Wow! That felt like as if I was reading my own thoughts on the
I need to clear up one thing though: despite what the Gnome team
says, Gnome 3 can be very well modified, even more so than Gnome 2.
(The central user experience, Gnome Shell, has a mechanism to load
extensions which are a lot more powerful than anything on Gnome 2.)
No misundersanding here, this is not a hack. Some extensions are
even provided from Gnome's upstream.
Fedora using Gnome 3 can still be branded as Fedora. What I did on
the design team's mailing list was a polite request to start a
discussion about how to do this best. I have made a simplistic
approach to display a logo there, and asked them to start discussing
how to improve upon it.
Then I received some constructive criticism from some people, but
completely negative reactions (and total unwillingness to discuss
this) from the members of the Gnome team.
I completely agree with Robyn, I think that marketing is very
important for Fedora if we want it to spread and be used by many
people. And branding a product is a very important part of such
marketing. And a logo is always the central piece of branding for
any product, just like Robyn said.
So, I have made one approach to displaying the logo on Fedora 15. I
have made it available as an installable package.
I'm looking forward to a civilised discussion about how we can
improve upon that and give the final release a branding so that
people can see and feel that they are still using the Fedora they
On 04/16/2011 04:02 PM, Robyn Bergeron wrote:
On 04/15/2011 03:56 AM, Aleksandra Bookwar wrote:
Let me first start off by saying: I wish we had known sooner.
While there was certainly discussion on the design-list about the
impact of branding by modifying/replacing the wallpaper, and
discussion of the fact that there would be no GNOME logo on the
desktop, I don't think that everyone was *acutely* aware that
there would be no room for *any* branding of *any* type on the
desktop. I think more awareness of that would have greatly changed
the outcome of the wallpaper discussion.
I would like to invite you to these two particular discussions:
1) gnome-shell extension that adds a Fedora logo
2) customization of themes and colors in gnome 3 desktop in Fedora 15
I don't have problem with the concept per se, but i have a problem with
the fact GNOME shell on my rather powerful laptop (Core 2 Duo T9300
2,5GHZ, 4GB RAM, Nvidia Quadro NVS140m) is very slow. When the first
preview versions came out it was OK but the newer versions are very
slow. If it remains like this in the final release i will have to change
GNOME for something else or use the older gnome-panel. The new concept
requires some time to get used to but after a while it feels quite
natural. I don't like the default black theme but i recently stumbled
upon this page - http://www.techdrivein.com/2010/09/top- ... -ever.html
which contains a collection of gnome-shell themes (before that i didn't
even know that there were themes for gnome-shell). Some of the themes
there are very beautiful. So in my opinion the basic concept is very
good but it needs some polishing - like improved responsiveness and
better default theme and icon theme. I also hope that there is more to
gnome than gnome-shell.
I think that these topics are important for promoting Fedora 15 to
end-users and Fedora Marketing Team should be involved.
Also, I have no solution, and I'm just going to mostly rant here
about branding. All views are obviously my own and not of my
Branding is about exposure. Yes, there is exposure when the
browser page defaults to start.fp.o - assuming people don't change
their start page, as many people do. Impressions are made at
start-up - and then quickly disappear after the computer boots.
The wallpaper, while being part of our themed identity each
release, does not have a Fedora logo - and people change their
wallpaper. The small icon, while admittedly incredibly small, is
seen multiple times, over and over, every day, by the person using
the desktop. And by others around them as well. It is the
singular thing that constantly, always identifies the desktop at a
glance when fully booted up, as Fedora.
I suspect that *anyone* who works in a Branding role would say
that to have no plainly, constantly visible connection to Fedora
is a mistake. We have worked very hard to build that brand, and
to associate the infinity logo with Fedora. To not have a desktop
easily identifiable as Fedora on sight is just brand dilution,
Let's talk about this metaphorically for a moment.
There are many pieces that make up Fedora. Think of it as cooking
something: We have lots of ingredients. We put them all together,
and after it bakes in the oven for about 6 months, out comes
Fedora. Yum! (Sorry, bad joke, had to do it.) Sometimes the
ingredients are substitutable - empathy and pidgin, for example.
Occasionally the ingredients are modifiable - as GNOME has been in
the past. And those modifications to that particular ingredient
are what made Fedora taste like... Fedora.
GNOME 3 is an ingredient in Fedora - not the other way around. I
wouldn't expect that, if, for example, there was a GNOME 3 Remix
of Fedora, that there would be any trace of Fedora branding
anywhere. Fedora is the major ingredient in a Fedora Remix - but
not the end product. Sadly, and I think mistakenly, the GNOME
ingredient is theoretically no longer modifiable. I don't know
that that prevents us from bringing in another ingredient to help
us retain the Fedora flavor that we know and love.
Imagine if Dell, who has spent a fortune branding their product,
was told by Intel that, rather than having a Dell background as
part of the out-of-the-box experience, there was to be no trace of
Dell branding anywhere, and instead ONLY Intel branding can be
present. That's not going to happen. Why? Because the physical
computer is the final product. I don't expect that, if, someday,
Fedora worked its way into being an option for a PC that one might
walk into Best Buy or other large consumer electronics shop and
purchase off the shelf, that the Fedora desktop wallpaper would be
present. It would be the desktop designed by the manufacturer.
Why? Because rather than being the Final Product, we would now be
The mobile phone food chain works much the same. Would Motorola,
HTC, and Samsung give up the the ability to have their logo or
name etched or stamped into the case of a phone running Android?
No. Do they live with the fact they have to put the Verizon logo
on the phone before it gets shipped to Verizon and put into a
saleable package that goes to a consumer? Of course they do.
Despite the fact that the logos are small. Because *every time*
someone looks at their cell phone, they see the words Motorola and
Verizon. Motorola doesn't say, well, they see the Motorola logo
every time they boot the cell phone for a few seconds, and that's
good enough. Verizon doesn't assume that everyone will simply
leave their mobile browser defaulting to the Verizon wireless
Look around you, at all your gadgets, and products, and food in
your fridge. Everything is *immediately* identifiable as a brand,
generally. Imagine going to a store and trying to pick between
Coke and Pepsi, if both of the cans are labelled "Carbonated Water
and High Fructose Corn Syrup." Saying that we can see the logo at
startup is equivalent to to saying, "Well, if you happen to watch
someone open their fridge, you'll notice that the white can of
Carbonated Water and High Fructose Corn Syrup came out of a red
Coca-Cola box." That's obviously not the same as someone holding
the signature Red Coke can, or a blue Pepsi can. Coca-Cola and
Pepsi want their branding visible ALL THE TIME - that's not an
And now we are essentially going to be Carbonated Water and High
Fructose Corn Syrup.
There is no easy answer here. GNOME 3 has been intentionally
designed, at least as much as I can read into what i've read on
the design-list, to allow no trace of any branding of any type -
other than the GNOME 3 look and feel. And basically, in a
nutshell, it sucks for us. Branding at boot-up. and branding in a
browser that some people may or may not use, that directs people
to a page that may or not be set to go to start.fp.o, that they
immediately use to go to *some other location on the interwebz*,
is NOT the same as (a) having a Fedora look-and-feel and (b)
having a logo, even if miniscule, making a constant impression and
makes the desktop immediately identifiable as Fedora, because the
Fedora Logo has brand value. (Much more than a desktop wallpaper
that, while being a compromise, is still completely devoid of a
Fedora logo.) And it doesn't just suck for us - it also sucks for
everyone who does a Fedora Remix that wants to change the look and
feel as well and logos as well.
Is trying to hack in a logo the right answer? Probably not. Is
adding that logo into the corner going to really going to destroy
the "user experience"? I can't say anything more than "probably
not" to that either. Can we brainstorm, at this point in the
release cycle, about some way that is more permanent than a
browser start page, to keep logo and brand impressions on people,
and then implement it without impacting the schedule? Probably
not. Is a wallpaper, which changes from release to release and has
no identifiable logo and changeable by the user, in combination
with a browser direct to a start page that people see for a few
seconds, assuming they don't change it, enough to keep our brand
in people's minds? I don't know. Does the loss of a piece of real
estate that constantly shows our logo diminish the value of our
branding? I think so.
Ideally I'd really like the GNOME folks to reconsider how their
"ingredient" into other distros impacts the branding for those
folks. But as far as I can tell from reading the design-list, it's
not even something they're willing to consider or discuss. Which
is a shame, because I would expect that the Debians and RHELs and
openSUSEs of the world aren't thrilled about the idea of giving up
their heavily-invested-in, albeit it small, but IDENTIFIABLE,
constantly visible, constantly brand-reinforcing logos on the