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Gnome 2.18 Released

samzenpus posted more than 7 years ago | from the brand-spanking-new dept.

GNOME 253

xdancergirlx writes "Gnome 2.18 was released today (on time as usual). Detailed release notes are available. Nothing revolutionary in this release but definitely some nice new features, bug fixes, and improvements."

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Underpants gnome? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18357191)

I was wondering where my tidy-whities went...

Re:Underpants gnome? (4, Funny)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 7 years ago | (#18357375)

I was wondering where my tidy-whities went...

It's 'tighty'. Those things definitely aren't 'tidy' after you leave that nice racing stripe in them.

Re:Underpants gnome? (1)

ChromeAeonium (1026952) | more than 7 years ago | (#18357463)

I propose two-tone yellow in the front and brown in the back underwear so that no one notices all those times I thought it was just a fart.

Re:Underpants gnome? (1)

gardyloo (512791) | more than 7 years ago | (#18358245)

I propose two-tone yellow in the front and brown in the back underwear so that no one notices all those times I thought it was just a fart.
Believe me -- we noticed. And it wasn't from looking at your underwear.

Gnome (5, Funny)

xaositects (786749) | more than 7 years ago | (#18357193)

Gnome 2.18: Nothing special really, just somewhat improved infravision, an extra +10 bonus to detect uneven grades, worked out some bugs in the "failure to run from big scary trolls due to lack of common sense" department. Should be a somewhat more usable gnome.

I can't feel any responsiveness improvements. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18357259)

I use both KDE and GNOME on a regular basis. I really don't have a preference either way; both allow me to get my work done well enough. But what I've noticed is that with each KDE release, it feels significantly more responsive than the previous releases. I can't say the same with GNOME. If anything, it seems to be getting slower as time goes on. I use OpenBSD, so I end up compiling all of the packages myself. I use the optimal C and C++ compiler flags for my particular system. It's not a matter of my using KDE packages built with a more recent version of GCC, or something like that.

In any case, earlier today I built GNOME 2.18 on my system. I've been using it for a few hours now. And compared to the KDE 3.5.6 installation I was using earlier today, I think it's significantly slower. Evolution is far more heavy-weight than KMail. Nautilus takes longer to display directories. I have one directory with about 15000 photos in it. Nautilus crashes when viewing it, while with Konqueror I can easily scroll through the thumbnails within about a second.

Maybe it's just a quality control problem with GNOME. While I don't follow the development mailing lists very closely, I've heard from co-workers that GNOME is suffering from some pretty serious organizational issues. Low-quality code is being accepted into GTK+ and GNOME itself, and many people are noticing a decrease in its quality as of late. Maybe somebody can shed more light on whether or not these rumors are true?

Re:I can't feel any responsiveness improvements. (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18357527)

Bug reports welcome. :-)

Re:I can't feel any responsiveness improvements. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18358063)

Bug reports welcome. :-)

Are you sure? After seeing the whole Linus debacle, I'm not willing to deal with the GNOME developers. At least he submitted patches to fix the problems he encountered. I don't have the time to do that. So why would they even bother to consider my bug reports?

Re:I can't feel any responsiveness improvements. (3, Funny)

yoyhed (651244) | more than 7 years ago | (#18357617)

And on top of all that, KDE is more configurable!

Re:I can't feel any responsiveness improvements. (5, Insightful)

thephotoman (791574) | more than 7 years ago | (#18357699)

The biggest problem I have with GNOME as a user is Evolution. Simply put, Evolution needs to be scrapped in favor of something else. Its Exchange functionality is non-functional, and its calendar could be easily replaced by something else. Why not just do what they did with the default browser and fork from Mozilla? Surely, it'd suck less.

Nautilus is in dire need of a code audit, just to ensure that everything in there is up to par. Hells, if I were in charge at GNOME, I'd probably stop developing new features in Nautilus and work on the audit for the next cycle.

Honestly, though, the one thing that hurts GNOME the most is the six month release cycle. If they'd even just use a single one-year release cycle, just to clean things up, they'd be in much better shape.

All that said, though, GNOME is my desktop. It's what I learned first, and honestly, KDE's configurability just scares me. Also, I remember too well a time when KDE looked like shit out of the box. Thankfully, that's no longer a problem.

Re:I can't feel any responsiveness improvements. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18358041)

and honestly, KDE's configurability just scares me
I used to be the exact same way. However, a few years ago I decided to sit down and configure KDE to my liking. Now that I've done so, I wouldn't even consider going back to Gnome. If you use your computer for hours every day, I would strongly suggest spending a bit of time to configure KDE. The relatively small amount of time it takes to configure everything to your liking is well worth it. In my opinion, it's a much better desktop environment and practically every KDE application is far beyond its Gnome counterpart.

Also, with the focus on Mono applications, Gnome seems to be getting slower and even more bloated with every release.

Re:I can't feel any responsiveness improvements. (1)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 7 years ago | (#18358101)

In addition to that, it seems like the Evolution team didn't do ANY regression testing of Palm synchronization between 1.x and 2.0 - The last time I used Evolution, it took me an hour to clean out all the dupe entries from my phone after just two syncs. (Every sync duped every single entry in the phone.)

Re:I can't feel any responsiveness improvements. (5, Funny)

phrasebook (740834) | more than 7 years ago | (#18358287)

KDE's configurability just scares me

I know what you mean. I had to configure my background in KDE once. Christ, it gave me THREE options! 'No picture', 'Picture' and 'Slide show'. I mean, WTF? I'm not a rocket surgeon.

Then I wanted Konqueror to open links in tabs. People are right when they say KDE has a cluttered interface. It dragged me into Settings, then into something called Web Behaviour, and then forced me to click the box saying 'Open links in new tab'. After that I had to rest with 2 hours of TV.

Knome skin (4, Funny)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 7 years ago | (#18357283)

The big change is they went to a Knome skin that makes it look like KDE.

Re:Gnome (1)

netdur (816698) | more than 7 years ago | (#18357521)

This release has bug fixes and no major new features, isn't that what you were asking for? fix stuff before adding new features? every one loves stability!

Gnome 2.18 with performance improvements! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18357197)

Thanks to those I got first post!

Re:Gnome 2.18 with performance improvements! (4, Funny)

Mikachu (972457) | more than 7 years ago | (#18357237)

Hah, first post. Bet you wish you were using KDE now, don't you. ;)

Yawn (-1)

QBasicer (781745) | more than 7 years ago | (#18357203)

The way the post hyped it up, I was expecting something actually exciting. I get TFA, and it mainly goes on and on about external programs. Yes I see a few cool features, but nothing really groundbreaking.

Re:Yawn (3, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#18357313)

Riiiiight.. cause that summary really screamed hype to me. I see you got modded up too, moderators can't even be bothered reading the summary now?

Fuckin' Slashdot.

Re:Yawn (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18357335)

Are you fucking retarded?

There are 29 words in the summary. Hidden in there: "Nothing revolutionary in this release."

Re:Yawn (5, Funny)

radarsat1 (786772) | more than 7 years ago | (#18357365)

Nothing revolutionary in this release but definitely some nice new features, bug fixes, and improvements.


Yeah, god, I just can't STAND all this hype.

Re:Yawn (4, Funny)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 7 years ago | (#18357451)

The way the post hyped it up, I was expecting something actually exciting.

WTF? The post even says "Nothing revolutionary in this release".

If that's hype, you must suffer from spontaneous ejeculation at a repubrocrats/demican rally.

Re:Yawn (1)

Hobbs0 (1055434) | more than 7 years ago | (#18357747)

Its not like they released GNOME 3 here, what did you expect, a party?

did they include Linus' patch? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18357211)

*sneaks away and orders popcorn*

Did they include... (5, Interesting)

Daemonik (171801) | more than 7 years ago | (#18357221)

Linus' usability patches?

http://www.linux.com/article.pl?sid=07/02/16/19372 37 [linux.com]

Re:Did they include... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18357341)

Gosh, I don't know. That reminds me, did Linus ever put ESR's CML2 patches into the kernel tree?

http://kerneltrap.org/node/17 [kerneltrap.org]

Re:Did they include... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18357403)

The difference being that Linus produced reasonable patches fixing real problems, whereas ESR produced poo fixing no existing problems.

Re:Did they include... (1)

yoyhed (651244) | more than 7 years ago | (#18357635)

Hey. HEY. Some of us enjoy poop.

Re:Did they include... (-1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#18357805)

Linus' patches don't "fix" anything. They add one feature.. in particular, the ability to configure left, right and middle click to do what you like. Which, ya know, is useful to like 3 people.

Re:Did they include... (4, Insightful)

macshit (157376) | more than 7 years ago | (#18357899)

Linus' patches don't "fix" anything.

They remove an unnecessary and artificial restriction -- and also apparently simplify the code, which is always a good thing.

they add one feature.. in particular, the ability to configure left, right and middle click to do what you like. Which, ya know, is useful to like 3 people.

It sounds pretty useful to me... Obviously the MS-raised proles will never use it, but many more clueful people use Gnome too ("like, ya know").

Re:Did they include... (5, Informative)

muszek (882567) | more than 7 years ago | (#18357499)

AFAIR they haven't, because they were submitted after the feature freeze (or some other kind of a freeze). Don't quote me on that, my memory is a tricy thing.

Re:Did they include... (3, Interesting)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#18357681)

How do I know? I've looked. Yesterday I even fixed it. I sent the patches off to add the capabilities.
It's a shame he didn't, ya know, attach the patches to his email.. this whole "contribute it to the maintainer" crap is the problem with open source. If you see something you don't like, sure, contribute it to the maintainer to get fixed.. but if the maintainer drops your patch on the floor, don't go cry on the mailing lists, just make your patch publically available so other people who want the same feature as you don't have to recode it themselves. Jesus, Linus should know better.

Re:Did they include... (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 7 years ago | (#18357815)

Wow Linus is a total jackass in his post. I thought he was supposed to be the only Unix figurehead that wasn't a jackass. What's up with that?

Re:Did they include... (4, Funny)

Breakfast Pants (323698) | more than 7 years ago | (#18358005)

The Gnome file dialog can turn anyone into a jackass.

Re:Did they include... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18358151)

Wow Linus is a total jackass in his post. ...and this from someone with the moniker "BlakeyRat". Sheeesh!

Re:Did they include... (3, Insightful)

Wdomburg (141264) | more than 7 years ago | (#18357953)

No. But some variant of the patches are in trunk for the next release. It really just adds a config option though. Not as big a deal as the brouhaha would suggest. :)

apples and oranges (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18358049)

In your link: I find it very annoying the the apple developers fail to provide many of the features that have been standard with oranges for years. For example in oranges there is a very hand segment feature which allows the fruit to be broken up into small convenient bite size peaces. With apples the only way to do this is to use a third party utility such as a knife. I have tried to submit patches to get segments into apples but the developers arn't interested telling me that it is just to much the orange way and thats not the way apples are. Against this kind of mentality what can you do. Lets not even get on to oranges convenient juice feature and how hard it is to get juice out of apples. (Hint requires a full application suit). This post isn't mine, but he posted anon too...

sing along! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18357235)

Time to go to work. Work all night.
Search for underpants, hey.
We won't stop until we have underpants.
Yum tum yummy tum tay!

Priorities (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18357241)

Personal security is now fully integrated into the desktop, allowing digitally signed communications, encryption of emails and local files, and user-friendly management of personal keys. Internationalization records progress in all directions, with support for vertical text layout and a full Arabic localization matching the quality standards. The official release incorporates essential tools for developers, which hopefully will contribute to get more and better software for the GNOME users.

What's more important, for the first time we ship online games, chess with a 3D look, and endless Sudoku entertainment.

Good thing we've got our priorities straight.

It has nearly caught up to KDE......... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18357329)

Personal security is now fully integrated into the desktop, allowing digitally signed communications, encryption of emails and local files, and user-friendly management of personal keys.

KDE's KWallet has offered similar support for years. In combination with other KDE programs, such as the KMail mail client and the Kopete instant messenging software, KDE users have had access to such features for ages.

Internationalization records progress in all directions, with support for vertical text layout and a full Arabic localization matching the quality standards.

These features were supported back in KDE 2! That's over half a decade ago!

The official release incorporates essential tools for developers, which hopefully will contribute to get more and better software for the GNOME users.

Yep, KDE has offered such functionality for years. KDevelop is an extremely mature software development environment. It's of a far higher quality than Anjuta, and offers a far greater number of features.

Re:It has nearly caught up to KDE......... (2, Interesting)

thule (9041) | more than 7 years ago | (#18357495)

KDE's KWallet has offered similar support for years. In combination with other KDE programs, such as the KMail mail client and the Kopete instant messenging software, KDE users have had access to such features for ages.

I did not see in the KWallet docs (http://docs.kde.org/stable/en/kdeutils/kwallet/in dex.html) anything about it being a frontend to gpg. KWallet appears to be closer to the gnome password manager than the newer gpg management feature. Since I removed KDE from my system a year and a half ago, I cannot verify this.

These features were supported back in KDE 2!

I didn't see anything in the KDE 2 notes about supporting vertical text. Though it could be they didn't specifically mention it.

Yep, KDE has offered such functionality for years. KDevelop is an extremely mature software development environment. It's of a far higher quality than Anjuta, and offers a far greater number of features.

Most definately true. KDevelop is a pretty nice program.

Re:It has nearly caught up to KDE......... (2, Informative)

SirTalon42 (751509) | more than 7 years ago | (#18357639)

"KWallet appears to be closer to the gnome password manager than the newer gpg management feature. Since I removed KDE from my system a year and a half ago, I cannot verify this."

Sounds like you're looking for KGpg then.

Re:It has nearly caught up to KDE......... (3, Insightful)

thule (9041) | more than 7 years ago | (#18357677)

I think the thing they were going for in gnome is to start integrating, not just password management, but identity management. Thus, Gnome's new feature manages both gpg and ssh keys.

Re:It has nearly caught up to KDE......... (1)

muszek (882567) | more than 7 years ago | (#18357525)

I thought that the first "KDE is better" post in a Gnome thread will end with "first post!". I'm disappointed.

Re:Priorities (3, Insightful)

Chandon Seldon (43083) | more than 7 years ago | (#18357387)

Obviously they're being facetious.

Re:Priorities (2, Informative)

kurtmckee (870398) | more than 7 years ago | (#18357437)

> Good thing we've got our priorities straight.

It's a problem of manpower. My understanding is that there was a sudden and unexpected number of Gnome documentation people who were unable to contribute as they have in the past, which is what prompted this post by Quim Gil [desdeamericaconamor.org] calling for help.

I wonder if they took Linus's patches? (0, Redundant)

AaronW (33736) | more than 7 years ago | (#18357301)

Anyone know if they accepted the patches Linus Torvalds gave for Gnome?

Re:I wonder if they took Linus's patches? (3, Funny)

Monkey_Genius (669908) | more than 7 years ago | (#18357353)

Does he have a problem quitting [nicorette.com] ?

Re:I wonder if they took Linus's patches? (1)

yoyhed (651244) | more than 7 years ago | (#18357663)

More like a problem starting [kde.org] .

Scroll Wheel (1)

big_groo (237634) | more than 7 years ago | (#18357321)

Any place yet to change the scroll speed of my mouse? Seriously. KDE has it.

Re:Scroll Wheel (3, Informative)

muszek (882567) | more than 7 years ago | (#18357561)

System -> Preferences -> Mouse
I'm using Ubuntu 6.10 with Gnome 2.16

Re:Scroll Wheel (2, Insightful)

big_groo (237634) | more than 7 years ago | (#18358057)

Right. Check that to see if you can change your scroll wheel sensitivity. Google it too. Good luck.

On time as usual... (1)

Monkey_Genius (669908) | more than 7 years ago | (#18357323)

Yeah. Right. Stellar track record. [linuxinsider.com] Never late for any reason.

Re:On time as usual... (2, Informative)

davydmadeley (267470) | more than 7 years ago | (#18358231)

It's a pretty good reason to be late. You wouldn't want to discover that someone had compromised the source tree and left something nasty behind, better to be safe than sorry. It's the only time it has ever been late, and for what it's worth, it was ready to ship on time.

Nothing revolutionary (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18357333)

As usual too ;)

Re:Nothing revolutionary (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18357985)

Yes, I'm disappointed, too. From other software projects we've gotten used to 2.17 -> 2.18 transitions to be cataclysmic, jaw dropping and quite simply awe inspiring. The GNOME project has really let us down here...

That's Nice (3, Insightful)

dduardo (592868) | more than 7 years ago | (#18357443)

So, when are we going to see smart and innovative desktops that dramatically improve user friendliness?

Just as some examples:
  • As an end-user why can't I extend applications by simply dragging and dropping features from one application to another? i.e. Dragging a search box from one app to another.
  • I have 1000s of photographs. How can these images be automatically categorized and displayed most effectively without having to manually add meta-data. It should be sorting images by looking at similarities between pictures, date taken and other automatically generated information
  • I have 1000s of mp3s. How can these songs be automatically categorized by mood, tempo, etc without manually entering in meta-data? Think of it as Pandora with your own music collection.
These are some of the type of things that would make using a computer easier to use.

Are open source desktop developers so focused on trying to make it "easy" for Windows user to convert they get Microsoft tunnel vision and can't innovate?

It's the year 2007 and we have desktops with the same intelligence as those back in the early 80's.

Re:That's Nice (5, Funny)

imboboage0 (876812) | more than 7 years ago | (#18357477)

It's the year 2007 and we have desktops with the same intelligence as those back in the early 80's.
Yeah, but the people got worse.


*ducks*

Re:That's Nice (2, Insightful)

petrus4 (213815) | more than 7 years ago | (#18357505)

I have 1000s of mp3s. How can these songs be automatically categorized by mood, tempo, etc without manually entering in meta-data? Think of it as Pandora with your own music collection.

Do you have any idea how difficult something like that would be to code?

Re:That's Nice (2, Funny)

SnprBoB86 (576143) | more than 7 years ago | (#18357523)

Yes, so you better get started soon :-)

Re:That's Nice (2, Insightful)

OmegaBlac (752432) | more than 7 years ago | (#18357533)

Do you have any idea how difficult something like that would be to code?
Of course he doesn't. If he did he would code it himself or pay someone to do it instead of whining on slashdot where the GNOME developers (or any devs of large desktop environment project) may never see his complaints. The GP would do better to post his wish list on the Gnome mailing lists.

Actually, in a roundabout way.. (2, Insightful)

Junta (36770) | more than 7 years ago | (#18357737)

Not fully automated, but we live in the internet world where an encyclopedia written by Wiki is among the most used references in the world...

Namely, I'm talking about MusicBrainz. Programs will analyze and produce a fingerprint, and MusicBrainz will do a fairly good job of matching that fingerprint to the track. From there, tempo, mood, etc could all be community stored info. More esoteric tracks suffer, but as Wikipedia shows, things that don't work well in theory can sometimes work surprisingly well in practice... Esoteric tracks generally have a more fanatical/enthusiastic fanbase to offset their lack of popularity. Hell, such a system could one up the GP's requested behavior and be able to make recommendations of tracks based on community opinion, both implicit (tracks that tend to be submitted by the same people and rated highly) and explicit (users specifying related tracks).

The photograph conundrum he poses is harder, since generally photographs are personal things. The low-hanging fruit of Date taken and some other things is handled by EXIF data most cameras record, and most photo managers deal with, but looking at similarities in photographs without context is more along the lines of the difficulty you bring up. Some heuristics would probably do interesting things, but a lot of environments will look too similar and sometimes related images couldn't be picked out by a person without any context. For example, a pictures taken of a landscape with some buddies on a road trip would group with some other buddies on the same roadtrip in a bar, no one could ever tell they belonged together without knowing the group and/or the circumstances. Simple fact is, if you have time to take your pictures, you have to be ready to organize them if you care, because no one or nothing could ever do a sufficiently accurate job on such individualized data.

On the drag and drop a widget (in his example 'search'), that seems goofy and impractical. Drag and drop a text-entry widget that happens to be a search into an app with multiple child panes, wtf do you search? What if the child widgets don't have any text to export, or else format it differently? Anyone adding a search widget to most structures knows the complexities and pitfalls, occasionally it is a simple 'add toolkit search and do what makes most sence', but if your program is doing things that people care about, the situation is almost always too complex for that.

However, specifically to his search inquiry, things are being tackled in a more structured way. I.e. beagle is intelligent about the filesystem and a number of popular programs and how they manage data, and how it makes sense to organize it. A popular app emerges and developers who know how to index it right and present it have to manually add the intelligence to do the right thing, and it's effective at keeping up because of a sufficiently healthy development community.

However, in a more general sense of applications sharing features more intelligently, the good old pipes of the command line set the precedent here. NeXT brought that into the GUI world and extended it to know more about the context of the data and whether the operation was applicable before a user selected it. They were/are called services. I.e. you have a text editing application. It had a menu item called 'dictionary'. Well that menu item was actually a third party app that registered itself under the name 'Dictionary'. That same menu item and app would also appear in your Terminal application, letting you spellcheck your *nix commands, since that would be so effective... Probably also in the file management that dictionary item would appear. If you had text in the active context, it would spellcheck that. If it were a file, it would know and spellcheck the file. It's similar on a very basic level to the right-click context menu in windows explorer, but much more flexible and pervasive. Don't know how well it would scale in a highly competitive software market place (many companies wanting a 'Search for related info' menu item would undoubtedly happen and then it gets interesting), but it seems like the best approach to get close to what he describes.

Re:Actually, in a roundabout way.. (1)

archen (447353) | more than 7 years ago | (#18357851)

The low-hanging fruit of Date taken and some other things is handled by EXIF data most cameras record, and most photo managers deal with, but looking at similarities in photographs without context is more along the lines of the difficulty you bring up

And to tell you the truth EXIF data is about all you could realistically get out of it anyway. If you could seriously code something that would tell you meaningful things about arbitrary photographs, you've probably made the biggest breakthrough in AI ever. I mean there is realistically no way a program could really know what you are trying to do with pictures and why you would group them. If I'm taking pictures experimenting with perspective, there is obviously no way the program could know such things. I think a sort of tagging system could work well, but that's 'adding metadata' which is what the parent didn't want to do.

Well if you want to make the next revolution in software, I guess that's one avenue to try.

Re:That's Nice (3, Insightful)

module0000 (882745) | more than 7 years ago | (#18357569)

Your suggestions such as "extending applications by simply dragging and dropping features from one application to another" is unfortunately not possible with our current(or dreamed-about) tech. Great concept, kudos for that, but the "frame" all desktop computing operates from just does not allow for this. You are not suggesting improvements to "desktop linux", but you are speaking of changes to desktop computing as a whole, across all platforms; it's not that 'easy', I wish it was. Concerning your suggestion about organizing photographs by similarities...this is not so impossible. It's not particularly easy once again, but a very rudimentary sorting algorithm could be conceived from light conditions, hard lines(etc a persons profile), this could be worked on. As far as the mp3's...I'm afraid that entirely too subjective to the person listening to them. My mood and tempo desires may differ and most likely do, from yours, and yours from your neighbors. This is a question of personal preference, and I don't see mp3 players administering a standardized personality test to guess at your flavor of mood, out of the X number of popular mood categories. Last but not least...I'm afraid there were no desktop os's HOME users even had access to in the *early 80's*. You could go banging over Xerox's door for their machine, or maybe even dear Mr. Gates'. However, in the early 80's, such hardware would cost you [somewhere near] $30,000? More?

Re:That's Nice (2, Insightful)

dbIII (701233) | more than 7 years ago | (#18357623)

Your suggestions such as "extending applications by simply dragging and dropping features from one application to another"

That's why we always keep going back to the command line shell where you can do a grep on the output of just about anything. The GUI has a place but I'd rather send an entire file through sed with a short command than move the mouse to the first character of every line, right click, and scroll down to delete, then left click as I have seen some purely bound to the GUI do.

The biggest problem with the other examples above is you have to tell the machine what to do sometime - hence the metadata. You would have to tell the stupid machine in simple terms just how to identify the catagories to sort into.

Re:That's Nice (1)

dduardo (592868) | more than 7 years ago | (#18357777)

In terms of the dragging and dropping features I think one of the big issues is standardizing how data is stored within applications. For example, look at how SQL works. You have a physical data organization, conceptual schema, internal schema and external levels, all of which are designed to be independent. When a top level widget tries to query the main program it should have a very high level look. It shouldn't matter how the physical data is organized.

In terms of the mp3s, what I really mean is that the computer should play more similar sounding songs if I desire. For example, if i'm listening to song A and I liked it because of my particular mood, the computer should find songs simliar to song A that have the same tempo, beat, etc. All of these features can be extracted using DSP techniques.

In the early 80's you had the apple lisa [wikipedia.org]

Re:That's Nice (1)

module0000 (882745) | more than 7 years ago | (#18358001)

In terms of the mp3s, what I really mean is that the computer should play more similar sounding songs if I desire. For example, if i'm listening to song A and I liked it because of my particular mood, the computer should find songs simliar to song A that have the same tempo, beat, etc. All of these features can be extracted using DSP techniques.


Ahh I see. I misunderstood when I made my post. Defining songs by tempo and beat is as you say..completely possible using DSP and other techniques. Seems like a plugin to start working on for XMMS.

Re:That's Nice (1)

Eideewt (603267) | more than 7 years ago | (#18358021)

I think you've got those turned around. Dragging a widget from one application to another would not be especially difficult to make happen. They would have to have some way to communicate the change (good luck getting that picked up... drag-and-drop file saving isn't even common yet), but assuming that each programs considers its windows to be reconfigurable, you've got a common pool of widgets, and a way for your programs to communicate, the problem is more one of actually writing a bunch of programs that agree to work together than a technical challenge. Making metadata out of an mp3 file or image strikes me as pretty tricky, and knowing what to do with that data as even trickier.

Re:That's Nice (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18357583)

A, mostly because different programs use different data models. It's not impossible, at least not in a limited way, but it would hinge more upon app developers than the desktop environment.

B, because machine image recognition is an area of tricky tricky research and requires serious computational power. Note that spammers have yet to defeat the wonky text + squiggly lines test for posting on slashdot. And thats just OCR. (While people with very limited intellectual capacity seems to make it through in hoards ;)

C, same as above. Pandora used human experts to classify the music.

Re:That's Nice (2, Funny)

kurtmckee (870398) | more than 7 years ago | (#18357593)

So, when are we going to see smart and innovative desktops that dramatically improve user friendliness?

Just as some examples:

  • As an end-user why can't I extend applications by simply thinking things into existence? i.e. Dragging and dropping Blender into Gaim?
  • I have 1000s of photographs and I hate metadata. Why can't my computer automatically recognize people's faces and group the photos accordingly? Why can't it analyze the hairstyles and figure out when the photo was taken, and why can't it automatically scan the photos for logos and figure out where the photo was taken?
  • I have 1000s of mp3s and I hate metadata. Why can't my software use voice recognition to figure out the lyrics and then create a playlist using a Bayesian filter? I can filter spam out of my inbox, I should be able to filter ARTIST UNKNOWN out of my GENRE UNKNOWN playlist!

These are some of the type of things that would make using a computer more like using deep black magic.

Are open source desktop developers so focused on trying to make it "easy" for Windows users to convert they get Microsoft tunnel vision and can't innovate?

It's the year 2007 and I want my computer to be more like the computers in the sci-fi movies I saw in the early 80's.

Re:That's Nice (2, Interesting)

AaronW (33736) | more than 7 years ago | (#18357789)

KDE offers some of this, though nothing like dropping Blender into Gaim. In KDE, most applications are also components and can be easily embedded inside other applications. For example, Konqueror is not so much a web and file browser as a container. I.e. I click on a Word document and it opens it in the browser using kword, or I click on a MP3 and it can use Amarok, or a photo brings up my preferred photo viewer inside the browser.

As far as not requiring metadata for MP3s, Amarok already supports this (another KDE application). It calculates a sound fingerprint of the file and uses the Musicbrainz database to try and figure out the song. Not only that, but I can bring up lyrics, the CD cover and even Wikipedia entries on the band in question. It's pretty amazing.

As far as grouping photographs, I don't know anything open source that does that based on picture content.

-Aaron

Re:That's Nice (1)

thre5her (223254) | more than 7 years ago | (#18357601)

As an end-user why can't I extend applications by simply dragging and dropping features from one application to another? i.e. Dragging a search box from one app to another.

This is pointless. The dev has to code the search feature into the app for it work, so let it be up to the dev whether or not a search box is appropriate. GTK provides standard widgets to keep the same look and feel between apps, not to replicate functionality.

(If you want a search box in list views, type '/'.)

I have 1000s of photographs. How can these images be automatically categorized and displayed most effectively without having to manually add meta-data. It should be sorting images by looking at similarities between pictures, date taken and other automatically generated information

Use Beagle or hack on Storage. Or write a 2-line bash script to sort images into different directories by date. Additionally, what's "similar" about two photos is a very complicated question. The orange blob in one photo could be an orange or a hot-air balloon.

In short, if you want to sort your 1,000s of pictures without tagging metadata regarding the contents of the pictures, you're out of luck. You can't sort based on non-existent information.

I have 1000s of mp3s. How can these songs be automatically categorized by mood, tempo, etc without manually entering in meta-data? Think of it as Pandora with your own music collection.

There are automatic tagging solutions out there, such as MusicBrainz clients. Unfortunately, it won't give you moods or tempos. You can detect tempos, which is going to be variable even within one song, and you can get moods from some community database. I doubt there are enough people willing to create a second MusicBrainz just to get mood information, however.

Re:That's Nice (2, Insightful)

massysett (910130) | more than 7 years ago | (#18357619)

Tagging MP3s: Musicbrainz [musicbrainz.org] has projects to automatically tag MP3s with metadata on track name, album, etc. As for tagging them with mood: good luck; however All Music Guide has been working on this sort of thing for years; see also Last.fm [last.fm] . Integrating these into a desktop would be nice, though your comparison to "Microsoft tunnel vision" is quite harsh seeing as open source desktops have long had features that Windows sorely lacks, such as transparent SSH file transfers, thumbnailing of PDFs and other non-photo documents, and viewers for multiple file types, embedded right into the file manager.

Re:That's Nice (1)

WoLpH (699064) | more than 7 years ago | (#18357691)

  • Dragging and dropping features from one application to another would be pretty hard to implement, perhaps it would be possible in KDE as there is a very thorough integration in every KDE application.
  • Perhaps Google Picasa can help you with that? Soring images by date is easily possible with just about any program, as for the rest... what kind of similarities are you thinking about?
  • Try Amarok, it has all the features you want (mood and everything can be automatically indexed for you)

Re:That's Nice (1)

ucblockhead (63650) | more than 7 years ago | (#18357697)

We didn't have desktops in the early 80's. We had command prompts.

Re:That's Nice (2, Informative)

dduardo (592868) | more than 7 years ago | (#18357803)

1983: Apple Lisa [wikipedia.org]

Re:That's Nice (1)

Timothy Brownawell (627747) | more than 7 years ago | (#18357759)

As an end-user why can't I extend applications by simply dragging and dropping features from one application to another? i.e. Dragging a search box from one app to another.

Very much impossible to do as an end-user, but doable by a programmer with sufficient skill (dependent on how different the applications are, and how well they're coded) and free time (and source code access).

I have 1000s of photographs. How can these images be automatically categorized and displayed most effectively without having to manually add meta-data. It should be sorting images by looking at similarities between pictures, date taken and other automatically generated information

I have 1000s of mp3s. How can these songs be automatically categorized by mood, tempo, etc without manually entering in meta-data? Think of it as Pandora with your own music collection.

I recently saw a news bit about some "AI" system that can learn to recognize simple pictures in approximately this fashion, and I'd imaging categorizing sounds would follow similar principles. So, these two are probably half-way doable by someone who takes enough interest in such things to follow current research (and has obscene amounts of free time).

Re:That's Nice (1)

tr1907 (1029408) | more than 7 years ago | (#18357885)

Very much impossible to do as an end-user, but doable by a programmer with sufficient skill (dependent on how different the applications are, and how well they're coded) and free time (and source code access). I don't understand; then that guy has to rewrite all the applications with that has a GUI???? I recently saw a news bit about some "AI" system that can learn to recognize simple pictures in approximately this fashion, and I'd imaging categorizing sounds would follow similar principles. So, these two are probably half-way doable by someone who takes enough interest in such things to follow current research (and has obscene amounts of free time). even though it can be doable, but what if done. Every picture will be have to compared with the rest of pictures in the folder, that is a very big number of comparison to make, which will require a lot of processing power. This might not be feasible to run on a regular hardware as it would require more time then manual sorting.

Re:That's Nice (1)

poopdeville (841677) | more than 7 years ago | (#18358089)

Every picture will be have to compared with the rest of pictures in the folder, that is a very big number of comparison to make, which will require a lot of processing power. This might not be feasible to run on a regular hardware as it would require more time then manual sorting.

Not true. That's the absolute worst case naive data miner. Things can be much better.

Re:That's Nice (2, Insightful)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 7 years ago | (#18357887)

As an end-user why can't I extend applications by simply dragging and dropping features from one application to another? i.e. Dragging a search box from one app to another.

Sounds like Apple's OpenDoc?

It didn't work because:
1) They released it too early and it quickly gained a reputation for being too buggy.
2) The only application that really embraced it was ClarisWorks. Oh, there was some lame web browser Apple made that used it too called Cyberdog, IIRC.

The idea isn't *bad*, but it really needs a killer app around it to make it work. An app better than ClarisWorks/Cyberdog.

Are open source desktop developers so focused on trying to make it "easy" for Windows user to convert they get Microsoft tunnel vision and can't innovate?

Yup. Open source seems to lack a lot of designers-- without designers, you have to program based on established designs. Designs from a company like, say, Microsoft who solved all those problems before. KDE and Windows, in the default configuration, look almost identical. Say what you want about Apple and Microsoft, but at least Windows and OS X don't look and work identically.

Re:That's Nice (1)

jaxle (193331) | more than 7 years ago | (#18357971)

I just recently switched to linux and have tried Gnome, KDE, and xfce.

What I want is a "Start Menu", "K" menu, "Applications" menu, or whatever, that I can customize with dragging and dropping. And in the case of KDE, actually implement the changes I make. Currently I am running KDE and I am at a loss as to how to fix the poorly categorized 100 or so programs in the menu.

Re:That's Nice (1)

ForumTroll (900233) | more than 7 years ago | (#18358285)

Currently I am running KDE and I am at a loss as to how to fix the poorly categorized 100 or so programs in the menu.
Right click on the panel with the "K menu" icon and select "Unlock Panels" (if the panel is already unlocked you can skip this step). Then right click on the "K menu" icon and you'll see an option named "Menu Editor". From there you can drag and drop the programs to whichever category you like. You can also create new categories, rename programs, assign shortcuts etc. When you're done make sure to save the changes and you should be set.

Re:That's Nice (0)

corychristison (951993) | more than 7 years ago | (#18357973)

Are open source desktop developers so focused on trying to make it "easy" for Windows user to convert they get Microsoft tunnel vision and can't innovate?
Whaa... Geesh. How many trolls are there like you out in the world? If you want all your pretty fancy (probably less user intuitive programs) then build them yourself! Or at least sponsor a developer and ask them to include it. Be sure you can afford to squeeze a lot of cash out of your ass 'cause that's a hefty load of programming.

I hate to be a prude or anything, but I really actually quite like the current state of the F/OSS desktops. Personally, I prefer XFCE but that's mostly because I like things to be nice & easy, instead of bulky and annoying **cough**GNOME**cough**KDE**cough**. (as an aside, as of right now I am using about 180MB of system memory and no swap -- this is with Firefox, Thunderbird, aMSN, Audacious[w/~1200 songs], and a handful of daemons running)
When I was using KDE I don't think the memory usage was ever under 300MB... but that was KDE 3.2 I believe.

Re:That's Nice (1)

Max Littlemore (1001285) | more than 7 years ago | (#18358035)

Just as some examples:

You forgot:
Why doesn't the cup holder pour me a drink when I'm feeling thirsty?

Re:That's Nice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18358235)

I hope you are kidding.

You speak of these magical features as if it were a matter of will, vs the huge amount of intellectual property it would take to achieve this.

i've got a picture of it here (1)

ElephanTS (624421) | more than 7 years ago | (#18357519)

Re:i've got a picture of it here (2, Funny)

gardyloo (512791) | more than 7 years ago | (#18358233)

Christ. Not only did that squirrel give the gnome an entire basketful of red, painful-looking chancres, but it also ate off his left hand. And he's *smiling*. That's one badass gnome.

Have they... (1, Flamebait)

metamatic (202216) | more than 7 years ago | (#18357553)

...removed Mono from it? Or is technology known to be covered by Microsoft patents still part of the GNOME desktop?

Re:Have they... (1)

SirTalon42 (751509) | more than 7 years ago | (#18357679)

Nope, more mono in fact (Tomboy is mono IIRC).

Re:Have they... (1)

thebluesgnr (941962) | more than 7 years ago | (#18358081)

The GNOME project never shipped Mono. What it ships is GTK#, a set of bindings for the .NET platform. In theory it should work on top of Mono, DotGNU or Microsoft's own .NET implementation. GNOME also ships bindings for many other languages (C++, Perl, Python, etc). The GNOME desktop includes one application that uses GTK#, a note taking panel applet (tomboy). It's an optional module that you are free to skip if you want (Debian doesn't install it by default, for example).

3D Chess is everywhere! (5, Funny)

pizzach (1011925) | more than 7 years ago | (#18357621)

With the release of GNOME 2.18, it appears there has been a change in the playing field. In order to be considered to a full fledged modern OS, a Three-Dee [wikipedia.org] Chess program must be included with every new operating system. The Release of Mac OS X seems to have started this trend. Microsoft soon followed suit with Windows Vista. Now there is Gnome. Will KDE be pulled into this madness, or will it fall behind into oblivion?!

Apple Chess [gete.net]

Windows Chess [kotaku.com]

GNOME Chess [sourceforge.net]

Feel free to flog me now.

GNOME, Ubuntu, and the colour green... (5, Interesting)

babbling (952366) | more than 7 years ago | (#18357631)

I'm looking at this screenshot [gnome.org] and thinking that it looks quite good. People often complain about the brown in Ubuntu being "ugly", and Ubuntu has stated that they don't want to be "just like Windows" by going for blue. Well, based on that screenshot, I think green would be a good choice.

Re:GNOME, Ubuntu, and the colour green... (1)

Psychotria (953670) | more than 7 years ago | (#18357735)

I agree that it does look good. However, I will stick with blue because it sooths, calms and refreshes me so that I don't smash my monitor in uncontrollable rages.

Re:GNOME, Ubuntu, and the colour green... (2, Interesting)

Max Littlemore (1001285) | more than 7 years ago | (#18358061)

I will stick with blue because it sooths, calms and refreshes me so that I don't smash my monitor in uncontrollable rages.

I thought green was better at soothing psychopathic behaviour. It's also suppoosed to be easier for people with various types of dyslexia to read and absorb information, so yeah, go green

Re:GNOME, Ubuntu, and the colour green... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18358019)

Luna looks just great in pale green.

Re:GNOME, Ubuntu, and the colour green... (1)

AusIV (950840) | more than 7 years ago | (#18358211)

I like blue myself, but when I set my girlfriend up with Kubuntu, she decked everything (and I mean everything) out in shades of green, and I was amazed how good it looked when she was done.

Re:GNOME, Ubuntu, and the colour green... (2, Insightful)

tuxicle (996538) | more than 7 years ago | (#18358217)

Green reminds people of SuSe/Novell, I suppose

That's Not Release Notes (4, Interesting)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 7 years ago | (#18357715)

That's not "detailed release notes", that's marketing spin. Release notes would mention specific apps, like evolution, and specific fixes, not just buzzwords and superficial brags about how the experience is better.

Such marketsprach has its place. But the release notes are even more important. And even more important is not pretending that marketsprach is release notes.

If GNOME release managers don't release that by themselves, then the project is in serious trouble.

Gnome 2.18 Released (3, Funny)

baomike (143457) | more than 7 years ago | (#18358257)

and with any luck it wont come back.
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