Gnome doing Gnome (Breaking icons spec)

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On the bugtracker it looks like they will try to fallback to tango, because it’s a full color them, if I understand it correctly. Looks like the maintainer doesn’t want to spend his time with maintaining full color icons, it’s his right. I kinda like it when someone is pushing back on not willing to sacrifice their time for keeping some old spec alive. I like Gnome, because it actually feels modern compared to KDE, probably this is the way to do it, keep going forward and break some stuff. Somehow I manage without without using any apps that starts with a K.

Your missing the point. Its not a question of colors or a KDE apps only problem.

Open your theme icon folder, dive into it and you will find icons that derive in a lots of symlink with different name. Its like that for accommodating with everyone else.

Gnome devs simply removed, keep what they want for GTK and renamed them without any care.

So now, every toolkit that isn’t GTK will be broken on Gnome (except application like OBS that let you configure what integrated/system icons set you want to use).

I personally find it funny how Gnome devs talk about coherence in the design (icons included) but literally break that for everyone else :wink:

Every Linux desktops work together for unifying things but not the Gnome devs … When you dev for Linux, you need to think about X packaging format, libs version ect AND Gnome. Its a fact but i will still provide a recent example > Factorio devs just discovered that

Once Wayland support was implemented, I received a bug report that the window was missing a titlebar and close buttons (called “window decorations”) when running on GNOME. Most desktop environments will allow windows to supply their own decorations if they wish but will provide a default implementation on the server side as an alternative. GNOME, in their infinite wisdom, have decided that all clients must provide their own decorations, and if a client does not, they will simply be missing. I disagree with this decision; Factorio does not need to provide decorations on any other platform, nay, on any other desktop environment, but GNOME can (ab)use its popularity to force programs to conform to its idiosyncrasies or be left behind.

To fix this, I had to bring in another dependency, libdecor. It functions, and SDL even has support for it, but a video game shouldn’t have to supply window decorations in the first place.


In my opinion in open source there’s a freedom of not doing anything you don’t want to. If it works for you it’s enough and if it accidentally works for others it’s nice.

I see more and more a certain kind of entitlement in users, as linux and open source gets more popular, they just demand things and don’t consider the amount of extra work or offer their time to maintain those requested features, that bugtracker issue is a great example. Notice how the Kate dev only asks for things and when the gnome devs offer alternative ways that require more work, he never says that he will look into and will maintain it. Looks like those gnome icons are being maintained by only one person, he never said he is opposed to a solution, they’re even trying something that should work.

I know this kind of attitude can come off as hostile, but sometimes you need to be like that to be able to do more important stuff. I don’t think it’s okay to just come to someone and just demand things that are not easy to do. I think that article he wrote is hostile and unnecessary. It just fires up people who will just go and bother the devs some more, I saw that happening before with other projects too.

As for the libdecor thing, yes gnome is not perfect, probably they have their reasons for not providing that functionality. I doubt that if someone goes to them and says I’m willing to provide and maintain this feature, they will tell him to f off.

That reasoning works fantastic when you are a standalone project with no (or very few) stakeholders.

When you are a huge project with extremely wide adoption, corporate backing, advertised pride in doing things “the correct way” and closely collaborating with upstream, then it’s embarrassing, disappointing and unprofessional seeing what we are seeing here.

This is pretty much the single most important reason reputable projects become… well… reputable

Did you also notice how other Gnome devs side with him in that same bugtracker thread though?
Did your eye by any chance catch Fedora Workstation members clarifying how/why that issue was “missed” in the first place?


I know they have this. I just don’t know how far that goes and how it helps them financially. Also if these issues don’t bother those backers enough, then it’s the same thing, they do what works for them. Yes it’s a relatively big organization of people, that doesn’t mean that they don’t have issues or some of them aren’t spread just a little bit too thin. A lot times corporate backing is not that much and doesn’t improve much, sometimes it only amounts to a gesture.

I didn’t go deep enough to know, who sided with the Kate dev and who didn’t or what’s up with fedora. I still feel like writing these kinds of articles doesn’t help anyone, especially since the maintainer wasn’t opposed to a solution if it was simple enough.

It would be interesting to know, how much is that backing and how many people are being supported by it.

I mostly agree with what you are saying, however:

My point was not that because they have corporate backing they should do better.
The fact of the matter is, do enough of those “it works for me, figure it out”, and the project becomes undependable. An undependable project is the perfect recipe for loosing whatever corporate/financial backing you are getting. So my point rather was, they have that corporate backing because they have “cared” in the past, and changing that attitude could as well change the status-quo of “RH backed”, “Fedora Flagship” status of the project which would be devastating for both the project and the community that benefits from it.

The article was obviously emotionally charged, which is definitely not ideal I’ll absolutely agree.

That said, those are important details, especially given you decided to criticize one while ignoring the others referencing the bug-tracker (not the article) specifically. Just to be clear, I don’t mean you did that maliciously, I just mean it’s ideal to try to capture all views and sentiment before making blanket statements about “entitlement”.

While entitlement is undoubtedly a problem with opensource, this is not the case at all here. This isn’t a random user complaining to a random developer about their x or y usecase not working. This is two very big very reputable projects, discussing about collaborative disclosure of breaking changes and compliance to specifications that benefit the entirety of FOSS.

This especially hard to measure in the case of Gnome (or, realistically, everything RedHat touches) because one could argue that sponsoring/financing to the project itself directly is not the sole parameter… For example, if a RH employee is payed to work on FOSS, that is most probably not visible as direct financing but it greatly contributes to the cause of developing Gnome, or whatever other FOSS project RH has invested interest in.


I’m just generally frustrated with how often I see people just go on rants against devs. And I felt it here too.

You bring up a lot of good points. Undependability is certainly an important one. I’m not the biggest fan of the purple hat either, they did a lot of shitty things the last few years, that made my job a little bit more frustrating too. But I view them as the necessary evil at this point, a lot of things wouldn’t work without their backing. We use RHEL based distros(almalinux mostly) and I spent a lot of time thinking about, if we can still depend on them, so I have certainly felt the undependability from RHEL. Until CentOS was alive it was the best choice for us, because otherwise RHEL is reliable product.

I didn’t feel this undependability from gnome yet. It’s just a simple desktop environment and it works great for me and for a lot of other people too. I imagine most users get by fine without ever touching KDE apps, just like me.

All they really needed to do was stop advertising that they were FDO compliant like Nate suggested in the first place. He already brought up that they don’t have to do anything they don’t want to. Just don’t break it for everyone else.


Nah, us mere mortals just don’t have the brains to understand…

They aren’t FDO compliant YET…
They are just ahead of their time, re-defining the future spec throug their changes, with modernity and the holy “simplicity over usability” Gnome ideology.
If WE don’t need xyz, then YOU don’t need XYZ :man_shrugging:

(only half-joking… it’s not like RedHat doesn’t have influence over FreeDesktop)

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