Roadmaps…

Aaron Toponce over at the Utah Open Source Planet, wonders when Gnome 3.0 will show up. I’m guessing there was some poor choice of wording, because much of the entry unfortunately reads something like “project progress is directly proportional to how much the version number increases” and noting how Gnome is still using 2.x.y version numbering. As noted below, I don’t think this was his real gripe; also I think Stuart already did a good job of addressing that point (and others). But I thought there was a good point Aaron brought up and a few other things worth addressing:


Now, can someone explain to me where GNOME is headed? What is it’s direction?

I believe this was probably Aaron’s real pet-peeve. And I think roadmaps are a real shortcoming of ours. Due to Luis’ frequent reminders, maintainers are beginning to announce some plans when they announce creating a new stable branch — but none of that information is showing up at the wiki RoadMap (which only has one item currently listed for 2.16!!!), let alone in any more public places or news articles. Even the announcements on d-d-l at branching time tend to only include a few details; lots of plans just aren’t announced until the work is nearly or completely done (if even then). While this may partially be a result of having time-based releases instead of feature-based ones (since it allows us to be lazier about collecting feature plans on a large scale), it still seems like something that we could improve. Perhaps a GnomeGoal to at least get the already announced plans into the wiki would be a good start?


And what do you mean by “it will be our first opportunity to make a clean break from the 2.x series”?

Libraries in the Gnome Platform and Gnome Bindings maintain API and ABI backward compatibility, so that applications do not need to be manually modified or recompiled to work with newer versions of these libraries. (The API/ABI guarantee is a little less strong for the bindings; you can read more at the links above for details) So, the text you quoted was related to the commonly assumed position that the API/ABI backward compatibility promise is tied to the version numbering, though some point out that perhaps the two should be independent.


In other words, you (meaning the developers) don’t like the 2.x series, yet nothing is being done about it, or you’re going to fork 3.0 with the current 2.x releases? Interesting. I do find if funny, however, that you have a project writeup with a bunch of developers whining about what they want to see…

I tried to avoid some of the more colorful sections of your post, but it seems like this is one where you’ve made assertions that others might not recognize as such. Daring to speak for others for a moment despite taking you to task for doing so: We love the 2.x series. I don’t know what makes you think otherwise. And I don’t see how the Topaz wiki page constitutes whining (I do agree that it looks like a random hodge-podge of wacky pie-in-the-sky ideas; but I thought that was its intent ;-) ). To be honest, my personal opinion about 3.0 is: Who cares? I don’t see anything holding us back in 2.x.y. We can and do implement whatever features and infrastructure we’re interested in. And, ultimately, just like others have pointed out, it’s just a version number. :-)

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