Removing Online Accounts from GNOME Initial Setup 46

It’s exciting to see the ongoing work to revitalise GNOME Online Accounts. One section of this post jumped out to me:

Another big step to improving reliability and maintainability is updating to the latest dependencies and industry conventions. This meant first supporting OAuth 2.0 in a standard browser so, for example, when you log into a Google account you’re doing it with your preferred, trusted browser.

This poses a problem for GNOME Initial Setup, which currently uses GNOME Online Accounts so that you can configure those accounts, and pick up your name and avatar from them, while setting up your computer. But by design, you can’t open a web browser (or any other application) in the Initial Setup session.

After some discussion with Andy and others, we concluded that we should remove Online Accounts support from Initial Setup. The removal is tracked by this issue and I started a Discourse thread to raise awareness (along with this post). One suggestion is to add a page to GNOME Tour linking to the Online Accounts section of Settings, as a way to keep this feature prominently visible; but another alternative is to assume that people will find it if/when they use applications that use GOA. The latter is the path of least resistance since it needs no new code!