Why I don’t Use GNOME but Everyone Else Should

Bradley M. Kuhn

Friday 12 August 2016

The Masochistic Programmer

Real Programmers don’t comment their code. If it was hard to write, it should be hard to understand.

Tom Van Vleck on 1982-10-20.

In My Day…

Write What You Know

User Culture

In Service of Users?

Real Programmers don’t write application programs, they program right down on the bare metal. Application programming is for [derogatory expletive] who can’t do system programming.

Tom Van Vleck on 1982-10-20.

Users are People

Fear of Failure

Why I Hate GUIs: Reason 0.

Why I Hate GUIs: Reason 1.

Meine Brille

Meine Brille

Meine Brille

Meine Brille

Meine Brille

Meine Neue Brille

Meine Neue Brille as GNOME 3

My Desktop

My Desktop

My Wife’s Desktop

How I Use my Wife’s Desktop

But We All Need It

Jonathan Blandford put it best to me circa 2003 (paraphrase from my memory):

I got involved with GNOME for one simple reason. I want to help make a Free Software desktop, because everyone needs it.

— Jonathan Blandford, circa 2003, at GNOME Advisory Board Meeting

What About Software Freedom?

The (Former) Competition

Early Success was “Made of Easy”

The Rising Threat

The Other Devices?

Mac Laptops Might Win

Software Freedom In Our Lifetimes?

Wily Opponents

Prime Minister: “But you’re wizards! You can do magic! Surely you can sort out — well — anything!”
Minister for Magic: “The trouble is, the other side can do magic too, Prime Minister.”

— J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 1

We’re Wily Opposition

Why Andy Came To Us

Adversarial Life Is Challenging

What Shakira & RMS have in common

My Plane Ride Here

Shakira’s lyrics

I won’t give up, no I won’t give in
Till I reach the end, then I’ll start again
No I won’t leave, I wanna try everything
I wanna try even though I could fail
I won’t give up, no I won’t give in

— Shakira, Try Everything, Zootopia Soundtrack, 2016-03

RMS Writing in 1999

Yoda’s philosophy (There is no “try”) sounds neat, but it doesn’t work for me. I have done most of my work while anxious about whether I could do the job, and unsure that it would be enough to achieve the goal if I did. But I tried anyway, because there was no one but me between the enemy and my city. Surprising myself, I have sometimes succeeded.

— Richard M. Stallman, “The GNU Operating System and the Free Software Movement”, Open Sources: Voices from the Open Source Revolution, 1999-01

Just Keep Going!

More Info / Talk License

Presentation and slides are: Copyright © 2016 Bradley M. Kuhn, and are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International License.

Some images included herein are ©’ed by others. I believe my use of those images is fair use under USA © law. However, I suggest you remove such images if you redistribute these slides under CC-By-SA 4.0.

Ok, you really want me to play it?