One of the things we discuss with Dave at the JDLL was Making GNOME fun for users. As Thomas points out, we held a discussion about this yesterday on #marketing. Here's a quick summary of what I think: GNOME is great, it just works, users like it, but users don't get passionate about it. And this isn't right.

So, let's take a look at where we are now. We have an easy-to-use free desktop with lots of really good points (accessible, localized, etc.). There are some areas where we could be better, but some people are working on it (documentation and performance come to my mind). So GNOME will be even better in the near future. People will like it. They will use it. But they won't get excited about it. We get excited about it, but our users are not. They're satisfied with GNOME, but that's all. Nothing more. I believe we should do our best to change that. Making GNOME fun for the users would definitely help for this.

The killing Wanda discussion was interesting. I for one think we should keep her. There's the argument of where we come from, but this is not the main reason why I think so. Let me say it straight: Wanda is totally useless, and that's why we should keep her. When people try Wanda, they wonder why it even exists, why we took the time to include it, why it is so useless. But most people also smile while doing this. They're having a good time while trying it. We should keep Wanda, if only for this. This is something that make some users love the desktop, and not just like it.

A friend of mine showed me Steve Jobs' latest keynote. One thing struck me, and it was not the new products that were announced. What struck me is PhotoBooth: this is a small application, used to take photos with the videocam integrated in the new iMac G5. The way the application was introduced is brilliant: it's just an application you can use to take photo of you making some weird faces. And everyone was laughing when he presented it. Everyone will love this application, although nearly nobody will really use it.

Thomas is right: we need themes that people love. But we also need fun applications. I don't know how we can handle this, since right now, the GNOME modulesets does not really include applications that are fun, but applications that are useful. For example, Monkey Bubble was a great game but it was not included in GNOME 2.6. Creating a new moduleset for such applications would be a solution, but I'm not sure it goes well with the idea of a GNOME Certification. I don't think we can say to the user looking for something fun go on GNOME files and search there, because what's important here is to include some fun things by default.

We need GNOME to do more than its job. We need GNOME to be fun for users.