Owen opened the session by saying that historically we have relied on the Board and Marketing Team to articulate our goals and that that hasn't been fair to either of them. The motivation for this session was to set goals as a community.

He set some guidelines for goals: motivational, realistic, determinative.

To start the conversation, he took a look back at some old GNOME goals:

  • Build a Free Software replacement Windows
    • Pretty good goal: motivational, effective
    • Ten years later it turns out that Windows doesn't matter that much
  • 10% Market Share by 2010
    • Bad goal
    • Unrealistic
    • Nebulous
  • GNOME Online Desktop is to adapt is to adapt the desktop to become the perfect window to online service
    • Realistic
    • Not motivation because it makes the desktop irrelevant

GNOME Summit speaker photo

Owen tried to capture some major themes that we can all agree on, at the moment:

GNOME is a community of people building Free Software for users Computing space is mind-boggling big: billions of users, markets, dollars We don't need to dominate the market to be a successful project But we do need to provide something great to our users We can't be "for users" unless we meaningfully control the user experience A desktop OS is only a small piece of the computing experience

The question Owen proposed to stimulate the discussion:

Giving all your data to Facebook or Google provides a great user experience. How do we provide an experience in the control of the user that is as good? Better?

With that he opening the floor to brainstorming.

Where should GNOME be going?

Ideas thrown out:

  • Work with devices better
    • Sync contacts
    • Work with all devices
    • integrate with home media
    • Don't have an agenda—support user's choice
  • Concentrate on things that aren't natural web apps (content creating)
  • Work with web apps
    • Put user more in control of existing apps
    • Extract/backup data
      • Shotwell example
    • Single setup of web services across desktop
    • Proactively working with services to adapt to changes
      • Proxy so we don't need SW update
  • Provide long term support story
  • Technology provider
  • Align with Mozilla—consortium for user control
  • Focus on offline experience
  • Web apps as 1st class "apps" /Deep integration of web/desktop; create standard for web developers
    • icons
    • name
    • toplevel
    • URL
    • i10n
  • App menus, Jumplists
  • A beautiful experience (revisit HIG, animations, polish)
  • Run on other form factors
  • App. development platform/developer experience
    • Best environment for developers
    • Not just desktop developers
  • Work with hardware vendors (OEM's)
  • A knowledge base with direct desktop apps. links
  • Target an audience

Owen brought the discussion back together and asked for any ideas on how to boil all of this down in to more coherent, articulable goals.

An over-arching theme of the ensuing discussion was on how difficult it would be to boil this down but that—historically—people have come up with great ideas and sold it to the rest of the community. He hoped that would happen again. There was a lot of discussion about what the end result of all of this brainstorming would be.

The session was closed without any conclusions and with a plan to get wider community participation. Owen will be sending out an email or a blog post on the topic, soon.