[Desktop_architects] Printing dialog and GNOME

Linus Torvalds torvalds at linux-foundation.org
Thu Feb 15 09:01:23 PST 2007

On Thu, 15 Feb 2007, Christian F.K. Schaller wrote:
> Maybe you should actually try using GNOME for a Month or so instead of 
> keep repeating your often wrong assumptions? 

You know what? Last night, I put my money where my mouth is. 

I did something better than any Gnome user has apparently ever done: I 
actually wrote the code to fix the thing.

> GNOME offers a lot of customization options, but some of them requires
> you for instance to get extra applications to easily get to. An often
> used such add-on for power users is Devils Pie:
> http://www.burtonini.com/blog/computers/devilspie

I don't know why the gnome guys are so defensive about this.

Why the hell do you have to point to bogus programs that don't actually do 
what I want? Why do people claim that what I want is not something anybody 

I *know* what I want. I *know* gnome doesn't support it. How do I know? 
I've used it. I looked at the code. I talked to the original author of the 
code. The author, and the code, all agree: gnome doesn't do what I want.

I want something very simple: I want to configure my mouse button window 
events. That doesn't sound so bad, does it? Everybody else can do it, 
gnome does not. My laptop has a two-button mouse, which means that I want 
the right button to do something more useful than show me the menu that I 
never use.

Am I evil for wanting that kind of configurability?

And no, Devil's pie does *not* magically add any customization that isn't 
already there. The gnome window manager simply DOES NOT HAVE THE 
CAPABILITY to do something as simple as let the user decide what a 
right-click on the window frame does. It is HARDCODED into the C source 

How do I know? I've looked. Yesterday I even fixed it. I sent the patches 
off to add the capabilities.

And I find it *offensive* how Gnome people can never just admit that they 
can't do something. There's always an excuse: "My grandma doesn't want to 
do it, and finds it confusing". That's not a word-for-word quote, but it 
comes damn close.

Really, I'm not kidding. It's either "Grandma", "Mum" or a discussion 
about nipples and tits.

It's never "we can't do it, please help us".

> If you are up for a challenge why don't you use GNOME for a Month then
> come and do a talk about your experience at this years GUADEC in
> England? Could maybe be a good way to start a constructive dialog
> instead of this useless mudslinging?

I've sent out patches. The code is actually _cleaner_ after my patches, 
and the end result is more capable. We'll see what happens.

THAT is constructive.

What I find unconstructive is how the gnome people always make *excuses*. 
It took me a few hours to actually do the patches. It wasn't that hard. So 
why didn't I do it years ago?

I'll tell you why: because gnome apologists don't say "please send us 
patches". No. They basically make it clear that they aren't even 
*interested* in fixing things, because their dear old Mum isn't interested 
in the feature.

Do you think that's "constructive"?

So let's see what happens to my patches. I guarantee you that they 
actually improve the code (not just add a feature). I also guarantee that 
they actually make things *more* logical rather than less (with my 
patches, double-clicking on the title bar isn't a special event: it's 
configurable along with right- and middle-clicking, and with the exact 
same syntax for all).

But why, oh, why, have gnome people not just said "please fix it then"? 

Instead, I _still_ (now after I sent out the patch) hear more of your 
kvetching about how you actually do everything right, and it's somehow 
*my* fault that I find things limiting.

Here's a damn big clue: the reason I find gnome limiting is BECAUSE IT IS.

Now the question is, will people take the patches, or will they keep their 
heads up their arses and claim that configurability is bad, even when it 
makes things more logical, and code more readable.


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