So long

4:41 pm gnome

Now that GNOME 3.6 is around the corner, it is time for me to bid adieu. I was committing my code to GNOME CVS/Subversion/git for many years, since 2.5.x series (December 2003) – and I am not planning to do it any more.

For 3.6, the entire keyboard input infrastructure was redesigned. That huge work is done by Rui Matos – he is a real master, no sarcasm attached. Well, in many aspects, new solution has serious regressions. But in many aspects, it is an enourmous leap forward. It depends on what you used to use and what you missed in 3.4 and before. I hope that 3.8 or 3.10 will return the functionality GNOME lost in 3.6, for people who want just working and flexible XKB-based keyboard configuration (like myself). At least with gnome tweaks or smth.

Anyway, it is not my code any more – I am not in charge. https://bugzilla.gnome.org/index.cgi?logout=1

It was a good timing (may be, a bit too late). I was never a GNOME 3 person. My vision never went beyond GNOME 2 ways – I just helped to port GNOME 2 XKB bits to make them work in GNOME 3. I never shared GNOME 3 vision. If my memory serves, I never advocated GNOME 3 decisions publicly. In GNOME maillists my attitude could be really considered as trolling – but in reality it was just an expression of regret and frustration from the person who was not ready for the brave new world. I was trying to stand by the values that were obsolete from the decision makers’ POV. Pathetic, I know:) I still like that heap of mix-and-match components with the title GNOME 2. Well, the interfaces were sometimes good, sometimes bad – but at least they were interfaces. GNOME 2 philosophy gave birth to many standards on freedesktop.org. GNOME 3 would never do that, I’m afraid. I never liked that cathedral of GNOME 3. So my departure was just a matter of time.

But now I am leaving without any bitter feelings, almost. GNOME moves forward – I wish it all kinds of success. It just not my way any more. I am going to use GNOME 3 – not because I like it, just because I am used to it, somehow – and I am lazy to change (and for me it just “sucks less”). Of course, that is unless I’ll find 3.6 totally unusable…

Now, about technical bits.

Libgnomekbd is a dead man walking – the only useful thing is the keyboard drawing widget, that should be incorporated into gnome-control-center in 3.8.

Outside of GNOME, xkeyboard-config and libxklavier remain under my supervision, nothing changes in that area. I am even going to celebrate tonight with new xkeyboard-config release! libxklavier was created to be used by GNOME and other DEs – but not used that way anymore. It is still remains the reference implementation of the xkeyboard-config registry parser, with gobject-introspection – i.e usable in scripting languages (and I know some people do use it with python).

I am going apply for changing my status in Gnome Foundation to Emeritus membership.

Thanks for the good run, GNOME! Most of the time I was proud to be a part of you. GUADEC conferences (Dublin, Birmingham) were quite enjoyable. I learned a lot from your code and your people.

Good luck!

3 Responses

  1. David Zeuthen Says:

    Thanks for all your hard work svu – you will be missed!

  2. ssam Says:

    Are you aware of the MATE-DE project? Are you involved?

  3. Sergey Udaltsov Says:

    Yes I heard about it. May be it is worth looking at…