LinuxMint12/Gnome3 Assessment

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LinuxMint12/Gnome3 Assessment

Postby rjrich on Thu Dec 08, 2011 3:23 pm

During the past several weeks, I have tested a number of linux distros including CentOS, Debian, Linux Mint 11 and 12, Linux Mint Debian Edition, OpenSuse, Scientific Linux, Ubuntu, and Xubuntu. I have also evaluated various desktop environments, including KDE, Xfce, LXDE, Window Maker, Gnome 2, Mate, and Gnome 3.

After being quite pleased with Mint 11, my initial reaction to Mint 12 was negative. I did not like Gnome 3, and the implementations of Gnome 2 and Mate did not seem ready for prime time. I then searched for other distros that would give me a traditional desktop experience, but none of them seemed satisfactory.

My criteria included facile installation of third-party drivers, e.g., Nvidia video drivers, and access to a large number of pre-compiled packages. Ubuntu was in the list, but the Unity interface ruled it out for me.

Finally, I decided to reevaluate Mint12 with Gnome 3, trying to keep an open mind. At first I was put off by the childish look of the giant desktop icons in Overview. However, I soon realized that I did not need to use Overview at all, because Mint kindly provided a menu button. Then I discovered keyboard shortcuts, such as Ctrl-Alt-t to bring up the Terminal, and Gnome extensions for customizing the desktop. Before I knew it, I had a system that was both functional and aesthetic. In fact, it is now better looking and more functional than my Windows or Mac machines.

Thus, I have done a complete turnaround. My first reaction to LM12/G3 was negative, but after returning to it calmly and objectively, I have adopted Linux Mint 12 and its implementation of the Gnome 3 desktop environment with open arms.

Thanks to the developers and users who have helped produce a truly worthy product. I look forward to further improvements to an already excellent program.
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Re: LinuxMint12/Gnome3 Assessment

Postby Anakinholland on Fri Dec 09, 2011 7:17 am

Good to read posts like this! :)
Please Edit your initial post title and add [SOLVED] once your question is resolved.
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Re: LinuxMint12/Gnome3 Assessment

Postby jazz.h on Fri Dec 09, 2011 8:08 am

I couldn't agree more with rjrich. :D
That's exactly my experience with one difference - I'm sticking for now at Gnome Classic (No Effects) as my DE.
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Re: LinuxMint12/Gnome3 Assessment

Postby russ553 on Fri Dec 09, 2011 1:29 pm

I, too, was at first put off by Gnome3 but after a week of using and tweaking it, am accepting it happily.

I really do like the giant icons on the desktop. Better for these old eyes to comprehend.
Been there, done that, can't remember.
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Re: LinuxMint12/Gnome3 Assessment

Postby motsteve on Fri Dec 09, 2011 2:26 pm

You have to ask yourself if the average person were to download, install, and start to use this OS, would they be happy with the experience? Would they even be able to use it and be functional? I'm not a software engineer, but I'm an electrical engineer who spent decades designing equipment for use for public service (fire, police, military, secret service, etc). I always kept in mind the end user and the people maintaining my radio.

The recent slew of LInux distros only makes Linux go further away from the average user in usability. It seems that the basic attitude of the designers now is just exactly like the engineers I used to work with that had no practical experience prior to their graduation from college. Their arrogance of knowledge had to be beaten down repeatedly until they finally got around to designing equipment so that most people could use it. Most of them finally saw the light, but some went on to propagate designs leaving the end users to figure out how to use them on their own.

I must be totally ignorant. I can't even get Mint 12 to do simple things like give me an appearance selection. I still use Mint 11 and it was easy to use right out of the box. No contortions necessary. Easy to use as a Mac for Mint 12? My aunt Fanny! I've used a Mac since 1984 when I was the 4th person in Broward county to buy one. I own a Mac Mini today and have had 8 Macs. I know what easy is and Mint 12 doesn't even come close.

Before you flame me, I use Mint 11 predominantly and I only use my Mac occasionally. The only reason I post this is my sheer disappointment in the recent Linux distros and their desk management. :x
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Re: LinuxMint12/Gnome3 Assessment

Postby rijnsma on Fri Dec 09, 2011 3:09 pm

russ553 wrote:I, too, was at first put off by Gnome3 but after a week of using and tweaking it, am accepting it happily.

I really do like the giant icons on the desktop. Better for these old eyes to comprehend.

You can make icons on the 'normal desktop' smaller and bigger with 'preferences' in Nautilus. :)

For me Gnome 3 is right although I don't like this pager.
I'm fond of the old way. Keep applications on the place I put them, also when a workspace becomes empty.

I had (and maybe still have) a lot of trouble with recording sound (via alsa).
It had (or it has) to do (I think) with two soundcards, one 'on-chip' and one on an extra card.
(Recently I have also seen the effect in Mint 9 Julia LTS so it is certainly something in the updates, but it is probably also this machine.)
I'm going to try again, but every update made a mess of the soundproces on this PC...
So I'm very conservative with updating for the moment.

I don't like the restrictions with the desktop etc. And not very simple to give a link on desktop or in 'favourites' the 'root'-status.
The desktop is not 'free' anymore.

For the rest Gnome 3 works nice, it is beautiful, it is usable day-to-day, but there are still some problems.
MGSE is great help and I like very much MATE. But I'm careful with updating and upgrading... :D
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Re: LinuxMint12/Gnome3 Assessment

Postby DataMan on Sun Dec 11, 2011 8:19 am

I'm starting to look for replacement ops for my production level Mint 10 Gnome 64 bit. For me I have certain core requirements for my production ops among them:
    Stability - I can tolerate breakages from updates (I always have a rollback option on any updates) but I absolutely cannont toloerate random breakages from everyday use.
    The desktop use needs to be intuitively simple- I don't have the time or patience to learn a pseudo higher level programming language to be able to do simple tasks.
    The features attached to the desktop need to meet a functional need - eye candy for the sake of eye candy is non-value added for me.
    I need to use the ops and associated desktop for work-work on a daily basis and neither the ops or desktop should hinder this effort.

With the above in mind, I have done an initial install / assessment of Mint 12 64 bit Gnome, Xubuntu 64 bit Xfce (I could not find a current Xfce edition from Mint), Fedora KDE 64 bit (same rationale applies for Mint KDE as what was found in Xfce).

At first blush, of the 3 listed above, Xubuntu seems to be the one meeting my needs at this stage. I want to really do some hard time using Mint 12 and Fedora before reaching a final decision.

Just my input on the subject (subject to a moment's change) :lol: .

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Re: LinuxMint12/Gnome3 Assessment

Postby rijnsma on Sun Dec 11, 2011 11:08 am

I used some years KDE 3.5, Gnome 2 and now about a year Xfce (and testing Lxde).

I didn't like Gnome 3 on Fedora 15, but I use it now with Mint 12 and I have become a sort of 'believer'.

It is very 'workable'. Nothing wrong, other way of working and lots will be possible:
viewtopic.php?f=42&t=86813&hilit=tips
Tiny wishlist for me, which says also something.

(I'm not a believer of Unity, I have tried it, but it does not 'fit' me, although it does think a little of the Gnome-way of
doing things.)

I love MATE too. It is like Gnome 2.x and Clem wrote "actively developed" and that's important.
(Switch at 'the tiny wheel' of the 'login-field').

I'm glad Mint can proceed. :D
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Re: LinuxMint12/Gnome3 Assessment

Postby motsteve on Mon Dec 12, 2011 9:24 am

I want the average person to be able to use Mint. Can I suggest one simple thing? Why can't Mint 12 come up defaulted in Mate instead of Gnome 3? I've been using Linux since 1999 and it took me days to figure out how to get into Mate and that Mate even existed. Call me stupid if you like, but if you care at all that average people adopt Linux instead of mindlessly going out and getting Windoz, then think about what it would be like for you if you didn't know Linux at all and were brave enough to try it out for the first time. There is no justification for a new person to have to go online and traipse around looking for instructions on how to use the OS. Mate is intuitive. Gnome 3 is for the birds and nerds. Once the newby is no longer a newby, they can easily transition to Gnome 3.
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Re: LinuxMint12/Gnome3 Assessment

Postby rijnsma on Mon Dec 12, 2011 9:51 am

Your central thought 'make people able, so they cán' always is in PC-land the heart of the matter.
Linux is often too egocentric at points in this.

We can feel this with ext4 (in short maybe btrfs), Grub2, Unity, Gnome3 (but which is bettere then I thought),
years of KDE sadness), in short UEFI and Secure Boot, and where not?
And communication about developement is often not very total and not very crystal-clear.
So switching from Windows to Linux is not something by Windows spoiled people done overnight.

Tools of the people ought to be not to much the playground for 'those who know and don't tell'.
That blocks Linux. And this concerns Operating Systems and software, even the tinyest software.
Think ALWAYS of userfriendly-ness..!
I think Clem is doing a great job, but maybe it can improve yet.
But I know, this all is easier said then done because so much has to be done by people who often do this
in their spare time.


(And yes, I can work nicely with Gnome 3 plus MGSE and some change by tips, but MATE is like
Gnome 2.3 more productive here, because it is simple, clear, handy and can do everything what needs to be done
inclusive config. It is still actively developed Clem wrote by the way.)
viewtopic.php?f=42&t=86813&hilit=tips and further.
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Re: LinuxMint12/Gnome3 Assessment

Postby motsteve on Mon Dec 12, 2011 11:11 am

So Linux is for the technical elite? That gives me a warm fuzzy feeling. :P

Open software is open to everyone, not just the ones that know how to use vi and write a php script.

My door is open to anyone wanting to learn how to use a computer, even if all they can do is stumble and barely get by. I see that as a positive, albeit a small positive.
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Re: LinuxMint12/Gnome3 Assessment

Postby DataMan on Mon Dec 12, 2011 11:18 am

and write a php script.


Now I really take exception to that

Code: Select all
<?PHP

?>


:lol:

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Re: LinuxMint12/Gnome3 Assessment

Postby rijnsma on Mon Dec 12, 2011 11:44 am

motsteve wrote:So Linux is for the technical elite? That gives me a warm fuzzy feeling. :P

Open software is open to everyone, not just the ones that know how to use vi and write a php script.

My door is open to anyone wanting to learn how to use a computer, even if all they can do is stumble and barely get by. I see that as a positive, albeit a small positive.

Great! Here the same.
But this does not concern us.

The last time I used Windows was around 2003 Windows ME.
The step to Linux (first dual; later multi) was an adventure, altough I am an electronic ingeneer so I'm
accustomed to solving things.
And the road to use of Linux all day and all of the night has been an adventure too.
Sometimes (also these days) there is a problem, which has a high high level of riddle.
And no-one to help..
I just had a week of soundproblems (recording) in Mint 12. I don't mind, but not all people think that way.
So I think not much has changed in that when people think about switching to the Linux-desktop.
And there will be more puzzling with UEFI and MS Secure Boot.

Marketshare of the Linux-desktop is still minimal, while Linux-desktop would be very safe for the world.
And while it works just as good for day-to-day use as Windows.
When I step in by some computershops here and I tell I use Linux I hear that 'they' are surprised because
'they can't talk Linux'. Sorry. "Don't know anything about it" etc.

It has also always been that way with software. Nice software is often not good usable because of
the unfriendly interface or lack of documentation/help/tutorials. (See for instance in terms of OS KDE; a lot
was not present for years and still not).
Userfriendlyness is key here. And I know, I formerly did program an awful lot and I dropped a lot because
it was unfriendly for the user.

I have really no problem in understanding what motsteve writes.
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Re: LinuxMint12/Gnome3 Assessment

Postby motsteve on Tue Dec 13, 2011 7:05 am

I'm sorry if I sound so intense. I got this way when Apple talked about going to Unix and didn't do jack before Steve Jobs came back. Linux was my liberation to Unix. As an engineer I know the importance of all of the aspects to an OS even though I'm a lowly rf design engineer. Although I've been a big Apple fan for decades, I want the best OS to be on top. I do use BSD based software, but I truly believe that Linux is the right path to freedom from intolerant, intellectual elites who think you should have to take college courses to be able to navigate the desktop.

Do you know how to tell a really good software DESIGNER from a bit banger? He makes his software easy to use for most people. This is VERY difficult. The designer that can do that will have my most humble respect.
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Re: LinuxMint12/Gnome3 Assessment

Postby rijnsma on Tue Dec 13, 2011 8:15 am

motsteve wrote:
I'm sorry if I sound so intense

You don't need te be sorry. :D
Ik value very much what you write. :wink:
I want the best OS to be on top

Me too, but you know it will not happen with desktops by itself, not just like that...
There has to be done deep thinking and hard work and clever steps, so people can build their myth
and will 'very, very much like Linux on the desktop'.
(By the way, we know what sometimes happens with very good systems.
Bètamax was a great video-system, but too little video's (software) in the shops and you're the weakest
link: goodbye!!)

I highly regard what Clem has done now with Mint 12 in a time with difficulties for the user or for
them who like te step over to Linux. It is part of my 'myth-building' of 'Mint'.
Ubuntu is losing myth, maybe in a short while MS too with their new 'interface' Metro??
And see what Lefèbre does with Gnome & MGSE and/or MATE! 8) Very clever.
(At the same time: see what MS together with the hardware-makers try to do with UEFI and MS Secure Boot...
Not impossible this scares a number of Open Software-users away.)

That's on the strategic side, but there is also the smoothness of an OS and the software in day-to-day production
and fun and tuning and installation. Or in helpfiles. Still after all those years I find helpfiles missing...
And when they are not, are they very readable? Is software userfriendly, but also fully configurable?
In all these respects too Mint is scoring very high (nót yet Linux overall I'm sorry to see...)
And: When I see all those apps in handheld-land I hope this will also be the case in Linux, if you follow me?

This is VERY difficult. The designer that can do that will have my most humble respect.

Yes, I know. I fought enormous battles for the user-frienlyness of my software. And sometime I did not
succeed and had to do things all over again. :?

I truly believe that Linux is the right path to freedom from intolerant, intellectual elites who think you should have to take college courses to be able to navigate the desktop.

Maybe. But then: let everybody in the Linux-world be aware of it and let's work on it very hard. (Like Clem and
his crew. Like very good people in other distro's in théir manner.)
Without stripping OS-es from the options for configuration and tuning of course..! (KDE4 had that bias in the
their meager beginning, also Unity and I saw it a little in Xfce lately. I don't know what it will be with Gnome now.
But seeing my 'tips'-link and what I see myself here it can be much better.
Don't let the handheld & tablet-market push Linux in the wrong direction.. Don't let them push at all..!
Clever manouvering will help the Linux-desk.)

I truly believe in Linux and Open Software as a whole. That's why Secure Boot sees Linux as malware.
It's big in handhelds already and now it has still also to grow in fine software and desktop! :wink:
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Re: LinuxMint12/Gnome3 Assessment

Postby motsteve on Tue Dec 13, 2011 3:55 pm

Believe me. I believe in Linux. I will do my best to promote it. Even though I have to guide people through the installation process to get them to the right point. Crickey! :D I don't give up easily!!!
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Re: LinuxMint12/Gnome3 Assessment

Postby rijnsma on Tue Dec 13, 2011 4:01 pm

:wink:
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Re: LinuxMint12/Gnome3 Assessment

Postby motsteve on Thu Dec 15, 2011 11:36 am

If UEFI is locked, I don't think Intel designed it to be so when they set the EFI standard. I would highly suspect Apple to be the perpetrator if it is. Look at the history of BIOS. Without the switches we would have been at the mercy of the hardware tyrants.

Without freedom, there is no future. :(
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Re: LinuxMint12/Gnome3 Assessment

Postby rijnsma on Thu Dec 15, 2011 11:54 am

You are partially right.
http://www.uefi.org/about/

So Linux can stay out of it and try to get hardware-guys installing switches.
Or Linux joins them en gets the necessary keys and variables. (Could be a problems with Open Software I understand?!)
Or some-one makes a hack.
http://www.networkworld.com/community/b ... against-wi

http://www.crn.com.au/News/280682,hacke ... newsletter
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Re: LinuxMint12/Gnome3 Assessment

Postby fnj on Wed Dec 21, 2011 8:45 am

Like the original poster I also have recently tried CentOS 6, Debian testing, Linux Mint Debian Edition 2011.09, OpenSuse 12.1, Scientific Linux 6, Ubuntu 2011.04, Xubuntu 2011.04, Linux Mint 12, and a lot of others - and have also tried Gnome2, Gnome3, KDE, Xfce, LXDE, MATE, and a lot of other DE's/WMs. I never used Mint 11, and haven't bothered with Ubuntu 11.10 because I am done with Ubuntu after the Unity fiasco.

Obviously, MATE is still in an early stage of development so it is silly to criticize it. It is a bold, ambitious, and promising development for the future, however. I never experienced OP's initial negative reaction to Gnome3 under Mint 12. I was already familiar with "normal" Gnome3 from Fedora 15 and 16, and knew it was completely unusable. However, like OP I found MGSE to make all the difference with Gnome3. It is now usable, in a way that no other distro makes possible. Gnome3 even with MGSE is still nowhere near as good as Gnome2; for example right click stupidly does nothing anywhere (a criticism of Gnome3, not MGSE). But with MGSE, Gnome3 now shows some real promise for the future, which is going to be important if MATE does not ever become fully developed and polished with continuing development and patch support (which is, let's face it, a tall order indeed).

Very great credit indeed is due to Mint for this release, including the important efforts that no other distro has made.
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