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Thread: GNOME Is Losing Relevance On The Linux Desktop

  1. #11
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    Mar 2012
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    Some of these problems are not GNOME-specific.

    > GNOME is understaffed.
    Most open-source projects are understaffed (maybe Linux is one of the exceptions, although I can't figure out any one else.)

    > GNOME is a Red Hat project.
    There are many such projects, for example:
    Unity is a Canonical project (was, at least)
    Qt was a Trolltech project.

    > GNOME has no goals.
    Windows is also losing its goals. In any aspect i can't image Metro is the UI developed for people to work on it.
    The problem is, the mobile world is confusing developers of DEs.

  2. #12
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    Apr 2012
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    ...many still have more fond memories of the GNOME 2.x desktop.
    What memories? I'm still using it. I also use Ubuntu 10.10 64 bit version and I'm not going anywhere from here until I will find a distribution with updated kernel and Gnome 2.32. Long live Gnome 2. For me Gnome 3 is the worst desktop environment I have ever test. I had to search on Google to find the Shutdown button. WTF?

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    989

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    Michael --

    You want a "production laptop"? I think I've struck gold. And you don't need a Mac. Just a nice, sturdy laptop with IVB.

    Get a Lenovo ThinkPad T530 with integrated graphics and the beautiful 1920x1080 display. Or, if you insist on having Optimus, you can do that too - the BIOS can let you boot in Integrated mode until we have Optimus support in the open source drivers

    The reason I think this is a production laptop is that the Ivy Bridge open source drivers are AMAZING. The experience on Linux (Fedora 17 specifically) is amazing. It's even suitable for light gaming: I've played a few MMOs within Wine, I've played native games like HoN and Savage 2 and Ren'Py games (the latter of which while not graphics intensive, does use OpenGL). The Intel drivers aren't just "compelling"; they're ready for production use for everything but playing Oil Rush. And even then, the game will run and kind of play, just not fast. If you get the Optimus version, you can switch the BIOS to discrete mode and get a 92 CUDA-core Fermi GPU. If that's not enough, get the W530 instead (same size but more power consumption) with a K1000 or K2000 kepler chip with more than twice as many CUDA cores.

    Since you already use a Linux distro as your primary desktop, it's not a big leap to just use a laptop that already has great hardware support on Linux. Every single component of this T530 is natively supported with no hacks, except for Optimus, but even that is optional. And the nice thing is that you can switch between Integrated and Discrete as you wish until Optimus is officially supported, and this lets you choose between (a) KMS + decent OpenGL + excellent 2D (SNA) and (b) top-end OpenGL 4.x performance (nvidia binary). If you can stop messing with it for 5 minutes and leave your driver experiments for your other boxes, you shouldn't have to break the box to enjoy it as a production system.

    Also, for a DE, give Cinnamon (another) serious look. If you appreciate the general paradigm of the Gnome 2 or Windows UI, where you have a start menu in the bottom left and a taskbar and your systray in the bottom right, you'll be right at home. Regarding Benjamin's post, I think the main reason that Gnome is staring into the abyss is that they suck at listening to users. Users don't want Gnome Shell; what they really want is Cinnamon. Not giving users what they want is a great way to lose them, especially when there's absolutely zero vendor lockin.
    Last edited by allquixotic; 07-28-2012 at 09:20 AM.

  4. #14
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    Jan 2012
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    I did the DE shuffle again recently, having been a GNOME 2 user for years. I looked at XFCE, MATE, GNOME Shell, Cinnamon and KDE. Unfortunately, since maintainership of Compiz has flagged, and really only functionality required for Unity has been maintained it's in a pretty broken state ATM, which means XFCE and MATE were quickly eliminated (it's the lack of scale, tile, etc that I can't do without). I'd previously been using GNOME Shell, but due to the limitations and broken keybindings (Super is special and painful to bind?!), and general effort required to do basic things like navigate desktops, that's out too. Cinnamon helps GNOME Shell a little, but still inherits most of the suck, and additionally the GNOME Shell extensions (one thing they did right) no longer function, and you're left with the limited selection that are compatible, so that's out too (anything that uses Mutter with non-MESA GLX is really painful too - horrible text rendering performance amongst other things).

    And so we have KDE 4.8. As a long-time hater of KDE, I'm amazed to find... I don't hate it. In fact, a few weeks in it's pretty damn good - everything is available for keybindings, which is a big win for me, and most things work as expected. There are some issues - connecting/disconnecting external monitors kind of sucks, since it makes you configure them every time, but at least it pops up a dialogue to do so, and the dialogue works as expected. I also recommend turning off all the indexing stuff for laptop use (Akonadi and Nepomuk), since they're pretty heavy-weight - Akonadi requires MySQL as a backend. That does lose you some features, like calendar events in the clock dropdown, but oh well. And the KDE PIM software sucks, KMail is particularly bad so it's back to Thunderbird there, no great loss. The rest of the bundled apps work pretty well out of the box.

    Hopefully as they get a few more users jump ship some of the edges can be smoothed off, but KDE is now my daily driver - I didn't see that coming at all.

  5. #15
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    Sep 2008
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    I still can't understand how people can NOT like Gnom3. I mean, it's the most comfortable and the most easiest to use desktop environment there is.

    You can control everything with your keyboard if you want to, you can control also everything with your mouse. You can do a hybrid version. The ways you've to 'go' with your mouse are extreme short and logical.

    The only real thing that bugs me out is that they removed the shutdown button but even that can be added by a plug-in.

  6. #16
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    Jan 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by Detructor View Post
    I still can't understand how people can NOT like Gnom3. I mean, it's the most comfortable and the most easiest to use desktop environment there is.

    You can control everything with your keyboard if you want to
    You really can't - the gimped keybindings are one of the things I hate most about GNOME Shell.

    Quote Originally Posted by Detructor View Post
    you can control also everything with your mouse. You can do a hybrid version. The ways you've to 'go' with your mouse are extreme short and logical.
    It really feels like they designed it primarily with the mouse in mind, but explain how "Move mouse to top-left, then traverse the entire screen to the right" to access multiple desktops is short and logical.

  7. #17
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    May 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by pdffs View Post
    You really can't - the gimped keybindings are one of the things I hate most about GNOME Shell.

    It really feels like they designed it primarily with the mouse in mind, but explain how "Move mouse to top-left, then traverse the entire screen to the right" to access multiple desktops is short and logical.
    ctrl + up/down can switch desktops without going into the overlay. You can also just alt tab, which by default shows applications from all desktops. To automatically open an app in a new desktop you can middle click on it from the overlay. I rarely find myself using my mouse to change desktops in gnome-shell.

    These days I prefer unity anyway though

  8. #18
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    Sep 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by Detructor View Post
    I still can't understand how people can NOT like Gnom3. I mean, it's the most comfortable and the most easiest to use desktop environment there is.

    You can control everything with your keyboard if you want to, you can control also everything with your mouse. You can do a hybrid version. The ways you've to 'go' with your mouse are extreme short and logical.
    The problem is, the offered paradigms don't "scale" if you have many windows open.

    Sure, if you just have Firefox and Rhythmbox open, alt-tabbing is fine.

    But if you have 10 or 12 windows open, the absolute easiest way is to commit to muscle memory exactly where the window is relative to the position of the others in your taskbar, and just move the mouse down there and click it. It takes about 500 msec instead of "Alt-Tab... nope, not that one... alt-tab... nope, not that one... alt-tab... nope, not that one... alt-tab... nope, not that one... THERE we go!". And if you want to use the mouse, you have to move it all the way up to the top of the screen, then wait while it renders an iconified version of all the windows, then move your mouse to click on the one you want. That takes a lot of time. The other problem with the window selection is that the tiling feature "wraps" the windows around to the next line, so it's easy to lose track of the position of one window in the list. So for frequent task switchers (*raises hand*) it's useless.

  9. #19
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    Jan 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by bwat47 View Post
    ctrl + up/down can switch desktops without going into the overlay. You can also just alt tab, which by default shows applications from all desktops. To automatically open an app in a new desktop you can middle click on it from the overlay. I rarely find myself using my mouse to change desktops in gnome-shell.
    Yeah, my point was that their design for interaction was far from the "short and logical" that Detructor claimed. And there's a reason you don't use the mouse to do it - because it's painful

    Quote Originally Posted by bwat47 View Post
    These days I prefer unity anyway though
    Masochist :P

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
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    394

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    Once Unity gets the new spread specifications implemented, It will be almost perfect for me.

    http://design.canonical.com/2012/03/...to-the-spread/

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