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I've got this idea for Linux desktop development which keep bugging me since a while. Now I can program a tiny bit, but it's just a hobby, so I'm not very good at it.

So I want to propose my idea somewhere, because I think it would really stand out as a good tool for desktops. Where can I propose my idea so it can be thought through, improved and possibly developed by a team of interested and competent people?

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Most of the software you are running on your Linux system has been developed at least partially just as a hobby. Thus your argument against implementing it yourself is not valid. After you have implemented and published it yourself you will no longer need to say that you can program just a tiny bit. This is how you learn to program and this is how open source works. The best way to communicate ideas to these projects is to program them. :) –  snap Aug 11 '11 at 15:57
@snap :) thanks. I agree with you, yet there is a difference between a programming hobbyist that works daily as a programmer and that who works a social scientist. As I am of the second category, I happen to spend months without programming when I'm caught up in my own work, forgetting most of what I learned in the process. –  Benjamin Aug 11 '11 at 16:50
@Benjamin the difference being that one maintains their skillset and the other doesn't... seriously though... nobody upstream is going to listen or care unless you're contributing (or offering to pay them). It sucks, I'm sorry, but it's unfortunately the way it works. There might be a few individuals that's not true of, but good luck finding them. –  xenoterracide Aug 12 '11 at 14:45
@xenoterracide: thanks, i understand. See my philosophy is: I can't implement my idea, but why should I keep the idea to myself? The least I can do is to give it to those who can. If people don't like it or don't want to use it, then it's their choice. If it does get implemented, then everybody's happy. But I'll survive even if that idea doesn't get implemented :) –  Benjamin Aug 12 '11 at 15:28
@Benjamin like I said... good luck with that... I've been trying for years to get them to fix bugs... they don't. Sometimes they do without realizing the bug was there... how easy do you think it'll be to get them to add features. –  xenoterracide Aug 12 '11 at 17:25

3 Answers 3

up vote 7 down vote accepted

Alternatively you can try to discuss your idea on IRC first:

But for a broader audience you might really be better off to post on the mailinglists first:

If you have a specific idea and are able to contribute some programming I'd suggest posting a well formulated proposal to the the respective -dev lists. This is usually where you are referred to if you ask at IRC and nobody is immediately there to take you up on your idea.

I would also strongly advise you to search the bug-trackers before you do anything else. It might very well be that someone else has already proposed something similar as a feature request or might even already be working on a solution:

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You might try the forums/mailing lists of desktop environment projects like GNOME (main development/discussion list) or KDE (mailing lists).

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Does this mean that the people in those circles work on Gnome desktop or KDE only? Because my own idea is based on dissatisfaction with the Gnome and KDE environments. (In this case I want to propose an alternative to Panel/Notification/Dock). So people there might not appreciate the idea. Do you see my point? –  Benjamin Aug 11 '11 at 13:04
as always in opensource develeopment people might not appreciate your idea at first even if it is a good one. But if you have a well fleshed out idea and you have the endurance to go for it. people might pick it up. participating in opensource means working and sacrifice of you free time. so in most cases "i don't like it this way i have >this< idea please implement it" won't work. but, good ideas spread accross similar projects once they are implemented. –  unR Aug 11 '11 at 13:18
@Benjamin the systray has a freedesktop.org specification... I think notifications does too... but the specs and protocols have nothing to do with implementation. –  xenoterracide Aug 12 '11 at 14:49

You can submit your idea and discuss it with others on Ubuntu brainstorm. Be sure to search first if someone's already proposed something similar.

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of course this only applies to Ubuntu –  xenoterracide Aug 12 '11 at 17:56

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