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GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Der Standard interviews Jon McCann about GNOME 3 and related topics. "Some of the feedback is certainly valid and we are going to use that to make informed decisions in the GNOME3 cycle - remember we've only had one release so far. In couple of the talks we pointed out that it took us eight, nine years to get to where GNOME2 ended up and we've had like four months of GNOME3. So there are plenty of things we still have to do. There are a lot of holes in our story. People will look at some things and say 'Why is this there? Does this really make sense?'. And in many cases that's because we didn't get to really finish that off. And that will start to fill in, the story will become a little bit more complete as we go through this cycle. I'm not saying that all this people will be completely convinced and that's unfortunate but I think over time people will realize what we are doing has been at least thought through."
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GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 17, 2011 15:26 UTC (Wed) by cdamian (subscriber, #1271) [Link]

"In couple of the talks we pointed out that it took us eight, nine years to get to where GNOME2 ended up and we've had like four months of GNOME3."

That is not quite true, it was in fact eight/nine years + four months for GNOME3, they just decided to throw everything away.

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 17, 2011 15:29 UTC (Wed) by ebassi (subscriber, #54855) [Link]

That is not quite true, it was in fact eight/nine years + four months for GNOME3, they just decided to throw everything away.

wrong, on both accounts.

the 3.0 design effort started in 2008; the actual implementation started in 2009.

as for "throw everything away": [citation needed].

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 17, 2011 20:23 UTC (Wed) by rriggs (subscriber, #11598) [Link]

For your [citation needed], one need only look at the panel applets available for Gnome3. Oh, right... there are none. They were... wait for it ... "thrown away".

http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2011/02/msg00489.html

"The panel remains, but it will be a GTK3 / D-Bus panel. In its current
state, it doesn’t support the good old GTK2 / bonobo applets, of which
we have a lot in the archive. Upstream confirmed they don’t have time to
support them for 3.0 unless someone steps up to do the job."

I'm a (very) long-time Gnome user and have to say that I am extremely disappointed with Gnome3. It's slow on my Atom-based system and borked on my hexacore workstation with high-end ATI graphics.

Really, Gnome3 is a complete cluster-fsck.

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 17, 2011 20:42 UTC (Wed) by cmorgan (guest, #71980) [Link]

Atom based system with graphics acceleration? I had the same experience with a netbook build of ubuntu a year ago on an Atom while it worked fine with Windows (can't recall which version of windows).

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 18, 2011 6:25 UTC (Thu) by ebassi (subscriber, #54855) [Link]

For your [citation needed], one need only look at the panel applets available for Gnome3. Oh, right... there are none. They were... wait for it ... "thrown away".

the panel and applets weren't thrown away: the IPC mechanism and the settings systems were ported to the new official API for that. they were released as new, parallel installable versions.

the user experience has been changed, yes; and the new user experience doesn't use the panel + applet code base any more. it has happened that components that were used before have been dropped when no longer needed - even during 2.x.

as a side note: the code for the 2.x versions is still inside the same repositories. feel free to start maintaining the old 2.x versions, by the way, if you want to stay with the 2.x user experience: nobody will object if you make a clone of the repository and start hosting tarballs - it's all free software.

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 18, 2011 9:26 UTC (Thu) by ovitters (subscriber, #27950) [Link]

GNOME shell doesn't use applets, but the fallback mode does. In GNOME 3.2 gnome-applets has been ported to the new non-bonobo API.

Conclusion (in relation to your 'clusterfuck'): Now GNOME 3 is awesome?

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 18, 2011 15:34 UTC (Thu) by bronson (subscriber, #4806) [Link]

You must have missed his second-to-last paragraph.

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 18, 2011 19:51 UTC (Thu) by ovitters (subscriber, #27950) [Link]

Driver/kernel problems should be fixed. Impacts GNOME experience and if it is attributed to GNOME, oh well. I focus on GNOME.

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 19, 2011 8:38 UTC (Fri) by salimma (subscriber, #34460) [Link]

I agree, and kudos to the GNOME team for biting the bullet and defaulting to using some features -- remember how bad/slow OS X 10.0 was, even though it at least does not suffer much from driver problems since Apple controls that too?

If everyone just turns off compositing when it does not work, and don't even try suspending their computers anymore, etc., then the problems will never get fixed.

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 17, 2011 16:03 UTC (Wed) by gmaxwell (guest, #30048) [Link]

"Some of the feedback is certainly valid"

The idea that my utter frustration at software which is hostile to my normal tasks and workflow is not "valid" leaves me with a response which is not fit to print.

It's perfectly fine to say that gnome3 is made for people who are not me, but my experience is _valid_. Damnit.

IMO, the kind of thinking that causes someone to say that negative feedback from people who have different goals and needs could in any way be "invalid" just for virtue of being different is the kind of thinking which disqualifies someone from writing software for the mythical "general user". It's not enough to have a "target": To write for a general audience you must appreciate and accept diversity because no group larger than one is monolithic.

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 17, 2011 16:19 UTC (Wed) by Ed_L. (guest, #24287) [Link]

??? It isn't clear to me you read your excerpt correctly, as Jon presumably acknowledged that criticisms such as yours -- which I happen to share -- certainly *are* (or may be...) valid.

I've held off upgrading from Fedora 14 for precisely that reason. By now I'm pretty much set in my ways, and one of those ways is the Gnome2 desktop user interface. I'm not one to refuse to try something new -- there are apparently a lot of folks who think Gnome3 *is* better and that is fine. Its just that I really want some familiarity to fall back on in the (likely) event I'm not one of them.

(I'm writing this from LXDE on an older memory-challenged PC, to which I can relate.)

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 17, 2011 17:08 UTC (Wed) by ewan (subscriber, #5533) [Link]

I think the point is that if some of the feedback is valid, then presumably some of it is considered not to be.

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 17, 2011 18:18 UTC (Wed) by rahulsundaram (subscriber, #21946) [Link]

I can certainly point out a number of invalid feedback quite easily. This is true for any software.

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 17, 2011 21:22 UTC (Wed) by k8to (subscriber, #15413) [Link]

Yeah, that seems the fairer reading. However, in that light he has stated nothing at all.

So what were the words intending to mean? I think it is something like "some users have educated us on mistakes that we need to try to fix." How is that normally said in software development-ese? Perhaps "we have the usual queue of user-identified oversights." ?

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 18, 2011 1:11 UTC (Thu) by rahulsundaram (subscriber, #21946) [Link]

My reading is this: There was feedback we received, some of which were things we knew we had to work on and some was user identified issues that we are working to fix.

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 18, 2011 12:56 UTC (Thu) by sorpigal (subscriber, #36106) [Link]

My reading is more like "There was feedback we received some of which were things we knew we had to work on and the rest is invalid."

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 17, 2011 17:57 UTC (Wed) by Los__D (guest, #15263) [Link]

If you have completely different goal, and your feedback is based on those differing goals, it is certainly not valid in that context.

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 17, 2011 18:23 UTC (Wed) by gmaxwell (guest, #30048) [Link]

Effectively with your argument, all negative criticism of the design (as opposed to software bugs) are "invalid": "If you had a bad time because of the design, you're not what we were targeting: we only target the people who enjoy what we provide, thus your feedback is invalid. Q.E.D.".

My goal is like anyone elses, to use my computer.

It seems to me that a lot of criticism that gets past the initial attempts to dismiss it with things like "you're just resisting change" or a vague "not a valid concern" is eventually just discarded as "well, you aren't are the target audience".

Which is well and good, as I certainly can accept that different situations have different needs and that I'm a weirdo.

But the target audience is not well defined, which makes it impossible for me to go to distributors and make the case "you ought not adopt this environment because its target audience is not the audience of this distribution"

That is a key point… Because I'm perfectly happy to go on letting gnome target someone else (even though I'm doubtful that their 'target' even exists outside of the fevered minds of the designers) but unfortunately distros adopt their desktop and then I pay a price every day of my life dealing with extra complication because the distro ends up expecting all users to use gnome3, bakes critical functionality into the desktop that isn't covered by other tools etc... And this is why some people view unfavored changes to gnome as an /attack/ rather than something they can just ignore if they don't like it. You don't see (most) of the same people showing up complaining that OpenOffice has copied the $terrible_MS_office_behavior: We have more freedom to choose to avoid OpenOffice than we have to be free of Gnome's decisions.

Perhaps I read too much into the original commentary— because I certainly did read it as reaffirmation that the Gnome community regards diversity in needs/preferences as an irrelevant concern, that if some complaints about the design are valid than some are not — and if this was incorrect I apologize.

But even in the case that I read too much insult into it, rather than viewing the meta-complaint as "invalid" it would be more productive to view it as a sampling of the expectations of the Gnome community which have arisen in the wider GNU/Linux using community.

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 17, 2011 19:01 UTC (Wed) by Los__D (guest, #15263) [Link]

While I can certainly agree that GNOME being something unavoidable is a bad thing, I think that different desktop environments having different goals as a _VERY_ good thing, and I would love seeing more specialized DEs (or preferably more specialized frontends to the existing DEs instead).

Defining target audience is a hard thing: "This desktop is for people that hate Emacs keybindings and loves change and click-to-focus" is probably not all that usable. ;)

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 17, 2011 21:24 UTC (Wed) by k8to (subscriber, #15413) [Link]

That's a common malady among software makers. The design is sacrosanct! User experiences which do not mesh with the design are not my problem! I CANT HEAR YOU!!

It happens everywhere constant, it's just a shame to see such a strong echo chamber develop in the free software arena.

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 18, 2011 22:31 UTC (Thu) by Zizzle (guest, #67739) [Link]

A big +1 to gmaxwell's post.

I just wish I could pick a major distro that didn't have GNOME3 or Unity. I wouldn't even really care about GNOME3 enough to be writing this.

I'd also like to add that I was around for 1.0 to 2.0. And I thought it was a needed move.

But 3.0 is not for me. Making common tasks harder and require more clicks, adding a big useless back bar to the top of the screen, and then selling it as "good design" and "people resisting change" is just ridiculous.

It's a shame that major distro's hitched their wagon to GNOME3 by default.

The desktop's job should be to let you do what and get out of the way as quickly as possible. It seems like GNOME3 has taken the opposite approach. More clicks to do the common things, more overlays and animations. Like the purpose of the computer is to run the GNOME shell.

At first I thought the designers were emphasizing discoverability over usability, may be the extra animations and clicks help new users - but then look at the debacle around having to hit the alt key just to shut down. Are they confused because I sure am.

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 19, 2011 11:23 UTC (Fri) by deep64blue (guest, #52401) [Link]

>>I just wish I could pick a major distro that didn't have GNOME3 or Unity. I wouldn't even really care about GNOME3 enough to be writing this.<<

Try Linux Mint.

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 23, 2011 9:33 UTC (Tue) by jospoortvliet (subscriber, #33164) [Link]

They will have to move over too. GNOME 2 is dead, get over it...

I think GNOME 3.2 will be a huge improvement and look forward to playing with it. If it doesn't suit you, there's XFCE, KDE, LXDE...

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 19, 2011 6:33 UTC (Fri) by ssmith32 (subscriber, #72404) [Link]

I tried Gnome 3, and it didn't work out for me either (I even thought it was kind of neat for a bit, but still, it just didn't work).. So just FYI, in Ubuntu, at least, you can say "Gnome Classic" or something, and everything goes back to the way it should be.

Btw, what finally pushed me over the edge (besides the gvim global menu borking when you launched more than 1 gvim from the command line)... for some odd reason (compiz sucking up CPU? I have no idea).. hulu would start skipping all over the place in Gnome 3/Unity, but works fine in Classic.

Dreading the next big Ubuntu release where there is no classic fallback.. I'll either have to not upgrade, or find a new distro :/

Maybe I'm getting old, and going back to Debian will work just fine for me now :)

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 18, 2011 1:03 UTC (Thu) by russell (guest, #10458) [Link]

Totally agree. What's more I've never seen someone called a "valid" user. Where are these "valid" users? I've never met one or read anything from one.

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 18, 2011 1:13 UTC (Thu) by rahulsundaram (subscriber, #21946) [Link]

The original comment on the article had nothing to do with valid users but valid feedback. So I am not sure what you are even referring to. This seems pointless nitpicking anyway.

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 24, 2011 1:34 UTC (Wed) by russell (guest, #10458) [Link]

Who's nit picking? Your comment is just another typical 'your comment/your idea/your feedback/your everything is invalid' response.

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 24, 2011 2:46 UTC (Wed) by rahulsundaram (subscriber, #21946) [Link]

I am not saying your feedback is not valid. What I am saying is that I didn't understand what you are referring to at all since the article said nothing about "valid users". Perhaps you can clarify.

Freudian slip:

Posted Aug 17, 2011 16:26 UTC (Wed) by kragilkragil2 (guest, #76172) [Link]

"And if someone doesn't like the designs we do they can make their own - or fight someone else who does it for them. And that happens, that happens plenty of times."

That says a lot about the Gnome "community" ;-)

Freudian slip:

Posted Aug 18, 2011 1:26 UTC (Thu) by mccann (guest, #52504) [Link]

Transcription error from the audio recording. Should read "find someone else".

Freudian slip:

Posted Aug 18, 2011 9:27 UTC (Thu) by ovitters (subscriber, #27950) [Link]

Nitpick: We do have icecream deathmatches :P

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 17, 2011 16:41 UTC (Wed) by Aliasundercover (subscriber, #69009) [Link]

Here is an interesting question. I can't say the answer did anything for me but the question is interesting.

> But would you say there was some valid criticism voiced or is all this just "people hating change" for you?

Hating change is valid. I need someone re-envisioning the desktop every few years about as much as I need a Dvorak keyboard.

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 17, 2011 20:13 UTC (Wed) by ian00 (guest, #55476) [Link]

And when they showed me a computer keyboard, I said "I need this about as much I need my typewriter to have Japanese characters."

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 18, 2011 6:40 UTC (Thu) by drago01 (subscriber, #50715) [Link]

> Hating change is valid.

Hating change basically means blocking any progress. There is a point where you must say "this worked fine in the past but now we need to move on to something new".

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 18, 2011 7:46 UTC (Thu) by dgm (subscriber, #49227) [Link]

On the contrary. Resisting change for the sake of change means that you don't get to square 1 at every iteration, losing all the ground you managed to conquer along the way.

Revolutions are only desirable at desperate times because the cost is usually very high. Evolution is a better approach 99% of the time. Look at the Linux kernel for an example of evolutionary advance.

It's just my personal opinion, but it smells like Gnome 3 designers willfully ignored all that because they wanted to make a splash... at the cost of their users.

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 18, 2011 8:23 UTC (Thu) by renox (subscriber, #23785) [Link]

> Hating change basically means blocking any progress.

Except that remember that not all the changes are progress, some are regressions!

Do you remember the "Spatial file manager" that Gnome developpers tried to force on their users?
I think that they also claimed that it was the result of a "usability study", yet they had to change it back in the end: think about the waste of time!

Users are (rightfully) quite conservative: if you change something it means that you have to learn it again, so any change must be a big improvement to be justified, but developpers alone tends to make changes for the sake of making changes..

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 18, 2011 10:41 UTC (Thu) by paulj (subscriber, #341) [Link]

So I have to say I liked "spatial". The windows were clean and simple - unlike the hideously cluttered look it defaults to now - while the advanced functionality was still there, tucked away behind menus. That the window for a folder opened in the same place on your screen was also a nice cue. It worked very well for those family members who were computer-challenged, and were easily confused by complex interfaces.

I realise "spatial" is still there and can be enabled by some hidden setting. Though, that means it's deprecated effectively, and not to be relied on. Plus, it seems the GNOME masters want to get rid of file browsers altogether, and instead have management apps. I hope they'll develop and polish those data mgt apps before they get rid of nautilus altogether, but who knows.

FWIW, my computer challenged family members don't handle big changes very well. With GNOME3 it seems radical change will be unavoidable, and I *must* help them migrate from their familiar GNOME2 desktop to something new. To me, Android seems the better migration than GNOME3 for such users.

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 18, 2011 17:43 UTC (Thu) by fb (subscriber, #53265) [Link]

I also have family members (my parents) running Gnome (well, sort of, they use Ubuntu's Gnome). If there is anything that they actually need in a desktop is more robust applications, less 'alpha' quality applications and no change whatsoever in the way that the desktop system works.

There are issues in Ubuntu, that is something they can learn their way around. The trouble is when the issues change subtly with each release.

While I (personally) prefer Ubuntu's Unity to Gnome3, I think the that the upgrade path for my parents is either Android or iOS.

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 18, 2011 21:46 UTC (Thu) by tuna (guest, #44480) [Link]

I also like the spatial file manager and would really like something similar in Gnome 3.

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 19, 2011 12:18 UTC (Fri) by renox (subscriber, #23785) [Link]

The issue is not about the "spatial" file browser, it's about how it was introduced: at some point in the time the Gnome developpers changed quite radically the behaviour of the filebrowser *by default* without getting an easy way to revert the change (no a gconf setting isn't an easy way).
That's the way developpers like it: I change the application the way I like it, users be damned.

The users ideal scenario would be:
-no change in the default, but an easy way to test a new feature
-the new feature is tweaked according to the user feedback
-then if it's very good, the default is changed with an easy way to revert to the old behaviour.
-the developpers would monitor which feature isn't used and drop only the feature with minimal usage.

It's unlikely that there will ever be a free software desktop which will be developped like this, but it's something to keep in mind..

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 18, 2011 11:32 UTC (Thu) by nye (guest, #51576) [Link]

>Hating change basically means blocking any progress

I'm sorry, but this bullshit is absolutely fucking retarded and needs to be stamped out.

People spend years working out their workflow, finding the tools they need, working out the best way to do this and that, until they have an environment that they basically like with maybe a couple of things that they'd like to see improved, but not quite enough to go out and actually do it, and then SOME COCKJUGGLING THUNDERCUNT COMES ALONG AND TAKES A SHIT ALL OVER IT.

This is stuff which has a major effect on people for *hours* of *every day*. It's the software which people use in order to interact with *all* their other software; because it's unavoidable it *needs to fit like a glove*. It's the basic pillar of human-computer interaction and is a significant factor in the mental wellbeing of vast numbers of people. It can't just be summarily dismissed.

And their response is "I'm not sorry I broke everything you do, because you see you don't exist and your needs are irrelevant. In fact, everyone in the world is exactly like me and uses their computer in exactly the ways I that think might be, like, so cool and awesome and new."

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 18, 2011 13:46 UTC (Thu) by leoc (subscriber, #39773) [Link]

SOME COCKJUGGLING THUNDERCUNT COMES ALONG AND TAKES A SHIT ALL OVER IT

Whatever merit your argument had was effectively erased by this.

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 18, 2011 15:01 UTC (Thu) by nye (guest, #51576) [Link]

>Whatever merit your argument had was effectively erased by this.

In your opinion, but the important thing to remember is that I don't give a flying fuck about your opinion.

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 18, 2011 18:55 UTC (Thu) by ean5533 (guest, #69480) [Link]

If you don't care about other people's opinions, why are you posting on this forum at all? Why are you even here, if not for discussion?

I suspect it's just because you want to bullhorn your frustration at the world, with the hope that others will grumble their assent. Tell me, will that make life better for you? For anyone?

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 18, 2011 22:45 UTC (Thu) by AndreE (guest, #60148) [Link]

Then please return to slashdot. This forum has a particular etiquette that seems to have escaped your attention

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 21, 2011 17:33 UTC (Sun) by Doogie (guest, #59626) [Link]

Would you like a lollipop to calm down or do we have to give you a time out?

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 19, 2011 22:48 UTC (Fri) by richo123 (guest, #24309) [Link]

That is funny because I had the opposite reaction.

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 19, 2011 23:00 UTC (Fri) by dskoll (subscriber, #1630) [Link]

While OP's language was somewhat more colourful than I would have put it, I think he's spot on.

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 18, 2011 18:09 UTC (Thu) by cmorgan (guest, #71980) [Link]

> People spend years working out their workflow, finding the tools they
> need, working out the best way to do this and that, until they have an
> environment that they basically like with maybe a couple of things that
> they'd like to see improved, but not quite enough to go out and actually
> do it

Fortunately this stuff is F/OSS software. They at least have the option to improve the older environment that they like and are used to.

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 19, 2011 1:39 UTC (Fri) by jmorris42 (guest, #2203) [Link]

> Fortunately this stuff is F/OSS software. They at least have the option
> to improve the older environment that they like and are used to.

Actually we don't. The distros have become too important. Even an advanced user would spend days or weeks trying to get GNOME2 up and running on Fedora 15 only to be faced with Fedora 16 by the time they got settled in. And you really need to follow a distribution because of the version churn and security concerns. Even then you get problems unless you reject all of GNOME3 and all newer applications that link to it or use it's technologies. Unless you propose we all run Linux From Scratch of course, then you might get it all working for a year or two until keeping gnome2 alive won't be practical. Meanwhile on Planet Earth those of us not living in Mom's basement have work to do.

So what we have is a choke hold on what is and isn't included where RedHat and Ubuntu decide what the great majority of users will get. Add Debian and Gentoo to the list and you cover just about everyone. And none of the distros told the GNOMEs to keep version 3 until it finishes baking. Exactly. Ubuntu went off and did their own Unity thing that is pretty much just as horrible for normal desktop use only different. Debian is getting gnome3 packages into sid already.

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 19, 2011 2:29 UTC (Fri) by rahulsundaram (subscriber, #21946) [Link]

"Even an advanced user would spend days or weeks trying to get GNOME2 up and running on Fedora 15 only to be faced with Fedora 16 by the time they got settled in"

Not really. http://k3rnel.net/2011/06/15/bluebubble-faq/

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 17, 2011 18:13 UTC (Wed) by mrshiny (subscriber, #4266) [Link]

... because we didn't get to really finish that off.
I'm sorry, when you hand me some software and say "Look! Isn't it great?" and then I say "um, what about this? and that? and this?", to which you say "well, please, it's not _finished_"... I feel like my criticism or disappointment is perhaps justified, no?

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 17, 2011 18:20 UTC (Wed) by rahulsundaram (subscriber, #21946) [Link]

I think he is merely pointing out that it is .0 release and certain things are unfinished. Don't see anything to be disappointed about that.

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 17, 2011 21:04 UTC (Wed) by bronson (subscriber, #4806) [Link]

I do. If that's the case, why did Fedora drop Gnome 2 so hastily?

If F15 could have run Gnome2 as well as Gnome 3, I think there would have been very little anti-Gnome3 bile. Everyone would have been happy to wait until Gnome3 was polished.

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 17, 2011 21:24 UTC (Wed) by bushdave (guest, #58418) [Link]

Fedora is about releasing software early. That said, I know Fedora users who still hate NetworkManager and PulseAudio mostly due to their immature early versions pushed out by Fedora.

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 17, 2011 21:27 UTC (Wed) by k8to (subscriber, #15413) [Link]

The news that redhat, I mean fedora, releases bruise (abuse?) users with premature releases is so 1995. It's been going on continuously since, but the dubious value seems quite lost by now.

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 18, 2011 1:16 UTC (Thu) by rahulsundaram (subscriber, #21946) [Link]

A distribution is abusing users? Seriously? This type of hyperbole has no value at all. Many millions of users continue to voluntarily install and use such distributions and they are quite popular.

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 18, 2011 5:35 UTC (Thu) by k8to (subscriber, #15413) [Link]

It's not hyperbole.

Here, users, try our new libc that loses your data and crashes on the most trivial of actions on hundreds of programs! Yeah, it's not a beta!

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 18, 2011 5:42 UTC (Thu) by rahulsundaram (subscriber, #21946) [Link]

I would like to see atleast a single reference to one data loss bug report that is specific to Fedora Glibc. Otherwise, you are just trolling.

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 18, 2011 5:46 UTC (Thu) by k8to (subscriber, #15413) [Link]

Oh, sure I need to go dig up the bugs from 1997, or I'm wrong.

I personally experienced data loss in, among other things, the system passwd file, and the NIS database. <- reference.

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 18, 2011 5:51 UTC (Thu) by rahulsundaram (subscriber, #21946) [Link]

Yeah. So despite your claim of massive problems, you can't find one single reference to backup your hyperbolic statements? You just proved my point.

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 18, 2011 5:55 UTC (Thu) by k8to (subscriber, #15413) [Link]

You proved you're willing to call people names and show ill will with no good reason. You've showed the poor logic of assuming the lack of effort to provide evidence is evidence of absense. You've shown yourself rude and poorly behaved.

*plonk*

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 18, 2011 6:01 UTC (Thu) by rahulsundaram (subscriber, #21946) [Link]

You say a entire distribution is abusing users and can't backup your claims. I called you out on it. That's all. No more. No less

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 18, 2011 10:51 UTC (Thu) by nye (guest, #51576) [Link]

Please stop trolling.

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 18, 2011 11:10 UTC (Thu) by pboddie (guest, #50784) [Link]

I think we've figured out here that "invalid" feedback is merely the feedback one doesn't want to hear. It's a bit rude to tell someone with bad experiences that they actually didn't have them at all, though.

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 23, 2011 9:36 UTC (Tue) by jospoortvliet (subscriber, #33164) [Link]

Get over it, seriously. Fedora is here to push the boundaries of technology. That means: ship the latest & greatest. So we can find and fix bugs. If that isn't right for you, don't use it. Debian stable should be fine, or openSUSE, or other distro's that focus on stability instead of pushing the latest technology.

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 18, 2011 9:30 UTC (Thu) by ovitters (subscriber, #27950) [Link]

Fedora is known to release stuff early. It used to be mentioned quite clearly on their site. I think you're using the wrong distribution.

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 17, 2011 23:15 UTC (Wed) by rahulsundaram (subscriber, #21946) [Link]

NetworkManager was not even enabled by default in Fedora up until several other distros had enabled it by default already for several releases including Ubuntu and openSUSE. I think any new software would be considered premature by some users. RHEL 6 and NetworkManager had the same reaction for that matter. Transition pains are just part of any new functionality.

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 18, 2011 2:19 UTC (Thu) by PaulWay (subscriber, #45600) [Link]

And let's not get started on administrators turning off SELinux.

My question for those people is: at what point are you going to accept that these things are now mature and usable and get on with using them? Because you can't keep on disabling everything that you feel a bit uncomfortable with or haven't been using for a decade.

I'm using GNOME 3 and there are lots of things that annoy me. From little things like the absence of panel applets and the lack of a screensaver to big things like totally changing the way focus works, totally changing the way alt-tabbing between applications works and totally changing the way you select applications, it's as if they really have thrown out all the good user experience they've built up in favour of something unproven but glossy. But I can get used to these things. And I'm prepared to wait for them to get it all up to speed.

What worries me most about it is that the attitude of some current GNOME developers seems to be "this is my interface, you will like it, I designed it and I'm awesome, and you're not allowed to change it because you don't know as much as I do". The whole debate over plugins (covered here on LWN) seems to be a case in point. Radical departures from previous behaviours - especially when we were told those were already much better than their predecessors and alternatives - seems to me to be more whim (or, worse, slavish copying of other interfaces) than rational planning.

Have fun,

Paul

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 18, 2011 11:04 UTC (Thu) by nye (guest, #51576) [Link]

>My question for those people is: at what point are you going to accept that these things are now mature and usable and get on with using them?

That's easy: when they work, and provide some value.

If I can install a new distro and not have to uninstall PA or NM within a few days to fix the problems they cause, then they might be ready. Until than, since they provide no benefit outside of a very narrow audience of people who want to hotplug audio devices and reconfigure their networking every 3.2 seconds, they can stay away.

In fact, NM is just beginning to reach that point - I have one system with very simple wireless networking requirements (as in 'accept all defaults') which was easier to setup with NM than without, and which seems to work without random breakage. I'll probably use it on any desktop wireless systems from now on because it provides some value there. For a wired system it provides *negative* value, so why would I want to use it?

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 18, 2011 11:31 UTC (Thu) by pboddie (guest, #50784) [Link]

And let's not get started on administrators turning off SELinux.

Well, the freely available documentation for SELinux is relatively poor, although I'll give Red Hat some credit for at least attempting to write some. Maybe more people would leave it switched on if it didn't demand a lot of work just to remain able to keep running the same software, and if most of the examples of making software compliant used the contemporary commands and didn't leave you on your own when the going gets tough.

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 17, 2011 23:12 UTC (Wed) by rahulsundaram (subscriber, #21946) [Link]

GNOME 2 and GNOME 3 is not designed to be parallel installable. It requires some really ugly hacks to do it and GNOME 2 is not going to be maintained going forward either. It is not particularly specific to GNOME either. It is the same way KDE 4.0 releases were welcomed (or not). People get used to it and start complaining about something else. Current favorite for Fedora 16 seems to be GRUB 2.

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 17, 2011 23:54 UTC (Wed) by bronson (subscriber, #4806) [Link]

Ubuntu did it without complaining about ugly hacks. And people seemed happy.

Obviously nobody expects Gnome2 to be maintained indefinitely. It would have been nice, though, if it was an option for a release or two, just until Gnome 3 doesn't have so many unfinished bits and hardware issues.

Alas.

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 18, 2011 0:04 UTC (Thu) by rahulsundaram (subscriber, #21946) [Link]

I don't think that is true. My understanding is that they didn't adopt GNOME 3 in their previous release and they are dropping GNOME 2 in the upcoming release. I don't see that as very different. Fedora is just about six months ahead in this case except for the obvious difference in Unity vs GNOME Shell as default.

Distributions often have a difference in tradeoffs on their choices and Fedora has always been in the forefront of adopting new software much more than other distributions. GNOME 3 has a fallback and Red Hat Xorg developers have been working on making GNOME 3 work without hardware acceleration and hence the focus in a bit different from Ubuntu I assume. The folks involved in GNOME packaging in Fedora are the ones involved in GNOME 3 to a large extend and that might influence their technical choices. I am not involved in that deeply and hence I am merely observing.

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 18, 2011 9:34 UTC (Thu) by ovitters (subscriber, #27950) [Link]

Ubuntu didn't provide that, at least not in the latest stable version.

For GNOME 2 experience there is GNOME fallback. In GNOME 3.2 you'll have applets, so there is still some development going on in that area.

Note that for hardware issues, it really is more about the kernel. Further, it is not like you're forced to use GNOME 3, plus that any development in GNOME 2.x would just slow down the progress of GNOME 3 (easier to use fallback mode; there is a switch for it).

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 18, 2011 21:23 UTC (Thu) by fb (subscriber, #53265) [Link]

> People get used to it and start complaining about something else.

Or people get tired of it, stop trusting the specific desktop environment and migrate to XFCE or OSX.

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 18, 2011 23:48 UTC (Thu) by rahulsundaram (subscriber, #21946) [Link]

Sure there will be some who do that just as it happened with KDE 4 but the majority just bounce back after a while in my experience. For GNOME 3, extensions seems to be a good tipping point for that.

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 19, 2011 20:57 UTC (Fri) by fb (subscriber, #53265) [Link]

There was a time when KDE had 2/3 of the popular vote of Linux Journal's "favorite desktop" (or whatever is the name they give it). The last time I looked at it (some years ago, I reckon), KDE had less than 1/3.

[...]

After KDE 4.[0-2] I ditched KDE, and it really seemed that Gnome developers were in tune with reality. Small incremental changes, a desktop system focused on giving its users, what the users wanted from it. Now Gnome, seems to have decided that they want other users (and that they couldn't care less about people who depended on it).

I guess that is the true tragedy of the Linux desktop. There is no (affordable?) paid choice I can rely on, to build a 'no frills' desktop system that works, and that won't play such a screwed up move on me such as KDE 4.0 and Gnome 3.0. Ubuntu gets close, but AFAIK there isn't true reliable support, or a hardware choice that I can rest assured that won't be forgotten in 1 year time.


GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 19, 2011 23:13 UTC (Fri) by cmccabe (guest, #60281) [Link]

> I guess that is the true tragedy of the Linux desktop. There is no
> (affordable?) paid choice I can rely on, to build a 'no frills' desktop
> system that works, and that won't play such a screwed up move on me such
> as KDE 4.0 and Gnome 3.0. Ubuntu gets close, but AFAIK there isn't true
> reliable support, or a hardware choice that I can rest assured that won't
> be forgotten in 1 year time.

XFCE is a no-frills desktop system that works and is stable. XFCE packages are available for almost all Linux distributions.

I don't understand your comment about hardware. To my knowledge, all these desktop environments work on the same commodity hardware.

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 20, 2011 21:59 UTC (Sat) by fb (subscriber, #53265) [Link]

> I don't understand your comment about hardware. To my knowledge, all these desktop environments work on the same commodity hardware.

They all work, except when they don't. For a qualified software engineer or sys-admin that is an annoyance, when my parents (living in another continent) get the same trouble, they are stuck.

I bought them a desktop with hand picked components (read: Intel graphics), and told my mother to always update packages (to be up-to-date with security updates). At some point they get offered a dist upgrade, which they accepted. Guess what? The desktop is borked because the latest Ubuntu requires more graphic power than the computer they have.

So what I mean with hardware support, is to be able to buy hardware and a decently priced support package. So that I get software updates (security, and regular bug fixes) without being offered / given a software upgrade that cannot run in that hardware configuration. There isn't any decent "fully committed to support that one hardware configuration" for Linux which I can buy. Ok, there is for NAS devices but not for desktops. The Dell + Ubuntu deal never really took off.

I have a Lenovo X220, certified for RHEL and Ubuntu. *Try* finding the "certified" ubuntu version for it. Ubuntu points to Lenovo. Lenovo points to Ubuntu. It is now running RHEL ("RHEL"! Not CentOS!) and the fan stays on all the time.

Android is (currently?) no better because the devices don't get updates reliably. For instance, the Motorola Xoom is only a "google device" in the USA, in Europe it didn't get the same updates.

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 27, 2011 13:33 UTC (Sat) by maro (guest, #34315) [Link]

There are plenty of scripts and daemons around to control the fan speed on ThinkPads. I'm personally using thinkfan[0] on my ThinkPad X300 running Fedora 15. It isn't packaged for Fedora (yet) but it has no dependencies and is a simple C daemon. If you want to check out some of the others, ThinkWiki[1] has a fairly complete list.

[0] http://thinkfan.sourceforge.net/
[1] http://www.thinkwiki.org/wiki/How_to_control_fan_speed#Fo...

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 23, 2011 9:38 UTC (Tue) by jospoortvliet (subscriber, #33164) [Link]

Interestingly, KDE is back to 2/3 of the votes again. They have been doing the incremental updates since 4.0 and intend to do that into the 5.0 series as well...

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 20, 2011 15:27 UTC (Sat) by mpr22 (subscriber, #60784) [Link]

I am deeply disappointed that people releasing important software still act like it's acceptable for them to release a late alpha as x.0, a late beta as x.1, and an RC-standard release as x.2.

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 21, 2011 2:17 UTC (Sun) by mjg59 (subscriber, #23239) [Link]

It's a stable release that's not feature complete. An alpha would be feature complete but unstable. I think 3.0's pretty close to the usual meaning of a .0.

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 22, 2011 9:36 UTC (Mon) by mpr22 (subscriber, #60784) [Link]

Feature-incomplete is alpha. Feature-complete but unstable is beta. Feature-complete and stable is release-candidate.

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 22, 2011 11:08 UTC (Mon) by mjg59 (subscriber, #23239) [Link]

I don't think I've ever worked on a piece of software where we haven't ended up consciously pushing some features that we'd wanted out to a later release.

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 17, 2011 18:33 UTC (Wed) by ovitters (subscriber, #27950) [Link]

That's what the article already says?

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 18, 2011 1:44 UTC (Thu) by rodgerd (guest, #58896) [Link]

It's like they learned nothing at all from watching the fuck-up that was KDE 4.

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 23, 2011 9:44 UTC (Tue) by jospoortvliet (subscriber, #33164) [Link]

Actually there are very few parallels. GNOME certainly watched KDE and their 4.0 release - GNOME 3 is far more stable. Like KDE 4, it does indeed require some more modern hardware and drivers - but far more computers have that these days than KDE 4.0 did (the requirements are basically the same).

KDE tried to rewrite all their underlying technology but keep the same (or a very similar) UI. GNOME kept most of the infrastructure but wrote a fully new UI. Both projects didn't release a fully feature complete product but hey, both delayed for years already and that's simply damaging to your own community. You MUST release, at some point, or stay irrelevant as you've got nothing to attract new developers (Enlightenment anyone?).

I think it's expected that you can do development of something as big as a DE in two ways: break components all the time or try and work incrementally. If you do the first, you'll never offer a good user experience. if you do the latter, you offer a good and always improving user experience - up to a point. You'll get stuck and once every 6-8 years you have to break free of that and do something new. And yes, that sucks...

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 17, 2011 20:50 UTC (Wed) by cmorgan (guest, #71980) [Link]

People love to bash on gnome3. Stop hoping to convince the designer to admit that it was the worst mistake ever made and then re-design the software just for you. It may be that gnome3's design suits some people and work processes better than others. Or it may be that it suits no one. In any case there are alternatives.

It's more productive to contribute to the design for a new version or contribute some code to help make it the way you want.

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 17, 2011 22:55 UTC (Wed) by jspaleta (subscriber, #50639) [Link]

People seem to be feeling their way through the shell extension capability now.It will be interesting to see what happens in the 3.2 timeframe to make it easier for user to grab,try, keep/remove extensions that add-to/remove basic shell functionality to more suit their personal workflows.

-jef

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 18, 2011 1:51 UTC (Thu) by smadu2 (guest, #54943) [Link]

+1 People should just move on to alternatives (and thanks to the community for having saner alternatives).

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 18, 2011 7:57 UTC (Thu) by drag (guest, #31333) [Link]

Some people are selfish with inflated senses of entitlement.

They think that open source programmers should be slaves to their tastes and if developers want to try something new or shake things up then they are just morons who don't understand the value of tradition.

And if they are dismissed then they cry out like they are being oppressed by these guys who do nothing but program software in order to give it away for free.

Gnome developer:
"The Gnome panel thing sucked so we are getting rid of it. We have not implemented embedding launch icons into the bar for Gnome-shell and we are probably not going to do that. We decided to make the entire shell scriptable, though so ultimately you can do what you want."

Linux Luser:
"Help! Help! I am being oppressed the Gnome devs are NAZIS! They didn't provide buttons to enable font changes! They are making the UI only for stupid people!"

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 18, 2011 11:20 UTC (Thu) by ebassi (subscriber, #54855) [Link]

this.

thanks.

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 18, 2011 11:44 UTC (Thu) by pboddie (guest, #50784) [Link]

Some people are selfish with inflated senses of entitlement.

We've had this discussion before about KDE 4. The sentiment that "these stupid users only ever complain and have an entitlement issue" is somewhat undermined when such users actually take the time to file decent bug reports and attempt to take discussion of the user interface concepts beyond the current level, much to the dismay of the "architects" who all too quickly point out that it is they who are the usability experts, not the users.

They think that open source programmers should be slaves to their tastes and if developers want to try something new or shake things up then they are just morons who don't understand the value of tradition.

There's a difference between telling the users to "write their own damned software" and accommodating their often reasonable requests. It doesn't help the developers to see users go off and use something else, particularly when the developers would like to enjoy popularity and show that their stuff really is widely liked.

And if they are dismissed then they cry out like they are being oppressed by these guys who do nothing but program software in order to give it away for free.

You also have to remember that some people don't actually get to choose their desktop, either because it's a workplace policy or because they're wedded to a particular distribution and that distribution is imposing a particular choice of desktop.

But ultimately, if popularity is so important to the developers - and it is, judging by the vision statements and supposedly big strategic thinking on various blogs - they should at least try and keep the masses mostly happy. The "delicate genius" role is surely only enjoyable with an audience, after all.

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 18, 2011 12:27 UTC (Thu) by mrshiny (subscriber, #4266) [Link]

> judging by the vision statements and supposedly big strategic thinking on various blogs - they should at least try and keep the masses mostly happy.

Exactly. If you write free software and put it up on your website, and you say "I needed X, so I wrote it, maybe you'll like it", and a user comes along and says "It's not good because A, B, C", then you can say "Well, sorry, I don't need that/didn't want to write it/don't have time/think that feature is wrong/whatever", because you have not set any expectations. But we're talking about GNOME here. GNOME has always been a project with a huge scope, first, conquering the Linux desktop (because KDE 1.0 was tainted and eeeeevil), then conquering all Unix desktops, then conquering the world. Along the way this software became popular and widely used. Many many people use it and rely on it. The men and women who work on it now are stewards of an important piece of the community. If they don't want that job, they shouldn't take it. But they are being trusted to do the right thing, and when their users complain, they should listen.

You can say that nobody is forcing you to use GNOME 3. But also nobody forces any particular person to develop GNOME 3. Given the importance of this project to the Linux world, choosing to be part of that project is a deliberate act, which suggests that you care for the people who are already using this project. If you are trying to make general-purpose software, make it for a general audience. Otherwise, start something parallel, like Sugar's UI, or one of the alternative desktops. Ubuntu's direction with Unity is a good example: they are making an alternative front-end for Gnome 3. They are not driving Gnome 3 off a cliff. (Arguments about whether they are driving Ubuntu off a cliff are off-topic, please :) )

(the same arguments apply to KDE 4.0).

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 18, 2011 18:02 UTC (Thu) by cmorgan (guest, #71980) [Link]

> You can say that nobody is forcing you to use GNOME 3. But also nobody
> forces any particular person to develop GNOME 3. Given the importance of
> this project to the Linux world, choosing to be part of that project is a
> deliberate act, which suggests that you care for the people who are
> already using this project. If you are trying to make general-purpose
> software, make it for a general audience.

GNOME *is* very important in the Linux world. Its a large project, has a huge number of users etc.

The difficulty is that you'll almost always find someone to disagree with an idea. I don't think we would end up with very innovative ideas if design decisions were decided by polling users about what they want. You'd have countless conflicts. I don't believe its reasonable to develop anything in such a manner.

Often users don't know what they want. And to be specific, they don't know what they need. Users can also be used to doing something in a particular way. If someone comes along and breaks a learned workflow there is difficulty in adjusting to that.

I don't think the design is the issue, the issue is not being able to easily get back to something more familiar. I'm all for allowing the user to override the designers opinion. In this case why not have an option to fall back to an old style ui (not a gnome3 user so not sure that this option doesn't exist already). I can't imagine that this kind of initiative would be rejected by the developers and designers of gnome, assuming it was integrated properly. I can see how it would be ignored by the designers though. Time is limited so why not improve what you see as the next step rather than work to hang onto the past?

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 18, 2011 13:31 UTC (Thu) by ovitters (subscriber, #27950) [Link]

much to the dismay of the "architects" who all too quickly point out that it is they who are the usability experts, not the users.

If you get an answer you did not like, it does not mean designers/developers are "dismay"ed to receive feedback. Just for the openSUSE live CD link gnome3.org we have *loads* of downloads. We also have a Fedora version on there, but I am not sure how many downloads we have for that one (once known we'll probably do an announcement on gnome.org).

Above is just for the gnome3.org site, it does not include Fedora 15 users.

Compared to the total amount of downloads, I only see a small number actually giving any feedback. And if you read the interview, the feedback is being listened to and some things will change.

I'd prefer at least some trust.

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 18, 2011 17:25 UTC (Thu) by pboddie (guest, #50784) [Link]

On a personal level, I was talking more about KDE than GNOME, since I stopped using GNOME when KDE 2 came out and can only really talk about my own experiences filing bugs and the experiences of people I know who apparently tried to engage the developers in discussion only to be brushed aside, but one certainly sees the disdain for user opinions in the GNOME project, at least historically.

Indeed, starting from the time of the "OK" and "Cancel" button-placement arguments, the atmosphere really seemed to sour, in my opinion. And I still have to use the ridiculous Gtk+ file-saving dialogue to this day, which I recall is something else some usability experts - in reality, mere usability pundits - imposed on everybody and refused to change.

Maybe GNOME 3 has involved listening to the users a bit more, but it still sounds like there are people who feel like they've been thrown off the roadmap.

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 18, 2011 20:13 UTC (Thu) by ovitters (subscriber, #27950) [Link]

How do you know we don't listen? There is a vocal minority, and of course not every wish is done, but if we could know how sure what is best, then it would be much easier to make decisions.

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 19, 2011 1:35 UTC (Fri) by rahvin (subscriber, #16953) [Link]

That vocal minority includes Linus who just moved to XFCE. As a simple user I have one point. That "vocal" minority isn't so minor, particularly when community celebrities call it the worst upgrade ever and then switch. As others have suggested people are simply moving on. Gnome is (IMO) very likely to end up a second class window manager as mind-share (and potentially developers) move away.

Maybe Gnome just pulled a KDE4 and everything will be fixed and back to normal in a year or two. But how much did the KDE4 release damage the KDE community and how much will Gnome3 damage the Gnome community?

IMO the primary objective of any window manager should be to reduce the number of button clicks to perform any task (after all the window manager is the middle man between the real work that needs to be done). The primary complaint by the "vocal" minority is that Gnome3 does exactly the opposite and increases rather dramatically the amount of extraneous clicks to accomplish the same tasks. I don't think those concerns should be ignored.

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 19, 2011 9:37 UTC (Fri) by ovitters (subscriber, #27950) [Link]

Last time Linus mentioned he switched from GNOME to KDE. Now apparently he used GNOME again. All nice, but compared to the number of downloads we have just for the live CD/USB I don't think we get much feedback from GNOME3 users at all.

If you have more concrete figures, I'm all ears. But without figures it is just guesswork. I'm guessing that around 1-3% gives feedback.

For mouse clicks, if you really care about speed, use the keyboard. The designers usually care about different metrics. E.g. how discoverable are things and how quickly do you get things done.
Bit comparable to a micro-benchmark. You might have improved in some small measure, but perhaps by making that change you slowed down the entire process.

Lastly, I don't see the number of clicks as the primary complaint. There are various distinct ones.

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 19, 2011 12:44 UTC (Fri) by pboddie (guest, #50784) [Link]

Last time Linus mentioned he switched from GNOME to KDE. Now apparently he used GNOME again.

I think there's a substantial likelihood that he switched from KDE when the developers' attention shifted to KDE 4 and the distributions switched to it too soon. Indeed, I recall him criticising KDE 4 and switching to XFCE or something else.

All nice, but compared to the number of downloads we have just for the live CD/USB I don't think we get much feedback from GNOME3 users at all. If you have more concrete figures, I'm all ears. But without figures it is just guesswork. I'm guessing that around 1-3% gives feedback.

The issue here is whether the silent users are happy or whether they just don't care, download the software, try it out, and then go back to using Windows the next day. If you want positive feedback, you have to engage the community, but you also have to be prepared that for people who care about the software, some of the feedback will be negative.

Too many of the "community management" exercises seem to be about wagging the finger at people - often frustrated people, so they aren't always so polite - and lecturing them about the "code of conduct", while at the same time cultivating the kind of echo chamber culture that ends up getting criticised in forums like this. But what would people prefer: frustrated bad-tempered users who clearly care enough about the software to write bug reports, or users who just surf from one thing to the next cultivating a bad impression of all the stuff they try out?

I read an article in an airline magazine recently where some hotel chain executive had said that he never wrote complaint letters and was thus precisely the kind of customer that people should be worried about, because if he got bad service then it probably meant that he wouldn't be back. If building a large audience is something you care about, is it not important to get what you can from the people who do leave complaints?

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 18, 2011 22:39 UTC (Thu) by Zizzle (guest, #67739) [Link]

I think part of the problem is that GNOME has been the mainstream defacto desktop linux choice.

So in effect the GNOME3 designers are cramming their turd down our throats.

They admit it's not finished and won't work side-by-side with the older version.

The two biggest distros have quickly switched away from GNOME2, leaving many users not much choice but to complain. (note: users are not usually developers so asking the users to maintain the older version doesn't make sense - in fact the project now claims that they are in no way targeting developer types - you know the types that want a 1-click terminal launcher in their panel)

Like someone pointed out, we can run older releases but how feasible is that in the long run? Security updates? GNOME2 is not parallel installable with GNOME3, so what happens when the applications switch to GTK3?

The choice to so quickly blame or discredit the users who don't do anything other than cheer-lead GNOME shell brings the project no good will.

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 19, 2011 9:41 UTC (Fri) by ovitters (subscriber, #27950) [Link]

If you want a GNOME 2 experience use the fallback mode. It has GNOME panel, GNOME applets will be in 3.2, etc. Just because we put a 3.x version number on the result doesn't mean gnome-panel + gnome-applets did not receive development effort.

We could've called the result 2.34.

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 19, 2011 18:34 UTC (Fri) by tuna (guest, #44480) [Link]

You can install GTK2 and GTK3 side by side.

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 18, 2011 1:45 UTC (Thu) by russell (guest, #10458) [Link]

The very first usability principle is "Design for people", know who your users are and what you want to enable them to do.

That's great.

So try looking for the work product that:

1. Studies these users.
2. Understands what they are currently doing.
3. Documents what they are trying to do
4. And finally, sets measurable goals to improve what they have so that they can do what they are trying to do better.

Does not exist....FAIL....

Damned if you do damned if you don't

Posted Aug 18, 2011 5:40 UTC (Thu) by dwaynebailey (guest, #49311) [Link]

It seems that many people believe that the amount of anti-GNOME3 comments indicates a gross failure. I think it's the fact that the people who are enjoying GNOME3 don't feel they need to make any comments.

The statements then can be really summarised to be - you didn't listen to ME. And ME, I suspect, might just be a drop in the GNOME userbase ocean. Valid from your perspective, but valid as representing GNOME users?

I also write software. We created some early design principles that drive our focus, we revisit these often. I suspect the same is true of GNOME3. We get suggestions and complaints from users. Some we have to reject. Are we not listening to our users? Listening is not doing. From the user's perspective we didn't listen to them. From our perspective you could say we don't want to add features that don't add maximum value, go against our design principle and ultimately cost our time. Essentially someone is asking us to prioritise their needs over the needs of the whole userbase.

I was a very early adopter of GNOME3. It took me two weeks to get used to using it. After that I found GNOME2 frustrating to use, I got lost on the GNOME2 desktop. I started thinking, "how quaint - menus". GNOME3 allows me to just type something to find the app that I need instead of trying to remember that name someone chose for the screenshot app. I like that.

There are things that I don't like but I don't find them so bad that want to rant and rave.

So while this ranting and raving caries on I'm off to go be more productive on my computer.

Damned if you do damned if you don't

Posted Aug 18, 2011 8:07 UTC (Thu) by drag (guest, #31333) [Link]

I am of the opinion that UI should be used, not seen.

There are certainly problems with Gnome-shell that will need to be addressed, but in the initial release it's already far slicker and quicker then Gnome 2.x was.

Damned if you do damned if you don't

Posted Aug 18, 2011 8:33 UTC (Thu) by jku (subscriber, #42379) [Link]

Agreed. For me the shell manages to mostly stay out of my way and mostly be there when I need it. That's a lot already.

I still get frustrated with GNOME 3 but the rage-o-meter stays lower than with GNOME 2 or other operating systems. When the (currently annoying _and_ useless) IM notifications get the promised overhaul I'll be a happy camper.

Damned if you do damned if you don't

Posted Aug 19, 2011 9:37 UTC (Fri) by knewter (guest, #58550) [Link]

This.

I love GNOME3. I installed fedora on my new laptop-for-conferences explicitly to have a really good experience with it. The ubuntu natty gnome3 experience was awful comparatively, for what it's worth.

Most of the things that people complain about (alt+tab, etc) has an extension you can install to give you exactly the functionality you want. It took me all of 10 seconds to find it in the software center in fedora. It's easily switchable with gnome tweak tool.

The fact is, GNOME3 and GTK3 are fantastic. GObject introspection is amazing. Writing gnome apps in javascript and ruby with magically-maintained-bindings is sublime. This is where I wanted to free software desktop to go.

Many thanks to the GNOME3 devs - my experience has been solid.

-Josh Adams

Damned if you do damned if you don't

Posted Aug 18, 2011 8:10 UTC (Thu) by jonabbey (guest, #2736) [Link]

I feel the same way about Gnome 3. It was jarring to get used to, and I had some driver issues, but I wouldn't go back now.

Damned if you do damned if you don't

Posted Aug 18, 2011 8:19 UTC (Thu) by mcruse (guest, #6721) [Link]

If people really enjoyed using Gnome3 I imagine that they would say something. People usually do that when they are genuinely enjoying a new way of doing things.

That aside though, I have really tried to give Gnome3 a chance to win me over. Especially as I figured I would be pretty set in my ways. I knew that there were things I would not like but I thought I should give it a try. I installed F15 on all but one of my five machines. Two months later I am done and I won't stay with it.

I find no improvement for my particular work flow style. In fact I find it a pain to use in many ways and my productivity has been impacted.

I just cannot understand the removal of some fundamental items that I depend upon.

I find the all the "cool" zooming in and out annoying and useless. Handy for the limited screen real estate of a hand held mobile device perhaps but this is my development machine with a pair of 30" monitors. I have real estate.

Focus follows mouse (as a legitimate feature) is indispensable. I seems to be on the deprecation list because it apparently does not work with the absolutely useless screen relative "application menu". Even more whacked on a dual monitor system.

Dual monitor behaviour with virtual desktops is just wrong right now.

Desktop icons are useful for me as are minimize buttons and the justification for removing them is bogus. I am actually able to keep my desktop well organized.

The Task bar is the most efficient way for me to switch apps. I remember the order of task well and they are always visible. Quick and efficient.

Using a single click on in the dock is the fastest way for me to start a commonly used application.

The Gnome3 doc behaviour of bringing the currently running app to the foreground completely frustrates me. I can see the icon (after the superfluous zoomy type operation) and I just want to click on it and run a new terminal without having to go through right click _menu_ traversal.

Switching virtual desktops and apps were already down to one click or key stroke.

Sure menus are quaint, just like knives and forks. And menus haven't gone away either. Almost every application still has them.

It does seem that there is a general theme these days of making sure the desktop UIs are mobile device, touch screen, ready or friendly.

Why apply the real estate and input device limitations of those devices to a desktop environment?

I too feel that some important features have just been thrown away because "its better for me". My feedback is that they are wrong in several key areas.

I also have the feeling that my feedback won't be considered valid since the features I want would mean a significant design change in a few areas.

I am pretty disappointed by the whole situation.

Damned if you do damned if you don't

Posted Aug 18, 2011 9:47 UTC (Thu) by ovitters (subscriber, #27950) [Link]

<blockquote>Focus follows mouse (as a legitimate feature) is indispensable. I seems to be on the deprecation list because it apparently does not work with the absolutely useless screen relative "application menu". Even more whacked on a dual monitor system.</blockquote>

It is not deprecated, only considered a tweak and there are some known bugs with using it. I'm hoping our (currently inactive) focus-follows-mouse loving developer (elijah) will be annoyed enough that he'll start fixing the issues.

So in short: lack of developers.

Damned if you do damned if you don't

Posted Aug 18, 2011 15:42 UTC (Thu) by bronson (subscriber, #4806) [Link]

Of all the issues described in that well written post, you ignored all of them except focus-follows-mouse?

I'm not quite sure what to make of that... Do you consider the rest invalid?

Damned if you do damned if you don't

Posted Aug 18, 2011 20:04 UTC (Thu) by ovitters (subscriber, #27950) [Link]

You're serious?

<joke>I noticed you did not respond to that comment at all. I responded to one item. As a result, I am not sure what to make of your reply. It seems not very productive to not even respond to my focus-follows-mouse answer.</joke>

But seriously: I rather have a discussion with mcruse; I don't see the need for a meta-discussion on how I should reply or how my replies just be interpreted.

Damned if you do damned if you don't

Posted Aug 19, 2011 5:14 UTC (Fri) by bronson (subscriber, #4806) [Link]

I'm 100% serious. I'm curious what you think of the rest of mcruse's items. It's a great list, of which FFM was an almost inconsequential part.

For what it's worth, I'm done discussing focus-follows-mouse in Gnome. If I understand correctly, it's hidden, currently broken, incompatible with the global menu, and unloved by most Gnome devs, but it's NOT deprecated. So be it.

Damned if you do damned if you don't

Posted Aug 18, 2011 20:45 UTC (Thu) by vonbrand (guest, #4458) [Link]

OK, I'll bite. I'm a rabid Fedora user, BTW. I do like Gnome 3. Hated it for a few weeks, had endless trouble with it and switched to XFCE. After trying it again when Nouveau stabilized enough, I'm now using it exclusively. My netbook had some 3D problems and went to fallback (approximately Gnome 2) mode, and I got lost there. Yes, it did take a few days to be able to use it productively, a few weeks to become comfortable, and some months to have it sink in.

Damned if you do damned if you don't

Posted Aug 19, 2011 2:02 UTC (Fri) by jmorris42 (guest, #2203) [Link]

> Yes, it did take a few days to be able to use it productively,
> a few weeks to become comfortable, and some months to have it sink in.

I run a public computing lab in a library. Imagine me telling patrons to 'take a few months for it to sink in'. See my problem? They walk in the front door with certain expectations and when the next Debian ships there will be zero remaining distributions with a suitable desktop experience left.

GNOME3 is a non-starter. KDE is close to newbie useful, will watch and pray. XFCE can be wrangled into 90% of what GNOME2 provided, maybe it will be able to do it out of the box soon.

RHEL/CENTOS will of course keep GNOME2 for now, but that just buys a little more time. How long can RHEL6 remain viable in a world where Firefox churns so quickly and then backporting stops and the word comes down that desktops are expected to upgrade to the latest desktop OS to get the latest browser.

We have been running Linux in our labs since 1998 but I can see a migration to Windows in our future unless something changes.

Damned if you do damned if you don't

Posted Aug 18, 2011 21:54 UTC (Thu) by tuna (guest, #44480) [Link]

Are you using Gnome Shell or are you using Unity?

Damned if you do damned if you don't

Posted Aug 18, 2011 9:33 UTC (Thu) by danieldk (subscriber, #27876) [Link]

GNOME 3 is not there yet, but I really like the direction that gnome-shell and Unity are taking. The competition is quickly changing what constitutes a desktop (e.g. look at Apple's recent introduction of Mission Control, Full Screen apps, and not-so-recent introduction of Spotlight, their work on the iPad/iPhone user interface).

Being a frequent OS X user, GNOME 2 feels old, clunky, and inefficient. It just doesn't fit in my workflow anymore. gnome-shell and unity are slowly moving to a comparable task-driven interface, although in their own peculiar way.

I am very happy that Canonical and GNOME are not stuck in the 90ies. The iPad, iPhone, Android, and things like Mission Control, are quickly changing what most users expect of a computing device. Sure, people who use X11 to manage xterms probably hate it, but if you ever want to reach out to a larger public, you need to go with the times. People who manage xterms can always install Xfce or fvwm.

Will we be more productive with new desktops? Maybe. But for most non-savvy users, traditional interfaces are unintuitive as hell. We tried to teach my mother *very* often how to use a computer. It's just too complex for her. Then we bought her an iPod Touch, and within no time she was sending e-mails and browsing the web. She can now video-call us herself when they are at the other side of a globe. In the meanwhile, she also got an iPad, and continues to be very happy with it.

If Linux wants to have some chance of succeeding on the desktop or mobile devices, you at least have to try to court anyone else than hackers. If not, not really open (Android) or closed (iOS) systems will eat your lunch.

Damned if you do damned if you don't

Posted Aug 21, 2011 11:49 UTC (Sun) by kolla (guest, #23560) [Link]

I'm already moving over to iOS and OSX, simply because the desktops on Linux these days are merely failed attempts at mimicking OSX and Windows. Why bother, I can certainly afford the real thing.

Damned if you do damned if you don't

Posted Aug 23, 2011 11:28 UTC (Tue) by alankila (guest, #47141) [Link]

It's not just that OS X seems to represent where Linux might one day be. Today, OS X does wonderful things with the hardware, such as wi-fi and the touchpad. By the time I manage to get the display lid open, screen is on and wi-fi has already reconnected. The touchpad supports large number of gestures, consisting of up to 4 fingers, and they are convenient to use and have eliminated need for a mouse completely.

It brought me to the realization that I don't expect anyone to catch up with Apple when it comes to end-user visible polish. When it comes to making the UI really slick it's very important that you know also the hardware that the UI runs on. And this is not true for linux distributors or microsoft.

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 18, 2011 14:01 UTC (Thu) by alankila (guest, #47141) [Link]

I'm amazed that nobody so far has complained about the hyperbright, brilliant white, and super-padded GNOME 3 look. To me, that was the biggest turnoff when I tried it out. The bright whites hurt my eyes, and the amount of wasted space was simply obscene. I couldn't bring myself to accept it.

GNOME-Designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 (der Standard)

Posted Aug 18, 2011 21:45 UTC (Thu) by ovitters (subscriber, #27950) [Link]

You mean the height of the title bar and other things? There is a rhythmbox screenshot already demonstrating the problem quite nicely :P Anyway, if it is this, it was a bug and should be solved in 3.2.


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