Survey, shmurveyOctober 19, 2011 4:15 pm gnome
Here you can see it again. People at Phoronix ranting against GNOME3. People on d-d-l staying kinda cool and professional – and critic-prone. The very same scenario you could see on Slashdot and linux.org.ru and other FOSS-related sites.
Even though GNOME 3 is already 3.2, these battles keep happening. Why? And we seen them back in the days of GNOME 1 –> GNOME 2 transition. Why?
Look at the lessons explained by Guy Kawasaki in his blog. In particular, lesson #2. “Customers cannot tell you what they need”. The same way late Jobs was “the pioneer of the computer as a jail made cool” (c), Gawasaki’s lessons make active marketing look cool. And yes, “active marketing” is a term with extremely negative ethical value (same as “jail”), as far as I am concerned. What is it about? Inventing new needs for the people. Telling people what they want instead of giving them what they think they want. The results are high profits. Kawasaki says this is the only way to innovate and be commercially successful at that. He is right, most probably. I consider it pushing the innovations down customers throats. That is the thing that made Apple great and rich. That is one of the things that made many people angry with Apple.
It is a common place to accuse GNOME of following Apple, spiritually, technically, visually. There are funny and serious sides about that. But it seems that lesson #2 was taken seriously by GNOME, when GNOME 3 was conceived. And that is the most pronounced PR issue with GNOME 3 – the way it is perceived by many people.
How many? That is the question of the day. Noone can say. Really. The way the survey is performed by Phoronix is somewhat provocative and questionable – at least it is seriously challenged by the d-d-l folks on those grounds. With all that, the question still does exist. And that question is strategically important.
So, would GNOME Foundation consider performing “proper” survey of what people think about the way GNOME goes? The survey that would be accepted by GNOME developers as useful, reasonable, answering important questions. The survey that (potentially) could help reconsidering the values and goals. Or, alternatively, the survey that would silent (forever!) all people who just want “faster MS-DOS” – by displaying them the real demand in innovative interfaces. “Look guys, there are only 10 of your kind!”
I guess the question is important enough to consider it first priority for the GNOME future, immediate and long term. Would you be able to face the statistical truth?