Not logged in
Log in now
Create an account
Subscribe to LWN
LWN.net Weekly Edition for May 23, 2013
An "enum" for Python 3
An unexpected perf feature
LWN.net Weekly Edition for May 16, 2013
A look at the PyPy 2.0 release
I'd think that conquering LWN readership's minds ought to be an important goal for any FOSS project.
Why GNOME refugees love Xfce (Register)
Posted Nov 14, 2011 16:50 UTC (Mon) by ebassi (subscriber, #54855)
we don't have time to follow every single discussion ever, though, because a) we have jobs; b) we have a life; c) we have to actually write GNOME.
personally, I leave conquering the LWN readership to others: LWN readers know how to install or remove GNOME. I'm much more interested in getting other users.
Posted Nov 15, 2011 3:12 UTC (Tue) by nevets (subscriber, #11875)
Wow, I think you just said it all right there.
The gnome folks are not concerned about the LWN type user, as they are the power user. They are more concerned about getting new users.
The reason I started using Linux, and also how I was able to get my friends to use Linux, was because I was able to show them how different it was from Windows and Apple. You could make your computer just that... your computer.
With the "one way" mentality, that also seems to be trying to play catchup with Apple, how do we expect to get new users? The comment I could see is, "that's nice, but I can do the same on my mac".
The only way I got users from Mac and Windows to Linux was showing them they had choice. But you are correct. I can still show them their choice. It will just be with Xfce and not gnome.
Posted Nov 15, 2011 11:16 UTC (Tue) by paulj (subscriber, #341)
The big questions really are whether GNOME developers are tinkering with prototyping stuff for their own enjoyment, or whether they want to have a user-base. If the latter (and it does seem from their marketing material they want users), then the question is whether or not they can make any headway into expanding into the large potential non-geeky userbase out there, while alienating a good chunk of their existing userbase. And if they can make headway, the question is whether there'd even be a net increase?
Another question is whether the passionate free OS users should advocate GNOME or Android desktops to their non-technical family & friends? Ok, it's hard to find completely free Android systems, but OTOH Android breaks a lot less, where GNOME seems to delight in rewriting a different core subsystem with every new release, and so inevitably breaking stuff. (Just when suspend & resume starts to work, GNOME 3.0 comes along and often seemed to require a "kill -9 `pidof gnome-shell`" from a console after resume :().
To be clear, I've used GNOME for a long time, as have some of my family. I really appreciate what's been given to me. Thanks.
Posted Nov 15, 2011 11:45 UTC (Tue) by ebassi (subscriber, #54855)
the gnome folks are not concerned about the LWN type user, as they are the power user.
I'm not a gnome folk. I'm a GNOME developer and maintainer, and though in some venues I can speak for the Foundation, I usually don't speak for the entire community. whenever I will, I'll be very careful to point that out. so don't extrapolate what GNOME developers think from what I say.
whoever self-identifies as "a power user" is usually an ass**** in my book. there are only users, with different areas of expertise. most are equally important, and the different areas of expertise can be served in different ways.
furthermore, I don't believe that LWN readers are power users — you might think you are just because you use twenty different terminals, but guess what? I do too, and I've been using GNOME in all of its incarnations. so get off my lawn.
finally, I think the LWN users can (and will) change their environment to suit their workflow, and will be able to fix issues they find no matter what GNOME provides them. ergo, you're not an interesting use case for me to work on.
They are more concerned about getting new users.
yes. I'm more concerned about getting more users. this means adding users. which means adding users that haven't been exposed to GNOME yet. these users are interesting to me, because it means solving problems for them — which is what I do for a living and for a passion.
and guess what: usually, when something gets better for new users, it also gets better for everyone, unlike the other way around.
Posted Nov 15, 2011 11:47 UTC (Tue) by deepfire (subscriber, #26138)
How do you manage all these terminal windows?
Posted Nov 15, 2011 15:45 UTC (Tue) by ebassi (subscriber, #54855)
How do you manage all these terminal windows?
the same way I've managed them in the past ~10 years: with alt+tab. if I want to move around between them, alt+key_above_tab is also available, but I generally use multiple windows with N tabs into each, so switching using the keyboard is pretty much an exercise in alt+[tab number] more than alt+tab.
Posted Nov 15, 2011 14:23 UTC (Tue) by nevets (subscriber, #11875)
whoever self-identifies as "a power user" is usually an ass**** in my book
I'm sorry but considering users of your tool ass**** is not something I consider to be good user development. I work on lots of products that have users. Even when a user comes to me that is not in my focus group and asks for a feature that I'm not going to implement, I never consider them an ass****. Maybe a luser, but not a ass****.
I actually do not hate Gnome3 more than I hate KDE or any other desktop environment that I don't use. What I hate is that Gnome3 took away the desktop environment that I do use. This is the keep problem that the Gnome3 developers don't seem to understand. The problem is that the Gnome developers decided to make this transition in a serial step instead of a parallel one. Instead of incrementing into gnome3, call it a new product entirely, because that is exactly what gnome3 is. Call it something like "Gnome-elite".
Here's what could have been done that would have kept everyone happy. When I look at Gnome3, it does not have any of the look and feel of Gnome2. Basically, it is a completely different product. If the Gnome developers came out and instead said, "we are placing gnome2 into maintenance mode, and will only do minor bug fixes here and there, but are not going to add any more features. We are focusing on a new desktop environment called Gnome-elite, and there is no guarantee that gnome2 will be compatible with Gonme-elite." and then allow Gnome-elite to be installed along side of gnome2 just like I can have Xfce, KDE and Gnome all installed, things would have worked out much better. You wouldn't have the hate statements that you are receiving today.
Again, most of us don't hate you because you came out with Gnome3. We hate you because you took away gnome2 from us. You made it practically impossible to install gnome2 and gnome3 on the same box. I didn't hate gnome3 until I upgraded my Debian box, and it removed gnome2. You just took away 10 years of my tweaking to get something I feel is my best workflow. And all you can tell me is that I'm an ass**** in your book. On my other boxes I've tried to set the "hold" state on the gnome2 packages, but upgrading seems to override it too. There seems to be no possible way I can have gnome2 on my box.
Yes, I currently switched to Xfce, but as Linus stated, it is a step backwards from gnome2. I'm not happy about this switch, and I blame the Gnome developers for making me do it. Really, would it have been such a problem to have come out with a new product and stop working on gnome2, but still let gnome2 exist? If you had done this, I guarantee everyone here that is calling you names, wouldn't be.
Posted Nov 15, 2011 14:25 UTC (Tue) by nevets (subscriber, #11875)
This is the keep problem that the Gnome3 developers
s/keep/key/. Wow, I proof read this twice, and didn't catch that until after I posted. I need another cup of coffee.
Posted Nov 15, 2011 15:59 UTC (Tue) by ebassi (subscriber, #54855)
I'm sorry but considering users of your tool ass**** is not something I consider to be good user development
again with the reading comprehension skills.
I said that I consider whoever self-identifies as a power user — i.e. says it in all seriousness about him or herself — an ass****. I have almost two decades of experience in people doing exactly that and revealing themselves as ass*****. hell, I used to do that when I was an angsty teenager, and I was that ass****. I moved on, though; not something that happens to everyone, apparently.
Maybe a luser, but not a ass****
aaand the instant you say something like this, it makes it so hard for me to take you seriously.
What I hate is that Gnome3 took away the desktop environment that I do use
yes, we came around to your house and office at night and removed everything from your machines. not only that, we removed the packages from every distribution, the tarballs from every server, and the source code from the various repositories.
we are mean ones, us Grinch^H^H^H^H^HNOME developers.
"we are placing gnome2 into maintenance mode, and will only do minor bug fixes here and there, but are not going to add any more features. We are focusing on a new desktop environment called Gnome-elite, and there is no guarantee that gnome2 will be compatible with Gonme-elite."
s/-elite/3/g. there, I Fixed That For You.
it's exactly what we said. for two years. if you weren't listening, sorry: short of coming around the house of every Linux user personally and handing you a note, I'm not sure of what should have been done.
Yes, I currently switched to Xfce
good for you. seriously: you're a user that can move across distro boundaries, or across environment boundaries, without much of a problem. you're a niche user, inside a niche market. personally, I don't find you so interesting that I have to design and write the software in my own spare time to please you (or the ones like you). now, since this is my own time, are you really feeling so entitled that you also need to vent to me about the fact that I don't consider you a target user?
Posted Nov 15, 2011 16:41 UTC (Tue) by nevets (subscriber, #11875)
Yes, my "lusers" comment was actually stated tongue in cheek. It was not suppose to be taken seriously. Please don't assume the rest of my reply had the same attitude as this comment.
No, you didn't come physically into my house and take away gnome2 from me. But you came very close. The point is that you made it hard for the distros to support both gnome2 and gnome3. If I don't want to stay in a old version of a distro, I'm forced to either go with gnome3 or use another DE. I really liked gnome2 (well at least the gnome2 panel), and it is now basically impossible for me to have an up-to-date system and gnome2.
s/-elite/3/ is not the same, because I can not have both gnome2 *and* gnome3 installed at the same time. This is the biggest flaw that the gnome developers don't seem to give a shit about. You no longer support gnome, you support some new entirely different DE and renamed it to gnome. gnome is DEAD. And is forever dead in my eyes. Maybe Mate will bring it back to life. If I had more time I would be spending it helping them (him) out. Unfortunately I'm in charge of too many projects to work on this.
I'm not totally happy with Xfce. It just seems to be the closest to gnome that I can come across. But as of now, gnome no longer exists.
Posted Nov 15, 2011 18:14 UTC (Tue) by deepfire (subscriber, #26138)
I'm hesitating to say it, but I heavily suspect that they wanted it this way -- Gnome 2 firmly in its grave.
All in all, decisions like this (whether or not to spend effort on parallel installability) are a sum of many factors, but in this case, one factor, I suspect, dominated them all.
"Diluting momentum" on a controversial change, in the high-stakes, high-competitition game of DEs.
Copyright © 2013, Eklektix, Inc.
Comments and public postings are copyrighted by their creators.
Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds