Comment 327 for bug 668415

Tal Liron (emblem-parade) wrote :

Pavel Golikov (Paullo) worked hard and created a patch. His code is still available here:

As to whether it was not good enough quality to be merged into Unity, well, nothing about that was updated in this bug. There may have been personal communications with Pavel which we were not privy to. The episode definitely dissuaded anybody from doing any further work on it. (I was personally working on a similar patch when Pavel made his public.) Actually, Mark did not call for patches, but suggested that we fork Unity instead.

But that's not really what dissuaded us: as so many have pointed out, whenever Mark intervened in this bug it was to *discourage* us from fixing it. The bottom line seemed to be not quality or manpower (red herrings) but mysterious "design goals." No amount of patching could fix those. :/ An executive decision was set that this simply won't be fixed.

Mark, it's unfortunate that you always seem to take these things personally and think that it is a matter of not appreciating the work being done. In interviews, too, you always imply that we "complainers" just want some pet features fix and "whine" about it while not wanting to do the work. That's a caricature of what's going on. Some of us do indeed whine, but you are picking at these few examples as a straw target and ignoring the core criticisms: 1) the flippant rejection of this feature request, 2) the lack of a transparent explanation for the decision, and 3) the rejection of advice from long-time Ubuntu users and supporters -- critical as an ongoing mass of good will proliferating Ubuntu in the office and at home (and soon, on the go) -- in favor of a set of "newbs" participating in usability testing. It hurts, man. We've supported this project for years, and now we're being called children.

One thing I agree with you strongly: everybody should read through the long history of this bug. It will remain as a monument, and hopefully a lesson to others, for how not engage your community of supporters. It created unfortunate ill will. Mark blames us, but the record is here and anyone can judge for themselves.

It could have been so easy to do things differently: instead of "won't fix", there could have been a call for people to submit patches to test the viability of a fix, even with a long-term timeline. This could have been a wonderful moment for community involvement, bringing more people into the project with enthusiasm and excitement. Anyway, the record is here.

Thank you for your efforts. I and most people posting here deeply appreciate them, whether you believe it or not. You've done great things for free software, and I believe for freedom generally. I sincerely hope that your gamble on manic innovation at the cost of pleasing the long-term community of Ubuntu supporters will pay off in the long run, and will bring truly free software to the masses. That is a goal we all share.