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A look at GNOME Shell

A look at GNOME Shell

Posted Jun 10, 2010 8:37 UTC (Thu) by drag (subscriber, #31333)
Parent article: A look at GNOME Shell

Things I don't like:

1) The Alt-tab behavior sucks. I am a heavy user of alt-tab since most of my windows stay maximized most of the time.

* You should be able to alt-tab your way through avialable windows. Having to use the arrow keys to choose the window is irritating and slow. Pick something else that goes faster. You've turned something that is quick and one-handed into something that is slow and requires both hands.

* Quickly hitting alt-tab should switch you to the last used window. That way if I am reading something in one window while typing in another I can alt-tab back and forth quickly. The way it is now screws up the flow and I have to search through applications and use the arrow keys to just find the window I just used. Instead of something that took a split second to do now will take upwards to 20-30 seconds depending how much is open and ruins the concentration.

2) The application menu sucks.

* The names used in open source software are not descriptive. The menu needs to include the description of the application's purpose. Right now I get a huge icon and a few letters.

"Ekiga Soft..." and a huge orange icon is _NOT_ useful information.

* All the applications are stuck in one massive grid layout. This makes it almost impossible to choose applications rendering the application chooser menu worthless. I understand Search is nice, but it's only useful if I already know what I am looking for.

For example:
If I want to find a browser, this is simple in the search. I can type 'browser' or whatever and get most of the popular ones.

However if I want to change the default fonts settings then when I search for 'font' I get 'xfontsel', which is just about the most worthless and misleading application a user could possibly run across.

If I want to change fonts I have to already know that the fonts are via clicking on the apperiances section, and the only way I can get to appearences icon is by openning up gnome-control-center. Unless I am already a very experience Gnome 3.x user I would have zero idea that gnome-control-center even exists. There is no practical way I would be able to find it or know what it is when I found it.

I have to scroll down 1/4 the way in the applications menu and find the icon of a blurry screwdriver with the description of 'Gnome Co..."

To hae a useful application menu the items need to be catagorized, I need to be able to find what I need without scrolling up and down, and I need to have the full name of the application with the icon small.

3) If your going to eliminate applets your going to have to replace their functionality.

For example there is no longer any easy way for me to set the cpu speed on my system or tell the system that I want the cpu to be set to 'performance' when I am on AC power.

There is no longer a easy way to see the weather. There is no longer a quick way to change resolutions or select video outputs, nor is there any easy way to do desktop search.

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Besides that stuff, though, I like it.


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A look at GNOME Shell

Posted Jun 10, 2010 10:42 UTC (Thu) by salimma (subscriber, #34460) [Link]

Speaking as someone who has used OS X quite heavily in the past, I *love* the new Alt-Tab cycling behavior. You can still get to the window you want with one hand -- Alt-Tab to the right app, and then cycle between windows of the same app (I rebound mine to Alt-`, but on my netbook which does not have a separate ` key it's Sys-Tab, like in OS X)

You get most of the benefits of a tabbed applications, even in apps that do not support tabs. And it makes Alt-Tab usable when having lots of GIMP windows open (before that I used to curse MDI apps incessantly)

A look at GNOME Shell

Posted Jun 11, 2010 4:27 UTC (Fri) by mfedyk (guest, #55303) [Link]

I have to agree with everything and add a few things.

--- Does it finally fix the problem with pressing alt+tab while dragging something between maximized windows? I used to do this all the time in windows and can't see why it doesn't work in gnome.

--- Here are some applets I always use:

- System Monitor - top, middle (CPU, Mem, Net, Swap, Load Avg and Disk Activity all at a glance. Because the system is not expressive enough to show what is really happening most of the time.)

- Window Selector - top, right (shows all apps on all virtual desktops. Great for when going to someone else's desktop or finding a lost window for someone or yourself)

- CPU Freq Mon - top, middle (because I want to know when and how often my cpu has to speed up to do what processes want to do -- usually correlated with system monitor...)

- Force Quit - top, middle, left (a better name for it might be "button for memory sanity in firefox". It's simpler than any session manager firefox extensions and has been easy to teach to several users who share my habbit of using lots of tabs. but now I use chrome and only use it very seldom now but it does come in handy sometimes. Mozilla if only you liberated libgecko (freeze the API now, make a release and then do normal release version number bumps when you make API changes, though libgecko might be up to version 15.3.5 by now...), made a browser that uses multiple processes. I might switch back to firefox once FF 4 comes out with multiple processes split per tab or security domain)

- Lock Screen - top, middle, left (sometimes you want to step away without having to wait N minutes for the screensaver and autolock to kick in. --could be replaced with bluetooth proximity detection possibly)

- Weather - top, middle, right (because I like knowing the outside temp at a glance with just information and without the commercialized fluff to get in the way)

- 8 Desktops - bottom, right (because like to use different desktops for different categories of tasks I am performing (browsing/chatting, image editing, screen full of gterms for one set of systems, etc.)

I don't think gnome 2 is pretty by any definition, but it is functional and whenever I have to use a windows system I find so many warts (middle click on a scroll bar, scroll wheel focus doesn't follow pointer, and on and on or even try turning on compiz. Gnome is functional, it's a workhorse.

Finally they're getting more sane by not making spatial nautilus the default anymore (you can compile it out IMO).

Gnome 3 needs to be a parallel install to Gnome 2. Let it experiment and mature and actually deliver on its vision instead of moving over to it before the benefits are available and usable. Learn from the mistakes of KDE, not repeat them. IMO between the time of gnome 2.30 .. 2.34 .. 2.40 should be the time to let Gnome 3 mature and become feature complete.

IOW, Gnome2 should live until Gnome3 proves itself, not when it's not cool anymore.


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