stracciatella

4:22 pm gnome, ubuntu

Do you speak Italian? I do not. Anyway, stracciatella is “vanilla-flavoured ice-cream with chocolate chips”. Ubuntu introduced that idea of nearly-vanilla GNOME quite a while ago (http://www.piware.de/2009/02/the-stracciatella-gnome-session/) but only today I tried a taste of it, with 10.10. Brrrr. Nonsense. Hardly usable (try to finish the session, for example:). A bit too much of “chocolate chips”. If you look at the Canonical discussions (https://wiki.ubuntu.com/DesktopTeam/Specs/Jaunty/StracciatellaSession), there is one essential phrase: “This works on component granularity, not on the level of patches.” Very sensible remark, technically – and honest statement, too. But at the same time, it makes the whole idea more and more useless, as time goes by – because the size of patches applied to standard components grows with every release of Ubuntu. The result is something half-baked that I would not recommend to consume without 0.5 of vodka (I hope the original stracciatella is not that bad).

Whatever tensions are between Ubuntu and GNOME – I do not think it is fair from Canonical to make that kind of bad PR (feels more like FUD) by introducing “NEARLY vanilla” Gnome desktop.

PS I filed a bug in relation to g-s-d, closing it could add a bit more vanilla.

8 Responses

  1. placid Says:

    you could have titled this post “how to start a flame war” :P
    Seriously tho, some people likey, some people not-likey, everyone’s free and thats kinda the point :)

  2. Andrea Says:

    mmm…stracciatella is delicious!!!
    greetings from italy! :P

  3. Benjamin Otte Says:

    If you were boycottcanonical.com, you would now claim that this is a plot by Canonical to make upstream GNOME look bad. Assume Ubuntu ships:
    1) The “vanilla” upstream version. This one is ery buggy.
    2) The Ubuntu version with custom patches. This one works ok.
    Would you assume that the work Canonical adds something or would you assume their patches make things work?

  4. Sergey Udaltsov Says:

    @placid: sure, everyone’s free, thats what FOSS is about. I am talking about what looks nice and what smells bad ;)

    @Benjamin: My point is that they should probably drop the whole stracciatella idea – it makes no sense, especially in the current format. Politically, it works against Canonical, it works against GNOME. Ubuntu adds patches to make things work the way Ubuntu wants. Fair play to them (it is not really GNOME any more, but that’s another story). What looks strange is the software that patched for Ubuntu way of things – and then combined together according to the GNOME taste. Weird, at the very least, don’t you find?

  5. Jef Spaleta Says:

    Would you be as upset about this if Canonical didn’t attempt to associated their desktop with the GNOME brand at all?

    Again, the central unanswered question is this:

    How far and in what ways can a “GNOME” desktop be modified by a distributor and still be called “GNOME”? GNOME as a project has never really addressed that question.

    Until you can answer that question succinctly, criticism about any particular modification are difficult to place into the correct context. Most distributors patch something in the GNOME project codebase. There’s no agreed on measuring stick by which to say if a particular modification is a step too far to use the GNOME brand.

    Compare GNOME’s very loose trademrk policy with the policy Meego is attempting to build which is meant to have a compliance component. Their compliance program is still a work in progress, but the point is they’ve actually thought about the issue of how far a distributor can stretch the codebase and still apply the project brand.

    -jef

  6. Sergey Udaltsov Says:

    Jef: agree

  7. Palin Says:

    Stracciatella is very good, but the original recipe is using Fiordilatte with chocolate chips, after Easter you would use broken chocolate easter eggs.

    What’s Fiordilatte? It’s plain ice cream with milk, milk cream and sugar (someone adds eggs, but no vanilla!) :)

  8. Sean Says:

    And this is why I stopped used Ubuntu after its first few releases. At first, it was all about a solid, polished, fantastic user experience.

    Then it became Mark wanting to swing around his money to play Professional UI Designer and shove every poorly designed, poorly implemented UI change that popped into his head onto the users’ desktops. Ubuntu went from rock solid awesome to buggy, crashy, unstable, and (ironically) “warty” in its third or fourth release.

    It’s probably the only distribution whose quality has consistently declined since the first release.

    I use Fedora these days, which is also buggy, crashy, and unstable, but it’s slowly getting better with each release. At some point in the future, Fedora will actually be a stable and pleasant OS, while Ubuntu will be an unusable mess of broken UI designs and incompetently-coded patches.

    What GNOME needs is a distro much like the original Ubuntu. Fedora is bleeding-edge ‘ship what they have.’ Ubuntu is ‘make up whatever we want.’ GNOME needs a distro that integrates upstream, tests it, patches actual bugs and problems, and submits those patches back upstream early on. Such a distro strengthens GNOME instead of merely propagating it or diluting it.