Murray's Blog


The ongoing GNOME website changes produced some unpleasantly unconstructive reactions. This finally got to me when I saw someone insisting that nobody should try to help. Although this was just a lot of bizarrely vicious nonsense from a small group of unusually bitter people, it does give me an excuse to make a couple of useful points.


Like most open source projects there is nobody in GNOME who has any real power or who is able to make decisions just because of their position. Some names are more familiar than others and some peoples' opinions are more valued than others, because they are active or known for their good sense. They are still just opinions without force. And one characterisic of the best contributors is that they are ready to be persuaded by better arugments.

We have some official groups such as the GNOME foundation and the GNOME release team, but both are clearly subservient to the GNOME community. Anything else would be foolish because there is no way for them to force anybody to do anything. It turns out that you can get a lot more done when you accept that fact and work with it. I wrote some documentation for the release team recently that stresses that point.

So nobody should be blaming an imagined leadership instead of fixing what they care about. Apathy is so 80s.


Because nobody has any real power, stuff only gets done when somebody decides to do it. Anybody is free to do stuff as long as they aren't complete muppets.

Some random examples:

It can take a little while to get acclimatised but it's just a question of being polite and constructive. one of my first emails to a GNOME list shows that I took a while to learn. Get involved. Don't rant. Be concise.

Take a look at the How To Help page if you want to make a difference.

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