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The Last GUADEC?

Soulskill posted about 9 months ago | from the indiana-jones-and dept.

GNOME 376

An anonymous reader writes "How can we ensure, together, that this will not be the last GUADEC? Last year, during GUADEC, there was that running joke amongst some participants that this was the last GUADEC. It was, of course, a joke. Everybody was expecting to see each other in Brno, in 2013. One year later, most of those who were joking are not coming to GUADEC. For them, the joke became a reality. People are increasingly leaving the desktop computer to use phones, tablets and services in the cloud. The switch is deeper and quicker than anything we imagined. Projects are also leaving GTK+ for QT. Unity abandoned GTK+, Linus Torvald's Subsurface is switching from GTK+ to Qt. If you spot a GNOME desktop in a conference, chances are that you are dealing with a Red Hat employee. That's it. According to Google Trends, interest in GNOME and GTK+ is soon to be extinct."

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376 comments

Its NOT smartphones. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44368571)

Gnome sucks. Its a UI made not for normal users but for the designers imaginary friends.

Re:Its NOT smartphones. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44368915)

Not necessarily. I know a lot of "normal users" who are just fine with Gnome 3. What I've found is that the problem is not Gnome 3, the problem is that Gnome 2 went away. I think there would have been a much better situation if Gnome 2 had been maintained in parallel with Gnome 3, so that users had been able to have both installed and move freely between them until Gnome 3 was able to fully replace Gnome 2. It was just so unnecessary that we had to rename everything to Mate.

Re: Its NOT smartphones. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44368989)

What? Let Gnome 2 and 3 coexist in the same world? That's just crazy talk. What would people say if they tried to do that with something like Python? Or even the Linux kernel itself?

Re:Its NOT smartphones. (5, Interesting)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about 9 months ago | (#44369007)

Not sure why this was modded funny. There is more than an element of truth in it. I can't speak from the perspective of a "normal user" since I'm not one. But I can speak from my own.

Firstly there's GTK. For those not aware, GTK is based on GObject. I've tried using GObject. It may be a very fine object system, and since it's based in C, I imagine that bringing over the runtime is relatively easy, but really it is no fun to use. And by no fun, I mean awful.

The primary reason is that it's all in C. Actually doing heavyweight dynamic style OO in C (basically like Python or Ruby or Javascript) is possible, but it is very, very verbose. Essentially you have to do vast amounts of stuff by-hand and it means that the program logic ends up being very sparsely interleaved with the heaps of required boilerplate. Not only that but the learning curve is very steep. IIRC Rust is a bit like C with native GObject support, so perhaps that will help things. But at the moment programming in GObject is unpleasant.

Secondly, frankly the UI is bad. They seem to be determined to abandon the long held principles of heirachal filesystems and the current working directory. Why oh why oh why when I start up a program in $HOME/projects/foo does the file dialog now default to "favourites" which is something not in the heirachy at all, or the last place I was working. This sort of change is completely unnecessary. If normal users don't start from anywhere else but $HOME then ignoring the current directory won't affect them at all. It only hurts power users.

The thing is, that's just one example. For another example, how many steps does it take to print a document of any sort at 6-up in a GTK program versus the appauling old style dialog like "xpdf"? The answer: lots. Adobe (of all people) proved it was unnecessary by making a really nice system that was simple for all normal stuff, but in the "advanced" box, the GUI options simply added things to an LPR line.

Examples abound of where GNOME is essentially "simplifying" to the point of making things less simple (how is ignoring $PWD unlike every other system simple?) especially for advanced users. The thing is advanecd users are the ones that hack on it and the ones that go to conferences.

If they systematically put off all advanced users, then basically it will be nothing but a commercial project. That's fine if they want it but it will kill off any ecosystem.

Oh and about GLib. A good fraction of the stuff is about providing things like linked lists, resizable arrays, hash tables, essentially all the sort of stuff that's in the STL, except much more verbose, vastly less efficient and not even remotely type safe. And two of those are unnecessary in C if you're prepared to (a) put up with complex macros and (b) have C++ like compile errors.

And other stuff just seems to be there for the sake of it, like the lexical scanner compared to (e.g. FLEX). They could simply have integrated the FLEX runtime into glib and used that as a scanner. It would have been better documented and have much nicer syntax that way.

I know people complain about C++ being complex, but once you add on a library the size of GLib, you've made almost a new language and the complexity arguments pretty much vanish at that point.

Don't get me wrong. For a C library, GLib is very impressive. It allows you to do all sorts of things with C that would otherwise require vast amounts of work and huge amounts of pain. But the problem is it's built on a very low level language and that makes life difficult.

Oh yeah, where was I. Gnome. One other example I remember from a while back.

My mum had an old computer. After Windows 98 became untenable, I put ubuntu on it, since she was feircely opposed to spending money on a new computer if the old one worked. Being young and naive I still did family tech support.

Anyway, it worked pretty well. I hd taught her what a heirachal filesystem was and she was happily able to arrange files in a nice organised manner. Actually she seemed to particularly relish organising files in a nice organised manner. Other than that she used the computer for web browsing, writing documents and sorting photos from her camera to be printed. At that point the file manager had the nice tree view down the side, or it could be enabled.

Anyway as time went on and versions changed, they decided that normal users didn't like such things and made it harder and harder and less and less good to have the tree view. My mum who was about as close to a "normal user" as I know wer really miffed by that. Anyway that was years ago.

They shot themselves in the foot (4, Insightful)

msobkow (48369) | about 9 months ago | (#44368573)

Most people assume GTK+ is a dead end seeing as it's tied so closely to that abortion of a desktop known as Gnome 3.

Re:They shot themselves in the foot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44368685)

GTK+ license is nicer than the Qt license, though.

Re:They shot themselves in the foot (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44368697)

LGPL 2.1 vs LGPL 2.1?

Re:They shot themselves in the foot (2)

gl4ss (559668) | about 9 months ago | (#44368841)

LGPL 2.1 vs LGPL 2.1?

well qt has a commercial option? I dunno how that's being less nice though.

Re:They shot themselves in the foot (5, Insightful)

segedunum (883035) | about 9 months ago | (#44368823)

GTK was dead fifteen years ago, just no one realised it. When you have a toolkit that programmers are supposed to be using pulled out of another project (GIMP) as an emotional response to the license of another toolkit (Qt) you're already on to a loser. You have to win on the software, and producing a core development toolkit for GUI and desktop developers is spectacularly difficult. New features look cool and you have to keep moving things on but there are a spectacular amount of bugs to fix and that takes full-time manpower. Red Hat weren't going to plough lots of developer money into GTK because it made no money for them for the manpower they would have to put in to get it on a par with Qt and other GUI development software. It's not as if they were selling licenses or anything. You can't be emotional. Either free desktop software is good enough to compete or it isn't.

Qt was miles better fifteen years ago, miles better ten years ago, miles better five years ago and the gap has only widened. You throw in the LGPL license now and you have a situation where there is no reason whatsoever you wouldn't use Qt in a Linux based environment.

It's just a pity it has taken us so long and there has been so much blood letting for us to get to a situation where we probably have a de fact standard GUI development path decided upon by natural selection.

Re:They shot themselves in the foot (4, Interesting)

JanneM (7445) | about 9 months ago | (#44368993)

I don't have any religious attachement to either toolkit, and I don't care one bit which one I use as a user. But there's GTK bindings to all kinds of languages out there since it's relatively easy to do, whereas there's far fewer for Qt. I can't seem to find any decent bindings for Scheme for instance. I can only assume it's because Qt is quite tightly tied to C++, and languages that don't mesh well with it will have trouble interfacing with it.

Re:They shot themselves in the foot (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44369039)

Wow, you really had to think about that one, didn't you. Now tell us what critical software we all can't live without is written in scheme.

As for the rest [qt-project.org], it would seem qt is pretty well covered.

Re:They shot themselves in the foot (2)

aliquis (678370) | about 9 months ago | (#44368985)

I'm all ok with people switching to Qt.

I'm ok with people writing applications for KDE to.

I personally don't agree with whatever guidelines KDE people have for how to design user interfaces though. Toolbars, ugly drag holders, vertical tabs with rotated text! WTF?! Tabs too wide for the window where you have to scroll between them and so on..

So much crap in the user interfaces. Also on this low-end machine which should had been killed a long time ago and be replaced by something much more powerful and will be so installing Qt and KDE programs in general pull in a lot of other stuff, like install digikam and get close to 500 MB of stuff. What's much better over in GTK camp is that you get many more programs to pick from, in general they are more independent (good and bad but then again some "KDE" programs (not really I guess) like Clementine doesn't botter with the common stuff anyway) and much smaller in size and you can pick a more freely of what you want without getting everything else at the same time.

The KDE philosophy may be fine IF you can throw more or less unlimited resources on it and IF their solutions was the best ones available and IF everything used it. But that's not the case. Now it may still be quite ok if you at least have the first one solved..

I guess OS X give less to pick from in general but often better / more clevery designed software and user interfaces and with Windows you of course got a shitload to pick from and something likely works good for you.

KDE and Gnome are still comparable (4, Informative)

darkHanzz (2579493) | about 9 months ago | (#44368575)

Although Qt is going strong, KDE and gnome seem both to be in a downwards trend..
http://www.google.com/trends/explore?q=gtk%2Cqt%2Cgnome#q=gtk%2C%20qt%2C%20gnome%2C%20enlightenment%2C%20kde&cmpt=q [google.com]
Ah well, the higher abstraction level that C++ offers, does make sense for a UI framework.

Re:KDE and Gnome are still comparable (0)

mangobrain (877223) | about 9 months ago | (#44368717)

Mod parent up. If anything, this graph shows that KDE's downward trend is ever-so-slightly steeper, though I'm not inclined to call the difference significant.

Re:KDE and Gnome are still comparable (4, Insightful)

segedunum (883035) | about 9 months ago | (#44368833)

Why should anyone be modded up who is basing the general usage of desktop environments on Google trends?

Re:KDE and Gnome are still comparable (-1, Offtopic)

The Cat (19816) | about 9 months ago | (#44368879)

And of course Google Trends is a totally unbiased source.

Do no evil and all that shit, right?

Re:KDE and Gnome are still comparable (3, Funny)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about 9 months ago | (#44368955)

And of course Google Trends is a totally unbiased source.

Do no evil and all that shit, right?

I was hoping for confirmation from Netcraft, myself.

I just started working on gnome (4, Informative)

maweki (999634) | about 9 months ago | (#44368587)

I just became the maintainer of a small games project in gnome and I have to say, the lack of (wo)manpower really shows. There are other projects that have many hundreds of untriaged bugs (most of them unconfirmed. We're not talking about unfixed here). There are only a handful of people doing really cool stuff and about nobody doing the menial labour of just making builds stable or working with one-off-contributors who sent in patches on their own.
But all in all I don't believe gnome's development cycle is unsustainable in the foreseeable future, even with shrinking interest in the desktop as a whole.

Re:I just started working on gnome (1)

segedunum (883035) | about 9 months ago | (#44368843)

Gnome's development cycle has been unsustainable for some time. Relying on a toolkit that continually struggles for manpower to fix bugs is no something you want to be doing as an application developer.

Given the # of comments here it's already dead! (0)

Herve5 (879674) | about 9 months ago | (#44368591)

I went here merely for insight. But indeed: just no comment here on /.
Shall I presume this means GTK+ actually is *already* dead??

Re:Given the # of comments here it's already dead! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44368613)

It aint dead until Netcraft confirms it.

Re:Given the # of comments here it's already dead! (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | about 9 months ago | (#44368627)

GTK is the Gimp Tool Kit. I don't see Gimp going away any time soon.

Re:Given the # of comments here it's already dead! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44368659)

GIMP? its already dead, it's a running joke about how NOT to create software ffs....

Re:Given the # of comments here it's already dead! (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44368669)

Or how to name software.

Grow the hell up, retards. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44368805)

What about Nova which means in Spanish (IIRC) "Won't Go". Or in Germany, Pschitt Cola.

Or Windows. What a fucking stupid name. Office? Ridiculous. Access??? WTF?

Or what about "Squirting"?

No, the only problem retards have with GIMP is that it's a damn sight more worthwhile than Photoshop.

Re:Grow the hell up, retards. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44368883)

Please, not that Nova [snopes.com] urban legend again. Geeze, when will it die?

In portuguese it means "new", btw.

And the rest, fuckwit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44368913)

No, there are lots of "bad names" if you get to decide what is a "bad name".

Re:Grow the hell up, retards. (1)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about 9 months ago | (#44368981)

Please, not that Nova [snopes.com] urban legend again. Geeze, when will it die?

In portuguese it means "new", btw.

That's because in Latin it means "new" and Portuguese, like Spanish, is a Romance language, descended from Latin.

However, the word "nova" is only a Spanish word in the sense that it's also an English word - both languages have adopted the astronomical term which was originally "stellum nova", meaning "new star". Which in turn was created to describe stars which suddenly appeared or became brighter.

"No va", however, is a perfectly good cynical term to apply to an automobile and I can think of plenty of English word and acronyms that are equally snarky (Fix Or Repair Daily, for example).

Nova == explosive (2)

tepples (727027) | about 9 months ago | (#44369013)

A star that became brighter because it exploded? Might as well call it the Pinto. Oh wait, Ford took that one.

Re:Grow the hell up, retards. (1)

91degrees (207121) | about 9 months ago | (#44368911)

What about Nova which means in Spanish (IIRC) "Won't Go". Or in Germany,

This isn't really true. Nova means nova. It's an obvious pun perhaps but it's like calling someone notable because they lack dining furniture.

Pschitt Cola.

Not a problem for something not sold in English speaking countries.

Or Windows. What a fucking stupid name. Office? Ridiculous. Access??? WTF?.

Nothing offensive about these.

Or what about "Squirting"?

Yes. That is a stupid name too.

No, the only problem retards have with GIMP is that it's a damn sight more worthwhile than Photoshop.

In what way?

Re:Given the # of comments here it's already dead! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44368933)

GTK is the Gimp Tool Kit. I don't see Gimp going away any time soon.

I'd like to believe it because I'm a very heavy GIMP user. But the stupid idea of linking the GTK+ toolkit to the rest of the GNOME desktop was beyond lunacy. Try using GIMP 2.8 on GNOME 2. You can't because of the GNOMETARDS that have totally infected what few good GTK+ applications there were.
I thing the GIMP developers make a very bad decision to link the GTK+ toolkit to the fate of the GNOME desktop. And it will bite them in the ass.

Re:Given the # of comments here it's already dead! (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about 9 months ago | (#44369011)

Given the # of comments

Surely the # of comments really just indicates that it is a comment? Unless it's C, of course.

Sad, if true (3, Insightful)

jandersen (462034) | about 9 months ago | (#44368595)

It is sad, in a way, although not surprising to me.

Sad, because it was once so promising; GNOME was once my absolute favourite desktop, but when they started becoming more and more a Windows clone, I lost my faith in them. And then they started removing useful features, upsetting their core community - those who were on Linux because it is OPEN, extremely configurable, very inclusive etc - and the GNOME developers became more and more unapproachable and sectarian. I suppose, in a way they chose to follow their own closed set of ideals and lost their way.

Now I use KDE - it is not perfect, but I don't need perfect, I only need good enough, and KDE is good enough for my purposes.

Re:Sad, if true (1)

jez9999 (618189) | about 9 months ago | (#44368641)

The Windows desktop is extremely popular, and you think becoming more of a Windows clone is the problem? Windows GUI is pretty well-designed. The problem is they totally fucked up GNOME 3 and programming GUIs in C without any decent dev tools is not exactly fun.

Re:Sad, if true (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44368703)

The Windows desktop is extremely popular

Not among people I know. Everyone is using it, yes, but they are also complaining a lot. That's not being popular, that's having monopoly power.

I hear more and more people saying "I would switch to Linux, except it doesn't run all my games". And these are people who are still on XP or 7, because they refuse to touch Windows 8.

Then game on consoles (1)

tepples (727027) | about 9 months ago | (#44368853)

There are also fans of console-exclusive franchises (e.g. anything whose characters appear in Smash Bros. series except Sonic), fans of genres that rarely get ported to PC (e.g. fighting games, platformers, and certain JRPGs), and people who prefer one-button convenience in their gaming. These people may do their gaming on a console and everything else on OS X or GNU/Linux.

Re:Sad, if true (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44368855)

Yes well, I started gaming again and had t oswitch back to windows. Turns out Windows 7 is actually pretty damn stable and good operating system. I'm happy, no need to get back to linux.

Re:Sad, if true (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44368921)

True, Windows is not much more than gaming platform these days. If it weren't for games, it would have died from home computers many years ago.

Sure it also still runs the usual work stuff, but that has not been the reason for its existence for a long time now.

Re:Sad, if true (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44368725)

Windows GUI is pretty well-designed.

Eh?

I have to use a virtualized Win7 for work. here are some observations:

1. Destructive Logoff command is the top-level default when I just want to lock or disconnect the session
2. Destructive window closing command button is co-located with minimize and restore buttons
3. Applications steal focus when I am typing
4. Some applications don't close when I DO intend to click the closing button, they just hide themselves
5. Can't hide the window decorations for full-screen apps ( unless the app has this function built-in )
6. The Start Menu is a mess

Re:Sad, if true (1)

91degrees (207121) | about 9 months ago | (#44368939)

I agree with all your criticisms. But what ui doesn't have the destructive window closing button issue? As for #6, has anyone implemented a start menu alternative that is actually any good?

Re:Sad, if true (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44368945)

If you think Windows GUI is pretty well designed you are out of luck. Microsoft does not agree with you and they have changed quite a bit now.

Re:Sad, if true (4, Interesting)

Tough Love (215404) | about 9 months ago | (#44368657)

Doing that OOP stuff in plain old C is just a travesty. Should have ended many years ago, but for all the self-interested spin and PHBs involved. Anybody remember that company that lost $40 million writing a file browser for Gnome (Nautilus) that ultimately was completely discarded except for some of the expensive artwork?

Re:Sad, if true (2)

kthreadd (1558445) | about 9 months ago | (#44368871)

Well you can just use any of the many language bindings. Gtkmm for C++ for example, or Vala which a lot of new Gnome development uses. Vala translates to C, so there's nothing extra needed at runtime.

Re:Sad, if true (4, Interesting)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about 9 months ago | (#44369019)

It is sad, in a way, although not surprising to me.

Sad, because it was once so promising; GNOME was once my absolute favourite desktop, but when they started becoming more and more a Windows clone, I lost my faith in them. And then they started removing useful features, upsetting their core community - those who were on Linux because it is OPEN, extremely configurable, very inclusive etc - and the GNOME developers became more and more unapproachable and sectarian. I suppose, in a way they chose to follow their own closed set of ideals and lost their way.

Now I use KDE - it is not perfect, but I don't need perfect, I only need good enough, and KDE is good enough for my purposes.

The problem is that Gnome's creator, Miquel de Icaza is a bitch for Windows. Among his sins you can include something like, but even more horrible than, the Windows Registry. Add to that the hubris of the Gnome 3 team and it's a recipe for something that looks good but doesn't do what you want it do do.

KDE's bouncing icons were its biggest turn off for me. I want GUI that "just works" and doesn't attempt to be an art form or a distraction and doesn't require switching off "vanity features" before I can use it.

As a developer, it's also rather important that the UI toolkit is easy to inject into projects, doesn't have bizarre interactions with other subsystems (or itself), supports multiple languages in a developer-friendly way, and last, but not least, has usable documentation. Including sample code and instruction manual. A set of "javadocs" isn't enough.

Re:Sad, if true (4, Insightful)

Tom (822) | about 9 months ago | (#44369025)

but when they started becoming more and more a Windows clone, I lost my faith in them.

ditto.

Gnome was very promising once, I even worked on it for a while. But this exactly, there was a point where it turned into a me-too project, where ideas for making things better were shunned in favour of making things familiar, which at that time meant copying windows.

Gnome is a major example of Free Software fucking it up because of bikeshedding and copying instead of innovating.

Foreshadowing (2)

Zouden (232738) | about 9 months ago | (#44368597)

Is this a preview of what might happen to Linux distros at some point in the future? Android has had a bigger impact than anyone expected. I wouldn't be surprised if it leads to Linux becoming more marginalised (servers only) and fewer people adopting it on the desktop.

Re:Foreshadowing (3, Interesting)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about 9 months ago | (#44368675)

I'm not sure about that. GNU/Linux distros seem to be the ones still leaving open options for people who want to get shit done. Not that there aren't a lot of distros that are jumping on the toy bandwagon, but there are still options.

Re:Foreshadowing (2)

Kjella (173770) | about 9 months ago | (#44368679)

Is this a preview of what might happen to Linux distros at some point in the future? Android has had a bigger impact than anyone expected. I wouldn't be surprised if it leads to Linux becoming more marginalised (servers only) and fewer people adopting it on the desktop.

Quite possibly, with AIOs like this [engadget.com] coming out now in September, 21" IPS touchscreen, keyboard and mouse using Android. It'll take a while before the OS and apps catch up, but fundamentally this is what most people are looking for in a "real" computer, it's not the CPU, not the GPU, not the RAM it's a big screen, keyboard and mouse. It's the kind of PC you can crank out a novel at or work on a big spreadsheet (not in Excel, but there are alternatives), anything where it's not about x86 compatibility or computer horsepower. That said, the big migration potential is certainly Windows users but if there's a landslide like in the mobile market Linux is sure to notice it too.

Re: Foreshadowing (1)

tepples (727027) | about 9 months ago | (#44369051)

21 inches for one application? Google has strongly resisted any attempt to add tiled or overlapping window management policy to stock Android. This means applications have to be coded to each hardware manufacturer's proprietary window management API. I can dig up Google employees' explanation of this "all maximized all the time" policy and why Cornerstone isn't in CyanogenMod if you want.

Re: Foreshadowing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44369009)

fewer people adopting it on the desktop.

Is that even possible? No, because I read on the Internet that 2013 will be the year of the Linux desktop.

vala (4, Insightful)

samjam (256347) | about 9 months ago | (#44368607)

Shame - vala is a really cool c(+) style language that hides a lot of the glib rot that was too hard to use.

Re:vala (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44368927)

She also looks pretty good in leather.

The same trend for the whole PC infrastructure (4, Insightful)

maweki (999634) | about 9 months ago | (#44368609)

Looking at Gnome and GTK as an Example for them going extinct specifically is pretty stupid. You see declining trends for microsoft, dell and KDE as well [google.com] while playing with Google Trends.

Re:The same trend for the whole PC infrastructure (1)

Ploum (632141) | about 9 months ago | (#44368673)

Looking at Gnome and GTK as an Example for them going extinct specifically is pretty stupid. You see declining trends for microsoft, dell and KDE as well [google.com] while playing with Google Trends.

Indeed, it's not like Microsoft, KDE or Dell are declining, it is imposs

Oh, wait!

Re:The same trend for the whole PC infrastructure (1)

Clsid (564627) | about 9 months ago | (#44368729)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but all that measures relate to are Google searches. Would be better to actually have download numbers or even sample data of desktop usage.

ChromeOS... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44368621)

... is becoming the dominant OS? Now in which universe is that?

Yup Gnome 3 sucks (3, Insightful)

DMJC (682799) | about 9 months ago | (#44368623)

It's sad but true, Gnome 3 with it's stupid tablet interface completely sucks. Gnome is trying to double down on fail and it'll lead to complete extinction within a few months. They need to massively reverse course but too much ego will probably prevent it from happening. The Linux desktop has basically shot itself in the foot right when it's finally achieving mainstream gaming success. Personally I'm banking on GNUstep actually getting finished and offering an osx-alike experience on Linux. Gnome was a really nice desktop but by choosing to rush into tablets they've pulled a Microsoft and shot their desktop users in the face. The desktop isn't going anywhere, it's Gnome that's gone away.

Re:Yup Gnome 3 sucks (1)

swalve (1980968) | about 9 months ago | (#44368689)

Gnome had the right idea (merging tablet and desktop interfaces), they just did it wrong. Microsoft, with a couple of exceptions, did it mostly right. Maybe I'm the only one who thinks that, but after 5 minutes of playing with a Windows 8 tablet, I was hooked. I can do tablet stuff AND desktop stuff? Sold.

Re:Yup Gnome 3 sucks (1)

DrXym (126579) | about 9 months ago | (#44368763)

Actually I think it's the opposite for once.

GNOME 3 got right things that Microsoft got wrong. For example Microsoft are bring back the start button (not menu) because jamming the mouse into the corner is non-obvious. GNOME 3 always allowed you to click Activities and discover the corner behaviour later. Metro doesn't bother to show you any visual context when you're in metro of what is happening on the desktop whereas GNOME puts the windows into its launcher so you can rapidly see them. Microsoft heavily relies on swipes and gestures to bring up overlays which don't work on the desktop whereas GNOME relies on conventional menus and a control panel.

In fact I don't see why people say GNOME 3 is a tablet interface at all. It's certainly a better place to produce a tablet interface from (larger buttons, scope for gestures etc.) but it's still a desktop window manager. Conversely Microsoft very clearly redesigned Windows so that it tablet friendly.

Re:Yup Gnome 3 sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44368971)

Yes, Microsoft did it right! Windows 8 is a smashing success!

Re:Yup Gnome 3 sucks (1)

DrXym (126579) | about 9 months ago | (#44368713)

You whine about GNOME 3 being like a tablet (though it is clearly nothing of the sort) and then hold out for GNUStep offering an OS X like experience. When GNOME 3 and OS X are very clearly aiming for the exact same space in terms of user experience, usability etc.

Re:Yup Gnome 3 sucks (1)

Clsid (564627) | about 9 months ago | (#44368757)

Windows 8 is aiming for the tablet experience. OSX might be merging some stuff from the iPad, but to me, Apple has been doing great at holding out the unusable parts of the tablets in the desktop OS. The addition of the launchpad is good and it will lead the way to deprecate the odd style of having an Applications folder in the Finder. Gnome in the other hand, tried to create something artsy but failed to achieve the whole look & feel. I guess it could have worked if they had better default fonts and not being so extreme as removing the maximize and minimize button.

Re:Yup Gnome 3 sucks (1)

DrXym (126579) | about 9 months ago | (#44368815)

I think GNOME went too far by cutting configurability. The inability to choose fonts and some other basic settings is greatly annoying. It doesn't mean it has to offer a kitchen sink of options (which IMO is even worse), but as a rule of thumb if OS X offers an option then GNOME 3 probably could too without compromising usability. But fundamentally I don't believe the design is broken or unsound. It's a very slick, attractive and usable user interface and for once Linux has a desktop which actually holds its own vs Apple and Microsoft.

It's also entirely customisable so there is no reason that people who don't like some of the things it does have to put up with it, e.g. use the "classic" mode or MINT extensions and it resembles GNOME 2 while still benefiting from a fast compositing desktop.

Re:Yup Gnome 3 sucks (2)

Clsid (564627) | about 9 months ago | (#44368747)

I thought the same as you regarding GNUStep, but it is too messy and the mindset towards creating an attractive GUI is simply not there. They want to achieve perfection by emulating NeXT, when they should just be trying to copy something like OSX which looks nice.

Linux is either a Fluxbox (or similar) affair, or you are better off with Windoze or better yet, with OSX. It's the fonts, the hardware, the games and the it just works attitude. Sad to see projects going these way but it wasn't hard to predict. I kind of feel the same way as Miguel De Icaza regarding OSX right now.

Re:Yup Gnome 3 sucks (1)

BlackPignouf (1017012) | about 9 months ago | (#44368751)

Linux Mint + MATE has replaced my Ubuntu + Gnome/KDE, and probably will be replaced some day by Mint + Cinnamon.
I don't care which directions Gnome 3 and KDE 4 are going.

Re:Yup Gnome 3 sucks (2)

couchslug (175151) | about 9 months ago | (#44368791)

"Personally I'm banking on GNUstep actually getting finished and offering an osx-alike experience on Linux."

To succeed, copy success.

Can't say I'm surprised (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44368633)

After many year of faithful Linux usage, I abandoned GNOME for OS X after the GNOME 3 fuckup. Never been happier, OS X has advanced features like a built-in shutdown button.

Re:Can't say I'm surprised (1)

Clsid (564627) | about 9 months ago | (#44368765)

In my case I have abandoned Linux for the desktop some time ago, and just keep Gentoo around for fiddling with it. In my case I went back to Windows for gaming and OSX for the desktop experience, after having tried console gaming and desktop Linux for quite a bit.

GUADEC? (5, Informative)

bmomjian (195858) | about 9 months ago | (#44368649)

I am sure I am not the only one who doesn't know what GUADEC is, and in fact even the event homepage (https://www.guadec.org/) doesn't spell out what it is. It is the GNOME Users And Developers European Conference.

Re:GUADEC? (1)

MortenMW (968289) | about 9 months ago | (#44368681)

I was wondering about the same thing, I've never heard about GUADEC before. Thanks for clearing it up.

Re: GUADEC? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44368819)

Thanks for helping with my Teal'c moment, was just asking myself: "what is a GUADEC"?

gnome three (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44368661)

Qt is just nicer to use and these days - it even works fast enough.
I liked the look and feel gnome2, but in its early days its components were glitchy and not very usable. However, when it matured -- it got replaced with gnome3, which is (or at least was) a nightmare.
I used xfce4 instead (yes, it wasn't exactly the most mature ones either, but worked better).
Now, about 5 after the release of kde4, i tried a kde4 based live system and was very surprised -- it was fast enough!
4.0-4.8 were all sluggish, but all sudden, the latest version seems to be just fine. Now, i'm afraid of the project getting replaced with kde5 or something.

Good! One less abomination of a GUI Toolkit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44368683)

Seriously GTK guys: Just fucking man up and learn C++ or Objective-C instead of continuing to waste effort on GObject.

Re:Good! One less abomination of a GUI Toolkit (2)

kthreadd (1558445) | about 9 months ago | (#44368877)

GTK+ is available for C++, it's called Gtkmm. By using C for the core framework adding additional language bindings is often very easy since almost everything can interface with C.

I blame removing configurability (5, Interesting)

zakkie (170306) | about 9 months ago | (#44368699)

Gnome 3 was a fuckup, but it started way back, when Havoc Pennington declared that too many options confused users. That was the start of the slippery slope that led us to this scenario. Taking away options completely instead of just offering basic & advanced configuration options was a fucking stupid idea. A desktop or any interface needs to get out of the way and make your day-to-day experience as painless as possible, but Gnome was hijacked by look-at-me designer types with nothing better to do than find ways of breaking shit that worked pretty fucking well. End result? A clusterfuck that nobody wants to use.

Re:I blame removing configurability (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44368865)

Yep . and it all started at the Gnome 1.4 to 2 switch . Ever since it's been a downwards spiral . Gnome is finished. Look at who is at the Gnome foundation .. it speaks volumes . It used to be individuals and users , now it's industry representatives that look only after their commercial interests.

GUADEC? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44368767)

What the hell is GUADEC? Great summary, editors...

Re:GUADEC? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44368831)

What the hell is GUADEC? Great summary, editors...

Some kind of conference were GNOMETARDS meet and remember the good ol' days because they have no future at all.

and rightly so (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44368803)

totally pointless from the very start

No (5, Insightful)

The Cat (19816) | about 9 months ago | (#44368849)

People are not abandoning the PC to use phones tablets and "services in the cloud." That is propaganda designed to sell you phones, tablets and services in the cloud.

Phones, tablets and services in the cloud will never replace the PC, because a desktop or laptop computer is the proper control form for the human body.

People want a full keyboard, a full-size monitor and a mouse. They don't want to do real work on a 2" x 3" screen.

This "exodus from the PC" is pure bullshit advanced by mobile device companies to get you back on the hardware upgrade treadmill so they can sell you a new device every two years.

Let me say it again: it's BULL. SHIT.

Re:No (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44368965)

You are wise.You said what I wanted to say. I'm going to start stalking you now.

Gnome Classic works for me (3, Interesting)

dltaylor (7510) | about 9 months ago | (#44368867)

I tried XFCE, but it wasn't quite there. Can't really warm to KDE, either. I miss OpenLook and Saw{mill,fish}.

Looks like I'll totally be out of luck when Gnome dies and X is replaced with Wayland. Might as well run Windows at that point.

Re:Gnome Classic works for me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44368885)

I miss OpenLook and Saw{mill,fish}.

Looks like I'll totally be out of luck when Gnome dies and X is replaced with Wayland.

I run Sawfish under MATE (Linux Mint 15) and love it, but you still have to get off my lawn....

GTK is shit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44368895)

and it stinks.

You have got to be joking. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44368951)

Linux users are too smart to buy into that cloud shit. If you use Linux, you have a reason to be on a PC, and not a tablet. The author of this article clearly is either
another stupid futurist who wants things to be like Star Trek at the cost of usability, or a troll bought out by the cloud goons who pay all those tech authors to parrot the cloud while their readers fill their comment sections with hatemail. It's an NSA conspiracy, don't touch it.

Both users (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44368967)

both non-developer users must be absolutely crushed.

This article writer obviously lives in a bubble (2)

dark_glaive (2889319) | about 9 months ago | (#44368977)

"ChromeOS has successfully filled the gap between desktop and mobile devices and is becoming the dominant OS. " Really? Any hard numbers on that? What bubble does this guy live in?

Re:This article writer obviously lives in a bubble (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44369015)

The bubble is in the gap. It's all metaphysical, man.

There is no reason to use GTK anymore. (4, Informative)

goruka (1721094) | about 9 months ago | (#44369021)

For almost a decade, Qt has been the superior choice for developers.

I used GTK for several years (probably up to version 2.2). The mindset back then was that the minimum functionality should be provided and the developer should build what he or she needed around it. For even a simple item list you had to use the treeview, which in turn was really complex to use. I wonder how much of that remains today.
When I discovered Qt, I ran constantly into the situation of thinking "This behavior I want to do sounds like a common case, i'm sure there is a helper/shortcut to implement it", and 99% of the time there was. Maybe it was more "bloated", but it definitely did reduce development time by a large factor.

Also, if you are doing a desktop app, you are most likely wanting to go cross platform. GTK is terrible at that.
The main disadvantage back then was the license, but that's ancient history. Qt has aged well and moved to mobile without much of an inconvenience. Besides Desktop, It runs on Android and Blackberry 10, and will soon be running on iOS too.

Users didn't leave the desktop (1)

Trogre (513942) | about 9 months ago | (#44369023)

GNOME left the users.

Also, people are abandoning desktops for "services in the cloud"? WTF?

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