Gnome 3 Review

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Gnome 3 Review

Postby Lugh on Tue Mar 20, 2012 12:22 pm

Here is an interesting review of Gnome 3:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/fed ... ,3155.html

OK, it's a review of the new version of Fedora, but it spends most of its time on Gnome 3. Certainly work reading.

Thanks,
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Re: Gnome 3 Review

Postby MALsPa on Tue Mar 20, 2012 12:53 pm

Thanks for the link! As you said, it's really supposed to be a Fedora 16 review, but a lot of it discusses GNOME Shell.

I added the main (GNOME) version of Fedora 16 back in November, and for me it's been a very nice release. Right now, I enjoy logging into F16 with GNOME Shell more than any other distro I have installed here. Fedora's a beautiful distro anyway, and even though I know that a lot of people don't like GNOME Shell, I think it's great.
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Re: Gnome 3 Review

Postby bimsebasse on Tue Mar 20, 2012 3:12 pm

I've begun dual booting Fedora 16 (the main edition) with Mint for Cinnamon theme testing purposes and it's very solid, it's a bit like running vanilla Gnome. I could live happily with fedora if there weren't any alternatives but I just don't run into things where I think "this is done better than in Ubuntu/Mint", except maybe appearance - the default Gnome Shell theme runs rings around Cinnamon's ditto and is more coherent and polished than Unity.
Thank you for this thread. That’s all I can say. You most definitely have made this forum into something special. You clearly know what you are doing, you’ve covered so many bases. Thanks!
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Re: Gnome 3 Review

Postby Lugh on Tue Mar 20, 2012 5:02 pm

I am running Mint LMDE and haven't been confronted with Gnome Shell or Cinnamon yet. I'm guessing that I will be soon. One of the things this review showed me was a number of things in Gnome Shell that I think I rather like. The task management and switching does seem to bother me though. That seems to be the one issue that I think would bother me about Shell/3. It was interesting to read the review about using Shell extensions to get a lot of that functionality back. Right now I'm a bit confused if Shell extensions or Cinnamon would be the better work around for the missing functionality. My gut feeling is that I should upgrade to Gnome 3 (when LMDE moves that way), try it straight, and the try Cinnamon.

I don't really mind a lot of the changes in Gnome 3 - by the looks of it. I can easily adjust to where things are and the top, middle, and bottom organization of Shell doesn't bother me. I kind of like the orientation toward applications; that is the way I work. The task management does seem to bother me though.

I will admit that I'm not sure if I fit the market that the review focuses on. I'm am a long time geek and technical guy, but I tend to think that OSs are front-ends to let us run applications. I do a lot of multi-tasking though. If Gnome Shell makes that harder, I wouldn't like it much. If it is just a reorganization of environment, I could easily adjust to that.

More input from those who have worked in Gnome 3/Shell and Cinnamon would be very helpful for me planning.

Thanks,
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Re: Gnome 3 Review

Postby tzoannop on Tue Mar 20, 2012 6:48 pm

I have quite a few things to say about Gnome 3 and Unity and none of them is positive. I'll speak based on my experience, without caring if I may offend a "fan" of any particular GUI. I'm going to speak as a person who uses his computers as tools, just as a professional photographer uses his cameras or a farmer uses his tractor - I'm taking the professional end user's side here, which greatly differs from that of the fetishist and don't expect me to show any kindness to the developers of Gnome 3 and Unity. After all, I'm using my computers as tools for my work and I expect them and the OS I choose to run on them to let me be productive in order to stay afloat from a fiscal point of view.

Ever since I first dabbled with Red Hat's flavor of Linux in 1998, on a 133MHz Pentium "Classic" with 64MB RAM and a 2MB VRAM-equipped S3 Vision 968-based Diamond Multimedia board, the question that always keeps springing is "Is Linux ready for the desktop?". Wow, how long has that one been? 14 years. Quite a long time, don't you think?

Back then, it certainly was anything but ready. You needed to jump through hoops in order to make a bog-standard Soundblaster 16 card work, adding keyboard layouts other than US and UK was almost a black art, most then-contemporary printers (i.e. printers that were launched after 1994) didn't work and graphics card drivers were almost non-existent. And don't even get me started on the availability of productivity software and/or multimedia. Back then, Red Hat shipped with a 30-day trial version of WordPerfect and a 30-day trial version of Real Player, for crying out loud. As for GUIs, you had to make do with Window Maker, CDE or the first versions of Enlightenment and KDE.

As for other applications, you were stuck with applications that were developed with no care being given to user-friendliness at all.

Ever since then, much has changed. We have an excellent productivity suite available right away (LibreOffice 3.5.1). AbiWord and Gnumeric are good too (especially Gnumeric, which gives Excel a run for its utterly undeserved money when it comes to precision and accuracy). We have a full-featured Photoshop alternative (with a name that has utterly unwanted connotations and I'm surprised no one has bothered to fork it and distribute it under a different name - and with the great improvements it needs for its user interface) and a really good alternative to such overpriced 3D stalwarts as 3D Studio Max, Maya et al (Blender). VLC is a top-notch media player and we also have a few IDEs that really rock (Eclipse and Netbeans). Inkscape and Scribus are excellent applications, too.

Then is Linux ready for the desktop?

The answer is No. Not anymore. With Ubuntu 10.10 it was (if you could forgive the stupid default placement of the window buttons on the left, as if we needed to blatantly and sheepishly copy the FreeBSD rip-off that is also known as Mac OS X and worshipped by hipster techno-luddites and fashion victims). Gnome 2.32 was, for the most part, a solid, reliable, fast and well-supported GUI, which basically only lacked documentation (especially tools like CompizConfig are prime examples of how no care at all has been given to providing documentation) and its projects were and are a complete and utter basket case.

A basket case, you say? Oh yes. In typical western industrial philosophy fashion, the Gnome foundation worships innovation and "innovation", without ever giving any regard (or respect) to a Japanese principle called kaizen (look it up). The powers that be decided that the relatively frugal Gnome 2 should give way to the resource hog that is Gnome 3 - the crashy bloat that is Gnome 3 needs 89% of my CPU (2.1 GHz Intel Dual Core T4300) and more than 30% of my 4GB RAM just to run, while Gnome 3 uses up to 20% of my CPU. In what way is Gnome 3 "better"?

And don't even get me started on the change of workflow that has been forced upon us by the dictators of the Gnome foundation. I've been using computers since I was 10, starting with MS-DOS 3.2 on an 8088-equipped Samsung SPC-3000 PC-XT clone with an 84-key AT keyboard and have used just about every flavor of Windows (3.11 "for Workgroups", 95, 95 OSR2 - also known as "97", 98, NT 3.51, NT 4, XP, Vista, 7), as well as HP-UX and SunOS dumb terminals, and even Solaris workstations at my university's library and now I've moved to Linux. Over the course of 25 years, I've gotten used to a certain workflow and certain input devices: keyboard (preferably a proper one, like an IBM Model M or an SGI AT-101 or a Northgate Omnikey), three-button mouse (lately with the middle button being a scroll wheel that doubles as a middle button) and display. That's it. I don't need anything more. No "mouse gestures" that resemble - at best - the secret handshakes of certain secretive organizations whose members think they're something special just because they don ornate aprons and wield decorative swords or - at worst - ghetto gang hand signs. No touch screen support: when I'm on a desktop computer with a 22" or 24" screen (I wish!), you can rest assured it's going to be a bit farther away from me than the screen of my laptop and I most certainly would not want to fill it with fingerprints!

And I absolutely want to put stuff on my desktop for easy and quick access (and no, the powers that be of the Gnome foundation should ditch their stupid sense of entitlement: they are not entitled to tell me how I'll use my computer; if I wanted a petty dictator telling me how I'll use what I've given my hard-earned money for, I'd have bought something from Apple). I demand to be able to switch between desktops with one click and in a split-second. I demand to be able to customize my menus and whatnot whatever way I want. It's my computer, I'll do whatever I want with it. I demand to have the ability to dual-boot or multi-boot (what idiot thought of hiding the "shut down" option?). After all, Linux is all about choice, right?

Well, that's not what the wise sages of the Gnome foundation think. They think that they're doing us a favor by writing code for us. This argument holds no water. They're making a product. It's that simple. If the product doesn't fit my bill, I'm not going to use it. I'm going to throw it away. If a product is designed to give its developer a sense of achievement for "breaking from the norm", but forces a multitude of "confused?" moments on its user, then the user will throw it in a wheelie bin and the product will be a failure. A developer, a designer, a manufacturer is only as successful as his products are. Whether they like it or not, developers and their products are judged by the users; the users are the boss, NOT the developers. And it's time to give them a nice, cold shower of this harsh reality. The fact that they're developing FOSS software doesn't remove our freedom to have whatever opinion we want of their products. FOSS is about freedom: freedom of speech, freedom of choice, freedom to study, freedom to configure, modify, copy etc. This diva-esque mentality of the Gnome 3/Unity (I'll get to Unity later on) developers and the "love it or leave it" reactions of their drama queen fanboys in the various forums is beyond ridiculous: it's completely at odds with the very principles of Free and Open Source Software and these persons need to either accept that they're here to help the users or get kicked out of the community.

Gnome 3 doesn't work. It demands 3D acceleration for stuff that doesn't need 3D acceleration. It has much less eye candy than Gnome 2.32 had. It's not configurable. It's an unholy mess. It's slow, it's counter-intuitive, it doesn't handle multi-tasking at all, it slows down my workflow and it doesn't let me configure it to suit my working style.

On the other hand, we have Unity. Oh dear... Where do I begin with this one? Even slower than Gnome 3. Crashier than a Windows 95 machine that has been used for 12 years in a row without a single registry clean-up, without a single virus scan having taken place and without ever having had its hard drive defragmented. Slow. Crashy. And with a tendency to copy the worst elements of Mac OS and Mac OS X. I didn't bother with Ubuntu 11.04 and Ubuntu 11.10 for more than 10 minutes before determining they were not worth the effort. Now their respective DVDs serve as coasters. OK, so Ubuntu has an excellent software manager. But the interface (which is being force-fed on us in the same way as Gnome 3) doesn't work at all. And, what's worse, Canonical has an utterly unreasonable release cycle that does not help the professional user.

Hmmm... Has anyone ever bothered to think of the professional user? Nah, who needs professional users anyway? Linux is supposed 2 b 4 teh l337 h4x0rz, amirite? Well, dude, those who want to keep pigeonholing Linux as an operating system for "l337 h4x0rz", should stop asking stupid questions like "Is Linux ready for the desktop?", because the next time they do, I'm going to give them the yoghurt treatment so generously provided to Greece's kleptocratic "politicians" by the citizens. Seriously: if you want your OS to be ready for the desktop, then focus on the user and his needs - and stop acting like a poser! If you want to have a Mac, then just save up for a Mac and quit trying to make Linux look like a Mac: it's as ridiculous as sticking a nose that copies that of an old-style Rolls-Royce on a bloody VW Beetle (the old one; not like the current one is much better anyway). And don't expect me to admire you for acting like an elitist snob, looking down upon the everyday user; that doesn't make you an l337 h4x0r, it only makes you look like a basement-dwelling script kiddie that fails to understand how easily this attitude alienates potential users.

And here's another problem that reared its ugly head - and not a single one of the wise sages of the Gnome Foundation and Canonical managed to even think of it.

With Gnome 2, we had a community of developers all contributing their talents, ideas and skills to make the GUI better. Then came Gnome 3 and Unity. Which prompted disgruntled users and developers to fork Gnome 2 and start MATE. And the guys of Linux Mint also ended up forking Gnome 3, starting Cinnamon as a result.

We had a mature, stable, well-regarded, efficient and highly popular desktop that only needed a few improvements. And now we have four desktops, of which two are entirely unusable and two are not mature yet. And the programming community has split in four, resulting in fewer knowledgeable people available for each project. And this brings us back to what I was saying: with Ubuntu 10.10, before Canonical and the Gnome Foundation decided they were entitled to make recent computers obsolete (as if it's affordable for everyone to upgrade his computers on a semi-annual basis) and dictate how we should work, Linux was almost ready for the desktop. Now it's back where it was ten years ago, albeit with rather different flaws. Bravo, Gnome Foundation and Canonical; you've just given Apple and Microsoft even more clients, turning them away from Linux.
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Re: Gnome 3 Review

Postby dwflo on Tue Mar 20, 2012 7:02 pm

I do not like Gnome 3. Unable to configure it to my taste as with Gnome 2xx, why???
Gnome seems to have lost its luster.

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Re: Gnome 3 Review

Postby Lippy on Tue Mar 20, 2012 11:08 pm

I can see where the review is coming from. As an LMDE user who is pointing to Debian Testing, I have been using Gnome 3 for a few months already. I'm someone who is willing to accept change if it is for the better. Sometimes a large change can bring significant regression in software before it truly begins to pay off. You know what they say, it gets worse before it gets better!

To be perfectly honest, I do like Gnome Shell despite its faults, otherwise I wouldn't still be using it now. I think it's a perfectly useful desktop environment, although it probably needs a bit of tweaking first to get it into a good enough state. Gnome Shell introduces a few nice concepts imo, although its drawbacks make it suitable for less people than Gnome 2. Despite the fact that I'm using it as my main desktop environment, it's not something I can recommend to people because of those drawbacks.

Dynamic workspaces really is a nice feature, but I think it has missing potential that makes it ultimately fall short of winning people over. The good thing about static workspaces is you can assign each workspace a keyboard shortcut, which enables quick switching. Applications can also load in specific workspaces which helps with window management. Dynamic workspaces could in theory still support those shortcuts. I'm not sure if this is possible, but this is how I would handle it. If for example, the user wants to switch to workspace 4 and it doesn't exist, it could just create the workspace on the fly and switch to it. Same for applications launching in a specific workspace. Also, it wouldn't have to create workspaces 2 and 3 at the same time if they didn't exist, as the ID could be stored somewhere within the workspace object/node. If the user switches away from an empty workspace, it could be deleted automatically. There would probably need to be a limit to the number of workspaces that support shortcuts and start-up applications, and no limit to the number of workspaces otherwise. That way I think we would have the best of both worlds.

The window switcher overlay (aka Activities) is radically different to what people are used to, but I find that it makes for a decent alternative to a classic taskbar/dock. However, it isn't flat-out superior and really I think both concepts have their advantages and disadvantages. Task switching is a little slower with Activities, but it frees up space on the panel for other things which can help to improve workflow. Unfortunately the Gnome devs don't appear to realise this. Applets in Gnome Shell are effectively no more, so there isn't much you can fill the panel with really. Extensions can workaround this. However, this brings up a key point in the review which I wholeheartedly agree with. Gnome Shell's out of box experience isn't going to satisfy many people. It requires installing Gnome Tweak Tool and a bunch of extensions in order to add features that I personally think should be there in the first place. This increases the risk of conflicts between extensions as some are what I consider vital, compounding with the fact that Gnome Shell has no feature that loads extensions in an order specified by the user. In a nutshell, if you want a desktop environment that 'just works', you are better off with something else.

There's also more potential that could be done with Gnome Shell. I know it's still early days yet, so maybe we will see some of these things down the line. And this is the bit where a few people will disagree with me! So there is this blank panel which doesn't seem to do much other than waste space on the screen. Wouldn't it be nice if the titlebar integrated with it when a window is maximised, a la Unity? This would also give the completely useless application button some actual purpose. Want to restore the window without resorting to using window buttons? Drag that application button off the titlebar (I can hear the groans from here)! Speaking of that useless application button, if it had a menu with more than just "Quit" in it, that would also make it less useless! I know that's coming in a future release, but I was hoping for the devs to go all the way here. Instead of something similar to a Jumplist in Windows 7, I think it would have been nice if it ended up being a global menu like in Unity, replacing the menubar entirely and saving even more screen real-estate (and this officially marks me as insane). Funnily enough, the review has a mock-up of a Gnome Shell + Unity hybrid and it suggests that they learn from each other. I'm personally not a fan of Unity apart from those two features but I agree that the mock-up would generally make Gnome 3 more attractive as a whole.

And now we get to the ugly. The panel is very unconfigurable, and you either need to use dconf-editor or extensions to undo some of its strangeness. I don't mind the clock being in the centre of it, but many users are bound to be unhappy with this. Then there's the icons that are permanently there whether you use them or not; Accessibility and Bluetooth being the worst offenders. Then we have the lack of a Power Off option, unless you know that it appears when you hold down the alt key. That one is particularly baffling and is one of the first things that require an extension to fix. The review praised the notification bar for getting out of your way, but I have a problem knowing when someone has sent me a message on Pidgin without manually checking from time to time. This became an annoyance so I installed an extension that gave me back a traditional system tray, which made use of some of that empty space on the panel.

Let's move on to the applications menu. I actually embrace the concept of a menu that makes a better use of space and doesn't require precise mouse movements like a traditional menu. I think some kind of tiled menu similar to those on tablets could work better than a traditional menu in theory, but I have never seen any for the desktop with a good enough execution to be worth using. The execution in Gnome Shell isn't any better. It does have categories you can select, which is more than most menus of this style have to offer. Unfortunately, the praise stops there. The categories are on the right hand side of the screen, a fair distance from where your cursor is when you click to open the applications menu. There aren't many categories either, so you are still left with a sea of icons which makes it difficult to search what you are looking for. If you know what you are searching for, you can use the search box but it's a little quirky as it seems to also search for the name of the executable too. And then matters are made worse because the names are truncated, and if you hover over an icon, don't expect a tooltip to appear revealing the full name because it's not implemented! So good luck trying to figure out what each application is. Click and hope? :mrgreen:

It's nice having a bit of innovation from time to time. Sometimes it works, and sometimes you either need to work out its kinks first, or go back to the drawing board if it's just hopeless. Gnome Shell feels like some kind of experimental interface that didn't make it through the whole usability testing process. It's got some features that are a hit, some features that need a bit more work, some that are just plain wrong, and some that are missing in action. Unfortunately, it looks like it's going to stay that way for some time to come. I can defend Gnome Shell for some of its bold concepts, but what I can't defend is the devs' reluctance to fix what's wrong. Luckily, Mint appears to be picking up the slack with Cinnamon.

I've been keeping my eye on Cinnamon since it first forked from Gnome Shell, and I've watched it improve in leaps and bounds since its early days as when it was more or less Gnome Shell + MGSE built-in. I'm honestly impressed by how much Cinnamon has improved in the short time it has existed, and it is now at a stage where I think it is simply a better Gnome Shell. Major props to Clem and the team for showing that even a small team can do what the Gnome devs can't (or won't). I'm not after a classic interface. I actually prefer some of the Gnome Shell concepts such as the overlay. With Cinnamon I can keep those Gnome Shell concepts and have much improved customisability to boot. So when the 1.4 update lands in LMDE I'll probably end up switching to it.
LMDE (tracking Testing) with Cinnamon; Intel Core 2 Duo E8400, Nvidia GeForce GTX 260 (using Nouveau)
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Re: Gnome 3 Review

Postby MALsPa on Wed Mar 21, 2012 12:13 am

Lugh wrote:The task management and switching does seem to bother me though. That seems to be the one issue that I think would bother me about Shell/3. [...] I tend to think that OSs are front-ends to let us run applications. I do a lot of multi-tasking though. If Gnome Shell makes that harder, I wouldn't like it much. If it is just a reorganization of environment, I could easily adjust to that.


This was something I was concerned about most before using GNOME Shell. In fact, I still had my concerns after trying out a live session.

After installing it and using it for a little while, I began to feel that it was better for me, or (although a different way of doing things) at least as good, as a "traditional" desktop when it comes to multi-tasking, etc. However, for anyone who wants to tweak things to their heart's content, not so great.

I tried a number of different extensions, but it wasn't my goal to make it more like a "traditional" desktop, and I ended up settling on only a few extensions, most of which I have turned off, or don't use at all. It seems that I'm comfortable with something very close to the default set-up. So I really haven't tried to do much customization, and haven't needed (or wanted) to. Just little things here and there, I guess.

But one quick look through the other posts in this thread (sorry, didn't bother taking the time to read through the long posts) reminds me that "one man's trash is another man's treasure," and the other way around. I almost think that no matter the environment, once I get it set up to where I'm comfortable with it, and figure out what you can and can't do with it, and how things work, it's just Linux after that. I think I can be happy using any environment (as long as things aren't crashing all the time or whatever), but for other people, there are some they can't stand to use, for one reason or another, and I can understand the reasons why GNOME Shell is one of those. Sorta. As always, YMMV.
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Re: Gnome 3 Review

Postby pony-tail on Wed Mar 21, 2012 2:31 am

I have to agree with "tzoannop" on almost all points about Gnome 3 shell and this latest version of Fedora brings nothing to the table that would make me want to use Gnome Shell .
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Re: Gnome 3 Review

Postby bimsebasse on Wed Mar 21, 2012 3:21 am

And I absolutely want to put stuff on my desktop for easy and quick access (and no, the powers that be of the Gnome foundation should ditch their stupid sense of entitlement: they are not entitled to tell me how I'll use my computer; if I wanted a petty dictator telling me how I'll use what I've given my hard-earned money for, I'd have bought something from Apple). I demand to be able to switch between desktops with one click and in a split-second. I demand to be able to customize my menus and whatnot whatever way I want. It's my computer, I'll do whatever I want with it. I demand to have the ability to dual-boot or multi-boot (what idiot thought of hiding the "shut down" option?). After all, Linux is all about choice, right?


Never a week goes by in here without a sanctimonious frothing rant. Just a few points to the above, no one is forcing you to use Gnome Shell, you can use any one of the many alternatives and unless you've been conned by someone you haven't paid a dime of your hard-earned money for Gnome, it's a free product, you're criticizing a free product for no longer being exactly like you want it to be. This sort of childish selfishness is common though, so don't be too embarrassed, but be a little embarrassed. You finally seem to be confusing "Linux is about choice" with "it shouldn't be allowed for developers to change things I like", if you study those two sentences closely you'll find that they are very different concepts. That Linux is about choice is exactly what should stop these inane puerile rants, go choose something that suits you better. I'm trying to imagine a mindset where you think the free desktop you've chosen owes you something, that you have a right to be upset when a free product you haven't paid for decides to go down a path you're not keen on. I can't get past how utterly childish it is.

I demand to be able to customize my menus and whatnot whatever way I want. It's my computer, I'll do whatever I want with it


Is it necessary to point out how ridiculous such a statement is? Jesus...

Verdict: this rant scored high on insanity but low on originality. 5 out of 10.
Thank you for this thread. That’s all I can say. You most definitely have made this forum into something special. You clearly know what you are doing, you’ve covered so many bases. Thanks!
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Re: Gnome 3 Review

Postby tzoannop on Wed Mar 21, 2012 9:56 am

Dear bimsebasse,

It might strike you as surprising, but there is a large number of people that actually use their computers as tools for their trade and don't want a know-it-all developer forcing his views on how they will work and use their computers on them. If you love the Gnome 3 developers' attitude (which shows extreme arrogance and contempt towards the end user) so much, what are you doing in a forum of a distribution that aims to please the large number of people who are terribly displeased by the actions of the Gnome 3 Foundation and Canonical?

Also, when you want to gain a large userbase, you have to earn their loyalty. The developers of Gnome had earned it through hard work over the course of more than ten years and then some people at the top decided to force everyone else to change their workflow. I don't know what you think (and honestly don't care), but you simply cannot force professionals in any field to change the way they work just because you thought that turning their computers into tablet wannabes would be cool. Anything that reduces productivity in a business environment is immediately rejected. Oh, and do read Clement Lefebvre's own comments on the transition to Gnome 3 - they're in Linux User, issue 110, pages 19 and 20. Shall I quote?

What was your initial reaction to the news that GNOME 2 was being laid to rest?

I thought it was idiotic. I agree with what Linus said about it and the thing that upset me the most was the fact that nobody cared what people wanted. GNOME 3 could have used a different names, or at least been packaged with new libs and in a way that allowed people to continue to run GNOME 2. The way it was done, you could only replace GNOME 2 with GNOME 3, not run both.

Gnome 2 is the most popular Linux desktop out there and a few people decided we were no longer going to use it. Of course, people always get what they want - MATE will bring back GNOME 2, but it will take time to get right.


Yes, that's the position of Mr. Lefebvre, who is the man behind Linux Mint. Mr. Lefebvre sides with the users. You're siding with some people who think we should act like we all have tablets.

Oh, and the "free product" argument? Please, don't give me any more of that, because (a) it's exactly the argument that proprietary software fanboys use against FOSS: "you get what you pay for, dude... You got it for free, therefore you get zip", and (b) many developers in FOSS projects (and, for crying out loud, do read Richard Matthew Stallman's position on what Free Software is all about) do get paid for their work - including projects like GNOME 3. So, it's not like "they're doing it out of charity". They're not. And guess what? The whole Free Software movement is about the user, not about satisfying vainglorious developers who think they can dictate how I must work with my computer. It's my computer, I'll do whatever I want with it. I want to configure it any way I want, I want to make my desktop work and look the way that is convenient and pleasant to me. Any deviations from such principles brings us closer to the "vision" of prison systems like the iOS. If you want Linux to be like iOS, perhaps you should switch to iOS and be done with it.
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Re: Gnome 3 Review

Postby esteban1uy on Wed Mar 21, 2012 5:28 pm

tzoannop wrote:(...) I want to make my desktop work and look the way that is convenient and pleasant to me. Any deviations from such principles brings us closer to the "vision" of prison systems like the iOS. If you want Linux to be like iOS, perhaps you should switch to iOS and be done with it.


What is that prevents you from having the desktop you want?
If you really want to change certain things in Gnome 3 you can do it yourself because it's completely open source.
That's the very origin of projects like MGSE, Cinnamon, Guadalinex desktop, etc. Some guys didn't like the way Gnome 3 works so they started to share mods and tweaks (take a look at this thread and take note of the dates), with almost no documentation, many times by trial and error.

Isn't it a little pretentious to say "I want the things to work the way I want... and done by someone else" ?

I'm a young person (I'm 12 y/o, almost 13) but something I learned very well is that if you want to change anything in the Linux world you have two options: the do-it-yourself way, and the do-it-with-your-fellows way.

I think someone as experienced as you would be very welcomed to the development groups of Cinnamon, MATE, or many other alternatives to Gnome3 (even as a tester).
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Re: Gnome 3 Review

Postby pony-tail on Wed Mar 21, 2012 6:15 pm

Never a week goes by in here without a sanctimonious frothing rant. Just a few points to the above, no one is forcing you to use Gnome Shell, you can use any one of the many alternatives and unless you've been conned by someone you haven't paid a dime of your hard-earned money for Gnome, it's a free product, you're criticizing a free product for no longer being exactly like you want it to be. This sort of childish selfishness is common though, so don't be too embarrassed, but be a little embarrassed. You finally seem to be confusing "Linux is about choice" with "it shouldn't be allowed for developers to change things I like", if you study those two sentences closely you'll find that they are very different concepts. That Linux is about choice is exactly what should stop these inane puerile rants, go choose something that suits you better. I'm trying to imagine a mindset where you think the free desktop you've chosen owes you something, that you have a right to be upset when a free product you haven't paid for decides to go down a path you're not keen on. I can't get past how utterly childish it is.

And yet another pointless rant !
Not everybody is a hardcore Gnome shell advocate .
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Re: Gnome 3 Review

Postby tzoannop on Wed Mar 21, 2012 10:10 pm

esteban1uy wrote:I'm a young person (I'm 12 y/o, almost 13) but something I learned very well is that if you want to change anything in the Linux world you have two options: the do-it-yourself way, and the do-it-with-your-fellows way.


When you grow up and find out that making a living requires work that takes up at least 8 of your waking hours, you'll see that what you say is more often than not a lot easier said than done. I know, because I've been there and done that. Oh, and something else: I tried Gnome 3 with MGSE. It didn't work. As a matter of fact, having seen what I've seen, why would I want to add extensions to a desktop that requires at least twice my computer's processing power just to run relatively adequately? Gnome 3 doesn't work - neither does its developers' mentality, which basically is against the users' right to choose.

And, you know, choice is not only about which piece of software you'll use, but also how you'll use it and how you'll configure it. The Gnome Foundation removed power, privileges and rights from the users, in complete and blatant violation of the Free (as in Free Speech) Software philosophy.
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Re: Gnome 3 Review

Postby esteban1uy on Thu Mar 22, 2012 1:32 am

tzoannop wrote:(...) The Gnome Foundation removed power, privileges and rights from the users, in complete and blatant violation of the Free (as in Free Speech) Software philosophy.


Well, it seems we have different definitions of what Free Software (and its philosophy) is. Following GNU (as in GNU Linux) something is defined as Free Software if...

Source: http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.en.html
(...) the users have the freedom to run, copy, distribute, study, change and improve the software. With these freedoms, the users (both individually and collectively) control the program and what it does for them.


More specifically (ibid):
A program is free software if the program's users have the four essential freedoms:

- The freedom to run the program, for any purpose (freedom 0).
- The freedom to study how the program works, and change it so it does your computing as you wish (freedom 1). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.
- The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor (freedom 2).
- The freedom to distribute copies of your modified versions to others (freedom 3). By doing this you can give the whole community a chance to benefit from your changes. Access to the source code is a precondition for this.


Then, where is the violation of the Free Software Philosophy that you point?
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Re: Gnome 3 Review

Postby tzoannop on Thu Mar 22, 2012 2:41 am

Freedom 1: Change and configure the software to adapt it to do what you need it to do. You'll say "oh well, you can study the code and...". That's not a valid answer - we know very well that the vast majority of the users are not experienced programmers (and this goes especially for end users who work in a business environment and just need something to get their job done quickly and easily - trust me, no corporate IT consultant is going to tolerate a new-fangled GUI that forces his staff to drastically change their existing workflow and replace it with a way of doing things that is slower and more cumbersome than the previous one). They're not willing to study lots of pages of code and most don't have the ability to do it. So, Freedom 1, which we enjoyed with the configurability of Gnome 2, was thrown out the window, simply because a few people decided they know better what the user needs and decided to remove the users' ability to change things. And don't tell me about the new "Gnome-tweak" tool; it's nowhere as comprehensive as it ought to be. Even the way Windows 95 and Window Maker allowed people to change their desktop settings was considerably more extensive than that. Removing the end user's (again: NOT everyone is an experienced programmer who can study the code and make the significant changes Gnome 3 needs to become valid) ability to configure the system the way s/he wants is a violation (however indirect and perhaps even sly) of Freedom 1.

And developers need to get off their high horses and start listening to the user base. Developers are not entitled to mandate how the user will work. They are not entitled to remove power from the users. They are not entitled to being exempted from criticism. And they are not entitled to disregard users' opinions. And again, I have to remind that the "quit nagging about software you didn't pay for" is something Steve Ballmer would say. Furthermore, if I wanted a tablet, I would buy a tablet. I want a desktop machine, so I bought a desktop machine. I expect to use a desktop machine like I'm used to use a desktop machine. And if I wanted to run Mac OS, you can rest assured I wouldn't even consider Linux; I'd have bought a Mac. So, there's no justification for the Gnome Foundation's and Canonical's concerted effort to Apple-ize our machines. Rather than waste money and effort on making our user experience a nightmare, they should have done other stuff that would be a lot more useful, like invest in further developing FreeCAD, developing a good GUI for Octave, developing some decent project management software, fixing the whole issue with sound on Linux (i.e. making a system that will no longer require the user to figure out how to make OSS, ALSA, PulseAudio and JACK play well with each other - and also maintain backwards compatibility), further develop GIMP (even fork it and give it a new name that doesn't have weird connotations that put people off)... Just saying. But I digress; it seems that productivity is not a priority with the powers that be.
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Re: Gnome 3 Review

Postby esteban1uy on Thu Mar 22, 2012 5:56 am

tzoannop wrote:Removing the end user's (...) ability to configure the system the way s/he wants is a violation (however indirect and perhaps even sly) of Freedom 1.


A ha!
That's the source of all the troubles. You still think of Gnome 3 as an updated Gnome 2, as a new version or something related, and it is not!!!
The real sin commited by the Gnome Project (or Foundation, I don't know which one) was to name its new DE (and itself) that way, giving the users the false idea that there would be some sort of continuity between Gnome 2 and Gnome 3.

Let's say you love Ubuntu. Now let's suppose "space cowboy" Shuttleworth takes another trip to space and gets scorched at reentry, Cannonical looses its main source of incomes and goes bankrupt... so bye-bye Ubuntu. It would be reasonable to assume that Debian would be established as the "logical" replacement for the missing Ubuntu.
Under such hypothetical circumstances, will you blame Debian for not providing the users those things Ubuntu did?
Of course not, because Debian is not Ubuntu nor its continuation the same way Gnome 3 is not Gnome 2 nor its continuation, even though it may seem.
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Re: Gnome 3 Review

Postby pluraldave on Thu Mar 22, 2012 8:12 am

tzoannop wrote:Freedom 1: Change and configure the software to adapt it to do what you need it to do. You'll say "oh well, you can study the code and...". That's not a valid answer -


Except for the fact that it is. Not only is it a valid answer but it is the actual answer. It's why the word source is in the phrase open source. The entire reason that the GNU project came into existence was so that developers could reuse and build upon each others work. Every free software licence is concerned with what you can do with the code and what responsibilities you have if you release your modification. The idea that a user has the knowledge and ability to modify the source is implicit in the licence. As for "freedom 1" let's try quoting rather than paraphrasing what you would like it to say:

The freedom to study how the program works, and change it so it does your computing as you wish (freedom 1). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.

Source




tzoannop wrote:Freedom 1, which we enjoyed with the configurability of Gnome 2, was thrown out the window, simply because a few people decided they know better what the user needs and decided to remove the users' ability to change things. And don't tell me about the new "Gnome-tweak" tool; it's nowhere as comprehensive as it ought to be. Even the way Windows 95 and Window Maker allowed people to change their desktop settings was considerably more extensive than that. Removing the end user's (again: NOT everyone is an experienced programmer who can study the code and make the significant changes Gnome 3 needs to become valid) ability to configure the system the way s/he wants is a violation (however indirect and perhaps even sly) of Freedom 1.


As we can see from above, freedom 1 does not imply or state the requirement for configuration options to be provided by default.

tzoannop wrote:Developers are not entitled to mandate how the user will work.


At the point at which a user does not have the technical ability to modify the source code the difference between an open and proprietary program is reduced to a philosophical debate. Such a user using either type of program is always constrained by the systems and options provided by the developer. In this regard the only difference between Gnome 2 and 3 is that one one provides a system you are used to and one provides a system that is new.

tzoannop wrote:if I wanted a tablet, I would buy a tablet. I want a desktop machine, so I bought a desktop machine.


And with that everyone who has used Gnome-shell for a significant period of time knows that you haven't.
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Re: Gnome 3 Review

Postby bimsebasse on Thu Mar 22, 2012 12:35 pm

tzoannop, I understand all your points, I have concerns about Gnome Shell and Gnome 3 too, what you don't understand is that you are not in a position to demand anything from a free desktop environment, you take it or leave it, you like it or don't, it doesn't owe you anything, it's not obligated to fulfill your wishes and expectations in a DE, it's not the law that it should reach feature and development freeze when tzoannop is happy with it - this I thought anyone above the age of 9 would be able to grasp immediately. Homework: write Things that are offered you for free you can't demand anything from 800 times.

Downright baffling how much you have misunderstood what free and open source means.
Thank you for this thread. That’s all I can say. You most definitely have made this forum into something special. You clearly know what you are doing, you’ve covered so many bases. Thanks!
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Re: Gnome 3 Review

Postby M-Spicata on Thu Mar 22, 2012 6:08 pm

@tzoannop

tzoannop wrote:I have quite a few things to say about Gnome 3 and Unity and none of them is positive.


I may be late to the party, but I have to agree with literally every point you have made... and you have been far more polite that I would ever have been. :lol:

I have read the responses and criticisms of your views, and I see real philosophical differences from some - which is quite a nice luxury for them.

I may hold a degree in I.T. and even able to program in some rather esoteric languages, but my actual expertise in is designing interfaces that allow both access and adaptation... and that is not just desktops! There is quite an art to getting the basics of an interface right so that it is just a tool for interaction and actually empowers the user. People who ignore those most basic factors are regressive and should be put out of our misery.

Gnome 3 and Unity have all the standard patterns and hallmarks of Script kiddies reinventing the wheel. Having been playing with It for some time I have to say both Gnome 3 and Unity are so 1981! It reminds me so much of the hype leading up to 24 January 1984 and Mac smashing a supposed big brother!

And don't even get me started on the change of workflow that has been forced upon us by the dictators of the Gnome foundation. I've been using computers since I was 10, starting with MS-DOS 3.2 on an 8088-equipped Samsung SPC-3000 PC-XT clone with an 84-key AT keyboard and have used just about every flavor of Windows (3.11 "for Workgroups", 95, 95 OSR2 - also known as "97", 98, NT 3.51, NT 4, XP, Vista, 7), as well as HP-UX and SunOS dumb terminals, and even Solaris workstations at my university's library and now I've moved to Linux. Over the course of 25 years,....


I have about 10 years experience on you - and was designing interfaces for systems before the Redmond 3.1 came out. The lost joys of PETs, ZX 81's and the plethora of other systems all fighting to figure out how Humans think and bash keys! Oh the Joys of Window$ 1.0 and people wondering if this GUI thing would ever catch on.

Sketchpad may be older than me, but the basics were right even in 1963. Then you move to PARC ALTO, and they were even getting the basics right in 1973.....

Back then it was very odd, having to focus on how to make that lump of electronics called a computer accessible to Idiots - people who needed to interface with it and get a job done. It was quite shocking for some, and I recall one Professor looking at a Mac (1987) and saying It will never catch on ... he was disgusted that he was not able to recode it to make it print out a magic square - a year one, term one computer assignment he had relied upon since the dinosaurs roamed the earth. He despised rodents and anything that was not a dumb terminal or not run by clockwork via Fortran or Cobol!

I HATE Gnome Shell and Unity.

I have seen many demos of both and read widely on the claims made by the central figures and they both reveal an over fetishistic need for order and control.

I have had to wonder if there has not been a Bias within the groups caused by a significant number scoring highly on the autistic spectrum. And that is not said to be insulting - it is an actual observation which has come from watching designers and programmers demonstrating. I have seen Neurodiverse individuals produce similar personal desktops in the past and interact with them the same way. There is a striking correlation.

I will quote the Gnome foundation:

People-centered

The GNOME project has a tradition of high-quality interface design which has been strongly influenced by usability principles and practice. GNOME software is available in a large number of spoken languages, and the project aims to ensure that its software is usable for everyone, including people with disabilities.Source


I happen to be disabled and I work in providing accessible systems and options for disabled people. Gnome 3 lacks any concept of "high-quality interface design which has been strongly influenced by usability principles and practice.".

I have to say that when I checked the Gnome website and read that lovely, fuzzy wuzzy, warm feeling claim I did laugh so hard I suffered Incontinence. Twice!

Gnome 3 simply does the total opposite of what Gnome claim they are about. It reduces quality - smashes usability principles and standards - and the only thing it has to do with "practice" is how to Try Poorly and Fail.

Gnome is people-centred???????

OK - and Sasquatch the Yeti are living in my bathroom as Civil Partners - and The Moon Landings were a fake filmed in Arizona too! Gnome 3 is proof of both!

Gnome 3 is literally useless without the most extreme adaptation for many disabled people. It is now prohibitively expensive to adapt it to need. It's a total dead end! Well Done Guys! Vanity means that using your offering has a massive cost impact upon people who have a personal I.T. cost that is on average 300% higher than none disabled people.

Unity is just as bad.

Gnome say "....the project aims to ensure that its software is usable for everyone, including people with disabilities.".

Well here is the message from the crip users - Total Fail - Spectacular - 100%.

Usable is subjective and objective! I can say with great authority you have objectively failed because you ignored the subject! Whether that Ignorance was incidental or deliberate is irrelevant - it has resulted in a total fail. It is totally unacceptable in this day and age.

Unity is as bad.

Disability access is not just about Screen readers - there are a whole set of Disabilities that have nothing to do with vision. Take the stroke victim who due to brain damage does not recognise anything on the left. It just does not exist. Also anything not immediately visible also does not exist. Work flows and access count for more than Bottom Line Dollar and Sterling.

For many people with restricted motion Right Side screen access is a requirement - and when you fix it all on the left you end up with a user crippled by the dumb programmer who does not know his subject anywhere as fully as they think!

The defensive positions taken by some over any criticism of Gnome 3 or Unity are manifest Hubris that would make me fire anyone of them if they were employed by me. NO questions asked! It is that basic a failure.

So there are two core Linux desktops which act to bias in only one direction on the screen - and they even play hide and seek with reality and your applications.... and getting them to stop requires more hacking than the whole of anonymous going after NASA's servers.

You have to have a fully functional memory to remember what applications are already open as basic visual cues are removed - and increased mouse clicks to get to a basic and accessible program interface is so regressive as to be the acts of a child. Both are significant Disability Access Issues.

Gnome 3 is crippling due to basic design flaws that failed to address the reality and complexity of disability! Crass Stupidity lead by Script Kiddies who anonymous considered below par and would not allow to play!

Unity is no better!

Work flows are not just about Pounds and Dollars - they affect all aspects of user interaction. I am no fan of Redmond - and have even less interest in the products of a professed assaholic - due to basic cost/benefit analysis which makes only the richest cripples possible clients.... but one thing I am most aware of is that when someone says that their OS and associated software is not accessible they - the Seattle Cowboys and the Assaholic spawn listen - and even act - as commercial imperative.

I fear that lack of commercial imperative in Gnome has allowed Ego and lack of sanity to rule the roost - and the result? A vanity project led by Idiots who lack the capacity to make an impact in the real commercial sector.

Gnome 3 and Unity both have the hallmarks of vanity projects for the egos of some - with utility and basic common sense thrown out to make space for the Egos!

I have been using Linux for some 15 years and I do recall the hell of getting Corel Linux to install and even think about booting - I remember only too well the high hopes and aspirations for Suse with KDE and how it was seen as a Possible Desktop Business breakthrough, and it was starting to get there .... and then came The New and Snazzy KDE 4 which alienated so many... and that was the end of that great white hope!

We have had Ubuntu and Mr S with his backing via Canonical.... and I have to say that 10.04 was and has been superb.... but the encroachment on Gnome3 and that Blasted Unity have put pay to that..... and with it I can see Ubuntu also failing where others have failed so well before. It's clear that the focus of unity is Tablets with script that runs Top To Bottom - as in the far east market - read China! It does look good in Cantonese!

I have watched with great interest over the last 18 months as Mint has trended on the net and overtaken others. It can only be hoped that such Trendiness does not lead to Ego and so much good work be undone to reflect vanity and net trending.

I have had to deal with so many script kiddies over the years who apparently know far better than the end user what is needed..... and It has been most interesting to see their efforts and activities as they produce a program or script that can make espresso and order pizza in 16 languages, when what has been needed is an interpreter for specific inputs from an adapted handset to simply make a right mouse click!

They always seem to be ever so upset when the Espresso and pizza are thrown away - and some have complained that they only got paid for the utile code as a percentage of the screeds they had crafted for their own edification!

I have over many years seen bright young things who have come along and decided to change the whole set of well understood paradigms and memes that have been the basis of Interface design.... and I have seen the tears, tantrums and quite a few Tiaras being thrown about. It has ever been thus and Elton John is an amateur by comparison!

Beware I.T. Divas - they make the Pop Music variety look tame!

... But.... and it's such a big BUT.... The script kiddies and their actions on Gnome 3 and Unity are just about the best snafuus I have seen in 3 decades... except that Unity does make some sense when you factor in the Emergent Chinese Market ... and how good the Ubuntu logo looks when rendered in red - with 8 favourite icons on the side.

Applause is to be given as I can see so many I.T. students writing Thesis upon Thesis about how to get it wrong and how to learn lessons ..... and so many others will benefit.

Those who fail to learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them! ... and they have!

I'm quite happy in the Criticism made by Mr L.T. and many others. It is well made, acutely observed and 100% on point. XFCE may be a step down from Gnome 2 but it's a massive step up from Gnome 3 .... and he even jumped ship when KDE 4 messed up so much that was utile, functional and empowering.

Both Gnome and Canonical claim to be proactive on disability! Here's a view from a Professional Cripple with just a Tad of experience in the field of design and management!

Please, Please, Please Take the Script kiddies and the people who have supported them out to the back of the Server Room and shoot them!

If that is seen as too inhumane and uncharitable, just make them slaves and put them back to work on Gnome 2.

What do you get of you allow a committee to design a horse? A camel.

What to you get when you have a committee of script kiddies designing software? Hardware that becomes useless!

Lets hope that Mate is up to the job! ... if not it's LXDE or XFCE for so many!

If there is one thing of value in Linux it is Diversity - and the fact that Voting with your feet is so easy.

Let The Divas play.... some of us are far too busy to be bothered, and far too many are too polite to make real comment.

I can only hope, along with many others, that Mint stays Ego free and gets on with the job of producing Quality and Rational systems that deal with reality and not script kiddy ego and tantrum. :twisted:
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