Last Tango in fdo (was Re: Tango, Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Desktop)

Lubos Lunak l.lunak at
Fri Nov 11 06:39:14 PST 2005

Dne pá 11. listopadu 2005 00:42 Adam Jackson napsal(a):
> On Thursday 10 November 2005 18:20, Richard Moore wrote:
> > Surely you agree that having the purpose of misunderstood
> > cannot help its aims. From the website:
> >
> > 'Unlike a standards organization, is a "collaboration
> > zone" where ideas and code are tossed around, and de facto
> > specifications are encouraged.'
> >
> > Except, that's not how it is often represented. This in turn harms its
> > use as a forum for collaborating.
> So some people can't read and/or are deliberately misrepresenting fd.o. 
> Find those people and beat them severely.
> Which is a bit of an empty directive without actual names of people to go
> after and brutalize.  So, I must ask the crowd: who out there is actually
> saying is a formal standardization body capable of
> enforcing the adoption of technologies or components?

 I tried to google for some example of that, too bad I can't come up with a 
good query ('find example of people abusing to push their 
spec' kinda doesn't work). Anyway, although I'm quite sure it could be 
possible to find such case, it's not necessary to go as far as people 
deliberately misrepresenting fd.o, the case of some people who can't read is 
sufficient. Many people DO have the perception that is 
exactly what you wrote above. Have you honestly never heard something like 
"but it's a freedesktop standard!"? The word standard alone helps to create 
that perception. And I for sure can see 'standard' written a lot all over

 I originally wanted to include a hypothetical example of how just this 
perception can lead to standardizing (even de-facto) on some spec just 
because somebody wrote that spec and pushed it to fd.o, ignoring feedback 
from others (or with others not caring), then implementing it somewhere 
"because it's a standard" and then others eventually implementing it "because 
it's a standard and you're bad 'cause you don't support" it, including some 
URLs mostly related to the 'Desktop Notification spec' because I'm afraid 
KDE4 is actually going to have KNotify crippled down exactly this way, but 
since both Havoc and Daniel say that if there's something wrong we should say 
so and fix it, how about I do instead something more constructive here like 

- getting rid of 'standard' from in favour of 
'specification' (that includes standards.f.o hostname - that'd actually have 
to be done by an admin); this should preferably also include people stopping 
to say 'freedesktop standard' at all

- make the wording on the front page and on the standards, er I mean 
specifications, page more specifically say that those are in no way formal 
standards that everybody is obliged to follow, but rather make a better 
distinction between those that are now widely used and are de facto standards 
and those and those that are more or less just proposals or so

- get rid of all the formally blessed standards listed in the specifications 
page, it just helps the wrong perception (and besides, CORBA there? WTH?)

 If this is ok I'll of course first post the changes here for review, I just 
first want to check that it is ok.

 BTW, I also think some of the stuff there should be actually moved to a 
different category - some things like 'System tray protocol' or 
'startup-notification-spec' are now supported at least by both KDE and GNOME 
and that's IMHO good enough for them to be in the de facto adoption/agreement 

Lubos Lunak
KDE developer
SuSE CR, s.r.o.  e-mail: l.lunak at , l.lunak at
Drahobejlova 27  tel: +420 2 9654 2373
190 00 Praha 9   fax: +420 2 9654 2374
Czech Republic

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