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GNOME GUI Open Source Upgrades

GNOME 3.8 Released Featuring New "Classic" Mode 267

Hot on the heels of the Gtk+ 3.8 release comes GNOME 3.8. There are a few general UI improvements, but the highlight for many is the new Classic mode that replaces fallback. Instead of using code based on the old GNOME panel, Classic emulates the feel of GNOME 2 through Shell extensions (just like Linux Mint's Cinnamon interface). From the release notes: "Classic mode is a new feature for those people who prefer a more traditional desktop experience. Built entirely from GNOME 3 technologies, it adds a number of features such as an application menu, a places menu and a window switcher along the bottom of the screen. Each of these features can be used individually or in combination with other GNOME extensions."
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GNOME 3.8 Released Featuring New "Classic" Mode

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  • idle curiosity (Score:5, Interesting)

    by wierd_w ( 1375923 ) on Thursday March 28, 2013 @06:46PM (#43307535)

    Personally, I wonder if there are any use metrics for Gnome3's default mode, vs running on fallback/classic.

    Personally, I can't stand either Unity or Gnome3-standard modes. One of the first things I do with Ubuntu boxes is nuke LightDM and Unity from orbit, and replace them with something less resembling a botched ST:NG computer interface. I actually happen to LIKE menus. That Gnome has listened to the sound of angry feet stampeding to XCFE and KDE over the issue makes me happier, but still displeased over the "No, we don't do it that way anymore, nanaananananannaa" mantra they were using for so long previously.

    • by geek ( 5680 )

      I tried 3.8 on Arch today. It was horrible until I started downloading extensions. Then is was tolerable. I still won't use it for the simple lack of minimize and maximize buttons. Back to KDE I guess. The Linux desktop is in serious need of an enema.

      • Re:idle curiosity (Score:4, Informative)

        by jcupitt65 ( 68879 ) on Thursday March 28, 2013 @07:03PM (#43307655)

        You can turn min and max back on with tweak-tool. You can also disable dynamic workspaces. Handy!

        • by SpzToid ( 869795 )

          It is true. The Ubuntu Tweak tool, and Gnome 3, along with whatever extension a user feels they need (like adding a restart button), works very well. Gnome 3 is an affordable, modern OS IMHO and I like it a lot. I have Ubuntu 12.04/Gnome 3 on all my PCs, from large double-monitor rigs to a 10" netbook display. And I am thrilled I don't have to reconfigure anything until October 2017 according to this chart:

          https://wiki.ubuntu.com/LTS [ubuntu.com]

          Also, the low-tech folks with no budget who 'just needed a (recycled) compu

    • I concur with your sentiment.
      It is so frustrating to fire up a new install of "linux" and have all the important parts of the OS hidden away from access, requiring more than a couple of clicks to get to or even requiring you to open a Search Dialog and search for the app that you want.

      UI designers should really take notice of the reception things like Windows 8 and Gnome 3 and Unity have been getting lately. Remember that most business is still done with a mouse and keyboard at least.

    • Hyperbole or what?

      Since when it become necessary to express "remove" by saying "nuke from orbit"?

      This kind of attention seeking exaggeration is much too common and the noise tends to mask less exciting but more rational opinions and observations, like mine for instance (he he he)

      Anyway who installs a full Unity Ubuntu with the intention of immediately removing Unity? There are all those *buntu "dude I made this kewl theme" versions masquerading as distributions, anyone can use one of those instead. Do peo

      • Re:idle curiosity (Score:5, Interesting)

        by wierd_w ( 1375923 ) on Thursday March 28, 2013 @08:51PM (#43308247)

        While definately hyperbole, I think it aptly sums up the "level" of dissatisfaction I have for Unity and Gnome3, and similar "oh look! Great big icons, and obfuscated indicators of what's actually installed, forcing you to grasp blindly with a search dialog!" UIs.

        In other words, I have tried both, actually, earnestly, honestly tried them, and my passionate hatred of the paradigm they uphold only intensified the more I tried.

        Not all UIs are for everyone. Insisting that I don't like it "because you haven't tried it yet", or "because it's different, and if you just used it you would come to like it" are strawmen. I have tried them, for a 2 month trial window. I hate them. End of story. I LIKE menus. I LIKE having the option of turning them on, because I find them useful. I LIKE not being ridiculed for doing so. It is NOT hard to understand.

        As for why one would use a standard distro package and not a repacked themed hackjob? Really, do I actually need to answer that? Really? Ok, how about, "because the main distro has been vetted by more eyeballs, and has better user support by being more commonly used." Hmm? Maybe trying to get updated packages down the road is less of a headache with the main distribution pack? Naw.. that clearly isn't a good enough reason, I must totaly be an idiot instead.

    • Just want to point out that "fallback" does not exist anymore as a separate mode. Clutter (the window manager) will simply use the 2D LLVM pipe if 3D graphics are not available.

      "GNOME Classic" is a "mode," meaning a pre-configured template for a desktop session. You can also create your own modes according to your tastes.

  • by GovCheese ( 1062648 ) on Thursday March 28, 2013 @06:59PM (#43307621)
    When I realized they took away my minimize button I damn sure needed some free beer
    • You can right click on the top border of the window to minimize.
      • by epyT-R ( 613989 )

        still more annoying than just having the button there. The justification for removing it was far weaker than the one for keeping it, especially considering it's a standard convention.

  • 2013??? (Score:3, Informative)

    by amginenigma ( 1495491 ) on Thursday March 28, 2013 @06:59PM (#43307623)
    Wait, wait, wait... wait, just wait... I thought the world DIDN'T end in 2012 like those crazy Maya believers said. The gnome team listening to feedback... wow what's next, no wait don't tell me. Microsoft will realize the folly of Windowz 8 in time to 'add' a feature in Windowz 9 SP1 that'll make the IT industry happy again. There it is, you heard it first here kiddies!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 28, 2013 @07:06PM (#43307677)

    Over at datamation.com they have two reviews worth reading. One general review on GNOME 3.8 [datamation.com] and a separate review on the all new GNOME Classic [datamation.com].

    • by ssam ( 2723487 ) on Thursday March 28, 2013 @07:14PM (#43307725)

      "In many fundamental features, GNOME Classic actually fails to match GNOME 2's standards. On closer examination, the panel proves to be unmovable and un-resizable. Nor has GNOME Classic followed Mate's lead and restored the ecosystem of applets, the small utilities that could do so much to customize a GNOME 2 desktop." -- datamation.com

      So i'll be sticking with MATE (on fedora) and GNOME2 (gentoo stable) for atleast the next 6 months then :-)

      • Why? Applets sucked. In the 10 years we had applets, there was hardly anything innovative coming out of it. It had a lot of problems. The extensions are going to be a lot more interesting as time goes on. Once the api stablizes, I can see some interesting stuff coming out of it.
        • by jedidiah ( 1196 ) on Thursday March 28, 2013 @09:03PM (#43308311) Homepage

          They may not be "innovative" enough but they are a hell of a lot more useful than all of the abortive attempts to ape MacOS.

          "Innovative" != useful.

          • Did you take a look of what kind of applets are out there? You probably are using maybe two tops and everything else is a rehash of the same 5-6 apps. Extensiosn are the new applets and they are a lot more powerful and you can change things quite extensively. You're looking at "innovation" as some kind of negative buzz word. The point here is that applets had limited functionality, had no documentation, and suffered from a number of technical faults that made programming them hard. GNOME isn't aping an
        • by fwarren ( 579763 )

          To each his own.

          I run fluxbox and I always have a dock on the right side of my screen where I run dock apps. http://dockapps.windowmaker.org/ [windowmaker.org]. On a wide aspect display I don't miss the 68 to 72 pixels they take up. At a glance I can see if anyone has IMed me and what time it was (wmmsg), switch keyboard layouts and see which one is active (wmkeys), So what me volume levels are and change/mute them (wmix), have my favorite net streaming radio stations available (pywmradio), have full control over audacious (

        • by ssam ( 2723487 )

          i dont care if implemented as an applet, extenstion, built into the panel or writen into the frame buffer a kernel module. I just want a system monitor that is always visable at the top of my screen. the gnome2 system monitor is the best implemented one i have ever used (i can set it to a slow update rate, i can choose colors, and i can make iowait visable).

    • Thanks. I think the Gnome developers should get together for a group picture. They'd sell a million dartboards. I'm just gonna stick with MATE.

  • ...no need for Gnome 3.8 now that Elementary OS is coming along so nicely. It tends to be forgotten around here as an alternative, so I thought I'd mention it.

  • by shutdown -p now ( 807394 ) on Thursday March 28, 2013 @07:42PM (#43307875) Journal

    They keep breaking keyboard switching every release. Here's the story in 3.6:

    https://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=681685 [gnome.org]
    https://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=684210 [gnome.org]

    (If you read the comments, you'll see the usual attitude of Gnome devs - bilingual users who actually use this functionality are telling them that it's been broken, while devs who don't really use it but own it reply by coming up with invented reasons as to why the new behavior is the right thing, and everyone else should just shut up and learn it.)

    You'd think they would pay more attention to this area in the new release, but apparently they have emasculated [gnome.org] (the official press release calls it "simplified", in the usual Gnome bullshit-speak) it even further in 3.8, and there are bugs reported about erratic behavior of the new switcher. All that because XKB is, apparently, not good enough anymore.

    With this kind of attitude towards their users (of which the above is but a single example), how come they still have any?

  • by Anonymous Coward


    I guess this guy could be considered an expert on the subject!

  • by caseih ( 160668 ) on Thursday March 28, 2013 @08:06PM (#43308005)

    One of the things in Gnome 2 that I rely on every day is the fact that in the pager applet, I can see the outlines of the windows on that desktop, and if the app is big enough, it's icon. This is invaluable feedback to me. I can tell at a glance where things are if I should forget. I typically never alter my desktops use, but it's nice to be able to see this. Cinnamon fails completely in this regard. It's pager is nothing but a dark square to identify which desktop I'm on. It gives no feed back other than this and may as well be just a number, which the screen shot of the new classic mode appears to do.

    If either Gnome classic or Cinnamon could do this one small thing, I'm ready to switch. Until then, It's still Mate for me. That and I really like the way I have compiz set up with Mate.

  • The chance seem to be very small, but without that Wheezy will look like a old duck with his Gnome 3.4 when it will be released.

    I hope that the Debian team will be cleaver enough to understand the advantage of providing a good classic desktop experience for people that will upgrade from Squeeze to Wheezy (I have tried Gnome 3.x and Unity and found them unproductive).

    • Probably won't happen since Wheezy has been in the fridge for almost nine months now.

    • Debian switched from GNOME to XFCE as its default. I don't see them going back
  • by Forever Wondering ( 2506940 ) on Friday March 29, 2013 @04:01AM (#43309929)

    If Gnome 3.8 still has application popup windows that are "pinned" below the app's window bar, then it still reeks.

    This started at Gnome 3.0, and [as far as I can tell from a quick perusal of the source code] they removed the code [from metacity, mutter, gnome-whatever] that corresponded to the config option to allow these windows to float.

    For an example, play gnomines. When you complete a game, the popup comes up and obscures the top part of the board. You can't see your time [or a portion of the board]. This can't be overridden.

    As a far worse example, do an "open file" [ctrl-O] in Firefox. See how much information is obscured (tabs, toolbar, url, etc.).

    To remove working code that provided a useful option to force "A Brave New Paradigm" is just asinine.

    • by martas ( 1439879 )
      Well duh, the best thing is obviously to copy Apple in every way, and then take it to 11. Since MacOS does the "pinned popup" thing sometimes, it must be even better to do it all the time.

I was playing poker the other night... with Tarot cards. I got a full house and 4 people died. -- Steven Wright