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GNOME GUI Software Upgrades Linux

GNOME Shell Extensions Are Live 204

Posted by Soulskill
from the building-a-patchwork-gnome dept.
DrXym writes "GNOME Shell has been criticized for certain shortcomings when compared to GNOME 2.x. Chief amongst them was that 2.x offered panel applets whereas 3.x is seemingly lacking any such functionality. What most people don't know is that GNOME Shell has a rich extension framework similar to Mozilla Firefox add-ons. Now, the official site to install extensions has gone live. So if you yearn for an application menu, or a dock, or a status monitor, then head on over. Extensions can be installed with a few clicks and removed just as easily."
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GNOME Shell Extensions Are Live

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  • Gnome 3 has nasty visual artifacts on Ubuntu 11.10 with my notebook's ATI chip.

    I appreciate all Shuttleworth has done for the Linux community, but he's really got to take quality more seriously if he wants to win me back to Ubuntu.

    • Gnome 3 had artifacts for me until I stopped using Catalyst and switched to the Open Source driver. Unfortunately that means lower graphics performance, but I don't play games much anyway.
    • Re:And yet... (Score:4, Informative)

      by icebike (68054) on Friday December 02, 2011 @06:56PM (#38244996)

      Gnome 3 has nasty visual artifacts on Ubuntu 11.10 with my notebook's ATI chip.

      I appreciate all Shuttleworth has done for the Linux community, but he's really got to take quality more seriously if he wants to win me back to Ubuntu.

      Linux Mint [linuxmint.com] seems to work great with Gnome3 and their own Shell extensions. They used it mostly to restore the missing bits that Gnome3 lost. I found it very stable am quite pleased with it. Its no KDE in terms of richness of functionality and flexibility, but its pretty sweet.

      I'm starting to like this LinuxMint distro more and more, especially for casual use.

      • by mrmeval (662166)

        Even that is drool compared to what I have had in the past. I just want to get shit done and soon I'll either accept the meager offerings in lieu of the degenerating main stream or pretty much just use a server version and get either Win7 or a Mac.

        It would be about as disruptive to what I normally do with the same level of guarantee they won't fuck up anything in a short time frame.

        I note that Google also shit on their stable UI.

      • I'm starting to like this LinuxMint distro more and more, especially for casual use.

        I heard all of the great press, so I downloaded Mint 11, which was okay, and Mint 12, which is so horribly bad I fed the DVD to my paper shredder.

        User Interface Manifesto:

        1. We do not want a dock. If we wanted a dock, we'd be Apple fanboys.
        2. Calling a dock something else, like an "Activities Panel", does not get you around rule #1.
        3. We will launch programs via a menu system, or via shortcuts. No other nonsense, please. I'm looking at you, Mr. Activities Panel.
        4. Once you have a facility like panel applets, that
        • by icebike (68054)

          Maybe You do not want a dock.

          I DO want a dock, (depending on what you call a dock).
          Taskbar, TaskManager type of thing, Quick Launch bar, etc: OK, almost essential.

          KDE Activities: a stunning failure rammed thru by a pigheaded minority to meet a need that did not exist,replacing perfectly good alternatives, and in the process, alienated the vast majority of the KDE user base to the extent that latest releases pretty well banishes it to invisibility.

          But I'm not sure KDE Activities qualify as a DOCK.

          • By "dock" I mean, some form graphical display that lists currently running programs intermingled with programs that you can lauch if you wish.

            So, a mashup of popular items from the 'Start' menu and the currently running windows list. A list of two completely different things - action buttons and status buttons - slammed together in a random sort of order.

            I suppose this follows the trend of using nouns as verbs, and vice versa.
            • Re:And yet... (Score:5, Insightful)

              by icebike (68054) on Friday December 02, 2011 @09:27PM (#38246520)

              By "dock" I mean, some form graphical display that lists currently running programs intermingled with programs that you can lauch if you wish.

              So, a mashup of popular items from the 'Start' menu and the currently running windows list. A list of two completely different things - action buttons and status buttons

              See, that doesn't bother me a bit. The only thing I use that type of facility for is High Frequency items, email, browser, file manager, command shells. If one of those is ALREADY open I want the open one 99.94444% of the time, and if I want a new one, its left click.

              You keep most menu items in the start-bar menu / what ever you want to call it. But the high frequency items I want handy, and If they are running already chances are I want the running one, and not another one.

              It may not be to your liking, but it is very well thought out in all the implementations I've see of something like that. Why dig thru application menus? Computers are supposed to be intuitive. See icon, click Icon, get the desired result. They are not two completely different things. Its the way people work.

          • Re:And yet... (Score:4, Insightful)

            by KugelKurt (908765) on Friday December 02, 2011 @10:22PM (#38246838)

            KDE Activities: a stunning failure rammed thru by a pigheaded minority to meet a need that did not exist,replacing perfectly good alternatives, and in the process, alienated the vast majority of the KDE user base

            WTF?!? Activities in Plasma Desktop were never ever forced on anyone. Everybody who doesn't want them simply doesn't use them.

            • by icebike (68054)

              You couldn't avoid them if you want multiple desktops with different wall paper.
              The stripped out any ability to do that an foisted activities on you.

              Like I said, its better now, because the bitch level got so high they made an option that "looks" like the old way, but its still using activities. You really can't avoid activities.

              • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

                by Anonymous Coward

                You couldn't avoid them if you want multiple desktops with different wall paper.
                The stripped out any ability to do that an foisted activities on you.

                Like I said, its better now, because the bitch level got so high they made an option that "looks" like the old way, but its still using activities. You really can't avoid activities.

                System Settings > Workspace Behaviour > Virtual Desktops, check "Different widgets for each desktop". It doesn't say it, but this also lets you set different wallpapers for each desktop, and doesn't seem to use activities to do it. At least, the activities list doesn't show any additional ones created.

                That's admittedly not very obvious, and I only found it by chance, but it seems to be what you want. It wasn't available in the first few KDE4 releases, but it's been possible for a year or two.

              • by KugelKurt (908765)

                You couldn't avoid them if you want multiple desktops with different wall paper.

                You were writing about the "vast majority" of users, not some niche. (I doubt that you can provide hard evidence that a "vast majority" of users uses multiple desktops.)

                • by icebike (68054)

                  Since every distro installs that way by default, I believe no evidence is needed.

                  You must run windows all day I'm guessing.....

                  • by KugelKurt (908765)

                    Since every distro installs that way by default, I believe no evidence is needed.

                    You must run windows all day I'm guessing.....

                    In both cases your belief is wrong. I do not run Windows at all and evidence is needed.
                    So provide evidence that multiple desktops are actually used by the "vast majority" and that they were in fact "alienated" by Plasma Desktop because of this.
                    'sed' is installed by default on all distributions I'm aware, yet I would not conclude that the "vast majority" of users actually uses 'sed'. Just because something is there, it is not necessarily actually used.
                    Once you base an argument on a claim, you do in fact have

                    • by icebike (68054)

                      I did provide evidence.

                      All modern distros install KDE or Gnome in such a way that there are multiple desktops by default.
                      Even XFCE4 installs that way.
                      Complete with a pager at the bottom.

                      Now it is up to you to provide evidence that the majority of users disable this feature.

        • by icebike (68054)

          I heard all of the great press, so I downloaded Mint 11, which was okay, and Mint 12, which is so horribly bad I fed the DVD to my paper shredder.
           

          I had no great problems with 12. It worked.

          Too bad the Mint team needed to spend all that time re-inventing the things that were stripped out of Gnome3 rather than improving the distro. But they largely succeeded.

    • by KugelKurt (908765)

      Gnome 3 has nasty visual artifacts on Ubuntu 11.10 with my notebook's ATI chip.

      I appreciate all Shuttleworth has done for the Linux community, but he's really got to take quality more seriously if he wants to win me back to Ubuntu.

      Shuttleworth would say that because Canonical does not contribute to driver development, Canonical is not guilty of lacking quality there.
      Critics would say that Canonical should help driver development for a change.

      Decide for yourself which side you're on.

  • The biggest idiocy of GNOME 3 last time I tried it (Ubuntu 11.10) was that Right click on the panel didn't work. You had to alt-right-click for everything. This is because the GNUssolini decided it was too distracting for me to right click and I wouldn't get any work done if I right clicked. So they changed all context menus to alt-right-click.

    So, is there a GNOME Shell Extension that makes right-click work the way it used to?

    • The biggest idiocy of GNOME 3 last time I tried it (Ubuntu 11.10) was that Right click on the panel didn't work.

      I hate to break it to you, but Ubuntu's UI is Unity, not GNOME Shell. It has nothing to do with GNOME.

      • by Pausanias (681077)

        I hate to break it to you but you can switch between unity and gnome shell in Ubuntu. My statement is correct as it stands.

        The biggest idiocy of GNOME 3 last time I tried it (Ubuntu 11.10) was that Right click on the panel didn't work.

        I hate to break it to you, but Ubuntu's UI is Unity, not GNOME Shell. It has nothing to do with GNOME.

  • Thanks, but no, thanks.... been happy with KDE4 after GNOME screwed GNOME3.
    • by antdude (79039)

      I couldn't get into KDE 4 (v4.4.3 with stable Debian) after being a loyal KDE v2 and v3 user. I kind of like Gnome v2.3. I don't want to use Trinity KDE since I am not sure hown well it will be supported in the future. :(

    • Thanks, but no, thanks.... been happy with KDE4 after GNOME screwed GNOME3.

      But I still wish somebody made a port of Xfce for KDE...

  • Extensions suck (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 0123456 (636235) on Friday December 02, 2011 @07:20PM (#38245246)

    Sure, they're good in theory, but after you've been using some extension for years the Gnome developers decide that they want Change and then your extension breaks and the developer hasn't updated it in a long time because it's done and there's really no way to improve it, and now it's dead unless someone else learns whatever arcane Gnome-isms are required to fix it.

    Users simply can't rely on anything outside the main code development tree, and with Gnome you can't even rely on that.

    • Facing all the complexity of the extensions, the fact that the dumb Xfce appeals to so many users seems to be almost miraculous.

      P.S. Though IceWM remains my personal favorite.

  • Eeek... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by BrookHarty (9119) on Friday December 02, 2011 @07:22PM (#38245288) Homepage Journal

    Ive been a long time ubuntu user, and with the ubuntu unity/gnome fiasco I've been looking at going back to SuSE or even switch to Fedora since I work on redhat boxes all day.

    But I decided to go with Mint, and with the extensions installed, its back to what Gnome 3 should have been. I do like being able to reload the desktop without closing my apps, and the looking glass debugger is a nice touch. I think now that extensions are out, and distros can start using them again, Ubuntu will make a comback. But now that I'm switched to Mint, its basically Ubuntu with the better desktop, I might not go back.

    I just wish the gnome extensions were installed by default, so people didnt have to learn about them 2nd hand after they already get pissed off at a crippled and funny looking desktop.

    • I think now that extensions are out, and distros can start using them again, Ubuntu will make a comback.

      Ubuntu doesn't even come with gnome-shell installed by default, why would they profit (much) from this?

    • by Zebedeu (739988)

      I think now that extensions are out, and distros can start using them again, Ubuntu will make a comback. But now that I'm switched to Mint, its basically Ubuntu with the better desktop, I might not go back.

      The problem with Ubuntu these days is that it's designed for Unity.
      Sure, people say you're an apt-get install gnome-shell away from a Gnome 3 desktop, but in my experience that's not exactly true.
      At least in my install there were a few annoyances which always made me feel that I was using the software in a non-approved manner, and because this configuration isn't Ubuntu's focus, it's less likely that those problems will be fixed.

      Things like the automatic login always bringing me back to Unity, requiring tha

  • Nice to see them trying to bring G3 back to the usability levels of G2. They have a ways to go, but hey, at least they started. The more usable desktops we have to choose from, the better.
  • Just like in Firefox, each time API version changes, extensions will break and will not work for a while. That is not cool. This is just an excuse from the Gnome developers for not fixing what users complain is broken..
  • just switch to LXDE or XFCE done....

  • Happy Gnome 3 User (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jon3k (691256) on Friday December 02, 2011 @11:21PM (#38247078)
    Unfortunately the people who are unhappy tend to be the loudest. I just wanted to chime in and say that I absolutely love Gnome 3 and wouldn't dream of going back to Gnome 2.
    • Another happy user of Gnome 3 here.
    • by Prune (557140)
      Ditto.
    • by Zebedeu (739988)

      Agreed.
      Gnome 3 + shell extensions = desktop bliss.

      It's like Firefox: give the users the basic usability and functionality, and let them enable/disable the parts according to their taste.

      • by jon3k (691256)
        Any shell extensions you can recommend so far? I haven't had much time to play with them.
        • by Zebedeu (739988)

          I don't know which of these came with Mint and which I got somewhere else.
          I'm sorry, but I also don't remember where I got them from, but they should be easy enough to Google.

          system-monitor-extension replaces the old system monitor panel widget. It includes network speed, so it's a bit better.
          media-player-extension adds an icon in the panel when you have your media player open (I like to keep mine in the last desktop).
          alt-tab extension reverts to the alt-tab behaviour from Gnome 2 which switched between win

    • Sadly, i don't have modpoints today I would have thrown a bunch into this thread of happy Gnome 3 users.

      I got a taste of Gnome 3 on Ubuntu. (I used the Gnome Shell login option to get Gnome 3 rather than Unity.) I loved it and the increased productivity it gave me so much I switched back to Debian so I could get Gnome 3 in unmolested form rather than the hacked up Ubuntu version.

  • It isn't what needs to be added it is what needs to be removed. If I can't remove something from the Window Manager then I will have to remove the Window Manager.

  • I've made the same request before and I'll make it again.

    Give me some way to search window titles to filter the window preview. KDE does this, compiz does this. I have lots of windows and searching with keyboard would be nice.

    Mouseover an application icon in the 'activities' view should filter away windows not belonging to that icon and make the windows belonging to that app take up the full screen.

    KDE 4.7+Icon Tasks has been a fairly decent experience though. I wish the single window and multi-window ca

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