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Dricot: A freasy future for GNOME

On his blog, GNOME's Lionel Dricot suggests that the project should pursue decentralized online services as its next big goal. "Today, freedom is not only about the code that runs on your computer. It is about all the online services you are connected to, all the servers that host your data." The concept Dricot outlines seems akin to adding ownCloud-like functionality to the existing GNOME stack. "Because we can offer a level of integration never seen before. With technologies such as Telepathy tubes, XMPP, DBus, developing an online application for GNOME would be as easy as writing a desktop application."
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Dricot: A freasy future for GNOME

Posted Aug 10, 2012 21:38 UTC (Fri) by thebluesgnr (guest, #37963) [Link]

"Xan López and Juan José Sánchez suggested to ship a tablet with GNOME in 2014. But isn't that too late? Is it really useful?"

By that line of thinking, GNOME wouldn't even exist. Wasn't it too late to create a free software desktop after Windows 98 had already "won"?

Dricot: A freasy future for GNOME

Posted Aug 10, 2012 22:19 UTC (Fri) by Cyberax (✭ supporter ✭, #52523) [Link]

Well, it was late. GNOME has never achieved meaningful marketshare. Except that it could still occupy a small niche market of Unix desktops geared towards IT professionals and workstations.

I fail to see such niches in the tablet market. Another case in point - KDE4. They've gone crazy with all the Plasma stuff explicitly targeting tablets. They've even managed to produce one real hardware tablet. Now you can watch them fail.

Dricot: A freasy future for GNOME

Posted Aug 11, 2012 0:08 UTC (Sat) by liam (subscriber, #84133) [Link]

Should Apple drop their desktop since they've not had significent marketshare since the 80s?

Dricot: A freasy future for GNOME

Posted Aug 11, 2012 0:47 UTC (Sat) by Cyberax (✭ supporter ✭, #52523) [Link]

Actually that might make sense (and they might be willing to do it). Though it's a good add-on for their main line of projects: iDevices.

You also might notice that MacDesktops are catering to a niche audience. They explicitly don't try to unseat Windows desktop where it's strong (in a corporate setting).

Meanwhile GNOME is losing their existing marketshare (small as it is) and they can't really offer a strong competitive product.

Dricot: A freasy future for GNOME

Posted Aug 11, 2012 6:48 UTC (Sat) by liam (subscriber, #84133) [Link]

You might have missed the relatively recent news that the core Apple users (design-types) have been unhappy with some recent decisions with OSX (the FCP interface change, the lack of a new mac pro for last few years...there were some more but I happen to remember these because of the ars article about mac pro alternatives). So, you might be right about Apple dropping the desktop as a significent venture.
Lastly, you said that Gnome had a niche with UNIX IT people (not exactly wacom wielders but still a niche). Is there convincing evidence that that has disappeared?

Dricot: A freasy future for GNOME

Posted Aug 11, 2012 7:29 UTC (Sat) by danieldk (subscriber, #27876) [Link]

> You might have missed the relatively recent news that the core Apple users (design-types) have been unhappy with some recent decisions with OSX (the FCP interface change, the lack of a new mac pro for last few years...there were some more but I happen to remember these because of the ars article about mac pro alternatives).

Apple used to serve that demographic, but is moving more and more to the low-end mass consumer market software-wise. I used Aperture (Apple's raw editing software) before, nowadays, it is mostly neglected, unstable, and slow. In the meanwhile, I moved to Lightroom, since Adobe seems to care for that market. Apple invests more in 'toy variants' of FCP and Aperture, namely iMovie and iPhoto. My wife uses both, and they are not really able to handle large amounts of material, and lack in many areas (e.g. geocoding in iPhoto, because low-end users alls use an iPhone as their photo camera).

The operating system is also slowly changing towards non-power users. E.g. they replaced the sane Exposé/Spaces by Mission Control in 10.7, which sucks, and full-screen apps (also introduced in 10.7) don't work with multiple monitors (one screen is just a grey canvas). Also, Mountain Lion (10.8), while still being very usable, slowly made the next step towards iOSification: by default it only runs signed applications or applications from the app store. I won't be surprised if the next version runs only app store applications by default.

Dricot: A freasy future for GNOME

Posted Aug 11, 2012 12:57 UTC (Sat) by hummassa (subscriber, #307) [Link]

> Also, Mountain Lion (10.8), while still being very usable, slowly made the next step towards iOSification: by default it only runs signed applications or applications from the app store.

oops, someone just fell into the FUD machine. This is definitively not true.

Dricot: A freasy future for GNOME

Posted Aug 11, 2012 13:34 UTC (Sat) by alankila (guest, #47141) [Link]

It does not want ordinary users to disable this protection though. For instance, when libreoffice 3.6 was released, I installed it and it would not run because the code was not signed...

So I go to disable this protection and a dialog pops up that says something along the lines of this: "You can actually ctrl-click if you just want to run some application while this protection is enabled. Do you still want to disable it?"

I did not disable the protection, and it made some kind of entry in its database that says LO is allowed to run forever on this computer, and everything kept on working.

Dricot: A freasy future for GNOME

Posted Aug 11, 2012 17:18 UTC (Sat) by hummassa (subscriber, #307) [Link]

everything I download from the internet runs just fine...

Dricot: A freasy future for GNOME

Posted Aug 11, 2012 18:09 UTC (Sat) by danieldk (subscriber, #27876) [Link]

Check your security settings. Either 'Allow applications downloaded from' is set to 'Anywhere', or you are only downloading signed applications ;).

Dricot: A freasy future for GNOME

Posted Aug 11, 2012 18:07 UTC (Sat) by danieldk (subscriber, #27876) [Link]

I didn't fall for any FUD.

I used Mountain Lion since the earliest beta's, and it is true. By default it only runs signed applications (and applications from the app store are, by requirement signed). Running an unsigned application will give an error. However, you *can* disable this in the security settings, so that it will run every application.

Dricot: A freasy future for GNOME

Posted Aug 11, 2012 20:05 UTC (Sat) by Kit (guest, #55925) [Link]

That's not really accurate, though.

It only prevents applications downloaded from the Internet that are /completely/ unsigned (and only if the program that did the downloading marked them as such). Self signed apps will receive a scary warning, but can still be opened, while apps signed with an Apple-provided certificate will work fine (doesn't matter if they're distributed via the App Store).

This means that already-run apps will work just fine, as would apps that are acquired via physical media (such as CD/DVD/flash sticks).

The reporting has done a fairly poor job of explaining exactly what it restricts and how it functions, unfortunately.

Dricot: A freasy future for GNOME

Posted Aug 11, 2012 7:53 UTC (Sat) by Rehdon (guest, #45440) [Link]

It has not disappeared, nobody is claiming that (not even the guy you're replying to, if you read again what he wrote). But it has shrunk considerably. "Convincing evidence"? It depends on how high you put the bar, i.e. if you'll be convinced by a thorough survey of all (ex) Gnome users that won't happen any time soon.

My personal anecdotal evidence (= every Linux user I know has moved to something else, like XFCE, after Gnome 3 was out) plus all the comments (thousands of them, some quite ... energetic :) by people disapproving of the new "philosophy", plus a surge in alternatives (Unity, MATE, Cinnamon, and see the current Nautilus-forking fest) is enough to convince me that Gnome is indeed losing its existing user and developer base, that the Linux desktop is now much more fragmented than it was just a few months ago and that it will stay that way for quite some time. Unfortunately.

Rehdon

Dricot: A freasy future for GNOME

Posted Aug 11, 2012 15:18 UTC (Sat) by krake (subscriber, #55996) [Link]

"with all the Plasma stuff explicitly targeting tablets"

Plasma is not targetting any specific form factor or device in particular.
On the contrary, it was created to enable KDE workspaces to be deployed on very different form factors and devices and still share as much code as possible.

The sole fact that work on Plasma started way earlier than any tablet appearing on the consumer scene should make it obvious that is cannot be "explicitly targeting tablets"

Dricot: A freasy future for GNOME

Posted Aug 13, 2012 12:31 UTC (Mon) by nye (guest, #51576) [Link]

He's not saying that Plasma targets tablets; he's just talking about the Plasma stuff that does, ie. Plasma Active which has had a fair bit of press recently.

Think about the sentence if it were "with software explicitly targeting tablets" - that's not saying that all software targets tablets.

Dricot: A freasy future for GNOME

Posted Aug 13, 2012 15:08 UTC (Mon) by krake (subscriber, #55996) [Link]

Ah, I see.

"gone crazy" and "all the Plasma stuff" threw me off then.
The tablet specific code is only about 5% of the Plasma code base (e.g. see http://lwn.net/Articles/504865/)

Dricot: A freasy future for GNOME

Posted Aug 10, 2012 22:59 UTC (Fri) by khim (subscriber, #9252) [Link]

By that line of thinking, GNOME wouldn't even exist. Wasn't it too late to create a free software desktop after Windows 98 had already "won"?

No, because it was not created for the desktop which Windows 98 won. That desktop was (and still is) untouchable for the likes of GNOME! Instead GNOME (and KDE) filled the void left by demise of the commercial UNIX. FreeBSD and Linux filled the void on "classic, text-based server" since GNU tools were already in wide use when said demise happened, but OPEN LOOK (later OpenWindows), CDE and others were not available - they were proprietary and their creators only freed them years later, when GNOME far surpassed them. Thus GNOME had small yet quite desperate group of potential users who adopted and supported it. From the beginning to now this group is the same. But it's shrinking now because people have a nice alternative: MacOS. Sure, they are not the target group, but if you want "Unix with nice GUI" then MacOS is quite usable replacement novadays.

This is where Lionel loses the track: some people care about freedom, but most people don't. At least they don't care enough to drop convenience of Android and/or iOS. Think about it: most Linux users use it not because it's free but because it's cheap (I'm talking about server and emdebbed here, obviously, not about desktop: on desktop, indeed, most users prefer Linux because it's free… and we all know how many of these are out there — one or two users out of hundred care about freedom, tops). If you want to attract users to GNOME-based tablet then you either need to offer something for cheap (but Android has this base covered) or you need something unique (and no, freedom is not a good selling point as shown above). Easiness of install??? Pushlease: no matter how easy you'll make it it'll be harder then pre-install anyway. We are comparing zero efforts here with non-zero efforts! Thus yes, easiness of installation is cool, but this only lowers the entry bar, you still need some attraction to get users. Because without users eventually your platform will lose developers, too, then it'll become a zombie.

Dricot: A freasy future for GNOME

Posted Aug 12, 2012 2:22 UTC (Sun) by elanthis (guest, #6227) [Link]

> Think about it: most Linux users use it not because it's free but because it's cheap (I'm talking about server and emdebbed here, obviously, not about desktop: on desktop, indeed, most users prefer Linux because it's free

I'd argue that most Linux desktops users are those looking to tinker and play around. Look at the install base of proprietary drivers, the excitement over Steam, and the constant demand for more ISVs to support Linux. I don't see Freedom being the most valued attribute of Linux on the desktop.

Personally, the vast majority of folks I get asking me about Linux outside of the server are programmery types looking for cool toys to tinker with. Freedom is not a concept that they have yet grasped, most of them care just as little as anyone else, and cheapness is hardly an issue for them. Obviously my anecdotal evidence here is biased, since I'm surrounded by programmery types in an industry that is very proprietary in nature, so take that as you will.

The plural of anecdote

Posted Aug 12, 2012 17:12 UTC (Sun) by Wol (guest, #4433) [Link]

IS data.

Okay, anecdotes are often a biased sample, but as another poster said - "everyone I know" ...

When you get stuff like that, you *need* to find the explanation if you want to understand. I suspect that people who object to anecdotes are actually indulging in the very UNscientific pursuit of collecting only the evidence that confirms their prejudice, not the scientific pursuit of evidence whether or not it supports them. Indeed, true science is the pursuit of evidence that does NOT support you.

If you can't find any, then you can conclude you are probably right :-)

Cheers,
Wol

Dricot: A freasy future for GNOME

Posted Aug 13, 2012 8:44 UTC (Mon) by Pawlerson (guest, #74136) [Link]

I'd argue that most Linux desktops users are those looking to tinker and play around. Look at the install base of proprietary drivers, the excitement over Steam, and the constant demand for more ISVs to support Linux. I don't see Freedom being the most valued attribute of Linux on the desktop.
From my observations freedom doesn't matter much for most of the Linux users, but it's the most important to Linux itself. What most users want is software. That's why Windows is so popular. Its users don't care if their toy OS has vulnerabilities that come from DOS or that GUI operates in the kernel space. Bring software to Linux and Windows will loose an only advantage.

Dricot: A freasy future for GNOME

Posted Aug 10, 2012 22:47 UTC (Fri) by nix (subscriber, #2304) [Link]

'[W]e should forget about the "Desktop environment" thing'
Well, that's a shame, because that's what all your users thought they were using. (Those you have left). But no! It's an OS now, so if you didn't want GNOME to take your entire system over, you can just bugger off.

Decentralized online services are important... but is a desktop environment the right project to bootstrap that from? I very much doubt it: it's just that GNOME is there but it seems its developers are bored with the whole desktop environment thing and want to do something else.

I don't understand why they don't just start a new project to do that (or join an existing one). I mean, whatever next? Should coreutils forget about the command-line utilities thing, in favour of implementing mobile apps?

Dricot: A freasy future for GNOME

Posted Aug 11, 2012 8:48 UTC (Sat) by nix (subscriber, #2304) [Link]

btw, I'm aware that Lionel is not a native English speaker, but, please please take 'freasy' and drop it into a very deep hole. It's got worse phonotactics than any other free software coinage I've heard since 'lignux' or possibly even the original 'freax' name for Linux. 'freasy', to me, is extremely reminiscent mostly of 'greasy' and 'queasy'.

(I'm aware that a proper understanding of the phonotactic value of new words is incredibly hard for non-native speakers to grasp: heck, expensive native-speaking 'branding consultants' seem to have enough trouble with it given the appalling feel of many of the words they come up with... but 'freasy' definitely is waay over there on the bad side.)

Dricot: A freasy future for GNOME

Posted Aug 11, 2012 13:37 UTC (Sat) by juliank (subscriber, #45896) [Link]

He didn't create the word. The urban dictionary primarily says:

"A combination of the words free + easy.

Usually referring to a woman that seems like an easy target for a one night stand while being free of any negative attributes such as (but not limited to) being fat, ugly/unattractive, diseased, infected, completely intoxicated, etc..."

but also as a third option gives you:

"Freasy, a combination of fried and greasy. Originated in rural Nebraska near Alvo."

Dricot: A freasy future for GNOME

Posted Aug 11, 2012 14:07 UTC (Sat) by cjwatson (subscriber, #7322) [Link]

Urban Dictionary is just about the worst possible reference for anything, though.

Dricot: A freasy future for GNOME

Posted Aug 11, 2012 20:52 UTC (Sat) by hummassa (subscriber, #307) [Link]

Why would that be?

Dricot: A freasy future for GNOME

Posted Aug 12, 2012 8:52 UTC (Sun) by cjwatson (subscriber, #7322) [Link]

It's like a wiki that hasn't realised that you're supposed to revert vandalism rather than giggle at it.

Dricot: A freasy future for GNOME

Posted Aug 13, 2012 12:40 UTC (Mon) by nye (guest, #51576) [Link]

But if your intention is to find out ways in which people might interpret this phrase, then that's exactly what you want.

(FWIW I've found urban dictionary to be honestly useful when trying to figure out what people mean when they use slang I've not heard of. Wikipedia - not so much)

Dricot: A freasy future for GNOME

Posted Aug 13, 2012 13:02 UTC (Mon) by cjwatson (subscriber, #7322) [Link]

Or ways in which somebody who was drunk in front of their computer once thought it might be funny to convince people that a phrase might be interpreted.

(Honestly, a bunch of the time it just doesn't bear much resemblance to any idiolect I've ever encountered, and more often than not seems to be obsessed with sex acts and/or misogynist slurs. I'm all for descriptive linguistics, but there are limits.)

Dricot: A freasy future for GNOME

Posted Aug 13, 2012 13:22 UTC (Mon) by k8to (subscriber, #15413) [Link]

Pasting nonsense definitions to urban dictionary that were made up on the spot is kind of a sport.

Dricot: A freasy future for GNOME

Posted Aug 11, 2012 15:35 UTC (Sat) by krake (subscriber, #55996) [Link]

"but is a desktop environment the right project to bootstrap that from?"

GNOME (and also KDE) have long ago surpassed being "a desktop project".
I think a more accurate description would be that they are a community for end user computing needs. And those needs have expanded from desktop environment plus a couple of often used applications.

This is also not a new development, the scope has already been expanded several years back and the latest changes are just taking new external realities into consideration.

Some of the previous changes were e.g. adjustments to applications and infrastructure to deal with the expansion of end user scope from desktop to desktops and laptops.
E.g. NetworkManager for dynamically managing network connections, offline support for important protocols like IMAP, etc.

Dricot: A freasy future for GNOME

Posted Aug 11, 2012 22:56 UTC (Sat) by nix (subscriber, #2304) [Link]

GNOME and KDE are desktop environments at the root: they may have built other stuff on top of that, but KDE at least is still interested in being useful on a desktop, and at least partly driven by the needs of desktop users. That's good, because it's their *existing userbase*. GNOME seems to have forgotten that (though GNOME has long had a wide streak of developer contempt for users, where 'users' are defined as 'anyone not a GNOME developer': so maybe this is just an existing tendency intensifying into an outright pathology).

(FWIW, I consider laptops to be 'desktops' in this respect: the needs of laptop UIs, other than a few extra devices and lots of hotpluggability, are very similar to those of desktops. Tablets, though, are wildly different.)

Dricot: A freasy future for GNOME

Posted Aug 12, 2012 2:40 UTC (Sun) by ovitters (subscriber, #27950) [Link]

though GNOME has long had a wide streak of developer contempt for users, where 'users' are defined as 'anyone not a GNOME developer': so maybe this is just an existing tendency intensifying into an outright pathology

So GNOME has contempt for users? News to me! Stating your beliefs as true doesn't make it true. Cool that you're annoyed, but no need to vent.

Dricot: A freasy future for GNOME

Posted Aug 12, 2012 6:02 UTC (Sun) by billev2k (subscriber, #32054) [Link]

It sure seems to me that the GNOME developers have contempt for their users. While GNOME 3 implements some great ideas, it's pretty aggressive in its "one thing at a time" approach. And it is pretty lousy for someone (like me) who remembers where things are kept, but not what they're called. And their response to every question about their changes is "get over it".

And the new Nautilus (from the screenshots and descriptions) seems completely useless. But more iPad like -- a screenfull of icons.

Thank goodness for Mint...

Dricot: A freasy future for GNOME

Posted Aug 12, 2012 14:37 UTC (Sun) by ewan (subscriber, #5533) [Link]

"Stating your beliefs as true doesn't make it true."

No, but you saying that doesn't mean nix's comment is untrue either. Let's have another look at this recent bug report shall we, and see whether the attitude of the Gnome devs could be considered to show contempt towards the users they're communicating with.

- Firstly, a long established feature, commonly understood, available across multiple desktops, has been summarily broken. Already, that shows a degree of contempt.

- Next up, the first response from the Gnome project is to ignore the substance of the bug report completely, and attempt to immediately derail any discussion by telling the reporter off for being mean (which he wasn't). Definitely contemptuous behaviour.

- Having rather rudely told the bug reporter to stick to the technical issues, his (and others') technical concerns about scalability, NFS filesystems and so forth are dismissed with "It isn't a problem because we're not going to be stupid". Absolutely dripping with contempt.

- Another user weighs in to point out that this seems to be a pattern of behaviour from the Gnome project, and is explicitly told to go away, and that what they've said "is NOT welcome".

- Despite having managed to get through some technical discussion on why a search feature (however good it may be) is not a replacement for the removed feature, and doesn't cover the same use cases, the maintainer dismisses the whole bug report by saying that he doesn't "see type-ahead find coming back". There's utter contempt from the project for its users there, and in at least two ways. Firstly; the pointless removal of a useful (and used) feature, and secondly, the attitude that users have to back up what they say with detailed technical arguments and bug reports for every little thing, but the project can just hand down a decision with no such technical supporting case at all.

- The whole report ends with another user explaining at some length why the removed feature is useful, used, and widely expected, and that removing it actually is a bug, and the project's representative responds by threatening to delete his account!

The fact is that the Gnome project is treating its users with contempt, and saying it doesn't need to make it true - it just reflects the reality that it already is.

Dricot: A freasy future for GNOME

Posted Aug 12, 2012 16:19 UTC (Sun) by Rehdon (guest, #45440) [Link]

And I thought that bug report discussion couldn't get any worse, boy was I wrong!

Dricot: A freasy future for GNOME

Posted Aug 12, 2012 16:34 UTC (Sun) by bronson (subscriber, #4806) [Link]

I've felt contempt from the Gnome3 project as a whole, and from you personally. How is this news to you?

> Cool that you're annoyed

Seriously, how is this news to you?

Dricot: A freasy future for GNOME

Posted Aug 13, 2012 12:40 UTC (Mon) by Thanatopsis (guest, #14019) [Link]

>So GNOME has contempt for users?

They sure come across like they do. I've read many contemptuous posts here on lwn and in the forums. This link is a good summery. http://www.christoph-wickert.de/blog/2011/06/25/gnome-dev...

Dricot: A freasy future for GNOME

Posted Aug 12, 2012 13:35 UTC (Sun) by krake (subscriber, #55996) [Link]

"GNOME and KDE are desktop environments at the root"

Right, that was kind of implicit in "have long surpassed"

They did indeed start out as desktop environment projects but have over time evolved.

Nowadays the majority of contributors is working on applications, only a small subset of each of the two communities is working on workspace components.
The desktop/workspace has become just one of the several products created by them.

Dricot: A freasy future for GNOME

Posted Aug 10, 2012 23:13 UTC (Fri) by cjsh (guest, #83360) [Link]

I realize that everyone likes to watch a train wreck but, can we stop with the gnome stories already? This seems way over exposed. They're not doing desktops anymore and want to do a tablet, seems like pretty common knowledge by now.

Dricot: A freasy future for GNOME

Posted Aug 11, 2012 1:23 UTC (Sat) by Company (guest, #57006) [Link]

Apart from the fact that all hell would break loose inside GNOME if we stopped with the Desktop, it seems we out sell average stories by 2 orders of magnitude and even KDE and Qt stories by an order of magnitude if you go by comments.

So I guess LWN just posts what users want?

Dricot: A freasy future for GNOME

Posted Aug 11, 2012 2:56 UTC (Sat) by cmccabe (guest, #60281) [Link]

Well, in this blog post, Lionel Dricot literally wrote "as Lennart Poettering pointed out, we should forget about the 'Desktop environment' thing." And then he holds up Tizen as an example of what GNOME should be in the future.

> ... it seems we out sell average stories by 2 orders of magnitude and
> even KDE and Qt stories by an order of magnitude if you go by comments.

So GNOME is trolling us? I guess ever since TrollTech got bought out, someone needed to fill the void.

Dricot: A freasy future for GNOME

Posted Aug 11, 2012 3:54 UTC (Sat) by Company (guest, #57006) [Link]

I have no idea who's trolling whom. My guess is that almost nobody uses KDE anymore so nobody cares about it. But a few GNOME users seem to be left.
By the looks of it, most of them are on Debian stable and fear for the next release.

Dricot: A freasy future for GNOME

Posted Aug 11, 2012 9:24 UTC (Sat) by rleigh (guest, #14622) [Link]

If you were to look at the debian-user list, then there have been quite a number of people expressing concern about what will happen to their GNOME environment and their ability to run existing GNOME applications when they upgrade from squeeze (which is GNOME2) to wheezy (which is GNOME3). They are understandably worried about the consequences. Their concerns are real. What do they do when stable is no longer supported and they have to upgrade?

GNOME2 was (and is) used by many people for real serious work. In my previous institution, we had entire labs of Fedora workstations, and the personal workstations of many researchers and grad students were running principally Ubuntu, but also Fedora, Debian etc.. These were being used for scientific simulation, visualisation, coding, teaching and more general use as well. They all ran GNOME2. GNOME3 would not sensibly satisfy any of these needs. And as for using it on the lab systems--it's so alien and undiscoverable, it would be a support nightmare. Can you imagine how unproductive running a class with students on this would be?

With GNOME2, there was a big effort to make it a clean up the anarchy of GNOME1, and make it a professional desktop with consistent design, HIG, manageable with gconf etc., which would be used by businesses and such. And it was. It made a great deal of sense. And it was adopted by many businesses, institutions, etc.. What happens to these now? GNOME3 is clearly not suitable for a business or professional setting.

It's an unfortunate situation. There is no upgrade path here. All these existing GNOME2 users ultimately have to make a choice to "upgrade" to GNOME3, or move to something else. But it's not really a choice. Given that it's completely unsuitable for real work, all these GNOME2 users will be forced to move elsewhere.

Dricot: A freasy future for GNOME

Posted Aug 11, 2012 10:07 UTC (Sat) by jospoortvliet (subscriber, #33164) [Link]

Pick the right tool for the job, I'd say. On future touch screen laptops (and desktops!), Shell will be quite nice, and it surely will work on tablets (once they fix the applications). And it's quite easy to learn to work with it, too. I think it'll do well at Point-Of-Sales and Kiosk systems, schools probably too, once they make a decent framework like KDE's Kiosk for managing what the user can and can't do.

It just isn't particularly good at replacing GNOME 2, but there are others doing that. Mate continues GNOME 2 and XFCE and KDE both can provide a very-close-to-GNOME-2 experience. With XFCE adding less resource usage and KDE adding an number of efficiency features. Both are great for Getting Things Done (the use case where GNOME Shell imho fails at).

Seeing the comments about Apple going for more mainstream users I'm guessing Shell is going in the same direction and it's inevitable that there is some loss. And I don't mind, it's good somebody is doing it and while at it, GNOME devs are certainly innovating and trying new things. Points for that.

Dricot: A freasy future for GNOME

Posted Aug 11, 2012 12:01 UTC (Sat) by danieldk (subscriber, #27876) [Link]

> On future touch screen laptops (and desktops!), Shell will be quite nice,

No one has shown yet that touch laptops and desktops work. In fact, Apple did research in this area, and concluded that it did not work. Which is not surprising, because controlling a vertical surface is very tiresome.

> It just isn't particularly good at replacing GNOME 2, but there are others doing that. Mate continues GNOME 2 and XFCE and KDE both can provide a very-close-to-GNOME-2 experience.

It's saddening to see how far some in the free software community are removed from actual users. The average user who wants to get work done, is not interested in learning another desktop environment, they (reasonably) expect to be able to continue to use whatever they use with evolutionary changes. Mate is nice, but no company or organisation in their right mind is going to deploy a software project that is so fundamental to the desktop, that may not exist anymore in one or two years.

Our university is in this situation: it has hundreds of GNOME 2 on Ubuntu users. They cannot just switch to another desktop experience overnight (so, GNOME 3 and Unity are probably out), let alone, force users to switch to another desktop. They cannot install Mint (the usual answer you'll hear around here), since they use Canonical's Landscape management system and Mint is not yet an established player let alone a commercial entity where you can purchase support. tl;dr: they are between a rock and a hard place.

GNOME (and Canonical) probably have not realized what situation they have put large users in by not providing a reasonable migration path, or even beter, evolutionary development. The net result will probably be that some organisations will stick for years with LTS versions of Ubuntu (or RHEL), which sucks for other reasons (hardware support, old software). Others will seriously consider Windows, since, besides its flaws, Windows 7 will be supported for almost forever. And Windows applications will also support Windows 7 for many years to come. Where people have a choice of choosing their platform, some will switch to OS X (in fact, I see this happening in our university all around me).

tl;dr: the average user who is not interested in desktop environments or FLOSS, but just wants a decent workstation system, does not want to switch desktops, distributions, or user interface paradigms overnight.

Dricot: A freasy future for GNOME

Posted Aug 11, 2012 12:16 UTC (Sat) by slashdot (guest, #22014) [Link]

Desktops are never going to be mainly controlled with a touchscreen.

Why?

Because laser mice are 5700 dpi (and improving), while monitors are 96 dpi: hence, you need to move your arm a distance which is *50 TIMES* larger when using a touchscreen, and also keep your arm in a very uncomfortable position.

Also, with a physical keyboard you can rest your hands on it without pressing the keys, while you can't do that with a virtual keyboard.

Mouse and keyboard will only be replaced when it is possible to directly read the user's brain.

If you don't believe this, just try it yourself, by pretending that your desktop monitor is a touchscreen even if isn't, and trying using it as such for a few minutes.

Dricot: A freasy future for GNOME

Posted Aug 11, 2012 22:44 UTC (Sat) by nix (subscriber, #2304) [Link]

A few minutes? Those of us with even a little RSI can't do it for five seconds. I can't use the touchscreen features on *existing* laptops (tablets are fine because the orientation is quite different).

Dricot: A freasy future for GNOME

Posted Aug 11, 2012 12:53 UTC (Sat) by ewan (subscriber, #5533) [Link]

"let alone, force users to switch to another desktop"

I think you're overestimating how hard is is to switch from Gnome 2 to a suitably configured KDE4. They're not radically different approaches; it's much less of a jump than moving to something as conceptually different to either of them as Gnome 3 is.

As long as you can give people something that works roughly the way they're used to they're not going to worry if it looks a bit different. KDE is flexible enough that you should be able to provide people with something that's similar enough to the old setup that they can find their way around.

Dricot: A freasy future for GNOME

Posted Aug 11, 2012 14:12 UTC (Sat) by sorpigal (subscriber, #36106) [Link]

It's a nice theory, but to make it workable for most people someone would need to deploy a simple "run this" or "install this package" setup tool which configures KDE4 to be as GNOME2-like as possible. It's a hard sell because, in the end, it's all about the applications and it seems like applications associated with GNOME are being gutted into unrecognizably. So, again, it's either "Stick with the old version," or upgrade and lose, or switch to something else and be unhappy.

Dricot: A freasy future for GNOME

Posted Aug 13, 2012 13:10 UTC (Mon) by Thanatopsis (guest, #14019) [Link]

I'm making the switch with my customers. The consensus among them is Gnome 3 sucks and they don't want it. Fortunately they are currently running Gnome 2 + compiz + glx-dock for their basic desktop. The switch to KDE + glx-dock is not too dramatic. They love Lancelot for the menus. Initial feedback is good. I do worry that the Gnome people will ruin applications like Evolution the way they are others like Nautilus.

Upgrading from GNOME 2

Posted Aug 13, 2012 11:35 UTC (Mon) by grantingram (guest, #18390) [Link]

I haven't used GNOME 3, but when I switched from 10.04 to 12.04 with Unity as the main interface I didn't have to learn very much in the way of a new desktop experience.

The point being that for Ubuntu at least the upgrade path didn't seem very painful. That's only one data point but I think the free software community is doing a better job than it might first seem.

Upgrading from GNOME 2

Posted Aug 13, 2012 17:01 UTC (Mon) by slashdot (guest, #22014) [Link]

That's because the Unity developers actually have to deliver a consumer product they care about every six months, with Shuttleworth putting his own money on the line and keeping them in check, so utterly crazy things are avoided or fixed once noticed.

On the other hand, GNOME 3 apparently has no such constraints, and the GNOME developers are clearly fond of taking full advantage of the situation.

Dricot: A freasy future for GNOME

Posted Aug 11, 2012 13:01 UTC (Sat) by rleigh (guest, #14622) [Link]

"Pick the right tool for the job, I'd say."

The thing is, GNOME2 was the right tool, and GNOME3 is not. GNOME2 has a massive userbase--it was the default desktop on Linux for a decade after all--which has been discarded on a whim. The vast majority of GNOME2 users are on desktops and laptops. Why drop them? There's precious little evidence that of the tiny tablet market, any of them would want to use GNOME, so why chase after that minute niche rather than catering to your entire, massive, desktop userbase. There's a good reason why there's a great deal of displeasure over GNOME3, and it's entirely rational. Hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people use GNOME2 every day at home and work. And they've been told categorically that they don't matter, and won't be catered for.

"I think it'll do well at Point-Of-Sales and Kiosk systems"

GNOME2 was already adequate for such systems, if not overkill. Back in the 2004-5 timeframe, my full time job was working on prototyping a touch-screen Point-Of-Sale system using GTK+, on GNOME. These are highly specialist custom applications. We used custom touch-friendly entry widgets. This logic was in the application, not the desktop environment. Such applications typically run fullscreen without actually using a desktop at all--they are generally locked down custom appliances, not general purpose. If the existing userbase is being discarded in favour of this... it's a completely wasted effort. And it's also a tiny niche market--certainly nothing to abandon the existing userbase over.

The above PoS effort was ultimately abandoned. The GTK+ and GNOME libraries and bindings were not of good enough quality to make it a realistic proposition. And this is still the case today. A GNOME "OS" or "SDK" is completely unrealistic until there's some evidence that stable, usable, not horrendously buggy library APIs can be maintained by the GNOME developers. That's not happened in the last decade, so it's not a realistic expectation for that to improve any time soon. Merely wishing it does not make it so--and given the poor maintenance of the existing codebase, it would be foolish to commit it using it.

Dricot: A freasy future for GNOME

Posted Aug 11, 2012 17:28 UTC (Sat) by hummassa (subscriber, #307) [Link]

> GNOME2 has a massive userbase--it was the default desktop on Linux for a decade after all

That made me laugh. Hard.

AOL

Posted Aug 12, 2012 17:29 UTC (Sun) by Wol (guest, #4433) [Link]

Likewise the comment about KDE not being used ...

Okay, I think SuSE is about the only distro that defaults to KDE, but Kubuntu certainly seems to be popular.

But I'll add to that, my *limited* experience is that nobody uses Gnome!

I've now installed xfce and lxde on my system, but mostly because I've got fed up with dealing with the fallout of "emerge -u kde" in a kde console window. (The update takes out konsole, which takes out emerge, which leaves me with a mess of an upgrade to sort out!)

I've always been a kde guy, even when nepomuk was enabled by default and had a habit of killing systems... (as somebody pointed out elsewhere, even if it was infuriating, the kde devs did say "we're going to fix it" rather than what I see reported of Gnome guys saying "live with it").

Cheers,
Wol

AOL

Posted Aug 12, 2012 20:05 UTC (Sun) by nybble41 (subscriber, #55106) [Link]

> I've now installed xfce and lxde on my system, but mostly because I've got fed up with dealing with the fallout of "emerge -u kde" in a kde console window.

screen emerge -u kde
[... konsole exits ...]
screen -R

Dricot: A freasy future for GNOME

Posted Sep 6, 2012 9:08 UTC (Thu) by jospoortvliet (subscriber, #33164) [Link]

Ok, talking about SDK and software development - GTK is lightyears behind everything else. Qt is currently clearly the industry-standard for stuff like POS, info screens, custom touch devices and all that, with or without KDE stuff on top. So GTK was the WRONG tool for THAT job, by a huge margin I'd say.

Dricot: A freasy future for GNOME

Posted Sep 6, 2012 12:29 UTC (Thu) by rleigh (guest, #14622) [Link]

The decision was not clear-cut back in 2004, and even now, I'm sure that the GTK+ developers would contest this. You also need to consider that back then, people were adapting GTK+ for use on embedded devices, including touch sensitive and more specialised device-specific input. Even now, these things are still possible.

The problem with all UI libraries is that they tend to become their own enclosed universe, which you have to buy into completely. GTK+ suffers from this with GObject and the whole consequences of that. Qt suffers from its complete aversion to the STL--I might want to use it without all its non-standard types. And others like FLTK have a backward and non-extensible widget model by putting all the configurable properties in the base class. I've yet to find one which is just usable without all the extra junk; the GTK+ widget packing model is quite elegant, so it's a shame about the rest.

Dricot: A freasy future for GNOME

Posted Sep 6, 2012 12:46 UTC (Thu) by rahulsundaram (subscriber, #21946) [Link]

Technically, Qt seems to have a number of advantages. Undoubtedly it has a lot more full time developers working on it. However from a governance stand point, GTK is better. It is managed by a non-profit and doesn't require anyone to sign agreements before accepting contributions. Also Qt seems to be under turmoil now after Nokia abandoned Linux development (which to be fair, also has affected GTK) and it is not clear how much of a good free software citizen Digia is going to be. If Qt would be moved to management under a non-profit foundation, that would be a great outcome.

Dricot: A freasy future for GNOME

Posted Sep 6, 2012 13:34 UTC (Thu) by jospoortvliet (subscriber, #33164) [Link]

Yes, the future is uncertain, that much is clear. Then again, with still orders of magnitude more hackers on Qt (even if Digia would walk away, Qt would still have 10 times as many full-time hackers than GTK) and with many large companies like IBM, BMW and most of the movie industry all depending on Qt - I doubt it'll go the way of the dodo.

The governance thing I agree with, I would prefer a foundation too. Then again, a company can probably put in more engineers than a foundation could - I doubt even a hugely successful Qt foundation would manage to employ 200 developers. Realistic would be more like 20 and that'd be a huge decrease from the current situation.

And again, these numbers (both users and contributors) are so far ahead of any other FOSS toolkit I think we can safely say there is one de-facto standard toolkit on Linux and it's very Cute ehrm Qt ;-)

Dricot: A freasy future for GNOME

Posted Sep 6, 2012 13:46 UTC (Thu) by rahulsundaram (subscriber, #21946) [Link]

I am not sure if Digia walks away from Qt, there will be a lot of full time developers left. Being managed by a non-profit doesnt preclude commercial participation in any way. It merely provides a level playing field and can very well *increase* commercial participation. Ex: Eclipse.

The claim of one defacto toolkit is bogus and you are very much overselling it considering the presence of desktop environments like GNOME and Xfce not to mention a fairly large number of third party and ISV applications. Ex: VMWare, Adobe etc.

Toolkits in Linux is not even limited to merely Gtk and Qt either. Firefox and Libreoffice for instance have their own toolkits but imitate GTK look and feel. There are a odd few apps using WxWidgets, Fltk and so on. This comes at a very significant cost. Note when Libreoffice finally got font anti-aliasing.

Dricot: A freasy future for GNOME

Posted Sep 6, 2012 15:36 UTC (Thu) by jospoortvliet (subscriber, #33164) [Link]

I know that a non-profit doesn't preclude commercial participation - I'd even argue the opposite. I just would not expect a non-profit for Qt to be able to get enough funds together (or enough help from commercial parties) to hire 200+ people. I heard rumors about a Qt foundation but the # of developers in that would've been at least 10 times less than the ~250 now.

Anyway, those talks are suspended until it's more clear what Digia is going to do - for now, at least they talk the right talk. Let's see if the walk it, too.

About the defacto toolkit - the fact that there are plenty legacy apps still using GTK doesn't mean it is anything but a legacy toolkit. It doesn't have the industry cloud Qt has - heck, where do you think the money to pay 250 full time developers comes from? Much of those companies are of course not visible to the consumer - the devices are often not identifiable as running Linux, let alone Qt (In Vehicle Entertainment!) - or you never see them (movie industry, medical industry etc). But they bring in enough funds to make quite a number of consulting companies quite profitable - Digia is merely one of them and wasn't even the biggest until they made the deal with Nokia and now bought Qt.

So, in the visible, fanboy-dominated FOSS world, GTK is still a major player. Just like KDE and GNOME matter for the FOSS world. But outside of that its not a major toolkit in any way, just like nobody knows KDE (or GNOME). With Samsung and Intel behind it I'd even bet EFL has more cloud (developers aware of it; developers able to use it; etc) than GTK these days and if it doesn't it soon will.

And even IN the FOSS world you see companies like Canonical moving to Qt development for their new projects and long-time GTK-only consulting companies doing more and more with Qt. And it's not a bad thing, it's good - Qt is a good toolkit, great to work with, has a good reputation in the non-FOSS world too, lots of skilled developers - and it's fully free and open. What more do you want than popular, successful, high quality, well documented, LGPL and with open governance? Oh, and a deal with the KDE e.V. to protect the long-term interests. All good, in my book...

It is good to see the FOSS world rally behind something like we're (almost) all behind Linux as a kernel, glibc, GCC Apache etc etc. Not that there are no alternatives - some alternatives trying to keep the big projects honest is good. Makes it easier to get rid of the big projects if they screw up, gives new ideas a chance, etcetera. But having a clear, prominent winner also creates clarity for newcomers and third party developers. So I think it's good...

Dricot: A freasy future for GNOME

Posted Sep 6, 2012 16:32 UTC (Thu) by rahulsundaram (subscriber, #21946) [Link]

"I just would not expect a non-profit for Qt to be able to get enough funds together"

Maybe but that is irrelevant. The function of the non-profit isn't to raise funds primarily. Linux kernel doesn't depend on funds from Linux Foundation nor does Eclipse depend on Eclipse foundation raising funds directly. Why should Qt be any different?

"the fact that there are plenty legacy apps still using GTK doesn't mean it is anything but a legacy toolkit"

This is a good example of a circular argument. Plenty of companies outside of the FOSS world do *new* development in GTK as well. Heck, I just talked to one writing a accounting app in GTK. So I consider your argument very weak and bogus.

The reason Qt got funding is because of the dual licensing model. I am not sure Digia is making a lot of money after Qt was re-released under LGPL. There is some who will still buy a proprietary license due to fear of LGPL and there is some consulting involved but the market is certainly reduced than before. There is a significant amount of employees who have already been let go from Nokia. Also, your example of a dominant Apache isn't a good one anymore. Nginx has taken a significant share of the market.

"What more do you want than popular, successful, high quality, well documented, LGPL and with open governance?"

To recap, open governance that is true in more than in marketing managed by a non-profit. True multi-vendor participation instead of a dominant single vendor. No requirement of contributor license agreements. At a technical level, reduction and possibly eliminating the practise of duplicating existing system libraries with a Qt flavor. These would be a good start.

Dricot: A freasy future for GNOME

Posted Sep 6, 2012 18:04 UTC (Thu) by boudewijn (subscriber, #14185) [Link]

"To recap, open governance that is true in more than in marketing managed by a non-profit. True multi-vendor participation instead of a dominant single vendor. No requirement of contributor license agreements. At a technical level, reduction and possibly eliminating the practise of duplicating existing system libraries with a Qt flavor. These would be a good start."

No, it wouldn't be a good start, not for you. You would still be clamouring for something more, something else, something that's not in place yet -- you would invent another reason why you cannot use Qt, because you're too partisan towards GTK to allow for anything else.

Because the open governance is more than marketing. Because there are multipe vendors participating -- like kdab, for instance, or kde. Because there are sound technical arguments for not using the stl. Which you would never admit to, because your position is bound up with having to reject those arguments. Basically the only thing in your list that makes a modicum of sense as an argument for not contributing to Qt is the CLA -- and that doesn't make any sense at all as an argument for not using Qt.

But hey, I know I wasted my time here. It's vanishingly unlikely that any argument will change the mind of someone who is as entrenched in their position as you are.

Dricot: A freasy future for GNOME

Posted Sep 6, 2012 18:13 UTC (Thu) by rahulsundaram (subscriber, #21946) [Link]

"you would invent another reason why you cannot use Qt, because you're too partisan towards GTK to allow for anything else."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man

I never said I cannot use Qt. You just made that up.

Dricot: A freasy future for GNOME

Posted Sep 6, 2012 13:30 UTC (Thu) by jospoortvliet (subscriber, #33164) [Link]

Sure GTK+ developers would contest anyone saying Qt is lightyears ahead but I think there are few people who can honestly argue it is not the case - of course, GTK+ has a much smaller scope than Qt but even then, it isn't very realistic to expect the handful of folks working on GTK to have kept up with the hundreds of engineers who were hacking on Qt for the last 10 years...

Maybe the splitting up of Qt in various libraries will help in the regard of the "do it our way" but it'll always be like that to some extend I suppose.

Dricot: A freasy future for GNOME

Posted Aug 12, 2012 9:25 UTC (Sun) by rahvin (subscriber, #16953) [Link]

On future touch screen laptops (and desktops!), Shell will be quite nice, and it surely will work on tablets (once they fix the applications).
Seriously? There are no future touch screen laptops and desktops. I mean that 100% seriously. Tell you what, extend your arms out in front of you to touch your desktop screen. Now maintain that position for a full 8 hours and try to get work done. That means do what you do for a living, if that's coding write code for 8 hours using a touch screen virtual keyboard.

Anyone that can make that comment isn't doing anything with their computer but watching movies or entertainment. That's where touchscreens work. Near zero input and limited control of the software. People don't use touchscreen tablets to get work done except in the most fringe area where its a peripheral for information dispersal and possibly for things like photo retouching. I'm never going to use a touchscreen in a 2 monitor CADD environment. Keyboards and mice are the culmination of nearly 40 years of innovation in the most effective way to input information into a computer.

Touch screens have their place on information dispersal devices, they don't have a place at all where you are trying to get real work done. I wager you put a touch screen in a workplace and you are going to have a repetitive strain injury epidemic and cut productivity by 90%. Its not going to happen. Tabelts aren't the future of computing unless your future involves you only using computers to disperse entertainment. Don't drink the Apple Koolaide, tablets are luxury computing devices that will never replace real computers.

Dricot: A freasy future for GNOME

Posted Aug 12, 2012 11:04 UTC (Sun) by dlang (subscriber, #313) [Link]

not to mention eyestrain from trying to read the screen through all the smudges.

Dricot: A freasy future for GNOME

Posted Aug 15, 2012 19:25 UTC (Wed) by jspaleta (subscriber, #50639) [Link]

I do data scientific data visualization as a dayjob. gnome3 worksforme. Then again fvwm2 and CDE workforme as well as environments under which to perform scientific data visualization...as generally speaking the environment doesn't really matter. If your using python or C or IDL or matlab or whatever the hell your domain specific science analysis tools are written in.. the usability of the science tools themselves are orders of magnitude less advanced than any operating enviroment you could possible pick.

Now whether or not my scientific simulation, coding and visualization work is "real work" or not is certainly open for debate. And I frankly I question whether most "science" is "real work" and not just people "goofing off." But real or imagined, whatever work I do for my dayjob I do it in a gnome3 environment now, and its not getting in my way for that work afaict.

Dricot: A freasy future for GNOME

Posted Aug 17, 2012 8:49 UTC (Fri) by dgm (subscriber, #49227) [Link]

It may very well be case. If you spend most of the time in the GUI of some (any) application, then the desktop shell is not that important, as long as it gives you a convenient way to start said application.

But the environment is really important in some cases. Take bash for instance. It has a crapload of features that enhance your productivity, even if it's only purpose is starting tools and feeding them file names. It seems obvious to me that when you need to use many tools in coordination is when the environment really matters.

Dricot: A freasy future for GNOME

Posted Aug 11, 2012 9:59 UTC (Sat) by jospoortvliet (subscriber, #33164) [Link]

Drama is just more interesting. GNOME falling apart is what creates the attention. KDE is just steadily progressing and growing and that's far less interesting...

Dricot: A freasy future for GNOME

Posted Aug 11, 2012 18:03 UTC (Sat) by tjc (guest, #137) [Link]

By the looks of it, most of them are on Debian stable and fear for the next release.

I assume you are referring to this:

switch default desktop task to xfce

I see no reason for Debian Gnome users to fear, since Gnome will still be in the repository for those who want it.

Dricot: A freasy future for GNOME

Posted Aug 13, 2012 9:58 UTC (Mon) by hendi (guest, #36257) [Link]

You know what sarcasm is, right?

Dricot: A freasy future for GNOME

Posted Aug 13, 2012 22:02 UTC (Mon) by tjc (guest, #137) [Link]

Of course, but I try to give people the benefit of the doubt.

Dricot: A freasy future for GNOME

Posted Aug 16, 2012 19:27 UTC (Thu) by Lennie (guest, #49641) [Link]

To be honest, I don't know why people think Debian or Ubuntu users of GNOME are left in the cold.

Haven't people tried GNOME 3 fallback-session/classic on Ubuntu or Debian ?

I've been running it since January.

That is GNOME3 which looks and feels like GNOME2. You can run it with effects or without.

It has been tuned by the people from Debian/Ubuntu-community and works just fine.

Dricot: A freasy future for GNOME

Posted Aug 17, 2012 10:56 UTC (Fri) by paulj (subscriber, #341) [Link]

Fallback still doesn't have the applets the old did. Plus, fallback looking like GNOME2 may be going away too. Fedora already has a software-rendered GNOME-shell for fallback.

Dricot: A freasy future for GNOME

Posted Aug 17, 2012 11:02 UTC (Fri) by Lennie (guest, #49641) [Link]

All the applets I use I could just choose and add just fine. It seems to use the (normal ?) gnome-panel.

Just one thing: ALT-right-mouse-button was needed to get the menu instead of just right-mouse-button.

But would that be a reason to keep a port of GNOME2 going in Mint and Fedora instead of keeping GNOME3-fallback working if the changed aren't accepted into the GNOME-project ?

Dricot: A freasy future for GNOME

Posted Aug 17, 2012 13:41 UTC (Fri) by paulj (subscriber, #341) [Link]

Indeed, and MATE is that fork: http://mate-desktop.org/ - packages available for a number of distros, including a Fedora repo. Should be in the stock Fedora 18 repos too, when that releases.

Bit sad that the GNOME developers didn't care to make it possible to parallel install GNOME3 with GNOME2, without doing a lot of work on renaming stuff. But hey.

Dricot: A freasy future for GNOME

Posted Aug 13, 2012 8:49 UTC (Mon) by Pawlerson (guest, #74136) [Link]

Unity and KDE are the most popular environments.

Dricot: A freasy future for GNOME

Posted Aug 19, 2012 17:59 UTC (Sun) by Jandar (subscriber, #85683) [Link]

> My guess is that almost nobody uses KDE anymore so nobody cares about it.

I use KDE since the very beginning (skipping 4.x for small x) and be very satisfied. KDE is customizable to support my workflow and doesn't go out of it's way to hinder me like GNOME. Every now and then I give GNOME a try to be every time disgusted by the patronizing attitude of "we now better than you how to work with a desktop."

Dricot: A freasy future for GNOME

Posted Aug 12, 2012 2:43 UTC (Sun) by ovitters (subscriber, #27950) [Link]

So GNOME is trolling us?

If you don't like an opinion of one person involved within GNOME, that doesn't make it 'trolling by GNOME'.

It is not a hive mind. People have different opinion, etc.

Dricot: A freasy future for GNOME

Posted Aug 11, 2012 9:48 UTC (Sat) by Pawlerson (guest, #74136) [Link]

This means there's everything fine with KDE and Qt. If you follow comments under Gnome related articles more than half is nothing, but bashing.

Clowd-GNOMEs

Posted Aug 11, 2012 10:25 UTC (Sat) by kragil (guest, #34373) [Link]

So they want to be on clowd tablets by 2014. Awesome!

And they want to write all the software from scratch instead of using existing FOSS clowd solutions. Well, I guess it is still the old Gnome after all. Good at failing at over ambitious goals(Because they lack manpower left and right)

Clowd-GNOMEs

Posted Aug 12, 2012 2:47 UTC (Sun) by ovitters (subscriber, #27950) [Link]

Not so sure. Maybe it was the stop energy from random people. Someone has an idea, so let's point out how frustrated we are! Yay!

Clowd-GNOMEs

Posted Aug 14, 2012 17:36 UTC (Tue) by k8to (subscriber, #15413) [Link]

If only stop-energy worked.

Dricot: A freasy future for GNOME

Posted Aug 11, 2012 11:42 UTC (Sat) by slashdot (guest, #22014) [Link]

How about starting from the basics?

Like, say, stopping removing features, reinstating the ones that were removed, and adding a lot of new features to achieve parity with GNOME 2 and Windows 7.

Then, once the desktop is done, maybe, they could start thinking about tablets, clouds, being "freasy", pink ponies or whatever.

Pretty ridiculous how these people focus on irrelevant things without seeing the gigantic elephant in the room, i.e. that in many cases their desktop is less capable and has a worse design than desktops from decades ago.

Dricot: A freasy future for GNOME

Posted Aug 12, 2012 2:44 UTC (Sun) by ovitters (subscriber, #27950) [Link]

A project can do multiple things at the same time, so your suggestion is a bit pointless.

Dricot: A freasy future for GNOME

Posted Aug 12, 2012 7:49 UTC (Sun) by russell (guest, #10458) [Link]

But GNOME is not doing multiple things at the same time, this is the PROBLEM.

GNOME will abandon their current user base just to chase new users. i.e. they are willing to have zero users ( momentarily if they are lucky ) in the hope of having different users. And in a market that have missed!

They should try doing multiple things at the same time. Start from a position of strength, don't restart from scratch. Don't leave your existing users behind. Don't remove functionality. Have a policy of no regressions BEFORE releasing new stuff. And FINALLY get a roadmap that is believable and has user buy in.

Dricot: A freasy future for GNOME

Posted Aug 11, 2012 13:50 UTC (Sat) by cjsh (guest, #83360) [Link]

This will be a triumph of engineering over practicality. Tablets are consumption devices, ie. watch video, listen to music, read websites. I seriously doubt the Gnome folks will include support for practical things like mp3, mpeg2, or any non-free format that supports this consumption model. So this device will be use full for what? Reading web sites?

Dricot: A freasy future for GNOME

Posted Aug 12, 2012 2:45 UTC (Sun) by ovitters (subscriber, #27950) [Link]

You can buy a support mp3 playback plugin for gstreamer. So I don't see why you think that cannot or wont be included.

Dricot: A freasy future for GNOME

Posted Aug 13, 2012 3:05 UTC (Mon) by drag (subscriber, #31333) [Link]

> I seriously doubt the Gnome folks will include support for practical things like mp3, mpeg2, or any non-free format that supports this consumption model. So this device will be use full for what? Reading web sites?

It is not in their means to ship such support.

It would be idiotically unpractical to try to ship support for stuff like that in commercial products using open source software and while not paying for royalties.

The only choice you have is to have users install such support themselves or have the royalties fees paid and included as part of the price of the device your selling. Both eventualities are taken into account and can easily fit withing the gstreamer plugin framework that Gnome uses.

So far watching videos have not been much of a problem for me using Totem.


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