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GNOME The Almighty Buck

The GNOME Foundation Is Running Out of Money 693

An anonymous reader writes "The GNOME Foundation is running out of money. The foundation no longer has any cash reserves so they have voted to freeze non-essential funding for running the foundation. They are also hunting down sponsors and unpaid invoices to regain some delayed revenue. Those wishing to support the GNOME Foundation can become a friend of GNOME."
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The GNOME Foundation Is Running Out of Money

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  • Among other things (Score:3, Interesting)

    by oldhack ( 1037484 ) on Sunday April 13, 2014 @11:52AM (#46740143)
    Unlink yourself from systemd.
  • by slack_justyb ( 862874 ) on Sunday April 13, 2014 @11:53AM (#46740153)
    If we honestly wanted to follow the Unix philosophy, we should add X11 to that list as well. There's nothing about X that follows the Unix philosophy any more.
  • Blame GNOME 3 (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 13, 2014 @11:54AM (#46740157)

    I started using GNOME at version 1.4 and I really liked it. I followed the development of GNOME 2 closely and was very excited when it was finally released. I spent a lot of time checking the code out of CVS and building it before 2.0. The thing is, I was just a kid back then, I didn't have $25 for a mousepad even though I would have happily supported the project. I remember looking at the website when I was like 17 thinking how awesome it would be to have a GNOME tshirt or some kind of GNOME swag.

    Fast forward a few years... Today, I could easily donate $500 but I'm not going to, since I don't use GNOME anymore. When GNOME 3 was released, my disappointment was colossal. I had to completely re-think my desktop - if it was going to change so drastically that I'd have to relearn everything, it might as well be change that made sense. So I switched to a tiling window manager called i3. If i3 project ever needs money, I'll give it to them.

    But not GNOME. Sorry guys. I guess this is what happens when you alienate your users and let "user experience"-crap-level developers infiltrate your project.

  • Re:Funny (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 13, 2014 @11:59AM (#46740191)

    You're missing the real picture. GNOME is running out of money because they spent it on stupid outreach programs for women and "trans-women". And now that the financial shitstorm is coming to light... the female exec director responsible for this debacle resigns [gnome.org]

    So basically men made it...men funded it. Women showed up later and demanded all the money be spent on them... and now there's none left. It's almost a microcosm of the Western nations economic woes.

  • by grumbel ( 592662 ) <grumbel+slashdot@gmail.com> on Sunday April 13, 2014 @12:20PM (#46740337) Homepage

    Right now in Xubuntu: The WindowButtons/Taskbar shows the wrong windows when using multiple monitors, the xfce-volumed is constantly hanging, not registering volume keys and using the wrong soundcard, the indicator-applet is completely broken and putting apps into fullscreen doesn't work properly any more either with multiple monitors. Most of this used to work a year or two ago. It feels like XFCE is just getting more and more broken as time progresses. It's pretty frustrating, guess it's time to try Mate.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 13, 2014 @12:29PM (#46740409)
    ha ha ha ha ,, when gnome 3 released , i told them , i will not donate for project even doesn't respect for its user perspective :)). and then they just laugh at me. i am sure there is many many people like me . why should i donate for a crap created just for tablet ???? gnome 3 from technical standpoint is not so bad . but biggest mistake from gnome people is they just remove desktop support . just look at even this "classic mode"(or what ever they call it , 3.8). why should i donate for project doesnt even listen to people , what is that stupid notification system ??? its reduce my mouse movement/click or save my time ?????? (don't refer to extension , main point of "classic mode" was that desktop user will have classic desktop experience's without any extension) seems someone proven is wrong.
  • by MrNaz ( 730548 ) on Sunday April 13, 2014 @12:29PM (#46740411) Homepage

    For many years, Gnome was the most popular desktop environment. Many of the people who got into Linux on the desktop moved into a Gnome environment. It provided a familiar UI with standard metaphors. While the Linux desktop has moved on for better or worse, the fact remains that it was Gnome that provided the soft landing for many when they jumped ship.

    Pay some respect to those who went before and the work they did.

  • Re:Funny (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Intrepid imaginaut ( 1970940 ) on Sunday April 13, 2014 @12:53PM (#46740587)

    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.

  • by houstonbofh ( 602064 ) on Sunday April 13, 2014 @01:13PM (#46740745)
    You could have said the same thing about Xfree86. They, like Gnome, lost sight of the user base. But Gnome did worse. The people they pissed off, Developers, power users, and large content workers, are the very ones most likely to contribute code and money. Belittling them for pointing out the flaws didn't help either. So if they go, it will cause some problems for a while, but we still have the KDE foundation, the Apache Foundation, and a ton of focused projects that no longer need a large "foundation" to support them.

    But, if they pull their head out, and make amends with those folks, I think things can still be saved. Some more prominence and respect for Gnome Flashback would go a LONG way towards bringing people back.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 13, 2014 @01:35PM (#46740939)

    The sad fact is little of GNOME 3 (or more accurately GNOME-Shell) works for anyone but an extremely small minority - the fact that they had to bolt on a GNOME 2 looking set of extensions to GNOME 3 for GNOME 3 to be included into Red Hat Enterprise 7 tells you all you need to know about the GNOME project - they are out in there own little world ignoring everyone else.

    Which is a shame, because one of the strengths of the GNOME project was building a decent infrastructure, and that continues to exist if they would simply turf out the small number of people who hijacked the project.

    The bigger concern to me at least is that this is a reflection of what appears to be a lack of leadership at Red Hat, where it appears paid Red Hat employees can continue to pull down salaries for years while creating software that Red Hat cannot use - where is Red Hat management is this debacle?

    Similarly, why isn't Red Hat considering a move from gcc to LLVM? Why continue to pay to develop a compiler system that thanks to its licence and design can't be integrated into the IDE's that developers today expect when instead you can join the other big companies developing LLVM and get a bigger bang for your investment.

  • by Max Threshold ( 540114 ) on Sunday April 13, 2014 @01:48PM (#46741033)
    Users might be more inclined to support them if they stopped ignoring what users want.
  • Re:Here's hoping. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jmyers ( 208878 ) on Sunday April 13, 2014 @02:07PM (#46741147)

    "pleasant on the eye" is subjective and mealiness. In my experience Cinnamon is unreliable which is not good for people just trying Linux. I have installed Linux Mint on many systems, Every time a new release comes out I try Cinnamon hoping for better results. It often crashes and reverts to "fallback mode" which as awful. Maybe it works on some magic hardware combination that I have not tried. MATE has worked perfectly out of the box on every system I have tried. Stable, reliable and pleasant to my eye. I have also tried the fedora MATE spin and it was nowhere near the polish and functionality of the Mint systems. So it may be Mint treatment of MATE as much as the DE itself.

    Cinnamon is for people in denial about Gnome 3 and believe it has actual value buried deep in there somewhere.
    MATE is for people who just want to use a computer for actual work.
    KDE is for people that want to use a computer for actual work and also like eye candy.

  • by sabri ( 584428 ) on Sunday April 13, 2014 @05:00PM (#46742269)

    The correct term for that is "software" these days. Like it or not, that's how it is.

    If only software would be the focus of the Gnome foundation. I had a look to check if it would be worth donating some of my cash to. One of the ways to see if your money is spent well, is by looking at the financial statements of the charity you're considering to donate to. I found old statements on their page (http://www.gnome.org/foundation/reports/). Their last financial report goes back to 2011...

    According to the financial data in their 2012 status report, 25 percent of their spending went to "Women's Outreach" ($106,741 out of $409,400). While I have no issues with programs helping women getting coding internships, I'm pretty sure the Gnome foundation would not be broke right now if they focused on their mission statement: "The GNOME Foundation will work to further the goal of the GNOME project: to create a computing platform for use by the general public that is completely free software. ", according to their website: https://wiki.gnome.org/Foundat... [gnome.org].

    This looks like a self-inflicted wound, originating out of bad management and diversion from their core mission.

  • by erroneus ( 253617 ) on Sunday April 13, 2014 @05:14PM (#46742345) Homepage

    There is simply no end to the complaining about the latest GNOME desktop. It is exactly as Linus Torvalds said it was. It's an unholy abomination and most people don't want it. They should have kept the old desktop and offered an alternative to see how people wanted to go. But no. They just had to annoy the hell out of so many people. I want to say "let them die" but then I wonder what would happen with the GNOME2 stuff... is MATE being actively developed? If so maybe the likes of RedHat will shift over to supporting and developing MATE/GNOME2 again.

  • Re:Funny (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Sri Ramkrishna ( 1856 ) <(sriram.ramkrishna) (at) (gmail.com)> on Sunday April 13, 2014 @07:41PM (#46743141)
    It's a good thing you are an anonymous coward, because you know that this is just slander. The executive director answers to the board. She can't spend money without the board approving it. The board also does not take a hand in technical matters, we are a support platform for GNOME. Karen Sandler has a political agenda, it's called Free Software. It aligns with GNOME which isalso a GNU project
  • Re:Funny (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Sri Ramkrishna ( 1856 ) <(sriram.ramkrishna) (at) (gmail.com)> on Sunday April 13, 2014 @07:42PM (#46743147)
    This has nothing to do with the Executive Director. I am a board member.
  • Re:Funny (Score:4, Interesting)

    by whoever57 ( 658626 ) on Sunday April 13, 2014 @09:30PM (#46743641) Journal

    She can't spend money without the board approving it.

    Do you then feel personally responsible for allowing 25% (or more?) of the budget on activities that are not mentioned in the mission of the foundation and merit zero discussions in the board meetings? I did not read every meeting minutes, I just went back to late 2013, but any item that takes 25% of the budget merits frequent discussions.

    Looking at a few of the board's meeting minutes, it looks like the board are asleep at the wheel. No discussion of the impending financial crisis in the last 6 or 7 meetings, just business as normal.

  • I do talk to Linus from time to time and he stlll uses it. Heck, he tried otu 3.12 because I asked him to. He had some complaints of course in the usual Linus style but it still works for him.
  • by Mr0bvious ( 968303 ) on Sunday April 13, 2014 @11:58PM (#46744247)

    The issue is not 'it looks foreign', it's a fscking productivity nightmare. I've been using Gnome 3 since it came out, and still every day it annoys the crappers out of me. I've been too focused on my work to change to something else, but it's wearing very thin and I'm going to switch very soon.

    I think this is the root of this issue with the Gnome foundation - you are part of that foundation and your impression is that users don't like it because it's foreign. That's plain old wrong. It's not a good design for a productive desktop.

    The alt-tab/alt-esc shenanigans is just ridiculous, every time I switch machines (yes my works forces me to use Windows for some stuff) I have to stop and think - "Oh what machine am I on, what keys to I press" - Sure the Gnome way might be better, but heck, they may have well made my keyboard switch to dvorak when I'm synergy'ing to my Linux box.

    I imagine I can change this (maybe?) but I'm busy, I don't have time to manage configuring my desktop to be normal again. And if I use someone else's desktop I'm still going to land on the same issue unless they've tweaked theirs too.

    This is just one of the many "desktop usability regressions" I find with Gnome3 and the real world benefit for this change alludes me. But as it is now, alt-tab is the "Show me a random window" key combo.

  • Re:Funny (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Sri Ramkrishna ( 1856 ) <(sriram.ramkrishna) (at) (gmail.com)> on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @12:06PM (#46769085)
    The board fell behind on bugging folks on payments because the processing took a lot of time and our financial controller was buried in work. As I was saying elsewhere, it's a scaling problem.
  • Re:Funny (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Sri Ramkrishna ( 1856 ) <(sriram.ramkrishna) (at) (gmail.com)> on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @05:29PM (#46773813)
    Sure, it's a management problem, and you're right we weren't equipped to execute it. We've learned and now we're fixing it. Some things are not always discoverable. The issue is a little more complex than that. But ultimately, we are to blame, yes.

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