Epidermis is dead

I have a long overdue announcement to make: I will no longer be developing or maintaining Epidermis for the foreseeable future.

Since I'm the only developer of Epidermis, this means that Epidermis is dead. Do not be expecting updates or fixes or new skins from now on.

I really want to thank everyone who contributed, especially the tireless translators. Cheers!

So why am I quitting?

The reality is, I should have announced Epidermis' death at least a year ago. The project lost had lost momentum, and it is not fair on users to give the false impression that the project is maintained and actively developed. It is not. For the most part, Epidermis was already dead, I'm just making it official.

I stopped regularly developing Epidermis ever since I started drafting "Universal Themes" or "Cooperating Themes". I had hoped I would receive a lot more feedback on freedesktop.org's mailing lists, and without consensus I wasn't daring enough to just take decisions and not wait until the perfect standard had been created. I let perfect become the enemy of good enough.

Epidermis became a stale project. It's buggy on newer versions of Ubuntu and Debian unstable, it hasn't kept up-to-date with GNOME Shell or Unity, and the number of themes available in the repository has not increased at all. I'm not proud of it, and I feel I should only be releasing code to the world that I am truly proud of.

Another reason I'm euthanizing Epidermis is that I didn't receive any code contributions. Developing code got lonely, and I often wondered if I should be spending time contributing to active projects instead. I did get lots and lots of translations though, thank you awesome contributers on Launchpad! Unfortunately, translations alone do not make a quality open source product.

Another demotivating factor was that I had trouble getting Epidermis into the Debian repositories, and into the Ubuntu repositories. This is some time ago, but my requests for sponsorship just got ignored. This is not very motivating at all. I'm very happy to see the more recent efforts of people like Asheesh to make Debian and other open source projects more welcoming to new contributors.

When I started my university degree, I became a lot busier than I expected. Since my degree is in computer science, my hobby became my degree, and I tried and adopted new hobbies in my spare time. In the end, this just meant less time for Epidermis, making Epidermis more and more out-of-date.

I may start working on Epidermis again in the future. If I do so, I will work on it in private (or at least, on Launchpad, but without announcing anything), releasing the final result once I am satisfied with it. "Release early, release often" did not work for me, as I failed to attract other contributors.

I hope to see you all again soon, in a community of a more exciting project perhaps. Cheers!


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