Let's Keep Mint Julia? on GNOME 2.x

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Lumenary
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Let's Keep Mint Julia? on GNOME 2.x

Post by Lumenary »

Hello Everyone,



I've been following the developments relating to GNOME 3 with quite a bit of interest, and must say that at present, I am not at all enthusiastic about the direction the GNOME organisation has taken.


My concerns can mostly be enumerated as follows:


1. It takes too many mouse clicks to switch to a different already-running application:

While the new GNOME 3 "Activities" menu would seem at first glance to be very similar to mintMenu, they are actually quite different. mintMenu is designed to be an unobtrusive application organiser and launcher, pure and simple. The GNOME 3 "Activities" menu, on the other hand, is designed to be the focal point of desktop/application management and control. Take application switching, for example. As it stands now, the preferred method for GNOME 3 would seem to be to:
  1. 1. Click on the "Activities" menu.
  • 2. Scroll through the list of favourite/open application icons. If the icon for your already-running application is not visible, click on a "More..." button.
  • 3. Click the application icon to bring it to the front.
Whatever happened to clicking once on a button situated within a taskbar? That would seem to be the "simple and elegant" solution (to me, at least). A demonstration of this method of desktop/application management can be seen on YouTube here:
  1. YouTube: GNOME 3: Gnome Shells
2. The GNOME developers seem to be pushing users to a "single-instance" paradigm:

If an application is already open, and you go to the "Activities" menu and click on its icon, the default action is to bring the already-running instance to the front, and not to open another instance of the application. You can open a second/third/etc. instance of your application, but a simple left-click or double-click won't get you there.

I don't know about you folks, but I often have more than one instance of each application I'm using open at the same time, and on the same workspace. You can read more about the GNOME organisation's rationale here:
  1. GNOME.org: GnomeShell/Tour:
3. Activating and de-activating the "Activities" menu is visually jarring and interrupts flow:

When you click on the "Activities" menu, your desktop "shrinks" to make room for the "Activities" menu. If you have more then one workspace open/defined, all desktops/workspaces are shown on-screen at the same time in a "tiled" format. All of these workspaces are arranged next to the "Activities" menu.

I use Compiz if I want this functionality, and I enable it when I need it. I don't want it shoved down my throat. This feature is demonstrated in the YouTube link given above.


4. GNOME.org wants to reduce use of competing technologies:

The fact that GNOME 3 breaks Compiz is one of the most hotly debated issues among those who count themselves part of the Free Desktop community. In fact, a careful reading of Lucas Rocha's blog almost seems to insinuate that the GNOME organisation no longer wants to be "overshadowed" (for want of a better term) by the way distro authors package desktop enhancements with their offerings:
  • Excerpted from "Notes on the Future of GNOME" at Lucas Rocha's blog (I underscored the parts I believe are the most pertinent to this discussion):
    1. Position is about where we place GNOME in the innovation ecosystem. So far, the relationship between GNOME and distributors is so that we release our official modules (organized inside the desktop, platform, admin, devtools and bindings suites) and distributors adapt and package those modules to integrate in their systems. Normally, they also add a bunch of modules that were (fully or partially) developed with GNOME platform but are not officially part of GNOME suites. Then, when everything is integrated and stable, distributors release their products with GNOME. This model has two interesting aspects.

      The first one is: GNOME is invisible to users. From end-users perspective, they are using Ubuntu, Fedora, openSUSE, Foresight, Debian, Gentoo, (add-your-favorite-distro-here) on their personal computers, not GNOME. (Note that I’m not talking about geeky users but about real end-users who don’t know much about technology). This is (and will be) even stronger on consumer products using GNOME platform such as internet tablets, cell phones, PDAs, etc. To verify that, just pretend you’re just an end-user and have a look at the websites of most of desktop distros: they talk about desktop but rarely mention GNOME. (Note that I’m not making any judgements about this here. I’m trying to just bring the fact to the table).

      The second aspect is that distributors redefine the user experience. Most of distributors change in some way the default GNOME desktop to fit and integrate nicely with their products. openSUSE has a completely different panel layout and use gnome-main-menu. Most of distros use Firefox instead of Epiphany. Latest releases of the major desktop distros ship with Compiz by default instead of Metacity. Also, they integrate desktop modules that are not directly provided by GNOME: Pidgin for instant messaging, Rhythmbox or Banshee for music management, F-Spot or GThumb for photo management, Beagle or Tracker for desktop search, and the long list continues.

      So, based on those aspects, what can we say? First: even with our current development process where we release suites of official modules to distributors, it’s not clear inside GNOME whether we are “user experience definers” or “component providers for custom user experiences”.
      ...

      This makes us stay in a unclear position: we kind of define the experience – but only on certain topics (this has a lot to do with the lack of a defined audience and our development process). That brings me the following questions:

      1. 1. Should GNOME be a “user experience definer” or “component provider”? Do we need to choose?
      • 2. Does the GNOME decisions about the official modules really matter? If so, at what level?

      My answers to those questions are:

      1. 1. We should be component providers – but in a special way. In my opinion, we should platformize the user experience in a way that our modules can be easily reused in different contexts or products. In practice, this means: providing highly configurable and pluggable core components; ... refreshed toolkit which embeds sexy UI elements and interactions; and more. In order to properly be component providers, we would need to provide a super-powerful platform though. ...
      • 2. Yes, our module decisions matter. But they only *really* matter if they are related either to platform or to the “core” desktop components (panel, session, nautilus, keyring, settings daemon, capplets, etc).

      So, in reality, the ecosystem around GNOME is demanding a lot of flexibility in the platform and desktop – specially from stakeholders producing mobile devices and other custom user experiences based on GNOME.
IMHO, Lucas has a pretty interesting view on what constitutes "flexibility." By redesigning the desktop in a way that breaks compatibility with a widely-used and highly-regarded technology, the GNOME organisation is reducing flexibility, not increasing it. The way I'm reading it, Lucas wants people to do lots of "sexy" stuff with GNOME, but would strongly prefer that this is done in a "GNOME-approved" way through the semi-exclusive use of their own technology. This is not how Open Source is supposed to work -- the FLOSS (Free/Libre` Open Source Software) philosophy has always been about providing more choice, not less -- and is understandably causing quite a backlash among hard-core Compiz aficionados:
  1. Stefano Forenza: Compiz is getting rapidly sick of Gnome:
5. Concerns over GNOME.org's roadmap are more widespread than is commonly realized:

KDE caused quite an uproar when it transitioned from 3.x to 4.x. The changes that the KDE organisation made to that desktop's infrastructure broke a lot of applications, and it took quite a while to fix things. However, they didn't go anywhere near as far in redesigning how users interact with their computers as the GNOME organisation is planning to go. Even in the latest KDE 4.3 environments, all of the familiar (some would say "dated" or "old-fashioned") elements are still there; things like:
  1. a main application menu/launcher,
  • an easily accessible taskbar/application switcher, and
  • a usable notification area
all still behave in the old, familiar way.

As much as people are often dazzled and impressed by flashy, new, whiz-bang features and capabilities, people also embrace consistency. After the "wow" factor wears off, the vast majority of users tone down the eye-candy and settle into a comfortable middle-ground between "completely bland" and "totally ostentatious." And I'm not the only one with these views; there have been many, many discussions as to whether the GNOME organisation is doing a Good Thing. Here are just a few:
  1. Desktop Design Drivel: My Thoughts on the GNOME Shell:
    1. http://desktopdesigndrivel.blogspot.com ... shell.html

So Clem and crew, if you're reading this, please take a good, long look at all sides of the GNOME 3 arguments before you jump in with all feet. Canonical may be targeting GNOME 3 as the default desktop environment for Ubuntu 10.10, but that doesn't mean that Linux Mint should follow blindly. Careful consideration needs to be taken to ensure that Linux Mint continues to be the premier, fully-integrated Open Source desktop distribution that it has become.



Sincerely and Best Regards,

Lumenary
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Last edited by Lumenary on Sun Jan 24, 2010 10:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Let's Keep Mint Julia? on GNOME 2.x

Post by slider »

Lumenary

Great post!

As an KDE user I can relate to your concerns. The KDE 4 is still not what it should be or could be, but perhaps will be given time. I still use KDE 3.5.10 (which I love), but I have tested a few 4.x and have not really been that impressed. Maybe in time? Hopefully!

Im not against new changes at all. I support them wholeheartedly, but Linux still needs to always be about freedom of choice in defining the way it works and how that work is accomplished, as well as by what.

For those of us that have the skills and patience, we can take and change things to work how we want regardless of what the larger developers do, but the average user is pretty much at the mercy of what they are given to use up into if or when they develop skills to change things as they want, even if that means compiling from scratch. Perhaps most people don't really care about this maybe?

I strongly believe that the general users voice should be counted and have the utmost importance given to it in all facets of the developmental phase. Ive seen, experienced and read far too many things about software that is so-called "deprecated" when in reality it is not. The truth is sometimes very swayed by popular opinion on this issue and decisions that are made are not always the best, which brings us back full circle to the question of freedom of choice namely in all things.

It is my hope that smarter minds than me will make the right choices as per what decisions to make and to what. I still hope and feel that everyone will have some kind of voice in this regardless of who they are. Only time will tell. Let us all make our voices heard as best that we can.

Thank you again for your very informative post!

S
"In the beginning of a change the patriot is a scarce man, brave and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds the timid join him for then it costs nothing to be a patriot."
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Re: Let's Keep Mint Julia? on GNOME 2.x

Post by emorrp1 »

Even if you disagree about the direction Gnome 3 is taking, sticking with Gnome 2 is not really an option, for the same reason that none of the major distros are sticking with KDE 3, it won't be supported for long and will certainly not get any new interesting features. Gnome 3 is an inevitability, in the same way that KDE 4 was. Ultimately your only concerns (at least the only ones you've voiced) are with gnome-shell, not with Gnome 3 as a whole, which brings with it other magnificent things like Zeitgeist. To me it seems you haven't actually tried it out and besides, it's only a window manager, you can just use a different one. As for the comment about user focused development, that's all very well in commercial software that needs users to like it, but free software is written and used by developers, and it's their own vision and unpopular decisions that have got us here. They're all giving it away for free, so it's up to them how much they listen to user feedback, so don't try and tell them what to do, make suggestions instead - it's up to you to convince them to listen to you. Right, as for the points:

1) NO, the activities button is a hot-corner, so simply flinging your mouse to it will activate it, no extra button click and you can filter it if necessary if you have too many windows open, which you can't do with the taskbar (it only seems simple because you're used to it). You can still use alt-tab. You can also click directly on the image of the window in the workspace (expose style), which is definitely an improvement.

2) The whole point seems to make it easier for people to use workspaces efficiently, and since many applications can use tabs now (particularly the file manager), there is *generally* little need to have multiple instances of an application for any given desktop activity. The single click focus is necessary to achieve (1.3) above in order to not require more mouse clicks to switch between apps.

3) Yes, I'll agree with this one, but remember you don't have to click the Activities button.

4) ok, but to be fair, you can still use compiz as an alternative to gnome-shell. And if many people want to use some compiz effects on top of gnome-shell, then I'm sure someone will step up and either restore compatibility or port them to mutter. As for your point about choice, if you want absolute control, you'd at least start with KDE, since Gnome has always had a history of less customisability.

5) It depends what you mean by commonly.

Overall, yes the gnome-shell is controversial and different, but gnome-shell is just the window manager, Gnome 3 is much more than that. On the other hand, one of the changes Mint went with was a single lower panel, rather than the upstream dual panels, to make it friendlier to switchers, so it's entirely possible that Clem decides gnome-shell doesn't fit with his idea of Mint, but that doesn't mean we should live without the other benefits Gnome 3 brings.
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Re: Let's Keep Mint Julia? on GNOME 2.x

Post by Lumenary »

Hello Again!



Sorry about the delay in replying; the Holidays have quite caught up with me... :-)

emorrp1 wrote:Even if you disagree about the direction Gnome 3 is taking, sticking with Gnome 2 is not really an option, for the same reason that none of the major distros are sticking with KDE 3, it won't be supported for long and will certainly not get any new interesting features.
I disagree... Open Source projects are forked all the time. There are quite a few distros still shipping with KDE 3.5. And while the official KDE organisation may not be actively developing the 3.x branch, there is nothing keeping anyone else from doing so, as long as they abide by the requisite OSS licensing guidelines for each component.

emorrp1 wrote:Gnome 3 is an inevitability, in the same way that KDE 4 was.
Not at all... I have found nothing written by the GNOME organisation that stipulates that anyone who wants to adopt GNOME as his/her desktop of choice has to use Gnome 3. That's the beauty of the FLOSS philosophy, which states that you should be free to use what's best for you, not what other people believe is best for you.

emorrp1 wrote:Ultimately your only concerns (at least the only ones you've voiced) are with gnome-shell, not with Gnome 3 as a whole, which brings with it other magnificent things like Zeitgeist.
On this point, yes, I would agree with you. While the underlying technology may be sound, the Gnome Shell's User Interface Guidelines are in my opinion attempting to solve problems that don't exist.

emorrp1 wrote:... As for the comment about user focused development, that's all very well in commercial software that needs users to like it, but free software is written and used by developers, and it's their own vision and unpopular decisions that have got us here. They're all giving it away for free, so it's up to them how much they listen to user feedback, so don't try and tell them what to do, make suggestions instead - it's up to you to convince them to listen to you.
Which is exactly why I wrote my original post. I decided that it was time to bring attention to the fact that Gnome 3 is on the horizon, and that not everyone likes the direction the GNOME organisation has taken with its User Interface Guidelines. The GNOME organisation is planning on releasing Gnome 3 for "general consumption" about nine months from now (in September, 2010), so it will probably be included with Ubuntu 10.10 "M-xxx M-yyy." So now is the time for Clem and Crew to start thinking about what they want to do with Linux Mint when they start working on what will probably be called "Julia" (just guessing on my part) upon its release next November...

emorrp1 wrote:Right, as for the points:

1) NO, the activities button is a hot-corner, so simply flinging your mouse to it will activate it, no extra button click and you can filter it if necessary if you have too many windows open, which you can't do with the taskbar (it only seems simple because you're used to it). You can still use alt-tab. You can also click directly on the image of the window in the workspace (expose style), which is definitely an improvement.
Actually, it's both, but that's splitting hairs. The point is that the "Activities" menu greatly changes the icon/window management formula. However, the vast majority of the desktop-using public is much more accustomed to the "click an icon, get a new window" paradigm. Once people become comfortable with a given process, they rarely want to take the time to learn a new one. The best thing that the Gnome 3 organisation could do, in this instance, is follow the FLOSS philosophy and offer people a choice.

emorrp1 wrote:2) The whole point seems to make it easier for people to use workspaces efficiently, and since many applications can use tabs now (particularly the file manager), there is *generally* little need to have multiple instances of an application for any given desktop activity. The single click focus is necessary to achieve (1.3) above in order to not require more mouse clicks to switch between apps.
That may be so. However, if, for example, I want to have two or three instances of the GNOME Calculator running (as I sometimes do), that's my choice. I should be able to go to an application icon, click it (or double-click it, if I prefer), and get another instance. IMHO, consistency is defined not by how many instances of a given app are open at once, or where they're situated vis-a-vis workspaces, but by how the various aspects of the user interface behave at arbitrary points in time. I shouldn't need to burn extra mental calories remembering that a left-click opens an app the first time around, then switches to it the second, therefore requiring me to throw out my brain's in-built branch prediction. Clicking or double-clicking a launcher should provide the same result, every time.

As for the "single click focus" you mentioned, there are very few constructs out there that provide for a more efficient application selection and switching method than a simple panel or taskbar.

emorrp1 wrote:3) Yes, I'll agree with this one, but remember you don't have to click the Activities button.
No, a person doesn't have to click the "Activities" button, but since the "Activities" menu is designed to be focal point of desktop management, that's where I am probably going to go whenever I need to start new tasks or interact with running ones.

emorrp1 wrote:4) ok, but to be fair, you can still use compiz as an alternative to gnome-shell. And if many people want to use some compiz effects on top of gnome-shell, then I'm sure someone will step up and either restore compatibility or port them to mutter. As for your point about choice, if you want absolute control, you'd at least start with KDE, since Gnome has always had a history of less customisability.
Yes, but since Gnome Shell is also responsible for providing such UI elements like the top panel, access to the "Activities" menu, etc., enabling Compiz results in the loss of core desktop functionality. One must remember that Compiz is a window/desktop manager, and window/desktop manager only, and does not provide user interface elements of its own.

With regard to "choice" and "absolute control," it should be noted that GNOME and KDE are targeted at two quite different user communities. I would consider KDE to be like a heavily customized (and customizable) street racer, where each and every component in the automobile has been tuned and modified to the user's tastes, while GNOME would be more like your standard, off-the-assembly-line sports sedan. (To continue my line of thinking, Windows would equate to a standard mid-sized SUV or family van, while Apple's OS X would represent the upscale luxury market.) Even so, all of these automobiles are driven in pretty much the same way: steering wheel, fuel pedal, brakes, transmission. The GNOME developers, however, seem intent on replacing their car's standard controls with something more akin to a helicopter's cyclic, collective, and torque-rotor pedals:
emorrp1 wrote:5) It depends what you mean by commonly.

Overall, yes the gnome-shell is controversial and different, but gnome-shell is just the window manager, Gnome 3 is much more than that. On the other hand, one of the changes Mint went with was a single lower panel, rather than the upstream dual panels, to make it friendlier to switchers, so it's entirely possible that Clem decides gnome-shell doesn't fit with his idea of Mint, but that doesn't mean we should live without the other benefits Gnome 3 brings.
I would say that 419 comments on Slashdot about Gnome 3 (see my original post) and 54 pages -- in a single thread -- about the Gnome Shell alone (Ubuntu Forums):
would qualify as "commonly." While some of these discussion threads (including ones mentioned in my original post) are now closed, others are still quite active, and you can bet that this topic will be getting a lot more visibility as we get closer to September, 2010.

As far as what Clem and Crew are thinking, it would be interesting, to be sure, to hear/read their thoughts on this matter... :-)



Best Regards,

Lumenary
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Re: Let's Keep Mint Julia? on GNOME 2.x

Post by linuxviolin »

Lumenary, I'm with you about Gnome 3. Gnome Shell may be the next crap after plasma in KDE. I fear Gnome 3 will be the next big failure after KDE 4... although since 4.3 KDE seems to be more usable. For me Gnome (2) is the better desktop for now. But there is no desktops really good, excellent, unfortunately... Another example of the sorry state of the open-source, now and probably at least in the near future...

About the menu, I like the traditional Gnome menu. That's all. (and the "classic" dual-panel design, the best design)

After the release of Gnome 3, maybe the only possible choice, by spite, will be to go with Xfce, whatever the mess it may be... Or try to force ourselves to like KDE anyway. We must use something, right? (or maybe move to Windows...?)
Last edited by linuxviolin on Mon Jan 18, 2010 2:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Let's Keep Mint Julia? on GNOME 2.x

Post by emorrp1 »

similarly, linuxviolin, do you mean gnome 3 or gnome-shell?
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Re: Let's Keep Mint Julia? on GNOME 2.x

Post by Snydar »

Lumenary wrote: I should be able to go to an application icon, click it (or double-click it, if I prefer), and get another instance.
I've installed gnome-shell and given it a little testing... and feel pretty mixed about it, but it takes a while to get used to something new, and because I feel more comfortable without it, I haven't given it much of a chance... but that aside...

If you are using an application now... and want to use multiple instances of the application... do you go into the mintMenu, find the application entry and click it, reopen the menu, find the application and click it? If so, then the gnome shell might cause some nausea. (Repeatedly using the hot corner may cause motion sickness, lol)

I see that the GNOME Calculator does not have an option in its own File menu to open another instance, so that may be the only option for that application (which is very outdated compared to most applications these days), but it seems more natural to me to open new instances of an application from the applications own File menu... which most of the time is simply able to be done by pressing CTRL + N. That would be more direct than using the mintMenu and gnome shell.

For this reason it makes perfect sense to me that clicking an icon for an already running application, and it bringing you to the already open instance of the application. This is the case with most dock applications also. If an application is running, and that application is not on the top of the screen to access its file menu... then clicking on the icon for that application will bring you up to that application, which from there is where you would choose if you want a new instance of such application. I don't see what it so counter-intuitive about that. I actually would even prefer that to be the case now with the current menu in Gnome, opening the menu and clicking an already running program will switch you back to that application, and you can choose to open another copy there.

In the new gnome shell, if you already have an instance of an application, the title will have a blue texture under it. If you notice that and for example want another firefox window, you have at least 2 options. Left click the icon, go into the menu in firefox, and open a new window (from either the file menu or CTRL + N). Or, just right click the icon in the gnome shell, and run a new window from there. But I do see your point that if you go to the hot corner, and already have firefox open, why would you click on the icon instead of clicking on the application open in one of your desktops? But opening an extra copy of an application accidentally would be more annoying than getting focused on the already window you forgot about, and using that window, or opening a new instance from that application.

I do agree though, that I don't want options forced down my throat... but in playing with gnome shell, I really think that a new user, or a convert from another OS would find it fresh and enjoyable to use. But it is hard to give up the current way of doing things.

I'm curious to see how it evolves, and once it does (maybe) get forced down our throats, and we give it an honest chance, it might not be half bad... I also like the bar how it is and using Compiz makes me plenty happy and efficient. Only time will tell how things evolve. :)
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Re: Let's Keep Mint Julia? on GNOME 2.x

Post by linuxviolin »

emorrp1 wrote:similarly, linuxviolin, do you mean gnome 3 or gnome-shell?
More or less both... But yes, in my last post and in response to Lumenary, I talked principally about Gnome Shell, the "new desktop design" of Gnome 3... :x

"the other benefits Gnome 3 brings."? Hmm... None or almost... Unfortunately, I guess I'll have to/be forced to go to Xfce... against my will or maybe, like I said in my first post, try to force myself to like KDE 4 anyway :twisted:

P.S.= Just for the record, I do not care of the problems with Compiz, I hate it and I do not use it!
Last edited by linuxviolin on Mon Jan 18, 2010 2:22 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Let's Keep Mint Julia? on GNOME 2.x

Post by Aevum »

Just wanted ro thank for such an interesting post (And related replies)
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Re: Let's Keep Mint Julia? on GNOME 2.x

Post by Lumenary »

Hello Again All,

linuxviolin wrote:Lumenary, I'm with you about Gnome 3. Gnome Shell may be the next crap after plasma in KDE. I fear Gnome 3 will be the next big failure after KDE 4... although since 4.3 KDE seems to be more usable.
I've been playing around with KDE 4.3.x and I - for the most part - don't have any problems with it. It's quite stable and very quick on reasonably modern hardware. It still does have a rather large memory footprint, though. I would not run it on anything with less than 2 GB of system RAM and a discrete video card with less than 128MB of on-board RAM.

linuxviolin wrote:For me Gnome (2) is the better desktop for now. But there is no desktops really good, excellent, unfortunately... Another example of the sorry state of the open-source, now and probably at least in the near future...
One must keep in mind that in the FLOSS (Free/Libre` Open Source Software) world, "choice" by necessity breeds market fragmentation (and vis-versa). Unfortunately, such market fragmentation tends to reduce consensus and can (potentially) dilute the developer talent pool, so stability is often sacrificed in the race to be the first with some new "best! thing! ever!" feature.

Some people would say that KDE's transition from 3.x to 4.x is a classic example of this, but I disagree. The KDE organisation warned its user community well in advance that KDE 4.0 would break many things in its effort to streamline the technology wrapped around its desktop. But it was also prescient enough to not rework the desktop in such a way that it would change into something unfamiliar and distracting. This, in my mind, is the difference right now between the KDE and GNOME organisations.

linuxviolin wrote:About the menu, I like the traditional Gnome menu. That's all. (and the "classic" dual-panel design, the best design)
Just to clarify, I wasn't talking about the GNOME "Start" menu (to borrow a euphemism from the Windows world).

The "global menu" to which I refer is a GNOME/XFCE applet that takes the "File - Edit - etc." menus at top of each application and moves them into the GNOME/XFCE panel. As you switch between applications, the menu options presented in the panel switch to those used by the application that currently has focus. This is the behaviour exhibited by Mac OS all the way back to the original Macintosh released in 1984, and to me is still the best way to handle application function menus. Having each application draw its own menu bar is - to me, at least - a waste of space and a bit counter-intuitive.

linuxviolin wrote:After the release of Gnome 3, maybe the only possible choice, by spite, will be to go with Xfce, whatever the mess it may be... Or try to force ourselves to like KDE anyway. We must use something, right? (or maybe move to Windows...?)
Agreed on the XFCE and/or KDE ideas, but I would rather move back to OS/2 Warp if I had to settle for a non-GNU/Linux OS. IBM is, after all, a huge contributor to and defender of the Open Source community (just look at how much money they've spent in court defending against the likes of SCO), so using IBM's proprietary desktop OS to me would be nowhere near as "evil" as falling back to Microsoft's... :-)



Best Regards,

Lumenary
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Re: Let's Keep Mint Julia? on GNOME 2.x

Post by linuxviolin »

Lumenary wrote:I've been playing around with KDE 4.3.x and I - for the most part - don't have any problems with it. It's quite stable and very quick on reasonably modern hardware. It still does have a rather large memory footprint, though. I would not run it on anything with less than 2 GB of system RAM and a discrete video card with less than 128MB of on-board RAM.
This is what I said: since 4.3, KDE could be "almost" a little usable. But for me, always not good... KDE4 is less usable than Win7 :roll:
Lumenary wrote:Unfortunately, such market fragmentation tends to reduce consensus and can (potentially) dilute the developer talent pool, so stability is often sacrificed in the race to be the first with some new "best! thing! ever!" feature
Stability and quality? Yes, currently they are often quite poor in the open-source world, unfortunately... :cry:

e.g.:
Even for the #1 DE (#1 in North America), that is GNOME, and despite the involvement of several IT companies (including RHAT), the development and the maintenance are barely decent. Hundreds of unfixed bugs since ages, even for simple software like Gedit! And, after how many years was the Compact view added to Nautilus? Plus, it was an individual effort -- none of the big companies ever bothered (and this includes RHAT).

It also takes/took ages for NetworkManager to be usable.

Outside the DE, OO.o is such a lame alternative to MS Office that it makes me puke -- enough to say that I have to switch the paper format from Letter to A4 for each and every new Writer document (MS Word has a single-click button that makes this option as default for the Default template; I couldn't find a way to do the same in oowriter). This is AN ELEMENTARY NEED and Microsoft figured out the proper solution decades ago: and here it is Too complex for the Sun/Novell/etc. guys who screw Oo.o, eh?

Linux is a better choice because it's free and flexible. Otherwise, its desktop-related components (being it about X.Org, GNOME, KDE, XFCE, major apps) are so bug-ridden that the single argument in their favor is this one: they're open source.

(...)

Companies can't fix this. Individuals can't fix this -- it looks like crazy individuals like you guys are only motivated by "bleeding-edge stuff", so NO ONE will volunteer for a MAINTENANCE task
(quote from a web post.)
Lumenary wrote:Just to clarify, I wasn't talking about the GNOME "Start" menu (to borrow a euphemism from the Windows world).

The "global menu" to which I refer is a GNOME/XFCE applet that takes the "File - Edit - etc." menus at top of each application and moves them into the GNOME/XFCE panel. As you switch between applications, the menu options presented in the panel switch to those used by the application that currently has focus. This is the behaviour exhibited by Mac OS all the way back to the original Macintosh released in 1984, and to me is still the best way to handle application function menus. Having each application draw its own menu bar is - to me, at least - a waste of space and a bit counter-intuitive.
Here I don't agree with you! Global menu is not my "cup of tea", to say the least...

I can't use a Mac, it's counter-intuitive to me, so I definitely DON'T want anyone to mimic anything from it.
Lumenary wrote:Agreed on the XFCE and/or KDE ideas, but I would rather move back to OS/2 Warp if I had to settle for a non-GNU/Linux OS. IBM is, after all, a huge contributor to and defender of the Open Source community (just look at how much money they've spent in court defending against the likes of SCO), so using IBM's proprietary desktop OS to me would be nowhere near as "evil" as falling back to Microsoft's... :-)
In fact, it's rather XFCE or LXDE, because, like I said at the beginning of this post, KDE4 is for me "not good". But this is not because XFCE is better, it's only because GNOME follows the KDE trend and gets worse and worse! (Chaotic and unthought "improvements".) LXDE has some advantages over XFCE, but overall I don't like it and it is a bit too simplistic for extensive use, XFCE has a lot more features.

With GNOME changing (for good or worse) exactly twice a year, and with GNOME 3 risking to ruin everything...
..one will look at Xubuntu in a couple of years (because Xubuntu customizes XFCE to "look like GNOME") and will say: "Hey, GNOME used to look like this! Now why is it looking like KDE?!" (Mandriva also customizes its XFCE to "look like GNOME", I guess) I mean : GNOME 2.x "spirit" of course, not the moving target and maybe soon unwanted GNOME... And the trouble is GNOME Shell is supposed to be pushed upstream and become at some point the default in all GNOME based distributions. It's not about just a distro screwing-up a release, but about the future of the desktop.
the real pattern is "design by committee". Even if it's not "by committee", the mere fact that 1-100 developers of a major DE can impose their "vision" to millions of users makes me think that the only disadvantage of Windows is that it's not free. The "open" in "open source" is useless -- who can afford to maintain a fork/branch of a project, once its developers get high and take wrong decisions? NOBODY. (As in "nobody adopted KDE3 for further maintaining".)

I hate the open source developers who are always high and trying to "invent things" nobody asked for.
(quote from another web post.)

The only "beneficial" consequence of GNOME Shell and other frightening novelties in GNOME 3 is that it pushes me seriously into XFCE (with a look & feel pretty much like GNOME 2.x as in e.g. Xubuntu)

P.S.= Just for the record, despite of this post, and other in the forum, my computers are Linux only for now. But in the (next?) future, who say? This could change... maybe: "should the XFCE developers start eating the wrong kind of mushrooms, then" "maybe I can" "definitely go for Windows 7 (8, 9...), because""like I said at the beginning of this post" "KDE4 is less usable than Win7" and there will not desktop usable...
K.I.S.S. ===> "Keep It Simple, Stupid"
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"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler." (Albert Einstein)
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Re: Let's Keep Mint Julia? on GNOME 2.x

Post by waldo »

I can't use a Mac, it's counter-intuitive to me, so I definitely DON'T want anyone to mimic anything from it.
The above statement is one of the reasons that designers of computer functionality should be wary of advice from computer experts. Every non-expert computer user I have ever known that switches from Windows to a Mac, would never switch back. "More intuitive" is what they cite first. If over 90% of computer users are non-expert, then it is those people that need to be heeded. Computer experts tend to be very linear in their thinking (an asset in programming), but that is not how the non-technical person perceives his environment. The KDE and Gnome designers are beginning to make clumsy steps to adjust their designs to the more common user. There is more work to be done.
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Re: Let's Keep Mint Julia? on GNOME 2.x

Post by linuxviolin »

waldo wrote:Every non-expert computer user I have ever known that switches from Windows to a Mac, would never switch back. "More intuitive" is what they cite first.
Hmm, maybe, but personally I know several non-expert people who prefer Windows to Mac... :wink: And I know, listen, see and help several/many people around me (without talk about posts or articles around the web) and I can say many people are... "morons"! :lol: (truth but/and humorous)

Another example. In Windows XP the default theme was also for "morons". I never understood how sane people could use it. I always hated it and always replaced with a "look like Windows 2000" theme.

Don't misunderstand me and please note the quotes because I don't say this aggressively, at the contrary :D... and I include also some good friends and family members (they know me... lol) :) :lol:
K.I.S.S. ===> "Keep It Simple, Stupid"
"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." (Leonardo da Vinci)
"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler." (Albert Einstein)
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Re: Let's Keep Mint Julia? on GNOME 2.x

Post by Lumenary »

Hello Again! :-)


linuxviolin wrote:
waldo wrote:Every non-expert computer user I have ever known that switches from Windows to a Mac, would never switch back. "More intuitive" is what they cite first.
Hmm, maybe, but personally I know several non-expert people who prefer Windows to Mac...
I guess a large part of people's preferences in this regard relates to exposure and experience.


Personally, I am comfortable with both the Apple and Microsoft operating systems, but I don't "prefer" one over the other. Rather, I like certain individual design points from each product: If I could have Mac OS X's global menu bar, with Windows' right-click/context menu capability, combined with OS/2 Warp's object-oriented shadow/metadata features and Compiz-Fusion's compositing capabilities, all wrapped-up in a multitouch-capable interface, I would be in GUI Heaven! ;-)

linuxviolin wrote:And I know, listen, see and help several/many people around me (without talk about posts or articles around the web) and I can say many people are... "morons"! :lol: (truth but/and humorous)
The word "morons" is a bit harsh, but unfortunately, it is true that there are a lot of people out there who just do not seem to get along well with computers. I think that one of the biggest problems is teaching users how to convert "real-life" concepts into their computing counterparts, and how to apply the same thought processes to these objects.


Some users' inability to deal with filesystem concepts, for example, are indicative of the kinds of issues that software and UI designers face. I know many people who have trouble navigating disk drive "folders" (subdirectories) and organising files within them, even though managing both is conceptually identical to walking over to a filing cabinet and sifting through "real" folders and sheets of paper.


One of the GNOME organisation's design goals is to move people away from the "folder/file" paradigm through the use of file tagging and metadata, but I am not sure that is going to work. I've worked with a bunch of people who have GMail accounts and who use it's "message tagging" feature.


Message tagging is supposed to let one attach multiple short descriptions to each message, thereby allowing a given message to exist in a number of different, arbitrary "categories" at the same time. However, it has been my experience that people don't use object tagging in this way. It seems that many people aren't comfortable with the idea that something can be made to exist in two (or more) "places" at once.


For example, from what I have seen, most GMail users start off making tag categories like:

  • - Banking and Utility
  • - Jokes and Humor
  • - Personal Messages
but then sub-divide the categories like this:

  • - Banking and Utility - Cell Phone Alerts
  • - Banking and Utility - Checking Account Alerts
  • - Banking and Utility - Electric Company Alerts
  • - Banking and Utility - Mortgage Alerts
  • - Jokes and Humor
  • - Personal Messages - Aunt Julie
  • - Personal Messages - Mom and Dad
  • - Personal Messages - Uncle Bob
as messages continue to arrive. Of course, GMail doesn't allow one to create real "nested categories." You have to build them by appending a sub-category to each primary category. But it should be obvious at first glance that the above scheme follows the "nested folder/file" paradigm:

  • - Banking and Utility
    • - Cell Phone Alerts
    • - Checking Account Alerts
    • - Electric Company Alerts
    • - Mortgage Alerts
  • - Jokes and Humor
  • - Personal Messages
    • - Aunt Julie
    • - Mom and Dad
    • - Uncle Bob
That's why I don't think Gnome Shell is going to solve any real usability problems, and has a much larger chance of introducing a whole set of new ones.

linuxviolin wrote:Another example. In Windows XP the default theme was also for "morons". I never understood how sane people could use it. I always hated it and always replaced with a "look like Windows 2000" theme.


I do the same thing; my PC at work - which runs Windows XP - is set to use the "Windows Classic" theme. However, even the default Windows XP theme is much more similar to the "Windows Classic" theme than the GNOME 3/Gnome Shell desktop is to the GNOME 2 desktop.



Best Regards,

Lumenary
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Re: Let's Keep Mint Julia? on GNOME 2.x

Post by waldo »

Another example. In Windows XP the default theme was also for "morons". I never understood how sane people could use it. I always hated it and always replaced with a "look like Windows 2000" theme.
This is an example of much of the problem with Linux. What we read here in this statement is technical snobbery. You put yourself above people who could care less about the theme of Windows XP. Of course you can claim you jest, but it is not really jesting if the thought even occurs to you that they are not sane or morons, or that you can call them such, even if in "jest".

Like you, I prefer the "classic" theme; it's, to me, less intrusive. But I do recognize that the great majority of Windows XP users just leave it at the default, and they really don't care, or that really like it. So what? My job, as a professional computer expert is to help them have a good experience with their computers. They buy my expertise, so that they can contribute their expertise in whatever field they undertake. Most of my clients know lots of stuff about things I know nothing.

Until the "Linux Community" respects and empathizes with the normal everyday computer user, Linux will remain a hobby, an exercise in mutual mental masturbation. Just a few programmers showing each other how clever they are. It's sad, really.
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Re: Let's Keep Mint Julia? on GNOME 2.x

Post by linuxviolin »

waldo wrote:What we read here in this statement is technical snobbery.
No, it's common sense, usability etc you know, a very large portion of people are "morons" as related to computers. They do not know much about computers and about the use... humm, most do not know, not really, install a software or configure it and just use it with the defaults, do not know actually use their computer, or organize it (just look in their PCs to be afraid ...), can/know not maintain it (do not tell them about defragmentation or cookies for instance, they do not know what they are) etc So, the theme? What is this? They do not know what it is and simply they use the tool (computer or other) given to them in the state as they are given to them, with the default theme (they like it? Often not really, but they don't take care and/or don't know how neither it's possible to change it) etc. without thinking or asking questions. And yet it is not necessary to be a professional, it is often enough just to use his/her brain and think a little, but it's surprising how people, even sometimes quite intelligent, can become totally "morons" front of a computer, quite inspiring...

This is just some examples and not just related to computers... but this is another story. In fact, you know, I'm often very sad about the state of people, "modern" society etc. Like the open source currently, many things are in "a sorry state", really. Very sad. :cry:

Snobbery? Absolutely not! And I don't "put myself above people", not at all. If you knew me you would see that this is not my style. :)

P.S.= Just for the record, I am not a professional in computers or programming or other, but I know about correctly use a computer :lol: (little joke)
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Re: Let's Keep Mint Julia? on GNOME 2.x

Post by waldo »

The more you rant, the more you make my point.

You don't have a clue as to how your words look to an outsider reading them.
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Re: Let's Keep Mint Julia? on GNOME 2.x

Post by linuxviolin »

waldo wrote:The more you rant, the more you make my point.
No but if you want and if you can be happy, ok you are right... :roll:
waldo wrote:You don't have a clue as to how your words look to an outsider reading them.
Humm, I prefer just say nothing. But I would just copy what I said here about developers and other in the open source world, although of course I do not make some generality:
I'm sorry if my words now are a little "rude", harsh but I must say it when I see some reactions from some/many people, developers (or not) of the open source world when you criticize the work of the "marvelous developers", when you get "attacked", sometimes almost insulted, because you have the misfortune to criticize "what they do for you in their spare time": "Microsoft's developers are more polite and less arrogant than the open-source developers. With closed-source software, the top management is arrogant, not the developers per se."
Finally, I think we should stop here, right? :wink:
K.I.S.S. ===> "Keep It Simple, Stupid"
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"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler." (Albert Einstein)
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Re: Let's Keep Mint Julia? on GNOME 2.x

Post by Kaye »

waldo wrote:The more you rant, the more you make my point.

You don't have a clue as to how your words look to an outsider reading them.
You're ranting more than he is. He's correct in most of his points and I don't even know what point you're trying to make. I'm an outsider reading the words and I don't see anything wrong with what he's saying.
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Re: Let's Keep Mint Julia? on GNOME 2.x

Post by Midnighter »

personally, I'm not a fan of hat appears to be a "complete" change in the way Gnome works. It seems to be changing for the sake of changing. Most of this is unnecessary. Where has it been asked for all this change? Over the top in my opinion.
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