Subject: upstream vendors and why they can be really harmful
Date: Tuesday 6th November 2012 12:38:32 UTC (over 5 years ago)
Basically, we have a pattern, mostly observed with kde (and a bit with gnome) which is really harmful for us. Those vendors say "we're not in the distribution business, distribution problems will be handled by OS vendors. We can break compatibility to advance, and not think about it, this is not a problem." This is a mindset we need to fight, and this has to be a grass-roots movement. The main effect of THAT attitude is to *HURT* the opensource community, big time. It's as harmful as the patent portfolio of big business. Basically, it precludes smaller players from playing on a level field. As soon as you're different enough (and that's mostly NOT linux these days), you can't keep up. Those distribution problems are LARGE. They occupy a few people in our team FULLTIME with respect to gnome, they're the reason we still DON'T have a full kde4 in our tree (hopefully to be addressed shortly), and they're the reason why sometimes we do drop old stuff (like killing gtk+1, and people really wanting to kill some gtk2/qt3 stuff). It takes a lot of manpower to address complex distribution issues. If you don't have tens of people, it becomes more and more of a losing battle, actually... It's also quickly turning Posix and Unix into a travesty: either you have the linux goodies, or you don't. And if you don't, you can forget anything modern... in some cases, you even have some people, who are PAID by some vendors, agressively pushing GRATUITOUS, non compatible changes. I won't say names, but you guys can fill the blanks in. I'm pretty sure there's a lot of good intention behind the "progress" in recent desktops. But this is turning the field of OS distributions into a wasteland. Either you're a modern linux with pulseaudio and pam and systemd, or you're dying. So much for the pionneer spirit of opensource, where you were free to innovate and do cool things, and more or less have interesting software able to run on your machine...