. Keep up the good work.

  26. camaron Says:

    Canonical versus Gnome, Gnome versus Canonical. We know who Canonical is, but who is Gnome?

    Thanks Jeff for the link:

    In October 2010 Red Had employees had written 91% of the code of Gnome-shell.

    With this figure in mind, asking how much code from Red Hat was rejected by Gnome seems like a bit of a joke.

    So, again: who is Gnome?

  27. Brian Fleeger Says:

    As this discussion progresses, I see it is hopelessly lost in the weeds. A productive relationship should not involve having to sift through years of IRC logs to find “evidence” of anything. Software developers are looking for a stable platform, not a party to this kind of vindictive juvenile slander. This should not be some crime drama, a la CSI-Linux. The longer this gets dragged out, the more people will become disenchanted with all parties concerned. Even if Canonical uses this rift as an excuse to launch their own third desktop, they will be the only corporate sponsor of Ubuntu then. There will no longer be a capital-c “Community,” just Canonical.

    Rather than being part of a larger community of development, it will become as insular as Google’s android or HP’s webOS. Admittedly, of those only android is free, but Google tends to take the same attitude about developing everything in-house and dumping it when it is finished baking. I suspect that Canonical already has a policy of keeping most of the big UI and plumbing changes developed in-house, and leaving just enough of the crumbs (“bite-size bugs”) for individual coders to solve so as to preserve a minimum sense of community.

    I can’t recall the quote, but this situation reminds me of the radicals who never got anything done because they were always too busy arguing about what they would do after the revolution. By failing to produce a solid competitor to iOS and Android (which is free as in beer, but closed otherwise), Gnome-shell and Ubuntu both run the risk of becoming marginalized all over again on an all new platform. Further, Canonical is not the only company hocking a free desktop now, without a larger community of developers, they will be going up against Google, HP, and Intel (Meego FTW) by themselves, not to mention the “minor” competition from proprietary vendors Microsoft, RIM, and a little company called Apple.

    I am disappointed in Gnome, because I have been reading for years now, and their community really have been very petty in the kind of passive aggressive language they use, and they do regularly attack Canonical like its a sport. On the other hand, I am equally disappointed in Canonical, which has failed to address so many of the grievances regularly leveled against it. Canonical has missed a great opportunity to be a leader of many within Gnome, and based on the language I see above is instead going to choose to be a leader of none, on its own.

  28. Justyn Says:

    Brian Fleeger said:

    As this discussion progresses, I see it is hopelessly lost in the weeds. A productive relationship should not involve having to sift through years of IRC logs to find “evidence” of anything. Software developers are looking for a stable platform, not a party to this kind of vindictive juvenile slander. This should not be some crime drama, a la CSI-Linux. The longer this gets dragged out, the more people will become disenchanted with all parties concerned.

    I am disappointed in Gnome, because I have been reading for years now, and their community really have been very petty in the kind of passive aggressive language they use, and they do regularly attack Canonical like its a sport. On the other hand, I am equally disappointed in Canonical, which has failed to address so many of the grievances regularly leveled against it. Canonical has missed a great opportunity to be a leader of many within Gnome, and based on the language I see above is instead going to choose to be a leader of none, on its own.

    I really wish all the people involved would understand this. Don’t they realize what damage they’re doing? They’re becoming totally obsessed, as though if they just track down this last little detail, or tackle this incredibly minute sub-point everyone will agree they’re right. Any mature person can see we’re well past that now.

    This is getting poisonous and demoralizing, and for everyone outside this argument it is making it appear that the open source desktop effort cannot be taken seriously.

  29. William Stone III Says:

    Mr. Shuttleworth:

    At the risk of spoiling any chance I might have for a job with Canonical (something I’ve come close to a couple of times), I’m going to repeat here what I did on Dave Neary’s blog:

    I’m neither a developer nor involved with Gnome, KDE, or Ubuntu except as a user. I’m a systems engineer/administrator of some 32 years’ experience. I was a very early adopter of Linux, coming on board with the old Caldera Network Desktop distro because of its interoperability with NetWare (at the time the reigning king of LANs).

    I used various Red Hat distros for years, then switched to Ubuntu because they’d successfully figured out how to make a distro that installs and runs without incident on almost any X86 hardware platform that I threw it at. I still primarily use Red Hat or CENTOS on servers.

    I’ve primarily used GNOME over the years.

    As a user, I’ve watched the internal squabbling with some dismay. I didn’t really much until Ubuntu’s decision to go with Unity. At that point, it began to impact me as a user.

    I’ll be frank: when I first heard Ubuntu was going with Unity, I thought that perhaps it was a good idea. I’d attempted to use GNOME Shell and was turned off by it. VERY turned off by it.

    In fact, my reaction was (and remains) very simple:

    Has the GNOME project lost its mind?

    GNOME Shell is very cute and spiffy-looking, but it’s monstrously difficult from the perspective of trying to get work done. I need a computer I can fire up and immediately comprehend how to get my work done. If there are bells and whistles to make my life easier, so much the better.

    GNOME Shell is impossible for me to plop down in front of and use. It’s as simple as that.

    So when I heard about Unity, I thought perhaps it was a good idea. If the GNOME Project had collectively lost its mind, then it was time to use something else.

    Unfortunately, Unity isn’t any better — in fact, it’s WORSE in some ways.

    My thought with Unity is the same as GNOME:

    Has Ubuntu lost its mind?

    The Unity Desktop is as non-intuitive and difficult to use. It drives me insane to not be able to click back and forth between windows, to have a bash shell that’s damned near fullscreen, etc. I need to have multiple windows so I can be puttering away in one while logs stream past on another.

    In short: all y’all are NUTS at this point.

    You’re both building products that don’t make things any easier. In fact, I’ll come right out and say it:

    I see absolutely no reason to migrate away from a “Start Menu” and Taskbar-style desktop. It works, it makes sense, I can open and close my windows intuitively, etc.

    I’ve tried making my desktop more Mac-like on occasion, and I keep coming back to the “Start Menu” style. It just works.

    Were I to make any changes for improvement, I’d simply make the applications menu point to a subdirectory full of symlinks rather than need to be manually edited. It would save time.

    The reason I bring this up here is that after reading this, I can get some indication of how and where all y’all have lost your collective minds. It’s the in-fighting.

    With the various internal struggles, it’s clear that none of the developers have asked themselves, “Can anybody but us actually use this thing?”

    I believe that you’ll find that the answer is a resounding “No,” and it will be made crystal clear with the next release of your products.

    Your users are going to take one look and say, “Screw this nonsense … I’m going back to Windows.”

    Both GNOME and Ubuntu are about to slit their own throats — which is a shame, because I love the current incarnations of both products.

    Both GNOME Shell and Unity are massive steps backward in terms of user experience and usability. Release them in the form that I’ve tried, and you WILL fall flat on your faces.

    Strategically, this couldn’t come at a worse time. I’ve been in the habit of suggesting users switch to Ubuntu for about a year. I will no longer be able to make this recommendation in good conscience because users will have no idea how to use it.

    You are undercutting Linux adoption. The in-fighting has led to bad software design, and that design is about to be released. It’s a shot to your own brains.

    You’re about to release advanced, nobly-developed free software …


    GNOME Shell is UNUSABLE.

    Unity Desktop is UNUSABLE.

    Bicker all you like, but by releasing these unusable pieces of software, you are going to yank the rug out from under yourselves.

    Ubuntu will not be used. GNOME Shell will not be used. People will go to KDE, Xfce, or a distro that doesn’t use Unity or GNOME Shell.

    Ubuntu’s userbase will plummet — or at the very least migrate to Kubuntu or Xubuntu.

    The adoption of Linux on the desktop will stagnate. Adoption of Ubuntu will drop. Adoption of Ubuntu in the data center will suffer a hit.

    Bicker like children all you like — but at the end of the day, no one can use what you’re trying to sell. Since this is Linux rather than Windows, they have a choice: they will choose not to use them.

    Get it together. Stop the petty bickering. Go back to your IDEs and come up with a desktop I can USE.

  30. nzjrs Says:

    I’m going to repeat my comment at aseigo’s blog here.

    > It started as just an experimental
    > hack, and somehow got picked up as
    > a “Canonical project”. Once that
    > happened my immediate manager told
    > me to stop committing code to GNOME
    > git and do any further work on it
    > privately in bzr.

    This is what you need to fix.

    You said you wanted suggestions, consider

    * Many Canonical projects require CA and all-but-require contribution and hacking to be on launchpad/bzr
    * GNOME projects all-but-require code hosting to be on GNOME git, and all-but-require discussion to occur on the GNOME mailing lists.

    Fair enough, that is reasonable. Each project sets boundaries and rules for contribution. But;

    If you want to genuinely work with GNOME on technical matters then you *all-but-must do so under GNOME rules*. All I am asking for is consistency.

    How does my proposal reflect on the Canonical patches for the nice shiny overlay scrollbars. Poorly.

    Please fix that.

  31. Bill Orningson Says:

    >But to land such a patch, after the refusal, takes some guts on the part of the maintainer. Lots have done it (thank you!) but some have said they are concerned they will be criticised for doing so.

    Without references or emails, you’re just scare mongering. There is no shadowy GNOME cabal threatening to break the knee caps or revoke commit access of maintainers who accept libappindicator patches. As Jef mentioned above, GNOME Control Center took the patches without even a hiccup. Rodrigo accepted the patch despite reservations about the code quality (#ifdefs, #ifdefs everywhere).

    You also didn’t mention what about libappindicator’s rejection as an external dependency seems strange or unusual to you. Have you followed the rejection of other external dependencies and seen why their rejection was made? From what I’ve seen of the Release Team for many years, this was pretty standard.

    Finally, do you have permission to share the responses from the two Release Team members about why libappindicator was rejected? You say they’re contradicting, but we in the peanut gallery would love to determine that for ourselves.

  32. The Canonical Smoke and Mirrors Show « the jargon summary Says:

    […] takes his ball and stomps home when they refuse to play by his rules. Shuttleworth in his latest anti-GNOME blog post makes a series of unsupported claims, and I sincerely hope the FOSS community at large is able […]

  33. Benjamin Humphrey Says:

    I’d just like to say that the comment by Brian Fleeger above hits the nail on the head, and it’s probably the most sensible comment I have seen during this entire week of blogging about the GNOME vs Canonical issue.

    If it were up to me, I would not waste as much time on nit-picking the details and digging out evidence to prove something that’s already happened. Rather, I would be looking to the future and trying to fix the problems that clearly exist on both sides. The Open Source community appears to be fixated on everyone wanting to have the last word.

    If we all have the same intentions, to make Free Software as good as it can be, why is getting along so hard?

  34. Jeff Waugh Says:

    Brian, Benjamin: Yes, I’m sorry that my posts have been nitpicking the details. The reason I’m doing it is that I believe Mark has misled the community (with his extraordinary criticism of the GNOME community and individual GNOME contributors).

    For us to forgive and forget, we need to understand what went wrong. If we don’t accept what has happened, there is no way we can establish the trust we need to work together in the future.

    And for Software Freedom to succeed, we must work together.

  35. Yaa101 Says:

    I agree with Cosmix and want to add that as long time Linux user I am sick and tired when finally there is some stability the developers of most desktop environments start to walk after the next fad created by either MS or Apple and throw away all the knowhow and start over, simply out of fashion or due to low self esteem. Linux could have a great desktop if it only went it’s own way without aping the commercial rubbish out there.

  36. ian Says:

    Mark, can you clarify one point. In a couple of the blogs on this matter it’s been stated that Canonical’s policy was not to work upstream but to keep the work in house, is that the case ?

  37. Daeng Bo Says:


    Both you and David have fallen into the same trap: FD.o is not a standards body. It publishes specifications, and all people need to do is propose and discuss, then host with FD.o. If the spec gets picked up by people, then it’s considered accepted. There’s not much more to it than that.

  38. Luke Morton Says:


    Please stop putting quotes around things you’re paraphrasing, especially when attributing them to another individual. It’s already been highlighted multiple times in this saga but to restate the obvious, communication between all parties needs to be better. Misleading readers into thinking someone else said something verbatim doesn’t help.

  39. Shane Says:

    I’m going to propose an idea many people will probably immediately reject and even flame me for, however it’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. Perhaps an open desktop is a bad idea. Maybe not EVERYTHING needs to be or should be Open Source. Just because OSS work for some types of software doesn’t mean it works for everything. Maybe we are all taking a good idea and trying to apply it to areas it has no business being applied. And just maybe, the Linux desktop has repeatedly failed to make any meaningful progress because of this.

    It’s clear that OSS works great in the right context (basic tools for programming and design). But perhaps it’s time to consider the possibility that the Open Source approach is NOT applicable to the desktop and other end-user applications. Square peg, round hole.

  40. openSUSE 11.4 Review | The Linux Action Show! | Jupiter Broadcasting Says:

    […] around. Sneak Peak at the Future of Maemo Shuttleworth, Seigo: GNOME’s Not Collaborating (follow up) Novell acquisition delayed by DoJ patent investigation – News – Linux for Devices AMD […]

  41. Stevie Says:

    @Jeff Waugh: Do you have a personal vendetta? You seem to be rationalising your position at every step of the way. You take time to recognise why Mark/Canonical/Ubuntu-people may be right or tried, but you just say it wasn’t enough. Tell them what you think should have been done and stop telling people they have not done enough!

    @mark: You have always been very careful in how you communicate or have a very intuitive grasp on what needs to be said, now you are tired you have to be careful in what you say! I don’t mean to over-step my position here and tell you how to fight this, because you are eloquent and well considered but this is reading like you took the energy from a rant and moulded it into something constructive (like you have lost perspective). What I trying to say is you have lost your cool a little, it’s hard fighting out of an entrenched position. Especially hard when you recognise you are in an entrenched and difficult position. It’s time to regroup, recognise you shifted the balance and start asking people how this process can be improved on all fronts and tell them what you think should be done. I think people will be less agressive to Canonical/Yourself/Ubuntuers now they recognise you will stand up for yourselves.

  42. someguy Says:

    I think its time for all of the desktop people (freedesktop,Gnome,KDE,Canonical, Red Hat etc) to come together (in the same room), decide the needs of the modern desktop, specify a set of standards governed by FD that all should comply, see what we have and whats missing and implement.

    this situation is hurting FOOS. See for example the two different package formats (.deb and .rpm)

  43. Brian Fleeger Says:

    @Jeff Waugh:

    I disagree that in order to move forward it is necessary to perpetually air each others’ grievances. If this were a marriage, it would be of the twisted Hitchcock variety. It is so unhealthy to go about things this way, it was even satirized on Seinfeld:

    Lets run with that analogy: there is no marriage councilor in the world who would suggest “to make things go smoother, and to recover your marital bliss, be sure to point out to your spouse repeatedly that thing s/he did 13 years ago that really made you mad. Make sure s/he knows s/he was wrong. That will smooth things over real good n’all. Yeah, that’ll do it.” I am speaking tongue in cheek, but I am serious at the same time.

    At this point, I everybody seems to have so much emotional baggage and pent-up rage that it feels almost like some kind of psychological complex. There is so much resentment in the back and forth blogs this past week, it goes far beyond the rational. This has gone into Lady Gaga territory already.

    I think a big part of it is that the community relies too much on email and IRC. This may sound like sacrilege, but the written word is highly subjective, depending on the state of mind of the reader when s/he is reading, and a host of other factors. The written word lends itself to obsessing, and grudges form very easily over perceived slights and missed chances. Further, after someone does become incensed in an exchange of text, it is far too easy to meticulously craft a truly insulting response to further fuel the flames of resentment. Yes, phone calls are not easily documented (or at least there is not a system currently in place for their archiving), but when you are in a conference call, you cannot spend 48 hrs crafting a treatise to crush your enemies. In fact, when people are in a voice conversation, they typically do not get angry at all.

    I suggest that to really get the ball rolling on desktop interoperability, all the interested stakeholders, i.e. Gnome, KDE, Canonical, hell even Meego people, all start holding weekly conference calls. Then, they record the calls and post them to Vimeo or someone’s blog somewhere. This may be difficult, since if Dave Neary’s description of Gnome’s organization is accurate, then it is more akin to the hacker group Anonymous than a typical non-profit. But even then, if they were serious then they could still collectively designate a representative. I nominate Jon McCann; seriously, he seems like a really great guy if you get to know him.

    Anyway, I have been a fan of Gnome and Ubuntu for years, and I just fear both parties are losing the moral high ground because of all this. That is not something to be taken lightly, because without it you are no better than all the other software companies out there. Just look at the way GNU has isolated itself with all of its vitriol. They are free as in beer and Thomas Pain, and yet I cannot take them seriously.

    Good luck to all, and please work it out.

  44. Leif Says:

    @Brian, yes it is getting in the weeds, but this helps keep open communities/politics honest and accountable.

  45. Jef Spaleta Says:

    Benjamin Humphrey,

    I’ll refer the Jono Bacon’s guide on how to deal with poisonous people on his site that he set up.

    “You should handle these known entities with caution: jarring moves in their direction can dial up the poison even further. You need to fight poisonous people not with words but with evidence. Disprove their comments with calm and reasoned commentary amply bolstered with third-party references and evidence. You can then let your community members make up their own minds.”

    Mark continues to found his public allegation on conversations that can’t be refuted nor can they be corroborated. I believe Mark is acting poisonously. And as Jono has pointed out you fight poisonous people with evidence.

    As of my last posting a comment made in a bug ticket by another Canonical employee affirms as of Feb 2010, that a conversation with shell developers as to the role of libappindicator was still needed.

    This comment does not corroborate Mark’s view of things. Nor does the handling of the patch in this bugticket. The optional libappindicator support was accepted into a core GNOME application without any drama. The commentary there in that bug refutes several points that Mark would like you to believe.

    It is also most unfortunate that noone inside his own company can exert social pressure on him in public nor can they contradict anything he says in public. He holds the purse strings to their livelihood. So when past employees like Daniel Stone and Jeff Waugh stand up to refute Mark it is noteworthy.


  46. Bill Orningson Says:


    >This may be difficult, since if Dave Neary’s description of Gnome’s organization is accurate, then it is more akin to the hacker group Anonymous than a typical non-profit.

    GNOME is not a non-profit. It is a software project. The GNOME Foundation is a non-profit. The GNOME Foundation does not make technical decisions or set technical direction for GNOME software.

    GNOME is free software, in the GNU sense. That means development must happen in the open. Anyone is free to participate. A series of closed conference calls is not in the spirit of free software. A hacker wanting to develop a new library or contribute to an existing application shouldn’t need to beg information on the latest decisions from higher-ups. He should be able to figure out what’s happening from the standard sources of information that have served free software projects for decades: written text, out in the open for all to see.

    Private discussions have been the main cause of this whole blow-up. The Banshee-Amazon-referral debacle unfolded so violently because the initial discussion happened in private between Canonical and Banshee developers. By the end of it, all the outside world had to go on was hearsay because the original conversation hadn’t been archived. The libappindicator mess took place because a Canonical developer and a GNOME developer had a private conversation and both came out of it with different ideas of what the conversation meant. If that conversation had been held in public, or if each had gone on to document the conversation after it was done, they would have immediately noticed the discrepancy in conclusions and could have resolved the problem right then.

  47. | Blog | All the other guys are not wrong Says:

    […] […]

  48. dc Says:

    @Jef No, it’s not particularly noteworthy that a former employee of an organization is more likely to be critical of the organization than a current employee.

    All that Daniel Stone and Jeff Waugh speaking against Mark means is that Daniel Stone and Jeff Waugh disagree with Mark. It doesn’t imply that the remaining employees disagree with him silently to keep their paychecks.

  49. mark Says:


    Canonical’s policy is to work wherever it can do so most effectively. In some cases, that means engaging directly with lots of other projects – both upstream, other distros and the companies behind them. In other cases, it means taking the lead on a whole initiative or codebase. There are plenty of examples of both tactics being used, and it’s wrong to say that Canonical has a “policy not to work upstream”.

  50. eet Says:

    All this hubbub from Mark seems to me a sign of building pressure over the state of his own project (Ubuntu). It probably signals both that things are not going well with Unity and that he has a premonition of desaster.

    From my perspective, this discussion will prove irrelevant once the next release of Ubuntu, with Unity as default desktop environment, comes out and bombs.

  51. Pawlo Says:

    Gnome foundation is a mess which supports ms ooxml and mono, gnome folks want to trick everyone and don’t know what cooperation means, gnome3 and gnome shell are disasters. KDE’s much different, much better, so I don’t understand why are you still sticking to gnome? They’re even blaming you, because you don’t support novell and ms (it’s about banshee crappy player) as much as they want you to, they’re blaming you, because you decided to not use something so broken like gnome shell, they’re blaiming you, because you and KDE want closer cooperation.

  52. Bill Orningson Says:


    You can you put yourself in charge of GNOME. If you encourage your developers to work upstream and become respected developers within the community, they will become the go-to people in the GNOME project. Your developers are very talented. As they gain experience with GTK+ and other GNOME technologies, they will become essential to the project. They will become maintainers, board members, and release team members. They will be in control of GNOME because they are GNOME. That’s what Red Hat has done. That’s what Novell has done.

    You can have all the control of GNOME that you want or need. Canonical has the resources that few other organizations have. Push your people to be available, to write code, to take on the tedious tasks that bore volunteers to tears. Canonical will become one of the heroes of the GNOME community. Everyone – users, coders, Canonical, Red Hat, Novell, GNOME, KDE, Ubuntu, Fedora, Suse, and everyone in between – will benefit.

  53. eepc Says:


    All this hubhub from you seem to be a sign that what’s happening is the other way around. GNOME shell is cool, but Unity is certainly better. Who would want a shell that’s built around workspaces? Even Firefox disables Panorama by default. :-)

  54. bob Says:

    I think the truth will probably lie somewhere in the middle. But GNOME people seems to be making personal attacks and resorting to the you are evil mantra. Am I right? Probably not but GNOME IS NOT showing themselves in a good light. And here’s why I’m scratching me head about them:

    Jeff Waugh in particular has made a point of saying I respected Mark but not anymore – in my experience, this is really means – I could never stand the person but I’ll assume the moral high ground. This really sounds like a vendetta to me. We have a saying in Australia. Tall Poppy Syndrome- basically let’s go after the successful people and knock them down.

    I did search on wikipedia about Jeff Waugh and got this – “In the lead-up to the 2007 GNOME Foundation elections, Waugh was strongly criticised by GNOME developer Murray Cumming for obstructing GNOME project efforts, with opinion among the GNOME community divided as to the merits of Cumming’s accusations and the propriety of publishing them as a public weblog entry”. Don’t believe me? Then do a search on wikipedia on Jeff Waugh!

    And Jef Spaleta saying that Mark Shuttleworth is poisonous. Jef, you are the snake – how about keeping personal attacks out of it! I’ve done a search on your name and you always seem to attack Mark and Canonical – bit of envy buddy?

    Linus Torvalds has mentioned before that GNOME devs are hard to deal with. And Aaron from KDE.

    Don’t know about anyone else, but if people kept telling me I was hard to work with, after being p’ed off for a bit I’d start looking at myself.

    Also, pre ubuntu, I seem to remember that KDE was WAY more popular that GNOME. Say 30% GNOME, 40% KDE? Now it seems to be 45-50% GNOME and maybe 35-40% KDE? Yep KDE4 didn’t help but I’m betting a LOT of the popularity of GNOME is due to Ubuntu.

  55. srinivas v Says:


    I think u want completely take over the GNOME ecosystem. Thats it. Ur comments about “lack of leadership”, “lack of transparency”……… all leads to the same thing. I believe that u know the procedure of becoming the leader of the GNOME project. With this u will be getting closer to other proprietary software producers. U can make GNOME environment the “poor mans” OSX or other proprietary operating systems. Go ahead. U are entitled to the ROI on ur ubuntu brand. And u have waited for quite a long time. Average incubation period for businesses is theoretically, approx 2yrs. Hasten up. Grab ur share.

  56. mitcoes Says:

    I use GNOME, I do like it, and i have prove all. But I do think Canonical has made an exellent move to the future, first with unity, after with wayland.

    The future is tablets and desktop computers used with multitouxh screens, this devices will incorporate new users and the replacement computers.

    As nix systems are faster than MS ones, any modern computer, including powerless ARM would go fast with Xorg.

    But unity + Wayland will be even faster, and many tablets and multitouch desktop compueters would adopt it even more when Android apps will run as native inside Ubuntu. It is an excellent move.

    I have prove Gnome 3, and as Unity are both still in early stages. But as some people like KDE or GNOME now we will have Unity as the other main choice, analternative focused on the non tech user, that perhaps would prefer GNOME.

    I know that Unity interface is prefered for a netbook or a tablet between “normal” users that is the market share that use MS WOS now because it is preinstalled.

    In a near future, tablets and desktop multitouch computers with Ubuntu preinstalled would be a good choice if they are at the stores, “normal” users will prove, and choose it in a good part, perhaps a share like OSX has now, but they must run as Chrome browser does, what a speed of development!.

  57. Evan Nelson Says:


    At this point it’s probably in your best interest not to continue blogging about this whole controversy. As Brian Fleeger has already stated, “it is hopelessly lost in the weeds”. Even if answer all the questions and provide all the citations that Waugh and Spaleta are asking for, it won’t end. No matter what you say, there will still be people demanding that you find more evidence of your stance and that of Canonical’s, because this whole mess has degraded into nothing more than a childish blame game. Nothing productive could possibly come from continued discussion about the subject except more anger and dissent.

  58. luca Says:

    Looking at the answers from GNOME devs I’d say drop this DE for something else (Xfce for example or any other else open to collaboration) and leave them and the DE itself without the Ubuntu stage.
    The only way to use GNOME in a decent and not anachronistic way is via Ubuntu, I would not use it in any other distro.

    GNOME should allow and encourage external additions because these increase positive and constructive competition inside it, this competition is necessary in a meritocratic system to get better components/softwares for both devs and users.

    This bad behaviour has always been present in GNOME, also before Ubuntu came out, so something should be fixed. I hope in a collaborative way, where possible!

  59. Dave Neary Says:

    In the interests of full disclosure, I sent a couple of emails to Mark explaining what I understood was GNOME’s policy towards dependencies. To ensure accuracy, I then spoke to 2 members of the release team, who both confirmed the policy for me. One of the members said some pretty strong things in his comments, which I tempered (without modifying the sense) in my email to Mark.

    Here’s an extract from the first email I sent to Mark, where I describe my understanding of external dependencies:

    > Mark Shuttleworth wrote:
    > > It’s difficult to know what external dependency processes are for: some
    > > say they are to bless existing decisions, others say they are a
    > > requirement for those decisions to be taken.
    > I’m writing a follow-up blog entry and I hope that I can clarify that
    > for you. There seems to be no such confusion for the release team (at
    > least, in the 2.x era): an external dependency is a non-GNOME module
    > which is a dependency of a package contained in one of the GNOME module
    > sets. And since libappindicator does not fit that definition, there is
    > quite simply no need for it to be an external dependency. I can point
    > you to 3 or 4 precedents, if you’d like.

    Here’s the full email I sent to Mark after speaking to release team members, from which he cites above:

    > I got you what is, as far as I can tell, a definitive answer on this.
    > First, extracts from the release team policies:
    > ** From
    > “Do not add any external dependencies other than those already approved
    > for that cycle (e.g.
    > This
    > includes not depending on a newer version than what is already approved.”
    > ** From
    > # I need a new dependency. What should I do?
    > * New dependencies for features should be added as soon as possible.
    > There are three possibilities for dependencies: make them optional,
    > bless them as external or include them in one of our suites. New
    > dependencies should be known before feature freezes. A dependency can be
    > proposed for inclusion AFTER the 2.27.1 release because it might need
    > more time to be ready.
    > # How to propose an external dependency?
    > * If you want to add a new dependency, make a good case for it on
    > desktop-devel-list (this may only require a few sentences). In
    > particular, explain any impact (compile and run time) on other modules,
    > and list any additional external dependencies it would pull in as well
    > as any requirements on newer versions of existing external dependencies.
    > Be prepared for others to take a few days to test it (in particular, to
    > ensure it builds) before giving a thumbs up or down.
    > Now, in practice:
    > 1. If a maintainer wants to add optional (compile-time) support for a
    > new feature that uses a library, there is nothing they have to do beyond
    > commit the patch, and let the release team know.
    > 2. If a maintainer wants to add unconditional support for a feature
    > which requires a new dependency, then they should first write the patch,
    > then propose the dependency for inclusion in the next release.
    > Traditionally, the bar for external dependencies has been low, modulus a
    > number of conditions. There is reason to believe that the bar for
    > libappindicator would be higher, because of the history involved. One or
    > more maintainers arguing for the functionality would help.
    > I have talked to 2 release team members specifically about
    > libappindicator, and have been told by one that:
    > * Since libappindicator has a CLA, it can’t be included in the GNOME
    > module sets under current policy
    > * It could be included as an external dependency, but would meet some
    > opposition because of duplicate functionality with libnotify
    > and by the other that:
    > * libappindicator doesn’t make sense as a GNOME dependency because it is
    > only useful with Unity, which is not part of GNOME
    > * adding appindicator support will only make apps better on one distro,
    > and don’t benefit GNOME as a whole
    > * If people want to make their app integrate with Unity they’re free to
    > do so, but they should add a configure option so the release team
    > doesn’t have to worry about it
    > * For core GNOME components, providing deep integration with other
    > desktops is probably a non-starter
    > This is of course all personal opinion on the part of the 2 people I
    > spoke to.
    > In short, it’s an unnecessarily emotional issue which has been
    > aggravated by all concerned. But if module maintainers want to support
    > libappindicator, then they are able to do so. And if you can persuade
    > the shell authors to use appindicators in the same way as Unity, then
    > there would be nothing apart from copyright assignment preventing
    > libappindicator being part of the GNOME platform.

    Hopefully it’s clear that Mark’s reading of my email is selective at least. There is no disagreement between the two release team members I talked to, the policies for dependencies are clear & unambiguous, and as others have said, there is no need to do anything if proposing optional compile-time support for a new dependency.

    The relevant release team guidelines I quoted are also consistent with the position the release team took for libappindicator.

    In fact, the release team adopted almost exactly the same position for libnotify when it was first proposed for inclusion, in 2.20:


  60. Jeff Waugh Says:


    Jeff Waugh in particular has made a point of saying I respected Mark but not anymore.

    Not at all. I am disappointed in Mark. I am angry with Mark, but only as of his behaviour this week. Neither of those things mean I don’t respect him.

  61. Naz Says:

    As an average joe whose been using Linux and Ubuntu user for the past decade all these posts have made me think real hard about the way Open Source development works. I never thought it was this hard to develop projects and after going through 10’s of blog posts yes, a few myths were shattered. And sadly, there is truth in both the arguments.

    Canonical came up with the patch to notifications as discussed with GNOME long back and them being the fanboys of desktop Linux hoped their patches will be welcomed with open hands. GNOME only compounded the problem by their overly complicated approval process (as acknowledged by Dave and Jeff) by rejecting the patch. I’m sure it would have hurt Canonical a lot, yeah a lot. GNOME needs to communicate a lot better, you can’t just reject a patch or project and expect the other party to be cool about it, especially when the other party is Ubuntu or Canonical which has the largest user base of desktop linux users. I have been hearing a lot from GNOME devs and foundation members that Canonical should have pushed harder, why isn’t anybody talking about the push from GNOME, it just shouldn’t be one sided. Ubuntu has the largest user base in desktop linux and sure these guys know something about what the users need, and when these guys submit something shouldn’t GNOME at least have a discussion with Canonical as to why their patch was rejected.

    Not sure about Mark’s comments on the GNOME developers delaying or redesigning patches concerning Unity though. If that is the case its a real shame.

  62. Peter Frandsen Says:

    Well said Mark.

  63. Ubuntu Linux and GNOME: The Disputes continue | ZDNet Says:

    […] Linux is the supercomputer operating system of choice; thanks to Android, Linux is becoming the most popular smartphone operating system of them all;and Linux continues to make gains in the server market. But, when it comes to the desktop, no matter how you measure it, Linux has never how more than a tiny share of the desktop market. Why? Well, I can give you lots of reasons, but one that Mark Shuttleworth founder of Canonical, the company behind the popular Ubuntu Linux distribution, has pointed out that there’s a lot of disorganization and disorder in Linux desktop developer circles. […]

  64. TGM Says:

    @Everyone Above: What a happy family we are.

  65. Arnoldas Says:

    @TGM pretty lame family :p

  66. Дайджест №12: По секрету всему свету | ByteFrames Says:

    […] именно Gnome, а не KDE(вроде вот таких вот бурлений). Марк решил высказаться по этом […]

  67. Naz Says:

    As an average joe whose been using Linux and Ubuntu user for the past decade all these posts have made me think real hard about the way Open Source development works. I never thought it was this hard to develop projects and after going through 10′s of blog posts yes, a few myths were shattered. And sadly, there is truth in both the arguments.

    Canonical came up with the patch to notifications as discussed with GNOME long back and them being the fanboys of desktop Linux hoped their patches will be welcomed with open hands. GNOME only compounded the problem by their overly complicated approval process (as acknowledged by Dave and Jeff) by rejecting the patch. I’m sure it would have hurt Canonical a lot, yeah a lot. GNOME needs to communicate a lot better, you can’t just reject a patch or project and expect the other party to be cool about it, especially when the other party is Ubuntu or Canonical which has the largest user base of desktop linux users. I have been hearing a lot from GNOME devs and foundation members that Canonical should have pushed harder, why isn’t anybody talking about the push from GNOME, it just shouldn’t be one sided. Ubuntu has the largest user base in desktop linux and sure these guys know something about what the users need, and when these guys submit something shouldn’t GNOME at least have a discussion with Canonical as to why their patch was rejected.

    Not sure about Mark’s comments on the GNOME developers delaying or redesigning patches concerning Unity though. If that is the case its a real shame.

  68. Adam Williamson Says:

    “I expect that Ubuntu will ship Gnome 3 perfectly well with Unity.”

    This is the fundamental issue here, and it’s one you keep skirting around and never engaging with. You quote very selectively from Owen’s post and never really engage with his fundamental argument: that GNOME as a project is/was engaged in re-designing the GNOME user experience for GNOME 3, that Canonical chose to stay outside that process and design a separate user experience, and that Owen believes the general feeling of the GNOME project is that’s not cricket: GNOME 3 bits with a different user experience, to Owen and those who agree with him, is *not* GNOME 3. You define it as such, but they do not.

    I think the most valuable thing you can do, instead of arguing the toss about relatively small points, is to engage with that key core issue.

  69. Derrick Says:

    Brian Fleeger said:
    “Rather than being part of a larger community of development, it will become as insular as Google’s android or HP’s webOS. Admittedly, of those only android is free, but Google tends to take the same attitude about developing everything in-house and dumping it when it is finished baking. I suspect that Canonical already has a policy of keeping most of the big UI and plumbing changes developed in-house”

    (Sorry I don’t know how to properly format quotes in these comments.)

    Honestly, if Google were developing Ubuntu, and preserving the customizable look and feel of the Gnome Panel environment (with perhaps a couple of the interesting pieces of Unity), and not relying on the “cloud” for applications, and not doing nefarious things with my private information, and doing it all for free, I as a mere humble end user could not give a darn about whether they did it by “insular” means “in-house”. Clearly the design by committee aspects of FLOSS have not really yielded much cohesion ~throughout~ the entire lifespan of Linux. See how there seem to be 20 different ways of doing practically everything in Linux.

    Honestly, I wish someone WOULD make a bottom to top closed source variant of Linux that does everything including the UI in-house (and therefore ostensibly does not require reams of additional libraries to ensure compatibility with 20 other versions of …. well … everything).

    Honestly, if there was a $20 alternative (whether based on Linux or BSD) to Mac OS X that ran on any laptop I can purchase (I don’t give a darn about netbooks or tablets), I’d pay for that and just pay no heed to any of this political wheel-spinning in FLOSS or the cult of personality that is Apple.

  70. Pawlo Says:

    I noticed persons related to novell and opensuse started attacking Canonical and Ubuntu in few last days. I wonder why? Maybe they’re the ones who don’t want cooperation and who want gnome to be incompatible with other DEs? Their marketing became very aggressive lately.

    @Adam Williamson

    The fundamental issue is gnome shell, I guess. It’s unusable in current state and it’s something natural Canonical doesn’t want to ship it. Unity, which gives hope to real ‘unity’ between Qt and gtk applications is also much more user friendly. Gnome 2 was lacking many important features and gnome 3 is even worse. The best thing Canonical can do is to switch to KDE SC 4. This is another story, but I hope this will happen, otherwise they will be always behind. Btw. define what gnome is?

  71. Matt Says:

    With the whole Gnome/Unity debated going on, I decided to take a look at KDE. I haven’t used it since the early 3.x release (circa 2003). The applications that we use are rather resource intensive, and so having an overloaded desktop environment is rather senseless. That is one reason why I really enjoy the streamline work flow and minimalistic approach of Gnome.

    However, after what I have seen of Gnome 3 and playing around with KDE in a virtual machine we’re seriously thinking of switching our workstations to KDE.

    It will be interesting to see how things progress.

  72. eet Says:

    @Derrick: “Honestly, I wish someone WOULD make a bottom to top closed source variant of Linux that does everything including the UI in-house.”

    I guess this is pretty much what Mark has in mind…

  73. wes Sole Says:

    This discussion, although useful in its own right, is a prime example of “not in my backyard” thinking that destroys cooperation at all levels. Such political focus will always be at the expense of: cooperation, collaboration, and commonsense.
    When the discussion refocuses on producing a better and more useful product then everyone will benefit.

  74. M. Says:

    @Pawlo: Novell and openSUSE have been cooperating with GNOME and KDE. OpenSUSE’s community is really, really correct and I think they’re far, far from aggressive. And I’ve been using gnome-shell and I didn’t find it unusable, you know?

  75. Adam Williamson Says:

    Pawlo: as I’m not a part of GNOME I’m really not qualified to define what GNOME is. But my point is that the fundamental conflict here is that Mark (and by extension, Canonical) and a significant part of the GNOME community have fundamentally different variations of what ‘GNOME’ is and what it means to work on GNOME.

  76. Adam Williamson Says:


  77. Jeff Waugh Says:


    That’s not really how it all happened, but I can understand why people would get that impression — particularly given Mark’s way of relating the story. I hope my series of blog posts about the timeline and relationship go some way to repairing that. :-)

  78. M. Says:

    In my comment I forgot a “for years”. “Novell and openSUSE have been cooperating with GNOME and KDE for years”.

  79. Barbie Says:

    @ TGM & Arnoldas brought a tear to my eye gush gush ‘we’re a family’! Exactly that!! :-)

  80. raf Says:

    It would be great if everyone could stop talking about who done what.
    And maybe gnome people could be so kind, and find someone who would just start working with Canonical on adding those indicators.
    After all ubuntu is their biggest customer and whole idea of one standardized indicators sounds really interesting….

  81. suraj Says:

    Hi Mark,

    Don’t know if you will ever read this. But it doesn’t matter, if its gnome, unity, kde, mac, windows… in the end its the Applications that sell the OS to the user. I think Linux has amazing apps. But do they compare to a Mac or Windows App ? I don’t think so. Ubuntu needs amazing apps and I think Canonical should be more involved with the developers of the default apps it ships. Do you agree ? or disagree ? I don’t know whats the best way that you could do this.. but its just a thought.

  82. Frederico A. Mendes Says:

    Canonical should follow a new strategy for the launch of Unity.
    Below is a link to view the model of the idea.
    Community participation and a greater period of development is important.

  83. Richard Says:

    We need unity and by unity I don’t mean Unity! 😛

    On a serious note it would be much better if the big wigs at gnome and canonical could meet on irc and talk about this before something drastic happens. It would be much better for both parties and the community if you were able to work together.

  84. Twitter Weekly Updates for 2011-03-20 « Jeremy's Blog Says:

    […] responds to Analysis of the conflict among Canonical, GNOME, and KDE […]

  85. Frederico A. Mendes Says:

    New idea of usability for Unity
    The Unit has been points of divergence among the users. I developed some ideas seeking to improve usability. I hope it will be useful for developers.

    Mockup in this video:

    More details on the model
    See full size

    More information:

  86. Karthik Says:

    Mark Wrote (the last lines of the blog):
    The goal – for everyone, I think – is great free software. I know we’re committed to that, and doing what we think is needed to achieve it.

    Could you promise the community that it is free and *open source* software and not *free* and/or proprietary software?
    Thanks a lot.

  87. Programa 1×21 – 32 contra 64 bits y Oauth en Twitter | Pánico en el Núcleo Says:

    […] Está algo tensa la cosa entre GNOME y Canonical […]

  88. 451 CAOS Theory » 451 CAOS Links 2011.03.22 Says:

    […] If not Dave Neary’s Lessons Learned is a good place to start, while Mark Shuttelworth’s response is also worth a read, as is his earlier post. If you are *really* interested in the relationship […]

  89. Mirek2 Says:

    I’m not really sure what the big hubub is about.

    Mark, what do you want from Gnome? Various Gnome representatives have offered to have a rational discussion with Canonical about Gnome Shell’s interface, and it seems like Canonical is the one that refuses to cooperate, not Gnome.

    Is this really just about not shipping libappindicator as an external dependency?

    P. S. Your quoting of the articles is a bit misleading and one-sided. The articles you quote make valid points and usually encourage Canonical to join in shaping Gnome Shell, yet here they are made out to sound close-minded and petty.

  90. JohnH Says:

    I personally partially agree with Derrick.
    Not on the fact that « I wish someone WOULD make a bottom to top closed source variant of Linux that does everything including the UI in-house. » — and honestly I don’t even have an opinion about that — but rather on the fact that if there was an out of the box, efficiently working on any station, “user-friendly” (Ubuntu-like) distribution, I would be ready to pay for it.

    I’m not a Linux guru, and I’ve only been using Ubuntu and Debian for the past few years, but what I can tell is that today, I’m incapable of going back to either Windows or Mac OSX on my personal station. This will sound like extremism, but I think Linux is THE way, despite all the problems I have encountered with it, and that I wouldn’t have had to face with the two other well-knonw OSs.

    Ubuntu has brought more users than ever to try out Linux. Most electronic devices that need an efficient operating system given their resources use Linux. Smartphones use Linux. I think Linux is now more popular than ever, and I don’t see why the people working to make it what it is, in all the variety of its distributions, couldn’t decide to make the users pay for it, IF it means taking Linux to the next level.

    But before going on on this topic, could somebody tell me if money could actually help avoiding these situations? I’m only saying that because of this :

    […] to get things done in GNOME, you need to talk to the right people. That means, defining your problem, and identifying the stakeholders who are also interested in that problem, and working out a solution with them (am I repeating myself?). Mark seems to want GNOME *TO BEHAVE LIKE A COMPANY*, so that he can get “his people” to talk to “our people” and make it happen. I think that this misunderstanding of how to wield influence within the GNOME project is a key problem.

    Now if money sounds like poison to the OpenSource/Free community, maybe it’s time for the community to set up some rules to make sure money doesn’t get into the equation when critical desisions have to be taken. I’m just saying : why not making companies? Companies with our own, “OpenSource” rules?

  91. Oneiric Ocelot Says:

    will Ubuntu 11.04 use gnome 3 ?

  92. Geinux Says:

    No me importan las peleas internas, creo que la rivalidad es buena, soy usuario de Gnome y me siento emocionado por el futuro que tiene Unity, voy a darle el tiempo que sea para que madure y si me siento incomodo siempre me puedo pasar a Gnome clásico. Para avanzar siempre hay que arriesgar, animo Mark buen trabajo. 😉

  93. Alvaro Says:

    I guess we all (end users) need a usable, well designed, coherent, and good performance desktop. I’ll give my apologies for what I’m going to say but thats why many people love Mac OS X. Unity looks for me in a good path but I don’t feel it “solid as a rock” like other GUIs. But I’ll always support FLOSS, specially Ubuntu

  94. tux Says:

    I couldn’t care less about App Indicators and stuff.

    Here’s the deal,

    Unity breaks Gnome, Ubuntu 11.04 is broken.
    Gnome-shell breaks Gnome, Fedora 15 is broken.

    The user experience is broken.

  95. Sopha Mungkunkhunsisuwan Says:

    I stumbled upon Ubuntu last year. From my experience, I feel it is a great chance to learn something new. I’m really happy as Ubuntu has make me feel more independent and eager for learning.
    In another view, I came from Asia and most of its citizens’ salary is very low compare to USA and European. They said that it is very hard to combat software piracy. However,when Ubuntu come, it give us opportunity to use computer and feels that someone out there understand our plight when we have to deal with economy crisis.
    So this whole argument is really a sad sight to me. I hope that everyone will find a good solution. This whole project is a like an angel itself which can help us mankind to be unselfish and giving to society.
    When all of you argue, surely there is somebody laughing the loudest as your rival will think that your idea to give free software is just a utopia idea. And I fear that it is your lost when it proved them right again that all of us need to buy software to run computer.
    I would like to thank you all for me to know this software and I believe this misunderstanding can be solved if all can sit down and rethink back what is the most important thing: Mankind Development or Personal Achievement.

  96. allan Says:

    The simplistic design of GNOME has won many users to both desktop and servers for it is good enough. KDE on the other hand is complex to use at first, and the file manager(dolphin) is sometimes clumsy to use in my opinion. The defaults in the file manager are too cumbersome to use at times. However, I think KDE is a better desktop if we need to utilize KDE’s full potential.

    Back to the subject.

    It would be better for Canonical to focus on developing Unity, and provide steps on collaborating with Gnome if some features in Unity is worth copying/implementing so that everyone benefits. My main concern for my Linux desktop is not the products that comes out from Canonical/Ubuntu or GNOME, KDE or any Free Software equivalents, but applications. Yeah, I need CorelDRAW and no, not Inkscape.

    Canonical’s target audience is Windows users (The toughest bug in launchpad). And if Canonical wants the FOSS community to help ridding this bug, it should provide a friendly environment for ISVs where they can develop their software as easy as possible, and I think they are exactly doing that. Now, there are plenty of professional CAD proprietary applications in Linux nowadays, they should be promoted even if they are for paid. Stop the Free Software Only nonsense, it will never work. If we wanted to use only “FREE” then HELP the developers behind Inkscape, GIMP, Sk1 and others and make them an industry standard. This seems impossible, but this is how I see to fix that bug.

  97. adam g Says:

    i have a few questions:
    1) when u gonna try to cooperate with big names to give us:
    – adobe products (audition, photoshop etc
    – steam (they cant make it cause of problems with graphics on linux – thats what they said)

    2) when u gonna do a step forward and make real BIG changes? not just in look or new menu? we are in the same place for long time

    3) we need office..a good office and ms office is one of them (one product they did right), libre office and open office aint good enough

    dont get me wrong i love linux, i am usin ubu 11.04 right now – alpha3..but we need a big step forward….until linux wont work properly – big names wont come to us.

  98. orlando silveira Says:

    Good Night

    you revolutionized linux, because before you Linux was used only by those who know the programming language, which I think was not great when you came out and rode the canonical and created ubuntu, everything changed, though in my opinion not gnome offered a visually beautiful and uncomplicated to the User layman, but greatly improved because we have not had the best option on Linux, and now you made another revolution, this time in ubuntu, with the visual unity, was the the best things to come, My congratulations, alias mui8to think small to be congratulated him, but I congratulate domeu in understanding and knowledge, because with ubuntu unity was great, and practice for the laity, and for anyone, and once again outperformed the windows, but I would like to give some suggestions below:


    I think even if people are complaining about a general the changes, but only you and also revolutionized the linux ubuntu, I think people in general should think like a company, even Ubuntu is free and open, we have to surpass the competition and seek to approach people in interactivity, because I think that Mr Mark Shuttleworth not entered the business of open source game, or to stagnate, because everything in life has to think of progress and evolution, if not has no reason to be, beyond what the effort, work, the changes in satisfaction dao always, positively or negatively, and experience to evolve forever.

    orlando silveira
    User faithful ubuntu


    Boa Noite

    voce revoluciou o linux, pois antes de voce o linux era usado apenas por quem conhecia a linguagem de programacao, que penso nao era grande, quando voce apareceu e montou a canonical e criou o ubuntu, tudo mudou, embora na minha opiniao o gnome nao oferecia um visual bonito e descomplicado para o usuario leigo, porem melhorou bastante ja que antes nao tinhamos opcao melhor no linux, e agora voce fez outra revolucao, e desta vez no ubuntu, com o visual unity, era o o melhor que estava por vir, meus parabens, alias acho ser mui8to pequeno para parabeniza-lo, mas parabenizo dentro domeu entendimento e de conhecimento, porque o ubuntu com unity ficou otimo, e pratico para os leigos, e para qualquer um, e mais uma vez superou o windows, porem gostaria de dar algumas sugestoes abaixo:


    Acho ainda que as pessoas de uma modo geral estao reclamando das mudancas, porem somente voce revoluciou o linux e tambem o ubuntu, acho que as pessoas de um modo geral, deveriam pensar como uma empresa, mesmo o ubuntu sendo gratuito e livre, temos que procurar superar a concorrencia e procurar se aproximar das pessoas em interatividade, pois penso que o senhor mark shuttleworth nao entrou no negocio open source de brincadeira, ou para ficar estagnado, pois em tudo na vida tem que se pensar em progresso e evolucao, se nao nao tem razao se ser, alem do que o esforco, o trabalho, as mudancas nos dao satisfacao sempre, positivamente ou negativamente, e a experiencia para se evoluir sempre.

    orlando silveira
    usuario fiel do ubuntu



    encourage every developer to get on ubuntu
    for that ubuntu is better, and that the union
    it makes them important, because only
    opensource developers, has a chance to
    use a system in which a piece and its creation
    and so very important.


    estimule cada desenvolvedor a ficar no ubuntu
    para que o ubuntu seja melhor, e que a uniao
    a ele os torne importantes, pois somente os
    desenvolvedores opensource, tem a chance de
    usar um sistema em que um pedacinho e da sua criacao
    isso e muito importante.

  100. best android apps Says:

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  101. nowardev Says:

    use kde no? and integrate canonical software no? bah

  102. salemboot Says:

    Well at least when you are generating this much conflict, you know you’re popular..

    Mankind hates change. But he’ll keep hammering his thumbs instead of buying a better hammer.

    Me, I’d just buy one of those 22 caliber nail-guns.

  103. Ryan Sharp Says:

    I know it’s an unrealistic idea but I would love to see Unity stacked on top of KDE. KDE has long been a superior product under the hood and is built with the far superior Qt framework. The only thing stopping me from adopting it, is that the front-end looks awful. Since you are taking a new direction from both projects now anyway – you may as well build you idea on the best foundations. Who knows – maybe KDE will actually co-operate and remove the need for forking.

  104. henry Says:

    I have one question, don’t know where to ask.

    Since Gnome 2 will cease to exist, “fallback” mode of Gnome 3 / gnome-shell shows this pretty well.
    When you go to “fallback” mode of Gnome 3 / gnome-shell, it surely isn’t the Gnome we used to have, it’s something different.

    AFAIR, Ubuntu Unity relies on Gnome 2 / gtk2, so what is going to happen?
    Ubuntu will fork Gnome 2 / gtk2 for Unity, or Unity can also be made to work with Gnome 3 / gtk3 in 11.10 perhaps?

    Mark, please answer.

    Thank you.

  105. Ubuntu Michigan Jam and Unity | Ben Rousch's Cluster of Bleep Says:

    […] instead of defaulting to the upcoming Gnome3.  I’m not going to bore you with the details – Mark Shuttleworth’s recent blog post is as good a place as any to catch up if you’re […]

  106. Srinath Madhavan Says:

    Fine, Let us be objective. So far, both Unity and GNOME Shell have been literally trumped by the familiar GNOME 2 or other DEs/WMs. Here is the voice of the community:

  107. Vadim P. Says:

    According to that poll of a fraction of Ubuntu’s forum-going and voting population, they haven’t been.

  108. @tiempo3000 Says:

    Hola Mark. Soy usuario de Ubuntu desde hace un tiempo. Lo disfruto, mientras trabajo y en el ocio. Espero que toda esta discusión sea un problema de crecimiento del proyecto. Los usuarios miramos atentos los pasos que se dan. Lo que venga después de Gnome 2 tiene que ser mucho mejor porque Ubuntu los obliga. No estoy en condiciones de decir qué será, eso queda a cargo de los responsables. Espero que no se equivoquen y pongan su energía en mejorar a Ubuntu y acercarlo a su espíritu naciente. Saludos. C.G.

  109. Bill Cox Says:

    Hi, Mark. In the off chance you read this far down comments, I’ve got a dumb idea that you may be in a position to pull off. I think you’re beginning to realize that innovation in FOSS land has gotten mired down. The Gnome team is a leading example, but there are many others. I see Ubuntu trying to make the desktop great, and trying to have an answer to the App Store, which would encourage developers to go nuts and write all kinds of great applications. I also see great progress with, which does aid in making new stuff easily accessible to users. However, it’s not enough.

    If you could adopt an Android-like model for sharing applications and software libraries, I think we might see a strong improvement in the rate GNU/Linux progress. Developers like me need the ability to write any old crummy app or library and post it to Ubuntu users and developers the next week, without any major review process, just like Android. The PPA stuff is great, but we need to be able to publish apps that show up in Software Center. We also need to be able to patch existing libraries and share our new versions easily in a way that linking against them is just as easy as the using default versions. It would also be nice to have a way to sell paid apps in the App Store, to attract developers out who want to make a few bucks.

    Part of the key to Android’s success is the app-jails. Each app has permissions limited to what the user agrees to allow it, and they only have access to their own files in most cases, under a single directory. Updates never change the version of libraries any app is using, so bugs are never introduced due to an upgrade. This model of not trusting the app is what makes it possible to publish them so rapidly, without all the red tape.

    Forking a project (Gnome perhaps?) should be as simple as git clone. Developers should be able to use your fork as easily as the original, and without waiting for it to be adopted by Debian, or any other gate keeper. With app-jails, and by providing each app with the exact version of every library they were built with, this is all doable. Teams like Gnome should not be allowed to restrict innovation. Instead of submitting patch requests and praying that they are adopted, developers should simply fork upstream. Upstream is free to pull patches at their convenience. The rest of the community should not suffer just because upstream is slow to do so.

  110. Friedrich Says:

    BITCH FIGHT!!! Love it! This is what drives innovation forward. I’m serious.

  111. Vincent O'Neil Says:

    Isn’t Ubuntu based on GNOME? What happens to Ubuntu after the GNOME project ceases active development on GNOME 2.x? Will Ubuntu continue to use the “old” GNOME? or will they adopt GNOME 3? If so, then would they need to adopt GNOME Shell wouldn’t they? I’m genuinely interested in knowing the future of Ubuntu if this is the case. Will Unity be adopted to replace Gnome Shell in GNOME 3 if Ubuntu eventually adopts it?

  112. darkone778 Says:

    As a Linux user I find these type of debates to be about as useful as which came first chicken, or the egg. This is FOSS, FLOSS, OSS call it whatever you want. If for example Red Hat makes 91 percent of the code for Gnome congrats. Here’s a big old pat on the back for Red Hat. If most people or companies have issues with what X company does with Y companies code. Here is a brilliant idea change the license. This is FOSS, FLOSS, OSS every developer or company has an itch for their own way of coding or doing things. If you do not like the way it is being done take your ball, in this case code, and go home.

    You can call these types of debates constructive or whatever you want. In the end these arguments are mainly about stroking developers or a companies be it ego or bottome line. All these arguments are nothing more than semantics. So to all the devs and companies complaining about this a company made a choice. They said the UI the community developed (most done by Red Hat) was not the direction they want to go. So the company exercised their freedom of choice the Linux community preaches about. This company (Canonical) decided to develop what they felt was the vision for the UI they had. So to the Gnome devs if they (Canonical) had taken the Gnome Shell and Gnome 3 base and changed it to unity would you still be complaining about that to? Why because they are being good OSS citizen. Maybe looking at yourselves first would help. Problem 1 the license. Problem 2 how many maintainers do you employ in this project? Not every maintainer is going to unbiased about what code they let into their project.

    So is it about freedom of choice or not? You can not preach about choice if when or something makes a choice you do not like and condemn them for it. Can not have the cake and eat it to. Because right now s tounds like certain individuals want the whole cake to themselves. Who that maybe well that whole truth thing would have to determine. For me, I personally think the truth is in the middle of all this. So everyone has a POV, can twist facts to suit their needs or POV. So can we truly really have an unbiased discussion of someone not pushing their own agenda in the Linux community? It would be nice, but not realistic

  113. Srinath Madhavan Says:

    This “Unity” shell business is totally misguided. Not that Gnome shell rules or anything though. It sucks all the same. But that’s another matter. The question I have is simply, what Mark and Canonical plan to do when most of the GNOME applications (like Gthumb, Banshee, Shotwell etc.) start incorporating code that is specific for inter-operation/integration with GNOME shell, which will happen for sure. Perhaps not now, but in the coming years, sure. This will undeniably force many a dependency on packages not really required to run Unity, and in some cases can even cause conflicts with Unity’s dependencies. To get out of this, Ubuntu will have to fork GNOME 3 too?

  114. Diego Viola Says:

    Please make Wayland a reality, Mark.

  115. T.Sturm Says:

    Unity ist rein bedienphilosophisch eine Katastrophe… Zähle mal die Klicks, bis du das Programm gefunden hast, welches du verwenden möchtest… im vergleich zu Gnome 2. Wer sucht der findet. Wer dienstlich nichts mit Linux zu tun hat, sondern vor eine Windows-Maschine gezwungen wird, wird an Unity nur kurzfristig Spaß haben, wenn überhaut… Unity ist noch nicht einmal schick… Das können Andere weitaus besser. Wenn auch Gnome 3 nicht der bedienphilosophische Hit der Zukunft ist und sich auch dort bei einigen Anwender (und vor allem Neulingen) die Haare sträuben. Man muss sich bei solchen Aktionen der Entwickler mal fragen, wa sie eigentlich so den ganzen Tag machen. Statt ein Linux-System auf die Beine zu stellen, dass endlich mal vernünftig und stabil läuft, daß daß System einen ordentlichen Treibersupport bekommt – wird eine Bedienoberfläche zusammen geschustert, an derer die Zielgruppe Mensch verzweifelt und alle Meinungen auseinandergehen. Ich habe Unity installiert und versucht meine Arbeiten wie bisher auszuführen. Der typische Microzoff…-Effekt tritt ein: Zeitverschwendung beim Ausführen alltäglicher Dinge am Computer, statt sich auf die wesentlichen Dinge konzentrieren zu können. Computer sollen dem Menschen die Arbeit erleichtern und Zeit für wichtigere Dinge freimachen… hat Microsft mal versprochen (vor ca 20 Jahren?) aber bis heute hatte ausschließlich Windows das Privileg dem Menschen seine (begrenzte) Lebenszeit zu stehlen… Unity ist auf dem besten Weg Windows dieses Privileg streitig zu machen.

  116. Ubuntu 11.10 将搭载 GNOME 3 + Unity_Ubuntu新闻资讯 | UbuntuSoft Says:

    […] GNOME 3 核心开发者之一 Dave Neary 的这篇文章和 Mark Shuttleworth 的回应。这在 GNOME Shell 和 Unity 之争中算是一个代表性的事件,Unity 团队和 GNOME […]

  117. Ubuntu 11.10 将搭载 GNOME 3 + Unity : OSMSG Says:

    […] GNOME 3 核心开发者之一 Dave Neary 的这篇文章和 Mark Shuttleworth 的回应。这在 GNOME Shell 和 Unity 之争中算是一个代表性的事件,Unity 团队和 GNOME […]

  118. Natty and Unity at WMLUG | Ben Rousch's Cluster of Bleep Says:

    […] it all here because I covered some of this in a previous blog post, Mark Shuttleworth has several good blog posts about it, and a Google search for Unity will get you more than you could ever […]

  119. Joe Linux Says:

    What I care about most is an easy to use configurable desktop environment. At the moment that seems to be Gnome 2.30.2. Unity is a total loser for me and Gnome Shell doesn’t seem to be an actual offering. All the he said, she said makes little difference until one or the the other actually comes up with a user friendly desktop.

  120. Peter Levine Says:

    Today I saw a long review of Unity on Tom’s Hardware and it looks fairly positive. Only let down is that not all users can try it (due to hardware, myself included) but the future looks nice. At times breaking the status-quo is equally important..

  121. Tom Collins Says:

    Give it a break, Shutleworth. You are starting to sound a lot like Steve Ballmer.

    All your recent posts and talks have been mostly focused around how individual free software contributers should be increasing your bank balance, which is quite frankly disgusting. Perhaps it’s not transparent enough for most people to see but I can assure you, an ever-increasing number of people are becoming sick of it.

    The reason that people percieve you as being at war with Gnome is because most of the folks there are (fortunately) smart enough to see through your backhanded “generosity” and are actively trying to avoid your tainted “suggestions”.

    Canonical is probably a bigger threat to Free Software than any proprietary software company is right now. Without trying to sound like the proverbial conspiracy theorist – I wouldn’t be at all suprised to learn that you’re actually a Microsoft shill. I bet you and Ballmer have a big laugh about it down at the strip club.

  122. N.K. McDougall Says:

    Hi there would you mind sharing which blog platform you’re using? I’m planning to start my own blog soon but I’m having a tough time making a decision between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal. The reason I ask is because your design and style seems different then most blogs and I’m looking for something unique. P.S My apologies for getting off-topic but I had to ask!

  123. mark Says:

    Hiya NK – it’s WordPress.