GNOME and the way forward
Posted Aug 18, 2005 1:00 UTC (Thu) by arcticwolf
Parent article: GNOME and the way forward
It is hard to imagine that a desktop as complex and featureful as GNOME would be free of glitches.
Well, you have just given a sample list of some annoying behaviour in GNOME above, so imagining a desktop free of glitches is as easy as taking that list as a list of bugs that should be fixed. :)
The real problem, though, is not that GNOME is doing things a certain way, or the specific way it seems to be choosing (that is, doing things like Windows does instead of the way they're traditionally done on Unix). Rather, the underlying problem lies in the complexity of a system such as a desktop environment - there will always be people who dislike the current behaviour and wish to change it. Fortunately, though, this is a problem that can be dealt with - by making things configurable, it can be made possible for everyone to adapt the environment exactly to their needs, while at the same time making sure that the learning curve for first-timers is not too steep.
It is important to note, however, that the complexity is inherent in the system and cannot be gotten rid of. This is what Windows tries to do, and why it ultimately fails to provide a good desktop environment; GNOME seems to be emulating this, getting caught in the same trap where the product and its interface are dictated by marketing rather than being based on a rational evaluation of what can be done and what makes (or doesn't make) sense.
It has often been said that systems should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler than that - oversimplification ultimately creates more problems than it solves, and that goes for desktop environments just as for everything else.
I'm always somewhat sad that the GNOME developers (still) do not seem to understand this. But fortunately, in an open source world, there are viable alternatives - you aren't forced to use what some company thought would be best for their bottom line.
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