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Thread: What People Are Saying About GNOME [Part 1]

  1. #41
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    Actually, the writer of that article seems to be Thorsten Leemhuis, who also writes the kernel log for heise.de, which is by the way on a much higher journalistic level than most things posted here (and often contains things not reported here).

    On a subjective level, when I came to phoronix around three years ago, this site's attitude was completely different. Maybe it's work nagging away at the owner, or too little income, or whatever, but my feeling is that the articles have become a lot more shallow, a lot more sensationalistic, probably in the attempt to generate more revenue, and a lot less professional (seriously, who cares if you like to drink beer? put it on a blog or something or join proud alcoholists).

    I mean, I actually end up reading (actually reading, not skipping through after realising it's a load of crap written just to attract people) around 10% of the articles here. I don't read the benchmarks as I don't care for them, I don't read the weekly 'the wine team has just had another dump', I don't read the packages version updates which I get from distrowatch and other sources, and there are countless other categories I don't even go into. For me, this site's relevance has dropped to about a tenth of what it was three years ago, and I don't imagine I'm the only one.

  2. #42
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    My question is why is it only Michael running the show? If these other websites could get other staff, why can't Larabel? I am speaking from a perspective of complete ignorance of what's going on behind the scenes I know, but I would think just getting one other guy to handle some of the news posts could improve the site and Larabel's life significantly... and if he needs more money for that, well, maybe cut out some of the trips? Do we really need every conference covered personally?

    As far as attitude goes, it is not my website and I can not really tell him how to write it, but it is true that I started reading Phoronix because it was a lot more positive than some other websites. Now it is mostly force of habit and also for very specialized information (graphics drivers) that is hard to find anywhere else. If there was another website offering similar information in a more productive and up beat manner, I would probably switch to it. As it stands, Phoronix is still the best source for what I want, and Micheal should get credit for that. But that does not mean it could not be made better or even easier for Michael himself.

  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by liam View Post
    I really don't know why some people are so angry about Gnome that they felt compelled to answer the survey even though: 1)they clearly aren't users (and haven't been for a long time) and 2)have fundamental problems with gnome, yet ask that gnome change its core identity (something that is unreasonable to expect).
    I don't like some of the choices (or rather non-choices) KDE has made but I don't spam every KDE thread just b/c it doesn't suit my taste. Their, and to be fair, it's not just them and it isn't all KDE users obviously, comments are simply noise and make this sort of survey less useful. The reason I say this is b/c their were far too many instances of toolkit fanboys asking the unreasonable and that just isn't useful.
    For those who complain about GS being too heavy on reasources, how much ram/cpu is it using on your pc? On mine, GS uses around 115MB, and that doesn't seem bad considering what is included in that space. Hell, synapse (the launcher) uses more memory. If you compare it to XFCE/LXDE you aren't comparing comparable DEs b/c the later simply don't offer as much by default (or even with heavy configuration, since THAT developer is as bad as some of the gnome devs).
    There were some good criticisms, I thought. Documentation was one I completely forgot about mentioning. The addition of more online accounts (I've read the mailing lists so I know why they went with only Google, but that doesn't mean that it SHOULDN'T be the central place for applications to register their online activities). Mutter needs to remember where windows were placed and their size. Really, mutter needs more "intelligence". You can remove options and make things stark IF the DE adapts to you. Right now you have to adapt to it and the flow, for me, isn't ideal, and I've been using it for nearly 2 years. I would like to see some learning algorithms put into place (using HASKELL!!!!--sure it needn't be haskell, but that including a FPL would be a nice thing for a desktop).
    I would second this. I'm not clear as to why GS should be something other than GS. Gnome 2's workflow can be found in well Gnome 2 and then there's the fall back mode in GS. You also have XFCE and KDE.

    GS is application centric. Meaning that whatever application you are running is often times more important than what's happening in the panel or on the desktop (you can't see it anyway). Even in G2, once the novelty wore off of playing with various applets on the panel I really didn't find much use for them. If I need detailed information I'm going to use terminal anyway. Plus their integration was not always of the same quality as the rest of the DE. I'm not so sure why so much time is spent harping on this when it's the application that I need. I could care less about the panel. The more I use GS the more it makes sense. When I'm in firefox or chrome that's what I'm in. If I'm playing a game then that's what I'm doing. Typically even in G2 the first thing I would do was remove the bottom panel and replace it with AWN. I still install AWN for GS and eventually I might even remove it as getting to overlay and looking at a larger visual representation of what window I need is actually quicker than sorting through small icons. This especially becomes evident when I spawn more of something with the same name.

    Under this workflow even panel placement is well .... not a concern. Am I more interested in the panel or the application? For me it's the application. So if anything more real estate for the application is a good thing. Hence why I might uninstall AWN. The longer I use GS the more I realize it stays the hell out of my way. The only time I even know the DE is there is when I'm working in an application and I get a message from Empathy, or a mail client coming through libnotify. Other than that I'm in the app or apps and that's it.

    In terms of the minimize button, which came up on the survey results, I too installed G-tweak and immediately brought back the minimize button because it's what I expected. However, again what I've slowly realized is that minimizing the application made it harder to find it again later when the application was of the same name (usually nautilus or terminals). The visual representation of the application in overlay was bigger which made the application easier to find then waiting for a small window/title to spawn of the application in AWN or secondary panel. It was also quicker than Alt-tabbing (way quicker). Come to find out I didn't want to really minimize the application I wanted to change the focus.

    In addition when I need to spawn an application, I can do it far far quicker in overlay (I type pretty fast) then I ever could parsing the menu hierarchy in G2 (was that app in Preferences or Administration? And what menu did Virtualbox decide it was going to place itself this time?).

    I really like the new workflow of GS and I would hope that it stays that way. If I really want to go back to the older workflows I have options to do so. However, I like having the option of using something like GS as well.

  4. #44
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    Lightbulb The Real Problem = users NOT FREE

    Quote Originally Posted by squirrl View Post
    Distributions are where the main problem exists.

    Mint includes Gnome 3 because they aren't capable of maintaining Gnome 2 with all the changes that have been made to GTK, Pango, etc.
    Debian will include Gnome 3 and remove Gnome 2 same reason as Mint.
    Fedora...

    Fragmentation:
    Too many revisions will fragment your userbase:
    Distrowatch
    1 Ubuntu 2236 2000 Gnome 2.x users, 50 Unity users, the rest unknown.
    2 Mint 2097 All running Gnome 2.x
    3 Fedora 1669 1000 Fedora 4 users running Gnome 2.0, 69 Fedora 7 users Gnome 2.1, 10 Fedora 16 users disgruntled about Gnome 3
    4 Debian 1313 1200 Debian Squeeze users, 13 Sid users running Lxde, and 5 blackbox users.
    5 Arch 1239 1200 KDE 4.7 users, 39 console users still waiting for it to install over 3 MBit connection
    6 openSUSE 1233 1233 Kde 3.5 users.
    Agreed, and before someone starts the "no you got it wrong, it's about user choice and freedom" the example stated here is that distros are making choices FOR you that many users might not want just because a distro decreed it so. Now, who has been saying this entire time that putting the ball in distro's court is a BAD idea for freedom, and that true freedom should place emphasis on individual software projects and not on distros? I have, along with several other Linux users who are tired of it. If you think placing your freedom in the hands of corporations is always going to be a good thing, you need to wake up. That's the entire reason the software freedom movement started. Of course in the areas where wants are aligned, that's great.

    Let's look past that and focus on why did these distros make the decision to drop Gnome 2. I'd appreciate feedback on this, too. What I believe is the cause of all this mayhem and Linux users being very angry and rightfully so is all due to this simple fact: NO FREAKING PACKAGING STANDARDS. In the Windows world, because there is a really stable ABI for program *installation*, you can install old program packages and have them still work fine. Don't like the ribbon in Microsoft Office 2007? Install MO2003. Linux users though? You're largely stuck with whatever your distro happened to bundle in for you. Want to try out a new version of KDE or a new version of Firefox, or in this case go BACK to Gnome 2? At least with Firefox you can download an run the binary directly because Linux DOES have a stable ABI. What it lacks, unlike with Windows, is a stable installation system. In the case of Gnome 2 vs. Gnome 3, as well as with KDE, they don't even bother creating binaries, all you can download from their website are source packages. Why is that? Why can't I easily download and install a new version and have a new entry in my login manager for the new DE I installed so I can play with it? It's Linux, it's supposed to be about freedom, yet no one can do this. I think the reason why is because all those packages are left to the distro builders to compile because there is no package standard for Linux. They would have to build a package for each software project that is "part of" the DE project for all the most popular distros and distro versions, and why would they bother when the users can just get it themselves from the distros repo? That is the thinking, and because of that thinking, no one packages it. So the problem is that no one packages it and no archives are maintained for previous versions, so no one can easily download older versions. Get it from an older distro version repository you say? Have FUN with that! You will be battling your package manager all day and night forcing it to accept older versions of libraries.

    The real solution is to have a universal, standardized package format that can allow any versions to be installed along side each other and installed on any distro. If that existed, KDE and Gnome would have archives of complete Gnome 2 and KDE 3 functioning binaries available for easy download and installation, and ditto for new versions of both environments right when they are released. No more being tied down to old software, or to newer software, just because the distro project's (or company's) leader said so. Take back your freedom. It's supposed to be free software in every sense. Oh lookit! There IS a package manager like I just described! Sure wish more people who cared about freedom would support that project, which spans from Linux users to Mac, Windows, BSD, and Solaris users, because it's supported on all those platforms.

  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yfrwlf View Post
    Now, who has been saying this entire time that putting the ball in distro's court is a BAD idea for freedom, and that true freedom should place emphasis on individual software projects and not on distros? I have, along with several other Linux users who are tired of it. If you think placing your freedom in the hands of corporations is always going to be a good thing, you need to wake up.
    While I agree that it is the individual software projects and not the distros that deserve the most credit, you seem to misunderstand what a distro is. A distro is simply a collection of software and components bundled together for the convenience of its creators or a specific target group. Nothing is stopping you from making your own except the knowledge how to do so (which is fully available) or the will to put in the effort. If you do not like how your distro is going, you can just roll your own. It is not a loss of freedom to not have these things pre-built for you, it is not a freedom to force other people to make things easy for you.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yfrwlf View Post
    In the Windows world, because there is a really stable ABI for program *installation*, you can install old program packages and have them still work fine. Don't like the ribbon in Microsoft Office 2007? Install MO2003. Linux users though? You're largely stuck with whatever your distro happened to bundle in for you.
    I have used plenty of older software on Linux, and have even built some from really ancient code. There is nothing stopping anyone with some technical knowledge from doing this (and being ignorant of the process does not mean your freedoms are abused) with older code or indeed any third-pary code the distro does not ship. Most users are "stuck" with their distro versions mostly because they have not put the effort in to roll their own (such as Slackware users have been doing for twenty years) or are simply willing choose the distro maintained versions out of convenience.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yfrwlf View Post
    In the case of Gnome 2 vs. Gnome 3, as well as with KDE, they don't even bother creating binaries, all you can download from their website are source packages. Why is that? Why can't I easily download and install a new version and have a new entry in my login manager for the new DE I installed so I can play with it? It's Linux, it's supposed to be about freedom, yet no one can do this.
    Because they give you the freedom of doing that for yourself? Again, freedom does not mean the right to have other people do your work for you. If you want a complied binary for your platform, it is generally expected that you put the effort in. And in some cases, people have actually done it for you, such as in the case of the Trinity KDE desktop. And if you utilize these services (either distros or some other form of binary maintenance), you should be thankful to the people behind them doing this effort to make your lives easier, especially in the case of community volunteer projects. It is not your right to have the computer made easy for you.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yfrwlf View Post
    The real solution is to have a universal, standardized package format that can allow any versions to be installed along side each other and installed on any distro. Oh lookit! There IS a package manager like I just described! Sure wish more people who cared about freedom would support that project, which spans from Linux users to Mac, Windows, BSD, and Solaris users, because it's supported on all those platforms.
    While I agree in principle that such a solution would be of benefit, and indeed there should be more standards in this regard, unless you go for the universal binary approach like Ryan Gordon suggested and bundle every single library needed with the application, I think you fail to realize just how complicated this would be. Programs with any sort of library dependence are complicated things, which is the main reason why we just let distributions handle all of this for us. It would be very difficult to get one install method for all distros, let alone for all desktop operating systems. The only way would be making the system so rigid that you could barley operate in it, and then were would our freedom be?

    Quote Originally Posted by Yfrwlf View Post
    If that existed, KDE and Gnome would have archives of complete Gnome 2 and KDE 3 functioning binaries available for easy download and installation, and ditto for new versions of both environments right when they are released. No more being tied down to old software, or to newer software, just because the distro project's (or company's) leader said so. Take back your freedom. It's supposed to be free software in every sense.
    As long as a program is fully free software, there is no way they can take away this freedom from you anyway. It may require some effort from you, because no one is volunteering to maintain it, but as long as the complete source code is always available, you can always build it for yourself and indeed maintain that code yourself. But convenience is a privilege, not a right, and indeed can never be a right as the term itself is variable and a right must be applicable to everyone. So what you want is a system that is more convenient. But do not fool yourself into thinking you have the right to tell other people to make that happen for you. That is not a freedom.

  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hamish Wilson View Post
    While I agree that it is the individual software projects and not the distros that deserve the most credit, you seem to misunderstand what a distro is. A distro is simply a collection of software and components bundled together for the convenience of its creators or a specific target group. Nothing is stopping you from making your own except the knowledge how to do so (which is fully available) or the will to put in the effort. If you do not like how your distro is going, you can just roll your own. It is not a loss of freedom to not have these things pre-built for you, it is not a freedom to force other people to make things easy for you.
    That's like someone saying, "Freedom? Pfff, you are free, just program your own software, you can program whatever you want!" Yeah, like your grandma can do that. You missed the point. The point is we shouldn't all be on totally isolated software islands by ourselves. We should be working together. That's how you get good software and good communities and spread real freedom. Isolating everyone onto their own island based on the rolled-together software bundles called distros that they happen to be using because their ability to share software among each other is limited is not working together and is not propelling a software ecosystem which provides freedom. In other to provide real freedom and choice, you need to all be working off of standards so that there can be direct competition and cooperation. Keeping Linux fragmented and not using standards is what the enemies of free software ecosystems want.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hamish Wilson View Post
    I have used plenty of older software on Linux, and have even built some from really ancient code. There is nothing stopping anyone with some technical knowledge from doing this (and being ignorant of the process does not mean your freedoms are abused) with older code or indeed any third-pary code the distro does not ship. Most users are "stuck" with their distro versions mostly because they have not put the effort in to roll their own (such as Slackware users have been doing for twenty years) or are simply willing choose the distro maintained versions out of convenience.
    So everyone who wants to use Linux or wants to see progress on the front of standards and interoperability to ensure that community operating systems are the best they can be needs to know how to compile? Fail. Computers have the ability to do a lot of work for everyone without extensive knowledge required by the user, which is the entire point of the computer: to do work for you so you don't have to. Calling me lazy is laughable just because I want more interoperability between distros by having a common program installation framework so that sharing both binaries and source packages becomes cake.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hamish Wilson View Post
    Because they give you the freedom of doing that for yourself? Again, freedom does not mean the right to have other people do your work for you. If you want a complied binary for your platform, it is generally expected that you put the effort in. And in some cases, people have actually done it for you, such as in the case of the Trinity KDE desktop. And if you utilize these services (either distros or some other form of binary maintenance), you should be thankful to the people behind them doing this effort to make your lives easier, especially in the case of community volunteer projects. It is not your right to have the computer made easy for you.
    I don't want that effort, that actually hinders progress in solving the real problem. I want effort in making a unified packaging system like Zero Install so that that effort isn't needed. The effort to compile packages for the Linux ABI should be done ONCE by the developer for the different arch types, and that's it. No distro-specific packages should ever be needed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hamish Wilson View Post
    While I agree in principle that such a solution would be of benefit, and indeed there should be more standards in this regard, unless you go for the universal binary approach like Ryan Gordon suggested and bundle every single library needed with the application, I think you fail to realize just how complicated this would be. Programs with any sort of library dependence are complicated things, which is the main reason why we just let distributions handle all of this for us. It would be very difficult to get one install method for all distros, let alone for all desktop operating systems. The only way would be making the system so rigid that you could barley operate in it, and then were would our freedom be?
    You fail to realize how easy it is. Zero Install exists. It's not a figment of my imagination. I'm not saying all the problems are solved though, but there are always ways of solving the issue of programs co-existing with one another and users getting what they want in the simplest easiest ways possible. There are better solutions, and it doesn't involve making everyone use the exact same bundles of software. You just need standards, the framework. You sound like you've given up before even trying to think of the solutions for the problems you're thinking of, but let me assure you that better solutions, like Zero Install, do exist, they just need our help and the work of those who care about real software freedom and who don't want to be tied to any one distro in any way on any level. As I've said many times before, I know right now this problem doesn't exist for those who compile everything (other than the problem of their time being stolen from them if there is no real point to them compiling it themselves) but it is a problem for everyone else. I want free software to be as good as it can be which includes ease of use, and this problem is real, does exist, and needs to be overcome to make free operating systems more appealing. "Oh, I'm sorry, that package doesn't exist for your distro, you have to compile" isn't good enough for the average user.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hamish Wilson View Post
    As long as a program is fully free software, there is no way they can take away this freedom from you anyway. It may require some effort from you, because no one is volunteering to maintain it, but as long as the complete source code is always available, you can always build it for yourself and indeed maintain that code yourself. But convenience is a privilege, not a right, and indeed can never be a right as the term itself is variable and a right must be applicable to everyone. So what you want is a system that is more convenient. But do not fool yourself into thinking you have the right to tell other people to make that happen for you. That is not a freedom.
    "Be HAPPY I even RELEASED IT FOR YOU TO COMPILE!" lol. Yes. Thanks for that. Now if we could get everyone releasing binaries that everyone could install regardless of distro, or regardless of OS even (Zero Install could in theory do this), that would be great. After all, even the developers need to compile code before they can run it. Making a standards-compliant package from that isn't hard and can be automated.

    Finally, I'm not "just telling everyone to do it for me", I'm informing everyone that this is a real problem and needs to be addressed. I'm informing everyone about Zero Install in order to support the ZI project and other remedies however they can.

  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yfrwlf View Post
    That's like someone saying, "Freedom? Pfff, you are free, just program your own software, you can program whatever you want!" Yeah, like your grandma can do that. You missed the point. The point is we shouldn't all be on totally isolated software islands by ourselves. We should be working together. That's how you get good software and good communities and spread real freedom.
    It is not a freedom for things to be convenient, and frankly I find it reprehensible how the word "freedom" keeps getting mangled in common usage. Ease of use is a virtue, and not one I would argue with, but it is not a freedom and it certainly is not a right. Looking at a dictionary definition of freedom, we get "the power to determine action without restraint.". Free software is free because it gives us the power to determine how our software works, it can be reviewed, ported, mangled, modified, forked, dismantled, rebuilt, as you want. That is a freedom.

    Making an environment your grandma could use is once again laudable and may even be the right thing to do, but her freedom is not lessened if such a solution is not already in place. It is not her right to have other people make such an environment for her. The fact that people all over the world, many of them volunteers, are working on things to do just that in several different projects is a wonderful act and should be respected and rewarded. But no ones rights would be violated if tomorrow they all threw up their hands, gave up, and went home.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yfrwlf View Post
    Isolating everyone onto their own island based on the rolled-together software bundles called distros that they happen to be using because their ability to share software among each other is limited is not working together and is not propelling a software ecosystem which provides freedom. In other to provide real freedom and choice, you need to all be working off of standards so that there can be direct competition and cooperation. Keeping Linux fragmented and not using standards is what the enemies of free software ecosystems want.
    A software ecosystem that is free is one that grants "the power to determine action without restraint.". No system is going to be completely free, as in real life applications freedoms are restricted due to physical factors and the fact that in a fair society some freedoms must be given up to give a greater equality of rights and exchange to the whole (for example, no one should have the freedom to pursue the action of murder). When it comes to systems that encourage freedom, I say Linux as an ecosystem for the most part is doing okay, you can modify all of its key components and even most of its user level operations.

    The threats to freedom are not from Linux's divided nature, but from encroachment of propriety blocks or DRM tactics onto the system. If you believe that it is hurting Linux as a platform, you may have a point, if you say that it is limiting its growth, you may have a point. But it is not limiting anyone's freedom nor is it discouraging it. That is a completely different statement and that was the whole point of my previous post.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yfrwlf View Post
    So everyone who wants to use Linux or wants to see progress on the front of standards and interoperability to ensure that community operating systems are the best they can be needs to know how to compile? Fail. Computers have the ability to do a lot of work for everyone without extensive knowledge required by the user, which is the entire point of the computer: to do work for you so you don't have to. Calling me lazy is laughable just because I want more interoperability between distros by having a common program installation framework so that sharing both binaries and source packages becomes cake.
    I never said you were lazy, where did I ever use the word lazy? I said that having something to cater to other peoples conveniences is not an essential freedom, but I never said those who wished those conveniences existed were necessarily lazy. I just postulated that it was too much to ask to expect other people to make this happen for them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yfrwlf View Post
    As I've said many times before, I know right now this problem doesn't exist for those who compile everything (other than the problem of their time being stolen from them if there is no real point to them compiling it themselves) but it is a problem for everyone else. I want free software to be as good as it can be which includes ease of use, and this problem is real, does exist, and needs to be overcome to make free operating systems more appealing. "Oh, I'm sorry, that package doesn't exist for your distro, you have to compile" isn't good enough for the average user.
    Wanting free software to be as good as it can be and wanting it to be free are two separate things which, while not mutually exclusive, are not the same thing. If you just came out saying that you wanted this to happen to make the system more appealing, I would never have responded to your post. But you were presuming it was a freedom and a right for free software to be appealing, and that is just not true or even rationally possible. If it is appealing, it is because a lot of hard effort was put into it by talented people. That is entirely separate from whether or not it is free or not. There are many proprietary offerings which are technically quite appealing which I avoid because I want to support software that does respect what freedoms I do have.

    As to the rest of your post, there is nothing there I feel would benefit from a response, as I can not really comment on it, besides saying that I am still not convinced by Zero Installs practicality, though I do concede my ignorance of its internals may be blinding me of it proper uses.
    Last edited by Hamish Wilson; 11-03-2011 at 02:51 AM.

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