Draft Product Description for Fedora Workstation

Owen Taylor otaylor at redhat.com
Mon Nov 4 18:09:34 UTC 2013

On Mon, 2013-11-04 at 10:58 -0500, Matthew Miller wrote:
> On Mon, Nov 04, 2013 at 12:18:16PM +0100, Florian Müllner wrote:
> > > GNOME decided to break it all the time (can't even get extensions work
> > > from one gnome-shell version to the next one and no gracefully disabling
> > > is still functional breakage).
> > So what do you suggest? We can either
> > (1) restrict the functionality extension can provide (e.g. "add an icon
> > with a menu to the top bar" - of course that'd mean no alternate-tab,
> > shell-shape, alternative-status-menu etc.)
> > (2) cease development of gnome-shell
> I think there's probably a third way. It used to be that Firefox extensions
> broke with every update, but now that really rarely happens. That's partly
> because the base program has kind of stablized, but also because there's a
> nice developer ecosystem, with good supporting documentation and tons of
> tutorials. I think it's important to grow that for Gnome Shell, with good
> communication about migrating extensions as new versions come out.

Firefox intentionally avoided creating any sort of API for extensions
for a number of years, which allowed them to see what sort of things
people wanted to do and how to create an API. That was the foundation of
the Firefox ecosystem and inspired me. We may also eventually create
more of an API for shell extensions - it remains to be seen.

Without doing that, there are a number of things we can do, including.

 * Improve documentation of extension creation. The documentation about
   how to create an extension is fragmentary and scattered.
 * Improve documentation of the shell codebase. Never hurts!
 * Have VM images available for extension testing when a GNOME release
 * Actively notify extension author to update their extension for the
   next release.
I'd like to invite anybody who or has ideas or wants to help out with
this  to take this up further in desktop at lists.fedoraproject.org or,
better, in GNOME communication channels - this is a long ways from
subject of this thread. :-)

- Owen

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