On Fri, 2010-12-17 at 09:10 +0200, Nicu Buculei wrote:
On 12/17/2010 01:54 AM, Owen Taylor wrote:
> We want Fedora to be the showcase for GNOME 3 and to be a good example
> to other distributions about how to package GNOME 3. So, to go along
> with the release splash for Fedora 15, we'd like to make special request
> that for this release we use the GNOME background in the Fedora GNOME
> packages and hence in the default Fedora desktop.
As I understood the opinions in the latest team IRC meeting, blog
comments, mailing list discussions and direct contacts with community
members, the general opinion is such a move would be detrimental to
Fedora's own image and of little use for GNOME promotion.
So there's a few things to consider here.... for example, the GNOME
marketing team is actually engaged in an effort to create a series of
videos showing off different aspects of GNOME 3 for the launch (some
details here: http://live.gnome.org/GnomeMarketing/Gnome3In30Seconds
I saw one of the videos at the Boston Summit but I'm not sure where they
are online, I'll look for a copy though - they are impressive!) If they
use the default GNOME wallpaper, but we use a different wallpaper,
there's a missed opportunity for shared materials there. E.g., we could
use the videos (which are openly licensed of course!) as part of our
website without having to modify them or re-shoot them.
It is true that KDE 4.5 shipped with a wallpaper that is strikingly
similar to the GNOME 3 wallpaper, but I've talked to a few KDE users and
it seems that it was not ever set as the default wallpaper for a KDE
release so it doesn't have the same brand attachment to KDE that the
GNOME 3 team is looking to achieve.
Another thing to think about is the larger struggle between upstreams'
branding and downstream branding. GNOME 3 isn't trying to produce a
desktop that shoves the GNOME foot in your face constantly and competes
with the Fedora brand. The GNOME logo really doesn't appear anywhere. I
think they are going for a more neutral look that won't override the
distro branding leading up to the desktop, and won't confuse users over
what they are using. This is in stark contrast to say the HTC Sense UI
on my Android phone, which definitely had me confused for the first few
weeks I had the phone. E.g., "is this a real Android phone? or is this
some HTC knockoff? Whaaaaat?" You know it's not like we're being asked
to put something like this in:
If we as a team choose to consider Owen's request, there won't be brand
confusion between Fedora and GNOME - the Fedora brand will be strong
from the website / DVD sleeve through the install and bootup process
(Fedora splash graphics for the installer & firstboot, syslinux &
grub... Fedora logo for plymouth) and when it gets to the desktop part
it'll be neutral... not GNOME. Although I'm think the default webpage in
the browser will be a Fedora start page too, so Fedora branding doesn't
quite end at the desktop.
Finally I think another thing to consider this as an F15 request is that
we will, as a result of GNOME 3 being released by default in Fedora
first (freedom features friends -first-) get a lot of newcomers to
Fedora, whether they're journalists or GNOME fans from other distros -
so either way we decide we are going to get a big influx of folks who
haven't tried Fedora before, and it's because of GNOME 3. It's a big
opportunity for us as a distro.... it may be a decision point for a lot
of users who have considering switching to us and would have a big
reason to check us out. Since they are getting us, as Fedora, more
attention, it seems quite reasonable to me to at least consider the
GNOME 3 team's request.
> I want to be clear that this is not in any way saying that we
> the Fedora backgrounds ... the recent Fedora backgrounds are great, and
> keep on getting cleaner and more professional looking every release. The
> issue is rather a question of trying to provide a single look for the
> GNOME 3 release rather than a series of looks, one per distribution.
Can you name at least one other *relevant* distro that will use the same
background as default? Especially if they know this may be *our* default?
> * What about the rest of the artwork?
> I think trying to adapt the entire set of artwork in Fedora to have
> different looks for different spins is probably more confusing then
> anything else. The GNOME default background matches pretty well with
> the Fedora look, so it's not going to be jarring to switch to it
> after seeing the standard Fedora artwork for boot.
Case in point: the GDM background would be the same as the GNOME
background or as the general-purpose background used by all the other
spins? Which one of the spins will have an inconsistent experience? The
same about the Plymouth colors. We are supposed to use *vertical
stripes* or not in GRUB, Anaconda, firstboot etc.? How about website
I asked Owen some very specific questions yesterday about this, here is
what I learned about the proposal:
- The GDM background will *not* be the same as the GNOME background.
It's going to be this team's (Fedora design team) design. When the user
logs in with their username & password is when the switch will happen.
- We can ship the Fedora background by default (no additional package
installation required... out-of-the-box is what we're talking here) and
place it prominently in the background chooser capplet.
- While using the Fedora background for the GNOME 2 style fallback mode
is actually a favorable idea (helps distinguish between the two modes),
the way it is currently implemented makes this quite difficult because
the same controls are being used for both modes. So this might not be
possible but in theory it is an idea the GNOME 3 folks would support
were it technically possible.
- We can absolutely design artwork for the rest of Fedora that is
harmonious with the GNOME background. We can do this via color palette,
meme (stripes, whatever)... it breaks the GNOME 3's visual identity goal
to ship the same exact background with the other Fedora desktops but we
certainly can work on a heavily-inspired-by version for our own
wallpaper. (As we've started to do during the sketching session with the
water trails idea.)
I had a lot of the same questions Nicu, and I talked to Owen about it
yesterday so I hope some of this helps understand where we'd be if we do
as a team decide to consider the request. It is absolutely our team's
choice though as dictated by the Fedora board some time ago, and I'm
very happy to see that being respected here. I will be quite candid with
you and say that my initial internal reaction was quite similar to
Fab's :) but the more we ask questions and get more of the story behind
why the request is being asked of us, the more I understand why it is
important for them and is an opportunity for Fedora and for this team in
particular in developing better relations with upstream (an important
characteristic of Fedora in general) and consequently our peers in other
Again, to reiterate - this is our team's call, it's our decision. Let's
be fair and respectful and give it some serious thought. My first
priority is to you folks, my friends, our team.... but there has been a
rift between our team and the one making the request here and this is I
think a good opportunity for us to have a better, friendlier
relationship and really just make Fedora kick more ass through that
relationship. It's supposed to be freedom, features, friends, first...
not freedom, features, oh-no-not-you-again-grrr, first...