By Federico Mena-Quintero
A Friday rant on Gnome 3, journalists, and power users
Let me take a breath. Here is a kitten, because I can't give you Pepto over the net. I'd advise you to take a stiff drink before reading the links.
Then, take another drink or two and go for the cherry on top — the vent-fest
of the day on Hacker News. Warning: this will make you feel miserable
Now, to make you feel better, read Aaron Seigo's excellent post on cults of personality
and how they harm free software.
I've been in free software for a long time, and let me tell you: this kind of s*** rains regularly. And it is thoroughly demoralizing until you, as a developer, learn to live with it.
Just to mention some assorted examples, roughly in chronological order. When Gnome was in the pre-1.0 days and people complained that it was always breaking things (it was!). When Gnome was in the advanced 1.x days and people complained about Eazel and Ximian and Abisource and all the little companies (as if making a living were forbidden in free software).
When Gnome was in the early 2.x days and people complained that everything broke (kind of; we changed widget toolkits, what did you expect?), and that the usability nazis were dumbing things down (but apparently to the right level, for the big public-sector deployments chose us for being more usable). When Gnome was in the intermediate 2.x days and there was bitter rivalry between Red Hat and Ximian/Novell. When people raised so much FUD about Mono that they killed enthusiasm for an excellent chance at having a modern development infrastructure, and killed Beagle, the first desktop-wide search for a major desktop system (yes).
When Gnome was in the late 2.x days and people complained that it was stagnating compared to KDE 4 (kind of, but maybe we were afraid of the flames!). When Gnome went 3.0 and people complained that everything broke (what did you expect, we changed widget toolkits and the desktop shell!). When the file chooser moved things around, or when it didn't move them enough (cough). More recently, when rockstar kernel hackers got Google+ accounts and finally people could read their non-kernel-related rants outside of the Linux Kernel Mailing List, that wretched hive.
I am ashamed to say that I've been part of Those People from time to time, particularly recently when I had a stretch of spite against the Gnome 3.0 designers. I am deeply sorry about it. I apologized to them during the last GUADEC and everything seemed better after that, but I still feel bad about it.Please note, the following link has a few swear wordsFull blog