Posts Tagged ‘William Jon McCann’

Open Source Hall of Shame

March 13th, 2013 subogero Comments off

It’s time to expose traitors and sheep-clad wolfs, the evil and rude creatures of the free software world. One needs some venting sometimes, so we go totally biblical. The slogan is:

Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant. (Luke 19:22)

In other words, we concentrate on what these people actually said.

William Jon McCann

Lead designer of the horrid Gnome3 desktop environment.

And that’s very challenging to do and very tricky to know what the less vocal people are looking for.

So Gnome3 was made for people nobody has ever heard of.

So, one of the many very exciting things about GNOME Shell is that for the first time we may have ability to really shape the user experience and form an identity for the GNOME platform.

On the surface, harmless corporatese gibberish. Except we know what he meant with shaping the user experience.

I am really concerned about this effort to encourage and sanction themes and extensions… The issue is not whether extensions may be useful. The issue is whether they will be harmful to our larger goals.

Oh… larger goals?

I guess you have to decide if you are a GNOME app, an Ubuntu app, or an Xfce app unfortunately… And I have no idea what Xfce is or does, sorry. It is my hope that you are a GNOME app.

McCann trying to make Transmission a Gnome-only app. In a particularly intelligent way.

Verdict? Sheep-clad wolf. In a red hat.

Miguel de Icaza

Gnome founder, .NET and Apple fanboy.

Personally, I am quite happy with Gnome Shell.


So Linux was left with idealists that wanted to design the best possible system without having to worry about boring details like support and backwards compatibility.

How nice. Señor de Icaza standing up for backwards compatibility. Except that this sentence is from the same blog-post which praises the Gnome shell.

Others found that messing around with their audio card every six months to play music and the hardships of watching video on Linux were not worth that much.

Strange. Yes, I remember having a problem once with playing sound over a Display-port, but a single Google search fixed it. And what are those hardships of watching video on Linux? On Windows? Yes. On a Mac? Yes. But on Linux? It just plays everything. Maybe he has not heard of mplayer. Or used a dumbed-down US distro.

And while he can’t stop singing the praises of big-business like Apple and Microsoft, he is also a big fan a far-left intellectuals like Noam Chomsky.

Verdict? A traitor? Or just a hopelessly confused man?

An Open Letter To Sarah Sharp

Dear Sarah,

I’ve been following your debate with Linus very closely. And, unlike the press, I took time to read the original thread about Greg KH taking patches into the production-spec -stable which Linus would never allow entering the bleeding-edge mainline. It was a very interesting technical read, with the occasional door-mat and squishing giant thrown in to spruce up the conversation.

What I don’t get is why you went into full-on attack mode. The jokes were not even offensive. They were, well, jokes. But anyway the flame was a very good read too. And my heart goes out to you for all the hate-mail you’ve received.

But last night I read your Wired interview. And it got me thinking. The Linux-kernel becoming a corporate project? Code of conduct? Only 1% minorities involved in Linux development? Sympathy from Gnome developers? And you called Linus an excellent release manager?

Let’s get a few facts straight.

The Linux kernel is not a corporate project, however many corporate contributors it has. Instead it’s Linus Torvalds kindly allowing corporations to put their stuff into HIS kernel. If corporations don’t like something, they are even free to fork. Good luck.

Code of conduct? Definitely. Please go and read the Constitution of the United States of America. Pay attention to that quirky “freedom of speech” idea.

Only 1 to 2% minorities? Wrong. 100%, one hundred percent, of the kernel developers are a minority. They are Linux users after all, aren’t they? And you try to force “frontier-of-high-value-scenarios-marching-outward” corporate culture down their throats? Looks like a majority forcing its ways onto a minority to me.

Sympathy from Gnome developers? Who steered themselves into total irrelevance by ignoring their users with perfect political correctness and corporate professionalism? I wouldn’t be so proud of their sympathy.

And now let’s get to the best part. You called Linus an excellent release manager. Now this is the worst verbal abuse I’ve read or heard in years. It is the “professional” corporate kind of abuse. The statement is technically true, but what you usually pay attention to is what one doesn’t say. And you forgot to mention that it was Linus Torvalds who created Linux in the first place. You forgot to mention git. You forgot to mention Linus belongs to the minority who call a spade a spade.

But I do believe in freedom of speech. So please go ahead. You’ve become famous already.

Yours truly

Szabó Gergely
Budapest, from those cursing Finno-Ugric tribes

Inferiority Complex Considered Harmful

September 12th, 2012 subogero Comments off

Recently, I’ve upgraded the HP 874W power station to Linux Mint Maya, 64-bit, MATE edition.

It’s pretty stable, the performance is brutal, and it has very new packages out of the box, like VIM 7.3 (I’m looking at you Debian Squeeze). But the Gnome2-MATE conversion is still a work in progress. A few things are still broken, like the power button brings up the shut-down dialogue for exactly zero seconds and, unfortunately, Compiz does not work out of the box.

It took me two evenings to play with the Configuration Editor (gconf-editor), the Configuration Editor (mateconf-editor) and CCSM to reach a state, where Compiz places, decorates, wobbles and peeps through windows in the desired fashion, and the virtual desktops are spinning and exposing as in the old times. Except, there is no way to start the old hierarchical menu with Alt-F1. So I’m forced to use the chaotic MintMenu. By now my readers have figured out, correctly, that I’m a keyboard-guy.

So Ubuntu Lucid Lynx will stay on the ultra-portable ASUS UL20A for at least another year. This OS is the symbol of the golden era of the Linux desktop, 2010. Dark clouds were already gathering on the horizon, but here, down on Earth, everything looked rosy and happy. The Linux desktop was so good that Apple and Microsoft could not help copying it at an astonishing rate. Full screen for ALL apps for the first time in Mac OS X Lion, anyone?

But while we, proud users, were showing off semi-transparent rotating desktop cubes to the Apple fanboys in the neighbourhood, William Jon McCann had a feeling of terrible insecurity. He, as the lead designer of Gnome3, felt that the Linux desktop was crap and something new, more apple-ish was required. At the same time Miguel de Icaza, the founder of Gnome, had already been a closeted Mac OS X user, waiting for the great coming-out moment. Allegedly, his sound was not working and he could not play videos on Linux. I’m at a complete loss here…

But anyway, Gnome3 was born, Gnome2 was discontinued, Ubuntu defaulted to Unity, and everybody else got real angry. There is a silver lining in the clouds though, thanks to Linux Mint, but it’s still a long way. But what caused this mayhem?

It’s called inferiority complex.

It’s harmful.

No, the desktop is not going away, and no, OS X and Windows were not better than the Linux desktop, and no, goodness is not measured by market share. These gentlemen were hankering after the wrong things from the Apple world. They wanted to copy looks and features and gardens and walls. They should have noticed something else:


It’s the ability to notice that you’re good at something. The first Mac OS from 1984 and the present OS X basically look the same. They stuck with their interface even in the valley of the shadow of death. Their user interface is still the same, while they have changed the internals to Unix. The same is true for the Linux kernel. The external interfaces never change. Linus’ bash binary from 1991 still runs.

Miguel de Icaza thinks Linus Torvalds is an arrogant low-level kernel guy. But the fact that you’ve been a guilt-afflicted closeted Mac-fag, does not mean that someone else with a healthy dose of self-confidence is arrogant. In fact Linus Torvalds is an extremely humble person. He goes to great lengths to protect his users. Yes, on the surface you see the “shoot-yourself-before-you-reproduce” and the “you-are-full-of-BS”, but the comforting self-mockery is always there, and it’s all for the users’ sake.

On the Gnome side there is McCann’s polished and politically correct corporate lingo, which in fact is full of ignorance, insecurity and bullshit. And they could not care less for their existing users. But it’s Linus’ fault, of course.

Go to therapy, get rid of your inferiority complex and start using mplayer.