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A Look at the Upcoming GNOME 2.4

michael posted more than 11 years ago | from the world-outside-KDE dept.


JanneM writes "Gnome 2.4 is arriving early september. Sayamindu Dasgupta has installed the 2.3.5 development release to see what's in store, and has written a very nice overview of the upcoming release." Update: 08/14 16:06 GMT by M : The author has provided a mirror.

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The SCO shark (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6694485)

A new OSS/etc product or update? The SCO shark smells blood in the water, and swims in for the kill once again....

haha (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6694487)

ps. gnome is 4 fag0rtz. kthx bai.

i love gnome! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6694492)

ever since gnome2 came out, I've been using it exclusivley on all of my linux desktops. It penis.

lalalalala (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6694495)

my first comment at the first place!!!

Humans that breed like rabbits? (-1, Offtopic)

tjstork (137384) | more than 11 years ago | (#6694501)

Well now that's exactly what China needs!

Why do SCO attorneys wear neckties? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6694502)

Why do SCO attorney's wear neckties?

To keep the foreskin from flapping up over their face.

A word to the wise: once SCO starts to sue the hell out of Gnome, you'd better replace those lawn gnomes with pink flamingos unless you want to be sued too.

The best function in Gnome 2.4... (5, Funny)

heironymouscoward (683461) | more than 11 years ago | (#6694510)

Is the "typing break". I can sit back in my chair, hands on my head, and when the PHB asks why I'm not working, I just say "Gnome Typing Break" and he says "Uh-hu" and goes away. Totally excellent.

Re:The best function in Gnome 2.4... (1)

dspfreak (666482) | more than 11 years ago | (#6694638)

Hell, if I work for a long enough continuous stretch to actually get Gnome to tell me to take a typing break, it's nap time!

Re:The best function in Gnome 2.4... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6694837)

What's a Gnome Typing Break?

Nautilus? (5, Interesting)

Daengbo (523424) | more than 11 years ago | (#6694525)

not flamebait
Does it fix any of those annoying problems in the current versions like:
  • Nautilus takes an ungodly amount of memory to run
  • It can't seem to associate file type with applications consistently
  • It has that annoying "feature" where any time I insert removable media, it opens a window of the media automatically. (I was going to bitch about it mounting automatically, as well, but I suspect that's RH's doing, there: god, sometimes I want to dd, you know)
  • You close it and it still takes up the same ungodly amount of memory. If I want that kind of behavior, I'll look for it in Windows, thank you.

Re:Nautilus? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6694597)


Re:Nautilus? (5, Informative)

JanneM (7445) | more than 11 years ago | (#6694617)

* It does take up less, I believe (not having done any formal comparison).

* I have never seen that problem; maybe time for a bug report?

* That is Redhat, and can be turned off. Go to "Preferences" -> "CD properties".

* It won't really release all memory until you _really_ close it - as long as you want it to handle your desktop it is still running. Oh, and just like all other Linux apps, releasing memory doesn't actually release the memory as such; the pages are kept around as long as nothing else needs it, and they are still mapped to the app as long as the app is running. Looking at RSS gives you a sort-of reasonable estimate on the memory use, but it too (if I am correct) will overestimate memory use.

Re:Nautilus? (2, Interesting)

BladeMelbourne (518866) | more than 11 years ago | (#6694629)

I use RedHat 9 and GNOME - and I find that the used RAM slowly creeps up whilst using Nautilus. Now that I have 576 MB it takes a while, but it is still annoying. It would be great if this was resolved in GNOME 2.4.

Used RAM also increases (at a reduced rate) when I use a lighter file manager. The only way to reclaim that memory is to restart X. Maybe XFree86 4.3.0 has a memory leek in RedHat 9 too?

FYI the amount of RAM doesn't increase like that in my Windows 98, which is also immune to the Blaster Worm.


Maybe it isn't a memory leak (5, Informative)

r6144 (544027) | more than 11 years ago | (#6694903)

As for "used memory" keeping increasing... You just have way too much memory. On most machines "used memory" is almost equal to "total memory" while the system runs fine, because the memory not used by processes can be used for caching (and not just the "Cached" shown by top/free, either). In short, it is hard to know whether or not the kernel or a user process leaks or not just by looking at the memory statistics, even if there actually IS one.

If you suspect a leak in some process, look at its VM size. If there is a leak, the process will end up much larger after repeating some operation, such as opening a new window, N times (clean up after each time) than doing that once.

Another way is to look at the swap usage. It usually keeps increasing, but should mostly be stable after e.g. 2 hours of usage, unless you start some other very large applications.

Re:Nautilus? (5, Interesting)

rewster (202842) | more than 11 years ago | (#6694641)

not flamebait


Nautilus takes an ungodly amount of memory to run

Well, it does a lot of stuff... you might not use it all, but it's there.

It can't seem to associate file type with applications consistently

This is somewhat confusing, but I found in RH9 and Ximian's XD2, a lot of things are associated correctly from the get-go.

It has that annoying "feature" where any time I insert removable media, it opens a window of the media automatically. (I was going to bitch about it mounting automatically, as well, but I suspect that's RH's doing, there: god, sometimes I want to dd, you know)

RTFM? Try "gnome-cd-properties". This isn't nautilus' fault in the first place.

You close it and it still takes up the same ungodly amount of memory. If I want that kind of behavior, I'll look for it in Windows, thank you.

Then you haven't really closed it now, have you? What do you think is managing your desktop? If you don't like it, there's always KDE, or TWM if you'd prefer...

Re:Nautilus? (1, Flamebait)

Daengbo (523424) | more than 11 years ago | (#6694754)

Well, it does a lot of stuff... you might not use it all, but it's there.
That's why I went to the less able ROX-filer
RTFM? Try "gnome-cd-properties". This isn't nautilus' fault in the first place.
Since I'm not using it in Gnome, I didn't think to read the Gnome pages, but I did read the info on Nautilus
Then you haven't really closed it now, have you? What do you think is managing your desktop? If you don't like it, there's always KDE, or TWM if you'd prefer...
Well, I had thought that I was using icewm, and that if I wanted to browse some files, I could use nautilus, but I was wrong. Nautilus takes over the whole desktop, placing icons. Again, the reason I went to ROX, so I didn't have to deal with having some monstrous program taking over my desktop just to browse the filesystem and launch files.
You haven't really answered my questions, now have you, nor did the article. I am honestly curious. I would like to see a Gnome that is less heavy on resources. Is that happening?

Re:Nautilus? (1)

kpansky (577361) | more than 11 years ago | (#6694906)

There is an option to turn off nautilus handling of the background. Can't recall it from here, but its there and it makes nautilus MUCH more usable IMO.

nautilus --no-desktop (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6694910)


Re:Nautilus? (1)

Sunda666 (146299) | more than 11 years ago | (#6694776)

dude, the solution I came up with is to not run nautilus at all, just the panel in the top.
works awesome and makes GNOME2 pretty lightweight.

who the hell wants desktop icons anyway? thats so windoze-ish. panel drawers are your friend.

just do "mv /usr/bin/nautilus /usr/bin/nautilus.inactive" and get rid of the bloat.

ah, and if you need a filemanager, there are ligher ones aroud (gmc from gnome1 does all I need
when it comes to filemanagers)


Re:Nautilus? (2, Informative)

nickos (91443) | more than 11 years ago | (#6694880)

Agree completely (although you can run Nautilus without the desktop with "nautilus --no-desktop"). My preferred bloat-free file manager would be XFTree.

Re:Nautilus? (4, Interesting)

Erwos (553607) | more than 11 years ago | (#6694652)

If I had to posit a reason for Nautilus using so much RAM, folder caching would probably be the reason. Nautilus devs can correct me on that one, but it seems like folders I've opened before open much more quickly than new ones. Fixing your memory "problem" would probably knock down the speed of Nautilus tremendously. Buy some more RAM and get on with life.

No idea what the problem with file association is. I've just never had an issue with it (and rather like the way Nautilus gives you a menu of programs to try with a right-click). If you're setting new associations, read the choices carefully, as some similar sounding ones do different things.

You do realize that the _desktop_ is controlled by Nautilus, and thus you really can't close it without killing it, right?


Re:Nautilus? (4, Insightful)

FooBarWidget (556006) | more than 11 years ago | (#6694708)

1) Not sure about memory usage, but it has never bothered me. I never look at the memory usage. If it feels fast enough, then that's good enough for me. Besides, no tool reports the right memory usage.

2) The current MIME system is severely broken in many ways. This is more of a gnome-vfs problem. They are currently still working with KDE on a new shared MIME system that's better than the current GNOME and KDE ones.

3) That's a RedHat thing. It doesn't happen on my GNOME desktop. But anyway... but complain about automatic mounting? Everybody else complains about *not* automatic mounting and want drives to work like Windows. Heck, people even call mounting and unmounting a "broken concept".

4) Don't look at the output of top, it's not reliable. And this is a kernel issue, not a Nautilus issue.

Re:Nautilus? (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 11 years ago | (#6694775)

Does it fix any of those annoying problems

Unfortunately, looking at latest development versions, probably not. I'm a big fan of Gnome, but some apps have not really shown much of an improvement from a user's point of view. Dunno about RedHat, though; I use Dropline Gnome on Slackware.

Re:Nautilus? (4, Interesting)

FrostedWheat (172733) | more than 11 years ago | (#6694811)

Another thing I find annoying about Nautilus is its lack of feedback when double-clicking on icons.

Sometimes windows can take upto 10 seconds to open on my machine (2Ghz Athlon, go figure), and I find myself clicking on it a few times to make sure I got it, or right clicking and selecting 'Open' - then have three windows appear at once. Very annoying.

Re:Nautilus? (1)

Lispy (136512) | more than 11 years ago | (#6694901)

Linux caches any amount of free memory. You will recognize the same behaviour with every other Linux app. Thats just normal behaviour. Just dont worry about your gkrellm settings...ignore it ;-)


Who needs Gnome Anyway (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6694531)

When KDE performs better, looks better and works better ...

Re:Who needs Gnome Anyway (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6694823)

looks better? wtf?
KDE is FUGLY - looks like windoze.

my old gnome (2.0.3) looks real sweet with the Aqua theme, which fortunately
works for GTK1 apps too.


slashdotted (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6694532)

What's coming up in GNOME 2.4 - a look at GNOME 2.3 :: What's Changed

Having nothing better to do (and wanting to do a bit of testing on the localization [] stuff we are working on), I decided to download the latest beta of GNOME - GNOME 2.3.5 (Jebe) . Since the RC release freeze is imminent [] , and the feature freeze is already in place, the system that I am running currently will not be significantly different from GNOME 2.4, when it is released on September. In this article, I would be briefly describing the new features and applications of GNOME 2.4. However, I would concentrate mainly on the packages in the core GNOME system, and will not be going beyond those.

Installing the packages (WARNING: slightly hairy) To GARNOME or not...

I had heard that installing the GNOME packages in the right order could be a tricky process, and I was looking at GARNOME [] and other tools for an easy way out. However, after some poking around, I decided to do the install by hand. This decision was largely prompted by this [] document, and I am really grateful to its author.

The system

The usual convention before doing a description of any large scale installation process is to give a short summary of the specs of the machine in question, and so, without much ado, here it is:

Processor: 700 Mhz Pentium III
RAM: 192 MB
Swap: 250 MB
OS: Redhat Linux 9.0 (Shrike)
Kernel: 2.6.0-test2

It is obvious that this is not a very modern machine, but such boxes are quite common in where I live (India).

The installation

Most of the files needed for compile and install are downloadable from the directory [] . There are also a few "extras" which are usually included in stock "development machine" installations, like the Docbook 4.1.2 DTDs, etc. If you don't have them, the ./configure script will complain, and you will find them in your distro CDs.
I did not download the gtk2, the glib2 and the pango packages. More or less up to date GTK2 and glib2 are already included in RH 9.0 and I usually keep in sync with the Pango development process through CVS (I have to keep track of certain outstanding bugs in Pango w.r.t bengali rendering). If you follow these steps, please ensure that you have the devel packages installed as well.
To avoid a mess, I had decided to install the new GNOME packages under /opt. That meant that the new libraries and the header files would be installed in /opt/lib and /opt/include. So, I had to set the $PKG_CONFIG_PATH to /opt/lib/pkg-config (by issuing export PKG_CONFIG_PATH=/opt/lib/pkg-config) so the pkg-config utility searched /opt/lib/pkg-config before the usual /usr/lib/pkg-config. I had also added the line /opt/lib to the file /etc/ Moreover, the usual ./configure was replaced by ./configure --prefix=/opt so the installation folder was /opt.
I followed the following sequence while installing packages. It works for me, and it may or may not work for you.

  1. atk
  2. libart_LGPL
  3. libgnomecanvas
  4. libxml2
  5. libxslt
  6. libIDL
  7. linc
  8. ORBIT
  9. intltool
  10. GConf
  11. libglade
  12. libbonobo
  13. gnome-mime-data
  14. gnome-vfs-devel (needed to install the bzip2-devel package to satisfy a dependency)
  15. audiofile
  16. ESound
  17. libgnome
  18. libbonboui
  19. libgnomeui
  20. libgnomeprint
  21. libgnomeprintui
  22. gail
  23. libgail-gnome
  24. scrollkeeper (I could not install this one - it kept complaining about a missing libxml2, and I was too sleepy to investigate further)
  25. libgtop
  26. gnome-desktop
  27. eel
  28. librsvg
  29. nautilus
  30. nautilus-media
  31. nautilus-cd-burner
  32. libgtkhtml
  33. nautilus-gtkhtml
  34. yelp
  35. eog
  36. libwnck
  37. gnome-panel
  38. metacity
  39. gnome-applets
  40. control-center
  41. gnome-utils
  42. vte
  43. gnome-terminal
  44. gnome-games
  45. gnome-media
  46. gtksourceview
  47. gedit
  48. bug-buddy
  49. gtk-doc
  50. gtk-engines
  51. gconf-editor
  52. gnome-themes
  53. gnome-icon-themes
  54. acme
  55. file-roller
  56. gnome-system-tools
  57. ggv
  58. gpdf
  59. gucharmap
  60. epiphany
  61. gcalctool
  62. gnome-speech
  63. gok
  64. gopernicus
  65. totem
  66. zenity
  67. Bitstream Vera fonts

Phew... That took the whole night. Maybe I should have used GARNOME after all. After everything had been installed, I added a file called GNOME-2.3 in /etc/X11/gdm/Sessions/. This file contained #!/bin/bash export PATH=/usr/local/bin:/bin:/home/unmadindu/bin:/opt/ bin:/usr/bin:/usr/X11R6/bin exec -l /bin/bash -c "/usr/bin/ssh-agent /opt/bin/gnome-session" (Yaya - I know... ugly hack).
But GDM failed to show that entry in the "Sessions" list. Found out that the file permission was wrong - fixed it - and GNOME 2.3 was ready to roll.
I had created a special account to test GNOME 2.3 (I did not want to mess up my exisiting GNOME settings files), and logged into that account. Bingo!!! It worked!!

First Impressions (The desktop and the panel)

Startup was normal (seemed to be a little faster than usual) - and even after apparently everything had started up, the splash screen lingered around. It went away just when I was going to hit Ctrl-Alt-Backspace. GNOME now uses the ~/Desktop folder as the Desktop (so does KDE), and it is a welcome improvement over the old ~/.gnome-desktop thingy.
The panels are no longer classified into corner panel, edge panel, etc. You just need to specify whether it should be at the left or right or top or bottom, and you can drag them along the edges as you wish. If you want to occupy an entire edge, just enable the "Expand" option in the properties dialog. The old "Small/Medium/Large" size scheme has also disappeared - now you just have to specify the size in pixels.

Fig 1. The New Panel Configuration System

A new feature of the panel is the new "Add to Panel -> Actions -> Force Quit" button, which is similar to xkill. It is really a neat enhancement, though GNOME automatically asks you if you want to kill a particular application when it does not respond to your "close" requests. However, I would request the developers to change the default icon of this button - it somehow does not fit in with the other GNOME icons.
Another significant addition to the desktop was the "Keep Aligned" option in the desktop menu, which makes arranging and managing a large number of icons on the desktop a lot more easier.

Fig 2. The Desktop Menu

Moreover, Nautilus now remembers the position of the desktop icons for removable devices like CDROM, Floppy, etc, so your desktop layout does not get messed up when you mount/unmount a device.

The Applets

Among the applets, Sticky Notes is a new addition. It is really handy utility for people who use their computer a lot, and have a difficult time jotting down bits and pieces of information and reminders. Now you can have notes lying all around your desktop. It is really a great piece of software to have around.

Fig 3. Sticky Notes

All the other applets have gone through some nice interface tweaking, and it is really a pleasure to work with them. But I would request the developers to tweak the artwork of the Weather Report applet. Some of the graphics (like the question mark and the "hazy icon") do not look very good. Moreover, the applet also seemed to have some problems when the panel was smaller than usual - apparently the text cannot scale along with the size of the panel. Also, one very handy applet that I missed was the GNOME-network-status applet [] , which is similar to the M$ Windows (tm) network status application which runs from the taskbar. I hope to see it included in GNOME 2.6.

The File Manager (Nautilus)

Nautilus seems to be a little faster now, and the thumbnail rendering also seems to be faster (actually, from the Changelogs, I discovered that the thumbnails are now generated intelligently, with the currently visibile files being handled first).
A major new addition that many new users will find useful is the "Add to archive" option in the menu. You just right click on a folder, click on the "Add to archive" menu item, write the name of the archive in the popup box (I tried both tar.gz and tar.bz2), and the folder will get archived. Way better than the old scripts based system.
But I was disappointed with the nautilus cd burner. It is a really great feature, but somehow, it is not at all visible. I had to manually type in "burn://" in the address bar to get to the burn queue. There should be something in the main menu or somewhere prominent which should take users to this location. Also, a file menu item called "Copy to CD Creator" or somethings like that should be there, similar to the "Add to archive" option. Later I discovered that there was a link to CD Creator in Nautilus Menu -> Go -> CD Creator, but it is still, IMHO, not prominent enough. The burn dialog was simple and quite decent.

Fig 4. The CD Burn Dialog

The same issue plagues the "fonts://" location. There is no readily visible link to this location, the only link I found was deep down in the Desktop Preferences, in the "Advanced" dialog box of the fonts control panel applet. On clicking a font, a nice looking font viewer came up (Redhat 9 users should be familiar with it).
Fig 5. The Font View of Nautilus (Click for a larger view) []
Fig 6. The Font Viewer (Click for a larger view)
Installing fonts is simple - just copy the font file to the fonts:// location. You may also drag and drop the font files. (... and no - you don't need to reboot). ;-)

The older features are there too (menu editing from the applications:/// location and more). The side pane seems to be improved, and the new tree view is really great with seperate trees for mounted devices, /home and the root fs (screenshot below). Moreover, while trying to drag and drop emblems from the side pane to the file icons, selecting icons seemed to be much easier.

Fig 7. The Nautilus Side Panel Tree View (Click for a larger view)

There is also a nice "Text beside icons" option in the preferences section, whose function should be self explanatory :o).

The Text Editor (Gedit)

The most obvious change in Gedit is that it now supports syntax highlighting of ADA, C, C++, JAVA, IDL, .desktop, PO, diff, HTML, Latex, XML, Perl and Python files. I was though, deeply disappointed to see no support for PHP. I contacted the authors of GtkSourceView (which is used by Gedit to do the highlighting), and they pointed me to [] this page, which has quite a number of patches to address this issue. Before that, I had also made a php.lang file for myself - you may want to check it out here [] .

Fig 8. Syntax Highlighting in Gedit (Click for a larger view)

Among other visible enhancements, Gedit now lets the user specify the character coding to use while saving a file, and it has a nice tooltip showing the mimetype and encoding when you hover the mouse over the filename tab.
However, some of the plugins, including the spellcheck plugin seemed to have been removed. After sometime, I found out that most of those plugins have been removed to a seperate package - hopefully the distros will shipping that package too.

The Control Center

The most significant addition to the Control Center is a utility for changing the screen resolution and refresh rate on the fly. This tool was long overdue, and it was really getting embarrasing to tell people to edit their /etc/X11/XF86Config-4 file by hand and relogin. Thanks a lot for this tool. However, it will be great if we can see support for switching colour depth in the next version.

Fig 9. The Resolution Switcher

Yet another interesting tool is the "Assistive Technology Support" in the Accessibility subsection. This adds support for a number of new tools that come with GNOME 2.4 (discussed later in this article).

Fig 10. Assistive Technology Support Configuration Dialog

The keyboard tool has a new feature called "Typing Break" which allows you to specify "work intervals" after which the screen gets locked for a pre-specified duration. This can really come in use for people hammering away at their keyboards for large stretches of time.

Fig 11. Typing Break Configuration Dialog


The character map and the calculator has been removed from this package to be replaced by GUCharMap and GCalTool (discussed later), both of which are stand alone packages.


From the Changelog, there seems to have been a whole lot of changes. A new game, "BlackJack" has been added. I am not really very familiar with this package, so I won't comment much, except that I still miss XBill ;-).

Next: The New Applications []

Re:slashdotted (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6694582)

anyone got page 2?

Re:slashdotted (page 2) (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6694645)

What's coming up in GNOME 2.4 - a look at GNOME 2.3 :: What's New

GNOME 2.4 is going to have a number of cool, new applications. In this section, I am going to describe them.
The Browser: Epiphany

One of the most controversial changes in GNOME 2.4 is the dumping of Galeon in favour of Epiphany as the default browser. Epiphany is based on Mozilla, but is much more light and bloat free and features a much, much, much cleaner interface. I have not used Galeon very extensively, but Epiphany has already become my default browser. Startup is much faster than Mozilla, the interface is much more intuitive and clutter free and it merges nicely with the look and feel of the rest of the GNOME environment. The latest versions (0.8.2 and above) also have a extra experimental plugin which allows mouse gestures.

Fig 12. Epiphany - The Brand New GNOME Browser. (Click for a larger view)

It supports popup blocking, tabbed browsing, customizable toolbars, automatic image resizing and all of these, with an extremely simple and clean UI. However, I would like to see the download manager to be a little more advanced (resume support maybe??).
The PDF Viewer: GPDF

GPDF has a UI which is similar to GGV (The GNOME Postscript Viewer), and handled PDF files quite well in my system. It is based on xpdf (actually, the "NEWS" file says that it is a port of xpdf to GNOME 2).

Fig 13. GPDF - The GNOME PDF Viewer. (Click for a larger view)

As with most other GNOME applications, I found the interface to be nice an clean, but it seemed to have some issues with regard to embedded fonts.
The Character Picker: GUCharmap

This new GNOME Character map is quite a fancy tool - a bit too fancy, IMHO. It has support for all the Unicode Characters, and it seems to have detailed information on each and every character.

Fig 14. GUCharMap Showing Some of the Characters. (Click for a larger view)
Fig 15. GUCharMap Showing Details. (Click for a larger view)

The Calculator

The new calculator of GNOME is also quite improved. There is a handy list of commonly used mathematical constants (pi, e, various conversion factors, etc). It has three modes - basic, financial and scientific.

Fig 16. GCalcTool - The GNOME Calculator. (Click for a larger view)
GNOME System Tools

In my opinion this is one of the best additions to the GNOME software map in a long time. As the README file says, these tools are designed to make (Unix) system configuration easy for desktop users. They aim for what the README calls "unified system configuration", meaning that the same toolset can be used in different flavours of Unix. This is achieved by splitting each tool into two distinct parts - a frontend written in C/Python and a backend written in Perl.
Currently available tools include a Runlevel Admin, a Network Admin (which lets you specify your hostname, samba hostname and workgroup, DNS servers, search domains, hosts, network interfaces, ppp, ethernet, slip and in a limited way, wavelan). Also included are a Time Admin, a User Admin and a Boot Admin.
I really liked the interface of each tool, especially the artwork. I think it is a great approach towards making a user friendly set of system configuration tools for the desktop user. Tools provided by the various distros are also great, but since each one has a different interface of its own (and a different set of problems), it becomes difficult for both users and tech support people to handle them.

Fig 17. GNOME System Tools - Boot Admin (Click for a larger view)
Fig 18. GNOME System Tools - Network Admin (Click for a larger view)

More information on GNOME System Tools is available at
The Media Player: Totem

Yes - GNOME now has a media player of its own (though of recent, it has suddenly disappeared from the module listing withou any warning). It is called Totem, and currently it is based on a Xine backend. However, from the README, I gathered that there is also an experimental GStreamer backend. It has support for a playlist, full screen mode, seek and volume controls and full keyboard navigation. It seemed to be a little unstable to me, but maybe that is because I am using a beta version of xine-libs.
It also uses a really cool visualization plugin called GOOM (or is it a feature of Xine?) which is used during audio file playback. One of my friends made me install Linux in his system just for that particular plugin ;-).
I tested Totem with "The Matrix Reloaded" trailer - which is incidentally a Quicktime (*.mov) file. These type of files are known to be quite troublesome, requiring externals dlls and other fancy stuff. I had compiled Xine without any external dll and to be honest, I had not expected the thing to work. But I was wrong - the file was played without a single hitch - sound, video, everything was perfect. Cool!! I also tried some MP3s, OGGs and DivX movie files - they played without any problems. I am yet to find out how it handles Windows Media files though...
The only major feature I seemed to miss in Totem was an audio equalizer.

Fig 19. Totem - The GNOME Media Player. (Click for a larger view)
Zenity - A Rewrite of Gdialog

Zenity is a nifty tool which allows you to display dialog boxes from the command line and from the shell script. If you have zenity installed, just run zenity --question --text "Delete Windows?", and you will get this dialog box:

Fig 20. A Sample Dialog from Zenity

Zenity can come in use in a variety of situations (especially when the developer is of the lazy type ;-).
The GNOME Accessibility Tools

These are also new additions to the "official" GNOME family. I am completely clueless when it comes to tools of this kind, so I guess it would be best to stay on "no comments mode" on this. However, everybody loves screenshots, and so here is one of Gnopernicus - the screen reader and magnifier:

Fig 21. The GNOME Screen Reader and Magnifier

More information on GNOME Accessibility can be found at .
My thoughts...

I am a fan of GNOME from the 1.4 days (though at a certain stage, I had shifted entirely to IceWM). I really like the current direction of GNOME, with it's "just works" approach. Of course, this approach has not been implemented completely, but after lurking around at the GNOME mailing lists and IRC channels, I am convinced that the GNOME developers will reach their goals. Experienced users may complain about lack of options to fiddle around with: my advice to them - go and fire up GConf-editor, and be engulfed in all kind of wierd settings and options that you may want.
I agree that there are minor hiccups and rough edges, and the file-selector is a major embarrasment, but the overall focus and direction of the project is just right. The goal should be to make it simple - not to make yet another clone of Windows XP or Mac OS X. I firmly believe that it is this wonderful blend of simplicity, intuitiveness, usability and freedom is what is going to make GNOME unique and truely enjoyable.
What I would like to see in GNOME 2.6

I need good file selector. Yes, I need a good file-selector! Redhat and (IIRC) XD2 provides a slightly better version of the present selector, but I don't think that is enough. I believe that the file selector of KDE 3.1 or Windows XP will be a good source of inspiration and a good place to start from.
Another application I sorely miss is a good dialer for connecting to dial up ISPs. It is really visually irritating to work with KPPP in the midst of GNOME (KDE fans - the same goes for working with Evolution while running KDE - so don't worry). There are quite a few so called "GNOME dialers" out there - but none of them are good/intuitive enough. So please, somebody - start a proper GNOME dialer project.
In general, I really like the GNOME artwork. However, there are certain packages (like the weather applet) whose artwork is still not good enough, or does not match with the general "look and feel" of the whole system.
Also, better exposure to the CD burner and "fonts://" location would be really great. Nobody likes a great tool if you don't know where to find it and run it from.
Also, the Nautilus developers can perhaps try to make the thing run and load a little faster. Also, I would really like to see some features from Velocity integrated into Nautilus. The first such feature that comes to my mind is the "Send to" submenu when you right click on a file/folder. Also, I don't think it really makes sense when you right click on a directory, and an "Open with.." submenu pops up with options like "Icon viewer", "List viewer", etc. The menu item beside the location bar is good enough for that.
Moreover, though not directly a part of GNOME, I think that the "burning" password dialog in xcsreensaver should be removed. It can confuse a new user, and looks scary - not what the HIG recommends.
The "Sound Preferences" in the Desktop Preferences also need to be changed. I don't think it is a very good idea to have options for sounds for "Gnect", "Gnibbles", and what not into that module. A new user may not have any idea what "Iagno" or "gataxx" may be. It would be best to keep the core sound options (Startup/Shutdown/Error/etc) totally seperate from the other applications. And I don't think many users will understand what "Action button click" or "Check box toggled" means either. Moreover the general quality of sound needs to improve - the present ones are, at the most, irritating (of course, after a certain stage, all such sounds, no matter how nice, are irritating, but that's another matter). The general terminlogy also needs a change - "Enable sound server startup" does not sound very good to me.
A mouse cursor theme selector in the Themes chooser will also be a welcome addition.
Printing is another area of potential improvement. Redhat is already providing Printman and "desktop-printing" (I think it is called eggcups now) with their distro. I would love to see these two packages included in the core GNOME system.
Lastly, I believe that the GNOME help system can do with some improvement. It would be great if a glossary can be added to Yelp, and I did not like the quality of the results returned by the "Index". Also, the present help files looks a little too bland (especially when you have a theme that sets the text background colour to gray). I think a little more artwork in the header and footer sections, and some colourful icons will not be a very bad idea. Also, automated linking between the documents will a nice addition - like, when the Introduction to GNOME refers to the Nautilus manual, the reference should be a proper, clickable link. ..and ooh!! I almost forgot - I would definitely like to see Dashboard included in the next GNOME release ;-). ..and to end it all

Most reviewers really like to show off their desktops - and I am no exception. So here's a screenshot of my inspired desktop - running GNOME 2.3.5 (Jebe).
And, btw... Jebe means f***s in Serbian - but it is also commonly used in Serbia to denote excellence ;-).

Improved calculator? (2)

zanderredux (564003) | more than 11 years ago | (#6694853)

I am only asking for a RPN calculator! Is this too much to ask????

Re:slashdotted (1)

k-zed (92087) | more than 11 years ago | (#6694771)

AFAIK, with the curent X11 architecture, it is impossible to switch color depth on the fly (without restarting the X server, that is).

Re:slashdotted (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6694883)

wrong. the XRANDR extension in 4.3 allows resizing and rotating on the fly.

Re:slashdotted (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6694819)

Your mother sucks my dick Karma Whore

Gnome is for M$ ass-kissers (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6694541)

Like M$ .NET shit ?
Want to support a company which supports it ?
No, then boycott Gnome and its lame support for .NET. Real men don't touch that crap.

Backwards land.... (3, Funny)

jkabbe (631234) | more than 11 years ago | (#6694543)

What's with the gum-drops on the right hand side of the title bar? Is this like OS X for left-handed people?

The typing break (2, Funny)

OfficerNoGun (686128) | more than 11 years ago | (#6694544)

...sounds like an amazing idea, not just for my hands but for my sanity. If I didn't spend 10 minutes an hour meandering arround the office I would probably go insane.

Re:The typing break (0, Troll)

govtcheez (524087) | more than 11 years ago | (#6694640)

That's why every 15 minutes or so, I retreat to the bathroom to spray my manchowder all over the walls. The pressure really gets to you.

Re:The typing break (3, Informative)

Anders (395) | more than 11 years ago | (#6694700)

If I didn't spend 10 minutes an hour meandering arround the office I would probably go insane.

I am not sure why this is funny. It really is a good idea with typing breaks, and of course you can do other work while not typing.

The tool Xwrits [] may be of use for people interested in this item but not prepared for the entire GNOME upgrade shebang. It must be cool, JWZ uses it [] (and so do I).

Re:The typing break (4, Funny)

Captain Large Face (559804) | more than 11 years ago | (#6694726)

I know what you mean! I'd be even more insance if I didn't spend the other 50 minutes reading Slashdot. :)

Really ?! (-1, Flamebait)

invalid_argument (697851) | more than 11 years ago | (#6694560)

Who cares?

Please give me a very bad score for this post

On-the-fly Resolution Change (5, Informative)

CowsAnonymous (697884) | more than 11 years ago | (#6694568)

From the article: > The most significant addition to the Control Center > is a utility for changing the screen resolution and > refresh rate on the fly. This will probably be my fav. It's tough to look "kewl" with Linux when I need to exit the GUI just to change the resolution. Then again, going into that console screen does impress chicks... :0)

Re:On-the-fly Resolution Change (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6694622)

You must not know many real chicks, if console impresses them.

You fool!

Re:On-the-fly Resolution Change (3, Insightful)

FooBarWidget (556006) | more than 11 years ago | (#6694763)

One thing I don't understand is why everybody wants to change resolution on-the-fly. Do you change your resolution every hour or something? Everybody I know just set their resolution *once* and never look back again.

Re:On-the-fly Resolution Change (2, Insightful)

myspys (204685) | more than 11 years ago | (#6694789)

i'm guessing quite a few webdevelopers change from their normal resolution to 800x600 once in a while to make sure that their newly created webpage/site works in 800x600

Re:On-the-fly Resolution Change (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6694933)

No, we just have handy bookmarklets that resize our browsers to be 800x600.

Re:On-the-fly Resolution Change (1)

stefanvt (75684) | more than 11 years ago | (#6694947)

Wouldn't it be much much simpler just resizing the browser window to 800x600? That's the way I do it ...

Re:On-the-fly Resolution Change (3, Insightful)

bmj (230572) | more than 11 years ago | (#6694794)

Often, if I have to switch hats from programmer to designer (part of the job description when you work at a small shop) that I'll crank up the resolution to fit more stuff on the screen. Once I'm finished and get back to coding, I'll reduce the resolution again so I don't go blind. So, it'd be nice if I didn't have to restart X to do that.

Re:On-the-fly Resolution Change (2)

mrd_yaddayadda (629895) | more than 11 years ago | (#6694799)

If you are ever developing for the web you should really be testing your site in multiple browsers/OSes and multiple screen resolutions. That is one off the top of the head actual 'techie' reason for it.

The other more important one for me is because it's convenient! It's been one of the most glaringly horrible things about Linux GUIs for me. I'm glad someone is finally addressing it.

Re:On-the-fly Resolution Change (3, Insightful)

LordDartan (8373) | more than 11 years ago | (#6694812)

It also comes in handy when you and your significant other use the same computer but like different resolutions. My wife likes 800x600 and I like 1280x1024. This is one of the main reasons my wife hates using linux.

Re:On-the-fly Resolution Change (1)

danme (144941) | more than 11 years ago | (#6694922)

Slightly off-topic, but the previous post reminds me of the following. (The following has been posted by someone on /. before, don't remember who).

"It's not the size of the CRT that's the resolution of the image!"

Tell that to some of the people in my company.

User is still using one of the older monitors (15" Trinitron tubes) and made a requisition, complaining for a better monitor. Well, they clamored enough for a while we were told to give her a 19". I set it up during her lunch, and set it to 1024x768.

I thought I was being very conservative with that resolution, because everyone seems to complain about their eyesight.

Next day I walked by it and she apparently set it to 640x480 with large icon and large fonts. She wears glasses too...

(She sure needed the tool for changing resolution... /danme)

CTRL ALT +/- anyone ? (1)

theefer (467185) | more than 11 years ago | (#6694911)

This shortcut is probably even faster, and is supported directly by X11. Why not use it ?

ffs slashdotted by the time I read 5 posts (-1, Redundant)

rokzy (687636) | more than 11 years ago | (#6694572)

what a jip

KDE is WAY ahead! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6694579)

I mean, they're already at 3.1!

Let's get with the program, Gnome!

Re:KDE is WAY ahead! (3, Insightful)

BladeMelbourne (518866) | more than 11 years ago | (#6694746)

Version numbers rarely have anything to do with software development progress with respect to competitors software.

If that was the case, is Windows 3.1 more advanced software that a Linux box with kernel 2.6.0-test3?

It is a well known trend that competing software vendors may increase their version increments to appear current with their competitors.

For example, Netscape 6 (as opposed to Netscape 5) was released because MSIE was already at version 6. RedHat 9 came out after RedHat 8 (there was no 8.1) presumably to keep abreast with Mandrake 9.

GNOME is a mature desktop environment. Their software is good enough - their is no need to resort to such version jumping. It suits some people, but not others. My (Red) Hat goes off to them for not needing to keep their versions in sync with KDE.


Re:KDE is WAY ahead! (1)

mrd_yaddayadda (629895) | more than 11 years ago | (#6694878)

By and large I agree, but wasn't NS5 actually in development then scrapped with the decision to push Mozilla so it made sense to jump the version since a product of that versioning had been started...?

Re:KDE is WAY ahead! (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | more than 11 years ago | (#6694907)

IIRC, Netscape 6 came out because Netscape 5 was abandoned. It was supposed to be a reworking to some degree of Netscape 4, but that was such a hideous ugly mess that it was eventualy abandoned. They started from scratch and did a complete rewrite. Since it had little in common with what was Netscape 5, the version number was (not unfairly) incremented. I think that on the whole, one can blame Netscape for an awful lot, but not this one. Now, Netscape 7 on the other hand seemed to be released when Netscape 6 moved out of beta. That hardly warrented a whole new number.

On that note, I think that Slackware underwent a massive version-number-increment about a year or so ago, to keep up with the likes of RedHat, Mandrake and Suse. It could be worse. Microsoft suddenly went from NT4 to (effectively) NT2000, massively passing all the Linux distributions in version number. Just think, if they decided to keep up, then by next year, we'll be on Windows 3204973247 and RedHat 324097230984.1 Telling people what OS you're running would become a major pain.

OK, so now this has gone slightly off-topic. Mod me down if you will.

Mirrors anyone? (0, Redundant)

plj (673710) | more than 11 years ago | (#6694595)

7 comments and already slashdotted. They must be running some new Gnome 2.4 based version of Apache...

"To compete better against Microsoft IIS, we've decided to make a version of Apache, which is completely GUI-based and requires at least Gnome 2.4 to run"

GNOME armageddon (2, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6694603)

this is the sixth text revision done on 04-11-2002.

dear reader the gnome armageddon has started,

first of all i want to clarify that this text was meant to be a source of information otherwise i wouldn't have spent so much time into writing it. belive me it took me a couple of days writing this text in a foreign language. even if you don't care at all for gnome, you may find some interesting information within this text that you like to read. please try to understand my points even if it's hard sometimes, otherwise you wake up one day and feel the need to switch to a different operating system.

on the following lines i'm trying to give you a little insight of the gnome [] community. the things that are going on in the back, the information that could be worth talking and thinking about.

many of us like the gnome desktop and some of us were following it since the beginning. gnome is a promising project because it's mostly written in C, easy to use, configurable and therefore fits perfectly into the philosophy of u*nix. only to name some of its advantages.

unfortunately these advantages changed with the recently new released version of gnome. the core development team somehow got the idea of targeting gnome to a complete different direction of users. the so called corporate desktop user. in other words they're targeting people that aren't familiar or experienced with desktop environments. usually business oriented people who are willing to pay money for getting gnome on their computers.

having this new target in mind, the core development team mostly under contract by companies like redhat [] , ximian [] and sun [] decided to simplify the desktop as much as even possible by removing all its flexibility in favor of an easy clean simple interface to not confuse their new possible customers. so far the idea of a clean easy to use desktop is honourable.

some of the new ideas, features and implementations such as gconf [] , an evil windows registry like system, new ordering of buttons and dialogs, the removal of 90%-95% of all visible preferences from the control center and applications, the new direction that gnome leads and the attitude of the core development team made a lot of users really unhappy. these are only a couple of examples and the list can easily be expanded but for now this is enough. now let me try to get deeper into these aspects.

you may imagine that users got really frustrated [] because their beloved gnome desktop matured into something they didn't want. during the time, the frustration of a not less amount of people increased. more [] , more [] and more [] emails arrived on the gnome mailinglists where users tried to explain their concerns, frustrations and the leading target of GNOME.

but the core development team of gnome don't give a damn about what their users are thinking or wanting and most of the time they come up with their standard purl. the reply they give is mostly the same. users should either go and 'file a bug' at bugzilla [] or the user mails are being turned so far that at the end they sound like being trolls or the user feedback is simply not wanted. whatever happens the answers aren't really satisfying for the user. even constructive feedback [] isn't appreciated.

if you gonna think about this for a minute then things gonna harden that they are directing into the commercial area. the core development team actually don't care for the complaining home user. it's more important for them to reach the customers with the cash. it seems that this has been told to them by the company leaders. everything about gnome has been decided already, a way back or direct communication isn't possible. don't get trapped by sentences like 'we listen to our users'. they listen to you - yes, to make funny silly jokes about you afterwards.

i thought that everything was build up on friendship, build on programming for fun, build on understanding each other. but the reality looks like it's all for the big money. the cash is what matters everything else is a lie and a dream. time for people to wake up.

not long ago they threw one of the most important long year core developer martin baulig [] out of team. a guy who worked really hard on getting gnome into the right direction. a nice friendly person who put all his time into gnome. but narrow minded gnome elites such as havoc pennington [] were responsible that he left the gnome project. the trouble and the pressure that was put on him was to much.

with the new gnome desktop a lot of user interface changes happened such as button reordering [] . needless to say that this confuse people who are used to the 'right' button ordering for ages. even our fellow linux guru alan cox [] wasn't thrilled about this idea. but the gnome elites such as havoc pennington, seth nickell, calum benson and dave bordoley knew it better. why following the road of any other desktop that exists ? why not doing something that don't confuse their users and still stay usable ? well it seems to be too easy. gnome needs to be different than anything else so they changed the button order which was one of the reasons that users became unhappy. they said that there was a hard fight about this and the decision was made to change the buttons. but i belive they simply copied the behaviour of macos because most of the gnome developers use a macintosh as either laptop or desktop. sad that they forgot to keep in mind that users tend to mix applications and that this will lead into weird button searching and clicking.

but as if this wasn't enough the same people decided that the new gnome human interface guides [] were the ultima non plus ultra in human interface guides. the announcement contained informations that the kde usability people got initiated into it. unfortunately the kde people heard about it the first time [] when seth nickell went to the kde mailinglist which happened after the announcement. you can imagine that they got highly pissed off about this attitude. you can read more on this link [] . to summarize it, the kde people clarified that gnome should care for their own business.

the problem that came with the new interface guides was, that every little gnome hacker started to become an user interface expert over night. a lot of gnome programs that we like to use matured into a disaster over night. hackers that never programmed correctly for their life started to blindly follow the hype of simplification. for an example look what happened to galeon's interface [] (pay attention for the last paragraph). even philip langdale a long year galeon hacker got highly indignant by the target that gnome leads and wrote this email [] to the galeon mailinglist.

here another reason why users became angry. the elite assumes, that the user knows nothing about their system. you find a couple of heavily insulting mails on their mailing lists containing sentences like the quoted ones.

  • "the user don't know what a window manager is"
  • "the user don't know what themes are"
  • "the user don't know what a homedir is"
  • "the user can't compile a kernel"
  • "the user don't want to customize their desktop"
  • "the user shouldn't see preferences which purpose they don't know"
you may imagine that a lot of people are being offended by such lines because it's exactly these gnome users who are meant by these phrases. to read more such lines on the gnome mailinglists, simply click on this link [] and grep in their archives. be said that most of these sentences are coming from havoc pennington.

such evil practices shouldn't be tolerated by the users and need to be fighted. u*nix users aren't stupid people. who actually gave havoc pennington the rights to decide what the user wants and what not ? various users [] told him that people who use a u*nix like system are well aware of their capabilities dealing with such a complex system. there's a reason why people are switching from alternative operating systems. they want to learn, they want to use the full power of the system, they want to change everything they like.

to top all this, look at the future plans of nautilus [] . the current maintainers got the idea of changing the whole nautilus concepts into an object oriented user interface design. you may be highly interested in reading the exact words of alex larsson's vision for nautilus' future direction by clicking on this link [] .

to summarize it, it's assumed that the user don't need to deal with his homedir or his whole filesystem because it may confuse him or because he don't understand it. the new concepts of nautilus should be that the user deal with symbols in the nautilus view. e.g. you get a cdrom symbol and by clicking on it you see the directory of your cdrom, you get a photo symbol and by clicking on it you get a list of all your pr0n pictures, you get a music symbol and by clicking on it you get a list of all your mp3's. you don't know where all these files are located because you don't deal with the bottom layer of your homedir or filesystem anymore as mentioned earlier.

the question is why are people that know nothing about their users, that know nothing about correct user interface design destroying gnome ? the users don't deserve all this specially those that backed gnome for all the years. even sun threw a bunch of so called user interface experts together and have them work on gnome. don't forget that sun are the creators of the common desktop environment [] . we don't need another cde clone named gnome. even havoc pennington author of the good user interfaces [] text isn't able to get his own written software following his rules.

not long ago there was an report about the 'two captains of nautilus' where the reporter (uraeus a gnome contributor himself) reported alexander larsson and david camp. you may imagine that such a report can't be taken serious because it's done by their own people. we here have a saying that sounds like this 'one crow doesn't hack the eye of another crow out'. now you can click on this link [] and read more. it may be interesting to read the replies from various users all over the globe of what they think about gnome and nautilus in general (please pay attention to the listed ip's there). another nice and informative reading can be found by clicking on this link [] .

the fileselector problem was a long discussed issue in the gnome community. finally they came to an solution for this and have decided to go for this [] ugly fileselector instead going for this one [] which was developed by a free volunteer for a long time and in general looks and behaves better.

most users have no problems with the idea of keeping things simple and clean. removing some not needed preferences was indeed a good idea but it doesn't stop. people started to remove everything from their apps. you're forced to use dubious programs like gconf-editor which basically works like the windows registry editor, to tweak uncommented preferences. i don't think that this is an advantage. even the possibility to tweak preferences with an editor was taken away with that ugly implementation of gconf. all your preferences are stored in a directory tree with an unknown amount of *.xml files. even if you delete programs their keys are still remaining orphaned in these trees and finding them is like playing trivia. at the end it's worth a discussion if a system driven by a single home user needs such a registry like system. we didn't need such a system for over 30 years but the gnome development team got the idea copying one of the most retarded systems from windows to u*nix. not to mention that the copy is more retarded than the original.

it's a shame to see how such a nice desktop got thrown into the trash by such people. but there is a lot more behind the scenes that i don't know about. everything around gnome is a big marketing strategy. poor people are working the hell out of gnome for nothing and companies such as those mentioned above are getting the big cash. for sure you could say - go and fork gnome - but seriously how can you go and fork gnome ? such a big project which needs a bunch of people to keep the code alive and compatible. well you know it's all about open source the code is signed under the gnu/gpl or gnu/lgpl, you can't own it. even the companies are aware of this. but if you can't own the code - go and hire their developers. you can direct them like puppets in any direction that you - as company - like. exactly this is happening with gnome.

well you could easily come up and tell me to simply not use gnome and let them do whatever they like. well, you are right with that but things are more complicated nowadays. gnome is influencing a lot of third party projects such as xfree86 which recently added a lot of gnome components into their cvs repository. please know that with the next coming xfree86 version you get a lot of gnome components without even knowing it. code like, gnome-xml [] , pkgconfig [] , fontconfig [] , xcursor and xft2 were mainly written by people who're heavily involved into gnome development. also the gimp is maturing more and more into getting the look and feel of a native gnome application. the cvs version of the gimp has a lot of gnome pixmaps inside and they are heavily working on integrate the gimp into gnome. if not today but the direction is sure and i fear the day this gonna happen.

it's ok that these things exist and it's ok to see xfree86 and the gimp are beeing hacked on. but please think about the people that don't like or use gnome. what about them ? why force them to have gnome components installed on their systems ? why can't gnome go the same way that kde went e.g. doing their own stuff without infecting other projects like aids. seeing more and more libraries and applications that were in no way related to gnome jumping on the pkgconfig boat which's really not needed. look what will happen to solaris, the world famous operating system on u*nix used by big companies and long years experts. they really plan to replace cde with gnome. i know that cde wasn't the best invention of desktops but it rarely crashed and it fits far better into the philosophy of xfree86 with their configuration system than gnome. you know the good old way having your settings defined with .xdefaults and all nice default configurations are going into /etc/x11/app-defaults/ and so on. understandable that the good old way may be blocking the future of applications for multiusersystems - but why must it have to be a windows registry like system that replaces future configuration ?

well to come to an end i personally don't like many of this stuff. i can't stand the button reordering, i don't like the gconf system and even more i don't like the commercial outsourcing of gnome and the bad influence that gnome has on other applications. the bad attitude of some gnome developers is another story since we are all different reacting humans. luckily there are people sharing some of my thoughts otherwise i wouldn't be able to proof my text with so many links. even amongst the gnome developers there are silent voices of people that hate many of these decisions and silently use something else. right now if you checkout the gnome cvs repository every day you find out that the whole gnome development seemed to came to an halt. the contributions to their cvs are poor. while projects such as kde are reaching easily 10-20k commits per month - gnome is getting around 1-2k per month on it's best times. it really looks like the situation of gnome is unclear so it would be better to have it not influence so much other programs or at the end we deal with an disaster.

now i hope this text was informative for you. i hope that you start to think about the situation and the global direction. the situation of gnome is unclear, their target is groggy too since i can't belive that the users that they are targeting ever heard of u*nix or linux. they plan to get out of the 0.05% desktop niche but this will for sure not happen if they continue their current direction and their bad ugly

Problems with gnome 2.3 (the 2.4 beta) (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6694613)

Gnome 2.4, the desktop environment you have waited for, is not as good as 2.2 is. The following features will NOT be present, despite constant reuqests and articles.
  • The new file dialog
  • The Galeon web browser. They chose January6 [] instead. Not that its a bad browser, it just feels ike netscape 2 and that the name is a bad choice
  • They made file extration harder, because thay don't want to waste space on the context menu. They have removed "Extract here" and you will now have to go though 5 menus to avoid going into the console and typing tar xjvzfcaq file.tar.gz.
  • They have made panel configuaration harder. Instead of an intuitve size dropdown with sizes like small medium large ect they have have replaced it with a harder to use spinbox. Have fun taking 20 clicks instead of 2. They also removed the cute goat logo in the about box, now you have to look at the foot!
  • They STILL will not be including a media player, sure you can reboot into windows or play with mplayer from the command line. Why because their media libray [] sucks and they don't want to use a superior [] implemnetation.
They have included some features, but they are not good enough
  • We added fake cmyk support in the gimp. Sure it LOOKs like it, but when you try to prepress or print it will look bad
  • They have added a better weather applet, but it won't work on my town anymore while the 2.2 one works perfectly
  • Wanda the fish actually looks like a fish now
  • They have added a menu editor, but when you use it you have to restart the panel by using their xkill applet.
  • They have made the gnome-terminal compatible with emacs, but they rearranged the key bidnings
  • As usual, they took more options away from the prefrences dialog and hid them in gconf where I can't find them
An angry gnome user. Gnome is a good desktop environment, but removing features and making things less intuitive is not good for a underutilized infrastructure.

Re:Problems with gnome 2.3 (the 2.4 beta) (1)

sunn (692083) | more than 11 years ago | (#6694744)

The "superior" (I'll leave it to others to decide) media library can be found here [] , not here [] .

Re:Problems with gnome 2.3 (the 2.4 beta) (4, Informative)

FooBarWidget (556006) | more than 11 years ago | (#6694852)

1) File dialog.

The current GTK+ file dialog *cannot* be changed without breaking compatibility. A new file dialog is under development for GTK+ 2.4, for quite a while now. But GTK+ 2.4 will not make it before the GNOME 2.4 release.
If you want a slightly better file dialog (with Back button, Home button, Bookmarks, etc.) but is still compatible with all the current apps, take a look at this patch: 5 []

2) Galeon.
Galeon never was a part of GNOME 2. At one point they had to choose a browser so they chose Epiphany because it's goals are like GNOME's. There's nothing stopping you from installing Galeon yourself. I'm typing this in Galeon right now.

3) Extract Here
I agree with you on this. Email the File Roller author, not Slashdot.

4) Panel size
Why click 20 times? Just focus the spinbox and type in whatever number you want using your keyboard. As for the goat logo, how's that a usability issue? Users don't care what logo they see in the about box (if they look at all).

5) Media player
GStreamer doesn't "suck", it's just not finished yet. Xine is not "superior", it's different. GStreamer is a very ambitious project, and is like Windows's DirectShow. It's not just for playing files, it's an entire multimedia framework, which includes things like recording and encoding. I don't see Xine doing something like that.
What's stopping you from installing MPlayer (not Windows Media Player!) or Xine or whatever? I installed MPlayer, setup some associations and everything works perfectly.

Anyway, I don't know why you say 2.4 isn't as good as 2.2. Except for Extract Here, none of the features in 2.2 are removed, some features just didn't make it to 2.4.

Re:Problems with gnome 2.3 (the 2.4 beta) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6694859)

What's with all you people complaining that Galeon is not the default Gnome browser? How hard is it to install Galeon and use it instead?

Epiphany follows the HIG better and fits more nicely into Gnome.
If you don't want to use, then don't. It's as simple as that.
n.b. I too still prefer Galeon, and uses it most of the time.

Instead of just complaining, help out.


Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6694885)

This is the original troll [] . Its filled with profanities and insults to all. The parent has modified it in a way to get a +5, informative.

Re:Problems with gnome 2.3 (the 2.4 beta) (1)

InfiniteWisdom (530090) | more than 11 years ago | (#6694891)

They also removed the cute goat logo in the about box, now you have to look at the foot!
Maybe because of people like you that kept missing the point! Why would they have a goat? Thats a gnu []

Re:Problems with gnome 2.3 (the 2.4 beta) (2, Informative)

FooBarWidget (556006) | more than 11 years ago | (#6694893)

Urgh, forgot to reply to some things.

1) CMYK support
Do you have any idea how hard it is to implement properly CMYK support in the current Gimp codebase? It's *not* trivial! Remember that most Gimp developers are just volunteers, not commercial developers working full-time!

2) Weather applet
The old one was removed due to legal reasons. Or do you want the GNOME project to be sued by

3) Wanda
And how's this even relevant?

4) Menu editor
You never had to restart the panel. Well, not on my box anyway.

5) Hidden preferences
Which preferences? Hhow many of those preferences do you change daily? How many of those preferences do normal users care about?
Think about that first.

Re:Problems with gnome 2.3 (the 2.4 beta) (1)

(startx) (37027) | more than 11 years ago | (#6694924)

agreed, they have continually made things harder and harder to use since 1.4. Hiding options, changing menu's, etc. And don't even get me started on nautilus, the POS that just won't die....

-ex gnome zealeot, new fluxbox zealeot

GNOME vs KDE (0, Redundant)

Safrax (697056) | more than 11 years ago | (#6694636)

GNOME development is slightly disappointing. It's lagging really far behind KDE in terms of eye candy. Although, I must say that gnome seems to be much more consistent than KDE and much easier to use.

Re:GNOME vs KDE (2, Insightful)

benjj (302095) | more than 11 years ago | (#6694686)

Is that a joke? Disappointing because it lags in eye candy even though it is much more consistent and easier to use?

LTSP (2, Informative)

sufehmi (134793) | more than 11 years ago | (#6694661)

People implementing LTSP [] are having serious problems with GDM. Most of them just change to another one.
Let's hope that they'll fix it.

Oh yeah, the website is being slashdotted to death right now. Can't check it right now.

GDM (1)

Trigun (685027) | more than 11 years ago | (#6694792)

I use GDM and KDM on my work and home computers respectively. KDM is more asthetically pleasing, and has that familiar feel of unix.
GDM is more configurable, although I have yet to see sufficient documentation on doing so. Creating your own login screen relies on reverse-engineering other themes. It's not that hard, pretty much all XML, but you think that they could write a primer or a spec sheet for it.

Great (4, Interesting)

mao che minh (611166) | more than 11 years ago | (#6694671)

I don't care about any new visuals that they've added or performace enhancements. I just want it to be as easy in Gnome to make shortcuts and use the quick launch bar (Gnomes version of it) and manage display settings as it is in KDE 3 and Windows insert any version greater then Windows NT 4 here.

I am not a Gnome basher, frankly I find it humurous that people would bicker over desktops. But, I am forced to use it from time to time, so I would it to be at least as good as KDE.

Re:Great (1)

bmj (230572) | more than 11 years ago | (#6694814)

I don't care about any new visuals that they've added or performace enhancements. I just want it to be as easy in Gnome to make shortcuts and use the quick launch bar (Gnomes version of it) and manage display settings as it is in KDE 3 and Windows insert any version greater then Windows NT 4 here.

So flame me as being stoopid, but how does one add a quick launcher that runs as root? KDE has a nice little option in the launcher's preferences, but alas, I don't see anything like that in Gnome.

Re:Great (1)

Jellybob (597204) | more than 11 years ago | (#6694861)

No doubt I'll get flamed for getting the command slightly wrong, but I'm going to give it a try anyway (I'm at work right now, and my Linux box is at home).

gksu --user root [command]

Re:Great (1)

bmj (230572) | more than 11 years ago | (#6694921)

Well, that's it, but there's no sign of gksu on my machine (running Gnome 2.2 with XD2), but...

Here it is [] .


Re:Great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6694905)

Have you actually tried?

Try right-clicking on any item in the menu and select "Add this launcher to panel". Done.

Same thing with links, right-click -> "Make link". Done.
Methinks you are using a _really_ old version of Gnome.

Re:Great (2, Insightful)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 11 years ago | (#6694867)

I completely agree. I prefer KDE for the eye candy and the better usability, but Gnome for the performance. But it would be a huge improvement for Gnome to just improve usability. I think that should be first priority. After all, that's what desktops are all about.

Linux Ready For The Desktop ? (-1, Troll)

Ed Almos (584864) | more than 11 years ago | (#6694684)

As long as we have something like this then Linux will NOT be ready for the desktop. Having over sixty packages to install just to obtain a desktop environment is kinda stupid and makes MS Windows 2000/XP installation seem a simple task.

Insert Windows CD, boot, let installation and plug & play take over. By now it should be this easy when it comes to Linux.

Wake up and smell the coffee guys !!

Ed Almos

Re:Linux Ready For The Desktop ? (2, Informative)

colinleroy (592025) | more than 11 years ago | (#6694725)

What you describe is needed for an upgrade, not an install. Installing gnome 2 with RH9, for example, is quite as simple as you describe:

Insert Redhat CD, boot, let installation and plug & play take over. It is this easy.

Re:Linux Ready For The Desktop ? (1)

mao che minh (611166) | more than 11 years ago | (#6694738)

That's the price of you pay when you have a community of developers that consists of various groups of like-minded people that all have ther own creative desires and functional wants. Then you add business into the mix, and you get competition.

I wish that there was just one unified desktop project, one window manager, and more emphasis placed on advancing XFree86. We could get a lot farther a lot faster. Just look at Windows. With Windows 95 Microsoft scored a hit. It has only gotten better since than. Gnome and KDE have been at it for years and are barely better then Win95, and still far behind WinXP.

Three major development groups like Red Hat, IBM, and now Novell (with their purchase of Ximian) should get together and form a single, solid desktop group and pour some money into it. Linux would have second place in the desktop war in about a year, instead of three or four (if ever).

Re:Linux Ready For The Desktop ? (1)

Xpilot (117961) | more than 11 years ago | (#6694808)

With Windows 95 Microsoft scored a hit. It has only gotten better since than. Gnome and KDE have been at it for years and are barely better then Win95, and still far behind WinXP.

How exactly is GNOME and KDE "behind" WinXP? I've used XP, and coming from Win98 I always go "where the $#@! has option X gone?" only to have is moved elsewhere because Microsoft thought it would be better there. They are *always* moving things around with each incarnation of Windows, and it's damn annoying. And people complain about GNOME being "inconsistent". Bah. It's all just a matter of opinion.

Re:Linux Ready For The Desktop ? (1)

tomcio.s (455520) | more than 11 years ago | (#6694747)

Yes, but for most systems installing those 60+ packages is a simple one-fell-swoop task.

apt-get install gnome
emerge gnome

for rpm systems:
rpm-get install gnome, or wait till its part of the install (then you match/better the WinXP install!)

for source:
here you are on your own. this will take time, but it will be very satisfying.

Re:Linux Ready For The Desktop ? (1)

vidarh (309115) | more than 11 years ago | (#6694753)

What makes you think that a regular user will download individual packages instead of just popping a Redhat, Suse, Mandrake or similar CD in their machine, let the installer take ower, and be done with it?

Mainstream users will no more be building their own packages than Windows users will format their drives and copy in individual files manually from their Windows install CD.

This wasn't a review or tutorial for end users, as should be obvious from the outset of the article.

Re:Linux Ready For The Desktop ? (1)

JanneM (7445) | more than 11 years ago | (#6694855)

It's because 2.3.5 is a _development_ release. It is not intended for end-users, but for developers (which, presumably, aren't too fazed with the task). This is a preview of the 2.4 release which will happen in a few weeks.

A fair comparison (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6694722)

Last week, I decided to review the new GNOME Linux desktop solution with its competitor and arch rival - Orc Software [] .

As we all are aware from our years playing AD&D, Gnomes and Orcs are bitter enemies [] . So, an objective feature-to-feature smackdown of these blood rivals seemed like a good idea.

There's no place like GNOME
First, GNOME. GNOME is a small, diminuitive Linux desktop solution. It has a large, pointy applications menu, is smaller in stature to its OSX and Win2K counterparts in Middle Computing, and has a tendency to wear bright, shiny desktop graphics to contrast against the solemn darkness of the cave-like bedrooms (mainly those of its master, the race of teh l337 g33k) that it is normally found dwelling in. Little known to the races which utilize OSX and Win2K (the race of teh lu53r), GNOME strives to deliver applications hewn from the C-laden rockbed which surrounds it in Linuxia. While these Gnomish applications can seem unweildy to the lu53r races, and lack the physical beauty of their counterparts, GNOME is very proud of its handywork, and is widely celebrated by teh l337 g33k by which it is governed.

Stick a ORC in it
Next, the ORC. Largely unknown to the race of teh l337 g33k is Orc Software. Known for their prowess with gold pieces, Orc inhabits an area in Middle Computing known as Teh W877 Str33t, where it allows its masters to wield a treasure horde like that of a dragon's. ORC, while inhabiting an area of Win2K which is (thankfully) almost completely separated from Linuxia, do on occassion clash across the great superhighway known as teh n3tw0rk. The ORC is prized by its masters of teh w877 str33t for their skill with rare metals. The ORC despise the GNOME - their lack of interest in gold, their subservience to masters other than their own in Win2K ... raids are often launched, with bitter, bloody results.

teh Conclusion
Without divulging my own whereabouts and loyalties, I must admit I am faithful to KDE, a rival race to the GNOME. However, as I have more in common with my Gnomish rivals than I do with the ORC, I impart my favor to the GNOME over the ORC. Long live Linuxia! Long live Linuxia!

Here is Google Cache (1, Informative)

jvj1 (524051) | more than 11 years ago | (#6694741) +Dasgupta+Gnome+2.4&hl=en&ie=UTF-8

I've been using the CVS (-1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6694758)

Anyone familiar with the CVS versions of GNOME coming out lately would be really impressed by this new development. It truly puts the Microsoft offerings to shame in the department of usability. Also it is quickly becoming apparent that metadata will be used more frequently in the system.

For Example, when I click on a file open box in any GTK+ aware application, the GNOME File Picker widget opens allowing me to scroll through a list of my files. Different types of files show different information. For example my MP3s show title artist etc. My digital camera photos show information on the camera settings used to take the picture.

I've put up some screen shots of these new features as well as pictures I created using these new features at []

Thanks :)


Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6694869)

GNOME 2.4 does not have a new file selector; the features being listed in the parent post are made up bullshit. I checked his website and there are no screenshots or even mention of GNOME.

Speaking about a new file dialog (1)

FooBarWidget (556006) | more than 11 years ago | (#6694943)

You may want to check out this patch for the current file dialog:
[url= opic.php? t=3635] p?t=3635[/url]

Garnome? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6694761)

Does anyone know when the latest garnome will come out? My current gnome is a hybrid of garnome 2.5.1 and fresh sources from the gnome CVS and its in quite a mess. GDM's broke and Orbit has flipped!

Text of the offical announcement. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6694791)

Gnome 2.4, the desktop environment you have waited for, sucks more than 2.2 did. We advice you to install kde 3.1.4 from CVS until gnome 2.5 comes out. The following features will NOT be present, despite your constant whining
  • The new file dialog
  • The Galeon web browser. We chose January6 [] [] instead, because who wants tabbed browsing except you jerks. Look at mozilla, and you will see why we choose this lovley netscape 2 clone.
  • We will make file extration harder, because we don't want to waste space on the context menu. We have removed "Extract here" and you will now have to go though 5 menus to avoid going into the console and typing tar xjvzfcaq file.tar.gz.
  • We have made panel configuaration harder. Instead of an intuitve size dropdown with small large ect we have repaced it with a harder to use spinbox. This is beaucse the sizes upset stallman because we didn't have his trouser size in it so we replaced it. Have fun taking 20 clicks instead of 2. PS we removed the cute goat logo in the about box, now you have to look at the foot!
  • We will STILL not be including a media player, sure you can reboot into windows or play with mplayer from the command line. Why because our media libray [] [] sucks and we don't want to use a superior [] [] implemnetation.
We have included some features, but they only did it because you were willing to suck havoc penningtons cock!
  • We added fake cmyk support in the gimp. Sure it LOOKs like it, but when you try to prepress or print it will look like monkey shit
  • We added a better weather applet, but it won't work on rainy days
  • Wanda the fish actually looks like a fish now
  • We added a menu editor, but when you use it you have to reboot for the changes to take effect
  • We made the gnome-terminal compatible with emacs, but you will need a czech keyboard to be compatible with the obscure keybindings.
  • As usual, we took more options away from the prefrences dialog and hid them in gconf where they belong
Please send all complaints, complements and gay porn to

Icons on buttons? (0)

Malc (1751) | more than 11 years ago | (#6694813)

What is it with the icons on dialog box buttons? They give me nightmarish flashbacks of Borland C++ under Windows with its ugly green check marks and red crosses!

Slow. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6694827)

Both GNOME and KDE are completely bloated. How on earth can GNOME (on RedHat 9) and KDE (on SuSE 8.2) running on an admittedly old Pentium 300 be so slow. I mean, seriously! My 8 Mhz Atari ST was faster at basic desktop functions.

I moved to Vector Linux last week, which has neither KDE or GNOME, and my machine now takes under a minute from turning the power on to the desktop finishing loading, and under 10 seconds to shut down.

Buy my art (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6694832)

Famous Painting [] . This would look great in any geeks computer room.

Window List (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6694840)

Does anyone know if Window List is going to regain the 'Show Minimized Windows' only feature that actually made it useful? :)


Neat... (4, Interesting)

CooCooCaChoo (668937) | more than 11 years ago | (#6694845)

However, I do have a couple of questions which is kinda off-topic-ish:

1) Is there a "roadmap" setout in regards to GTK 2.4/2.6 etc terms of functionality one should expect in up coming releases.

2) I've heard rumbles that gtk2 is still being ported to Quartz, could someone confirm it. I know there is an X11 version, however, it would be nice to have one that does require it, not because of anything political, I just don't want to download that massive 40+ MB XFree86 package from Apple ;-)

3) Is there going to be a move by GNOME to support MAS as a replacement for esound? having used MAS and seen it action, it would be a really great addition if it was made available.

4) When running GNOME on FreeBSD I notice that when I select text in a terminal window there is a stall and the whole computer freezes then suddenly comes alright. I haven't experience that with KDE.

Having run GNOME 2.2 on Linux quite nicely it clearly isn't an issue with GNOME but with the FreeBSD port. Could someone confirm that this is being addressed?

GTK+ 2.4 Plan (4, Informative)

twener (603089) | more than 11 years ago | (#6694923)

GTK+ 2.4 Plan []

The most important question is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6694860)

Is it possible to switch the button order back to normal?

Oh, I see. Back to KDE until Gnome 2.6 then. Keep up the good work, guys.

Enlightenment save us! (2, Funny)

ItWasThem (458689) | more than 11 years ago | (#6694931)

While I struggle to cope with my KDE and my Gnome day in and day out I hold out hope that maybe today will be the day that I see E17 [] released un to the world...

My Personal Diatribe (1, Interesting)

SQLz (564901) | more than 11 years ago | (#6694944)

Are they updating it to be usable?
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