Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
GUI GNOME Red Hat Software Linux

One Week With GNOME 3 Classic 169

Posted by timothy
from the we-think-we-can-save-the-foot dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Stephen Gallagher, Security Software Engineer at Red Hat, has completed his week-long experiment running GNOME 3 Classic. Stephen writes: 'While I was never as much in love with GNOME 2 as I was with KDE 3, I found it to be a good fit for my workflow. It was clean and largely uncluttered and generally got out of my way. Now that Fedora 19 is in beta and GNOME Classic mode is basically ready, I decided that it was my duty to the open-source community to explore this new variant, give it a complete investigation and document my experiences each day.' I'll leave Stephen's opinion on the new Classic Mode to the Slashdot reader to discover, but I will say that it does touch on the much debated GNOME Shell Activities Overview, and the gnome-2-like Classic mode's Windows List on the taskbar."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

One Week With GNOME 3 Classic

Comments Filter:
  • by Laebshade (643478) <laebshade@gmail.com> on Thursday June 06, 2013 @04:17PM (#43929385)

    tl;dr: With a few adjustments, he likes Gnome Classic.

    • Re:tl;dr (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 06, 2013 @06:56PM (#43930947)

      tl;dr: With a few adjustments, he likes Gnome Classic.

      Nope.

      He started with KDE 3, didn't like KDE 4, switched to GNOME for a few years, and then he discovered how good KDE 4 had become. He switched back to KDE 4, and he how prefers it and recommends it.

      • by AdamWill (604569)

        Er. No. He didn't.

        "When I started this experiment, I was expecting that it would be an interesting foray and that I’d most likely end up switching back to KDE when it was all over. I’m no longer certain that I will be doing that.

        I’ve been fairly comfortable operating in GNOME Classic, once I figured out the few tweaks I needed to perform. I think I’m probably going to continue using GNOME Classic for a while (at least until after next week’s Red Hat Summit)."

        • Considering how central Red Hat is to GNOME development, and with GNOME being the default desktop of RHEL (still GNOME 2, last I heard, but of course RHEL is extremely conservative) the central tendency of any Red Hat employee is going to be to use GNOME. Most Red Hat software is GTK/GNOME based, after all. It shows much about how broken for many people GNOME 3 has been that even a Red Hat employee was using KDE. If GNOME 3 now has a mode built-in that's usable by him (as opposed back when the GNOME develop
          • by AdamWill (604569) on Friday June 07, 2013 @06:44PM (#43941615) Homepage

            Erm, I work for Red Hat too. I know there's this meme that Red Hat cares a lot about GNOME for some reason, but we really really don't.

            RH sponsors GNOME development because it's one of the major F/OSS desktops, and someone has to. We used to be just one out of many companies who did; most of them have now fallen by the wayside and it's mostly us.

            There is no 'implicit pressure' at RH for engineers to use any desktop whatsoever. No-one cares. There are people at RH using GNOME, KDE, Xfce, LXDE, MATE, blackbox, fluxbox, openbox, any other box you care to name, Windows, and OS X, and any other desktop or WM I forgot to put in that list. The RH 'standard desktop distro' for use by non-engineering staff uses GNOME (2) because it's basically RHEL 6 and we have to standardize on something. But if you're in engineering you can use whatever the hell you like as long as your job gets done.

            Red Hat pays several people who work on KDE as well as people who work on GNOME, and the Fedora Xfce spin is maintained by a Red Hat employee (Kevin Fenzi). In Fedora, KDE and GNOME have equal support status: both are required to meet the same quality requirements as part of release validation.

            • by S.O.B. (136083)

              Thanks for that insight into Red Hat behind the scenes.

              Very informative...and me without my mod points.

  • by anthony_greer (2623521) on Thursday June 06, 2013 @04:31PM (#43929541)

    It is obviously what the people want!

    • Ha ha indeed. Interesting parallel for both Gnome and Windows to "push the boundary" and then having to retreat. I manage a set of Linux workstations (Matlab boxes) and have guests with Windows experience use the machines. With Gnome 2... no problem they can sit down and get work done. If I transitioned to Gnome 3 I would get complaints and wtf's all the time.

      • by sg_oneill (159032)

        I was actually pretty delighted to find that if you push gnome3 over xrdp it basically murders that bizare full screen menu thing and replaces it with the good old trusty drop down menu of old. Twas rather pleasing actually.

        But yeah, add to that mix of new interfaces everyone hates, the launchpad on OSX mountain lion. Oh hey lets create the IOS launchpad for a device with no touchscreen! However apple was smart enough to make it entirely optional, just trash it off the taskbar and replace it with the old ap

    • Wait...Metro isn't GNOME 3?

  • I'm still using Gnome 3.4.2 (what comes with Ubuntu 12.04, via the Gnome Team I believe). I still miss a lot of Gnome 2 features (like getting rid of the top bar, and moving it to the bottom). But, overall, I appreciate many of the changes (I've grown to like the activities tab, and searching for programs, though I would like to pin the order so that LibreOffice Calc, and the Calculator don't keep switching around).

    However, I think I would like to try Gnome Classic, and I think I might work out how to force

    • I thought Ubuntu 12.04 already supported Classic. I upgraded one laptop to 12.04 a couple of months ago, and tried whatever it was that they were offering that was supposed to be like the old GNOME. I didn't like it because you can't make the thin panel across the top go away: I always use vertical panels on either side.

      I installed the third-party GNOME reversion, and it *almost* lets me recreate my desktop, but it looked like they were forking every GNOME application too, so I wasn't too enthusiastic abo

    • Magic, sudo apt-get gnome-panel. You can then select it at your Login screen. You can use a Search Engine to get more info about 12.04 ans gnome-panel if you're not sure about all of it. If you're not comfortable with the terminal, you can find it in the Software Center also.

      • Oops. I mean, sudo apt-get install gnome-panel. I'm sorry, wish we had a few minutes to edit our posts. But yeah, you can find it in the Software Center and have the 'old' Gnome UI. =)

        I personally use Xubuntu which includes XFCE. You can actually make XFCE look like the old Gnome 2x with a few tweaks, and XFCE is based on GTK2x like the old Gnome, so there would be no need to install any Gnome dependencies. And you can move the bars anywhere you like, or delete them.

      • After I read your post I went and closed everything, logged out, and tried the Gnome Fallback (for some reason I'd already had it installed). If I had known about it before, I might never have given Gnome 3 a proper chance! I do have some complaints after having used it for a few minutes.

        1) I had to use the Compiz manager thing to enable alt-tab window switching.
        2) I can't move the top panel.
        3) I got used to being able to hit 'Super' and start typing to get a program.
        4) The virtual window setup seems fucked

  • It was clean and largely uncluttered and generally got out of my way.

    While I will not dispute this fella's findings, I wonder whether GNOME by default, is a pleasure to look at.

    That is, is it beautiful? The last time I checked (3 years ago), it was one ugly piece of software, though it generally got work done.

    • I don't know what the default look{s,ed} like. It's fairly customizable, so I've found+hacked a theme that keeps me happy.

      I just dread upgrades, because it's always hard to get everything back the way I want it. Plus the continual change of default applications... I still use the good stuff from GNOME 1 (Sawfish, Balsa, etc.)

      • by crutchy (1949900)

        i just took a photo of my screen when i was happy with how it looked, and now every time an upgrade stuffs it up i just take a printout of that photo and stick it to my monitor

    • by crutchy (1949900)

      is it beautiful?

      you obviously mean does it have breasts, right?

      disclaimer: man boobs are not breasts

    • by Bambi Dee (611786)

      I think it is and, well, isn't. I love the generously laid out (layouted?) minimalist white-on-black of the Gnome shell itself. Clean and uncluttered fits. But I don't much like the default GTK 2/3 theme (too angular, too silvery-grey) and the somewhat incoherent icon theme. Fortunately there're a few working alternatives to those, so in the end it's still the nicest-looking desktop I remember having. And I wasn't a big fan of Gnome 1/2.

  • MATE or Cinnamon (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MetricT (128876) on Thursday June 06, 2013 @04:51PM (#43929753) Homepage

    Both GNOME 3 and Unity simply aren't very useful for power users. Cinnamon and MATE are both useful substitutes until Gnome/Canonical start listening to their customer base again.

    • by doti (966971)

      Gnome2 is a no-nonsense system that just works.

      I'm very happy with MATE, and don't see the need for anything else.

      • by crutchy (1949900)

        Gnome2 is a no-nonsense system that just works

        agreed

        throw in little things like twinview (nvidia) and conky and you have some nerded-up screens :)

      • by dbIII (701233)
        MATE still has a few rough edges in comparison to gnome2 but it's getting there. Fluxbox and all the rest still work as well as they always have.
    • by loufoque (1400831)

      I was forced to move to Cinnamon when the latest regressions to nautilus landed.
      It's impressive how they were able to fuck up such a good application, and how nemo is largely superior to nautilus from GNOME 3.6 and 3.8 in every way.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by bogaboga (793279)

        ...It's impressive how they were able to fuck up such a good application...

        Are you a sadist? How can those two words in the same sentence? (emphasis mine...)

        • by loufoque (1400831)

          I don't quite understand what you mean.

        • by crutchy (1949900)

          you've never experienced an impressive fuck before?

          you need to get out more dude

        • by mrmeval (662166)

          And now comes the grammer gnazi. Like their political counterpart the grammer gnazi is incapable of understanding anything not codified in strict stifling rules. There is no such thing as an organic and changing language based on cultural changes over time. It Must Be Fixed and It Must Be Obeyed. Nothing human shall interfere with ORDER!!! It is fortunate that their political counterparts are for the most part dead or we'd all be gassed for our linguistic transgressions.

    • by 0123456 (636235)

      Ditto. I was using XFCE on Ubuntu for a while, but eventually gave in and install Mint and MATE. It's a much better interface all round.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Mint is a proper fork, not a temporary fix. Not just the desktop, but reversing the dumbing-down of daily applications such as Nautilus.

      Mate is "Gnome 2" back in the hands of people who /like/ Gnome 2, and it's fabulous.

      Canonical is not going to reverse. For better or for worse, this is their vision forward. Shuttleworth dropped hints about this at least six years ago. He has always wanted a different desktop. It's not just a sudden hiccup of fashion.

      And yeah it sucks in my view, but I'm not convinced at al

  • by Chris Mattern (191822) on Thursday June 06, 2013 @04:52PM (#43929759)

    http://sgallagh.wordpress.com/category/fedora/ [wordpress.com]

    That will give you all the posts for the week, not just the first one.

  • by Nutria (679911) on Thursday June 06, 2013 @05:05PM (#43929893)

    something polished instead of raw should try XFCE. With a little tweaking, I have xubuntu 13.04 looking a whole lot like GNOME 2.32 from Ubuntu 10.10.

    • by Aguazul2 (2591049)

      something polished instead of raw should try XFCE.

      I agree. The point of a desktop for me is to do its job and to get out of my way. XFCE succeeds in this. I haven't had a single crash or weirdness (unlike KDE on Debian 'stable', which had several issues of crashes and a major memory leak, which I raised a Debian bug for). For me, the only downsides of XFCE 4.8 (shipped with Debian 'stable') is that xfdesktop doesn't show thumbnails (although the file manager does), and I had to hack the XKB files to make CapsLock into Control (it kept resetting my temporar

    • by rubycodez (864176)

      xfce is a very good desktop and also works well on 1GB RAM machines; but I find MATE more Gnome-2 like (need more RAM)

    • by Nimey (114278)

      Post your XFCE config?

    • by YoungHack (36385)

      I'll second this. It seems like no one does "useful" like XFCE.

  • by segedunum (883035) on Thursday June 06, 2013 @05:08PM (#43929915)

    It took a couple months, but I was finally able to adapt my workflow to more-or-less work with the “GNOME Way”

    This is most certainly not the way software should work.

    Basically, having read to the end of the article, although it doesn't say it explicitly and I thought the article was about Gnome from the summary, it can be summed up in one of Linus's short phrases: "Use KDE".

    • by jones_supa (887896) on Thursday June 06, 2013 @05:16PM (#43929993)
      I'm surprised that KDE doesn't get more love in Slashdot. KDE is probably the most flexible and professional DE that is available for Linux.
      • by Gaygirlie (1657131) <{gaygirlie} {at} {hotmail.com}> on Thursday June 06, 2013 @05:24PM (#43930073) Homepage

        KDE is probably the most flexible and professional DE that is available for Linux.

        It may be the most flexible, but I suppose you and I have different view on what's "professional" here: it's too cluttered, there's not only one but several kitchen sinks thrown in almost everywhere, the configuration options are all over the damn place and they're pretty incoherent, I can *still* make Plasma crash if I just play around with the panel and so on. GNOME2 was a lot more "professional" IMHO, and a whole lot more useable.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Ah, but with the exception of that bloody cashew, you can turn almost all of that off and reconfigure the workspace pretty darned comfortably (yeah, taste, degrees of comfort, etc).

          KDE Plasma was clunky at first, but at least acknowledged that folks who wanted to configure their workspace personally (and/or have a somewhat predictable copy-and-fucking-paste) at least *mattered*. That's pretty much diametrically opposed to the experiences with Metro and recent Gnomes which have been "our way or the highway."

        • by AdamWill (604569)

          Yes. This.

          I do QA for Fedora, so I spend quite a bit of time poking all the major desktops.

          I spent a bit of time last week poking around with how GNOME and KDE handle keyboard configuration. It's a *classic* example of the philosophical difference between them.

          GNOME 3 has spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to get it right for most people, most of the time, with the absolute minimum possible amount of options. How GNOME does it is that it queries xkb for the valid layouts, and gives you a very very

          • I was personally thinking of all the various settings relating to looks and themes: there's like 10 different places where to look for, some of the dialogs are split into tabs, some are behind buttons that open new modal dialogs, some overuse drop-down lists, there's no explanation anywhere for what everything actually does and heck, even something as simple as installation of new themes is completely broken -- in some places it opens up a dialog that can download and install themes from the Internet or ins

    • by Volanin (935080)

      Have you really read to the end of the article?
      Copied verbatim from Final Thoughts:

      "When I started this experiment, I was expecting that it would be an interesting foray and that I’d most likely end up switching back to KDE when it was all over. I’m no longer certain that I will be doing that."

      What I felt from the article is that Gnome Classic, although still rough, is definitely going in the right direction. The author even commited to keep using it, at least until next week's Red hat Summit!

      I

    • by AdamWill (604569)

      You have to read the whole series of articles, not just the first one.

      Notably, the final paragraph of the concluding article:

      "When I started this experiment, I was expecting that it would be an interesting foray and that I’d most likely end up switching back to KDE when it was all over. I’m no longer certain that I will be doing that.

      I’ve been fairly comfortable operating in GNOME Classic, once I figured out the few tweaks I needed to perform. I think I’m probably going to continue u

  • no dammit (Score:2, Troll)

    by X0563511 (793323)

    Fuck activities, and fuck KDE's cashew with a rusty spoon. Give me a desktop that lets me have a background that I can arrange files on (not links or some index, but actual files), a task bar, and get out of my way.

  • by Okian Warrior (537106) on Thursday June 06, 2013 @05:30PM (#43930153) Homepage Journal

    This is one of the problems with Open Source in general: the engineers are expert in coding, and believe that this is all one needs for a great product.

    There are acknowledged experts [google.com] in usability and presentation (and documentation and testing and installation procedures and marketing) who have spent many years of study and have experience in these things. For some reason, few open source projects have subgroups of these types - the development is always code changes checked into a database.

    A good example is the ribbon interface [lazytechguys.com] in XBMC. Some other computer product had a "ribbon" of program icons, so having one made from words was thought to be a good idea. Icons are mostly small and square, while words are generally wide, so the result is that only one or two selections are visible at one time. Compare with Tivo's vertical list [photobucket.com] and you'll see a marked difference - using XBMC is like reading a newspaper through a straw.

    (Don't bother telling me how to skin XBMC or the obscure option in some hidden menu that makes the presentation sane. It would have been easier to just make a product that isn't frustrating or time-consuming to correct.)

    There's an ocean of expertise in other areas that goes into making a good product. If any coders are bored and wanted to explore a new field of research, usability and presentation skills could be very useful.

    ((Apropos of nothing, there's room for innovation into different ways of presentation and control. I've seen a lot of good suggestions from fiction, such as the AirWolf cockpit altitude display, the gesture-based input from Earth: Final Conflict ship, the cell phones [wearethevo...urhead.com] from Earth: Final Conflict, or the medical display in Star Trek: Into Darkness (at the very beginning, the sick girl).))

    • by 0123456 (636235)

      Uh, you do realise many of us use Xbmc on a TV with a remote, right? I don't want sixty icons across the screen that I can't read from the sofa, so the 'ribbon' interface works pretty well there.

      It does rather suck on Android, though.

    • by wylf (657051)

      ...the result is that only one or two selections are visible at one time.

      Stop (collaborate and listen!) - I agree the XBMC ribbon isn't the greatest implementation, but don't introduce hyperbole into your argument - the screenshot you reference clearly shows 3.5 selectors, with 4 selectors most likely being accessible at the same time. That's a far cry from "one or two".

      (And does anyone actually use XBMC as a photo gallery? First thing I did was go into the system menu and disable half of the services: I want to watch T.V. and Movies, and access some Apps, maybe some Music work

    • The XBMC interface is the nicest interface I have used for any media device. That ribbon interface that you mock allows you to focus on the task at hand instead of polluting the screen with irrelevant options. When it comes to desktop computing, I want all of the options on the screen at once, but when I'm operating a specialized device such as a media center, the interface should be clean, well-organized, and focused. There are plenty of examples of bad interfaces in open source, but XBMC is certainly n
    • by Kjella (173770)

      That's not the real issue, the real issue is that developing new code is fun while maintaining and reworking it is boring. You build a house and things are a bit rough all around but instead of polishing it until it's the best house it can be you've already jumped on building your new house that will become even better while the old house is left abandoned. It's pretty tough to resist when you don't have a boss who'll tell you enough is enough and just leave it be already.

    • This is one of the problems with Open Source in general: the engineers are expert in coding, and believe that this is all one needs for a great product.

      The other thing, of course is that the usability experts are great at targeting 99% of the population.

      The thing is that Linux users are almost by definition the self-selecting 1% who weren't happy with the other more popular offerings for a variety of reasons. This is why things like vi, xfig and fvwm, command prompts and spartan interaces like ratpoision, x

    • by greg1104 (461138)

      You're making a pretty bold claim about open source in general from a small set of data. There's a perfectly valid way to evolve interfaces over time without having an explicit design up front. One way to do that is to iterate based on user feedback, and that's where projects like GNOME have failed the worst. That's their problem though, not the problem of all open source development. What I expect to happen with most of the bugs filed by this author is that they'll be marked "not a bug, you're doing it

    • by Hatta (162192)

      This is one of the problems with Open Source in general: the engineers are expert in coding, and believe that this is all one needs for a great product.

      And this has been borne out by experience. Open source products are generally better than closed source products.

      There are acknowledged experts in usability and presentation (and documentation and testing and installation procedures and marketing) who have spent many years of study and have experience in these things.

      If all that expertise were worth anythin

  • The screen shots from https://live.gnome.org/GnomeShell/Tour [gnome.org] show that this interface is not using sub-pixel font rendering. I have noticed this on most if not all other Linux-type screen shots. Apparently the favored font rendering method on Linux is the old-fashioned "treat every pixel as some shade between the font color and the background color". The characters so rendered are substantially less well-formed and harder to read. And this surely isn't a matter of intellectual property: https://www.grc.com/ [grc.com]

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Some Linux distributions like Fedora are paranoid about patents on certain font rendering techniques. You can fix it by using the infinality repos or you can use a distribution that isn't so fucking paranoid about patents. Ubuntu and Arch both include far better font rendering by default.

      • Thanks. That's helpful.

      • Infinality does *much more* than re-activate the previously patented code. Infinality makes fonts on Linux look GOOD. Without it I doubt I could stand using Linux for any substantial period.

    • by Osgeld (1900440)

      I generally dislike "subpixel" rendering, I didnt buy a high res monitor to look at fuzzy text like my Apple II displays

      http://mrob.com/apple2/lin32.jpg [mrob.com]

    • For some reason sub-pixel font rendering is not the default, maybe because of CRT legacy. On the gnome2 interface it's turned on from "desktop settings" then "fonts" hidden under that and it's one of the four rendering method choices. In other environments it's probably more directly accessible.
    • by greg1104 (461138)

      Sub-pixel rendering is heavily covered by Microsoft Patents [wikipedia.org]. Blame them, or the rest of the industry that's stalling innovation with software patents; Apple does the same thing. Sub-pixel rendering is math you graph, and the idea that it's patentable is ridiculous. But since it is a real problem, free software can either avoid the major patents or risk getting pulled into a patent war that wastes a lot of money. Right now RedHat is avoiding them.

      There is a whole section to that article describing why St

    • What's the difference between "sub-pixel font rendering" and "treat every pixel as some shade between the font color and the background color"? I mean, how else would you do it?

  • I still miss KDE 3. On of these days I may install Trinity to kick the tires.
  • I have been enjoying it for about 8 months. I put some. debs in a repo at vin-dit. Org for 64 bit wheezy and squeeze. enlightenment.org has links to packages for other distros or it may be in yours already. doesn't cost anything to try it.

  • The headline is misleading. This article is about Gnome Shell and a bit about KDE. The author says he has just started using Gnome Classic, and will report on it later.

    He makes no comments about Gnome Classic in this article.

    • by gnapster (1401889)
      The linked article is the prologue to a series of seven posts chronicling a week spent using Gnome Classic. See the RECENT ENTRIES sidebar at the top of the page.
  • I find windows 8 metro more intuitive, easy to manage, better looking than the old 95/xp/7/kde/xfce/mate/cinnamon/lxde start menus. Hopefully in the future, with windows 9, the metro will replace the old taskbar UI. Anyway, windows 8.1 will let you customize the metro a lot more which is a big plus. But, for now, I barely use the metro except for mail, youtube fm, gmaps, and opening applications that I use but not often like gimp, office 2010, blender, etc... the applications that I use so often are pin

  • I'm actually a bit puzzled about the hatred of Gnome 3. I only started using it very recently (I use Debian, so I'm not exactly on the bleeding edge for my Linux workstation), and Gnome 3 came with the recent upgrade to Debian 7.

    It took me all of 30 minutes to get used to. It's uncluttered and doesn't get in my way, I kind of like the hot corner thing too, and it's become my preferred DE with Mac OSX coming a very close second.

    Maybe it's because being a Debian user I missed the early buggy versions or somet

    • Debian is shipping GNOME 3.4, right? I know that the changes yanking out a bunch of the customization options in Gnome Terminal hadn't hit yet back then, and I don't think Nautilus was as gimped as it is now, either.

      I haven't used GNOME extensively, but what's put me off has been less the desktop environment itself (not the biggest fan, but I can see how it's workable) and more the problems with the default applications and their steady loss of features, alongside the snotty and condescending attitude of ma

  • I found a hidden option that enabled workspaces on all monitors, but as of GNOME 3.0 it was thoroughly broken and caused a lot of crashes (which I was told by the GNOME developers they weren’t going to look at, since it wasn’t a supported configuration), so I was forced to revert.

    In my experience, when trying to make KDE behave in some weird and idiosyncratic way I've been told "oh, cool, yeah we added an option that might help you do that a while back, wasn't sure anybody'd ever use it". Wher

What this country needs is a dime that will buy a good five-cent bagel.

Working...