my blog

Sunday 12 February 2006

Setting GNOME goals (or the story of my secret plans for GNOME 2.16)

I find it quite funny that:

  • while Kjartan and I were speaking about how fixing bugs is important, John posted about "GNOME 2.16: Polish, polish, polish" for the first time;
  • while I'm thinking of some secret plans about setting small goals, Elijah is talking about the difficulty to get some focus on specific goals.

I thought a bit about John's proposition, but I don't think it will work: we all have our agenda for GNOME and forcing everyone to just fix bugs is nearly impossible. I'd love to do so, but I'm not sure it can be done. But there's something else we can do.

I believe we need some global and concrete goals. For the past few release cycles, everyone has been working in a corner, with some (limited) interactions with other people. GNOME is a project, made of lots of small projects. We're working on the small projects, but maybe we've move too far away from the GNOME project. We need to work together again. Think cooperation. Think integration. Think consistency.

A good first step is to set small concrete goals that we should all try to achieve. The goals can vary a lot, don't need to be ambitious, don't need to be about code. But they need to be achievable in a small timeframe. Let me give you some examples of goals:

  • use "Finish" instead of "Close" where appropriate;
  • make drag and drop to the trash delete the dropped object (an idea that's been here for a long time);
  • move to GOption and get rid of popt;
  • migrate to gnome-doc-utils;
  • make file choosers have a preview widget when it can be useful;
  • etc.

If we can do all this, then it will be fantastic. Those are all small steps. But a lot of small steps is great move forward. And it will make us work together. I believe this will help us, as a project.

Now, what are my secret plans for GNOME 2.16? The GG project, the GNOME Goals: find such a goal every two weeks and make people achieve those goals.

The endless -Werror debate

Davyd: no need to copy all this complex autofoo stuff in your Just use gnome-common and put GNOME_COMPILE_WARNINGS(yes) in your

I tend to agree that a maintainer should use -Werror if available since it helps catch some nasty bugs. Forcing everyone to use it is another thing.

by Vincent