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Reigning in the GNOME UI Designers

Hurrah! Finally, somebody has stood up to the recent re-emergence of the arrogant GNOME UI designer (“UI Nazis”) whose world view is “we decide, we know better than you, you simply do as we say.”

In an recent email entitled Rules for design in Gnome, Federico Mena Quintero, one of the two original founders of the GNOME project, stated that:

The design team IS welcome to:

* Produce designs and propose them to Gnome at large and the relevant maintainers.

* Produce designs and implement them in experimental branches, which then are subject to maintainers' approval for merging into the mainline.

* Advise Gnome developers at large about design issues.

* Produce big-picture plans which are up for discussion by the people who will implement and use them.

* Teach people how to design, or point them to appropriate sources.

The design team IS NOT welcome to:

* Second-guess maintainers or well-intentioned contributors.

* Block development based on existing designs.

* Block development based on incomplete or planned designs.

* Veto development except in modules with branches that the design team maintains.

* Be dismissive of other people's own approaches to design.

* Dismiss or handwave requests for clarification about decisions taken.

* Assume that no one but them does design that is good for Gnome.

Of course, the demands for an apology were not long in coming! Bastien Nocera was the first with “I think an apology is in order.”

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