Mena-Quintero: A Friday rant on Gnome 3, journalists, and power users
Posted Nov 10, 2012 20:12 UTC (Sat) by nmav (subscriber, #34036)
Btw. I think most of the gnome 3 criticism comes from the fact that the new interface requires some introduction (10min one) on how to use. Maybe they should ask the age of the should have included a video played on the first installation. I'm really old-school person but liked the interface only by the time I watched a video in youtube on how to use it.
Posted Nov 10, 2012 20:25 UTC (Sat) by Zizzle (guest, #67739)
Along the long the lines of, "Things that I used to be able to do in a click now take several", "I can't change my font size", etc.
But all that gets swept away as "Haters gonna hate".
Posted Nov 10, 2012 20:29 UTC (Sat) by rleigh (guest, #14622)
And it's not like the problems are just skin deep. There's a lot more to a desktop environment than the surface appearance alone. It needs quality, well-maintained libraries underneath that. And the GNOME libraries are a poorly-maintained, buggy pile, which were always changing too fast for comfort, but at least didn't used to have core functionality ripped out on a whim. Any developer who values their time and the quality of their code would avoid them.
Posted Nov 10, 2012 20:48 UTC (Sat) by Rehdon (guest, #45440)
It may be not very interesting, but that's a valid criticism nonetheless: 'This worked for me and you changed it in such a way that it doesn't work as well anymore, why is that?' So far no answer to this question.
"The people behind Gnome 3 decided to innovate, adopt a new interface and go on. That's a difficult decision for an established desktop but nevertheless they did. Irrespective of whether I like the new desktop or not, it is nice for free software to innovate and include new designs."
The problem is, the end result of their attempt to innovate has proved to be less effective than what already existed for quite a number of users. Worse, so far we still don't know how what we had was broken and why it needed to be fixed. Seems that we should learn to love the "brand", yay! :)
"Btw. I think most of the gnome 3 criticism comes from the fact that the new interface requires some introduction (10min one) on how to use. Maybe they should ask the age of the should have included a video played on the first installation. I'm really old-school person but liked the interface only by the time I watched a video in youtube on how to use it."
That's actually a good point, but you shouldn't assume that most if not all of the criticism comes from people who tried GNOME 3 for less than 10 minutes: I was an enthusiast, I followed discussions about Gnome 3, and I tried to like it. The fact that they failed to impress people who were loyal users and supporters should speak volumes to anybody.
Posted Nov 10, 2012 22:58 UTC (Sat) by sorpigal (subscriber, #36106)
GNOME did this: Make something new, confiscate the old, ignore people who ask for their things back.
I'd probably hate Linux, too, if in 1997 someone had wiped my hard disk and installed it without consulting me and then hid the install discs for my previous OS. You can't *make* people want to change just by changing things.
Want to stay relevant for a long time? Don't make a DE, make a platform. Build the base tools other developers use to make awesome things for users... and then *maintain API and ABI compatibility for as long as possible*. Note that I didn't say "Until you want to do something new and the old cruft gets in the way." Add whatever you like, but maintain it forever. UX fads will come and go; which fad to follow should be the user's choice.
Posted Nov 11, 2012 0:04 UTC (Sun) by daniels (subscriber, #16193)
And yet, here we are ten years later, hearing the exact same arguments for keeping that unusable, idiot-focussed, 'designed' desktop.
Posted Nov 11, 2012 0:12 UTC (Sun) by sorpigal (subscriber, #36106)
Posted Nov 11, 2012 13:25 UTC (Sun) by JMB (guest, #74439)
Posted Nov 11, 2012 15:42 UTC (Sun) by dskoll (subscriber, #1630)
Criticism of the form "make everything look as I'm used to" is not very interesting.
Yes, it is. If you hear a lot of that criticism, it means that you've been introducing changes to your software, but not improvements. And it should give you pause.
Posted Nov 13, 2012 8:37 UTC (Tue) by Pawlerson (guest, #74136)
Posted Nov 13, 2012 11:28 UTC (Tue) by dgm (subscriber, #49227)
That's patently false. Gnome Shell has problems, but not of that kind. In my opinion, they basically boil down to:
1. It requieres OpenGL 1.4 or later. That rules out half of my machines and all of my virtual machines.
2. It's less discoverable than Gnome 2. Finding how to close it, or how to unmount a pen drive is not trivial, as it should. As of 3.6, browsing installed applications is also harder.
3. The networking applet is "flakey". There are things that cannot be done with it, becomes annoying when moving out of WiFi range, and cannot successfully re-enable WiFi without rebooting.
4. Extensions tend to _crash_ the shell. And old extensions do not work properly.
5. It's not configurable. Aspects like colors, fonts, icon sizes, how dates and times are presented, etcetera should be configurable. The icon size in the applications list are absurdly big, for example.
6. It does not make good use of screen space on big monitors. On other desktops you can put toolbars and widgets on those extra pixels.
A similar list has been collected here: http://k3rnel.net/2011/05/01/why-im-sick-and-tired-of-gno...
Of course, there are also good ideas in there. Having everything about the desktop in a single view (the overview or "meta-desktop" as I like to call it) is a good idea. It means I just have to memorize a single keystroke to do many things. Very convenient. Feels like command mode in vi, but with the input line on top. I find it ironic that not much long ago, modal interfaces were greatly frowned upon.
I guess I will have to wait until 3.12 or 3.14 to feel it usable again.
Posted Nov 14, 2012 17:55 UTC (Wed) by jedidiah (guest, #20319)
This kind of "Microsoft" approach is what really riles people.
Upgrading to the latest version of shiny distro should not trash an already functional setup.
Posted Nov 23, 2012 7:50 UTC (Fri) by TRauMa (guest, #16483)
So if you include a DE in a distro, you then have to support it forever?
Posted Nov 23, 2012 12:07 UTC (Fri) by dgm (subscriber, #49227)
Posted Nov 26, 2012 15:25 UTC (Mon) by hummassa (subscriber, #307)
Posted Nov 10, 2012 20:34 UTC (Sat) by drag (subscriber, #31333)
If you read to the end of the blog article you will find that Mena-Quintero agrees with you 100%.
He is not advocating disregarding criticism.
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