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Cinnamon Gnome-Shell Fork Releases Version 1.2

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the making-gnome3-usable dept.

GNOME 81

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

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Enjoy your.... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38819169)

...very well-polished turd.

Re:Enjoy your.... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38819399)

I resent that comment. Nothing about GNOME/Linux/Cinnamon is well-polished!

Re:Enjoy your.... (2)

smi.james.th (1706780) | more than 2 years ago | (#38820325)

On the contrary. The GUIs these days (cinnamon included) are looking very polished.

For some reason, the most vocal people here on /. are the ones that hate them, but no-one can deny, they look good.

Re:Enjoy your.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38822585)

The complaint against gnome has nothing to do with looks. In fact, anyone who says otherwise is a prime candidate for a troll-tag. At the same time, usability has gone to shit with gnome3. That's the complaint against gnome. For whatever reason, the gnome developers decided that we're all really fucking stupid and that after spending lots of money on nice keyboards and monitors what everyone really wants to do is throw all that away to use it as a really brain dead touch screen computer. For whatever reason, the gnome developers believe people don't actually want to use a mouse and keyboard, but rather want to throw away three decades of smart interface evolution just so we have have a vastly inferior smart phone and/or tablet interface. And to top it all off with, if you disagree, it only validates the opinion gnome developers have for you; meaning you're an idiot.

Gnome3 is real world validation that the gnome3 developers are either retarded and mentally impaired is some way.

Re:Enjoy your.... (2)

macshit (157376) | more than 2 years ago | (#38824411)

Hmmm, I respectfully disagree.

I hated the initial incarnations of gnome-shell (buggy as hell) but I've been using it for about a month now, and find I quite prefer it to ye-olde gnome2 panel interface. I like the fact that it relegates a bunch of stuff to the normally-hidden-but-realllly-easy-to-invoke "activities" screen (I use the screen-corner hotspot, so I can just shove my mouse into the corner of the screen and suddenly everything appears). I think in general it's a better design than the old gnome2 one. It feels like it keeps out of my way more, without being inconvenient.

I also dislike some of the excessive "simplicity" and "no customization" attitude—but in practice, this isn't much of an issue, because under the hood it actually seems pretty flexible, and even if customizations aren't exposed to the user by default (I think they should be), they're easy enough to tweak with various tools. So far, I've been able to address almost all of my little nits about the interface pretty simply.

So while I sympathize with those who feel a bit upended by the big interface change, and realize that familiarity is important to many, I'm skeptical of claims that the new shell is somehow inherently worse. I don't think that's true. I think it's just different—and in some ways, better.

Re:Enjoy your.... (1)

smi.james.th (1706780) | about 2 years ago | (#38825953)

Agreed, I actually like Gnome3.

Disclaimer: I spend most of my time in a Windows environment (not by choice, it's the work I need to do) so when I use one of the modern Linux GUIs it's mostly just to try it out or on friends or relatives' PCs. I've used them, but not for months at a time. I do enjoy them though.

FWIW, if you don't like any of the new stuff and prefer ye olde Gnome2, then Debian [debian.org] is still happy to provide you with an excellent OS.

Re:Enjoy your.... (1)

bitzwitztitz (2565355) | more than 2 years ago | (#38899025)

On the contrary, another benefit to using Linux is that it'z not Polish.

Re:Enjoy your.... (5, Insightful)

couchslug (175151) | more than 2 years ago | (#38819817)

One advantage of Linux is you have full access to any turd you wish to polish, versus being stuck with someone else's fecal offerings!

great to see a UI centered on most user needs (5, Interesting)

iggymanz (596061) | more than 2 years ago | (#38819171)

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

Re:great to see a UI centered on most user needs (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38819217)

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

Re:great to see a UI centered on most user needs (4, Interesting)

EponymousCustard (1442693) | more than 2 years ago | (#38819225)

Agree, and he's done a great job with Cinnamon. I hope he doesn't suffer from burnout. Trying to do all that while doing the coding must be a lot of work!

Plus a new Window Manager (2)

jginspace (678908) | more than 2 years ago | (#38819749)

Agree, and he's done a great job with Cinnamon. I hope he doesn't suffer from burnout. Trying to do all that while doing the coding must be a lot of work!

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

Re:great to see a UI centered on most user needs (1)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 2 years ago | (#38819383)

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

Re:great to see a UI centered on most user needs (1)

Bigos (857389) | more than 2 years ago | (#38822687)

Today's GUI automobiles comfort sucks big time, Clem wants them to be at least as comfortable as horse drawn carts.

Re:great to see a UI centered on most user needs (4, Insightful)

LateArthurDent (1403947) | more than 2 years ago | (#38819665)

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

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

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

Re:great to see a UI centered on most user needs (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38824973)

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

The same thing is true vertically, especially if you are searching for something. It is better if you don't have to scan.

But, the user should be in charge of the size. The software doesn't know what field of vision the menu takes up since even if it knows the physical size of the monitor, it doesn't know how far away the user is. Also, the user may decide to use big fonts if they have poor vision (like me). Especially on my netbook, I want to use the whole screen because the screen is small enough to fit into my fielf of view and I have massive fonts so if I want to see more than a couple of lines I need the biggest possible box.

Re:great to see a UI centered on most user needs (1)

fwarren (579763) | about 2 years ago | (#38833791)

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

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

Accessories
Graphics
Internet
Office
Programming
System
Utilities

Is a pretty good layout.

However, having the option to change it to behave to take up the available vertical real-estate and having it disabled by default would be a good thing.

Re:great to see a UI centered on most user needs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38827863)

Wrong. Consider information overload, and more importantly (but also related) aesthetics.

Re:great to see a UI centered on most user needs (4, Insightful)

RDW (41497) | more than 2 years ago | (#38820035)

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

Re:great to see a UI centered on most user needs (1)

icongorilla (2452494) | more than 2 years ago | (#38821289)

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

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

We Hate, .. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38824011)

"Gnome 3", Apple, Micrososft, facebook, slashdot, british royals, etc...

Re:We Hate, .. (1)

iggymanz (596061) | more than 2 years ago | (#38843857)

you forgot Unity at the head of your list. with HUD 12.04 will be a Loathsome Turd Sandwich (LTS) edition.

Re:great to see a UI centered on most user needs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38823147)

This. Other than Mint 12 (which was horribly crippled by Gnome 3), Mint has been the best OS around for at least 2 years. I'd put it up against any OS in functionality, ease of use, stability, "out of the box" experience......

If it came with Dolphin and Urban Terror, it would be the "Ultimate" OS! :)

2012 Year of the Linux UI? (-1, Troll)

Nyder (754090) | more than 2 years ago | (#38819235)

subject says it all, but i say, who fucking cares?

Linux has had over 10 years to make a decent UI and it hasn't yet.

Look, i'm a linux fan also, but lets be real. Linux has has so much potential, only to suck where it's really needed the most.

yes, mod me troll, but you know it's true.

And i'll still be waiting next year i'm sure...

Re:2012 Year of the Linux UI? (3, Interesting)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 2 years ago | (#38819271)

What are you looking for in a UI? There are many options-- menu-driven (where gnome2 really is fantastic, auto-organizing stuff), KDE (not a big fan, seems powerful), Gnome-3/unity (which i can start to see the appeal of if they can polish it some more), and scores of other DE / WMs.

TBQH, ive always preferred Gnome2 over OSX, but that may be because im more used to Gnome2. OSX always makes me feel lost, and inefficient, and stupid.

Re:2012 Year of the Linux UI? (4, Funny)

dyingtolive (1393037) | more than 2 years ago | (#38819315)

Hmm. Did you try using it in a coffee shop?

Re:2012 Year of the Linux UI? (2)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 2 years ago | (#38819757)

That might have made a difference. My experience has always been in a business setting, and ominous music would always start playing when i started trying to do actual work on it.

Its also possible that im just not cool enough for Macs.

Re:2012 Year of the Linux UI? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38821675)

That's always possible. Do you shop at GAP? Not doing so could be your problem. Our coporate philosophy has always been to make people look like Justin Long.

-Sent from my Iphone. Tim

Re:2012 Year of the Linux UI? (1)

Duncan J Murray (1678632) | more than 2 years ago | (#38822145)

I think I'm with you on this. I've used a few OS's*, and so far, I find Gnome 2 to be the most productive. I'm not saying it's perfect, and there are some great features in Gnome 3 and Unity which I would dearly like in Gnome 2 (type to open application, shortcuts for running applications, snap to top/sides) and I like Ubuntu's idea for application-specific menu searching, too.

But, for me, there are reasons that gnome 2 remains better. I can move the mouse around the whole screen without any surprises. No pop-out bars, nor will the application suddenly fade out and minimise. I like that! Maybe it's just me, but I tend to throw the mouse up to various corners to get to menus and close buttons - I thought that was idea of having these things in these places.

Then there is multiple workspace working. When I'm working on a project, I have my 4th workspace with the application and the soon-to-be-completed final product (maybe impress or scribus), then on the 1st workspace I have my sources (files, firefox, pdfs). On the 2nd and 3rd workspaces I have the software which acts as an intermediary (i.e. gimp, libreoffice writer/calc). The workspace switcher is key to being able to move files between workspaces, and I find this very broken in gnome-shell.

And what about the 'places menu'? When I switched from XP to Gnome 2, I loved how organised, uncluttered and easy it was to access the entire system. I think gnome 3 has taken 'uncluttered' too far - like the Win XP start menu, which nested menus within menus within menues, requiring actually a decent amount of effort to successfully navigate without having to start over. 'Places' is where I often go when starting work - after all, unless I complete the work in one sitting, the actual incomplete work is where I will want to look when my OS loads up.

Handheld computing has gone the same way. The Psion 3a and 5mx understood that files are key to people who want to use their machines for actual work. Applications and files held a similar importance on the desktop. When it came to replacing these machines, I naiveley thought that a computer with a keyboard and screen would do. But my Nokia E90 (based on the same OS) didn't get this, and I always needed to go via applications to get to the files. My N900 needs me to bookmark my files in the web-browser in order for me to be able to place a shortcut on the desktop!

When did files become so dirty?

I'm not sure if cinnamon will address my needs - but it looks promising.

D

*Just for fun...SIBO, EPOC, symbian, Workbench 3.0, RiscOS, DOS, Win 3.1/95/98/Me/XP/7, Mac OS 9, X, Gnome 2 & 3, Unity. I've yet to give KDE a fair chance, after booting up PClinuxOS, and not understanding why an OS would want to ape Windows to the point of even fading to monochrome when selecting shutdown, and then oddly returning all the colour when you actually click on the shutdown button.

Re:2012 Year of the Linux UI? (2)

gujo-odori (473191) | more than 2 years ago | (#38823125)

I like something that stands between OS X and Gnome (or KDE). In Linux since the late 1990s, I've used FVWM 95, Window Maker, AfterStep, GNOME 1.x, KDE 2 ~ 4.something, then back to GNOME 2.x because of some specific weaknesses in KDE which seem to have since been fixed. At work, I use a Mac (mostly) and a Linux machine running Ubuntu 10.04/GNOME.

I like the OS X dock a lot and use Avant Window Navigator on my Linux machines. I also moved the window buttons to the other side (Mac-style) for consistency. Any app that I use much, I put in the dock. For ones I don't use much, I like having a menu rather than the Finder->Applications approach on the Mac. On a small screen (laptop) I like the Mac-style menu bar. On a big screen (like the 24" dual monitors I use) I like the menus in the app window (Linux/Windows style).

Overall, I think OS X is the best desktop, but it would be better if it had an app menu and if it allowed me to configure whether the menu bar was global or in the app window.

I like having the notification area in the dock (AWM style) rather than in the menu bar (Mac style).

Since Apple is unlikely to either change their UI or make it configurable in that way, I find myself generally able to get closer to my ideal on Linux, and applaud the Cinnamon and Mate projects. These recent moves by GNOME (3) and Ubuntu (Unity) to create UIs that tell me how it's gonna be and that I ought to shut up and like it, instead of giving me a UI that I can configure how I want it to be, are wrong on so many levels, the greatest of which is that it's just not the Linux Way.

Re:2012 Year of the Linux UI? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38824551)

GNOME 3 needs more than polish. Like Unity, it doesn't even work correctly with multiple monitors.

Re:2012 Year of the Linux UI? (2)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 2 years ago | (#38819357)

I see you ate your herpaderp-ohs this morning.

The KDE3, Gnome2, and XFCE desktop UIs are very useful, and can be quite nice looking. The problem with is (1) lack of applications that are readily accessible to most users (i.e. many Application UIs suck, or aren't sufficiently tailored to novice and sub-novice computer users), (2) Application quality - sorry while some apps (Audacity comes to mind) have pretty damn good quality, others are just too much of a hassle for the desired features (any good video editors? Open Office is ok, but still doesn't compete, I'll take Photo Shop or Corel over Gimp any day... etc.) Kmail, Evolution and FireFox cover most user needs and are as good as their Windows/Mac counterparts, but then we get to (3) PR... Linux just doesn't have the right PR to sell it to the average Joe right now, except in the case of Android, where it is all dolled-up by google.

But complaining about the Desktop UIs? Thinking further, I'd say KDE3, Gnome2 and XFCE are better than Windows or Mac, simply because they have all the critical features of those, plus good multiple-desktop support.

Re:2012 Year of the Linux UI? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38819405)

But complaining about the Desktop UIs? Thinking further, I'd say KDE3, Gnome2 and XFCE are better than Windows or Mac, simply because they have all the critical features of those, plus good multiple-desktop support.

What is multi-desktop support?

Re:2012 Year of the Linux UI? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38819553)

Workspaces.

What all of the new UIs are missing for my use is grided workspaces. I use a 3x3 grid of workspaces, so I have to stick to LXDE and Compiz for now.

Re:2012 Year of the Linux UI? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38820105)

First I thought you meant tiling, which you can have on any desktop using Pytyle, but perhaps you'd be interested in Enlightenment instead? I'm confused as to how the layout of virtual desktops matters -- especially since compiz runs on most WMs.

Re:2012 Year of the Linux UI? (1)

bitzwitztitz (2565355) | more than 2 years ago | (#38899091)

HAHAHHAHAHAH, no serious graphics designer uses Gimp. Although it does rock.

Re:2012 Year of the Linux UI? (2)

PatDev (1344467) | more than 2 years ago | (#38819387)

A good GUI is easy to find. Here goes my recommendation:

1. Are you willing to undergo a learning curve? if yes, then you probably want a window manager like awesome. I've never heard anything but praise for tiling window managers from those who actually use them.
2. If not, try one of the boxen. I recommend fluxbox. It's nice because there's almost nothing to learn. No UI paradigms pushed on you. Add a panel and it has all the GUI complexity of Win95 (which I'm putting forward as a good thing).

You will get crap options though if you go for one of the "big three" (Gnome, KDE, Unity), but nobody says you have to stay. If you prefer a more integrated experience than one of these window managers, then go XFCE.

Sure, they won't spin your desktop like a cube. They won't make your windows close in a puff of smoke. They won't animate everything in 3D. Because it's a desktop, not a fucking video game.

Re:2012 Year of the Linux UI? (2)

mrvan (973822) | more than 2 years ago | (#38819453)

I'm a very happy user of xmonad tiling window manager, but there is indeed a big learning curve and a lot of keyboard hitting. I've seen screenshots of beautiful xmonad setups but mine is quite dull and I'm not willing to invest time in learning config-fu to beautify things.

It would be fantastic if someone could make a tiling window manager based distribution ("XMonabuntu"? :-)) that just works out of the box and has some point-and-click configurability and theming support.

Re:2012 Year of the Linux UI? (-1)

kiwimate (458274) | more than 2 years ago | (#38819481)

A good GUI is easy to find.

Totally [apple.com] .

Slightly more helpfully, this is one of the biggest reasons why Linux on the desktop won't succeed in 2012. Or 2013 (Mayan predictions notwithstanding). Ordinary users don't want to have to research a hundred different distributions and struggle to understand why, after finally settling on one, they then need to research which UI to use. And then find out that Excel doesn't run on it.

Helpful if they have a friendly understanding geek to explain all these things. Not so much if they don't. And completely insane if they have more than one, because those two will vehemently disagree on everything, get into a protracted propellor-head conversation, and just annoy/confuse the poor member-of-the-public.

Re:2012 Year of the Linux UI? (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#38819695)

1993: Year of whining that 'ordinary users' will never be able to use a Linux desktop.

Re:2012 Year of the Linux UI? (1)

kiwimate (458274) | more than 2 years ago | (#38820741)

Sure, let's avoid the issue. [computerworld.com] This was from October 2010.

4. Fragmentation

Bad news for Oracle with its "new" Linux: businesses don't want any more Linux choices. On the other hand, this also doesn't bode well for LibreOffice, the OpenOffice fork.

It's not that businesses don't appreciate choice between vendors -- they do. But there's not interested in choosing between half-a-dozen different Linuxes, two or three is much more their speed.

I don't see this as being a big concern. The last important Linux distribution to arise was Ubuntu back in 2004. I don't see any other major new Linux distributions arising in the future for either the desktop or the server. Mobile devices and tablets may be another matter. Android is doing well, but MeeGo may yet turn out to be an important portable Linux, and, who knows, perhaps another one will emerge or an Android or MeeGo variant will emerge.

Well, that's true. Ubuntu is still on top so that's easy for people to pick, right? [kubuntu.org]

Re:2012 Year of the Linux UI? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38823057)

Ubuntu is still on top

It is not now nor has it ever been on top. Fedora is the most widely-used distro and has been for a long time. Ubuntu fans just make the most noise.

Re:2012 Year of the Linux UI? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38820717)

Spinning your desktop like a cube is a compiz thing. I've got XFCE working fine with Compiz, and yes, it will spin my desktop like a cube.

Re:2012 Year of the Linux UI? (1)

johnvile (2560845) | more than 2 years ago | (#38819445)

Linux has some great UI's I don't know what your on about?

Linux has always had a great UI. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38821413)

Probably the main reason I use linux is the completely awesome UI. It's beautiful - look at the clean elegance of ':(){ :|:& };:' for example!

A lot of people won't ever be able to master a truly powerful user interface. But not everybody can fly a fighter jet! Some people can barely manage tricycles. And there's nothing wrong with that, you know. If you can't fly a fighter jet, or paint masterpieces in oils, you don't need to feel inadequate.

But it's not sensible to claim that an OS is inferior just because some people can't master a pro-grade interface. It's like saying fighter jets suck because they don't have handlebars with a jingle bell on them.

So, if someone still requires a mouse, hey, they can have a rewarding career without mastering computers, for instance in the food service industry, and we should all respect that. But let's not pretend that bolting training wheels on linux is an important task. The only GUIs on linux that are actually important are the creative interfaces, such as the GIMP. And (unsurprisingly) the GIMP is (at least) as hard to master as bash or ksh.

Re:2012 Year of the Linux UI? (1)

gujo-odori (473191) | more than 2 years ago | (#38823189)

No, that's not true at all. KDE 3.x was a quite good UI. KDE 4.x has (finally) matured to the point of being >= 3.x (at least in every area that matters to me). Gnome 2.x is decent out of the box, and let's me tweak it to be really good. My only beef there is that the tweaking is harder/requires more expertise than it should. Fortunately, I have that expertise. A new user might not, or even know where to find the info.

With GNOME 3, it's not that it's necessarily a bad UI per se. It has some interesting ideas, and some things that will seem fairly familiar to Mac users. My big complaint with GNOME 3 is that it's almost completely non-configurable, which means that I can't take the points about it that I don't like and change them so that I do like them (and no, writing extensions does not count as "configurable"). Granted, KDE 4 was like that in the beginning, too. I regarded it as pretty much unusable and eventually moved back to GNOME because of that. It's possible that GNOME 3 is also just in that young-and-incomplete space. It might be much better 2 or 3 years from now. In the meantime, we have Cinnamon and Mate as alternatives.

Or it might not be, in which case Cinnamon and Mate will be alternatives for a long time to come.

However, it is simply untrue to say that Linux hasn't had a decent UI yet. If you still doubt me, go spend some time using Windows, then come back and use Linux again. Among the three major OSes, Windows has by far the worst UI.

Fantastic! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38819267)

Yayyy, hurrah, congrats, everyone.

What the hell is Cinnamon?

Map / categorization (4, Interesting)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#38819407)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Too complex... (1)

Junta (36770) | more than 2 years ago | (#38820589)

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

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

Re:Map / categorization (2)

wzzzzrd (886091) | more than 2 years ago | (#38820605)

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

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

conky &
xfce4-session


For a network manager use wicd with the curses frontend, this way you also have wifi in console mode. My desktop idles at ca. 80 MB of memory usage, and I have all the rest of my 1 GB RAM for applications. Funny thing is, I'm mostly doing 3D stuff using clutter/ cogl via jhbuild. If I need auto mounting, I just start thunar before plugging in any devices. My processor is a centrino 1.7 Mhz.

Re:Map / categorization (0)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 2 years ago | (#38822165)

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

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

conky & xfce4-session

For a network manager use wicd with the curses frontend, this way you also have wifi in console mode. My desktop idles at ca. 80 MB of memory usage, and I have all the rest of my 1 GB RAM for applications. Funny thing is, I'm mostly doing 3D stuff using clutter/ cogl via jhbuild. If I need auto mounting, I just start thunar before plugging in any devices. My processor is a centrino 1.7 Mhz.


This, right here, is exactly why Linux will not become ubiquitous on the desktop for the average user. Do you folks listen to yourself?

No average user wants to have to jump through the hoops you just described to get something to work. People get ticked off when a disc doesn't autorun, you want them to find a .profile and modify it?

I'm not harping on you personally. Just the description you gave of getting something to work.

Re:Map / categorization (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38822807)

I'm glad he posted that. Now I know that wicd has a curses mode.

average user != you

(no matter how average you think you are)

Re:Map / categorization (1)

wzzzzrd (886091) | more than 2 years ago | (#38824763)

Give me 300,000 $ venture capital and 4 months time. It's not that much to ask.

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

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

All it needs is a GUI. Seriously, the code is there: custom os [github.com] , custom kernel [github.com] . As I said, all it needs is a GUI.

I dare you.

Re:Map / categorization (1)

nadaou (535365) | more than 2 years ago | (#38822857)

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

Just technical question (5, Interesting)

Pecisk (688001) | more than 2 years ago | (#38819415)

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

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

Re:Just technical question (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38819719)

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

Re:Just technical question (4, Insightful)

Pecisk (688001) | more than 2 years ago | (#38820825)

Well, no one forbids him to take GNOME Panel and support it. GNOME devs care about GNOME libs and GNOME Shell. But they don't deny anyone keeping legacy software alive if someone says and does so. Trust me, I know these guys.

Re:Just technical question (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38819877)

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

Re:Just technical question (1)

Junta (36770) | more than 2 years ago | (#38820601)

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

Re:Just technical question (1)

Pecisk (688001) | more than 2 years ago | (#38820795)

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

Re:Just technical question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38822903)

It simply may have not occurred to them or they didn't think it through.

Cinnamon... (1)

HiggsBison (678319) | more than 2 years ago | (#38819489)

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

Re:Cinnamon... (2)

ajlitt (19055) | more than 2 years ago | (#38819595)

What is Croonchy Stars?

I'll take obscure breakfast cereals for $400

"Cinnamon Gnome Shell Fork" (5, Funny)

sm284614 (946088) | more than 2 years ago | (#38819721)

This is one of those wonderful headline that will read as utterly bizzare nonsense to most of the world.

Re:"Cinnamon Gnome Shell Fork" (1)

phik (2368654) | more than 2 years ago | (#38819827)

If I had more mod points, I'd give you one

Re:"Cinnamon Gnome Shell Fork" (1)

SteveFoerster (136027) | more than 2 years ago | (#38820477)

Most headlines these days are utterly bizarre nonsense, even the ones that are easy to understand.

Re:"Cinnamon Gnome Shell Fork" (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 2 years ago | (#38821611)

Oh damn, there goes my password!

http://xkcd.com/936/ [xkcd.com]

Can we find a way to get a news story about a Correct Horse Battery Staple next?

Re:"Cinnamon Gnome Shell Fork" (1)

Duncan J Murray (1678632) | more than 2 years ago | (#38821693)

You must have retained some of your sanity, because I had to re-read it several times trying my hardest to see what it would mean if I wasn't a linux-geek.

Oh dear.

Re:"Cinnamon Gnome Shell Fork" (1)

spidercoz (947220) | more than 2 years ago | (#38823355)

what the hell's a cinnamon gnome?

Re:"Cinnamon Gnome Shell Fork" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38824223)

Correct Horse Battery Staple?

Finally some sanity returns (1)

Thalaric (197339) | more than 2 years ago | (#38819991)

And there are third party packages for Fedora and Ubuntu!

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

Re:Finally some sanity returns (2)

Curunir_wolf (588405) | more than 2 years ago | (#38820321)

And there are third party packages for Fedora and Ubuntu!

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

I wanted to like it, I really did. I tried it for a while, gave it a long time and forced myself to learn to work with activities, customize the dash, etc.,etc. There are some things that I like about it. Unfortunately, it comes down to usability. While I *can* get stuff done with it, it always takes longer. Too much clicking and moving back and forth in the GUI for the stuff I do. Same complaint I had about Windows Explorer in Windows 7 - it was an improvement, but it requires extra clicks and selections to get to what I need. What's wrong with the UI designers? Don't they use their own stuff?

So I'm using XFCE after years of using mainly Gnome. Not as pretty, some things I don't like about it, but it keeps me productive and takes less time to customize. Maybe I'll try out this Cinnamon thing and see how it does.

What about the Classic Menu? (3, Interesting)

bornagainpenguin (1209106) | more than 2 years ago | (#38820265)

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

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

--bornagainpenguin

Re:What about the Classic Menu? (2)

Drinking Bleach (975757) | more than 2 years ago | (#38820531)

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

As much as I appreciate making the GNOME Shell more usable, I wish there was focus on a GNOME 3 fork that emphasizes the GNOME Panel (fallback/classic, whatever you want to call it) and Nautilus desktop metaphors. I personally feel that the later days of GNOME 2.x produced the most functional and best desktop ever conceived; GNOME 3 can provide the same thing in fallback mode, which is needlessly hidden away unfortunately.

Re:What about the Classic Menu? (3, Insightful)

bornagainpenguin (1209106) | more than 2 years ago | (#38822655)

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

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

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

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

--bornagainpenguin

Re:What about the Classic Menu? (1)

Drinking Bleach (975757) | more than 2 years ago | (#38823013)

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

Also I must say, I am aware of MATE, a fork of GNOME 2.32, but it makes me feel unconfortable for chewing off perhaps too much of the desktop environment. Old libraries, old applications, etc; GNOME 3 has plenty of bug fixes, improvements, new features, etc. A full-out fork of GNOME 3 itself is what I'd ask for, one in particular that focuses on the old GNOME 2-style interface... it's merely GNOME Shell I don't like (not that I didn't give it a shot, I used it for two months; the only thing I miss about it is dynamic workspaces).

Re:What about the Classic Menu? (1)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 2 years ago | (#38823161)

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

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

Re:What about the Classic Menu? (1)

tudsworth (1919278) | about 2 years ago | (#38827093)

I've given Cinnamon 1.2 a go over the course of a few hours. Sadly, the Mint Menu is mandatory, much to my own disappointment (it's usable, but I prefer the "proper" GNOME menu). That said, it's GNOME 3 done right - outside of a few incredibly minor gripes (the Super Key opens the menu rather than the activities pane; you have to move your mouse to the top left hand corner of the screen to open the activities pane though I'm sure it'll be easy enough to change that behaviour in a future version), I'm loving it so far, and can't wait to see what future releases will bring from both Clem and the wider mint community.

What's wrong with LXDE and XFCE (1)

GodWasAnAlien (206300) | more than 2 years ago | (#38820371)

Why is Cinnamon needed. Hasn't LXDE and/or XFCE filled that void?

Re:What's wrong with LXDE and XFCE (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#38820487)

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

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

Speciation (3, Interesting)

Phoenix666 (184391) | more than 2 years ago | (#38823207)

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

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

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

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

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

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