Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Andy Hertzfeld on GNOME

I remember buying the Eazel T-shirt to show my appreciation for the folks who had shown the earliest signs of good taste in the free desktop world, back when I thought that the Linux desktop was going to make a huge impact. Raph's SVG work which resulted in the first SVG icons on the desktop were pretty cool, Nautilus generally seemed to be a notch above the rest as far as polish and attention to detail were concerned. Then came the crash and Eazel dissapeared. In an interview with Nerd TV Andy Hertzfeld explains what they set out to do and how things have actually turned out with GNOME.

We were just building on top of Gnome. Our goal was to make Linux easier to use and part of that is work on the GUI side of things and part of that was work on system management. We evaluated the alternatives and ended up picking Gnome. We built something called Nautilus, a new file manager. I never thought of it as a file manager, I'd call it a graphical shell. We got about halfway done what we wanted to. It's just disappointing we never got to take it as far as we wanted.

It is still used. If you install Gnome on your machine you'll be installing Nautilus. It has drifted away… it didn't live up to its potential. It still has some good stuff in it, but he people who took it over did not have much forward thinking vision. They ended up, "when all else fails just copy Windows." So it has kind of drifted into that modality.

No comments: