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GUI GNOME GNU is Not Unix Open Source Software Upgrades Linux

What's New In GNOME 3.18 170

prisoninmate writes: In this release, GNOME improves the general user experience for users and new developers alike. GNOME 3.18 adds a feature called "Automatic Brightness," which, when enabled, it will make use of your laptop's light sensor to dim or increase the screen's brightness depending on the surrounding lighting. GNOME 3.18 also improves the touch screen experience, especially when selecting and modifying text, implements a new view in the Nautilus (Files) sidebar, which collects all the remote and internal locations in a single place.
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What's New In GNOME 3.18

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  • by squiggleslash ( 241428 ) on Wednesday September 23, 2015 @11:02AM (#50582761) Homepage Journal

    Screenshot on that page showing a screen you'd only love to use on a tablet.

    8.1 was a very nice tablet UI. Unfortunately, Windows, like GNOME, is almost always used on desktops. Controlled by mice and keyboards. Perhaps it's time the GNOME team recognized the need to focus on that again and made the desktop the priority of the project.

    • by bondsbw ( 888959 )

      Perhaps it's time the GNOME team recognized the need to focus on that again and made the desktop the priority of the project.

      Great point. After all, it is the year of Linux on the... you know.

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by mccalli ( 323026 )
      Disagree - the linked video [youtube.com] shows a very desktop-oriented device, not tablet. They do seem to have some UI guidelines around touch which they alude to in the video, but on the whole - it looks like a nice desktop update.
      • I did not see that in the video at all. What I see is the same giant icons for tablet desktop with a few new windowing features.

        But, I will probably get over it. As The Doctor said... "Ohh, you changed the desktop theme... I don't like it."

        • by Anonymous Coward

          I did not see that in the video at all. What I see is the same giant icons for tablet desktop with a few new windowing features.

          Looks just like the built-in Launchpad app launcher in Mac OS X to me. And the cretinous masses just love everything about Mac OS X, even though Launchpad is just a big ugly grid of app icons, same as Windows 8.1 and this.

          • It's a good way to get an overview of the apps you have installed. I seldom use the icons when launching apps though, I just enter the first few characters and press return.
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Hognoxious ( 631665 )

              There's already a way to get an overview of the apps that are installed - a properly structured custom menu.

              • That works too but at least for me it's often slower. Where did they put the Terminal app, was it under Accessories or Utilities? Now I just have to look at T since they are ordered alphabetically. The old menu system from GNOME 2 also suffered that it didn't allow you to search for apps by typing its name.
                • Where did they put the Terminal app, was it under Accessories or Utilities?

                  That's why I said custom. Put it where you want. It's about the third thing I do on a new system.

              • There's already a way to get an overview of the apps that are installed - a properly structured custom menu.

                How 2009.

                Actually there was quite a bit of research into user interaction which showed that users used icons more easily to identify a program, and that by switching to a grid layout the density of information on the screen could be increased relying less on scrolling or small hard to read text.

                You may enjoy digging through a menu but most users avoid it when they can, and to be perfectly honest I'm not even sure how to customise the menu in Windows 10 to give it some "structure".

                You're not alone though. Yo

                • One day we'll finally go back to Windows 3.1. It has both the structure found in menu and grid layout.

                  In my experience text is getting bigger, on websites or as an egregious example Firefox's setting page or "tab recovery" page. As I'm not buying new hardware every month like a mobile computer with a 1080p 13" display.
                  Hurts my eyes and makes me scroll. I find it easier to read a web 1.0 page such as wikipedia than stuff like medium.com but with even bigger text if that wasn't enough.

                  • In my experience text is getting bigger

                    Maybe one day when Window's scaling functions are actually worth a dam you may be right, but what I see now is that I have a laptop with a ludicrous screen resolution and for example a software option in Photoshop to scale it to 200% making the UI take up a stupidly large portion of the screen, or 100% where the text is too small to read. Combine that with applications, even windows installer applications distributed by Microsoft themselves which don't scale well, or legacy programs like the Computer Manage

        • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Giant icons, hamburger menus, icons that don't give any hint to functionality, calling programs "apps", etc, etc. Yeah, this is definitely tabletizing the user interface.

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by msobkow ( 48369 )

      I find Gnome 3 to be very usable on a desktop with no touch devices. I thought the same as you until I actually used Gnome 3 for more than 5 minutes to "test" it.

      It is not a "Windows Clone" UI, but it is quite usable.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        It's very good, and I'm an old fart: started on Slackware 1.0 with no GUI.

      • I'll have to find a PPA (Ubuntu 15.04 Vivid Vervet) and try it again. Last few experiences required rather a lot of customization to get a UI that was remotely oriented towards desktop use, but perhaps it's improved.
        • The Ubuntu GNOME team is doing as good job as they can but if you just want to try out the new release you may want to give the Fedora 23 beta a spin. Ubuntu is unfortunately often behind with GNOME. They are planning on shipping the old 3.16 release in Ubuntu 15.10 so getting a supported 3.18 release will probably not happen until 16.04.
    • by flacco ( 324089 ) on Wednesday September 23, 2015 @11:23AM (#50582967)

      > Screenshot on that page showing a screen you'd only love to use on a tablet.

      Is that the extent of your research?

      The video shows a number of useful incremental improvements to GNOME 3, and a few new features that make GNOME more tablet-friendly. I checked out the beta in a VM yesterday, no feeling that tabletization was a threat.

      I do understand you were spring-boarding off the new GNOME release to say something about Windows 8.1, but still...

      • Well, no, my research includes using a heavily customized version at home (heavily in order to get my precious desktop back), which I'm afraid to upgrade (and thus on an LTS version of Ubuntu as a result) for fear my hacks, customizations, et al, will be lost with the next iteration. Alternatives are Unity - which I'm unimpressed with and suffers many of the same mindset flaws - and one of the forks of GNOME 2 which I don't feel are as integrated with modern software.

        As for your last sentence, I was actu

    • by Lunix Nutcase ( 1092239 ) on Wednesday September 23, 2015 @11:25AM (#50582983)

      Screenshot on that page showing a screen you'd only love to use on a tablet.

      Not true. It's actually shitty even on a tablet.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Or Gnome could admit the error of their ways and just copy Cinnamon from here on. The gazelle is chasing the lion now.

    • by DrXym ( 126579 ) on Wednesday September 23, 2015 @11:43AM (#50583127)
      GNOME works great on a desktop. There are also lots of extensions that add stuff like task bars, app launchers etc.
      • by squiggleslash ( 241428 ) on Wednesday September 23, 2015 @12:19PM (#50583417) Homepage Journal

        Yeah, that's the point. What you're given by default (and what GNOME's developers seem to focus on) is the touch oriented interface. Getting the desktop means installing extensions.

        Microsoft made the same mistake with Windows 8. You could get to the desktop with the default UI, and you could add extensions to make it more optimal (albeit not from Microsoft, at least GNOME's own developers are doing the equivalent of "giving you a start menu"), but it wasn't what desktop users wanted.

        Windows 10, for all its faults (and it has a million of them) fixed that and focuses on the desktop. It's time GNOME did the same thing.

        • by jcupitt65 ( 68879 ) on Wednesday September 23, 2015 @12:36PM (#50583581)

          I just don't think that's true, there's nothing touchy about the design of gnome3, it's a desktop UI and always has been. They are only now starting to add touch stuff, and only because most laptops now come with touch screens.

          It does aim to be a very minimalist desktop. You have your application windows and ... that's about it. All the stuff for launching applications, managing workspaces, managing windows and so on is on the overview screen. I think the idea was that the desktop should get out of the way and just present your work without distraction.

          I didn't like it much when it came out, but it's grown on me. I now prefer it to KDE and Unity, the two main rivals. The extension system is especially nice: you just go to the gnome extension site and turn the things you like on and off.

          • by MrKaos ( 858439 )

            Yes - touch screen displays are inevitable and they are just getting ready for that.

            The thing I find though is that when screens are touched they get finger marks on them and that interferes with the display quality making odd fuzzy parts to text and code. For some I think the whole touch screen revolution will live and die on people's attitude towards that.

          • by DrXym ( 126579 )
            I agree with this. Touch screen support more or less falls out of the design of GNOME 3 rather than being to the detriment of desktop use. It's meant to be a task oriented design and it just happens that this fits in with the model that most tablet OSes follow.

            That isn't to say I like everything about GNOME 3. I spent WAY too long recently just making a lousy launcher for Minecraft for my kid. Something that would take seconds in Windows but meant I had to figure out how write a .desktop file by hand and

        • Yeah, that's the point. What you're given by default (and what GNOME's developers seem to focus on) is the touch oriented interface. Getting the desktop means installing extensions.

          It was designed with touch in mind but not as a requirement. It was designed to be used as is on a desktop as well as on a tablet.

          And if you think that a desktop needs a task bar then maybe you should take a look at OS X. They have the Dock which GNOME 3 has a similar implementation of, but what they don't have is a task bar. The task bar is a very Windows-centric design pattern and I don't think that Windows in any way is the definition of what defines a desktop OS.

          • I never mentioned taskbars, what on Earth are you talking about?

            • True, the post above yours did say that. I apologize. The point is however still that you don't actually need any extensions at all in order to get a good desktop experience, as long as you're willing to accept something that isn't a Windows clone as a desktop.
        • by DrXym ( 126579 )
          What's there by default isn't touch oriented, it's task oriented and in terms of influence it takes more from OS X and exposé than it does Windows 8 (which didn't even exist when GNOME 3 came out).
    • by Anonymous Coward

      I'm happily using Gnome on a desktop, and prefer it.

      Whenever Gnome gets brought up here, it seems there's a flood of responses saying that they switched to X or Y and are happier with it. Which just goes to show that Gnome was never really filling a void. However there *is* a void for an interface that runs decently with a touch screen. So what's the problem?

      Not very relevant, but Gnome actually predates Windows 8.

      • The responses saying they switched to X or Y are usually referring to one of the forks of GNOME 2 that were created as a direct response to GNOME 3's tablet orientation, so I'm not sure how you can say GNOME was "never filling a void". Nor was there a void for an interface that runs decently with a touch screen, Android seems to be doing that very well, and people are actually using Android.

        And yeah, Microsoft made the same mistake as the GNOME team after both GNOME and Ubuntu did, but seem to have learn

    • by theguyfromsaturn ( 802938 ) on Wednesday September 23, 2015 @01:24PM (#50584107)

      I use Gnome on a Desktop exclusively. I haven't tried 3.18, but in general, GNOME 3 made my desktop experience more enjoyable. In particular, dynamic virtual desktop allocation, mouse swipe the the corner to reveal the dash etc, are actually very productivity enhancing for me. I don't know how good the interface would be on a tablet, but to me, it is definitely a superior desktop paradigm for the desktop. Gnome shell applets and various settings can be tweaked to improve on the overall experience (like a mounted volume indicator on the task bar etc.). The only issue I have with Gnome, is that Gnome Tweaks should not be an optional additional application to install, but should be integrated in the default settings of Gnome. Personally, I wouldn't go back to the antiquated hierarchical menu, as my apps are much easier to find now (this I think is definitely more oriented towards the desktop, as typing in search terms in a touch screen sucks).

    • Cinnamon.

  • GNOME 3 sent me to OSX.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by itamihn ( 1213328 )

      GNOME 3.x sent me to KDE, even though I eventually settled in Cinnamon.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Thanks to Gnome3 I moved back to XFCE. This is a good way to prepare for next step, as systemd is enforcing a move back to FreeBSD.

    • by SumDog ( 466607 )

      It sent me to i3. Tiling window managers are the way to go.

    • Maybe not quite as good as Gnome2, but close.

      Gnome3 is an abomination.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 23, 2015 @11:10AM (#50582841)

    Despite all the negative buzz against GNOME 3, latest releases are, in my opinion, very good (and I hated GNOME 3 with a passion when it came up).

    Also, they're putting efforts on style consistency and usability which is very welcome.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by kthreadd ( 1558445 )

      Despite all the negative buzz against GNOME 3, latest releases are, in my opinion, very good (and I hated GNOME 3 with a passion when it came up).

      Also, they're putting efforts on style consistency and usability which is very welcome.

      Same thing here. GNOME 3.10 finally made me leave fvwm and switch to GNOME full-time. Before that it was still an unfinished experience in many ways.

      • by mvdwege ( 243851 )

        I went the other way, but purely for reasons of taste: I hate the new window style that replaces the menu with a tiny button and builds it right into the window itself along with the window operation buttons.

        It's a purely aesthetic decision. I realise some people like it, I just prefer my decade-old sawfish setup to do the window management for me, and until about 3.10 or so that worked fine in combination with Gnome. Now it just looks ugly.

    • by Xtifr ( 1323 )

      Indeed, I switched to Xfce when Gnome3 first came out, but between hearing that 3.10 was much improved and the fact that Xfce was struggling with my (admittedly bizarre) sound setup, I gave Gnome another try, and have been quite happy with it for many months now.

  • by juanfgs ( 922455 ) on Wednesday September 23, 2015 @11:19AM (#50582933) Homepage

    I was a former Gnome user and I ditched it, but to be honest, new users seem to like Gnome 3, for the obvious reason that touch interfaces are more familiar to them. They are more used to "slide to unlock" behaviours and such, big icons for rapid identification.

    Sometimes it's worthy to make a little of self-criticism and realize that many of us aren't from this era of interfaces. I recognize that I hardly use a computer in the same way the average person uses it, I often rely on the terminal, I tend to remember programs by name rather than icon, and my workflow is probably way different than those born in the "apps" era.

    It's Gnome for me? not anymore. Should it be? no, why should I force developers to do things as I like.

    Gnome 3 is a good thing to have, because it enables free software to reach people that otherwise wouldn't be interested. Luckily for us, there are a plethora of options if you are fond of the old interface, and they seem to keep getting better and better (MATE, Xfce , KDE).

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Eunuchswear ( 210685 )

      I often rely on the terminal, I tend to remember programs by name rather than icon, and my workflow is probably way different than those born in the "apps" era.

      That's the normal way of working with Gnome3 -- you launch programs by hitting window key, typing the first few characters of the program name then enter.

      • by juanfgs ( 922455 )

        I know I have used it, but I had to do some massive tweaking to get it to a working state. Getting rid of desktop switcher and some other annoying bling. i3 does all this for me and is way more lightweight.

        • Ok, I just found it weird that the things you said about your way of working: "often rely on the terminal, I tend to remember programs by name rather than icon" fit rather better with Gnome3 than the slavish Windows95 emulation that was Gnome2.

    • What? A fair, balanced and open-minded comment about GNOME 3?
      Guys, bring the pitchforks!!!
      Next time he'll tell us that systemd has some interesting features!

  • It seems that the only acceptable change to Gnome for slashdotters is going back to the version 2 interface.

    • Re:Haters gonna hate (Score:4, Informative)

      by 0123456 ( 636235 ) on Wednesday September 23, 2015 @12:47PM (#50583699)

      It seems that the only acceptable change to Gnome for slashdotters is going back to the version 2 interface.

      I think you'll find that most of us never left. MATE runs fine on my Linux machines.

    • It sucks in software when something that worked well is declared obsolete, and is replaced with something fairly suboptimal in an apparent attempt to chase a market for devices that aren't particularly mature or productivity oriented.

      I commend the GNOME 3 developers for at least part acknowledging there's a problem by developing extensions to bring back the desktop, but really, it's not "hating" to acknowledge that it's doing nobody any favors, not GNOME, not end users, not anyone, to rely on that to sol

      • by 0123456 ( 636235 )

        Gnome now appears to be a haven for SJWs. Disagreeing with anything they say is 'hate', by definition.

      • Design changes are driven by changes in technology. If you have faster processors, faster memory, and you have new IO devices, then your design has to be updated to able to take advantage of them. If you have a laptop that has touch capability, then economically having a desktop that use it is a waste since that cost is built-in the laptop. Meanwhile the other desktops are quickly ramping up on the new paradigm. If you decide to stay still, you become stagnant.

        GNOME is part of GNU, the goal is to contin

    • by Xtifr ( 1323 )

      The people who want to bitch are usually the first and most frequent to post. That doesn't mean they're representative of the whole population. I'm pretty happy with Gnome 3 now, although I admit I did switch to Xfce for a while when it first came out. Aside from enabling focus-follows-mouse (which is something I have to tweak in every environment), I haven't even mucked about with the defaults very much.

    • Try looking at some of the slashdot articles on GNOME 2 releases. :-)
  • SystemD (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Does it still require that awful SystemD OS to be installed in order to run?

  • If not, then I'm not interested.

    • by armanox ( 826486 )

      Someone hasn't been paying attention - for quite a while now GNOME has been the frontend to systemd. It was integrated from the start (of systemd).

  • by BrendaEM ( 871664 ) on Wednesday September 23, 2015 @12:06PM (#50583307) Homepage

    Face it, Gnome was ruined, perhaps even sabotaged. Year after year, they turned their backs on users, removed any power the user might have had all in the name of making it "clean."

    Gnome should either stand or die and a lesson: do not design by infatuation.

    Everyone left.

    • Oh, by they way, some years ago, I supported Gnome, like gave money to.

    • but the problem is that for some reason the only real effort and money goes into shit projects like Gnome3 or Unity.
      Tiny projects like Cinnamon or Mate do a much better job but necessarily have more problems because only a fraction of work goes into them.
      For example, Cinnamon is currently the only desktop manager that can really deal with HiDPI on Linux. Everything else is still an abomination.

    • Face it, Gnome was ruined, perhaps even sabotaged. Year after year, they turned their backs on users, removed any power the user might have had all in the name of making it "clean."

      Gnome should either stand or die and a lesson: do not design by infatuation.

      Everyone left.

      Did they leave? You might be right, but what are the stats on the market shares of these desktop environments? I can't find anything.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    That's the real question.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Why are there always separate apps to display a grid of icons and people go around talking as if it's a big deal. It's just like a standard desktop with large shortcuts on it! People complain that standard UIs suck for mobile devices but then spend their time recreating all of it as apps. Why not improve the real desktop with different sets of icons on each virtual desktop instead of trying to recreate the desktop through an app that runs on top of a now near featureless desktop?

    You can change the deskto

  • I've been a KDE user since the 1.1.x days, but even I'm pretty excited about the Gnome 3.18 release. This release is supposed to have very polished Wayland support! If the Wayland support is all it's cracked up to be, Fedora should default to Wayland over X.org with Gnome 3.20. I don't use Fedora either, but if 24 defaults to Wayland, I'll install it to another partition at the very least.
  • Gnome 3 has made the user-experience a disaster. But even worse, it took away or made it much harder for a user to fix that disaster, even when willing to invest time to fix it. Because, you know, the Gnome3 developers just know so much than all their users what the users want and need.
    So they decided that it is really not good for us to have task bar any more, or to have shortcut icons on the desktop or have shortcut icons in the panel, or have the panels organized like we want, because doing it all like t

    • Well said.

    • Gnome 3 has made the user-experience a disaster. But even worse, it took away or made it much harder for a user to fix that disaster, even when willing to invest time to fix it. Because, you know, the Gnome3 developers just know so much than all their users what the users want and need. So they decided that it is really not good for us to have task bar any more, or to have shortcut icons on the desktop or have shortcut icons in the panel, or have the panels organized like we want, because doing it all like they figured out some noobs want to do it is obviously the only road to happiness for us all. And they were so busy taking away the freedom of their users they could just not be arsed to work on important stuff like e.g. proper support of HiDPI monitors or multitple monitor configurations with big differences in DPI.

      The same applies, probably even more, to the Unity team, btw.

      GNOME already has support for HiDPI already part of GTK+. When the switch comes to Wayland, then multiple monitors with different resolutions will also be addressed.

      • by jopet ( 538074 )

        The "support" currently in Gnome3 is ridiculous: you can scale your fonts, but all the window decorations, panel icons etc remain tiny, no matter how you scale that. And you can scale windows by integer numbers which means you end up with window decorations being too tiny or too large because what you really would need is 1.45.
        On top of that, none of this happens automatically, your have to use the gnome-tweak-tool to fiddle with it.

        I do not know if you have actually tried to use Gnome3 on a HiDPI laptop, i

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