This is a talk about finding our way. We’re going to talk about where GNOME has come from, where it is, and where it is going and the role that design can play in helping our project find a way forward.
Making a better desktop was the goal we set for ourselves and for GNOME 2.
After a few years we had largely reached that goal. But once we had done that it was hard to know where to go. The changes that followed became episodic, opportunistic, and largely uncoordinated. The focus was on assembling individual components and the coherence and essence of the whole had become compromised. We often saw disputes resulting from that lack of direction. We needed a vision and a plan. (switch to Jon)
We needed a new plan. One with ambition. One that wouldn't leave us guessing what to do next. Not just a revision of the user experience but a new framework for participation and sustainable growth.
Participation in GNOME was largely defined by contributions to the the core or through a module inclusion process. This bottleneck: Didn't allow an open participatory culture to flourish. Caused a number of high profile rifts to form in the community. Distracted us from creating a compelling third-party developer experience. Limited the reach of the project.
What we wanted instead was: More variety More choice More opportunity More inclusion We wanted to broaden the reach of our software and of free software in general. Since everyone deserves to be free.
So, how do we get to where we want to be? How do we meet some of the challenges we heard described in The Bright Future for GNOME talk yesterday?
The first thing we need is you. An awesome community of thinkers, builders, and doers. We need passionate users. It turns out we got em. We need to make it easy and worthwhile for application developers to make our product complete.
Let's try to add some specificity. What steps could we take to move forward? .... And where do we stand? (hand to jimmac)
Our first step was creating the core user experience. The process of polishing and refining continues. And the core applications are starting to fall into place. (Demos) (switch to Jon)
One area where we kinda suck is making GNOME available to contributors. ... (switch to jimmac)
(switch to Jon)
(switch to jimmac)
(talk about Software) ... (switch to Allan)
The GNOME HIG has been a huge factor in our past success. However, it needs to be updated for the changes introduced in GNOME 3.
Something we're asked all the time is... why you no HIG?
In our experience, goals and courses are set. But paths are worn. And patterns emerge from action and experience. They are a “desire line” that follows a path of least resistance between me and my destination.
So, in order to discover the new patterns we'll need, we've been working with maintainers to build a set of core applications.
A number of patterns have already emerged.
And we plan to compile these into a new set of guidelines – new for GNOME 3. (switch to Jon)
Inspire Inspire new contributions Clear the way Iterate and fail faster Anticipate problems Take the blame Help define rendezvous points Cooperate with technical partners to set intermediate goals A decentralized way to coordinate a large and diverse team Form a framework for participation Identify areas where contributions will be worthwhile and accepted Possible to catch up or skip ahead Meet you there Represent the user in the development process Preserve and intensify knowledge Making paths easier to find and follow Collect and distill patterns Our goal is that anyone can and should be able to make beautiful applications.
Often with aspirational mockups our our aim is to inspire you and others: To join us To work with us To explore this frontier with us. To make this path real.
This is a challenge to us all. Let’s blaze a path on which the world can follow.
So, let's start now. We look forward to working with you and the rest of the community to make a bright future for GNOME. Thank you.
Beyond Dead Reckoning
BEYOND DEAD RECKONINGAllan DayWilliam Jon McCannJakub Steiner
GNOME 2Build a better desktop using only free software
“...GNOME has achieved its original goal. We reached a pointwhere we have a desktop environment that “Just Works” ...However, ... having a desktop environment that just works is not ...“enough” for our community and GNOME as a project.”“...we haven’t been able to translate [our aspirations]into a clear direction for the project.”Lucas Rocha, 9 June 2008
GNOME 3Build a beautiful and sustainable OS and ecosystem that will change the world.
Fellow TravelersA dedicated core design and development communityPassionate usersHighly effective and prolific application developers
Possible WaypointsWell defined and consistent core user experienceA way for contributors to test / validate the core user experienceA way to deliver the desired core user experienceA way to measure the quality of the delivered productCoherent and consistent resources for application developersA distribution channel for applicationsUser interface guidelines for application developers
GNOME 3Well defined and consistent core user experience
TestableA way for contributors to test / validate the core user experience
Installer / Initial SetupA way to deliver the desired core user experience
Problem ReportingA way to measure the quality of the delivered product
SDKCoherent and consistent resources for application developers
SoftwareA distribution channel for applications
HIGUser interface guidelines for application developers