Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Gnome 3

So this post is later than I wanted and has changed a lot from what I intended to write about. It's also largely opinion and speculation based on what I have seen from kicking around the floss world. I make no claims of accuracy or authority, just humble observation and conclusion.

Originally I was going to discuss XFCE and Gtk+3, but the linux news world seems to have gotten a bit excited about a blog post about the impending death of Gnome 3.

To be honest I think rumours of its death are greatly exaggerated. I remember the KDE 4 thing, now I am not a KDE lover by any degree, but I got the memo that 4.0 was not to be considered stable. So I don't understand why users flocked away from KDE as a brand, I totally get distributions bundling unstable code though, but plenty of distributions did stick with KDE3 for quite some time.

I bring this up because I remember similar stories about how KDE wouldn't recover and its fading into insignificance, but its still here and even though I personally don't like it, it does look like the best KDE yet.

I believe Gnome as a piece of software will weather this storm, its free software with a lot of external investment into its technologies and platform. It's unlikely to be going anywhere soon and even if its parent foundation goes away there are other companies and projects that depend on Gnome in whole or in part that someone, somewhere will adopt it again.

Off the top of my head I can think of xfce, cinnamon, unity etc which all depend on all or in part on Gnome and or its underlying technologies, I don't believe for a second that even if the Gnome foundation was to go under some other foundation wouldn't form and take over or that it would get passed to an existing foundation.

Take LiberOffice vs OpenOffice for example, even though LiberOffice seems to be the more dominent suite these days, old OpenOffice is still kicking around. Gnome replaced Pidgin with Empathy, yet Pidgin is still used by some users. Those who want Gnome to survive will ensure Gnome will survive, in some form or another.

There are plenty of examples of other open source projects that have survived despite the belief that they are not long for this world, however evidence of other projects surviving is not assurance that Gnome will, but I would doubt Gnome disappearing anytime soon.

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