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Project GoneME Fixes Perceived Gnome UI Errors

timothy posted more than 10 years ago | from the frustration-outlet dept.


An anonymous reader writes "Project GoneME is the first attempt to try moving the GNOME Desktop into a new direction. The intention is to create a community of people, who are willing and interested to help fixing issues brought up by people for a very long time and make the vision of a usable Desktop in the means of good old Unix fashion become true. In case you are interested to help, please join the project. Plenty of people have shown interest and welcome this step and the IRC channel got filled up within a short time." Update: 07/26 02:33 GMT by T : A project mailing list has been set up for anyone interested in taking part in this endeavor.

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"Perceived" Gnome UI Errors? (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9794525)

I assume this was submitted by a Gnome developer/apologist.

Re:"Perceived" Gnome UI Errors? (3, Insightful)

ScriptGuru (574838) | more than 10 years ago | (#9794663)

Well, they are percieved errors. The GNOME developers had a good reason for puting the primary button on the right, and don't see it as an error, thus it is perceived by Ali Akcaagac.

Go for it... (1, Interesting)

boomgopher (627124) | more than 10 years ago | (#9794532)

Much as I'd love to see GNOME succeed (with all the industry support it has)... I can't use it. Frankly, it drives me nuts at times, the way that, say, Windows 95 did.

Re:Go for it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9794604)

I don't think he can do a gtk khtml port. He was just talking talk. Where is the Y project? And this Berlin thing?

khtml was done with c++.

Re:Go for it... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9794624)

shutup you stupid troll

Even on Slashdot (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9794535)

. . . make the vision of a usable Desktop in the means of good old Unix fashion become true

Even on Slashdot it is admitted that the Linux desktop is unusable.

Gnome Usability (4, Interesting)

hawkeyeMI (412577) | more than 10 years ago | (#9794550)

I too have issues with GNOME's usability. That's why I prefer Enlightenment and KDE.

Glad to see someone improving it, but we always have to ask the question -- how much better might things be if the GNOME and KDE teams were working together instead of separately? That is, coding/philosophical differences aside. Granted, choice is good, and it's their choice what they want to work on.

Re:Gnome Usability (3, Interesting)

alphaque (51831) | more than 10 years ago | (#9794587)

Open Source has always been about choice, and in this regard, having a plethora of UIs and desktop environments to choose from is excellent. however, the problem lies in that a lot of work is duplicated between gnome (goneME??) and kde. perhaps, and is this too much to hope for, the projects could converge on a unified API of sorts which would make things a whole lot easier. free and open source software needs to be seen as meeting the needs of Joe Q. User before it can become dominant on the desktop.

Re:Gnome Usability (2, Informative)

hawkeyeMI (412577) | more than 10 years ago | (#9794603)

There has been some progress with the freedesktop initiative, allowing *ahem* 'system tray' applications to behave the same in both environments. Those sorts of things definitely help.

Re:Gnome Usability (0)

thammoud (193905) | more than 10 years ago | (#9794622)

Duplicating efforts for a desktop is a big waste of resources. KDE and GNOME must find a way to work together or the dream of the Linux desktop will NEVER be realized.

GUI applications are a pain to write. Customizing the L&F to match those of the underlying desktop is expensive. Till this day (Year 2004), I have a hard time copying and pasting between Linux apps. Sorry, but I am sticking with Windows XP as my desktop until these minor "gotchas" are resolved.

Re:Gnome Usability (3, Insightful)

Sevn (12012) | more than 10 years ago | (#9794667)

I wouldn't say never. There are a heck of a lot more people working on Gnome and KDE than there are working on any commercial GUI interface. It might take a little longer. It's definitely not a task I'd look forward to with Aqua as the example of the near perfect GUI. I'd be more interested in seeing a UNIX desktop like Aqua. Windows really isn't going to grow much GUI-wise until they get rid of that horrendous START button tree/maze/jungle and come up with something more intelligent.

Re:Gnome Usability (0)

unixbob (523657) | more than 10 years ago | (#9794739)

I think this is an interesting question. Is there really a desire to make Linux dominant on the desktop?

What is the goal of the KDE / GNOME project - to make a desktop which any idiot can use, or to make a desktop that the power user prefers and is more productive in.

Are the two mutually exclusive? Using Mozilla as an example, it's prefectly acceptable as a browser, but it really comes in to it's own when you start adding all the extensions into it. Without the extensions it's a below par browser to Internet Explorer (I'm thinking of the unknowledgable user here who doesn't want to have to do lots of work to get a functioning system but wants things to work immediately)

In reference to the parent, Open Source is about choice. But I've yet to see a system which is exactly what a newbie wants and yet retains all the functionality of the power user. Choice is something that the experience user wants. The unexperienced or infrequent user wants something that just works. IMHO these things are mutually exclusive.

Re:Gnome Usability (4, Insightful)

Ari_Haviv (796424) | more than 10 years ago | (#9794618)

if "linux" is going to compete with Windows, the first thing it needs to do is standardize on one GUI and stick with it. Instead we have linux+ext2+QT+KDE+redhat stuff vs linux+reiser+gtk+gnome+suse stuff vs 5 million other permutations vs Windows.

Re:Gnome Usability (3, Interesting)

hawkeyeMI (412577) | more than 10 years ago | (#9794633)

Nobody sees ext2 and reiserfs. Those kinds of decisions are made by power users and administrators. The main thing is the GUI as you originally pointed out. Consistent = good.

Re:Gnome Usability (1)

Ari_Haviv (796424) | more than 10 years ago | (#9794802)

nobody sees file systems but they feel them. And features such as metadata do affect the UI as we're seeing with WinFS and Spotlight

Re:Gnome Usability (4, Insightful)

HrothgarReborn (740385) | more than 10 years ago | (#9794685)

Why are we competing with Windows? Windows sucks. Look at Apple. They are interested in being the best, not in getting the biggest share of the market. Linux should be the same. We have this terrible confomist mentality that if 95% of the people don't believe as we do then there is something wrong with us. Linux is great and does not need to try to be Microsoft to get ahead.

Choice is a _good_ thing.

Re:Gnome Usability (1)

Ari_Haviv (796424) | more than 10 years ago | (#9794788)

very few people know that linux is better than windows because nobody knows what linux really is. Is it Fedora? Suse? Gentoo? All completely different experiences.

Re:Gnome Usability (2, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 10 years ago | (#9794718)

I've thought about this a lot, and I've decided that having both KDE and GNOME is A Good Thing(TM). What is not a good thing, is distros bending over backwards to support both. If you're building a product for end users to use, you need to make the choice of GUI for them. This way the distro can focus its resources on making sure that the one GUI is consistent and works.

Two perfect examples of this are SuSE and Java Desktop System. SuSE made the KDE decision and has made their desktop very powerful through this decision. Similarly, JDS has chosen the GNOME route, and has been building a "not quite Linux" OS experience on top of it.

Now, if someone would just fix the way software is installed on Linux...

(The Gentoo troll should be here in 5... 4... 3... 2... 1...)

Re:Gnome Usability (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9794772)

I just don't understand why we should compete with Windows. Who cares about Windows?

The one thing that matters is creating a nice, cool, featurerich and useful OS that we can use for ourselves. If it's good enough others will come by themselves.

Re:Gnome Usability (1, Offtopic)

HrothgarReborn (740385) | more than 10 years ago | (#9794648)

Personally I am CLI junkie and don't want a Winodws replacement GUI. Both Gnome and KDE are too bloated. I like Enlightenment and Fluxbox but they have such poor support for decent looking fonts I tend to use Gnome just so things will look a little nicer. So I wind up with a bloated system that I use almost no features of. I really wish we could get Flux and Enlightenment just a little more polished.

If I am missing something about font support in Flux and Enlightenment please feel free to flame me. I honestly haven't spent a lot of time on it.

Re:Gnome Usability (1)

hawkeyeMI (412577) | more than 10 years ago | (#9794669)

What font problems are you having with E? I'm not going to flame you but I never noticed any great font problems except in other applications, and I never thought it had to do with E, maybe it did. Are you talking about the WM interface or the programs?

Re:Gnome Usability (1, Offtopic)

Ryan Huddleston (759930) | more than 10 years ago | (#9794743)

I, too, am a CLI junkie who likes to avoid bloat, and that's the main reason I dropped GNOME like a hot coal and started using Gentoo and Fluxbox. Are you using I find that's fonts are absolutely horrible. License issues aside, XFree86's are much better.

Also, this [] is my /etc/fonts/local.conf

It is tuned to turn off anti-aliasing for fonts so small it just makes them look bad. I got it from someone here on slashdot, I forget who you are but thank you.

And if you have an OEM Windows license with your computer, find the Microsoft corefonts package ("ACCEPT_KEYWORDS='~x86' emerge corefonts" on gentoo)

This is unless you are talking about some fancy special fonts you would like to use. Because I've never been able to figure that stuff out on Linux :-/

Re:Gnome Usability (4, Insightful)

mickwd (196449) | more than 10 years ago | (#9794686)

"how much better might things be if the GNOME and KDE teams were working together instead of separately?"

Possibly much worse.

Without users leaving Gnome to use KDE instead, there would be no incentive for Gnome to fix any of their problems, or re-think any of their usability issues.

Without users leaving KDE to use Gnome instead, there would be no incentive for KDE to tidy up their user interface, or re-think any of their usability issues.

You said you had issues with Gnome's usability. Imagine how much worse it would be without a choice, or without PROOF that things can be done better. How would you ever get some of Gnome's "we-know-best" developers to acknowledge any of Gnome's weaknesses then ?

That's not to say every Gnome developer has a "we-know-best" attitude. But some seem determined to re-invent the wheel - and make it square this time (because some newbies just can't get used to wheels that insist on rolling around all over the place).

Re:Gnome Usability (1)

skooba (708001) | more than 10 years ago | (#9794713)

are there enough significant differences between the 2 desktops, that it warrants maintaining them both, separately?

Re:Gnome Usability (1)

BenjyD (316700) | more than 10 years ago | (#9794728)

The problem is that development doesn't scale linearly with number of developers. Given the communication difficulties in distributed development, and the number of conflicting personalities you'd get in a larger group, at some point adding developers to the group would decrease productivity.

At least with two projects, the people in each will be vaguely similar and more likely to get along - those who think the 'KDE way' code for KDE and you avoid wasting time arguing over features with developers who think the 'GNOME way'.

i prefer kde (3, Insightful)

spacepimp (664856) | more than 10 years ago | (#9794562)

kde, gnome, sun java desktop goneme, how many desktops will there be before one of them becomes truly useful.. or is the linux community not concerned with this?

Done. (1)

karmaflux (148909) | more than 10 years ago | (#9794610)

It's called Fluxbox [] .

Re:i prefer kde (1)

3seas (184403) | more than 10 years ago | (#9794627)

its the shortsightedness of the Developer POV, be it inherent blind bias or intentional...

It works like this. If you think like a carpenter then you will expect things to work in terms of carpentry. Soooo, if you think like a developer then you will expect things to work in terms of the developer mindset...... which is typically NOT user friendly.

So Yeah..... alots a matter of hit and miss regarding the getting to a user interface the user is really happy with.

But this is a dual situation, as technically the easier programming becomes the more user happiness can have a direct influence on what gets developed. Or in other words, the user, more capable of programming, due easier programming methods, will themselves produce what makes them happy.....

Just like how developers do it now, for themselves...

Re:i prefer kde (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9794649)

You are a retarded jew. Only KDE and GNOME are desktop environments out of the ones you list, and they are the only ones that matter. GoneME is a set of fucking patches against the GNOME code. "Sun Java Desktop" is a fucking Linux distribution with GNOME. Regular fucking GNOME.



Re:i prefer kde (2, Insightful)

ScottGant (642590) | more than 10 years ago | (#9794657)

They're all usefull...but as with anything, some people like one over the other.

I prefer Gnome over the others...but that doesn't mean that none of them are un-usefull, they're all usefull and they all work and what I like in a UI isn't what everyone else likes.


Re:i prefer kde (3, Insightful)

lpontiac (173839) | more than 10 years ago | (#9794709)

You are confused in thinking that there's a "Linux community" behind KDE, GNOME and the others.

Rather, there is a KDE community behind KDE, and a GNOME community behind GNOME. And if for some reason Linux were to stagnate and FreeBSD or the HURD or QNX become a dominant free software platform, they would happily concentrate on KDE and GNOME running on top of that platform.

Re:i prefer kde (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9794751)

"how many desktops will there be before one of them becomes truly useful"

How do you define "truly useful?" Define it and perhaps some of the millions of man hours spent on linux desktop software design might be diverted to your pet concerns. Otherwise, shut the hell up.

File Types (5, Insightful)

00Monkey (264977) | more than 10 years ago | (#9794565)

Actually, I could care less about such wonderful things as GUI Errors for the moment. I would just love File Types to work properly. Then again... when I add a new File Association, it is kinda fun to keep adding it over and over until I get mad and go watch TV.

Re:File Types (2, Informative)

tod_miller (792541) | more than 10 years ago | (#9794746)

I had this problem, but assumed I was just making a mistake, and left it. Perhaps this is a difference with Windows and Linux user bases:

Anything that goes wrong with Windows, I damn and blast Bill Gates to hell and back, even if it was my fault.

Anything goes wrong with Linux, I ask myself, what did I do? Perhaps I should read the docs... then something else catches my eye and I forget about it...

I love the user testing scenarios on grok. if everyone in the Linux user world could get into heuristic testing, metric testing and collaborative testing Linux would benefit IF this information is integrated viably...

In addition, you may wish to visit and start getting usability experts really having a go at Gnome/KDE/Enlightenment/insert-yours so we can get expert advice. I saw a nice blog running a piece on how ugly the XP interface was, the argument was well presented, with screenshots, anyone have the guts to constructively criticise thier preffered Desktop (without asking, how do I take a screenshot...)


I made a typo on Enlightenment, English-enment wierd, probably a freudian slip...

A Fork by any other name... (1, Troll)

BrianMarshall (704425) | more than 10 years ago | (#9794567)

Isn't this only going to really amount to anything if it does turn into a new Gnome fork?

Gnome should have 2 modes. (5, Interesting)

deragon (112986) | more than 10 years ago | (#9794568)

Instead of fighting for one signe UI, Gnome should have two modes: beginner and expert.

beginner mode would be where Gnome is currently heading. Export mode is where us, the experts would like to see Gnome go. For instance, why not have two types of file selector dialog? The current one, and if in export mode, a new one which allows people to actually type the full path if they want to? No spatial Nautilus when in expert mode.

Actually, in any of the modes, one should be able to easily configure a feature according to the needs. For instance, maybe a beginner would still like to type a full path, so somewhere (not in gconf only) there should be an option to enable it.

Out of the box, Gnome should be made for the common user. But we should have options for the power users.

Re:Gnome should have 2 modes. (1)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#9794607)

But wouldn't that basically just be a fork of the project, having an "expert mode" and a "beginner mode" for everything? Maybe it's better that they just stick to being the expert's version of Linux, and leave the newbies to other distributions.

Re:Gnome should have 2 modes. (3, Interesting)

Nodatadj (28279) | more than 10 years ago | (#9794616)

The gnome project tried expert mode.
There were 3 levels

It didn't work.

People had different expectations of what features/options should be in which level, and so in the end, everyone just switched to Expert all the time, so that they could see all the features.

Re:Gnome should have 2 modes. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9794656)

So... all the users chose to see all the features, and then the Gnome team chose to go for just the beginner mode? Nice one.

Re:Gnome should have 2 modes. (1)

TobiasSodergren (470677) | more than 10 years ago | (#9794760)

Oh so true.. For each new version of gnome, it feels like they have removed 1/3 the functionality.

Re:Gnome should have 2 modes. (1, Troll)

Elladan (17598) | more than 10 years ago | (#9794719)

... and gnome's response?

Force everyone to beginner mode.

This is why everyone I know absolutely despises GNOME now. Because it's this retarded childish thing that can't even be configured properly (people expect apps to have moronic configuration out of the box, but usually at least it can be fixed.)

Case in point: Spacial Nautilus. It's a moronic idea. Just plain idiotic. Everyone absolutely despises it. It's a retarded throwback to file managers in 1985, which, you guessed it, sucked. This is why every major GUI switched over to a browser/tree based file manager years ago and dumped the new-window-for-everything idiocy. In fact, way back in... 1985, I seem to recall that everyone went and found replacement file managers which didn't do that, too. The two-pane ones seemed popular.

What did gnome do? "Wow! We INVENTED a new paradigm! We're going to make it like a Mac in 1985!"

Umm, no, they copied an old paradigm that everyone hates.

And worse? There's no button to turn it off. You have to actually hunt through undocumented keys in the windows^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hgnome registry trying to find the button to put the file manager into the unsupported normal mode.


The gnome project these days is a good example of the horrors that happen if you, as a developer, are actually dumb enough to listen to human interface design people. Usually, these types are overblown nitwits who've never used a computer in their life, and base all their design decisions (if they even make decisions, instead of making gobble gobble sounds and talking about paradigms) on some focus group that was trying to discover whether computer illiterates can bungle their way through an interface quickly.

Generally, the only people really qualified to make good computer interfaces are software developers. The problem is, they're just too lazy to do it because UIs are boring. so, people do stupid things like put graphic artists in charge, when what they should be doing is offering free beer and unnecessary nudity as an incentive for quality coding.

Re:Gnome should have 2 modes. (3, Interesting)

Nodatadj (28279) | more than 10 years ago | (#9794762)

> Everyone absolutely despises it

I don't.
I hated browser mode.
In fact, I rarely used the file manager with it
Now with spatial I use it far more.

> There's no button to turn it off.

You simply want a button that you're going to use once and never need to use again? That just sounds like bloating up things. Imagine if your computer had a huge button for each of the dip switches, that once you'd set them the first time you built the computer and then never ever needed to change it again...

Re:Gnome should have 2 modes. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9794623)

Hitting CTRL-l (that's an L) in the file selector lets you type in the path. Just FYI.

Re:Gnome should have 2 modes. (0, Flamebait)

thammoud (193905) | more than 10 years ago | (#9794632)

I wish I had mod points to mod you down. Beginner/Expert mode do not exist on OS/X or Windows XP ? There is no reason for Linux to have them.

Do you really want to confuse your users even more ???

Re:Gnome should have 2 modes. (1)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 10 years ago | (#9794725)

In OSX you cannot control the mouse speed, only the accelleration.

It should have an expert mode that allows them to be differentiated.

The slow movements on the touchpad of the laptops are infuratingly slow. If regular users get confused by the difference between the two it is no reason to eliminate that control.

Thats the only one I can think of off the top of my head (I don't really use OSX that much), but I think that there are options that should be settable in OSX that just aren't.

Re:Gnome should have 2 modes. (1)

thecombatwombat (571826) | more than 10 years ago | (#9794636)

They tried something like this with nautilus a while back. It was . . . unpleasant.

There is an expert mode in gnome: it's called gnome-terminal. Why do purported "power users" want anything else? A power users desktop, in my opinion, should be simple and elegant above all, for the rest, our unix nerdery should get us by. This is why I love gnome, and my mac.

I don't agree with every recent change in the UI for gnome, lack of tab completion in the file selector is heinous. However, the mac has two file selectors, but I leave the simple one on 99% of the time and just use hidden option #3, OS X's "open" command in the terminal.

Re:Gnome should have 2 modes. (3, Insightful)

jrockway (229604) | more than 10 years ago | (#9794638)

Press Ctrl+L in the new file selector. Then you have a nice completion-line. Works in Spacial Nautilus, too.

There is an expert mode. You just have to be an expert to use it :P

Re:Gnome should have 2 modes. (1)

thecombatwombat (571826) | more than 10 years ago | (#9794738)

Press Ctrl+L in the new file selector. Then you have a nice completion-line. Works in Spacial Nautilus, too.

Sweet I didn't know this, but I'm not at all surprised it's there. I'd mod you up as insightful but I guess I'll just have to respond. It seems to me 99% of the whiners about "power user" desktops don't even want to know how to use their desktops. Toggling every single one of the 3 bajillion options put in front of you does not make you an expert. Knowing your system makes you an expert.

Re:Gnome should have 2 modes. (1)

Sri Ramkrishna (1856) | more than 10 years ago | (#9794639)

Looks like "expert" mode was already exported. ;-)


Re:Gnome should have 2 modes. (1)

ScriptGuru (574838) | more than 10 years ago | (#9794758)

Yeah, expert mode is hidden in this power tool: gconf-editor

One issue im sure alot of people would like change (3, Informative)

bdigit (132070) | more than 10 years ago | (#9794569)

spatial nautilus. of course you can argue it both ways but IMHO and a lot of other people's, it was a step backwards.

Re:One issue im sure alot of people would like cha (2, Insightful)

ee96090 (56165) | more than 10 years ago | (#9794652)

In GNOME 2.8 spatial nautilus will be the default, but there will be a visible nautilus preference to turn it off.
In GNOME 2.6, the option still exists in gconf, but not in the UI.
So, stop whining!

Re:One issue im sure alot of people would like cha (1)

bdigit (132070) | more than 10 years ago | (#9794672)

the visible nautilus pref should have been there from day one. Having a user have to go through a regedit like program to turn off an unusable feature is unusable in itself.

I'd love to, but.... (4, Interesting)

Wooky_linuxer (685371) | more than 10 years ago | (#9794578)

Please change the name first. It reminds me of Windows ME.... I always liked GNOME looks'. It always striked me as the sleekest guy around for (GNU)Linux, but it always suffered from serious technical usability issues, especially when compared with KDE. Nowadays I use Konqueror as my file manager, inside good old Windowmaker. I'd love to see (a fork of?) GNOME reach a level that brings it up to date with KDE in usability issues. So thumbs up to your project. ;)

Re:I'd love to, but.... (1)

HrothgarReborn (740385) | more than 10 years ago | (#9794609)

I agee! "GoneMe" how are you supposed to even say that without sounding stupid. Why not stay with the same basic theme and use "Troll"?

Re:I'd love to, but.... (1)

Wooky_linuxer (685371) | more than 10 years ago | (#9794706)

Troll? It would be a huge success with the /. folk. ;)

Many people whine, few work... (4, Insightful)

nonmaskable (452595) | more than 10 years ago | (#9794581)

This is that oGalaxy guy, right?

He's been complaining about GNOME post 1.4 for a long while, mostly on OSNews. I have no idea if the fork will succeed, but at least he's putting his money (time, code, effort) where his mouth has been.

Icky (1)

ultrabot (200914) | more than 10 years ago | (#9794726)

I have no idea if the fork will succeed, but at least he's putting his money (time, code, effort) where his mouth has been.

I guess you mean he's putting his money where his mouth *is*. Your version appears to have unfortunate freudian connotations ;-).

Many people whine, few work..Faith-based computing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9794741)

"He's been complaining about GNOME post 1.4 for a long while, mostly on OSNews."

And other places.

"I have no idea if the fork will succeed, but at least he's putting his money (time, code, effort) where his mouth has been."

A house divided. We'll as you said, at least he's putting everything were his mouth is, although his answer to why it wasn't started on Sourceforge, isn't exactly encouraging.

Workspace Desktop Pics (2, Interesting)

DeathAndTaxes (752424) | more than 10 years ago | (#9794586)

I prefer gnome over the other choices (too many to list) because for the most part, stuff just works. However, I for one wouldn't mind seeing the ability to put different desktop pics on my seperate workspaces. Maybe this functionality is available now...If so, it's not easy to find.

Re:Workspace Desktop Pics (1)

kantai (719870) | more than 10 years ago | (#9794678)

Back when I was using Gnome 2.4 on Redhat, stuff didn't just work. In fact, if I ever switched themes, the whole thing ceased to work. It would work for about five minutes, then errors would fly with GConf Errors. I would have to restart X every time. So, finally I gave it the boot, and I've been happily using KDE ever since.

One thing they SHOULDN'T change (2, Interesting)

Lysol (11150) | more than 10 years ago | (#9794590)

The order of the buttons. I think the GNOME guys were correct in 'mimicing' the Mac button layout. I think their quest to change that portion back is a mistake.

Otoh, yes, GNOME is bloated and getting rid of the registry concept is a good one. Spatial Nautilus sux as well. Yuk.

Re:One thing they SHOULDN'T change (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9794700)

Slow down and think about that for a second. GConf, which everyone compares to the Windows registry, is nothing like it. The only similarity is that the interface for it resembles it. The registry is a centrilized place for stored program info but GConf is almost like a specification for XML files for program information. COmparing the two are like saying Firefox and Internet Explorer have similar interfaces and therefore are the same product.

Secondly, a lot of people complain about Spatial mode, but I don't think a lot of them understand WHY the GNOME devs are doing this. When GNOME Storage and Beagle and similar projects are ready, the file browser metaphor is not going to work very well with it I suspect. However, the Spatial metaphor does work quite well. By changing it now and changing it early, they not only get to lay the ground work earlier and have a bug tested spatial file manager by the time Storage debuts, but they have more chance to ease their users into that mode.

Lastly, I've got to say that this oGalaxyo chap is a known troll and hence probably should not be fed if at all possible.

Re:One thing they SHOULDN'T change (1)

dilvie (713915) | more than 10 years ago | (#9794740)

Choices like that should be made based on usability tests. I understand that scientific usability tests can be quite expensive (a good test for the best button order might cost ~$1700), but it would be well worth the money spent.

The trouble with open source UI development is that nobody has stepped up and really put their money where their mouth is to fix desktop usability problems that have plagued us for years.

The IRC channel filled up? (3, Funny)

asobala (563713) | more than 10 years ago | (#9794596)

Of course, most of the people in the IRC channel are core GNOME hackers who think this is really quite funny.

Well it depends... (1)

Mongoose (8480) | more than 10 years ago | (#9794606)

I know I personally patch GNOME often, since I hate various little things. I really hate the new file dialogs, but I haven't had time yet with work and school to rewrite those. I've redone metacity, xemacs-gnome, etc before. The main problem is people like Havoc, who control a lot of the process only want one way. Should I really have to add my own edge flipping to a window manager when they could just make it an option to disable it? I think we should have kept sawfish, since it's still superior to metacity in many ways.

Frankly spatial nautilus shows something amiss indeed! There should be an EASY way to revert back to navagation. If you didn't know what gconf was how would you even know you could revert? Why are we moving away from application preferences dialogs to no way to change at all?

*I've switched off xemacs to emacs-gtk, since imho xemacs gtk/gnome development has been dead too long and they stopped taking patches for even crash fixes.

Re:Well it depends... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9794680)

Newsflash, jewbag: no one who matters cares, and if you're going to get modded up to +5 Interesting it's just because other nerds are as geeky as you are. Makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, doesn't it?

You are wasting your one life hacking window managers and whining about fucking emacs-gtk on Slashdot. Great fucking work, have some karma.

Fixing long outstanding GNOME problems? Gasp! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9794612)

jwz surrenders [] </fark>

Uhh maybe it's changed for a reason? (4, Insightful)

jrockway (229604) | more than 10 years ago | (#9794620)

After reading this guy's site, he basically seems to want a cluttered interface. Lots of options, lots of what he's used to. GNOME is about simplicity and clean-ness, as well as trying out new UI paradigms. Spacial browsing is much better after you get used to it. But he wants it to be like Windows. GNOME is not a Windows clone.

Maybe he should try KDE instead? That does everything he wants, and has tons of configurable options. I think you can modify the Earth's rotation speed in the KDE Control Center.

That said, I'm sticking to GNOME. It's very simple and clean, and doesn't get in my way. I really love GNOME 2.6 (actually I'm an XFCE user but decided to try it out today... it's niiiice).

Re:Uhh maybe it's changed for a reason? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9794664)


He's not asking you to use it, so SHUT UP. Maybe he doesn't like KDE. Maybe he likes GNOME with a different button order. Fuck, you are dumber than dirty shit.


Re:Uhh maybe it's changed for a reason? (1)

kingkade (584184) | more than 10 years ago | (#9794737)

easy, you're going to give yourself a headache lil fella.

Re:Uhh maybe it's changed for a reason? (2, Insightful)

ultrabot (200914) | more than 10 years ago | (#9794778)

Maybe he should try KDE instead?

Indeed. Almost all of the whining regarding Gnome could generally be rendered moot by just switching to KDE. Gnome has a clearly stated direction, and people who disagree with it (I do, but mostly because I use the pathetic 1024x768 resolution while Gnome seems to target higher with their gigantic toolbars) can as well keep on using KDE.

Gnome has a multi-year strategy, which compromises some functionality today but will pay off with time. Meanwhile, just use KDE. Users don't generally need to suffer because of Qt licensing because they are just that, users.

Re:Uhh maybe it's changed for a reason? (1)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 10 years ago | (#9794790)

About QT liscensing.

I have a burning question.

If I download the linked version of Opera am I in Violation of the GPL?

I know that Opera paid to build on the library with closed source software, but I have not. And if I am not mistaken the QT library on my computer is GPL not LGPL therefore I am likly violating the GPL running a closed source app linked to it.

Can someone clear this up for me?

The boldness of...same. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9794798)

Hehe. The guy you replied to is really funny. It's nothing short of amazing how much of a religious issue people make this out to be. The button order's wrong, kill all the infidels. Oh no, spatial! Burn'em at the stake. I can't change the color, DOOM, DOOM3 I tell you. The funny thing is that everyone's forgotten the KDE guys behaviour when RH made all their changes. For all the geeks talk. I really think we're not ready for change.

Anyway as I said above. I hope this isn't a house divided (North and South), hurting more than helping.

Nothing to see here, move along (4, Interesting)

Wumpus (9548) | more than 10 years ago | (#9794626)

I just finished reading the rant/mission statement on the project's home page. This looks like some guy is unhappy because GNOME doesn't quite fit his vision of what a Real Man's Unix Desktop should be, and he's ready to mobilize the entire FOSS community to 'fix' things. He seems to take some of the UI choices in GNOME really personally, too.

I'm willing to give this effort a year just to see whether the rhetoric is backed by any ability.

Re:Nothing to see here, move along (3, Insightful)

crivens (112213) | more than 10 years ago | (#9794735)

I give him 2 months before the project dies. I think he is just a user ranting, and I saw nothing to convince me that anything useful will be done.

Of course, if you want a usable desktop... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9794635)

You'll just install Windows XP and stop your whining

If there is something to work on first... (1)

eille-la (600064) | more than 10 years ago | (#9794637)

Why not consolidate quality standards between major open desktop before continue working separately on each of them?
I can understand KDE and GNOME developpers does not aim the same goal (else they would really work together) but at least, to make good things created on a side usable on the other in a decent and easy way, why not put some efforts in setting well understood and followable standards?

Hallelujah! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9794642)

Parts of Gnome's GUI that need to be...Fixed? Try overhauled.

That's what you get when you blindly mimic Windows, without stopping and thinking whether or not it's a good idea.

The sheer fact that this project (GnoneME) exists is proof positive the Gnome team basically doesn't know what the hell it's doing when it comes to interface choices. They fell into the same trap alot of projects do---design by consensus..You end up with a completely inconsistant, schitzophrenic design that neither makes sense visually nor ergonomically. Their design rationale is basically insane---On the one hand, they proudly boast that Gnome is better than Windows......yet, on the other hand, if you call any bad UI designs of theirs into question, it's simply chalked up by the Gnome folks as "Well, thats how they do it in Windows, so, who are YOU to question it?", which is absolute horseshit.

There are plenty of projects, whitepapers, and ideas out there that have yet to be even given mainstream exposure. If you want to see where the magic things are, and the way things will be once somebody sits down and actually thinks about what is good design versus eureka, yaay it werkz!, then keep your eyes on this project.


PS.. Here's a good example. With any luck, a design like this could finally drive a railroad spike into the head of whoever thought up heirarchical-menu-based launchers. The only problem is, nobody knows about it yet. []

Re:Hallelujah! (1)

ScriptGuru (574838) | more than 10 years ago | (#9794714)

Could you provide an example of a UI problem that they've said "Well, that's how they do it in Windows"?

Re:Hallelujah! (1)

Stevyn (691306) | more than 10 years ago | (#9794783)

You just said "can you provide an example" and "windows" in the same sentence. That's a new concept here.

Re:Hallelujah! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9794810)

An example:
The use of an inverted heirarchical menu for program selection.

An unintuitive, far-from-ergonomic, spatially unpredictable design that requires you to move your mouse pointer around like a 7 year old plays a game of "Operation" on a rainy sunday afternoon.

The design is simply horrible. Whats even more horrible, is the fact that it's only there because thats how Windows does it. They never stopped to think whether or not it was an actual sane idea or not. It's like nobody stopped and said, "Well, wait a minute. We can do this better. We can make it easier for people to get their work done if we start over with a different design."

So, the argument then becomes, "Well, thats what most people are used to." and "Microsoft does it -- and theyre a big company with lots of money and people doing research, and we'll wait for them to change first." Then, to make an already bad problem worse, they add ridiculous gingerbread like a "tray", and a "quick-launch bar", slapping band-aid after band-aid on an already flawed foundation.

For the life of me, i've never understood why there's so much resistance to the simple act of thinking.

Re:Hallelujah! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9794766)

The sheer fact that this project (GnoneME) exists is proof positive the Gnome team basically doesn't know what the hell it's doing when it comes to interface choices.

The sheer fact GNOME is still going is proof the GoneME folks don't know what the hell they're talking about. You want to "fix" GNOME? Just FYI, there's more than enough people that do like GNOME. In fact, you're probably a minority, and I have no idea what gives you the idea to keep using GNOME if you don't like it.

There's nothing to "fix" for you people. The closest to your ideas is a fork with GNOME as the base. Now that'd make alot more sense to me and also be alot more respectful towards the existing GNOME team who're doing a swell job.

You GoneME followers and oGalaxyo himself are a bunch of disrespectful idiots as far as I'm concerned. Open-source is about choice and not taking away or flaming someone else's.

Reverting the button order is a stupid idea (3, Insightful)

Mprx (82435) | more than 10 years ago | (#9794651)

The GNOME button order is very sensible for left to right languages (if it's not automatically reversed for right to left it should be). The "ok" type default option is on the far right, which is the point where you eyes will naturally rest when looking at the row of buttons. This is the most commonly used option so it makes sense that it is accessable with the least mental effort. The "cancel" type option is always on the far left, which means you have have to actively move your eyes/mouse from the "rest" position, preventing accidently cancellation. This is consistent within all HIG [] compliant apps, so I don't have to think much when using buttons.

Reverting the button order just because inferior systems do it differently is a very bad idea.

Too little, too late. (1)

dilvie (713915) | more than 10 years ago | (#9794665)

I'm glad somebody else really cares about linux desktop usability, but this is too little, too late, IMO. We should have had a better solution than Mac's Aqua/Quartz open on linux long ago... all with a consistent user experience. Friendly defaults for newbies, but simple option settings for power users.

We should be innovating. We're several years behind on the desktop now and playing catch-up. I think most of the communitiy is apathetic.

Still dreaming of the day...

Note to geeks: Design Matters. Usability Matters. Make it a mantra. Live it.

Re:Too little, too late. (2, Insightful)

djcapelis (587616) | more than 10 years ago | (#9794795)

Great! Start coding! Stop talking about how other people should innovate and take that responsibility upon yourself. Stop talking how people are apathetic and start doing something other than sitting around complaining about how people sit around and complain.

You seem to like making music, (your homepage, I assume it's yours?) so do that for an open-source project, or use that creativity that allows you to create music to help in an OSS project somewhere.

Curse of Open Source (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9794679)

This is just the kind of attitude that keeps Open Source projects behind commercial projects. Cant we just all get along and stand united behind one project. It's just plain stupid to use limited coding resources on a yet another fork.

Re:Curse of Open Source (3, Insightful)

3seas (184403) | more than 10 years ago | (#9794779)

How anyone figures open source is a curse due forking is only a result of failure to realise the mainstream proprietary systems have a ten year head start over open source.

And even when that gap shrinks due ten years becomming a smaller and smaller percentage over time, there is still the matter of proprietary taking from open source such ideas that it then focuses on to polish for sales.... where open source is a much larger force that does NOT deny possibilities...

About forking..... well guess what.... the good things that various forks expose can then later be reintegrated to come up with something even better than what proprietary would have been able to on its own..

Forking is just one part of a bigger picture... the other part is re-integration of good things...

My experience... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9794691)

I have a friend who first learnt Linux using Gnome, and switched over to Window-Maker eventually (slow PC). I gave him Slackware 10 the other day - and as he has a faster computer nowadays, he gave Gnome 2.6 a spin. It wasn't a happy reunion. He now uses XFCE.

How do you set short-cut keys in Gnome nowadays, anyway? "Advanced options" shouldn't necessarily yell at your face, but they should also not be so completely buried (or worse, absent), that your power users end up being frustrated.

This will only hurt GNOME (1)

ee96090 (56165) | more than 10 years ago | (#9794696)

One of the main goals of GNOME is to achieve consistency. This will only hurt the project. It's hard enough to achive consistency with GNOME vs Mozilla vs KDE vs OpenOffice, we add a forked GNOME to the mix then things will get out of hand.

There's nothing wrong with the button order. Perhaps there's nothing right either, but it doesn't matter. We have to pick a button order and stick with it.

And I think the leader of this project is seriously understimating the amount of effort involved in forking a whole desktop! He should spend the same effort trying to fix what can be fixed in GNOME, keeping in mind that some things, like button order, aren't broken or can't be fixed.

forking isn't hard, dropline already has (1)

poohsuntzu (753886) | more than 10 years ago | (#9794734)

It's just tedious. A similar project has already been in the works for some time now: - a i686 and minor tweak/fixes to the Gnome 2.6.1 packages, built for slackware.

Re:forking isn't hard, dropline already has (-1)

SalsaDoom (14830) | more than 10 years ago | (#9794771)

Dropline isn't a fork. Where did you get that?

Its just packaged and made with slackware in mind, just like what redhat or suse or anyone else who ships gnome does.

Yes, I am a Dropline gnome user. Its just gnome.


Ironic (1)

Sandmann (182819) | more than 10 years ago | (#9794716)

It's ironic that making the button order a preference is something the GTK+ developers want because GTK+ has a win32 backend. See

The bug has been open for ages. If somebody would actually come up with the simple patch needed, people could have a gconf preference for the button order.

It makes absolutely *no* sense to fork GNOME for this reason.

Simplify, simplify (1)

peeping_Thomist (66678) | more than 10 years ago | (#9794745)

Ratpoison [] is the only window manager anyone needs.

What is so wrong with Gnome? (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 10 years ago | (#9794757)

What is so wrong with Gnome?

You should try Pogo. (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9794761)

I have a little thing called Pogo [] that I built. I like to think of it as an alternative to GNOME and KDE's "panel"..the area in KDE and GNOME's design where things begin to go horribly, horribly wrong. :)

Pogo is a programmable application launcher. It has no menus. Instead of running your mouse up and down and around in circles going from menu to menu to find the program you're looking for, everything is right up front. If it's not, you use the mousewheel to rotate new launchers into view, You can color code them, move them around, and best of all, you can control each icon's appearance using shell scripts. It comes with a simple command you can use to send Pogo messages, like "flash this icon 3 times", or "move this one icon 3 spaces to the right, and change the color of this other one to blue", lotsa stuff..It's flexible enough that you can use it as a graphical front-end to shell scripts. Pogo comes with a nice looking clock, for example. All it is, is a bash script running in the background, extracting the hour and minute values from /bin/date, and then telling Pogo which icons to slap into place, depending. Neat stuff.

Here's a link to Pogo's Development Page [] .. Youll find screenshots and everything there.

For example, I have a co-lo out in New York. To keep an eye on it, I have a little shell script running in the background on that machine that sends my Pogo a message about once every second. Meanwhile, here in Arizona, one of my Pogo's icons flashes once per second, to indicate the server is alive and well. It will turn blue or yellow, depending upon how much CPU activity is taking place on the box. I could have another script running that could cause the same icon to flash red if there's something weird appearing in the system log. Clicking on the icon then brings up an ssh session with the box. It's not that hard, believe it or not. Pogo's build for that sort of thing.

Hopefully you'll find it useful. It's free.


Gnome vs. KDE vs. fvwm vs. OS X vs.... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9794763)

Well, first of all, Gnome is unusable junk. It's so slow (with "Nautilus") on my Linux machine that it's not even worth trying to use it. KDE is no better, so I continue to use fvwm 1.0 for the 11th consecutive year. Fast, stable, makes sense to my parents.

I'll probably get modded down for suggesting it, but the model for a usable desktop should be Mac OS X. Ignore Windows, KDE, and the current Gnome/Nautilus. OS X makes them all look shabby and thoughtlessly designed.

In some respects, the question of a usable desktop is pointless when someone un-technical, like my mom for example, can sit down at a Macintosh and figure out how to do everything she wants to do without reading any documentation--digital photos, movies, music, email. The desktop may be great, but the OS and its associated user-space programs *must* achieve this sort of ease-of-use if they're ever to be taken seriously by Joe Desktop.

An attempt to clear up some misunderstandings (4, Interesting)

dot-magnon (730521) | more than 10 years ago | (#9794773)

The Gconf/Windows registry comparison is wrong. The only thing is that it contains configuration data stored in one frontend. This interview [] with Havoc Pennington might clear up some of the misunderstandings.

I'd recommend everyone who wants to be a part of the UI debate to read the Gnome HIG before talking - that too contains information about both how and _why_ Gnome looks and acts like it does.

I saw someone suggesting an expert mode. It has been tried, and it doesn't work. But why should we have it? The only thing it leads to is more confusion. And, there are tools in Gnome that are very powerful, yet very simplistic. Look at it this way: Most often, it's not the tool, it's the user. Having more features won't make the user more powerful. It will make the average user less powerful and confused, whereas the power user will have no problem using the simple interface. I consider myself a power user, and I've been using Gnome since 2.0. In every part of my life, as a programmer, student, musician, whatever - I prefer simplicity to advancedness. Because something simple created to perfection will always be better than something advanced. This is what Gnome gives me now - Simplicity and concistency.

This new project surprises me a little bit. It's not because it's a good thing, but because I'm amazed that this man actually has the opportunity to gain support anywhere. I always try to be objective and understandable, but in this case it's not possible: Ali, or oGALAXYo, tends to troll around on osnews, and formerly the mailing lists, accusing people, and generally being angry, and when people tell him to stop he replies with yet more accusations of how people attack him. He's kinda like Dave on Paradise Hotel (Yeah, I've seen it a couple of times).

I have absolutely no faith in that Project GoneME will do anything successful for the Desktop users. Especially when led by a man who in one post love a part of gnome, then two days later hate it - or suddenly hates Gnome as a whole and loves KDE. Then, all of a sudden, KDE is the wrong part. I'd love to see a roadmap for this project. And I'd love to see it change every day.

First of all, it complains massively about simple things as button orders, things that users don't notice on any other plan than an intuitive one - and he says things about f.i. esound (yes, it needs to be replaced) that are just cluttered with ignorance - a sound daemon has its use, ask any distributor.

Oh, and Gnome has a bugzilla [] . That's the place to tell anyone if you've found a bug or feature missing.

To end this post, I'd just like to say that I'm not a Gnome official in any way. I do support and participate in the community, but many people seem to think that everyone talking about Gnome positively belong to the Gnome set of developers, and often end up talking negatively about Gnome because of things that _are not part of Gnome at all_.

Good idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9794777)

Gnome has been running backwards for a long time. I think this is a very good idea and wish them luck. On the other hand, I think in one area they are not taking it far enough. Nautilus, in every form, should die. It is a bloated piece of dinosaur shit that replaced a very well working, light weight, file manager.

They need to revert to GMC.

I have been thinking of not using Gnome anymore because of the way they keep changing things. Every time I upgrade it sets defaults that are horrid and I have to spend hours finding how to change them, if I even can because many get permanently set and the option to change disabled.

I hope these guys can get some momentum going and save Gnome.


A better name... (2, Interesting)

polyp2000 (444682) | more than 10 years ago | (#9794780)

Surely if these folks are wanting to evolve gnome into something else. A more appropriate and funkier sounding name would be "GeGnome" (pron. genome)

Nick ...
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