I’m not understanding this 3.0 talk

There seems to be an increasing amount of talk about “Gnome 3.0”, most
recently in comments by Luis and Dave.
It’s very puzzling. Reading these comments sounds like we’re somehow
failing or not progressing if we don’t do a 3.0. Yet none of the
comments seem to say that “here is something that we need in the
desktop and that we can’t do in 2.x”. In fact, many such comments
seem to state a bunch of things they’d like, but typically all the
concrete things they list can happen (at least to a large extent)
within 2.x. If I understand correctly, the reason for doing Gnome 2
was because there were a lot of concrete things needed that didn’t fit
in the 1.x framework. If we don’t have anything like that, and given
that work on a 3.0 would take a long time without shipping anything
and prevent people from getting as many incremental developments on
2.x, why would we even want to work on or think about 3.0 at this
point in time? Granted, I’m all for people experimenting and doing
cool stuff. And when we find something that’s cool that we don’t want
to live without and doesn’t fit in 2.x then we can work on a
transition. And I think that’d be good. But I feel like I’m missing
something fundamental because I don’t see any such things yet I see a
bunch of other people talking about 3.0 anyway. So what am I missing?

Also, Dave, you state that the 6 month cycle has outlived its
usefulness, giving the reason that 6 months are to short to get any
big user-visible features in a release cycle. While I agree that such
a time is too short for developing a big user-visible feature, I don’t
see why that’s a bad thing–big user-visible features can be developed
over multiple release cycles and then merged when it’s ready
(e.g. Luminocity and spiffifity). That even has the benefit of having
a shorter wait before officially shipping when it finally is ready.
Do you see the 6-month release cycle as just being to short to do the
final merge and testing of such features or something?

I have the feeling I’m missing something obvious that others are
seeing, but I really don’t understand a lot of what I’m reading…

A trip down memory lane…

So, when I decided to get involved in Gnome two and a half years ago,
I got a fair amount of advice and different directions to take on the
gnome-love mailing list. The main direction I picked at that time was
the one that had the lowest barrier to entry–bug triaging. I had
long since forgotten who suggested it (at that time, of course, I
didn’t know people in the community and names didn’t stick), but I
finally achieved his specific challenge–or at least what I
misremembered[1] his challenge to be. I just googled now to find that
original email so that I could fire off an email telling him that I
had done it. It was kind of bittersweet to see that it was Mark
Finlay that had sent
that email
, since he’s not with us anymore; but it
was happy to remember all his energy and enthusiasm, and the work that
he put into Gnome.

[1] The misremembering that I had was two things: (1) thinking
“close/triage” instead of “fix” (but then again, there really hasn’t
ever been a list of top bug fixers), and (2) a switch in order of
“list” and “top” (amazing what a difference the order of two words can
make, eh? I guess it wasn’t so critical to get all those bugs closed
before the Evolution import after all…). Now, though, I think it’s
time to switch more towards “fix” instead of “close/triage”… :)