Bike

by havoc

Had dinner and a beer with Jon Trowbridge tonight, fun to go in to
Cambridge. As ex-UofC we should really spend more time making fun of
Harvard, don’t get around to that often enough. GNOME has a long U of
Chicago tradition including Owen, Dan Mueth, and Sam TH of GNOME
Office fame.

My bike has the interesting property that it looks like I ride it a
hell of a lot. That’s because there was a time when I did. So it’s
beaten and worn, has “serious biker” components (e.g. seat that hurts
like hell), and you have to bend in half to reach the handlebars.
Not good if you haven’t done it in a while.

On the topic of GNOME forks, a fundamental free software
maintainer responsibility
: if you reject a patch, don’t complain
about forks that add the patch. If someone wants to make “GNOME for
geeks” then great. Not that I think this particular project will
succeed, but anyone is welcome to try.

I think the free software world is sometimes too hostile to forks;
having people with substantially different goals trying to work on the
same project doesn’t work out that well most of the time. You sort of
have to agree on the project parameters to get anywhere. That said,
it’s important to be sure the goals are genuinely different.

Nice to see Bryan spelling out the rules on application
naming
, I think what confused all the hackers is that we have a
different guideline for things that come with GNOME, and things that
don’t. Sort of ties in to my talk where I
defined a platform as a unit that’s designed (interaction/UI-wise) as
a whole. Modularity is good engineering and bad interaction design
most of the time, the ideal is to make the implementation modular
and the user experience integrated. Which can be tricky.

So we have a problem that the menu spec was written without
understanding the desired UI. We need to fix the spec somehow.
Unless OnlyShowIn=GNOME fixes it, which I suppose is possible in many
cases.

I don’t think anyone would seriously argue that “Calculator” or
“Dictionary” should be named things like “Frobfoodle” or
“BlatherMaster” or other obscurity, so I think the disagreement here
is on where generic names end and specific names begin, not on whether
each should exist.

(This post was originally found at http://log.ometer.com/2004-07.html#25)

My Twitter account is @havocp.
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