To many, GNOME seems like an American phenomenon , even though it's pointless to assign this sort of label to a free software project. You could write to your heart's content about how the project came about and which project outgrowths produce the various pieces that make up GNOME. At the same time, you encounter people who feel that they need to view company acquisitions and other developments in free software not only as conflicts, but also in terms of their " nationality " ” a point of view that's so senseless that it would be a waste of time to explain any further. Free software makes the best sense when thought of as international, and with that, transatlantic. This book, written by a German and now appearing in America, shows that GNOME is no exception. That's perhaps the biggest reason that I'm thrilled about this translation.
You might notice that this is a good translation. That could have something to do with Brian Ward being a good translator ” so good that I couldn't find one single thing to fix in his translation. In addition, working with Karol Jurado (managing editor of No Starch Press) went very smoothly.
I'm especially delighted to have the service of GNOME guru Michael Meeks as a technical reviewer. Anyone who knows GNOME a little from the inside can understand why. With the help of Michael and Brian, this book not only has been translated, but also revised and improved.
To the petty politickers mentioned earlier, I'd recommend that instead of partaking in silly discussions, you use your time to become GNOME programmers, because (among other things), I still don't have the time to be a full-fledged GNOME programmer.
I wish the readers of this edition just as much fun as I did to the readers of the original German version. Even though there's probably some sort of ocean between us, we might just come across each other one day.
Matthias "mawa" Warkus
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Marburg, November 2003