After I started on twitter and facebook the blog posts reduced a lot… anyways I’d like to mention I’ll attend DesktopSummit 2011 in Berlin to represent the Enlightenment (aka E17) team and thus an alternative view to the traditional GNOME x KDE.
Fortunately I have couple of friends in both GNOME and KDE so I can express our E17 voice without being ignored (at least immediately ;-P). Dunno if it’s me or E17 being the underdog, but people don’t feel afraid to listen to our ideas and they even try to incorporate those that make sense, like Enlightenment’s Edje that resulted in QEdje that in turn resulted into QML that boosts Qt development these days.
My focus will be:
- performance matters: even if you have a fast hardware today and an even faster hardware tomorrow, you should care about performance. I’m not talking about neat picking premature optimizations, but to design platforms and standards considering performance. It’s often not harder, just need to be considered from the beginning. What bugs us most is the stupid freedesktop.org thumbnail standard, that forces use of PNG even if most of our pictures are in JPEG, causing slower thumbnailing time, bigger disk footprint and slower load times. Second in the list is the traditional abuse of XML, praised years ago and suddenly GNOME realized it was a bad idea (given GSetting/DConf), but it’s deeply inside our desktops with fontconfig and others (want faster application load times? Don’t use XML.);
- Broader Standards: A standard must be thought outside the “I’m implementing it for myself” scope. Similar to above, we should consider broader standards and not get a piece of GNOME or KDE and say it’s a standard. Freedesktop.org fails to get standards because of this stupid approach. See the last flamewars around simple topics as the systray replacement. Actually the systray standard is a well known bad example, people wrote it like if GNOME was the only way to do this. Enlightenment officially ignored this standard due stupid bugs with XEmbed specification and approach (as EFL uses the “windowless widgets” for a while, the XEmbed made no sense and caused user experience problems);
- Embedded is the future. Okay, it will be a DesktopSummit, but as Rasterman predicted Â in 2002 the desktop game is unlike to be changed from Microsoft dominance and we better look for new fields where we can compete equally. Given Android, WebOS, Maemo, MeeGo and others, it’s clear that Linux does dominated the mobile world. With appliances (from TVs to DVR toÂ Refrigerators) being dominated for a while (after the embedded cpus got more powerful, most embedded OS got replaced with Linux). Thus together with performance we must not restrict ourselves to the keyboard-mouse-X11-big-screens approach that we used before. This is not just about scalable (as in multiplication) GUI as people believed SVG would help, but we need different GUI for different environments and our toolkits and infrastructure have to help with that… something that Apple is currently doing quite well with their iOS UI toolkit providing universal applications that run optimized on both iPad and iPhone/iPod.
If you’re also attending this summit, let’s meet there and have some beers.