Striking the Right Gnote: Page 2

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Moreover, according to Armstrong, Tomboy already has a number of ports, including one to Java on Android, Google's operating system for handhelds, and another to C on Maemo, the operating system for Nokia handhelds.

"These projects fill a real need in the Tomboy community," Armstrong says. "The developers all collaborate, too, and we're working on an online service to aid in synchronization between them." By contrast, Armstrong observes, "When compatibility bugs happen in Gnote, I hear it from users, not from the Gnote developers."

However, this alleged lack of cooperation may be due largely to Gnote's relatively brief history. There has hardly been time for any cooperation, because the code is still being written. And, speaking of the fledgling Gnote community, Armstrong notes that, "I have already worked with them to fix one interoperability issue."

This comment suggests future cooperation between Tomboy and Gnote is not out of the question. Some of those interested in Gnote, Armstrong suggests, are "C++ programmers, because of course it's always fun to play with a new project in your favorite language." Others "hope Gnote will save disk space or resolve their Tomboy performance issues," although he doubts that it will. However, he characterizes others as "folks who object to Mono for political reasons and will automatically object to anything written in it."

Armstrong goes on to say:

"Most of the other [Tomboy] developers seem pretty uninterested in Gnote. There are folks in the community who are vocal about their opinions, but, as for people writing code, it's pretty much a non-issue. I only commented on it because people kept asking me what the deal was, and I wanted to clear up any misconceptions. Of course, we can see how well that worked out. :-P"

In other words, the release of Gnote shows the free software community operating much the same as it always does. People are pursuing their own interests, and concerns and arguments arise, but the result is hardly newsworthy. What controversy there is has been kept alive largely by prior expectations and positions rather than events themselves.

Enter rumor

For those with objections to Mono, Gnote is a serendipitous find. In fact, I have started using Gnote myself when I am on GNOME because of my own misgivings. Whatever the disputes within the developer community, among users, if nothing else, Gnote offers greater choice, and nothing is wrong with that.

At the same time, a distorted view of events only creates more distortions. If nothing else, it can inflame some of the normal give and take of the community into actual feuds.

More importantly, you need to see clearly in order to manage expectations. Figuiere plans to port all Tomboy extensions, because he wants to be able to use them with Gnote, but that effort is not the start of a concerted effort to port all Mono-based applications such as F-Spot, Banshee. What interests him is having a notes application that runs on an older machine.

The trouble is, the free software community generates as much rumor as code -- and that has clearly happened in this case. For all the discussion generated by Gnote, Figuiere comments that only two people have bothered to check with him about what the project is about. If more had, then maybe the volume on this controversy could have been dialed back to a more realistic level.

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Tags: developer, programming, Gnome, Novell

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