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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
Linux at the end of the world (our 2012 predictions)
Posted Jan 4, 2012 3:35 UTC (Wed) by raven667 (subscriber, #5198)
Posted Jan 4, 2012 3:52 UTC (Wed) by horen (subscriber, #2514)
Posted Jan 4, 2012 11:22 UTC (Wed) by mpr22 (subscriber, #60784)
I was kind of surprised on how many technical people were using stock GNOME 2 rather than the crazy, tricked out environments that Linux used to be known for.
Same reason I stopped rolling my own kernels: that stuff looks less appealing at 30-35 than it did at 20-25.
Posted Jan 4, 2012 14:18 UTC (Wed) by drag (subscriber, #31333)
Posted Jan 7, 2012 20:15 UTC (Sat) by jospoortvliet (subscriber, #33164)
Posted Jan 4, 2012 11:29 UTC (Wed) by fb (subscriber, #53265)
Most 'technical people' I know are busy doing technical work of their own ;-) and would rather have a simple desktop that is good enough and that gets out of the way.
AFAICT people will only bother with 'crazy & tricked stuff' when the mainstream offerings are not good enough for their own individual requirements.
Posted Jan 4, 2012 16:38 UTC (Wed) by rgmoore (✭ supporter ✭, #75)
Maybe that's a sign that GNOME's approach of providing sensible defaults that shouldn't require as much customization was the right one. Once you stop needing to customize every detail to get to a working configuration, bothering to do it just to make things look perfect loses its attractiveness. And when everyone's configurations start converging on the defaults, you get the added advantage that you can use somebody else's desktop, or a newly set-up account that you haven't spend hours tweaking, and still get the behaviour you've come to expect.
Posted Jan 4, 2012 16:57 UTC (Wed) by bronson (subscriber, #4806)
Also, the ability to comfortably use someone else's desktop only works if the features of that desktop are relatively stable from release to release. (Gnome3 and Unity, I'm looking at you...)
Posted Jan 5, 2012 1:06 UTC (Thu) by rgmoore (✭ supporter ✭, #75)
Little wonder then that capriciously changing those defaults might cause great waves of displeasure.
I'm sure the coders would tell you to s/capriciously/carefully and after extensive study/, no matter how you feel about the changes. I remember the massive storms of protest with default spatial Nautilus, for example, where the UI people told us that spatial was better and we were all wrong to want browser-style, and they had the studies to back it up. On the other hand, I've been generally impressed by some of the intrusive changes I thought I would find most annoying switching from GNOME 2 to GNOME 3.
s/capriciously/carefully and after extensive study/
For example, I expected to hate the full screen activities menu. Instead, I've found that I use it for tasks that are inherently disruptive, so taking over the whole screen isn't as annoying as I expected. Meanwhile, it makes good use of the full-screen space, so it really is easier to use than a launcher menu, task bar, or workspace switcher. And it goes away completely when I'm done with it, so I have less clutter and more space on my desktop the rest of the time. Maybe the guys who said it was a better way of doing things and wouldn't let me use my old setup actually had a clue of what they were talking about.
Also, the ability to comfortably use someone else's desktop only works if the features of that desktop are relatively stable from release to release.
Now here you're getting into to some murky waters. A new major version of a big project is going to have some big changes in it, and not all of those are going to get it right on the .0 release. Fixing your design mistakes means changing user visible behavior, while leaving them means allowing the mistakes to go uncorrected. Neither one is a perfect choice, but I'm inclined to accept that fixing the mistakes is the better course, especially for something that is intended to serve as a stable platform for a long time.
Posted Jan 12, 2012 13:27 UTC (Thu) by renox (subscriber, #23785)
Yet they had to finally revert the spatial mode, so what's the value of those studies?
>> A new major version of a big project is going to have some big changes in it <<
Not necessarily in the UI.. And users would be perfectly happy with only minor versions, it's developers who get bored not users!
Posted Jan 13, 2012 17:42 UTC (Fri) by Baylink (subscriber, #755)
That's enough to override my distaste for their flat-out lie on the version number and make me give it a try anyway.
Posted Jan 18, 2012 0:51 UTC (Wed) by Duncan (guest, #6647)
If 4.0 had been the only problem or even the major one, while it would have been a bit of an issue at the time, I think few /would/ still be talking about it now.
Rather, the bigger problem wasn't the mistake of releasing 4.0 as 4.0 before even the devs considered it ready for normal use, but instead, the dual problems of claiming 4.2 WAS ready for normal use when it was more like late alpha quality (and I routinely run prerelease software as noted above, so I know where of I speak!), many basic features still unimplemented, as the devs were still saying in bugs.kde.org at the same time it was claimed to be ready for normal use, *AND* dropping support for the only still actually working kde, 3.5.x (with x=9 or 10) after a very high profile claim that there'd be support as long as there were users.
4.3 was only beta quality, 4.4 rc quality, and 4.5, at least the later versions of it (4.5.4+), FINALLY release quality, what /should/ have been 4.0. Never-the-less, version numbers don't matter much as long as the software is working and a working version supported, and not hitting release quality until 4.5 would have been no big deal had they not claimed 4.2 was release quality, and worse yet, dropped support for the REAL release quality 3.x with 4.2, thus leaving a nearly three year support gap (twice yearly releases 4.2-4.5, plus monthly releases to 4.5.4) with NO properly working kde!
Of course the story is somewhat repeating now with kmail users due to its akonadification, but at least they skipped the 4.5 release series entirely and continued supporting kdepim 4.4.x with minor updates to 4.7, and 4.4.11 or whatever is still workable with 4.7 and according to testers still using it, 4.8-prereleases. (I'm running the 4.8 prereleases as mentioned above, but have switched to claws-mail here.)
If it had been ONLY 4.0, and they'd not have claimed 4.2 was ready for normal use and continued to support 3.x thru 4.5 or so, it would have been a MUCH smoother transition, and people /would/ have probably forgiven the minor mistakes, which after all, DO happen from time to time, by now. But the compounding and continuing to insist on it, putting their fingers in their ears and yelling nah nah nah when all the users were telling them no, even 4.3 (and to a lessor extent 4.4) wasn't ready, and that they really needed continued support for the 3.x versions that actually worked, THAT was the REAL problem, and it lasted YEARS beyond 4.0!
While I'm not a gnome user, it seems to me that while gnome 3.0 started out much the same way, devs and users apparently talking past each other, they actually admitted the problems and by 3.1, did the extensions thing (reversing the earlier purist positions to implement it as they did), and things were already clearing up. Plus, the community at least had learned something from the early kde4 fiasco, and when gnome3 started doing the same thing, the community was *MUCH* faster to respond with mate and cinnamon, etc as well as with users switching to other desktops faster. But the kde4 lessons combined with the faster community response got the message across faster to the gnome3 folks as well, and the two and a half year plus support gap that kde4 had simply didn't have a chance to occur with gnome3, as the response on ALL sides filled in that gap *MUCH* faster. It might be argued that it was six months or a year, but that's FAR smaller than the nearly three years with kde4, because after kde4, the community simply wasn't going to tolerate a 2.5+ year gap, and made that EXTREMELY clear MUCH quicker in the process than they had with kde4.
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