Official applications


First of all, I understand that posts like this may generate a lot of negative and, maybe, rude reactions. This topic originates from my own experience and observation. I and probably not just me realized that GNOME has multiple duplicates in functionality. I can name calendar application, note application, IDE (Anjuta vs Builder), photo management, music player etc. I understand why people start a new project. Indeed, sometimes it is just easier to start from better design, implementation, and code organization. I totally understand this. This is the developer side. On another side of this universe, we have a user side. What they see is multiple software with similar functionality. What application to try? Hmmmm… I also heard that the choices are good. They make OSS unique and this is a feature. But would it be nice to keep the existing collection but mark some software as “official”. The software that will be a high priority for support, design improvement, modification etc. Software that will be actively promoted. The verity we have is really confusing. I believe you would agree with me that life is short and resources are limited and we probably don’t want to reinvent the wheel, have three versions of “ls” command or work in parallel on two exactly the same by function projects. I wish GNOME community has this restriction. Other projects may exist, I see no problem with that. There is enough space on the dark side. If I can help anyhow with this - just let me know.

What do you mean “Inappropriate”? I expected some sort of negative reaction but I don’t that is appropriate to call this post inappropriate unless there is a reason to do so.

Volunteer work is not fungible.

GNOME is not a company, where we can assign people to work on projects; volunteers will work on whatever they want, however they want it.

The GNOME release team is the arbiter of what gets released as “GNOME”; as you may have noticed, only very, very few selected applications live in that set. Typically, those are what we refer to as core applications.

For anything else, you can use reviews and the application details in GNOME Software to see if an application fits in with the GNOME environment, and how well it works; if you want to contribute, you can check the project page and see if the maintainers are responsive, or how often the app is released.


Thank you @ebassi. I t was interesting to see the resources you pointed out. I missed them. I also found that a relationship between “core application” listed and some existing application is absent. For example, gnome-builder is de facto an official IDE for gnome. What is the purpose of “application design pages”? Some pages were last modified a long time ago. Or, this is just a gold standard, pie in the sky sort of. A very ambitious goal that should define direction but without any warranty of being reached.
I didn’t want to force anyone to do something. I understand that people do what they want. But IMHO, it should be nice to have recommendations, especially for newcomers for a project they may start working.


The Design section on the wiki is for the design team, and collects research and ideas for core (and non-core) applications. App developers can use those designs, though of course it’s recommended to ask the design team to work together.

It’s “official” in the same sense that it’s the most integrated IDE, and it generally follows the GNOME development cycle. Anjuta, to come back to your example, has never been the “official” GNOME IDE; it was an IDE written using GNOME technologies, and was never integrated with things like newcomer initiatives/easy-contribution-to-GNOME.

I guess the biggest points in what makes a GNOME application are:

  • hosted on GNOME infrastructure (GitLab, translations, documentation)
  • integrated with GNOME teams (documentation, localisation, design)
  • use GNOME technologies
  • follow the GNOME release cycle
  • integrated with the GNOME desktop

In general, the design and release team decide what’s a “core” application—i.e. an application that various components can rely on being installed, and that provides basic functionality.

That’s what the recommendations in GNOME Software come into play, from a user perspective; from a contributor perspective, you should always contribute to what you use; maybe the current maintainers want to follow your recommendation, maybe they won’t. If you plan to work on an application that does not exist, you should talk to the design team.

The point I’m trying to make is that you should always start with a conversation. Talk to maintainers, designers, and other developers. There’s no point in writing down recommendations, when everyone is volunteer and may stop contributing, or may decide to change things radically.

ok, thanks for the explanation.

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