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From: Allan Day <allanpday-Re5JQEeQqe8AvxtiuMwx3w <at> public.gmane.org>
Subject: Re: Gnome 3 Extensions/Themes Website?
Newsgroups: gmane.comp.gnome.shell
Date: Friday 10th June 2011 12:10:33 UTC (over 6 years ago)
On Fri, 2011-06-10 at 13:37 +0200, Milan Bouchet-Valat wrote:
> Le vendredi 10 juin 2011 à 11:25 +0100, Allan Day a écrit :
> > One possibility for extensions would be to turn them into something
> > akin to Google Labs - that is, something that is communicated and
> > structured as an experimentation ground, rather than a market place
> > we encourage users to use (the very name 'extension' does just that).
> > The other nice thing about Google Labs is that the experimental nature
> > of the features it contains is clearly communicated.
> I think the main reference here is the way Firefox manages extensions.
> Many people use stock Firefox, and it works very well, but many others
> like to play with appearance (personas, equivalent to our themes), or
> need a specific feature (extensions, in both terminologies). This
> example is quite positive. The fact that people can easily extend their
> desktop encourages them to support it and hack on it. IMHO, the
> available stock of extensions is one of the reasons why many GNOME fans
> use Firefox rather than Epiphany.

Firefox has indeed profited from extensions and there are lessons that
we can learn from that. GNOME Shell isn't a browser, though. We need to
be mindful not to adopt the Firefox model without considering the ways
in which our needs might differ. The visual appearance of a desktop/OS
might be far more important to its marketing than a browser might be,
for example.

> At the end of the
> day, people who use them know that they aren't stock GNOME, and how to
> disable them if they want to get the default experience.

The point is that it decreases our brand presence. That particular user
might understand what it is that they are running, but the person who
sees them using their machine or even sees their screenshots on the web
will not. The question we have to ask ourselves is: how do we make sure
that people recognise a GNOME install when they see one?

> Finally, extensions makes it easier to enforce a common design that
> works for 95% of users, while allowing the remaining 5% to do what they
> like. This is a good way for designers to turn down complaints and keep
> hackers happy. ;-)

We've always argued that if it is anything, GNOME is a UX. There might
be a case for letting people tweak things here and there, but I really
think that every GNOME install should have the same core look and feel.
Otherwise, what is it that we are doing in the first place?

IRC: aday on irc.gnome.org
Blog: http://afaikblog.wordpress.com/

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