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The GNOME Foundation Is Running Out of Money

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  • by Zero__Kelvin (151819) on Sunday April 13, 2014 @12:06PM (#46740217) Homepage
    So you are saying that you don't know anything about KDE then? I've got news for you. The Unix philosophy was conceived before there was a GUI. It doesn't apply to GUI based apps and Window Managers. KDE is modular, and does not stand in the way of the Unix philosophy. In fact muttering Gnome and KDE in the same sentence is pretty much trolling.
  • Re:Funny (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 13, 2014 @12:20PM (#46740335)

    Pretty much. But, from the article, even just supporting OPW wouldn't have been an issue, they did it incompetently. They weren't paying attention to the books and they didn't have enough people to handle all the details.

    Had they paid attention to the books and been on top of the details, they probably could have supported OPW without being in this situation.

  • Re:Here's hoping. (Score:4, Informative)

    by Stormwatch (703920) <rodrigogirao.hotmail@com> on Sunday April 13, 2014 @12:31PM (#46740437) Homepage

    Here ya go: http://mate-desktop.org/donate... [mate-desktop.org]

  • Re:Funny (Score:4, Informative)

    by cold fjord (826450) on Sunday April 13, 2014 @12:54PM (#46740589)

    How do you think Poe's law applied to the post you responded to?

    Outreach Program for Women is grateful to the following organizations [gnome.org]

    Outreach Program for Women is grateful to the following organizations and companies for their generous sponsorship of the previous round:
    Equalizer: Wikimedia Foundation
    Promoters: Google, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, Mozilla, Open Source Robotics Foundation
    Includers: Cloudera, Debian, GNOME Foundation, Linaro, OpenStack Foundation, Rackspace, Red Hat ...

    Ceiling Smasher - $52,000 - 8 interns
    Equalizer - $32,000 - 5 interns
    Promoter - $19,000 - 3 interns
    Includer - $6,250 - 1 intern

    The sponsorship per intern includes $5,500 (USD) stipend, $500 travel allowance, and a $250-500 administrative fee for the GNOME Foundation.

  • by Rehdon (25434) on Sunday April 13, 2014 @01:10PM (#46740721)

    After I realized that no matter what the existing user base would say, the GNOME 3 developers weren't going to make Gnome Shell suitable for the good old desktop work flow (besides making it impossible to have GNOME 2 installed together with the new version ...), I started looking elsewhere. I tried several desktop environments, and then sticked to Cinnamon, a "no nonsense, it just works" shell based on the Gnome libraries.

    What I noticed almost immediately was that, in spite of the GNOME devs making fun of people jumping ship and waving them goodbye, Linux Mint received more donation money in a month than GNOME in 5-6.

    So there you go guys, people have voted with their feet deserting you, and with their wallets funding other, more worthwile open source projects: I'm tempted to help, just because Cinnamon is based on Gnome libraries, but the conclusion is that you reap what you have sown. No sympathy from this ex-GNOME user.

    Rehdon

  • by boristhespider (1678416) on Sunday April 13, 2014 @01:17PM (#46740789)

    There is a Gnome 2 foundation -- it's called MATE. Knock yourself out: http://mate-desktop.org/ [mate-desktop.org]

  • by vadim_t (324782) on Sunday April 13, 2014 @01:35PM (#46740937) Homepage

    The Linus/systemd controvery is long over btw. People had a conflict, yelled a bit at each other, then came up with patches, and everything went back to normal.

    Personally I like at least the idea of systemd. It means I can make a single startup script, and have most of the work done by the system, instead of having to muck around with the minor differences of the ubuntu/debian/etc scripts.

  • by houstonbofh (602064) on Sunday April 13, 2014 @01:37PM (#46740947)
    Stacking things by application, regardless of workflow is a serious impediment to some workflow. This is fact, not fear. If a change makes a job take 10% longer, it is a BAD CHANGE. This is something they never grasped. And while it may not be much of an issue for a home user or hobbyist, for people that use Linux on the job, it is major.
  • Cash flow (Score:4, Informative)

    by jbolden (176878) on Sunday April 13, 2014 @01:50PM (#46741039) Homepage

    Well looking at Gnome's website. The problem seems to be mainly cash flow not so much a huge drop in funding. What they are saying is that OPW (outreach for women has been popular beyond expectations, they are spending more than expected and not everyone is paying their invoices).

    So what you see is:

    Invoicing our Advisory Board members for their annual subscription fees
    Invoicing our conference sponsors
    Following up on unpaid invoices more actively
    Taking on the Executive Director's administrative and fundraising duties
    Invoicing the OPW sponsoring organizations for the upcoming round immediately
    Increasing our general fundraising efforts for the Foundation and its events
    Some of the OPW administrative workload is being shifted from Foundation employees to the OPW organizing team

    Which is basically a cash flow problem. If there were domestic this would be an easy problem to solve by borrowing against receivables. For an international charity I'm not sure what the rules are.

  • by ThePhilips (752041) on Sunday April 13, 2014 @01:58PM (#46741101) Homepage Journal

    For many years, Gnome was the most popular desktop environment.

    That would have had a meaning, if GNOME was chosen based on technical merits.

    GNOME became "default" desktop only because at the time it was GNU project and unlike KDE/Qt had F/LOSS license.

  • Re:Funny (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 13, 2014 @02:41PM (#46741383)

    No report for 2013 yet, but check out page 17 of the 2012 report [gnome.org]. "Women's Outreach" accounted for 1/4 of all expenses. It increased 40% from 2011, apparently it increased again in 2013. So Karen Sandler takes over in 2011, Gnome blows all their money on her pet political project, then leaves [gnome.org] a week before Gnome announces that they're out of money and have to freeze all non-essential expenses.

  • Re:Funny (Score:4, Informative)

    by R.Mo_Robert (737913) on Sunday April 13, 2014 @02:52PM (#46741441)

    As charming as your characterisation of /.s membership is, I'm more interested in whether or not there is any truth to the assertion that Gnome's funding was eaten up by outreach programmes. I managed to track down this article [phoronix.com], so there does seem to be a certain amount of legitimacy to the claim.

    You can actaully find more or less the same thing from GNOME themselves: https://wiki.gnome.org/FoundationBoard/CurrentBudgetFAQ [gnome.org]. It states:

    What is the problem? The Foundation does not have any cash reserves right now.

    Why has this happened? The Outreach Program for Women (OPW) has proven to be extremely popular and has grown quite rapidly.... GNOME, as the lead organization, has been responsible for managing the finances for the entire effort. However, as the program grew, the processes did not keep up.

    That being said, the original poster's sexism and cisgenderism is obviously out of line in any case, but it does appear the growth of this program (which undoubtedly is largely cis women) was a large factor in creating the current financial situation. They also except to have it resolved within a month or so and don't seem to be too concerned about it.

  • by Sri Ramkrishna (1856) <sriram.ramkrishn ... m ['gma' in gap]> on Sunday April 13, 2014 @10:50PM (#46743941)
    See, that's the thing. You got used to changing your fonts around because in the old days fonts sucked. We didn't really have a good font system. All the other non-free desktops had a great font rendering system. Now we have something decent, you shouldn't have to screw around with fonts. It should just work. That's why GNOME doesn't have that many options for fonts. Neither does OSX nor Windows. You can still do the same kind of font fiddling before, you just have to use gsettings or tweak tool to do it. But they exist, but we need to build something greater. What we're doing is much harder, making things work for the general case. Does it always work? No, some of them are "features in flight" and are not quite finished because the underlying work is not done. Sometimes we introduce things too early and should have waited. Hey, we make mistakes. But our intentions is to have a desktop that shouldn't have to do a ton of tweaking. GNOME offends people who use computers as a creative extension of themselves. It definitely comes from an older era where you can spend hours tweaking conf files. I used to be one of those people, but life is too short, I prefer to take what I am given and work on the things that really matter to me.
  • Re:Funny (Score:4, Informative)

    by Sri Ramkrishna (1856) <sriram.ramkrishn ... m ['gma' in gap]> on Sunday April 13, 2014 @11:43PM (#46744197)
    You are free to peruse the FAQ. Read it first and I can tehn answer any questions after that. https://wiki.gnome.org/Foundat... [gnome.org]
  • Re:Funny (Score:4, Informative)

    by Sri Ramkrishna (1856) <sriram.ramkrishn ... m ['gma' in gap]> on Monday April 14, 2014 @03:22AM (#46744879)
    It is one of those things where it sneaks up on you. We pretty much was able to handle it until we had a large number of organizations join and then our processes didn't scale. Plus, how we do our financials is pretty slow, we're using GNUCash and the methodology of looking at our bank account doesn't allow multiple people to look at it. So a single point of failure. So we have a number of issues that caused the problem. So we are working on improving them. Again, this is not some kind of disaster, we just need to finish our collections.

    We have had discussions about it. I can't give a complete explanation at the moment as what I tell the public should go through the board so that we are giving a consistent message. When dealing with lots of people asking the same questions it is probably better to update the FAQ. I suggest you subscribe to the URL there so that you can keep up.

  • Re:Funny (Score:5, Informative)

    by Sri Ramkrishna (1856) <sriram.ramkrishn ... m ['gma' in gap]> on Monday April 14, 2014 @03:27AM (#46744897)
    It had nothing to do with Karen honestly. While one could draw some line for when she left and when the crises occured, the truth of hte matter is that we didn't track our finances very well. So, after going through the books we realized that we had a shortfall due to the fact that we did not do collections from the OPW program. See, the OPW program became very popular very quickly, and organizations were not paying on a timely basis. Since interns had to be paid, the funds were coming out of the general funds.

    OPW should have their own general fund in which to tkae money out of instead of using GNOME's. That was where the mistake was. So, we're going back and getting the money owed so that we can fix up the general fund for GNOME. We should be back on even footing again by July.

  • Re:Funny (Score:4, Informative)

    by Sri Ramkrishna (1856) <sriram.ramkrishn ... m ['gma' in gap]> on Monday April 14, 2014 @03:08PM (#46749995)
    Sure, but other people are asking those questions. Here, our treasurer has answered the question you were asking.

    https://mail.gnome.org/archive... [gnome.org]

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