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GNOME GUI Open Source Software

GNOME 3 To Support a "Classic" Mode, of Sorts 197

Posted by timothy
from the classic-coke dept.
An anonymous reader writes "LWN.net is reporting that GNOME developer Matthias Clasen has announced that, with the upcoming demise of 'fallback mode,' the project will support a set of official GNOME Shell extensions to provide a more "classic" experience. 'And while we certainly hope that many users will find the new ways comfortable and refreshing after a short learning phase, we should not fault people who prefer the old way. After all, these features were a selling point of GNOME 2 for ten years!'"
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GNOME 3 To Support a "Classic" Mode, of Sorts

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  • Good decission (Score:4, Insightful)

    by saxa (792531) on Thursday November 22, 2012 @09:14AM (#42065761) Homepage Journal
    Lets see what classic will mean :)
    • Re:Good decission (Score:4, Interesting)

      by erroneus (253617) on Thursday November 22, 2012 @09:52AM (#42065983) Homepage

      Not good enough.

      The fallback mode wasn't configurable enough.

      They should just capitulate on this and bring in the people from the Mate project and let users have a complete choice. Go ahead and update Mate to the GNOME3 libraries and let there be two desktop environments within GNOME. Users will choose the mode that is more appropriate for their use.

      Also, stop using GTK+ or fork it to be called something else. For god's sake, the problems I have with newer GiMP and older GNOME just piss me off.

      • Re:Good decission (Score:5, Informative)

        by DrXym (126579) on Thursday November 22, 2012 @10:26AM (#42066213)
        The fallback mode was just an if-all-else-fails mode. It wasn't meant to replace GNOME 2 or even be a place you'd want to work unless your graphics driver was hosed.

        Anyway there is no reason for "classic" extensions to be so limited. GNOME Shell is like Firefox in that new functionality can be strapped onto it and appear seamless. Any extension could potentially change the look and feel of the shell in quite radical ways. That's all Mint are doing after all with MGSE.

        • Re:Good decission (Score:4, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 22, 2012 @10:55AM (#42066365)

          Here's the problem with extensions: too many changes between Gnome releases means that many extensions break from version to version necessitating extension writers having to maintain multiple versions to support multiple distros. Add the fact that the Gnome devs rarely communicate these changes until maybe right before, or just after a new release, and are notoriously indifferent to the breakage they cause, has led to developers turning away from writing extensions altogether. And let's not get into how they routinely fuck with people trying to create themes for Gnome3.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Anonymous Coward
            Not applicable in this case, the extensions being proposed will be officially supported by the GNOME team so they work with each version upgrade. This isn't a third party project.
          • by AdamWill (604569)

            That's the whole point of this effort: blessing a specific set of extensions means that special effort will be taken to make sure they don't break from release to release.

        • by DES (13846) *

          The fallback mode was just an if-all-else-fails mode. It wasn't meant to replace GNOME 2 or even be a place you'd want to work unless your graphics driver was hosed.

          Fallback mode is the only realistic option for remote desktop environments.

          It is also the only way I can tolerate Gnome 3; the default shell is shiny but completely unusable. However, even in fallback mode the window manager is hosed and the control panel has been dumbed down to the point where you have to twiddle dconf for even the most basic settings like “focus follows mouse”.

          • by Curtman (556920) *
            I disagree. There are many things about Gnome 3 that I prefer over Gnome 2. With multiple displays, you can switch workspaces on just one of the displays. (ctrl-alt-up / ctrl-alt-down) It is a good productivity enhancement. My only real gripe with Gnome 3 is the hotspot corner, or rather the refusal to make it configurable. I do not want it. The only time I trigger it is by accident, usually when I'm trying to click "Activities", and then my click ends up closing the thing that I intended to open. I h
          • by DrXym (126579)
            I agree that GNOME 3's UI is too dumbed down. For example I wanted to shrink the font down to free up some vertical space on a laptop. The only option to change the font size is in accessibility which makes no sense since I'm shrinking the font and the panel only offers a few presets anyway. But I don't want KDE like settings either. Putting too many options in front of someone, or burying the useful settings amongst the esoteric settings, or splitting behaviours into multiple settings is even worse IMO. I'
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by HiThere (15173)

          Indeed, it certainly wasn't good enough to replace Gnome2. Whether your graphics drivers were hosed or not. Gnome3 is, itself, a hosing of the system.

          I doubt that I'll go back to a team that has proven to be so unreliable a supplier. That would require that nearly EVERYONE else to be equally unreliable. Better at the moment are KDE, LXDE, and xfce...possibly others I haven't examined. I'm not considering specialty things like blackbox to be competitors. I haven't evaluated Mate or Cinnamon, because wh

          • by DrXym (126579)
            I have GNOME 3 running quite happily on an old laptop with a Pentium Core Duo and IGP and another running with an AMD x2 64 and an old Radeon card of some sort. Neither has posed me any trouble aside from when a pre-released Ubuntu shipped with a broken AMD driver that turned the screen to mush. Almost any PC with an entry level graphics card or IGP in the last 5 years would be able to run GNOME 3. If you have something older, perhaps you should use another WM, but bear in mind that if compositing is unavai
            • by HiThere (15173)

              Oh, it *runs*. That's not the point. They all run. It's just incomparably WORSE than ... well, than MSWindows95A. It's up in the "Bob" class for usability. (Not for the same reasons. If MS-Bob were running on today's hardware it might be *better* than Gnome3.)

      • by caseih (160668)

        What problems are these?

        Gimp is GTK 2 still, and Gnome is GTK 3. There are no problems that I can see here. The library versions coexist without problems.

        I do agree that the GTK+ 3 development process has some tremendous problems and I'm not quite sure I like the way things are going. But we'll see how it settles out. I've always liked the GTK+ apis, and the fact that it's straight C and so easily wrappable by different languages. Qt seems to be better placed right now, in terms of platform portability

        • by dbIII (701233)

          The library versions coexist without problems.

          Actually they don't, which is the real problem. As an exercise try compiling stuff that relies on a new GTK on an old distro or old stuff on a distro with a new GTK. You'll see what we are all complaining about and why casual users can't have their old apps in the new environment and vice versa.
          The gnome project managed to bring DLL hell into *nix despite the normal behaviour of just about everything else of library versions coexisting without problems.

          • by caseih (160668)

            This is odd, since on my Fedora 17 box I have both GTK+2 and GTK+3 installed just fine. I am running a mix of GTK+2 and GTK+3 apps. I also have the -devel packages for both installed.

            I think you're conflating GTK with Gnome here. Gnome 3 purposely broke things by using the same library names for key gnome components. For example, Nautilus is still Nautilus, so I can't install Nautilus 2 and Nautilus 3 because they both use /usr/share/nautilus, for example. That's the issue.

            There is no DLL hell here. S

      • Re:Good decission (Score:5, Insightful)

        by squiggleslash (241428) on Thursday November 22, 2012 @11:21AM (#42066523) Homepage Journal

        I'm sure the MATE people can update their code to use the version 3 libraries with or without GNOME's "official" help. That's pretty much how FOSS works.

        I think this is a good move by GNOME. I have to say I've been bothered by the reports that the fallback mode is going to be removed, I'm not a fan of Unity or GNOME Shell, but at the same time I'd like my desktop to be modern, supported, and able to run modern software without it appearing to be be a hack.

        This sounds like the start of the right approach to get a proper desktop back for GNOME users who want one.

        More-over, it also provides the GNOME project with a way out. They've kind of painted themselves in to a corner with GNOME Shell. I'm finding it very hard to believe that there's a significant contingent of people out there who prefer it, or Unity, to a desktop. An officially supported set of "extensions" can, over time, turn into an official GNOME next generation desktop project, without having to admit that maybe GNOME Shell was not quite what was needed right now.

    • MATE! (Score:2, Funny)

      by Runaway1956 (1322357)

      http://mate-desktop.org/ [mate-desktop.org]

      Gnome should have learned how to play chess. They are out of moves.

    • Lets see what classic will mean :)

      Is it a reaction to Cinnamon or Mate (Linux Mint), which offers an alternative to G3. ?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 22, 2012 @09:18AM (#42065781)

    GNOME is paying attention to what their users say and are listening to what the users want?

    Hell must be freezing over!

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 22, 2012 @09:56AM (#42066003)

      No, this is an attempt to undermine the work of the Linux Mint guys. See, current Gnome devs are control freaks obsessed with preventing anything they think damages their "brand". Theming and users configuring their desktops to their preferences is an anathema to them, and they are rightly concerned that the Mint guys are making a better, more useful Gnome3 than they are. It wouldn't surprise me if upcoming changes in Gnome3 and GTK3 just happen to bollocks Cinnamon, muffin and other Mint components.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        The "Linux Mint" guys haven't done much work. Most of the JavaScript extensions that make up Cinnamon aren't primarily developed by anyone associated with Linux Mint and Mate is basically Gnome 2 with a few minor patches.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 22, 2012 @09:22AM (#42065793)

    Too little, too late. The project has already run off too many power users and influential people within the FOSS community. The top-down, change for the sake of change dictate has led many to question the project's leadership.

    News Flash: They were faulting people who preferred the traditional way. Those who wanted a minimal and unobtrusive workspace were told to stop being stodgy luddites and get with the Metro/OSX times.

    • by digitalchinky (650880) <dtchky@gmail.com> on Thursday November 22, 2012 @09:28AM (#42065827)

      Gimp and a bunch of other projects seem to be headed the same way - what is it with ripping out a decade of refined workflow for massive amounts of white space and fewer exposed configuration options? This trend for dumbed down interfaces has become disturbing.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Gimp and a bunch of other projects seem to be headed the same way

        Hint: There's a lot of developers that do work on both projects. Now some of them have migrated to Libreoffice. Expect more UI carnage to come.

      • by foobsr (693224)
        This trend for dumbed down interfaces has become disturbing.

        There must be users who appreciate^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H need those, and that is disturbing indeed.

        CC.

        • Why do you find disturbing that people can use computers without devoting their lives to learning them?

          Wait I know the answer, it's because it disrupts the livelihood of the priests guarding the arcane knowledge.

      • what is it with ripping out a decade of refined workflow for massive amounts of white space and fewer exposed configuration options?

        I'm glad I'm not the only person suddenly at a loss as to how to use the GIMP. All options missing is not the same as easy to use, especially if you often want to change the options, like brush sizes.

        This trend for dumbed down interfaces has become disturbing.

        Yep and combine that with unity, wayland, systemd and a few other misselany, and desktop Linux will resemble nothing fr

      • Because God knows GIMP is so easy to use these days...

    • Too many power users ran off to what? What's the best alternative, KDE excluded, for power users that once liked GNOME?
      • Re:Can I ask... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by aaaaaaargh! (1150173) on Thursday November 22, 2012 @10:23AM (#42066195)

        XFCE. I switched from Gnome this year and haven't regreted it. It's snappy and simply does what it is supposed to do.

      • I installed Mint 14 and I think the Cinnamon desktop is amazing. It's like what Gnome could have been if the devs didn't want to kill it. I still have a soft spot for KDE after using it for years, but Cinnamon is my new favorite Linux setup.

        • by LingNoi (1066278)

          What do you mean "could have been" it's simply a fork on gnome with some patches.. It's literally "what is used to be".

      • Unity? *ducks* :)

        xfce/mate seem popular but give KDE a try - it has matured from the abomination that was 4.0

        e17 will be released in a matter of weeks (just in time for the Mayan apocalypse!). I tried enlightenment a few months ago and it seemed fast and bloat free. My distro's snapshot seemed rather buggy though - get something up to date.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by muncadunc (1679192)
      I agree, it is too little, too late.

      GNOME 3 has been compared with OSX, but it didn't copy the functional aspects that made OSX good- it only copied the cosmetic aspects, which made the desktop broken. It's got something that looks like a menu bar on the top, but it doesn't actually function as a menu bar- it just takes up space. It's got something that looks like a dock, but it can only be brought up through a full-screen launcher. It doesn't even have a persistent taskbar of any kind: You have to perfor
  • Pfft (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 22, 2012 @09:26AM (#42065819)

    "we should not fault people who prefer the old way"

    Oooh, how generously big-hearted and inclusive of them!

    • Re:Pfft (Score:4, Informative)

      by Dogtanian (588974) on Thursday November 22, 2012 @12:15PM (#42066909) Homepage

      "we should not fault people who prefer the old way"

      Oooh, how generously big-hearted and inclusive of them!

      Yes, it does come across as... diplomatically condescending. Especially in context:-

      And while we certainly hope that many users will find the new ways comfortable and refreshing after a short learning phase, we should not fault people who prefer the old way.

      Yep, it's just that the users who preferred the old interface have been too old and stuck in their ways to bother with a "short learning phase".

  • by Anonymous Coward

    This guy probably means "convenient" when he says "comfortable". It's one of those false friend things.
    (Disclaimer: Native German speaker here, now living in the UK)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 22, 2012 @09:32AM (#42065851)

    This is just another account of how amazingly full of shit the GNOME team (Red Hat, let's just call it with it real name) continues to be. On one hand they continue NACKing the problems with their environment people have been shouting into their ears from the last two years -at least-; while now on the other they tacitally ACK them but in the same vein they do everything: arrogantly, reluctantly, thinking only about [b]control[/b].

    As clearly showed in [URL="https://igurublog.wordpress.com/2012/11/05/gnome-et-al-rotting-in-threes/"]this eye-opening essay[/URL] (and the numerous links and comments that spawned in many levels deep), the GNOME team themselves have made clear both extensions and themes are detrimental to their goal of tight CONTROL over every aspect of your involvement with GNOME, whether you are a mere user, a theme or extension dev, a third app dev, or a distro dev.

    So much for the argument that "Gnome shell sucks less because you can make it so by using extensions". People, they DON'T WANT THAT. They themselves say it loudly and clearly and without a trace of regret. They *won't* change what you expect them to change. Just read carefully the linked post above. They broke the extensions and themes on each release intentionally. Now they "tackle" this issue...

    At this point what they are asking themselves is this:

    "how do we attempt to save our project while NOT having to ackowledge the criticism, and NOT having to drop an inch of control??".

    Answer: [B]We[/B] take control of the extensions, and [b]not[/b] third parties.

    For them it is a good solution, they tackle many angles at once: tighten control, avoid change, pretend change, do something about public oppinion.

    In the end the outcome will be decided by the sum of the personal choice each of us has to make between "do I stop, do I stand back against people that are against what this OS was always about, do I turn my back on them and take some weight on me" or "I need the short term gain of not distracting myself with ackowledging there is a problem here and reacting to it: that myself, as a user, as a contributor to this scene am not in these people plans". Do you keep pluging your ears and go "lalalalalala everything is awesome" like these people want you to do?.

    You may call me delusional, I won't give a shit. I think many of the people that have been here from the beginning in the nineties, haven't (or haven't completely yet) forgot the struggles and years of effort on part of each member in this community to get to where we got a few years ago. The issue here is *money*. The issue here is *companies wanting to subvert Linux ecosystems for money*. Just take a look at what company employees the key GNOME devs are, for christ sake. To the younger, uninformed people: educate yourselves, don't take for granted what you have now, and yes, *fight* to conserve your power over it. If you are "just" a user, your power resides in your CHOICE, and in your OPPINION. If you are a dev, you also have the power of FORK, the power of NOT PLAYING THE GAME.

    • by TuringTest (533084) on Thursday November 22, 2012 @09:51AM (#42065975) Journal

      Keeping tight control is a *good* think in user interface design strategy; it provides a more focused structure and simpler environment, which were their goals.

      The mistake the Gnome developers made was calling the new desktop "Gnome 3". Had they presented it as an experimental new environment and named it "Project Harmony" or "Desktop Zen", or something like that, they would have stepped on less toes and met less resistance to the radical changes, and people would have seen it in better light.

      Of course they would have had less audience, as distros wouldn't have adopted it so quickly. That trade-off was their choice, but I think "Linux is awesome! There are three good major desktops now!" was a better selling point than "They've updated Gnome, and it sucks".

      • Keeping tight control is a *good* think in user interface design

        May I add, "as long as you have users that like your design and you keep listening to them to further tweak it".

      • by blade8086 (183911)

        He's not talking about UI design 'control' - he's talking about project control, and the fact that by-proxy, and by nature of being the primary desktop UI, what the gnome team (heavily sponsored by 'corporate linux') does, hugely impacts the entire linux ecosystem. and this group of people has proven themselves to be heavily unresponsive to complaints from the user community which popularize their product (aka a despot like situation)

        But on the design side, I think you are wrong as well. Imho, the NeXT inte

      • by blind biker (1066130) on Thursday November 22, 2012 @11:38AM (#42066645) Journal

        The mistake the Gnome developers made was calling the new desktop "Gnome 3". Had they presented it as an experimental new environment and named it "Project Harmony" or "Desktop Zen", or something like that, they would have stepped on less toes and met less resistance to the radical changes, and people would have seen it in better light.

        The Gnome devs went out of their way to make it difficult to impossible to have Gnome 2 and Gnome 3 co-exist, due to the library naming/incompatibilities. The way they manoeuvred, users were forced to use Gnome 3. Calling it "Project Harmony" or anything else wouldn't have made any difference, because they basically nuked Gnome 2.

      • The mistake the Gnome developers made was calling the new desktop "Gnome 3". Had they presented it as an experimental new environment and named it "Project Harmony" or "Desktop Zen", or something like that, they would have stepped on less toes and met less resistance to the radical changes, and people would have seen it in better light.

        Then again, calling Gnome 3 something more honest like "Project Puke" or "Desktop Dunny" would have been too obvious to their intended victims^W audience. We moved all our home systems (2 desktops, 2 laptops) to xfce4, and are quite happy with it. We're not likely to evaluate Gnome 3 again for quite a while.

        I still suspect that Microsoft or Apple might have planted some rotters in a few of the Linux desktop projects. Ubuntu's Unity and Red Hat's Gnome 3 are just too awful to have erupted without assistan

    • by digitalaudiorock (1130835) on Thursday November 22, 2012 @10:10AM (#42066113)

      OMFG!!...Some of the quotes etc in the essay from the GNOME folks are utterly beyond belief. I'm serious...I had no idea their attitudes had reached that state...and all the talk about "our brand"...WFT?? They've essentially become Microsoft FFS. After reading that I don't see how anyone who cares about Linux or open source would want anything other than to totally abandon, even boycott those folks...simply amazing.

      • by hAckz0r (989977)
        Well, unlike you I am completly agnostic as far as Gnome is concerned. To me gnomes don't even exist, and neither does this desktop environment.

        When my opinion about how to get my own work done doesn`t matter to someone then they no longer exist for me, just like the fictious story book tales they named themselves after.

      • by rrohbeck (944847)

        Amen.
        Any time you hear marketingspeak from a FOSS group, run.
        That's why I gave up on Ubuntu too.

    • Not many people running RHEL are going to want to pay for Gnome3 as it is now.
      It breaks too many things currently in RHEL.
    • by CRC'99 (96526)

      This is just another account of how amazingly full of shit the GNOME team (Red Hat, let's just call it with it real name) continues to be.

      I agree with you 100% on this. Have a look at some of the recent interactions with the Fedora (aka RedHat) team and them shoving Gnome 3 down peoples throats:

      https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=865922 [redhat.com]
      continues here:
      https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=875433 [redhat.com]

      Translation of it: Screw the End User, you'll do it OUR WAY.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Maybe GNOME folks should indeed remove the classic mode and focus on whatever their goal is rather than trying to keep an unsupported classic mode, ending up with a Jekyll and Hide type of DE.

    After all, the GNOME 2 fork MATE [mate-desktop.org] already provides an almost flawless GNOME 2 experience.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Answer is simple: no. They were all gung-ho for a new experience (yes I went there) while faulting all the old-timey users who were used to Gnome2. They were content with losing them until MATE/Cinnamon/whatever showed them there were more than a 'vocal few' who didn't like the new interface. Now they want all those users back.

      • by erroneus (253617)

        I would say this is an accurate assessment. Their response should be to attempt to merge MATE in with the over-all GNOME project.

    • Maybe GNOME folks should indeed remove the classic mode and focus on whatever their goal is rather than trying to keep an unsupported classic mode, ending up with a Jekyll and Hide type of DE.

      You mean like Windows 8 / Metro, or to a lesser extent, Unity? Seems everyone wants us to have a new and better "user experience". Funny how "new" and "better" don't always actually seem to go together. I don't recall reading - anywhere - about major UI productivity woes with GNOME2, Windows XP/7, Office (pre-ribbon) etc... You know, Classic Coke.

  • by hessian (467078) on Thursday November 22, 2012 @09:38AM (#42065881) Homepage Journal

    Often, "new improvements" mean surface-level improvements that don't improve use and efficiency at all.

    For example, I think Microsoft's Aero and related interfaces are neat-looking, but they don't help me achieve anything using the computer. They just make it a bit slicker.

    If you turn on the classic Windows interface, you eliminate a fair amount of overhead and get back to the basics of a very functional interface.

    The same seems true of Linux GUIs. I appreciate what they're doing in trying to keep up with Windows and Mac OS X and the glitzy new interfaces those have implemented.

    However, how much of this actually adds to the basic interface? Does it increase efficiency of the the user? I'm not so sure.

    I miss the days of installing a new Linux distro on a ten-year-old machine and finding out that it ran as fast as a new machine with Windows.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      > miss the days of installing a new Linux distro on a ten-year-old machine and finding out that it ran as fast as a new machine with Windows

      When did these days go away?

      1) Don't run GNOME
      2) Install only what you need (if that includes X and a manager, well so be it).

      Nothing has changed.

    • by couchslug (175151)

      "I miss the days of installing a new Linux distro on a ten-year-old machine and finding out that it ran as fast as a new machine with Windows."

      Don't use bloated WMs. There is plenty of choice.

  • Summary wrong (Score:5, Informative)

    by Chrisq (894406) on Thursday November 22, 2012 @09:38AM (#42065885)
    This is not a "limited classic mode" but an agreement to support already existing extensions.From TFA:

    As part of the planning for the DropOrFixFallbackMode feature[1], we've decided that we will compile a list of supported gnome-shell extensions. This will be a small list, focused on just bringing back some central 'classic' UX elements: classic alt tab, task bar, min/max buttons, main menu. To ensure that these extensions keep working, we will release them as a tarball, just like any other module. Giovanni already added an --enable-extensions=classic-mode configure option to the gnome-shell-extensions repository, which we will use for this work.

    Also, they make it clear that this is not their preference:

    Q: Why not just make gnome-shell itself more tweakable ?
    A: We still believe that there should be a single, well-defined UX for GNOME 3, and extensions provide a great mechanism to allow tweaks without giving up on this vision. That being said, there are examples like the a11y menu[2] or search[3], where the shell will become more configurable in the future.

  • For further details please see comment topic.
  • by EasyTarget (43516) on Thursday November 22, 2012 @09:43AM (#42065917) Journal

    Having used the new desktop for a year+ now I'm quite into it; find it productive and fast, don't need the classic one back thanks.

    BUT the latest builds have by far the most moronic UI regression I have ever seen.

    Pop up dialogs in windows cannot be moved/resized (*).

    If I do a print-preview in (say) Firefox the 'print dialog' appears; and cannot be moved out of the way so I can see the actual print preview itself.

    If I want to print images this huge printer options screen, full of whitespace, can totally obscure the image I want to print! therefore negating the point of having a print preview system in the first place since I'm still printing 'blind'.

    That is a specific example, many more occur in daily use when, for instance, a dialog appears in which you need to reference or enter details from the screen behind it, which it obscures, and prevents copy/paste from operating. Etc. Ad Nauseum.

    An almost daily irritation. I know it is a change made for Tablet Users.. But they are irrelevant to be honest, Gnome is a desktop OS and will remain that way, tablet users have proper tablet OS's to use.

    The Idiot Gnome weiners who argued for this, and implemented it, need to be expelled from the project; only by ridding the project of such incompetence will it be able to proceed.

    (I think these are Modal dialogues, but I'm not a UI expert so apologies if terminology not quite right, I alos remember that Micro$oft dropped this in their UI after Windoze 3.5.. it is a shame Gnome chose to regress back to the late 80's.

    • by blade8086 (183911)

      But! But! But! Not being able to move popups makes it more like JQueryUI and therefore more AJAXY! and AJAXY == better.
      Especially AJAX + Web2.0 + Cloud + Touchscreen. That is waaay cooler.

      Now I'm going to the mall to buy some all over print tees and multicolored sneakers from a national chain store to show everyone how individualistic I am.

    • by gbjbaanb (229885)

      Even Windows modal dialogs could be moved (a modal dialog is one that pops up and demands attention by not letting you interact with the rest of the system - often used for error notifications and similar).

      What you're describing is the art of uselessness, like old splash screens that obscure the things you're working with - but at least they fade after a few seconds.

  • Hopefully their designs will become more earthy now.
  • by jenningsthecat (1525947) on Thursday November 22, 2012 @09:46AM (#42065933)

    FTA: "And while we certainly hope that many users will find the new ways comfortable and refreshing after a short learning phase, we should not fault people who prefer the old way."

    Translation: "We've lost so many users and had so many complaints that we have to do something, but we're not willing to totally capitulate, so we'll toss them something that looks like a compromise and see if they swallow it."

    FTA: "After all, these features were a selling point of GNOME 2 for ten years!"

    Note the exclamation point. I'd expect that from someone who's been fighting all along to keep some of GNOME 2's legacy intact - I don't expect it, and don't trust it, from someone who was, and possibly still is, ready and willing to throw all of GNOME 2 under a bus.

    I'm glad they're finally making some concessions to their users, but I'd be more convinced of their sincerity if they'd been more responsive to criticism earlier on, instead of covering their ears and digging in their heels for so long.

    For the time being I'm just fine with XFCE, and regardless of GNOME 3's newfound tweakability, I don't think I'll be looking to move back to the GNOME fold any time soon.

    • by ADRA (37398)

      True enough. All the press I get out of Gnome these days gives me the feeling that these guys are the pre X11 fork project leaders.. Completely disconnected from the real world and their user base. I won't hold my breath from any meaningful reform from these guys.

  • by wile_e8 (958263) on Thursday November 22, 2012 @09:50AM (#42065959)
    I thought GNOME already had a "classic" experience extension - called MATE. (Or Cinnamon. YMMV)
  • by Junta (36770) on Thursday November 22, 2012 @09:52AM (#42065977)
    The obvious question in terms of 'why not just let gnome-shell be tweakable answered with:
    <quote>We still believe that there should be a single, well-defined UX for
    GNOME 3, and extensions provide a great mechanism to allow tweaks
    without giving up on this vision</quote>

    I don't understand how this remotely makes sense. I'll preface this by commending the extensible of gnome shell, it allows changes that most other environments cannot offer. However, it's maddening that even the most trivial options mandate extensions to fiddle with. The two sides of the argument are pro-configurability and pro-single UX. What this solution offers is the worst of both worlds. For pro-configurability people, the configuration is not discoverable and its really hard sometimes to find what you want. On top of that, popular extensions break version to version. For pro-single UX people, extensions mean gnome can be anything. This is a single sentence that isn't internally consistent, which can be rephrased as "we don't want configurability because it can create too varied an experience, that's why we think its great that we provide a trivial mechanism that can be used to vary your experience all day long".
  • Backpedaling much? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by partyguerrilla (1597357) on Thursday November 22, 2012 @09:56AM (#42065999)
    I'm guessing the exodus of users scared the hell out of them. What's the point of a "superior" desktop experience that nobody will use [haiku-os.org]?
  • Not Thankful (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Culture20 (968837) on Thursday November 22, 2012 @10:44AM (#42066315)
    I am not thankful for Matthias' condescension. A little more humility on his part in admitting Gnome 3 is bad design would be appropriate.
    • Re:Not Thankful (Score:4, Insightful)

      by don.g (6394) <.don. .at. .dis.org.nz.> on Thursday November 22, 2012 @03:21PM (#42068201) Homepage

      Arguably you could use some too. Not everyone hates GNOME3 with a passion. Yes it's different and not what you're used to, but that doesn't mean it's bad and wrong and that this needs to be "admitted".

      • by myrdos2 (989497)

        Some people hate it with a frightening absence of passion. They drink tea out of delicate porcelain cups, while stroking a white cat. Their bluish lips tighten briefly, and there is a hint of tightness in their eyes as they steeple their fingers and regard the offending desktop with disdain.

        Or so I imagine. I've never tried Gnome 3. I hear it sucks.

  • Let the Gnome devs do as they want with their extensions. If I want to run a GTK3-based desktop, I'll run Cinnamon.
  • Why I like gnome 3 (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 22, 2012 @11:12AM (#42066457)

    I'm a developer, and I have tried just about every windows manager out there. Ultimately, gnome 3 remains my choice for a few reasons.

    Gnome 3 works in the most pleasing way of all the WM's without any configuration. With minimal configuration it gets a lot better. KDE is awesome after intense and sustained configuration, which also goes for a lot of the more classic WM's. But, I don't want to spend very much time configuring at all, even though I have the ability to read manuals and get what I want. That's because what I want most is to focus on my work, not on my work tools. This is coming from someone who almost obsessively learns hotkeys and configures them in any window manager, the default behavior should still be coherent and reasonable.

    Gnome 3 also has the most superior window switching I've seen, and it has a very responsive flow to starting new applications. Its alt-tabbing with the way it shows you windows in other work spaces, the way it arranges windows when you hit the windows key, the hidden ribbon bar, the sensible default hotkeys (most of them inherited from gnome 2 I recognize) and the way the window manager seems to just try to get out of the way most of the time...

    I want minimal, pretty, and fast. So, yes I have some seriously powerful hardware to run this on, and maybe if I were on an older machine I would want a more efficient WM, but from a user interface perspective, Gnome 3 is exactly what I want in a window manager. Task switching and window arrangement is just vastly superior to the other WM's pre-configuration.

  • I'm learning to love XFCE more and more everyday.
    • by HiThere (15173)

      Yeah. If I could get electricsheep to run as a screensaver under xfce or LXDE, I wouldn't have to put up with KDE4. None of those options are as good as Gnome2, but that doesn't seem to be in the cards. (Maybe I shoudl give Mate another try.....)

  • I use XFCE 4.10 + lightdm now (i used it in the past along with gnome 2). It is very good and has pretty much everything you need including network mounts. Its more stable than Gnome 2 ever was plus its not that heavy on dependencies and desktop services. Its also noticeably faster (on nvidia cards with the proprietary driver with core2duo/Athlon II level CPUs) than Gnome even on basic window drawing. Granted it doesnt have the Gnome's OOtB bazillion of services and integration, but i regard this as a plus.

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