Just to put a placeholder to this blog post, read these two articles before you decide to read further along. Before you begin the classic case of cribbing “Engineers and Marketing men: here we go again”, read them one more time.
For those who have been following the GNOME Marketing list, either as a part of it or as observers who read the posts on Planet GNOME it would appear that nothing is right in the GNOME world. Nothing could be more contrary. I would not go so far as to say that things are spick and span – Linus’s comments have made enough mail archives grow in size to be that. The fundamental issue I would think is that GNOME is not organised. Hey – it sure is a smashing desktop environment and has cool stuff which are led by an amazing team (which seems to blog and talk on IRC while coding ) But it is a mish mash of happenings. There still is an amazing lack of global awareness and need for decision making on a global scale. Given that GNOME is volunteer driven and any additional work is just that – work, it was forecast long back that such a situation was imminent.
So how does one progress from here ?
 Have a clear vision of what GNOME relationships (with developers, with would-be contributors, with governments and with any stakeholder who is interested in GNOME) would look like. To paraphrase Jack Welch – if you wake me up in the middle of the night after 3 days of total night-outers I will be able to state very clearly what as GNOME community we plan to do
 Provide very concrete directions to would-be contributors (perhaps put up a Coders Required bulletin board for GNOME)
 Go out and collect customer data. Take note I did not mention consumer data. GNOME is consumed by users, but the more we reach out and collect data the better placed will we be in terms of sample sizing and fixing . It is a high touch activity and given the popularity of GNOME in places where data links are poor, it might turn out to be counter productive to use the web
 Use relationships with distributions (Fedora, Ubuntu and the whole host of others) who aggresively push GNOME into niches that are rarely thought about
Lovers quarrels are a renewal of love – GNOME Love needs some love and so does GNOME Marketing but what GNOME needs is Relationships. Touching base with the largest number of keyboards will help us go along. GNOME has been around for far too long to still wear the aura of an immature environment.