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Cinnamon Gnome-Shell Fork Releases Version 1.2 81

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the making-gnome3-usable dept.
New submitter Novin writes with exciting news from the Cinnamon project. Quoting the release announcements: "Cinnamon 1.2 is out! All APIs and the desktop itself are now fully stable! I hope you'll enjoy the many new features, the desktop effect, desktop layouts, the new configuration tool, the applets, changes, bug fixes, and improvements that went into this release. This is a huge step forward for Cinnamon." The release reintroduces desktop effects, fixes a slew of bugs, and introduces a new applet API (fixing a number of issues intrinsic to shell extensions).
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Cinnamon Gnome-Shell Fork Releases Version 1.2

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  • by iggymanz (596061) on Wednesday January 25, 2012 @12:33PM (#38819171)

    Clem has a fantastic mindset compared to many UI developers today, he knows what most users want, he actually reads user forums and responds with attitude of user experience being important. He'll make GNOME3 a useful base desktop

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      More importantly, he doesn't want to add needless features simply out of developer restlessness.

    • by EponymousCustard (1442693) on Wednesday January 25, 2012 @12:36PM (#38819225)
      Agree, and he's done a great job with Cinnamon. I hope he doesn't suffer from burnout. Trying to do all that while doing the coding must be a lot of work!
      • Agree, and he's done a great job with Cinnamon. I hope he doesn't suffer from burnout. Trying to do all that while doing the coding must be a lot of work!

        And as part of this latest release he's just forked Mutter - the fork is called Muffin. This for me is by far the most interesting aspect of this release.

    • by ArsonSmith (13997)

      Of course if Henry Ford was doing that he'd have been just trying to make the horse go faster.

      • by Bigos (857389)
        Today's GUI automobiles comfort sucks big time, Clem wants them to be at least as comfortable as horse drawn carts.
    • by LateArthurDent (1403947) on Wednesday January 25, 2012 @01:18PM (#38819665)

      Clem has a fantastic mindset compared to many UI developers today, he knows what most users want, he actually reads user forums and responds with attitude of user experience being important. He'll make GNOME3 a useful base desktop

      It still has this weird thing about UIs of late (not just in Linux, Windows is doing the same thing), where they fix the menu size regardless of how many entries you have, and then provide you with a scroll bar if you have entries over the menu size. I don't get it. Why is the menu going up to only 1/3 of my screen? If I have all that vertical screen space still available, USE IT.

      Scrolling is a necessary evil. Whenever it can be avoided, it should be.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        While I don't disagree with you necessarily, I think the issue is a little more complex than you are thinking. When reading, it is easier to locate information if your eyes don't have to scan. To demonstrate this problem, open up a piece of text on a large monitor full screen and try to read it. Now shrink the window horizontally so that the width fits in your field of view and read it. The second time it is a lot easier. That's why we have columns in a newspaper.

        The same thing is true vertically, espe

        • by fwarren (579763)

          I think the fixed sized menu is useful. A good portion of the menu stays exactly where it was no matter what. We find things on the computer spatially. When I hit that "start" button. I pretty well know where things will be located.

          The real problem there is the way many menus are laid out. Most linux desktops get it right. A menu should have less than 10 items on it.

          Accessories
          Graphics
          Internet
          Office
          Programming
          System
          Utilities

          Is a pretty good layout.

          However, having the option to change it to behave to take u

    • by RDW (41497) on Wednesday January 25, 2012 @01:52PM (#38820035)

      I noticed the other day he's also now listed as a MATE developer. He must be doing more than just about anyone else to bring our 'sane interfaces back', one way or another. Cinnamon looks an awful lot like what Unity should have been, an alternative shell for Gnome 3 that doesn't alienate the established user base. Neither Canonical nor the core Gnome 3 team seem to have fully realised the enormous power of natural selection in the Linux 'ecosystem' (apologies for the appalling term). MS can get away wih imposing stuff like the infamous Ribbon because they have a largely captive audience. Linux users are quite happy to jump ship at short notice rather than switching to a new and (in many cases) unwanted 'desktop paradigm'. The operating system should adapt to the user, not the other way around. I suspect Mint has a bright future.

      • The Gnome crowd is one of the most conservative around. The interface didn't have anything but small incremental changes for about 10 years. These are the people you least want to spring something big on since they have no interest in new concepts or anything bleeding edge.

        But luckly, even if Gnome 3 turns out to be a dead end, because of all of the forks that are out there, one can be chosen to be the new official Gnome 4. I personally really don't mind Gnome 3 though. The use of the Windows/Meta key i

  • Map / categorization (Score:5, Interesting)

    by vlm (69642) on Wednesday January 25, 2012 @12:54PM (#38819407)

    Does anyone have a map/categorization type product of the seemingly uncountable UIs?

    To the best of my limited knowledge theres a huge correlation in "the UI gets in your face" with CPU/memory/size requirements. There are very few (no?) UIs in the corners of "just gets out of your way but uses huge resources" and "kinda like a 3-d screensaver except its not a screensaver and it uses no resources".

    "Usefulness" / "Productivity" seems to correlate with absolutely nothing at all on a global scale, although individuals scream for their own specific favorite.

    The continuum of UIs, in order of light to heavy seems to be:

    CLI dash and emergency recovery statically linked shells, etc
    CLI screen and bash in virtual consoles
    CLI emacs in virtual consoles
    Ratpoison (I'm toying with RP, it is Very nice)
    XFCE (my current desktop of choice)
    (I think cinnamon goes in this spot, not entirely sure)
    Gnome
    KDE

    99% of my work (no exaggeration) both at work and home currently is "something small and nearby" with XFCE running a tabbed console/terminal which is SSHed into "something really big and far away" in one virtual window/tab/whatever and another virt window/tab/whatever with firefox + a lot of FF addons/extensions, although I've used everything in the list above at some time in the past 18 or 19 years of linux. Yeah that emacs era was a little awkward...

    Did I put cinnamon in the right spot in my little 1-d graph? I'm curious if its actually lighter than XFCE.

    • 'lighter' oversimplifies things. I don't think Cinnamon is any 'lighter' than Gnome shell, it's largely the same compentry with a different UI philosophy applied. Similarly, KDE v. Gnome is a debatable topic as well.

      Also, there is WindowMaker, blackbox/derivatives, lxde, e, and tons tons tons more out there too.

    • by wzzzzrd (886091)
      I don't think it's lighter than XFCE, just because of nautilus. Looks rather right at it's position in your list.

      What I recommend when you want lightweight but powerful: Don't use a graphical login manager, boot to console and use startx (run it from .profile if you want) with an .xinitrc like this

      conky &
      xfce4-session


      For a network manager use wicd with the curses frontend, this way you also have wifi in console mode. My desktop idles at ca. 80 MB of memory usage, and I have all the rest of my
      • I don't think it's lighter than XFCE, just because of nautilus. Looks rather right at it's position in your list.

        What I recommend when you want lightweight but powerful: Don't use a graphical login manager, boot to console and use startx (run it from .profile if you want) with an .xinitrc like this

        conky & xfce4-session

        For a network manager use wicd with the curses frontend, this way you also have wifi in console mode. My desktop idles at ca. 80 MB of memory usage, and I have all the rest of
        • by wzzzzrd (886091)
          Give me 300,000 $ venture capital and 4 months time. It's not that much to ask.

          I will deliver a bootable installer medium (cdrom, usb, whatever) that let's you choose your options from gnome3/ kde4 down to tailored desktop systems like the one I set up for me.

          It will be easier to use than any current windows, linux or bsd installer available (mac os excluded, because it has the privilege to be only used on selected hardware). Tailored systems for everyone, on cheap hardware.

          All it needs is a GUI.
    • by nadaou (535365)

      you forgot to include Enlightenment & Fluxbox, and if you are into that sort of thing instead of using the command line, the ROX-filer.

  • by Pecisk (688001) on Wednesday January 25, 2012 @12:55PM (#38819415)

    Disclaimer: yes, I'm using GNOME 3 with GNOME Shell as devs intended to and I have some ironic laughts about claims that "GS/Unity devs are screwballs and don't know nothing". However, everyone uses tools best for him, so...just use it, don't go around claiming that it's best desktop for now.

    However, I have purerly technical question - why not improving GNOME 3 Panel? It's ported, code cleaned up, it's introspectable (you can write JS extentions like for GNOME Shell) and you can still keep all the goodies, including having compiz and friends.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 25, 2012 @01:24PM (#38819719)

      Clem stated that they tried to talk to gnome devs, but seems they didn't care about integrate the needed modifications to allow a desktop like cinnamon offers, because it goes against their vision of the desktop they envision. Look in the cinnamon page, the response is given "January 23, 2012 at 11:27 pm"

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Gnome guys have said that the panel will be discontinued once everyone has working 3D drivers, and that is likely soon (never thought I'd be saying that about Linux).

      • by Junta (36770)

        Or, alternatively, a soft-3d render path which is really perceived as the goal that will be hit...

      • by Pecisk (688001)

        And there's problem with taking GNOME Panel under your wing and provide some development and direction how? It could be a little more taxing, and require initial investment, but in nutshell, where's problem?

  • "It's cinnamonnamony!"--The Swedish Chef

  • by sm284614 (946088) on Wednesday January 25, 2012 @01:24PM (#38819721)
    This is one of those wonderful headline that will read as utterly bizzare nonsense to most of the world.
  • And there are third party packages for Fedora and Ubuntu!

    I don't want to get into the debate of whether or not gnome-shell is an improvement over the traditional desktop. Either way, it was wrong for them to push it unfinished on unsuspecting users. Now I can start promoting linux again, something I've had to stop doing because of all the coolaid drinking that has been going on in the UI space. My wife has been on Fedora 14 and now I can upgrade her without her killing me.

    • And there are third party packages for Fedora and Ubuntu!

      I don't want to get into the debate of whether or not gnome-shell is an improvement over the traditional desktop. Either way, it was wrong for them to push it unfinished on unsuspecting users. Now I can start promoting linux again, something I've had to stop doing because of all the coolaid drinking that has been going on in the UI space. My wife has been on Fedora 14 and now I can upgrade her without her killing me.

      I wanted to like it, I really did. I tried it for a while, gave it a long time and forced myself to learn to work with activities, customize the dash, etc.,etc. There are some things that I like about it. Unfortunately, it comes down to usability. While I *can* get stuff done with it, it always takes longer. Too much clicking and moving back and forth in the GUI for the stuff I do. Same complaint I had about Windows Explorer in Windows 7 - it was an improvement, but it requires extra clicks and select

  • by bornagainpenguin (1209106) on Wednesday January 25, 2012 @02:08PM (#38820265)

    I've been watching this with interest since it was announced and found myself bitterly disappointed to see that in every screenshot I could find the Cinnamon fork used a variant of the MintMenu. No offense to those who like it, it simply doesn't trip my trigger and I prefer the Gnome 2 menu bar. Is this possible using Cinnamon or do those of us who prefer the old way have to wait for MATE to finish being ported to get "our" desktops back?

    Clem, if you're watching these comments, I gotta say that despite vehemently disagreeing with your politics I really appreciate the care you're showing the users of your distro and your willingness to create something that not only works well, but looks good too! Thank you.

    --bornagainpenguin

    • I have to agree; I've been using GNOME 3 in "Fallback" mode for months now -- it is mostly like the good old GNOME 2 desktop; having to hold down Alt and right-clicking the panels to customize is awkward, but it's not a common enough action to be truly annoying.

      As much as I appreciate making the GNOME Shell more usable, I wish there was focus on a GNOME 3 fork that emphasizes the GNOME Panel (fallback/classic, whatever you want to call it) and Nautilus desktop metaphors. I personally feel that the later da

      • by bornagainpenguin (1209106) on Wednesday January 25, 2012 @05:35PM (#38822655)

        I have to agree; I've been using GNOME 3 in "Fallback" mode for months now -- it is mostly like the good old GNOME 2 desktop; having to hold down Alt and right-clicking the panels to customize is awkward, but it's not a common enough action to be truly annoying.

        Oh that I could live with! The problem is the last I heard, "Fallback mode" was scheduled to be removed so I never bothered with it. Are you saying this is not the case? Because if it is intended to stick around I can always find a distro doing Gnome 3 and start using the "Fallback mode" without any issues.

        The issues come in for me when the developers suddenly decide that everyone has to quit liking what worked well before and what was actually the reason they had any users at all because the new shiny is the now the ONE TRUE WAY....

        Sadly enough that attitude seems to be infecting the whole software world of late and there seems nothing end users can do about it besides stick with the previous (unsupported) versions or move on to something else.

        --bornagainpenguin

        • I'm not currently aware of any concrete plans to remove fallback mode, I've heard several different things from keeping it where it is, hiding the checkbox in system settings (so you'd have to use gsettings to toggle it), or removing it entirely. I don't know what, if any, the official plans concerning it are. At the moment, at least, I can use fallback mode in GNOME 3.

          Also I must say, I am aware of MATE, a fork of GNOME 2.32, but it makes me feel unconfortable for chewing off perhaps too much of the desk

    • ...in every screenshot I could find the Cinnamon fork used a variant of the MintMenu. No offense to those who like it, it simply doesn't trip my trigger and I prefer the Gnome 2 menu bar.

      Cinnamon is not configurable to use the Gnome menu? Ugh. I also find MintMenu to be quite irritating, and greatly prefer the Gnome 2 menu bar (or xfce menu). I've tried a few versions of Linux Mint in VMs, and each time that MintMenu turns me off it, and I keep using Ubuntu 10.04, and its Xubuntu variant.

    • I've given Cinnamon 1.2 a go over the course of a few hours. Sadly, the Mint Menu is mandatory, much to my own disappointment (it's usable, but I prefer the "proper" GNOME menu). That said, it's GNOME 3 done right - outside of a few incredibly minor gripes (the Super Key opens the menu rather than the activities pane; you have to move your mouse to the top left hand corner of the screen to open the activities pane though I'm sure it'll be easy enough to change that behaviour in a future version), I'm loving
  • Why is Cinnamon needed. Hasn't LXDE and/or XFCE filled that void?

    • by 0123456 (636235)

      Neither of them are as complete as Gnome 2 was. While they're alternatives to Gnome 3, they require losing various features that people liked in Gnome 2.

      Of course they also seem to be less buggy and have less retarded design choices copied from Windows.

  • Speciation (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Phoenix666 (184391) on Wednesday January 25, 2012 @06:34PM (#38823207)

    My critical path doesn't usually include desktop pro's and con's; my enthusiasm for such questions was exhausted by the great vi vs. emacs crusades in the days of yore.

    The recent Canonical debacle with Unity has shaken me out of my complacency. In the early days of desktop linux I flirted with both KDE and Gnome before standardizing on Gnome because it felt easier and I wanted to devote my thought energy to other matters (no disrespect, KDE, it's just how I went on a whim way back then).

    And so I stayed for about 12 years. But when I upgraded to oneiric this fall and was slapped in the face by the perversion of nature that is Unity, I tried to revert to Gnome only to find it had atrophied and bloated to near Windows-suck levels. So I started shopping around. Sure, I flirted with the idea of CLI-only, but GUIs do occasionally have value. Then I switched to xfce and haven't looked back. It feels like I got a hardware upgrade.

    Some of my peripheral applets are gone, but next to the general performance gain it's a price worth paying.

    Once again, my faith in the utter superiority of OSS has been confirmed. In Windoze or Applez land you dance to their tune or else. In Linux, you can be continually born again. Speciation is good.

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