[Design-team] [OT] GIMP becoming too profi and thus will be excluded from Ubuntu distro

Máirín Duffy mairin at linuxgrrl.com
Thu Dec 3 16:19:08 UTC 2009

Hi Nicu!

On Thu, 2009-12-03 at 17:23 +0200, Nicu Buculei wrote:
> On 12/03/2009 04:42 PM, Máirín Duffy wrote:
> > What are the goals of your local community in promoting Linux? What kind
> > of users are you promoting to? Are they more artistically-inclined? Or
> > do they simply want more functionality than is available in a CD-based
> > spin?

> - freedom: when we indirectly suggest proprietary online apps (I was 
> told so earlier in this thread);

Well, there is a school of thought that computing is moving from the
desktop to the web and at some point the desktop won't matter as much. I
am not sure how I feel about that. But, there are lots of free
alternatives even with webapps, so driving functionality to the web
doesn't have to mean going proprietary.

> - friends: when our flagship spin is designed practically by a couple of 
> people inside their little universe and ignoring everyone else (like 
> nuking Nodoka);

To be fair, Matthias has been asking for a lot of input on the
fedora-desktop list (E.g., the recent post about default content) and
trying to be good about announcing changes. Of course the communication
could be better but to be fair Matthias and Jon have what I consider a
huge workload outside of that. I think that the desktop spin doesn't
have the same community around it that other spins have. I would like to
see more contributors who buy into their vision for it step up and help
out and help communicate about it as well. It's a chicken and egg
problem - it's hard to build that community up without good
communication, but it's hard to communicate without a community of folks
to help out. 

I think to be really fair, we should assume that the communication
problem is not intentional, and there isn't an intention to ignore
anybody either. I think they are just overloaded with other work that
has to be higher priority.

I also think this is all more complex because the desktop spin is being
stretched and shoehorned into fitting purposes that are at odds with
each other, as it is the default spin. Even if Matthias and Jon have a
vision for it that plenty of people don't agree with it, the important
thing is that there is a vision at all - there was not before. It's
important to have a vision, and for the uses that don't fall within that
vision, let's figure out a solution for those as well.

> I think GIMP is only a symptom, not the single problem. Honestly, I 
> would be happier with Inkscape getting at last on the install DVD, where 
> we have about 1GB of unused space.

Would it be possible to put together an audit of the best-of-class
software like Inkscape you think should be on the install DVD? I think
it would be a useful document.

> > - the Desktop spin's goal is perhaps a clean&  simple / finely-honed
> > collection of a basic desktop experience for basic desktop productivity
> > common across multiple domains without much domain-specific content;
> And it's users are not the people from which we are expecting to come 
> back to the project and contribute. Most of them will not even bother to 
> search the web and learn which additional application they can install.

I think it's okay though, if they don't contribute, or at least, if they
don't contribute back right away. For example, as you know I will be
teaching a group of middle school students using open source software. I
would love to see more schools using open source software - but we
cannot expect the students, who may not even be of age to legally
contribute back, to contribute right away. Rather we want to spread the
FOSS so they are aware of it. They can 'contribute' by spreading the
word and telling other people about it, and building a buzz around it.

For me, if a student I teach Inkscape to then goes on to graduate and
uses Inkscape in high school and college and shares it with their
friends and writes about it on Facebook or wherever - I think that would
be amazing. While I think it would be wonderful if the student also
signed up for the Fedora design team and started helping us make icons
and banners and such - it's not necessary. To spread Inkscape and Fedora
is enough.

Anyhow, the target users for the desktop spin certainly can and I think
will share it with others, and in that way they really would be
contributing back because they are spreading the message of open source
for us. That's one of our mission statement goals - to spread open
source software. I think we need these types of users to survive.

> > - this new spin's goal is to show off the best-of-the-best free and open
> > source desktop applications across many domains. It would be more like a
> > hall-of-fame kind of spin.
> Yes, that is more like something I would use to introduce people to 
> FLOSS, a disk with applications that will make their lives better, where 
> they can discover awesome stuff.

It seems like maybe we should have a different spin for that, then. It's
a different goal and is a little at odds with the Desktop spin goal I

What is the diff between the two do you think? What applications should
be added?


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