×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Nicholas Petreley Slams Gnome

timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the bit-vitriolic-there-aren't-we? dept.

GNOME 818

FreeLinux writes "Mainstream computer rag ComputerWorld, has posted a review of Gnome 2.6 by Nicholas Petreley. This opinion piece review, titled Living Down to a Low Standard, positively lambastes Gnome 2.6 over the new spatial Nautilus and Gnome's design choices. The review is quite the opposite to a previously reported review from PCWorld, last month. While this latest review is bound to be a polarizing and heavily debated issue (read flamebait), it is important in that this review will be seen by so many mainstream readers and corporate types who may have been considering Gnome."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

818 comments

Vicious (5, Funny)

two_stripe (584918) | more than 9 years ago | (#9127818)

Why doesnt he pick on someone his own size?
Those poor gnomes. :(

Re:Vicious (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9127938)

Wanna cyber? I've got my robe and wizard hat.

HEY (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9128029)

just got the greatest idea! if we find out this guys address, we can get a whole bunch of gnomes (The garden-pissing variety) and stick 'em all over his lawn! We'll see how much he likes the counterattack!!

Spatial Pissing Gnomes attackk!!!!!

Don't panic... it's not that bad (5, Interesting)

Allen Zadr (767458) | more than 9 years ago | (#9127823)

Sadly, the article brings up some very good points, albeit in a very inflammatory way.

The most damaging part of the "review" is that it says nothing aboout Gnome as a whole. It's just a rant about this user's opinion about how Nautilus was designed ( changed) to work in 2.6.

This sort of rant, if done constructively could certainly help the developers make better choices, but to put it directly to mass media as a review just sucks.

Well, as a Pointy Haired type myself, I can assure you, these mags hit the coffee table in the lobby - and very few people actually read the articles... However, if this review makes the front page, Gnome is toast.

Re:Don't panic... it's not that bad (2, Insightful)

grub (11606) | more than 9 years ago | (#9127868)


However, if this review makes the front page, Gnome is toast.

I think that's putting too much weight behind one person's opinion.

Re:Don't panic... it's not that bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9127997)

The point is that the "Pointy Haired" types aren't going to even read the article.

I mean, most of us who aren't "Pointy Haired" aren't going to read it either. I sure didn't.

They're going to see a headline that talks smack about Gnome and that's ALL they will know about Gnome.

Re:Don't panic... it's not that bad (4, Insightful)

Erratio (570164) | more than 9 years ago | (#9128157)

I think the impact of the article will be very esoteric, and it will have basically the same effect as all the other open-source bashing articles before it. Since it's mainstream it may be read by some executive type people and they may acquire a bias, but mostly those people rely on the nerds to make the decisions and any able nerd would read through the article, weighing the perceived bad things about GNOME against the virtues. So, in the end, you're left where you started, with people that like GNOME and people that don't, with no more than usual shift in the numbers.

Re:Don't panic... it's not that bad (4, Insightful)

Allen Zadr (767458) | more than 9 years ago | (#9128006)

Remember, it's not one person's opinion anymore. It's the opinion of a, frankly, well respected publication.

If this makes front page, then a much higher percentage of pointy haired individuals will read it. And -- if on the front page -- the opinion will be taken with even more weight. The article does bring up some good points. If I had never seen Gnome 2.6 myself, I would probably never consider looking at it seriously after reading this article.

After-all, in the opinion of this publication, there's nothing good to say about Gnome 2.6.

Re:Don't panic... it's not that bad (2, Insightful)

realfake (302363) | more than 9 years ago | (#9128145)

I think that's putting too much weight behind one person's opinion.

Sure, it would be nice to think that people withheld making a final decision until they carefully gathered all the information available, took into account the author's bias, and balanced the merits of all contrary points of view.

But the costs in time of gathering, understanding, and evaluating "all the information available" is huge. Managers often just make snap judgements, and often, because it's often less costly to be wrong than indecisive.

But I still wouldn't worry too much, or say that even if it made the front page, "Gnome is toast". People's negative opinion would only last until the front-page story that said "Gnome: worth a second look!"

Re:Don't panic... it's not that bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9128030)

gnome doenst rely on some PHB's to be sucessfull.

so some magazine isnt gonna destroya project

But one could argue (1)

GoClick (775762) | more than 9 years ago | (#9128112)

One could argue that no one in the OSS community listens to or rather reads anything pleasant, anger is a fantastic motivator for change, Very few products and even fewer programs have ever been progressed in the area of usability without some loud anger against them

Re:Don't panic... it's not that bad (4, Interesting)

Curunir_wolf (588405) | more than 9 years ago | (#9128168)

Petreley is not a reviewer, he writes an editorial (opinion) peices. His articles are always inflamatory, by design.

Seeing as a reference to his column has been posted on /., he seems to have gotten his point across. He must have gotten tired of ranting about SCO and blasting Microsoft.

And he has a good point. Why, when Windows users typically change that default behavior for explorer, would the Gnome folks break Nautilas, then obfuscate the setting to change it? It was a dumb move, as he says.

Mainstream FUD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9128184)

That's all it is , FUD and the people in the media are now getting the fears of the mainstrem vendors..

"what if OSS really makes it.. then we have to learn command prompts and funky icons, let's make sure that never happens.. and if we protect our stock in M$ then that's an added bonus..."

Does anyone in the OSS community really think that meanstream corporate America (or world for that matter) is going to bet against their own money and skill sets?

This struggle is gonna be long, dirty and messy.. sorta like Iraq but then not as bloody (I hope)..

Re:Don't panic... it's not that bad (1)

HuckleCom (690630) | more than 9 years ago | (#9128224)

I'd like to see an equally considered windows review and see them rip apart ... the flaws, but that'd be more like a dictionary. Gnome isn't toast because there are those of us who know gonome.

Don't RTFA! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9127826)


### Warning! ###
### CATCHPHRASE ALERT ###


Nicholas Petreley uses the tired term "paradigm shift" in his article!
[not that anyone will actually read the article...]

### CATCHPHRASE ALERT ###
### Warning! ###


Re:Don't RTFA! (4, Funny)

eclectro (227083) | more than 9 years ago | (#9128100)

Nicholas Petreley uses the tired term "paradigm shift" in his article!

So, it's safe to say that the paradigm shift was embedded in the article??

Re:Don't RTFA! (1)

phlyingpenguin (466669) | more than 9 years ago | (#9128126)

You sir, are a very good person. If only I had mod points to bestow upon you, I would mod that comment up as informative. To think that I almost opened up that article!

Please... (2, Insightful)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 9 years ago | (#9127832)

Please debate what he said, he does make some very good points and it would be a shame for this turn into a Gnome vs. KDE flamewar.

Ah-HA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9127899)

I take your post as being an attempt to start a KDE vs. Gnome flameware.

I hadn't even thought of touting the superior qualities of KDE before your post. Thanks...

Gnome Sucks... KDE Rulez!!!
Bwa-hahah-ha-ha

Re:Please... (2, Funny)

grub (11606) | more than 9 years ago | (#9128123)


it would be a shame for this turn into a Gnome vs. KDE flamewar.

I use Windowmaker, you insensitive clod!

I have no bias re: Gnome vs KDE, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9128177)

Mustangs Rule and F-Bodys suck!

That's why they quit making Fs.

Nobody will start a KDE vs Gnome war (1)

ospirata (565063) | more than 9 years ago | (#9128232)

Konqueror rocks. Mozilla (Gecko) was neglected by Apple.
KDevelop rulez. Glade is so so
QT: state-of-art graphical toolkit. GTK+: ... I didn't say a word about desktop environments

Re:Please... (1)

ichimunki (194887) | more than 9 years ago | (#9128270)

Considering your post is the first mention of KDE, I think your post itself is flamebait. Petreley never mentions KDE-- all he's doing is whining about Nautilus. For myself, I don't care what some guy who writes for some magazine thinks. Unless maybe it's Verity Stob. She actually makes me laugh.

Personally I love GNOME use it every day and have few, if any, complaints-- that Petreley is even complaining about Nautilus surprises me. I usually forget that's there since I do 99.9% of my file management in gnome-terminal via the BASH shell.

In fact, I think I will upgrade to GNOME 2.6 onto my Gentoo system tonight, just to see what all the fuss is about.

frist postage! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9127836)

haha [lemonparty.org]

I like Gnome. (2, Interesting)

NetNinja (469346) | more than 9 years ago | (#9127841)

But damn, it consumes to much ram from both the machine and graphics card.

I dislike Gnome (5, Insightful)

Uma Thurman (623807) | more than 9 years ago | (#9127970)

Because Windowmaker is all I want. But Free Software gives us a bountiful array of choices. I don't get why Nick P. needs to run down someone else's desktop.

He needs to mind his own business and write about something he DOES like rather than running down something that he doesn't like.

more of the same (1, Insightful)

steelerguy (172075) | more than 9 years ago | (#9127842)

this just sounds like a kde user rant. this is the same kind of crap that comes out everytime there is a new release of kde or gnome.

flog that goblin!

(-1 Flamebait) (-1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9127847)

Yes yes keep up the slashdotting to prevent the pointy hair types from reading it!

No big surprise (4, Informative)

stephenb (18235) | more than 9 years ago | (#9127854)

No big surprise here as Petreley has always been a KDE rulez, GNOME sux0rs guy. The piece isn't even well written or accurate. Here [whiprush.org] is a decent rebuttal. Petreley hasn't quite figured out that the GNOME v. KDE flamewars are dead yet.

Re:No big surprise (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9127964)

If GNOME v. KDE flamewars are dead, then Netcraft has confirmed that BSD has been cremated.

Scary (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 9 years ago | (#9128062)

How do you know this? Are there people out there (you) who keep scorecards on the pundit's opinions of (arguably) interchangeable GUIs for a fringe OS?
I don't mean this is flamebait, I'm honestly surprised that these paper bloggers get this much 'cred'.

FPFPFP! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9127856)

FIRST POST!!!!!

Anyone else read the title as (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9127861)

Nicholas Poetry Slams Gnome? Seemed like an odd thing to work into a poetry competition.

Poetry (Freeform, of course...) (4, Funny)

Embedded Geek (532893) | more than 9 years ago | (#9128040)

I am the Gnome.
Little tunnels where I live.
Pointy hat. Pointy hat.
Pointy hat hides my secrets.

Damn the garden spade!
Damn the garden spade!

(Nods to the applause of a dozen hipsters snapping their fingers)

Interesting (2, Insightful)

death to hanzosan (669177) | more than 9 years ago | (#9127874)

I'll probably get moderated down for this, but I don't really prefer either Gnome or KDE, however the fact that both exist and compete for resources is in my mind one of the main causes behind the failure of Linux on the desktop. Hopefully this will drive a nail into one of their coffins.

Re:Interesting (3, Insightful)

pubjames (468013) | more than 9 years ago | (#9127978)

however the fact that both exist and compete for resources is in my mind one of the main causes behind the failure of Linux on the desktop.

I agree absolutely. I think we've gone beyond the stage of it being useful having two competing desktops.

In fact I seem to recall that Bill Gates himself (or Ballamer) said that he was very pleased that Linux had two competing desktops. That should be a wake-up call if nothing else.

Re:Interesting (4, Insightful)

vrai (521708) | more than 9 years ago | (#9128142)

Choice is a good thing. If you don't want a choice of desktops for your operating system I suggest installing Windows or buying a Mac.

Re:Interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9128222)

Why is it that when someone says they are going to get modded down for saying something they shoot straight to 5? Of course I'll probably get modded down for saying this.

ugh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9128229)

"I'll probably get moderated down for this, but I don't"

Translation: Pretty please, moderate me up, will ya? please? pleeeeeease???

Simple Solution. (3, Interesting)

kemapa (733992) | more than 9 years ago | (#9127875)

His whole article centers around the difficulty in setting Nautilus to browse files / folders in a single window, which he uses as a basis to bash GNOME 2.6 as a whole.

The only way to change the default behavior of Nautilus is to set an obscure registry key via the command line or the registry editor. Not even that abomination of operating systems, Windows 95, made users retreat to the registry editor to use a single window to navigate folders. I can only assume that the GNOME developers decided to make Nautilus a worse Windows than Windows. I toast their rousing success.

Also, he says

It was deliberately designed to protect users who are invariably too incompetent to pick their own colors but are smart enough to memorize shift-clicks and keystrokes or edit the registry to get Nautilus to work the way they like.

And Lastly, he says

But it turns out there is no preference setting that tells Nautilus to use a single window to browse folders.


All this is actually kind of funny... because couldn't all of his arguments be fix by simply... adding the option to browse in a single window as a menu option???

Seems like a trivial complaint to bash GNOME as a whole... and one that can be fixed easily.

Re:Simple Solution. (1)

Omnifarious (11933) | more than 9 years ago | (#9128129)

No, you'd also have to add an option to let people set colors in desktop themes through a GUI. :-)

Re:Simple Solution. (1)

deragon (112986) | more than 9 years ago | (#9128148)

Yes, it is easy to fix, but will it be fixed? That is the question. Maybe this is how the Nautilus developers want things to be and it is possible that it will not be changed.

Re:Simple Solution. (5, Insightful)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 9 years ago | (#9128220)

How dare he criticize something as trivial as "how you use the fucking thing".

Most people find that clicking-opens-a-new-window behaviour annoying. It makes browsing around your directory as annoying as closing popup ads - its the same experience, pretty much. Your screen clogs with shit you dont wanna see.

He makes the point that no modern desktop OS does that, and for a reason.

Why is everyone so defensive? It's a perfectly valid criticism. It makes the desktop frustrating to the point of unusable for many folks.

GNOME Armageddon (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9127877)

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 [gnome.org] 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 *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 [redhat.com] ,Ximian [ximian.com] and Sun [sun.com] 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 asgconf [gnome.org] , 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 [osnews.com] 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 [gnome.org] , more [gnome.org] and more [gnome.org] 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 [gnome.org] 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 [gnome.org] 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 [gnome.org] 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 [pair.com] 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 [gnome.org] -- needless to say that this confuse people who are used to the 'right' button ordering for ages. Even our fellow Linux guru Alan [gnome.org]
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 Mac OS because most of the GNOME developers use a McIntosh 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 [gnome.org]
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 [kde.org]
time when Seth Nickell went to the KDE mailing list which happened after the announcement. You can imagine that they got highly pissed off about this attitude. You can read more on this link [kde.org] . 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 [sourceforge.net] (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 [sourceforge.net] 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 [gnome.org] 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. *NIX users aren't stupid people. Who actually gave Havoc Pennington the rights to decide what the user wants and what not ? Various users [gnome.org] told him that people who use a *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 [eazel.com] . 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 [gnome.org] .

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 [opengroup.org] . We don't need another CDE clone named GNOME. Even Havoc Pennington author of the good user interfaces [pair.com] 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 [gnomedesktop.org]
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 [gnomedesktop.org] .

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 [coreyo.net] instead going for this one [wanadoo.nl] 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 *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 [xmlsoft.org] , pkgconfig [freedesktop.org] , fontconfig [fontconfig.org] , 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 *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 *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 attitude.

Uh oh (-1, Redundant)

Zuke8675309 (470025) | more than 9 years ago | (#9127880)

Poor Nicholas. You dared to criticize a piece of linux software. You must now be eliminated.

Re:Uh oh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9128080)

It's almost as bad as badmouthing Macgyver in front of Patty and Selma.

Word. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9127882)

Gnome Sux always has. I am a Lunix Hater.

Same could be said (1)

eam77 (443993) | more than 9 years ago | (#9127885)

The same could be said about and interface, it's all a matter of personal and professional preference. That's why so many different brands of cars are out there. Everyone likes their own style.

Short on Specifics (-1 Troll) (4, Insightful)

grendelkhan (168481) | more than 9 years ago | (#9127890)

Apart from flaming the spatial Nautilus, there's nothing short of a rant in generalities here. Nothing is mentioned specifically, and it's just the author whining about GNOME's design principles. Are we sure this wasn't written by Rob Enderle?

First things first (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9127901)

Slam! first post!

Some of these points... (0, Flamebait)

beatleadam (102396) | more than 9 years ago | (#9127908)

...are amazingly off base and irrelevant!

I have to ask...Did he even use gnome 2.6?

I mean really "Of all the criticisms one might lodge against GNOME, it's the hypocrisy of its design philosophy that looms largest."

I don't use Linux (4, Insightful)

jlechem (613317) | more than 9 years ago | (#9127913)

But man that wasn't much of a review. It was little more then a rant about the way the window manager works. I agree that you should be able to change preferneces like that easily but come on give some more evidence other then that for trashing the system.

Frost Pirst (2, Funny)

kpansky (577361) | more than 9 years ago | (#9127915)

"While this latest review is bound to be a polarizing and heavily debated issue (read flamebait)..."

And on that note...

KDE SuxXX0rz! GNOME 4Eva!!~!

Good For Gnome In the Long Run (1)

aashenfe (558026) | more than 9 years ago | (#9127918)

His comments may be inflamitory, but in the long run, the comments will be good for Gnome.

Nothing like some harsh criticism about something you worked hard on to make you work even harder.

You have to have thick skin to be an open source developer. I don't know how they do it sometimes.

first post!! (maybe) (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9127919)

Gnome is good!!!!!! but KDE is way better.....
let the flaming begin!!!

Article Text (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9127921)

Living Down to a Low Standard

Opinion by Nicholas Petreley

MAY 10, 2004 (COMPUTERWORLD) - I recently spent the better part of a week working with the latest version of the open-source GNOME graphical desktop environment on Linux. I've decided that the only way to explain the regression of GNOME over the years is that Microsoft and/or SCO moles have infiltrated the GNOME leadership in a covert effort to destroy any possibility that Linux could compete with Windows on the desktop.

To paraphrase the humorist Peter Schickele, who was describing what it was like to discover a new music manuscript by the (fictional) inept composer P.D.Q. Bach, "Each time I get a new version of GNOME, there's this feeling of anticipation and exhilaration -- a feeling that this new version of GNOME can't possibly turn out to be as bad as the last one. But so far, each new version lives down to the same low standards set by the previous one."

By the time a software project gets to Version 2.6, a user might reasonably expect that he wouldn't have to adapt to yet another paradigm shift in basic user-interface design, especially when it comes to something as fundamental as how you navigate through desktop folders. Yet this is precisely what users will have to relearn with this latest version of GNOME.

The GNOME file manager, Nautilus, no longer allows users to navigate through folders as one might use a Web browser or Windows Explorer. You no longer browse with all your options accessible in a single window or a split window with a directory tree on the left and icons on the right. Instead, each double-click on a folder icon opens a new window on the screen. If this sounds familiar, it's because this was the default behavior of Windows 95, OS/2 and early versions of Mac OS. The fact that this isn't the default behavior of any mature desktop operating system might have served as a warning sign to GNOME's developers, but never mind that.

Having used OS/2 for years, I found GNOME's retro approach to be a rather pleasantly nostalgic experience. But now that I'm used to navigating folders the way one does on virtually every other desktop, however, I decided to tell the file manager not to open a new window for every folder. But it turns out there is no preference setting that tells Nautilus to use a single window to browse folders.

The only way to change the default behavior of Nautilus is to set an obscure registry key via the command line or the registry editor. Not even that abomination of operating systems, Windows 95, made users retreat to the registry editor to use a single window to navigate folders. I can only assume that the GNOME developers decided to make Nautilus a worse Windows than Windows. I toast their rousing success.

Granted, there are myriad unintuitive keystrokes and shift-key/mouse-click operations you can use to make it easier to navigate folders, all of which will mean squat to the daft simpletons the GNOME developers say they are targeting as their users. But GNOME developers have long since abandoned logic when defending their design choices. For example, one GNOME developer says there's a good reason why users can't change individual colors in desktop themes: Someone might accidentally make both the text and background white, thus rendering the text unreadable.

Of course, this flaw has nothing to do with the inflexibility of the primitive graphical tool kit upon which GNOME was based. It was deliberately designed to protect users who are invariably too incompetent to pick their own colors but are smart enough to memorize shift-clicks and keystrokes or edit the registry to get Nautilus to work the way they like.

Of all the criticisms one might lodge against GNOME, it's the hypocrisy of its design philosophy that looms largest. GNOME grew out of the desire to free people from Microsoft's ability to dictate what users can or can't do. Yet GNOME is built on the premise that its developers are so much wiser than users when it comes to navigating folders and setting colors that GNOME users shouldn't have a choice in the matter. With an attitude like that, heaven help us if GNOME turns out to be the only defense Linux has on the desktop against a Microsoft hegemony.

Nicholas Petreley is a computer consultant and author in Kansas City, Mo. He can be reached at nicholas@petreley.com.

Unbiased (5, Funny)

Embedded Geek (532893) | more than 9 years ago | (#9127922)

Mainstream computer rag ComputerWorld...

I'm glad the author of the slashdot story managed to keep his biases concealed until the third word of the story. If the article had praised Gnome, however, why do I suspect we'd be hearing about "Esteemed technical journal ComputerWorld..."

Re:Unbiased (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 9 years ago | (#9128028)

No, I think the first word manages to set the tone.

Mainstream is not a generally complimentary word, and in this context pretty much amounts to "Microsoft-loving".

Reminds me of Bloom County... (2, Funny)

Embedded Geek (532893) | more than 9 years ago | (#9128241)

Since we're talking about inflamatory journalism, I remember years ago a Bloom County cartoon where a politician calls up the editor of the local newspaper in a rage:

"Hello!? Bloom Beacon?! This is Senator Bedfellow! What's with this *@#! HEADLINE?"
"Headline?"
"Yes! There's no story ... just a headline!"
"Which headline?"
"THE *BIG* HEADLINE ON THE FRONT PAGE!"
"Read it to me, Senator."
"BEDFELLOW: THE SECRET LIFE OF A WIFE-SWAPPING ATHEIST"
"Oh, that's just a typo.
"

I'm glad to see that slashdot is holds itself to the same high standards of journalism.

Re:Unbiased (5, Funny)

Dielectric (266217) | more than 9 years ago | (#9128096)

No, you wouldn't, because there really isn't an esteemed technical journal for mainstream computing. The IEEE puts out some good stuff, but no one outside of the engineering community reads it.

I go to the cockfights when I need to make a decision on this sort of thing. I label one chicken Choice A and the other chicken is Choice B, and that has pretty much worked for me. This explains why I'm using a C-64 right now. That was one tough chicken.

Registry? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9127926)

I didn't know there was a registry in Linux...
This article is about as scarce on details as it can be while still managing to blast a piece of software into little pieces...the entire article is about Nautilus. One single "feature" in Nautilus. This isn't a review, it's nonesense.

Reply from one of the Ars Technica crew (5, Informative)

unmadindu (524636) | more than 9 years ago | (#9127944)

Jorge Castro, one of the Ars Technica writers has written a very nice article refutng Petreley's claims at his site [whiprush.org] .

Full Text (1)

Nosf3ratu (702029) | more than 9 years ago | (#9127969)

Since it's being slashdotted, I figured I'd post it here...

I recently spent the better part of a week working with the latest version of the open-source GNOME graphical desktop environment on Linux. I've decided that the only way to explain the regression of GNOME over the years is that Microsoft and/or SCO moles have infiltrated the GNOME leadership in a covert effort to destroy any possibility that Linux could compete with Windows on the desktop.

To paraphrase the humorist Peter Schickele, who was describing what it was like to discover a new music manuscript by the (fictional) inept composer P.D.Q. Bach, "Each time I get a new version of GNOME, there's this feeling of anticipation and exhilaration -- a feeling that this new version of GNOME can't possibly turn out to be as bad as the last one. But so far, each new version lives down to the same low standards set by the previous one."

By the time a software project gets to Version 2.6, a user might reasonably expect that he wouldn't have to adapt to yet another paradigm shift in basic user-interface design, especially when it comes to something as fundamental as how you navigate through desktop folders. Yet this is precisely what users will have to relearn with this latest version of GNOME.

The GNOME file manager, Nautilus, no longer allows users to navigate through folders as one might use a Web browser or Windows Explorer. You no longer browse with all your options accessible in a single window or a split window with a directory tree on the left and icons on the right. Instead, each double-click on a folder icon opens a new window on the screen. If this sounds familiar, it's because this was the default behavior of Windows 95, OS/2 and early versions of Mac OS. The fact that this isn't the default behavior of any mature desktop operating system might have served as a warning sign to GNOME's developers, but never mind that.

Having used OS/2 for years, I found GNOME's retro approach to be a rather pleasantly nostalgic experience. But now that I'm used to navigating folders the way one does on virtually every other desktop, however, I decided to tell the file manager not to open a new window for every folder. But it turns out there is no preference setting that tells Nautilus to use a single window to browse folders.

The only way to change the default behavior of Nautilus is to set an obscure registry key via the command line or the registry editor. Not even that abomination of operating systems, Windows 95, made users retreat to the registry editor to use a single window to navigate folders. I can only assume that the GNOME developers decided to make Nautilus a worse Windows than Windows. I toast their rousing success.

Granted, there are myriad unintuitive keystrokes and shift-key/mouse-click operations you can use to make it easier to navigate folders, all of which will mean squat to the daft simpletons the GNOME developers say they are targeting as their users. But GNOME developers have long since abandoned logic when defending their design choices. For example, one GNOME developer says there's a good reason why users can't change individual colors in desktop themes: Someone might accidentally make both the text and background white, thus rendering the text unreadable.

Of course, this flaw has nothing to do with the inflexibility of the primitive graphical tool kit upon which GNOME was based. It was deliberately designed to protect users who are invariably too incompetent to pick their own colors but are smart enough to memorize shift-clicks and keystrokes or edit the registry to get Nautilus to work the way they like.

Of all the criticisms one might lodge against GNOME, it's the hypocrisy of its design philosophy that looms largest. GNOME grew out of the desire to free people from Microsoft's ability to dictate what users can or can't do. Yet GNOME is built on the premise that its developers are so much wiser than users when it comes to navigating folders and setting colors that GNOME users shouldn't have a choice in the matter. With an attitude like that, heaven help us if GNOME turns out to be the only defense Linux has on the desktop against a Microsoft hegemony.

Nicholas Petreley is a computer consultant and author in Kansas City, Mo. He can be reached at nicholas@petreley.com.

He's right... (2, Troll)

technix4beos (471838) | more than 9 years ago | (#9127983)

Gnome has been regressing for quite some time, and now this latest fiasco of multiple window browsing serves to show how its' developers are out of touch with the intended userbase.

This begs the question; Why was the default setting for this feature changed to something that would hinder the user, after Gnome has been developed for so long?

I would really like one of the Gnome developers to answer that here.

I agree... (2, Insightful)

perly-king-69 (580000) | more than 9 years ago | (#9127984)

Whilst writing a 1000 word rant on a single feature is a nice way to earn one's money I can't help but agree with him.

This so-called 'paradigm shift' of spatial browsing should not be enforced on users. We like Linux. We like choice. Stop being fascists and give us a 'turn off spatial browsing' button.

So use it... (2, Informative)

Azureflare (645778) | more than 9 years ago | (#9128225)

And use a different filemanager! (Or different WM). Personally, I've fallen in love with XFce [xfce.org] as my Window Manager (I think I just love gtk...) and ROX-Filer [sourceforge.net] as my file manager (Man I love ROX-Filer =)

BTW I thought I read that the new spatial mode could be turned off, and the filemanager could return to normal operation... Ah yes, according to a post on Linux Today [linuxtoday.com] :

I actually have tried spatial mode in Garnome. i don't like the clutter either. But it definitely does make browsing the filesystem easier. All they need to do is add a button to 'close all windows' and I'm happy. You should really give spatial an chance before you turn it off. BTW you can turn it off with the --browser option.

I'm also going to wait for Fedora 2 to be released so I can upgrade. Gnome is really starting to rock!!!

I haven't tried gnome 2.6 yet, as it hasn't been packaged for Mandrake 10, and I don't want to mess with source, so I haven't tried this recommendation.

If you're stuck on nautilus, perhaps this will help. I've never been a big fan of nautilus (hence my ROX-Filer usage =).

Ack.. (2, Informative)

Azureflare (645778) | more than 9 years ago | (#9128267)

Should have read that site a bit more... I pasted the wrong post in. Here's the right one:

You can turn off spatial mode in nautilus in 2.6. There's a GConf setting to revert back to browser mode as default (search the net for it). Also note there is a file browser nautilus app in fedora 2 test in the menu.

Here's a direct link [linuxquestions.org] to the linuxquestions.org page about hacking the gconf (looks pretty simple really).

Can GNOME even compete? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9127989)

Novell owns Ximian, who sponsors GNOME.
Novell owns SuSE, who is a big supporter of KDE.

GNOME has Redhat, but Redhat would benefit from a standardized Linux desktop.

I see Novell being the intermediary to get KDE and GNOME together into one package for the enterprise desktop. Ultimately, there can be only one.

Nothing new here (5, Informative)

Mars Ultor (322458) | more than 9 years ago | (#9127994)

Not too surprising really - here's [linuxworld.com] an earlier article when GNOME 2.2 was still hot. From the article:
KDE is delivering a better version of what GNOME's goal has apparently morphed into: becoming a great component framework that you can write to in multiple languages. Nicholas Petreley rebuffs the common GNOME battle slogans and explains why the window-manager's name needs reworking.
Other than boosting ad views, I'm not sure what continuing a KDE/GNOME flamewar here on /. really contributes to open discussion (pardon the pun)

Not flamebait (2, Insightful)

BuddieFox (771947) | more than 9 years ago | (#9127996)

There is one fundamental problem in the open source community (and as an occassional open source developer I know what I am talking about):
It's the old "dont you dare critisize my darling project!"-dilemma, it somehow seems that some people think that because a commercial entity is not behind a piece of software it is all of a sudden beyond any criticism.
Open source adoption and progress would be better served by taking criticism more constructively and try to actually address the problems put forward (even those that are put forward undiplomatically), instead of retorting to "no, you are stupid", "why would you want to do that?", "no you are really really stupid"-flamewars in a pathetic attempt att diverting criticism back.

Check the ego at the door and see the community prosper.

and it's right (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9128000)

I am all for simplification, but there is no reason to go back to kinder and ABC wooden blocks.

The biggest argument against spatial navigation, as produced by gnome 2.6, is that it requires the user to learn TWO different styles of navigation: one for their browser and one for their files.

That is NOT simplification. And they didn't ask the community, and they are going against the gain of EVERY other OS.

If spatial is going to pay dividends when "database" filesystems arrive.... introduce spacial THEN. And even then, have it as an option. Besides won't a database file-system be based on searches? So won't we need "back" and "forward" buttons???????????

I am not going to swear here, but I am MAJORLY pissed at gnome. I am on 2.4 atm because of it. It is at worst elitist insanity, at best a poorly executed jump of the gun.

Re:and it's right (1, Funny)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 9 years ago | (#9128108)

I am not going to swear here, but I am MAJORLY pissed at gnome

Where I come from, most people would consider "pissed" a swear in the context in which you used it.

Me, I could give a fuckin shit either way.

Spare the FUD and try Gnome for yourself (1)

aelfric35 (711236) | more than 9 years ago | (#9128003)

While I haven't tried Nautilus yet, I don't feel like gratifying this flamer with a response to his FUD, but I'll indulge him briefly: why does he want Gnome to work like Windows? Registry key? This article is of a piece with the recent campaign ads, on both sides. Unfortunately, people are getting their "facts" about the candidates from their opponents' (heavily spun) ads. I hope people in corporate America will look past Petreley's bogus line and give Gnome a try so they can judge it on its own merits.

Re:Spare the FUD and try Gnome for yourself (1)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 9 years ago | (#9128161)

It sounded to me like he just didn't want it to work in a way we all practically universally decided was undesirable. Spatial does *not* mean folders == windows [slashdot.org] . It seems that the UI designers for Gnome locked themselves in a cave, turned the clock back to the '80s, and didn't pay attention to any arguments on either side of the issue. Instead they just made up their mind and strapped on the blinders. The vast majority of the people I know who use Nautilus can't stand the new interface and turn it off. If you piss off your user base, you need to be prepared for some negative feedback. Negative feedback is *not* FUD.

Wow what a wonderfull review. (1)

Zakabog (603757) | more than 9 years ago | (#9128005)

Wow that's a wonderfull in-depth review of gnome. He talks about nautilus behaving like "My Computer" in Windows 95 and quoted a gnome developer on the stupidity of users (They might accidentally change the background color to the text color so they'd be unreadable.) I really enjoyed the screenshots, and how he described the new layout and functionality of gnome. Wait nevermind he didn't do that, he pretty much just commented on two things that bothered him, why the hell is this "review" two pages? Yeah I guess flamebait would be a good moderation for the review.

This isn't a review (0, Flamebait)

DreadSpoon (653424) | more than 9 years ago | (#9128016)

First off, how the hell do you call this crap a review? It mentions one specific feature and is incredibly infactual in doing so. All it does is even _mention_ the feature, then bitch and bitch about all of GNOME sucks with no factual examples. The only examples given are outright lies. (For example, the reason you can't edit colors in the GUI is because nobody's bothered to write an editor for it yet. If someone submitted a patch, it would be a most welcome feature.)

This article is complete trash. The first paragraph alone makes that rather clear, and the past articles by the same author also make it clear. This guy takes every chance he gets to insult GNOME.

Here's a public response [whiprush.org] by one of the ArsTechnica folks.

User- and Developer- Designed Interfaces Sucks (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9128032)

This illustrates some of the fundamental problems of designing user interfaces. Namely, lots of users and developers have suggestions, but they aren't exports. They are good at telling what works and what doesn't, but their mounds of opinions are worth the same as so many mounds of shit.

Another thing GNOME has is a strong pursuit of consistency and perfection. Well, that's great, except that it doesn't always work very well. Putting "shut down" functionality in the "start" menu is an example of this: Microsoft did it because that was where people were most likely to look for it. GNOME doesn't like that because it isn't consistent, and makes things more complicated and confusing instead. (Yes, I know you CAN put it there if you want to, but most users won't change the default configuration.)

The much-trumpeted file selection dialog is another example. It does cleanly combine all the elements you'd want in there, but it isn't in the least intuitive.

To improve, GNOME *MUST* abandon the pursuit of perfection at the cost of usability and test interfaces extensively. If GNOME wants to get better than Windows or Mac OS, it must also get people doing research into interfaces, and proposing and testing new facilities. Users and developers just don't know how bad they are [apa.org] at it.

So silly (1)

Henrik S. Hansen (775975) | more than 9 years ago | (#9128052)

It reads like: "Everything that is different than how my beloved Windows works is awkward to use, ugly, hard to adapt to, and did I mention that I don't like it?"

I find Windows hard to use, awkward, ugly, hard to adapt to, and I don't really like it all that much.

It's all about the world you come from. I remember reading something about RMS using a GUI, and was cited saying something like "What are all those mysterious little pictures". Of course, he was making a joke, but never the less, he is clearly most comfortable with a CLI.

What I'm really saying is, user friendlyness is very different from person to person and from culture to culture. It's not an axiom that GUI's are easy to use. It's not even an axiom that GUI's are easier to get learn for a user that has never used a computer before (this is something surprisingly many people believe - I disagree with them).

Article is flamebait. Know what? (2, Insightful)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 9 years ago | (#9128053)

Not all criticism is flamebait, as in offered solely to incide the reciever. Not all flamebait is bad, either. Sometimes things need to be said.

I've toyed on and off with linux' window managers for years, I remember when fvwm was brand new. But they all have, and still do, look and behave like crap.

I mean, it sucks. Gnome sucks, KDE looks a little better but still sucks. They all suck.

And an army of zealots lined up to kiss ass wont make them better.

It's not ingratitude to say that either. Thanks for the free desktop environments, folks. I appreciate the choice, really. It's just that right now they suck. They suck enough I'd rather pay 200 bananas to use Windows XP, which is far from desktop perfection.

Politically correct reviews? (1)

elwell642 (754833) | more than 9 years ago | (#9128055)

it is important in that this review will be seen by so many mainstream readers and corporate types who may have been considering Gnome

Oh please. Since when have ANY tech reviews had to be politically correct?

...only defense? (1)

cliffiecee (136220) | more than 9 years ago | (#9128070)

With an attitude like that, heaven help us if GNOME turns out to be the only defense Linux has on the desktop against a Microsoft hegemony.

Well, that's the beauty of Linux, isn't it? GNOME is not its only defense. KDE is at least equal to GNOME. Or you could try something really funky, like XPde [xpde.com] , and really confuse people.

What's more, you can still use gnome/KDE applications, no matter what desktop environment you use.

A level headed reply to him. (4, Informative)

Soko (17987) | more than 9 years ago | (#9128072)

Jorge "whipirush" Castro, of Ars Technica's Linux.ARS fame, has made a level headed, informative reply to this trol^Warticle on his blog. Here is the text of relevant entry [whiprush.org] , to try and save whiprush some bandwidth:


May 10, 2004
Crack Pipes for Everyone!

I stumbled upon this review of GNOME 2.6 by Nicholas Petreley via OSNews. Now, I'm no self-proclaimed Linux desktop expert, but I consider myself a pretty knowledgeable GNOME user, I even wrote up a review or two that were considered pretty decent. Given the longevity of Nick in this community, I was appalled by the utter disrespect shown in this article. Luckily for us, fools choose emotion over straight facts, so in this entry I will simply refute his comments with facts.

Obviously Mr. Petreley has chosen to outright lie about GNOME and its capabilities, so you can call this an open letter, in which I will happily debate in public, or whatever, since most of what he says, just plain ain't true. Sure, not everyone likes GNOME, and surely everyone has strong opinions about the spatial Nautilus, but misdirection is just dishonest.

Let's start off with this gem:

"Each time I get a new version of GNOME, there's this feeling of anticipation and exhilaration -- a feeling that this new version of GNOME can't possibly turn out to be as bad as the last one. But so far, each new version lives down to the same low standards set by the previous one."

Does anyone reading this quote, right off the bat assume that this is going to be a fair review of GNOME whatsoever? I can't even formulate a response to this.

The GNOME file manager, Nautilus, no longer allows users to navigate through folders as one might use a Web browser or Windows Explorer.

Misconception #1. The standard tree view is available by right clicking on a folder and choosing "Browse Folders", via the menu using "Browse Filesystem", or via the panel icon that looks like a file cabinet (it's there by default). So, three seperate methods to access the old view, one of which is even on the panel by default, yet Nicholas, with his years of Linux experience, can't seem to find it, naturally GNOME has robbed him of this ability.

If this sounds familiar, it's because this was the default behavior of Windows 95, OS/2 and early versions of Mac OS.

Windows 95 was never spatial. It was mimicked, poorly. Since Mr. Petreley can't seem to define what spatial is in the first place, and which OS implemented it in which way if at all, we're left with ye olde "Doesn't work like Explorer, it sucks." excuse. There's more to spatial than one folder per window. I'd explain it, but there are plenty of resources available that define this, unfortunately Nicholas failed to comprehend even one of them.

Not even that abomination of operating systems, Windows 95, made users retreat to the registry editor to use a single window to navigate folders.

GConf is nothing like the Windows Registry, except for the similar appearance of their respective editors. If Mr. Petreley cares to compare and contrast GConf and the Windows Registry he would know this. In fact Nicholas, I will paypal you $100 US if you can name three architectural similarities between GConf and the Registry.

Of course, this flaw has nothing to do with the inflexibility of the primitive graphical tool kit upon which GNOME was based.

This is another passage that I can't even comprehend, and isn't worthy of replying to. I'd like to quote it for the record though. Note the lack of evidence when defining "primitive" and "inflexibility". I don't think anyone that has used GTK's language bindings will use the word "inflexible".

GNOME grew out of the desire to free people from Microsoft's ability to dictate what users can or can't do.

Well someone better tell the GNOME developers, I'm pretty sure that they're out to make a kickass free desktop. I suppose you better tell them that they're only purpose isn't to innovate on the desktop, it's to fight Microsoft. Thanks for the tip, I'm sure the GNOME developers will be happy to note that they've been coding for the totally wrong reasons, luckily, you came along to let them know that their purpose is to free people from Microsoft.

Yet GNOME is built on the premise that its developers are so much wiser than users when it comes to navigating folders and setting colors that GNOME users shouldn't have a choice in the matter.

Hmmmm, I must be a moron then. I like spatial Nautilus. Everyone I know who uses GNOME loves the spatial Nautilus, except for two. The other dozen or so dig it. Those that don't like it, shut it off and move on with their lives.

I also have plenty of friends who don't like GNOME at all. But then again, they're not accusing GNOME of living to low standards. If you don't like something, just say you don't like it. Lying about it doesn't help anybody. If you use KDE you feel the same feeling when someone tells you that KDE has a "license problem". Pisses you off doesn't it?

It's ridiculous what they pay people to write articles these days. It's amusing, and heartwarming, that the Arslinux crew writes more in depth, informative, and well regarded content FOR FREE, because we love OSS, than a so-called OSS evangelist. Nicholas Petreley should be ashamed of himself.


Luis Villa [tieguy.org] , GNOME developer, commented on whiprush's reply basically saying it was spot on. Let's hope everyone replys to such obvious flamebait with the same amount of thought and tact.

Soko

KDE (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9128076)

Is much, much better. Gnome's like all the _bad_ design decisions of windows rolled up into one. This always happens when you consider your users to be not only ignorant, but unintelligent. KDE assumes users are ignorant but smart.

He's right (1)

Omnifarious (11933) | more than 9 years ago | (#9128087)

The GNOME people did make an awful choice with Nautilus, and compounded it by making it hard to switch back.

I love this passage (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9128110)

For example, one GNOME developer says there's a good reason why users can't change individual colors in desktop themes: Someone might accidentally make both the text and background white, thus rendering the text unreadable.


A logical choice would have been to remove the first color selected from the second choice and voila.

Spatial Nautilis is all he saw (1)

sheeny (730803) | more than 9 years ago | (#9128125)

Yes, and the entire article is concentrated on his (misunderstanding) of spatial nautilis. Just pity he based his article on one aspect of a thoroughly enjoyable desktop. Rather narrow review of a desktop I would say.

The Problem is Nautilus (0, Flamebait)

amightywind (691887) | more than 9 years ago | (#9128132)

Gnome looks/works ok. I have to say I prefer XFCE, but I don't expect that opinion to be universal. One thing I positively hate about Gnome is Nautilus. It is vile. Preventing it from popping up in your startup session is like snapping snot off your fingernail. It leaves .directories everywhere, like a slug trailing slime! Please will someone drive a stake through this thing's heart?

I agree (0, Flamebait)

alienw (585907) | more than 9 years ago | (#9128159)

I am not intending to start a KDE vs. Gnome flamewar, but seriously. I agree with the guy 100%, and his point is completely valid. The Gnome project somehow manages to become worse with every version, when it has never been that good to begin with.

Spatial nautilus is a horrible idea, period. The interface is too minimalist, and every option needs to be changed through some obscure method like Gconf because the interface is "simplified".

If you really like Gnome, that just means you have never tried to use KDE for longer than 10 minutes. Gnome can best be compared to a Yugo -- ugly and clunky.

You think that was bad? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9128206)

It's nothing compared to the critical analysis I plan to publish in a major online journal soon, comparing Fedora Core 2 and Windows XP SP1, from the installation all the way up to the usability of the desktop. Such an article is long over due and I can tell you that, based on my early results (I started preparing the article yesterday by beginning the whole install process), 'desktop Linux' is not fairing too well.

Unlike Nicholas' commentary, my article will be a true, expository analysis, backed-up with sources, facts and actual hard data. There's nothing more dangerous than the truth (as opposed to opinion, hearsay, anecdote and hyperbole). I am getting at the truth, and will publish before Core 2 is released on the 17th. Stay tuned.

Rebelion? (1)

Fullmetal Edward (720590) | more than 9 years ago | (#9128210)

Is this the start of the closed source software companies raging war on open source? Two articles in one day I mean. We really need to watch the open source figures right now. We've all seen Microsoft play dirty before, why wouldn't other companies?

How long is it untill we start to see companies paying people to virus the open source so they can say "Well when you have the source code you can make any type of virus you wish"?

Usability (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 9 years ago | (#9128216)

Most of the critics are on the usability side, but... not was one of the big improvements of gnome 2.6 the usability?

Maybe Petreley is too used to certain ways to do things and maybe easier ways, but different, give him problems.

Flamebait? (0, Flamebait)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 9 years ago | (#9128259)

People who know how to communicate know that abusive reactions are the responsibility of the person reacting. Anyone can pull the trigger on flames at any message conveyed. Even controversial statements about a "polarizing and heavily debated issue" receive reasonable replies from responsible people. So what is this "flamebait" verdict that increasingly overrides interest in important matters on which many people disagree strongly? Since when has the Slashdot demographic ("nerds") preferred to go along with popular happy talk, rather than deal directly with facts and unpopular opinions? Flames are in the minds of the flamers, not in the bait of the comments.

nautilus rant (1)

tucolino (654142) | more than 9 years ago | (#9128265)

i understand that there are many reasons why gnome devs chose the spatial nautilus. i also understand that gnome is trying to compete with windows (or macs.. who knows...) to steal its users. however, what does not make sense is that spatial nautilus is not intuitive to any the users coming from those other platforms. in fact, it is very likely to annoy them. yes, this can be disabled using gconf-editor, but we are talking about first impressions here. anoying things are very likely to send users back to windows when trying something new.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...