Why I do not use Gnome anymore

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Re: Why I do not use Gnome anymore

Postby Danielsan » 2017-03-21 16:10

https://igurublog.wordpress.com/2012/11 ... in-threes/

Very interesting article which explains very well something we had been watching by ourselves. It's comic because they made one of the worst UX ever, the Elementary team with less people and without a sponsor did better. They acted as a corporation but they aren't so they were able to failed many goals. Even if they had the advantage to use a open source model they missed the goal to create a very strong UX (it's a pain that you can slightly fixing only with the extensions) exactly how happened to M$ twice with Vista and W8; and because they use the open source model (It means moving slowly) they missed the goals to unify UX experience across all the devices: exactly like Canonical but nor like Microsoft. So eventually they focused only on the HiDPI stuff where arrived before the others DE.
This is the sad epilogue of Gnome 3... :roll:
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Re: Why I do not use Gnome anymore

Postby dasein » 2017-03-21 17:27

Obligatory link to DistroWatch's "preview" of GNOME 4 (from 2012): http://bit.ly/2nOZsOC
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Re: Why I do not use Gnome anymore

Postby pylkko » 2017-03-21 17:30

I have noticed that people have very strong feelings about these user interfaces. I think it is odd as there are (in my opinion) practically no real differences between them. If you take away the indexing/desktop database (and some animations) from KDE or GNOME 3 they essentially become XFCE and MATE. I get it if you are working with a small amount of RAM, then LXDE/XFCE might make more sense. But other than that? At the end of the day, how radically different can a Desktop ever be? It will always need to do the same things: launch applications and display information like clock and notifications. And because there are not so many different ways to do that, DE's are all almost identical...
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Re: Why I do not use Gnome anymore

Postby wizard10000 » 2017-03-21 17:41

pylkko wrote:If you take away the indexing/desktop database (and some animations) from KDE or GNOME 3 they essentially become XFCE and MATE.


I disable akonadi (I don't use any KDE PIM applications) and baloo (which works not nearly as quickly as locate but at least it takes up a hell of a lot of disk space).

The 64-bit KDE installation on my tablet uses ~400MB of RAM at idle. I've got a fairly lean 32-bit openbox installation that uses > 100MB at idle and a pair of 64-bit openbox machines that use about 225MB just sitting there.

Considering the configurability of KDE that extra 175MB of RAM is IMO worth the price of admission. I don't care so much about RAM usage on desktop environments, but I do care about processor cycles. Openbox on a tablet would be just almost as bad as GNOME on a tablet.

Or a desktop PC.

Or a laptop.

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Re: Why I do not use Gnome anymore

Postby Danielsan » 2017-03-21 18:10

pylkko wrote:I have noticed that people have very strong feelings about these user interfaces. I think it is odd as there are (in my opinion) practically no real differences between them [...] DE's are all almost identical...


It seems you never tried Gnome Shell, by default you can access on your applications only from the Activities button as well as for the virtual desktop, there's no menu so you have to scroll icons as a tablet or to type the name, the dash bar is visible only when you press Activities button, the panel shows only the active window, the minimize and maximize buttons are disabled, the notification area is in the middle and you can't move it, by default from the status menu are missing important function like suspend or hibernate (I don't remember very well).

You are minimizing without apparently reasons that Gnome 3, Gnome 2, Mate or Xfce4 are eventually almost identical but you are lying, even using gnome-tweak-tools and the other extensions Gnome 3 has many gaps respect the others and if you switch to Fallback/Classic mode you are unable to replicate the same Gnome 2 UX. How it is impossible to replicate the common or the standard DE paradigm with Gnome 3, I preferred moving on Xfce4, but because of it now we have Mate, Cinnamon, Pantheon and Budgie, please...
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Re: Why I do not use Gnome anymore

Postby pylkko » 2017-03-21 18:43

Danielsan wrote:It seems you never tried Gnome Shell,


I use it every day. And XFCE and LXDE almost every day.

by default you can access on your applications only from the Activities button as well as for the virtual desktop, there's no menu so you have to scroll icons as a tablet or to type the name, the dash bar is visible only when you press Activities button, the panel shows only the active window, the minimize and maximize buttons are disabled, the notification area is in the middle and you can't move it, by default from the status menu are missing important function like suspend or hibernate (I don't remember very well).


So? Why would I care where the notification area is? Why would I want to have a menu of applications? On the right side of the shell where you select your network/vpn/bluetooth etc. there is a power button that when you click it asks if you want to suspend, reboot or poweroff. And you can change the suspend to be hibernate. But again I don't care about that... all desktop environments have that.

You are minimizing without apparently reasons that Gnome 3, Gnome 2, Mate or Xfce4 are eventually almost identical but you are lying, even using gnome-tweak-tools and the other extensions Gnome 3 has many gaps respect the others and if you switch to Fallback/Classic mode you are unable to replicate the same Gnome 2 UX. How it is impossible to replicate the common or the standard DE paradigm with Gnome 3, I preferred moving on Xfce4, but because of it now we have Mate, Cinnamon, Pantheon and Budgie, please...


Please don't say I'm lying. Look if you want to spend time customizing and tweaking, then maybe use another DE. If you are like me and just want to use programs to do real stuff, then I don't see how what you are saying has any kind of relevance. I use three different DE environments, they all work for me. Even Windows Vista UI (that you apparently also "hate") worked for me. Actually, it quite reminds me of KDE. You say that you don't use GNOME 3 because it is bad, but it sounds more like you decided that it has to be bad, and therefore you say that you don't use it. But it is not bad.
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Re: Why I do not use Gnome anymore

Postby Danielsan » 2017-03-21 19:28

I am sorry, I wouldn't be impolite.

However I feel you are doing confusion is some part, the fact you feel comfortable with Gnome 3 doesn't mean it works well or it has a better UX, or eventually all the DE are pretty identical is not true, by default Gnome 3 is closer to Android than Gnome 2.

We can say a better UI/UX is when you do the same thing syou did before with less effort and indisputably it is not the case of Gnome 3, it inherited the beginning concept to have an UI usable across different devices like tablets. And if you consider that spending time, not to tweak, but to revert the UI in order to have a better UX is a virtue I am sorry because it isn’t. It’s only the demonstration that your UI/UX is not so good as to change your habit without breaking it.

Probably Gnome 3 UI/UX fit well on a large tablet even if after most of the applications aren’t suitable in that scenario (exactly like happens with Unity), but honestly Gnome 3 UI/UX do not work well in a desktop and you don’t use either the default setting because is not practical, and why? Because you have to do many clicks more than before for many common tasks, and this is a fact not an opinion.
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Re: Why I do not use Gnome anymore

Postby acewiza » 2017-03-21 19:49

I think it's funny how people on forums like this are always trying to explore new material for their confirmation bias. They find something they don't like for whatever reason, and make a poo-poo posts about it to see if they can get people to either agree with them, or flame the ones who don't. Hilarious. :lol:
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Re: Why I do not use Gnome anymore

Postby pylkko » 2017-03-21 20:09

One thing that is good about GNOME is that you don't need to use a mouse at all (zero clicks). Want to open an application? Press super and type the beginning of its name.. want to open a doc you were using yesterday? Same thing.
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Re: Why I do not use Gnome anymore

Postby Danielsan » 2017-03-21 20:35

pylkko wrote:One thing that is good about GNOME is that you don't need to use a mouse at all (zero clicks). Want to open an application? Press super and type the beginning of its name.. want to open a doc you were using yesterday? Same thing.


Cool, that exists since at least twenty years to be short... :roll:
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Re: Why I do not use Gnome anymore

Postby pylkko » 2017-03-22 05:32

Danielsan wrote:
pylkko wrote:One thing that is good about GNOME is that you don't need to use a mouse at all (zero clicks). Want to open an application? Press super and type the beginning of its name.. want to open a doc you were using yesterday? Same thing.

Cool, that exists since at least twenty years to be short... :roll:

What? Why are you saying that? Why do you think it is relevant how many years it exists? You claimed that Gnome makes everything hard to do.
We can say a better UI/UX is when you do the same thing syou did before with less effort and indisputably it is not the case of Gnome 3


And that XFCE is better. Now I pointed out how ridiculously easy it is to do things on GNOME. You should not be concentrating on years but on showing how much less effort is needed to do those things on XFCE.
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Re: Why I do not use Gnome anymore

Postby Roel63 » 2017-03-22 13:09

The only problem I had in Gnome 3 is that it can't do without Evolution.

Or has that changed?
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Re: Why I do not use Gnome anymore

Postby Danielsan » 2017-03-22 13:15

@ pylkko

Really I don't get you... What you claim as "ridiculously easy to do" has any connection with UI/UX or tweaking them...
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Re: Why I do not use Gnome anymore

Postby mor » 2017-03-22 14:17

I think this discussion would benefit from separating the ideological/political and technical/functional aspects of this matter.
To find out whether Gnome devs are right or wrong in their ways, is in fact unrelated to finding out whether Gnome 3.x is a good or bad interface.

Don't get me wrong, how Gnome is and functions is a direct expression of how Gnome devs think, there's no denying that, however a finished interface should be evaluated on its usability, intuitiveness etc., rather than how its devs think and behave.
Not in absolute, because how it came to be can be as important, if not more, a reason to like or dislike it, but still Gnome should not be regarded as a good or bad interface just because having brand identity as a priority is a good or bad thing.

User interfaces can be "measured" in a fairly objective way in regard to their usability and intuitiveness and their general ease of use. I'm not aware of any comprehensive study about Gnome as a UI, however, regardless of that, I think it is important for us when we discuss Gnome merits or demerits as a UI, not as a project, to get it right and not try to bend it to something else.

For example imagine a hammer with a circular handle, regardless of whether it is better or worse for hammering, one should not say it doesn't work because he puts it around his arm and tries to hit a nail while twirling it like a hula hoop.
There's a way to handle it, it is different, it may or may not be better, but using it wrong is not a fair evaluation.

Similarly, trying to bend Gnome 3.x to look and behave like 2.x or trying to accomplish a task "the old way" and failing, is not a fair determination of it being bad.

I happen to be one of those who, as long time Gnome users, found the transition to the Shell an improvement over the 2.x desktop that I loved so much. I'll admit, at first I was instinctively trying to use 3.x the way I used 2.x, but then I figured that it wasn't meant to be used that way, and when I embraced instead of fighting it, was all better: my workflow was streamlined and now, years after that transition, I can honestly say that I like Gnome even more.
The interface that is.

Do I like the way Gnome devs are doing things? Mmh, that I don't.
I agree that they have been jerks (even though it was perfectly in their rights) to the community of users who've been left orphans of their DE of choice without appeal and I think that this whole idea of trying to uniform the Desktop identity is worrisome to say the least.
I also think that the fact I am liking the interface doesn't make it objectively good, and I do not think that if those who don't like it would try as I did they would like it too, because I know they are different and have different needs.

I'll tell you more, I would happily boycott Gnome, even though it would mean to give up something that works very well for me, if there was a serious and organized campaign, a concerted and meaningful effort to counteract this kind of mentality, provided that it was not lead or prominently made of "tentacle people".

All that said, you can like it or not for whatever reason, you can definitely voice your opinion and even frustration and anger at Gnome for the way they operate, but save yourself from getting convinced that the interface doesn't work just because you don't like the ideology or because you're trying to use it like someone trying to use a sedan as a tractor.

Last thing: all those who mentioned bloat, can you explain to me how do you mean that?
Because well, obviously Gnome is the DE that requires the most RAM and disk space (or maybe close with KDE with all the bells and whistles enabled) and also acceleration, but it seems to me that it is not that what most refer to when they speak of bloat.
I remember when having shadows around windows or cursors was looked down as vain eye candy and bloat, or when menu items had icons or when anything had a color and was not just a terminal, but today we're past that and if we speak about the interface, how is Gnome bloated is beyond me.

Bye :)
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Re: Why I do not use Gnome anymore

Postby millpond » 2017-03-23 06:43

Chacun a pour son gout.

The entire *purpose* for Linux from its inception was to give users freedom. In particular it was to give a Finn college student the freedom to use a Unix interface to do his homework, without being beholden to a particular developer or corporation.

Without that basic premise there is no reason whatsoever to veer from the Win platform, which is also chock full of freeware apps (though admittedly more hazardous).

One of the greatest of the Unix/Linux freedoms is the ability to choose ones own graphical shell, along with the ultimate confusion of which desktop environment/window manager combination is best suited to ones needs.

Personally, I prefer Linux because of its ability to run apps and languages for websites, test and file manipulation much easier. Virtually unlimited unnamed pipes, symlinks and numerous other features that redmond is still trying to catch up to. Perl, Ruby, Python - all can run in Win- but run *better* in Linux. In short, I regard Linux as a 'productive' environment, and with a few exceptions, regard the Win platform as a consumption OS. Great for videos, games, graphics.

The problem with the gnome project is that its developers were keenly attuned to the 'popular culture' - as it was veering away from production oriented desktops to consumption based mobile platforms. Think TILES. Think minimalist design.
Gnome appears to have been designed for Millenials who are being forced by work or school to use a production based OS, and for it to be as simple and feature free as possible.

This may not be a bad thing as it encourages people to move away from Redmond's clutches as it tries to steer everyone onto a rent-seeking cloud.

But its also a problem for the more traditional users among us, such as the OP. And myself.

Perhaps we should define what we want and expect of a desktop environment.
For myself, in particular:
1. A traditional desktop is essential. I am not about to go through 'lists' just to call up my normally used apps.
2. There must be icons and they must be easily configurable.
3. Ideally the icon configurations would be portable across DE's (but currently are not).
4. There should be a task bar that displays running applications, as well as the ability to have 'widgets' that display useful system info such as temp, date/time/calendar, network connection, system temps, and I/O.
5. The DE should never interfere with the throughput of the user. Notifications should be small in a corner and indiscreet, and lasting no longer than seconds.
6. It should include a comprehensive system manager. Setting associations and turning off capslock, and setting power defaults and screensaver should be in one spot.
7. Aside from associations and widgets , the DE should have as little as possible to do with apps/software. Ideally, it should run everything.
8. The DE itself should be maximally configurable, with full compatibility with the classic Unix UI of workspaces, terminals, etc.
9. It should be able to run as root when needed. This can be important for troubleshooting - as not all apps are WAN oriented.
10. Developers should spend more time on ergonomics than eye candy. Much more effort should be spent on intuitive use and features,
11. There should be a simple switch for users to rapidly switch from Bare Bones/Intermediate/Full 3D Desktop effects.

I know of no DE that meets all these requirements. I normally use KDE (stripped down), but also will on occasion boot to XFCE and Mate (which seem to have better I/O widgets when I need them). I want no part of a DE that requires 3D drivers since this should only be an option for those that actually spend time at a desktop. i dont. I rarely see it. And there are plenty of times when i want every last CPU cycle, and memory bit. The only thing I really use is the taskbar. I call most of my apps with shell scripts from a terminal.

Now I fully understand that my perspective here is 180 dgrees apart from what might be considered a 'typical user' - especially those newer to the Linux platform. And some like mor who are well seasoned have seen the advantage in milling their square pegs to fit the round gnome hole.

But fortunately for Luddites like myself there have been alternates like Mate so we have the freedom to use a traditional gnome interface when we so desire.

Its all about choice, but we cannot help but join the chorus of the weeping and gnashing of teeth when it appears that elements of that choice are slowly, ever so slowly, disappearing. Thinking long term here.
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