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Gnome 2.14 Review

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the tiny-little-feet dept.

208

An anonymous user writes "Linux.com (a Slashdot sister site) has up a review of Gnome 2.14. The piece touches on usability improvements, as well as the new administration and configuration tools included with this release." From the article: "GNOME 2.14 continues the steady improvement visible in the last few releases. It is an incremental upgrade, consisting largely of tweaks and the filling in of gaps in functionality. If few of these changes are major by themselves, the overall result is welcome. Perhaps the best way of looking at the release is not as an end in itself, but as a milestone on the road to desktop usability in free operation systems. From this perspective, GNOME 2.14 is a sign that much of the journey is already over -- and that the remaining distance is less than many observers think."

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Thank you very much for Gnome Terminal improv. (4, Interesting)

suso (153703) | more than 8 years ago | (#14942121)

I think the Software Oscar this year should go to whoever took the time to fix the slowness that is Gnome Terminal. Maybe they even fixed it so that international characters in mutt don't screw up too. But maybe that's hoping for too much.

Here's to being one step closer to switching from aterm. Not that I don't like aterm. But, ya know. And don't anyone say Konsole damnit.

Re:Thank you very much for Gnome Terminal improv. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14942201)

I like Konsole.

Re:Thank you very much for Gnome Terminal improv. (1)

eno2001 (527078) | more than 8 years ago | (#14942450)

In general I prefer GNOME to KDE. But I've been using KDE's Konsole for a few weeks now and I have to say it is VERY WELL thought out. The killer feature for me is the option to send input from one tab to ALL sessions in all tabs. This makes it VERY easy for me to run a set of commands on multiple systems simultaneously. The "Watch for Activity" and "Watch for Inactivity" features are nice too when you're using multiple tabs. This puts Konsole WAY ahead of any of the other terminal apps I've seen anywhere else.

Re:Thank you very much for Gnome Terminal improv. (1)

falkryn (715775) | more than 8 years ago | (#14943044)

although (for work) I use 'real' xterms in a wmii tiled window session, one thing I do appreciate about konsole is the ability to quickly shift through your open tabs with -arrowkeys. Very natural and very fast.

last I checked on it, gnome-terminal was terrible in it's tab shifting ability requiring either some awkward key combo or moving via your mouse, which just sucks.

Re:Thank you very much for Gnome Terminal improv. (1)

McDutchie (151611) | more than 8 years ago | (#14942230)

Konsole damnit!

Re:Thank you very much for Gnome Terminal improv. (2, Funny)

IAmTheDave (746256) | more than 8 years ago | (#14942290)

* cough * iTerm.

oh, wait. this is linux. sorry... /me prepare for downmod

Re:Thank you very much for Gnome Terminal improv. (4, Informative)

c0l0 (826165) | more than 8 years ago | (#14942239)

You might want to take a look into rxvt-unicode [schmorp.de] (which is often called urxvt), a blazingly fast unicode-capable terminal emulator written in C++ with support for such goodies as xft (though I don't use it, as it's slowing down things tremendously) and not dependent on GTK[+] at all. It even features tabbing (so your window-manager does not need to do that), and implements a really neat idea of a client/server-model which allows one to spawn new terminals REALLY fast, while making it more lightweight, too.
 
To anybody out there: give it a shot, I bet you'll like it :)

Re:Thank you very much for Gnome Terminal improv. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14942240)

You might want to try out mrxvt, very configurable, but only via text file. But it is also very fast and takes up even less room than xterm upon initial launch

Re:Thank you very much for Gnome Terminal improv. (1)

Perl-Pusher (555592) | more than 8 years ago | (#14942246)

Konsole's tabs rock. I regularly use cisco vpn with several ssh sessions going on with different nodes of a 45 node cluster. The tabs make managing the sessions much easier for me.

Re:Thank you very much for Gnome Terminal improv. (4, Informative)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 8 years ago | (#14942273)

Can't remember offhand what version of Gnome i'm using at home, but Gnome now has tabs in the console.

Re:Thank you very much for Gnome Terminal improv. (1)

Excelsior (164338) | more than 8 years ago | (#14943062)

I switched to Linux 2 years and 4 months ago, and Gnome Terminal has had tabs that entire time.

Re:Thank you very much for Gnome Terminal improv. (3, Informative)

0xABADC0DA (867955) | more than 8 years ago | (#14942344)

If you are not disabled the best thing to improve gnome-terminal performance is to turn off the accessibility options (in Preferences -> Accessibility -> *). This makes gnome-terminal 2.6.12 only marginally slower the Konsole (maybe 20%) instead of several times slower.

Re:Thank you very much for Gnome Terminal improv. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14942793)

What does being physically challanged have anything to do with this?

yeah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14942563)

I think the Software Oscar this year should go to whoever took the time to fix the slowness that is Gnome Terminal.

So we should give a Oscar to anyone that fixes something? I'd rather give an "anti-oscar" at who designed the pieces of software which have make gnome-terminal slow for years.

So, duh. This release is pretty much "Gnome is starting to fix some of the crap which users have been suffering for years". Which is not bad, but don't get surprised that users are not jumping massively to linux with this kind of software QA.

There're already bugs filed to add to the gtk file chooser features like (dumroll....) ordering files by size! and a thumbnail view!. But it hasn't made its way into 2.14, so gnome users will have to wait (hopefully) until 2.16 to have a 90's file chooser. So, where's the QA process which stopped that file chooser from being merged in such crappy state and that has not forced developers to fix it in a reasonable timeframe?

Call me when Linux desktop stops fixing errors and starts adding solutions. What Gnome 2.14 tells to my mind is that gnome performance/memory usage has sucked for years and nobody fixed it until today.

Re:yeah (1)

chrismcdirty (677039) | more than 8 years ago | (#14942792)

So you'd like software with tons of error-filled solutions?

Re:Thank you very much for Gnome Terminal improv. (1)

drew (2081) | more than 8 years ago | (#14942637)

What I want to know is does gnome-terminal support 256 colors yet?

It's faster? (4, Informative)

cortana (588495) | more than 8 years ago | (#14942853)

I don't understand people who say that gnome-terminal is slow... I find that it is the fastest terminal emulator. The trick is to actually compare like with like.

Let's say we use 8 point Bitstream Vera Sans Mono, and a terminal size of 80x24. Prepare the test data:
$ dd bs=1M count=1 if=/dev/urandom | xxd > data

To run the test:
$ time cat data

The results:

xterm -fa mono -fs 8 (209)
The window is drawn very flickery. I couldn't use this for day to day use.
real 1m28.686s
user 0m4.370s
sys 0m0.371s

gnome-terminal (2.12.0)
The smoothest and fastest of the lot!
real 0m6.401s
user 0m3.425s
sys 0m0.208s

rxvt-unicode -fn xft:mono:size=8 (5.3)
Smooth but slowish
real 0m41.071s
user 0m0.871s
sys 0m0.182s

konsole (3.3)
Scrolling is jerky/stuttery, but not flickery.
real 0m10.337s
user 0m0.003s
sys 0m0.091s

Re:It's faster? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14942975)

aterm (1.0, transparency+fading+scrollbar):
real 0m4.697s
user 0m0.000s
sys 0m0.072s

Re:It's faster? (2, Informative)

cortana (588495) | more than 8 years ago | (#14943134)

Thanks for the data point. On my system aterm 1.0.0 cats the file in 2.5 seconds; however this is not a fair comparison because aterm only uses bitmap fonts. I can't see how to make it use Bitstream Vera Sans Mono 8 as used by the other terminal emulators in my test.

For comparison, xterm using the default bitmap font takes 4.5 seconds to cat the file.

Re:Thank you very much for Gnome Terminal improv. (1)

lofoforabr (751004) | more than 8 years ago | (#14943174)

Hey, gnome-terminal doesn't need fixing for international characters.
I use gnome-terminal (2.12) and mutt (1.5.11) and they work fine with each other. I can see all sorts of characters.

Profit! (-1, Offtopic)

ral315 (741081) | more than 8 years ago | (#14942127)

1. Steal underpants.
2. ???
3. PROFIT!

Oh, wait. Wrong GNOMEs.

It's a moving target (0, Flamebait)

LaughingCoder (914424) | more than 8 years ago | (#14942140)

If few of these changes are major by themselves, the overall result is welcome. Perhaps the best way of looking at the release is not as an end in itself, but as a milestone on the road to desktop usability in free operation systems. From this perspective, GNOME 2.14 is a sign that much of the journey is already over -- and that the remaining distance is less than many observers think.

This statement is true, at least until Vista is released, at which point the bar goes up again and the "free operation systems" are again at a significant deficit. Luckily it is always quicker to copy than it is to innovate, so I have no doubt the gap will close again.

Re:It's a moving target (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14942181)

The accusations of copying need to stop. First of all, all GUIs are based on a large set of fundamental principles. A lot of stuff is just going to look the same, period. Secondly, there are a lot of innovative and non-MS/OS X features in KDE and GNOME. In KDE alone just compare window management, theme management, IO-slaves, customizability of the kicker, etc. to Windows. It's written using a cross-platform GUI toolkit so programs will be able to be easily ported across OSes. That's very important and that's lacking in OS X and Windows (.NET sort of counts, but with all the Windows-only crap that's getting thrown in, portability will likely be low).

Re:It's a moving target (4, Insightful)

albalbo (33890) | more than 8 years ago | (#14942186)

I think that's partly true, but I think the free software desktop evolves faster. If you think about how much was new in WinXP, it wasn't much, and that was out in 2001/2002(?). So, the current W32 desktop is pretty old in computer terms. If you think how far GNOME has come in that time, it's a huge leap.

If they maintain the current pace, sure Vista might be superficially nicer when it comes out. In a couple of releases or so GNOME will have caught up in the areas Vista is ahead, but there won't be a new W32 UI to catch up where GNOME is ahead.

I think the current GNOME pace is about right. There aren't huge advances each release, but each release does bring stuff worth having.

Re:It's a moving target (1)

Khuffie (818093) | more than 8 years ago | (#14942490)

You can look at it the other way: since the time XP has been released, Microsoft has been working on Vista and making improvements to it. So the time Gnome has been playing catchup is time Vista has been using to move ahead.

Re:It's a moving target (1)

dr.badass (25287) | more than 8 years ago | (#14942882)

So the time Gnome has been playing catchup is time Vista has been using to move ahead.

This isn't quite true. GNOME's doing a lot of stuff already that's in Vista and Mac OS X, like content searching and "smart folders", and hardware compositing (Xgl). In some places they're still behind even XP, but in others they're skipping the intermediate steps and going straight to the new way of doing things.

Re:It's a moving target (1)

albalbo (33890) | more than 8 years ago | (#14942955)

Well, supposedly they have, but I don't really see it.

There are few UI improvements I can think of that Vista will bring. I suspect GNOME already has better search, a more consistent UI, etc. Probably, Vista has better admin UI, but there's not much else that springs to mind.

Microsoft wasted a lot of time re-spinning onto the W2k3 codebase after they chucked their WinXP-based work, remember.

DRM to be used in GNOME's multimedia backend (1, Flamebait)

billybob2 (755512) | more than 8 years ago | (#14942874)

the bar goes up again and the "free operation systems" are again at a significant deficit

How long do you think GNOME will remain a "free desktop", when members of the GNOME Foundation's advisory board, such as Fluendo, are advocating DRM [slashdot.org] in GNOME's audio/video backend?

If they have their way, GNOME will end up just as shackled by draconian DRM as as M$ Vista [slashdot.org] .

Re:It's a moving target (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14942198)

This statement is true, at least until Vista is released, at which point the bar goes up again and the "free operation systems" are again at a significant deficit. Luckily it is always quicker to copy than it is to innovate, so I have no doubt the gap will close again.

You didn't even read the sentence you quoted did you?

Or did you read it as:
If few of these changes are major by themselves, the overall result is welcome. Perhaps the best way of looking at the release is not as an end in itself, but as a milestone on the road to desktop bling in free operation systems. From this perspective, GNOME 2.14 is a sign that much of the journey is already over -- and that the remaining distance is less than many observers think.


I really doubt vista will be more usable then '95.

Sing Along (1)

hahiss (696716) | more than 8 years ago | (#14942274)


1. Gnome is not an operating system. (And, I mean, this isn't even CLOSE---like the whole ``Linux isn't by itself an OS" thing.)

2. The main Free OSes---GNU/Linux and *BSD---can run many different window managers under X, some of which are quite innovative indeed. (See sig for my particular favorite (which is trying to do away with WIMP interfaces altogether), but there are many others doing interesting things.)

    I know, I know, this post isn't innovative, it is just a copy of hundreds like it on slashdot. . . .

Re:Sing Along (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14943211)

Your post has no sig, nor do the couple most recent posts you've made that I checked. What window manager do you use?

Re:It's a moving target (3, Insightful)

misleb (129952) | more than 8 years ago | (#14942297)

First of all, you assume that Vista will be the pinnicle of desktop features. As if OS X isn't already implementing most of the new features that Vista touts. And even still, you assume that all those new features are what users want or need. The (my) problem with Windows has always been that it tries to do everything for everyone. Mac OS has always been good about keeping feature creep down and just doing the core things very well. What is nice about a Linux desktop is choice. Believe it or not, many people choose fewer bells and whistles. I hope the GNOME developers can stay focused on doing the most important things very well rather than going off an trying to copy every feature that the "big guys" decide is important.

-matthew

Re:It's a moving target (1)

LaughingCoder (914424) | more than 8 years ago | (#14942472)

Actually, no such assumption is made on my part. From what I have seen so far (have you tried the Vista beta yet?) there are a number of usability enhancements beyond mere eye-candy in Vista. FYI, there is a nice article here: http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,1697,1931945 ,00.asp [extremetech.com] that discusses them. Most of them are targeted at everyday (ie non-techie) users, so they may go unappreciated (and hence be subject to scorn and mockery) by this audience. But the simple fact is, those things matter A LOT to common users -- the very crowd the Linux desktop distributions need to attract to gain any significant market share. And it doesn't take a rocket scientist to notice that the "perceived usability" of the Linux desktops closely tracks its increasing operational similarity to Windows.

And yes, Microsoft also freely copies as well -- tabbed browsing in IE7 is an example that quickly comes to mind. I never said that they didn't. But folks around these parts are very quick to castigate MS as a non-innovator when in fact they innovate as much as they copy, and perhaps more.

Lastly, there seems to be the perception around here that innovation == goodness. In the commonly accepted definition of the word, innovation means something new and unique, not necessary better. And for all their faults, you cannot possibly argue, as many on this board do, that Microsoft never introduces anything new or different. That said, you *might* have some success arguing they never introduce anything good ;-)

Re:It's a moving target (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14942518)

I completely disagree (I wonder how many people said this before I did). Why is Windows a target at all? GNOME is not intended to be a copy of Windows, any more than Fluxbox is.

Re:It's a moving target (0, Troll)

baadger (764884) | more than 8 years ago | (#14942978)

Personally I think you are correct.

For me, the most annoying thing about GNOME/X/KDE/Linux desktops at the moment is the quality of fonts. Especially font antialiasing in FreeType, which IMHO isn't yet upto the standard of MS's ClearType.

I've tried half a dozen fonts with the BCI both on and off, various settings for hinting, antialiasing and subpixel order, but ClearType just looks better than any of the results i've been able to get.

That said, I _have_ seen screenshots (example [kde-look.org] ) where font rendering is rather nice, but I have idea how acheive such a result and have pretty much given up.

When I goto one of the Linux based labs the university I attend I can barely stand using their Fedora Core gnome desktop for sake of the horrid fonts. In constrast when I sit at almost any Windows station, provided the screen resolution is acceptable, the fonts never bother me.

Linux newbies (like me) do alot of harping about desktop consistancy, but one thing all GUI based OS's should have in this day and age is readable comfortable fonts. It is sad to see many desktop Linux distributions still suck in this area 'out of the box'.

My point is, Linux desktop's, although generally brilliant, don't get to polish and deal with the nitty gritty (and most difficult) bits out of the way before the bar get's moved up.

Google is starting to sound like Big Brother (-1, Offtopic)

RubberDogBone (851604) | more than 8 years ago | (#14942148)

Wonder when they'll acquire a big-screen "TV" company and just give them away for free -and how many saps will go for the freebie.

Google is your friend. Accept the free TV and enjoy.

Re:Google is starting to sound like Big Brother (0, Offtopic)

RubberDogBone (851604) | more than 8 years ago | (#14942180)

!@#$ Somebody mod this down and make it go away. It got posted under the wrong topic.

Error between keyboard and chair.

In Five Years.... (5, Funny)

IflyRC (956454) | more than 8 years ago | (#14942162)

I can see it now. A Penguin that resembles Tux pops up in the lower right corner of the screen. A thought bubble appears above his head as he smiles and waves. The bubble reads, "So, it looks like you're trying to write a letter".

Re:In Five Years.... (1)

What the Frag (951841) | more than 8 years ago | (#14942360)

Well, at least you may try something like this:

# killall man
or perhaps
# killall man-ui
or
# psdoom [sourceforge.net]

Screenshots? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14942166)

A review without screenshots ?!?!

Blashpemy!

gnome is dead (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14942169)

netcraft confirms! gnome is dead! long live kde! gnome developers are all inadequate. they have no real skills. they cobble together pieces of code from other sources, like our good friend m$. fuck gnome, and fuck all gnome developers!

Re:gnome is dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14942431)

Feel better, now? :)

A review of a GUI without screenshots :-( (5, Informative)

IYagami (136831) | more than 8 years ago | (#14942176)

If you want to see some follow the next link: http://www.gnome.org/start/2.14/notes/en/rnusers.h tml [gnome.org]

Re:A review of a GUI without screenshots :-( (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14942229)

who cares? the screenshots you provided only show one thing: gnome still sucks farts out of my ass! gnome is ugly, nonfunctional, buggy, and non-intuitive. get a real desktop! [kde.org]

So, what options does this release remove? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14942197)

I already know 2.14 removes almost all the options available in the GNOME version of XScreensaver, and it apparently removes many of the options that used to be available from the Sound preference dialog. So what else has GNOME removed with this next release, because allowing users to have choice is "too complicated"?

Unfortunately for GNOME, they can't remove all choice; I can still choose to use KDE, because KDE chooses to let me customize it any way I want instead of being forced into the defaults GNOME wants. And, please, don't point out GConf, unless you can point to a list of what every single key (at least for a given application) in GConf does.

I swear, every release of GNOME adds to the eye candy, and removes from the usability. And to think I once advocated GNOME over KDE.

Re:So, what options does this release remove? (-1, Flamebait)

ErichTheWebGuy (745925) | more than 8 years ago | (#14942284)

every release of GNOME adds to the eye candy

If that's eye candy, they need to get some real designers, cuz damn it is ugly as hell!!!

Re:So, what options does this release remove? (1)

minginqunt (225413) | more than 8 years ago | (#14942371)

I think to troll in such a way is to wilfully miss that which we all know to be true, to miss the point of the removal of XScreensaver.

XScreensaver was, and always will remain, a nasty hack that plays badly with the Session Manager, plays badly with power management, plays badly with screen locking, and features one of the most confused and irrelevant user interfaces ever committed to screens.

Frankly it had to go. What GNOME Screensaver has instead? A list of modules, pick one or random, a time-out slider, and that's it.

That's it because that's all it needs. Ask Mac OS X. Ask Windows. Just don't ask XScreensaver.

Re:So, what options does this release remove? (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 8 years ago | (#14942505)

And to think I once advocated GNOME over KDE.

OK, I've been a fan of Gnome since ~1997 (Hell, almost 10 years!).

But I agree with most of your post. I have lost count of the number of times I've ground my teeth in frustration at the latest useful feature which has been deemed by some craniorectally inverted individual to be redundant or unnecessary. Not to mention the number of times the wheel has to be reinvented (gpdf -> evince is a recent and particularly egregious example).

That said, I still try every now and then to be fair to KDE. The attempt never lasts long, though. I happily agree that many things in KDE "just work" much better than they do in Gnome, but I find KDE just makes me irritable every time I use it.

Re:So, what options does this release remove? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14942825)

gpdf was a poor pdf/ps reader. Evince is a friendly usable and full featured reader of lots of stuff. don't be silly.

Re:So, what options does this release remove? (5, Insightful)

minginqunt (225413) | more than 8 years ago | (#14942513)

Hum.

Usability. Clearly it means something different to you than it does to me. Usable software is not software that requires drilling through hundreds of contradictory, confused or utterly irrelevant options before one can get anything done.

And note, here, I'm not pointing an accusing finger at KDE here; the problems with KControl are well known and have been dealt with.

The point I'm trying to make is that we here utter so much gibberish about usability because we're not users, we're computer experts. We're used to thinking like computers.

You don't really appreciate what usability really is until you observe somebody who isn't a propellerhead, struggling over your code, confused and baffled by your lovingly hand-crafted user interface, in all its customizable glory.

Usability isn't about too many or two few options, it's about several things.

1) Do What I mean, having sure I have the capability to express what I mean.

2) Know your target audience. No software can be all things to all people, and it is foolish to try. Pick sensible defaults for your target audience. Provide user interfaces to allow that audience to configure that which they might reasonably be expected to need to change.

3) Don't add complexity for the sake of Geek Machismo.

4) Don't remove useful functionality for the sake of keeping it simple. As simple as possible and no simpler

5) Have a consistent set of guidelines for your user interface, in pursuance of the needs of your target audience.

6) Challenge your assumptions; WATCH THEM. See what your target audience doesn't understand that you thought was obvious. Fix it.

7) Don't sneer at KDE or GNOME or Ion because they have different target audiences, different philosophies. Praise them when they are consistent with their goals, guidelines and audience, politely suggest improvements or proffer patches where they fall short.

Have KDE got it entirely right? No, but they're getting there.

Have GNOME got it entirely right? No, but they're getting there.

I guess what I'm saying is, usability doesn't mean what you think it does. Not all software is targetted at geeks, not all people think like geeks.

And frankly, we should thank the Lord Xenu that this is the case.

Re:So, what options does this release remove? (1)

jdgeorge (18767) | more than 8 years ago | (#14942556)

Unfortunately for GNOME, they can't remove all choice; I can still choose to use KDE, because KDE chooses to let me customize it any way I want instead of being forced into the defaults GNOME wants. And, please, don't point out GConf, unless you can point to a list of what every single key (at least for a given application) in GConf does.

I swear, every release of GNOME adds to the eye candy, and removes from the usability. And to think I once advocated GNOME over KDE.


I'm saddened to hear of the suffering that the ongoing changes in GNOME have caused in your life. I, also, have experienced some frustration at desktop environment features that didn't work to my liking. However, when I encountered this situation, I simply moved on and chose a tool that worked better for me. The alternative I chose was XFCE.

This page [freedesktop.org] links to the web sites for many of the alternative desktop environments for Linux. Perhaps one of them will provide a more satisfying experience for you.

Even if none of those have what you need, take heart. I understand that both Apple Computer, Inc. and the Microsoft Corporation sell software with similar desktop features....

In the eye of the beholder (2, Interesting)

Lobais (743851) | more than 8 years ago | (#14942594)

Okay, they've removed possibility to change the sounds of the gnomegames from the "sound preferences" dialog, but really who need that? Instead they've added possibility to change which soundcard you wanna use. To me that's much more useful.

You are also right, that the new screensaver dialog is not as advanced as the old one, but that's not because anything has been removed, that's simply because it is a whole new screensaver, native to gnome, enabling gnomeprogrammes to interact with it, and making it translatable. I'm sure more features will be added in later versions.

Personally I really look forward to use the innovative Deskbar Applet, which I think the review forgot to tell about.

Re:In the eye of the beholder (4, Interesting)

jejones (115979) | more than 8 years ago | (#14943099)

I'm sure more features will be added [to gnome-screensaver] in later versions.

I take it you've not read the comments from the developer in bugzilla, where requests for the ability to set options and for full-screen preview are marked WONTFIX. Quotes:

"My view is that any screensaver theme that requires configuration is inherently broken."

"I don't think [full-screen preview] solves any real problems."

Yes, there are valid concerns about random people setting GLtext to display [insert obscenity here] or pointing the slideshow screensaver at their pr0n collection on a computer in a government office or business. That said, that problem has been "solved" in a manner inconsistent with the rest of GNOME. pessulus and sabayon (or however those are spelled) is supposed to be able to set limits of that sort, but the author of gnome-screensaver has unilaterally hard-wired it into police state mode, regardless of how the system administrator (who, for most of us, is us) wants it.

How much $$$ do you suppose one would have to put up to get a reasonable version of gnome-screensaver forked that allows, under pessulus control, the system administrator to either allow or deny option setting on an individual screensaver basis, allows full-screen previews, and allows the individual user to indicate for each screensaver whether it should be in the pool for random selection for that user? gnome-screensaver is, IMHO, sufficiently fundamentally WRONG that I'd contribute to a fund for a version that does it right.

Sorry to go on repeatedly and at length about what is perhaps a trivial issue, but for me it's the proverbial last straw.

Re:So, what options does this release remove? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14942680)

Yeah. Why won't someone fork Gnome already? I've had it with those interface nazis that tell me what I can or can't have in my computer's interface. It's totally ridiculous to think that there are actually people who think it's a good idea to remove functions.

The things is you have a choice (1)

solarbob (959948) | more than 8 years ago | (#14942199)

Now I think Gnome and Kde are both good, and of course each have their fan base and its good to get things more mature a it will help people adopt Linux if they want to. However the one thing is that as they are both (very fancy) X11 Window Managers it means that if you don't like it you can just remove it and install it yourself. Personally I like WindowMaker as its blazing fast and for the way I work (where 95% of my things is console work) its great. Gnome / KDE can look nice but they do seem to just slow everything down a bit

Re:The things is you have a choice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14942607)

Gnome is not a window manager.

Dupe ? (0, Redundant)

alexhs (877055) | more than 8 years ago | (#14942207)

Seems the linked linux.com article is little more than a summary of the GNOME Release Notes [gnome.org] linked from the yesterday's "story" [slashdot.org] ... :(

Usability Comments (4, Informative)

rjstanford (69735) | more than 8 years ago | (#14942222)

I just wanted to respond to a couple of things that the article mentioned in passing. Some are minor, some are things that I think may be suffering from a "Can't see the forest for the trees," problem.

Some of the interface changes in the new version, such as the addition of icons to dialog windows, are the equivalent of the gingerbread on the gables of Victorian houses -- decorations that do nothing for functionality.

Well, that may be somewhat true. Of course, there have been studies showing that people work more efficiently, with less strain, in an "attractive," work environment. This holds true in everything from adding plants to offices to adding "gingerbread," to a GUI. And in this case, it sounds as if they do provide functionality as well since I'd be very surprised if these icons weren't context-specific in some form or fashion. But even if they provided no direct benefit, they probably do something for functionality.

Two of the new tools, Pessulus and Sabayon, help administrators limit what users of everyday accounts can do on the system

Whoa. We're talking about usability, and we're not going to comment on "Pessulus" and "Sabayon"? Don't get me wrong, those are great project names. Really great. But as new tools (and therefore not projects like Apache that everyone is familiar with), those names stink.

From a security perspective, Sabayon and Pessulus are complementary tools, differing mainly in approach. They are joined by the Power Manager, used to control how a computer is suspended or hibernates when inactive.

Now, "Power Manager" is far from sexy, but without ever using it I could have guessed what it did. And I'd say that most people could have done as well. When software behaves as you expect it to, without changing your mental map from "solving a problem" to "using the software," that's usability.

A desktop tool for changing window managers would also be welcome.

Allowing the users to focus on their work or, failing that, their desktop environment, without ever having to stop and think about their choice of window manager, would be a welcome usability enhancement. The fact that, as evidenced by earlier comparisons of SawFish and Metacity, not only can the users not ignore their WM but are indeed actively encouraged to become involved, seems unfortunate.

Re:Usability Comments (1)

rjstanford (69735) | more than 8 years ago | (#14942255)

I failed to comment on Ekiga as far as naming went, because I thought they'd finally got it right with different project and application names. The article even said, Evolution's address book is now integrated with Ekiga, a.k.a. GNOME Meeting.. But, alas, from another article I found this delightful snippet:

Ekiga, formerly known as GNOME Meeting, is GNOME's voice and video-over-IP client.

That's going the wrong way, guys. Long live usability indeed.

Re:Usability Comments (1)

powerlord (28156) | more than 8 years ago | (#14943028)

Say what you will about KDE's overzelous use of the 'K' (Konqueror, KOffice, Kontact, KDevelop, et al.) at least they're consistant so you know what apps are part of the suite, and might have some idea what they do.

Re:Usability Comments (1)

Otter (3800) | more than 8 years ago | (#14942377)

I feel a little guilty knocking the free desktops for slavishly copying Windows and then complaining again when GNOME does come up with fresh ideas. Problem is, innovation is only worthwhile when it's good! I give GNOME credit for trying, but a lot of the things they do are simply counterproductive. (My favorite Linux desktop was still back in the old days when you could run kfm (the old KDE desktop and browser, now broken into kdesktop and konqueror) comfortably in WindowMaker.)

And, yeah -- Sabayon and Pessulus are even worse names than Ekiga.

Re:Usability Comments (1)

Excelsior (164338) | more than 8 years ago | (#14943118)

The addition of icons to the title bar of a dialog box lets you associate the application that spawned the dialog box in the first place. Particularly when dialog boxes aren't modal, it can be difficult on a busy desktop to know their parent. Also, its difficult because dialog boxes usually don't have room to include the parent-app name in the title bar. Now an icon lets you know the parent.

TFA is really missing the point on that one by calling this feature "the equivalent of the gingerbread on the gables of Victorian houses". Though, overall TFA is a well-written review.

GNOME vs KDE (not flamebait!) (4, Insightful)

MartinG (52587) | more than 8 years ago | (#14942223)

Is it just me or has anyone else noticed this trend.

Within my local LUG over the last year or two opinions on GNOME vs KDE have become increasingly polarised. Personally I love GNOME and I think it's getting better every release. I have nothing bad to say about KDE but it just doesn't interest me.

Some of the KDE fans among us though seem to be starting to dislike GNOME more and more.

I don't know what it is but perhaps it's a good thing? A few years back it was my perception that both desktops were aiming for the same thing. Now though I think there is a clear and emerging idealogical difference between the two. While seen as bad by some (the desktops should be converging!), it at least presents more of a choice.

Anyone else noticed this or am I just going (even more) mad?

Re:GNOME vs KDE (not flamebait!) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14942333)

Within my local LUG over the last year or two opinions on GNOME vs KDE have become increasingly polarised. Personally I love GNOME and I think it's getting better every release. I have nothing bad to say about KDE but it just doesn't interest me.

Some of the KDE fans among us though seem to be starting to dislike GNOME more and more.

Gnome v KDE; perl v python; emacs v vi; The list could go on and we have survived so far. I don't think there is really much to worry about here.

Re:GNOME vs KDE (not flamebait!) (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14942348)

Some of the KDE fans among us though seem to be starting to dislike GNOME more and more.

I'm probably talking out my ass, but I think what you're seeing is former GNOME fans who got completely fed up with the direction GNOME is taking (less choice, more "user-friendly defaults") and switched to KDE. These fans used to be GNOME advocates, but grew to hate it based on the way it's been developed, and became vocal KDE adovcates in an attempt to get their concerns with GNOME heard.

Again, I may be completely wrong, but that's the way it feels to me. The strongest hatreds can be spawned from a love spurned, or something like that.

Re:GNOME vs KDE (not flamebait!) (1)

Sri Ramkrishna (1856) | more than 8 years ago | (#14942476)

I think you're totally right.

sri

Re:GNOME vs KDE (not flamebait!) (1)

ch-chuck (9622) | more than 8 years ago | (#14942353)

It's just the decreasing level of intelligence as linux becomes more popular, the superficial differences become more important than the underlying similarities. I used to boggle over the amount of ill will and vindictive over Atari -vs- Commodore -vs- Apple users in the BBS age - to me they were all just 6502 boxes with custom roms and video/sound chips. To the partisans they were engaged in some epic good -vs- evil struggle to defend the honor of their purchasing decisions (or, in current times, the desktop they know and love).

Re:GNOME vs KDE (not flamebait!) (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14942435)

Some of the KDE fans among us though seem to be starting to dislike GNOME more and more.
Speaking as a KDE fan myself, some of it is jealousy - GNOME is *THE* desktop at the moment, and all of the major distros are drifting further and further towards it, and all of the big players (IBM, Google, Redhat etc) are simply hurling money at it while KDE developers are left out in the cold - which is a shame, as in may ways GNOME is playing functional and technologically catch-up to the already functional and technically advanced KDE. There is also the feeling that the GNOME/ Ximian guys are playing a very political game and being very vocal and really selling themselves hard at businesses, rather than competing on merits. Then again, this is a pretty empty complaint as KDE could do the same thing ...

It goes both ways, though - I spend a lot of time on the Ubuntu forums, and KDE receives more than its fair share of either contempt or shallow dismissal.

Re:GNOME vs KDE (not flamebait!) (1)

Excelsior (164338) | more than 8 years ago | (#14943168)

It goes both ways, though - I spend a lot of time on the Ubuntu forums, and KDE receives more than its fair share of either contempt or shallow dismissal.

Forums for a Gnome-based distribution has drawn in the Gnome-preferenced crowd. Suprise, surprise.

Re:GNOME vs KDE (not flamebait!) (1)

ultranova (717540) | more than 8 years ago | (#14942491)

A few years back it was my perception that both desktops were aiming for the same thing. Now though I think there is a clear and emerging idealogical difference between the two.

Gtkapitalism vs. Kommunism, with the Third World being a dumping ground for dangerous poisons [nongnu.org] ;).

Re:GNOME vs KDE (not flamebait!) (5, Insightful)

lordofthemoose (716655) | more than 8 years ago | (#14942933)

I definitely agree with you on the fact that they now aim at completely different things.
I have been using KDE since KDE 3.0 (before that it was windowmaker), and love it. I especially like the fact that I can customize it to my exact (RSI-suffering) needs, and the absurdly powerful tools it ships with (Konsole, Konqueror). However, I do not dislike GNOME at all, quite the opposite.

The story of my "conversion" is simple : I was looking for a linux distribution for my computer-illiterate mother, and ended up installing Ubuntu , which ships with GNOME . While initially dismissing GNOME as "You can't do anything productive with it", I came to understand that from a usability point of view it was far better than KDE : while having no previous experience with it (apart from a quick go at 1.4 and 2.4), by just clicking where it seemed logical, I got what I wanted. The UI never got in my way, and it felt... strangely perfect. This has never happened with KDE. The GNOME UI is very simple, there are very few options - which suits my mother perfectly, she even told me she found it very easy -, and the menus and toolbars are not cluttered with lots of scary options. On the contrary, KDE is filled to the brim with options - which is what I need, but which my mother doesn't - which can be pretty confusing for a first time user.

The bottom line for me is that both are excellent products, they just don't seem share the same goal. I'm happy with KDE (and need the configurability , my mother is happy with GNOME and is a linux convert (she now advocates it to most of her friends).

Isn't Free Software all about choice? I'm glad we have both GNOME and KDE.

Re:GNOME vs KDE (not flamebait!) (1)

Excelsior (164338) | more than 8 years ago | (#14943262)

Precisely. I moved my wife's machine from Windows to Ubuntu with Gnome recently. It's been a pleasure. I no longer have to hand-hold to show her what to do. It's so very simple, she understands right away.

For instance, to burn a music CD, she inserts a blank CD. Gnome pops up and asks her what she wants to do with four simple buttons. She clicks the Create Music CD button, which opens a window. She drags mp3s into the window, and hits a button, and voila.

The audience for KDE is not the population at large, and I would assert that the audience for Gnome is. Parity is gained because the Linux desktop market is currently not the population at large either.

Re:GNOME vs KDE (not flamebait!) (1, Interesting)

cortana (588495) | more than 8 years ago | (#14943056)

I think this stems for the reason for the creation of the various products, and the re-invention that Gnome underwent for version 2.0.

The KDE project started off as a modern/nice looking replacement for CDE. The problem was that it used QT, which was only available under the a crappy license[0], the QPL, that made it impossible to distribute KDE in binary form. The GNOME project was started to provide a Free alternative to KDE.

At this point, GNOME's only reason for existing is to be a free alternative for KDE. GNOME has no overall vision or direction, so it ends up being pretty similar.

Eventually, Trolltech made QT available under the GPL as well as the non-free QPL; perhaps in response to GNOME's rising popularity.

However, the GNOME libraries were available under the much more commercial-friendly LGPL. GNOME was therefore chosen by Sun to replace their ageing CDE platform.

Sun did a lot of work on GNOME's usability and this became the project's focus. This is the point at which GNOME and KDE both have separate directions, and so they diverge. This is also the point that the GNOME/KDE disagreements really heated up. :)

Of course, this is probably very glib and facile and I'm sure I'll be corrected by someone who acutally worked on GNOME/KDE in the days of yore. :)

[0] http://www.debian.org/News/1998/19981008 [debian.org]

Still looking and waiting for download (2, Interesting)

nizo (81281) | more than 8 years ago | (#14942235)

But what I want to know is do you get an hourglass after you click an application shortcut on your desktop? Nothing confuses a n00b like clicking on something and having zero feedback (did I click it only once or is it just taking forever???)

Re:Still looking and waiting for download (2, Informative)

AlphaPB (741406) | more than 8 years ago | (#14942361)

Application shortcuts for GNOME or GNOME-friendly applications should have startup notification enabled by default. If not, you can enable it for applications that support it by inserting the line "StartupNotify=true" into the .desktop shortcut file. In 2.12 I believe that user-created shortcuts, created using "Create Launcher" on desktop context menu, do not have StartupNotify enabled, nor do they have an option to enable it. I don't understand why having notification isn't the default, assumed mode. Not sure if this behavior remains the same in 2.14.

If you're creating a shortcut to an application that's already in the GNOME menu, it's easier to just middle-click-drag that entry to the desktop to create a copy.

Re:Still looking and waiting for download (1)

nizo (81281) | more than 8 years ago | (#14942850)

Well, in this case the application I am firing up is VMware, and lemme tell you it takes some time to start. Also if you keep clickityclicking, you can screw up your installation by running it more than once, which isn't good. I will look at what you mentioned, but I did find an application called busycursor [lysator.liu.se] that seems to do what I want (it can launch any app and display an hourglass while it starts). Still, it would be nice to have Gnome do this for me, so thanks for the info.

Gnome guys still unresponsive I see. (-1, Troll)

black hole sun (850775) | more than 8 years ago | (#14942262)

I was pleased to see the Alacarte Menu Editor, and disappointed to realize that it was added by Ubuntu, not GNOME 2.14; a menu editor is something that I've missed since one was dropped in an early 2.x release.

Un-be-lieveable. I had no idea they actually REMOVED something as basic as a MENU EDITOR? This is the problem with these gnome guys. Users be damned, they're going to do whatever the hell they want. How could they possibly justify this? So what are we supposed to do, use gconf's registry editor? It's absolute bullshit to require a third party program for so basic a task, when both Windows and KDE implement the same functionality and have done so for how many years now? If we want to know why linux won't be an acceptable desktop replacement for a long, long time, it's this kind of shit right here. Go ahead and mod me as troll, but this stuff has got to be said. If we don't bitch, nothing'll ever get done.

Re:Gnome guys still unresponsive I see. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14942334)

GNOME menu (also known as freedesktop.org standard menu) is just a collection of text-based '*.desktop' files in a tree of directories, you can perfectly well edit it with Nautilus.

Re:Gnome guys still unresponsive I see. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14942397)

I thought the whole point of a GUI was to be intuitive and "discoverable" just by pointing at little pictures?

Once again, this just goes to show that nothing's perfect, not event GNOME or its developers.

Re:Gnome guys still unresponsive I see. (4, Informative)

Sri Ramkrishna (1856) | more than 8 years ago | (#14942432)

Calm down dude. Ubuntu replace GNOME's menu editor with their own. GNOME's had a menu editor for two releases now.

I believe it's called SMEG or gmenu-simple-edit. But Ala Carte works well.

sri

Re:Gnome guys still unresponsive I see. (2, Informative)

BRSloth (578824) | more than 8 years ago | (#14942699)

Users be damned, they're going to do whatever the hell they want.

Actually, the problem appeared when the menu specification appeared on freedesktop.org. They had to change their way to do menus to the new specification and, due the timed released, there wasn't time to do the menu editor. That came on two releases, I believe: the first when the specification came in and the next, where all applications on the desktop released where reviewed to include their ".desktop" files (the ones used on menus).

Also, the menu specification allows applications to register themselves on the menus. New applications, this way, should have zero menu edits to appear. Since the menu specification came in, I never had to edit the menus, to be honest.

Re:Gnome guys still unresponsive I see. (2, Informative)

caseih (160668) | more than 8 years ago | (#14943009)

It was removed because it basically sucked. I'm glad to see it back though. Thanks to the freedesktop menu standards, though, I've have *yet* to need to edit my menu. Every app I installed put its icon in the proper place on the menu. No need to screw with the layout. With windows I'm constantly editing the start menu because it is layed out in such a horrible way. All gnome distros I've dealt with recently had sane and logical menu entries. All KDE and Gnome apps showed up in the proper place upon installation. Beats the heck out of installing your own crappy menu items only to have a bunch of stale links when you remove the program like in the old KDE days.

So basically as far as overall usability goes, menu editing is not quite dead last but definitely not a priority.

In short, these "gnome guys" as you call them actually are doing a great job. I'd rather have a feature implemented right than implemented poorly like Windows does. (Can't speak for KDE, but I haven't had to edit KDE menus in about 5 years either.)

Re:Gnome guys still unresponsive I see. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14943018)

And the printing dialogs! They are what ultimately made me switch from Gnome to KDE. They are just a bit too crippled for daily use. I can't blame Linus for his latest outburst against the gnome devs.

#irc.trollta7k.com (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14942430)

trouble. It exploited that. A Eve8yday...We the resources that Creek, abysmal That the project where it belongs, Theo de Raadt, one feel obligated to

file browser? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14942495)

Anyone know if the file browser dialog now allows you to enter in a path to choose a file? I refuse to go back to gnome till they fix that.

Re:file browser? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14942735)

I also don't like that feature, but you can enter in a path by pressin Ctrl-l if you need to.

Yep (2, Interesting)

Tony (765) | more than 8 years ago | (#14942790)

Although it's not available from the Preferences settings, you can turn it on using the Configuration Editor (usually found in the "System Tools" menu). In the configuration editor, go to /apps/nautilus/preferences, and check the box for 'always_use_location_entry'.

I felt that method of advanced configuration was lame at first, but I'm getting used to it. I kind of prefer it over having every configuration item listed in the preferences dialog.

Anyway, that's how you turn on the location bar.

My take on this (3, Insightful)

wild_pointer (263802) | more than 8 years ago | (#14942507)

I've been using Ubuntu Dapper devel so I've been using the development versions of Gnome 2.14 for some time.
The biggest change for me is probably how much better Epiphany is getting. I was getting tired of Firefox freezing for few seconds every now and then so I switched and love it! There are few issues with it but overall, very nice!
There is an overview of Epiphany here: http://ploum.frimouvy.org/?2006/03/15/100-why-you- should-try-epiphany-as-your-default-browser-with-g nome-214 [frimouvy.org]
and here: http://raphael.slinckx.net/blog/2006-03-15/epiphan y-is-hype-get-over-it [slinckx.net]

I also love Deskbar integrated with Beagle! I've just stopped hunting down directories. I search for folders, documents, tomboy notes, web history, bookmarks, applications etc. with Deskbar.

This plus Xgl and all the Mono stuff is making my desktop really good :)
Windows Vista has a really good competitor when it comes out.

XGL (1)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 8 years ago | (#14942551)

While I know it has little to do with Gnome or any other WM, I was quite impressed with the XGL demo I saw the other day. I was so impressed that I Downloaded the live CD and ran it (http://getkororaa.com/ [getkororaa.com] ). I actually think it is snapper than my Gentoo box (once the disk cache gets loaded on both systems).
I think this is where the GUI development needs to be headed. While it's good that Linux can run on a 486-SX/25 with 512K onboard video, no one is really running that any more. Most of us have at least some sort of NVidia graphics accelerator in our systems that sits idle while the 2D window manager is using our man processor to pop up windows that are designed to look 3D (shadows under the mouse and windows, buttons that "press" by changing bitmaps and so on). Why don't we free up our CPU and off load much of that processing to video card that would otherwise sit idle? Combine this with the other performance enhancements of GNOME and I think you could have an excellent desktop.

Re:XGL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14943160)

I agree, GNOME with xgl/compiz is sweet. I have it going on my main box, running Ubuntu Breezy.
The main problem with xgl/compiz is that you need a pretty decent video card. I set it up on my laptop running Ubuntu Dapper which has an ATI radeon mobility 7500, guess what, slow as hell, to the point of being unusable.

I think plain old X is still going to be the default for a while. Perhaps distros can offer xgl at install time if a suitable video card is detected, that would be cool.

I like Gnome's Top-down Approach (4, Interesting)

alucinor (849600) | more than 8 years ago | (#14942583)

The Gnome development process seems to be more top-down than KDE's. The devs integrate a collection of unintegrated components from the g-world, which are all pretty much independently developed, in constrast to KDE's QT libaries, which come from a single company. The rules of this integration are the Gnome frameworks, which are either literal code, as with the Gnome libraries themselves, or conceptual rules, like the HIG. From this top-down perspective, the devs assemble a variety of tools from the open source world into a desktop environment.

With KDE, a more bottom-up approach is taken: the integration has been done at the level of the core libraries, QT, as well as the core KDE libraries that build on top of that. Above this level, things build in a sporadic nature that some would argue is more healthy for open source development (such as Linus Torvalds opined a few months back).

All in all, I welcome both Gnome's top-down and KDE's bottom-up approach to integrating the components of a complete desktop environment. Since KDE's integration does come from the bottom, KDE feels more integrated to me on the architectural front, whereas since Gnome's integration comes from the top, it feels more integrated in the look & feel, menus, etc.

Both projects have a lot to learn from each other; therefore, a lot to share. But really, the big experiment is to see which way builds a more successful desktop, or if the different models just result in desktops that serve different needs or different kinds of users.

Re:I like Gnome's Top-down Approach (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14942869)

The thing that is most often overlooked by non-designer programmers (myself being one of them), is that UI spit and polish may not be difficult, but it is equally, if not more, time consuming than the backend stuff that has to be solid.

So basically, if what you say is accurate, KDE and GNOME will probably meet somewhere in the middle at about the same time.

interesting bit in the Gnome human interface guide (1)

jjustus (932941) | more than 8 years ago | (#14942665)


Sensitivity to cultural and political issues is also an important consideration. Designing icons and sounds, and even choosing colors requires some understanding of the connotations they might have to a user from a different part of the world.

Examples of elements it is best to avoid for these reasons include:
[...]

  • Icons depicting only hands or feet

Now, I wonder what is that small icon in the upper left corner of my screen?

Cool new features (3, Funny)

boomgopher (627124) | more than 8 years ago | (#14942718)

Revolutionary new features include:

* Removal of the mouse pointer in favor of the "spatial mouse", where the user determines
what they are pointing at by the location of the mouse itself on the user's desk.
A moving arrow on the screen was too distracting for the average user.

* The rollout of the new "one monitor, one application" paradigm, wherein the user can
only run as many apps as they have monitors. This avoids confusing the average user,
who needs each application to show up in its own unique monitor location in the user's office.

I kid, take it easy.

Appearance (1)

alexgieg (948359) | more than 8 years ago | (#14942725)

Hmm... it has been some 3 or 4 years since I used Linux, but I remember that at the time I thought KDE had a better "look" than Gnome. After reading this article I've searched for screenshots of the most recent versions of both desktop managers and it seems to me that KDE still looks better than Gnome.

I don't want to start a flamewar, after all I don't know how both compare in terms of usability, but I'm still curious: those of you who have used both Gnome and KDE but now prefer one over the other, do you do this based on looks or on other factors? In other words, if I were to start using a Linux distribution right now, and did not mind choosing Gnome or KDE, what would be the advantages of one over the other, looks aside?

Re:Appearance (1)

juanfgs (922455) | more than 8 years ago | (#14943015)

I've always used GNOME and liked the way that GNOME looks, and i think it's a wonderful desktop environment. But this year I've tried KDE 3.5 and the difference is huge, KDE looks better but that's not the point, the so called "bloated" KDE interface allows the user to do everything he wants without having to open a console, that's what i think must be the goal of a complete Desktop Environment.

Re:Appearance (4, Informative)

WhiteWolf666 (145211) | more than 8 years ago | (#14943041)

I used to be a firm KDE kamp member, but lately I've started to swing towards gnome.

Why?

1. Looks ;-) Take a look at Novell's Linux Desktop 10.1 Preview. You can search for OpenSuSE 10.1 beta screenshots. Gnome is the default, the default "look" is very, very clear and usable. It's not terribly sexy, but the icons are goregous, and the clean lines are a welcome change from KDE's proliferation of settings and dialogues.

2. Now, Gnome's loosing in the raw "theme" eye candy category, but they have KDE crushed in eye candy. How? Some neat new features. For one, SVG themeing on GNOME is a lot further along than KDE. For two, Cairo-GTK. This means that your SVG themes become DPI indepedant, as well as antialiased. This is a vast visibility improvement. Three, XGL integration. XGL is beautiful. XGL makes your linux desktop feel greater. A double buffered openGL desktop really makes everything feel more tactile.

3. Search. Beagle works, Kat doesn't. Kat, in its current iterations, exhibits horrifying memory leaks. My 2 GB desktop system slows to a crawl after 8 hours of indexing. Beagle works perfectly. Maybe it's cause I'm used to spotlight, but good, real-time fulltext search of your system is an incredible thing. It really makes it far less necessary to organize your files, you can spend less time on maintenance and more time working, and that's a good thing.

4. Fit and Finish. Some of this is in themeing (Gnome's interface exhibits less 'mis-alignment' of icons/images in interfaces, and other little uglies), and some of this is in userspace utilities. Gnome's networking is more reliable than KDEs. For whatever reason, all kinds of browsing on my KDE setup are semi-broken. SMB doesn't always work, nor does a variety of other kio:// interfaces.

Of course, I'm happy about this stuff, and I can't say that I've switched to Gnome for good. The last time I experimented with Gnome, the printing interface, the file browser, the (lack of) a menu editor, and nautilus were all vastly inferior to their KDE counterparts. Now, Gnome's various dialogues and interfaces are pretty functionally similar to KDE and more reliable. Gnome's also got the eye candy factor going for it.

I will say, however, that if KDE 4.0 is 1/2 as good as it currently is specc'd for I'll be moving back. As it is, KDE 3.5 is looking awful long in the tooth compared to Gnome.

Really, though, its not a huge deal. Install both (you'll want the libraries anyways), and they interoperate just fine. Switch back and forth as needed, and as long as your distro implements the freedesktop specifications you'll get the same entries everywhere.

Gnome has come a long way, and I think it can finally satisfy it's goals: A simple, defaults-are-correct, easy to use Linux environment. It's not necessarily a powerusers environment, but come on, how many average users are going to be using KIO and the like. Gnome aims for the Mac OS X goals (which are _very_ good goals when you are going after Joe Blow) and does it WITHOUT ripping off OS X part and parcel. Sure, there's some duplication, but that's to be expected: Sometimes the other guys just "get it right". But Gnome definitely has it's own identity, and is now feature complete for "the average user".

What about what is now broken? (2, Insightful)

Espectr0 (577637) | more than 8 years ago | (#14942861)

Icons no longer display useful information, like file type or network protocol in mounted shares.

God, that was stupid. Please change it back!

Enhanced performance? (2, Insightful)

crivens (112213) | more than 8 years ago | (#14942927)

"Enhanced performance" yet "programs don't open any faster"? That doesn't sound like enhanced performance to me! I thought increased performance was one of the big things being touted for 2.14?

Profundity through obscurity? (2, Funny)

jlowery (47102) | more than 8 years ago | (#14942936)

Two of the new tools, Pessulus and Sabayon...

I think Pessulus is some bit of turkey anatomy, and Sabayon is an Italian dessert. So, like, is there an official dictionary of rarely words to consult for naming Gnome applications?

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