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The Notable Improvements of GNOME 2.22

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the short-but-pretty dept.

GNOME 265

Michael Larabel writes "Phoronix has up a list compiling eight of the most interesting improvements on track for GNOME 2.22. These improvements include the Epiphany browser switching to the WebKit back-end, transition effects inside the Evince document viewer, a new GNOME application for taking photos and recording videos from web cameras followed by applying special effects, a mouse tweaking module for improved accessibility, and a new GNOME VNC client. On the multimedia end, GNOME 2.22 has a few new features appended to the Totem movie player and the Rhythmbox player. Totem can now search and play YouTube videos and connect to a MythTV server and watch past recordings or view live TV. Rhythmbox now can utilize FM radio tuners, integration with new lyric sites, improved Podcast feed support, and even has support for communicating with newer Sony PSPs. There will also be a standalone Flash player and flash previewing support from the file browser in this release."

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Epiphany? Really? (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22223824)

Does anyone even use this (instead of Firefox) in GNOME?

Sounds like a bunch of very modest improvements.

Re:Epiphany? Really? (3, Informative)

ozamosi (615254) | more than 6 years ago | (#22224098)

I used to. And my Gnome using friends that I've talked into trying it still use it.

Compared to Firefox, it's prettier (if you think "fancy colors and icons" is more important than "consistent", you'll disagree), is much better integrated into Gnome, has much nicer "search engine support" (type in the address field, and your installed search engines are at the end of the auto complete list - please, someone, give me a firefox extension for that!), and has a quite nice tag based bookmarking system which can be synchronized with del.icio.us or ma.gnolia.com. All of that, and just a fraction of the memory of Firefox.

I stopped using it approximately the same time as they switched backend, and now use Firefox 3 instead - it doesn't swallow all memory (only almost all), and it actually looks more integrated into Gnome, than Epiphany with a Gecko backend (the times I tried Epiphany/Webkit, it didn't really work yet) since it's not only has a native theme, it also has native form controls (which Epiphany/Webkit apparently has too, but not Epiphany/Gecko). It also works with Online Desktop [gnome.org] , and has the famous extensions, which makes up for the other downsides of not using Epiphany.

In other words: people are actually using Epiphany, but I don't think they will for long.

Re:Epiphany? Really? (1)

erwanl (1209904) | more than 6 years ago | (#22225660)

You're comparing Firefox 3 (not released) with Epiphany based on a Gecko 1.8. Wait for Firefox 3 to be released and Epiphany/Gecko to switch to a 1.9 base to compare.

Re:Epiphany? Really? (2, Informative)

julian67 (1022593) | more than 6 years ago | (#22224828)

Best browser I've ever used. Does tabs better than Firefox, smart bookmarks better than Firefox, starts faster than Firefox, uses less RAM. I don't need any of the numerous Firefox plug ins so Epiphany is fine. It also fits well in other desktop environments (I use Xfce). A brilliant web browser imo.

Re:Epiphany? Really? (1)

tmalone (534172) | more than 6 years ago | (#22225074)

I do. The reason I like Epiphany over firefox is the bookmark system. I've never liked bookmarks very much and usually find that they become a horrible mess after a year or so of using a browser. The tag based bookmarks in Epiphany make it very easy to manage the bookmarks. There are some things I don't like (no fine grained javascript control) but the bookmarks keep me coming back. I'm hoping firefox 3 will allow for epiphany like bookmarks (I've heard you can make bookmark plugins for FF3). Until then, I'm sticking with epiphany.

Re:Epiphany? Really? (1)

KeyserDK (301544) | more than 6 years ago | (#22225078)

Yes, tagged bookmarks have been there for a few years (and now finally in firefox).

But really - firefox looks like crap in a gnome desktop. Also for me - there are no extensions i really must have other than webdeveloper (rare) so i just run ff when with webdeveloper when needed.

But yes, many people will prefer firefox because of extensions.

I just want to say one thing... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22223850)

Please refrain from "What else Gnome has taken away?" thought of lane. There is no content there.

(Disclaimer: I am an avid KDE user - living on beta)

gtkhtml (2, Interesting)

LizardKing (5245) | more than 6 years ago | (#22223868)

I wonder if the move to WebKit for the rendering engine used by Epiphany will prompt other GNOME projects to transition from the various gtkhtml versions that are currently used. The maintenance of gtkhtml seems to be sporadic, and the API changes drastically between versions. For example, on a Fedora 8 install at work there's two versions of the gtkhtml library required by different apps in the basic GNOME desktop ...

Re:gtkhtml (1, Interesting)

scorp1us (235526) | more than 6 years ago | (#22224194)

By using WebKit, and with KDE/Qt switching to WebKit, and Apple already using WebKit, GNOME gets to use a very popular web core. This effectively divides the internet either as I.E., WebKit or Mozilla. By being part of the WebKit crowd, you get to ride the wave of Safari compatibility. I see the consolidation as good as eventually we should have the internet divided into I.E. or WebKit. I do expect some grumbling from Mozilla peeps, which have their own top-notch core. But the fewer cores the web devs need to support, the better.

Re:gtkhtml (3, Interesting)

UtucXul (658400) | more than 6 years ago | (#22224812)

But the fewer cores the web devs need to support, the better.
I really have to disagree there. Web devs should not support any rendering engine. It may makes sense to test against more than one engine, but a website should never be written for a given rendering engine. We've seen the mess that gets us. Website should be written to standards and the people who write the rendering engines should then try to write their engines to that. Some of them do. No one gets that perfect, but with one exception, they all do at least an okay job. And supposedly even IE is doing better although I really have no way of testing that myself.

Re:gtkhtml (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22224976)

Say you're a business. You have a web presence. If a rendering glitch shows up, or things just don't look quite correct, it reflects negatively on you. You must make sure it looks right, no matter how many bugs/problems/wrong behavior the rendering engine does, or develop exclusively for one browser, and if it doesn't look correct in another, saying that the other browser doesn't work right is much easier and simpler to understand, no matter the cause.

Re:gtkhtml (1)

UtucXul (658400) | more than 6 years ago | (#22225560)

Obviously one still needs to test against browsers. But Gecko, Webkit, and Opera all do a good job with all but the most exotic parts of the standards. And I do realize that realistically, IE represents a large portion of web traffic. But does that mean we should all give in and just code to IE? I certainly don't feel that way and think it would be pretty sad if everyone else did.

Re:gtkhtml (1)

node 3 (115640) | more than 6 years ago | (#22225410)

You're saying that web sites should conform to an arbitrary standard, even if no browser supports it?

Don't you think it makes more sense to write a web page in such a way that people can properly view it than it does to write it so that it conforms to an unused standard?

Re:gtkhtml (4, Informative)

ozamosi (615254) | more than 6 years ago | (#22224244)

Actually, the plan is to create a new "gtkhtml" widget that's supposed to be able to work with different backends, so that you can use Gecko, Webkit, and existing gtkhtml through the same API. http://www.atoker.com/blog/2008/01/10/putting-the-web-in-gtk/ [atoker.com]

Re:gtkhtml (1)

freezin fat guy (713417) | more than 6 years ago | (#22225124)

I for one am excited about a lightweight Gnome browser. Konqueror is blazing fast and has some sweet CSS support.

Re:gtkhtml (1)

salimma (115327) | more than 6 years ago | (#22224366)

Between xulrunner getting more mature (in the upcoming Fedora 9, Firefox, Epiphany etc. link against xulrunner, rather than every package depending on Firefox for Gecko, and thus needing rebuilds everytime Firefox is updated, even for non-Gecko-reasons), and WebKit's GTK port, yes, it would be nice if we are finally rid of gtkhtml.

Wonder when some projects will make the switch though. Liferea will probably switch quite quickly, but Evolution?

They also removed the login and logoff buttons (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22223922)

The Gnome developers thought they were too confusing for the users.

epiphany? (0, Redundant)

macshit (157376) | more than 6 years ago | (#22223930)

Does anybody actually use epiphany?

Re:epiphany? (1)

INT_QRK (1043164) | more than 6 years ago | (#22224218)

Yup. I do. I use a little known GNU/Linux distribution called Ubuntu 7.10 as my primary operating environment. It seems that for all of its goodness, otherwise, the Ubuntu version of Firefox is dumbed down from the version in the wild so that it doesn't support Javascript 1.5 (used to in early releases - one of those funny things). Since I need to access a certain University collaboration environment (WebTycho) which requires Javascript 1.5, I'm forced to install an additional browser which does. Opera works kind-of for my finicky site, but Epiphany renders and works in WebTycho perfectly...so there! (it's fast too!)

Re:epiphany? (1)

oatworm (969674) | more than 6 years ago | (#22225386)

Ubuntu's repository support for Java and WINE are a little spotty, but you're not necessarily limited to that. What I do on my Ubuntu machines (Feisty and Dapper) is just grab the self-extracting installer from Sun. You can find instructions here [java.com] . Granted, it's not as clean or as nice as the repository, but if you absolutely have to have Java support, it's not a bad way to go.

Re:epiphany? (1)

linuxpyro (680927) | more than 6 years ago | (#22224224)

I use it, occasionally. It just kind of got sucked in as a dependency when I emerged Gnome. I ignored it at first, but now I use it occasionally. It's a pretty lightweight browser, and is nice once in a while. I'm too used to FireFox to use it entirely, though.

Re:epiphany? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22224298)

I absolutely love epiphany. Epiphany is always the first app I install on a fresh system. Its implementation of tabs has sold me on it for years. I can use the scrollwheel to quickly scroll through tabs, and it limits how small the tabs can be, letting them overflow instead. That is the killer feature for me. I have yet to see that in any other browser. It is the only browser in which I can practically have 50 tabs open in a single window. Once you get used to it, it is so hard to go back.

Re:epiphany? (2, Interesting)

ksheff (2406) | more than 6 years ago | (#22225552)

That's what I originally liked about galeon. I haven't tried either versions after one of the galeon developers left and started epiphany.

Re:epiphany? (3, Interesting)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 6 years ago | (#22224514)


Epiphany is a good browser. I started using it a while ago because I found that it didn't lock up when browsing Slashdot whilst Firefox 2 did (both on Ubuntu platform). I've recently ended up using Konqueror as I have a Kubuntu install this time round and I find it similarly faster than Firefox.The odd thing is, I didn't have any extensions in Firefox at the time, either. Anyway - Epiphany is very good and I suspect quite a lot of Gnome users use it.

Re:epiphany? (2, Insightful)

xiaomai (904921) | more than 6 years ago | (#22224754)

Yeah, epiphany is great. Much faster and more stable than firefox, plus it has native widgets instead of XUL. It's support for extensions is not as good, so I still use firefox when I need Firebug, but 99% of the time I'm in epiphany.

am I missing something here? (3, Insightful)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 6 years ago | (#22223932)

The main reason I like gnome is that its a fast window manager with a low cruft index. This looks to me like Gnome trying too hard, and adding too many capabilities to what is, so far as I understand it, just a window manager. Why, for example include vnc? It's not like seperate client/servers for this task aren't available, and most are pretty good.

Is all this new stuff going to slow it down, that's the thing that interests me. If the team have too many things to maintain, just how good a job can they do?

Re:am I missing something here? (3, Interesting)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 6 years ago | (#22224044)

If you expect Gnome to be just a "fast window manager with a low cruft index", what about its CORBA server on which the whole beast is based? Gnome, as far as I can recall, has always strived to be a full-blown desktop environment. I think it works quite nicely in this role (even though I like KDE much more, I find it much more resource-efficent on older machines, and not that spartan, from the POV of a power user - oh, and being a friend of some of its developers, I don't want to make them upset :D), but if you want to use just a window manager, you should probably start using just Metacity (although I'd prefer Fluxbox in such case).

Re:am I missing something here? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22224798)

"Power User" and "Mouse User" don't belong in the same sentence. If you're a power user, you don't need a myriad of options visible, because you use working from a CLI to accomplish what you want.

I get sick and tired of people claiming you can't be a power user on GNOME, and that KDE is for "power users". Real power users don't need a GUI or a mouse.

Re:am I missing something here? (1)

Tack (4642) | more than 6 years ago | (#22224104)

GNOME isn't, and never has been, a window manager. It's a desktop environment, which has a window manager as one component. A GNOME VNC client makes perfect sense for a desktop environment.

yes (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22224116)

yes you are.

also, you fail to understand it.

Re:am I missing something here? (1)

Xordan (943619) | more than 6 years ago | (#22224118)

Aye. I want a window manager to be fast, sleek and nice on the eye, to have a low resource usage (e17 is pretty nice), and to do nothing more than it needs to.
Leave anything more to separate programs, don't try and bundle as much as possible into the same package just to try and make your feature list bigger than the competitors.

Re:am I missing something here? (5, Informative)

gujo-odori (473191) | more than 6 years ago | (#22224130)

First of all, GNOME is not a window manager. It is a complete desktop environment. When last I used GNOME, Sawfish was the default GNOME window manager. Before that, it was Enlightenment. I haven't followed GNOME for a while, maybe they've changed the WM again. The point being, you can use a number of WMs with GNOME; it is not, itself, a window manager.

Low cruft? Anything that is a complete desktop environment probably doesn't meet most people's definition of low cruft, but if there is one that makes that cut in the free software world, I'd vote for XFCE (I'm a KDE user, and neither KDE nor GNOME come anywhere near low cruft in my book; XFCE is reasonably low cruft, although you also give up some things to get there; one user's cruft is another user's indispensable feature. YMMV).

If you really want low cruft, though, you need to really run just a window manager. Fluxbox and IceWM are a couple of very good choices in that area. They really are low cruft and they are also very, very fast. Of course, unless you truly are willing to trade a lot of features for speed, you may find yourself wishing for a bit more cruft after a while.

Is this new stuff going to slow it down? Yeah, maybe. OTOH, they may make tuning improvements in other areas to offset it. Of course, GNOME is already slow [1], so you may not notice an incremental slowdown. KDE is slow, too (especially KDE 4; having tried it, I put it back on the shelf to wait for 4.1, and went back to the 3.5 tree).

[1] Compared to faster things like XFCE, or even faster things, like $WINDOW_MANAGER_OF_YOUR_CHOICE, but still seems relatively responsive compared to certain proprietary systems.

Re:am I missing something here? (4, Informative)

VValdo (10446) | more than 6 years ago | (#22224450)

When last I used GNOME, Sawfish was the default GNOME window manager. Before that, it was Enlightenment. I haven't followed GNOME for a while, maybe they've changed the WM again.

For a while now (since 2.2) the default WM has been Metacity [wikipedia.org] .

W

Re:am I missing something here? (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 6 years ago | (#22224464)

Low cruft? Anything that is a complete desktop environment probably doesn't meet most people's definition of low cruft, but if there is one that makes that cut in the free software world, I'd vote for XFCE (I'm a KDE user, and neither KDE nor GNOME come anywhere near low cruft in my book; XFCE is reasonably low cruft, although you also give up some things to get there; one user's cruft is another user's indispensable feature. YMMV).
Aye. XFCE is very nice, and it has kept on getting nicer for quite a long time now. If I had to choose from Gtk+-based desktops, I'd probably use XFCE. Even one my friends considers switching to XFCE, although he's a member of Gnome Foundation - but I'll keep the name secret for his privacy, I just found it amusing. :-)

Is this new stuff going to slow it down? Yeah, maybe. OTOH, they may make tuning improvements in other areas to offset it. Of course, GNOME is already slow [1], so you may not notice an incremental slowdown. KDE is slow, too (especially KDE 4; having tried it, I put it back on the shelf to wait for 4.1, and went back to the 3.5 tree).
I also thought for some time that KDE is slow. The thing is that on my old notebook (HP XE3, PIII Mobile 1,13 GHz, 256 MB of RAM - not exactly a racing machine), I've been using Fluxbox, with Firefox as a web browser. Then I noticed that with Konqueror, the whole machine became much more snappy, even though Konqueror was supposed to load a whole lot of libraries and run some KDE daemons in the background. Well, it did, but in the end, it was still much more of a pleasure to work with the system than with Memoryzilla behing my back. Of course, KDE as a whole was slightly more demanding, but still quite fine. Eventually, I stayed with Fluxbox and Konqueror. but mostly because I got used to it, not because KDE would be unusable. (Oh, and I'm using Arch Linux almost exclusively these days, just for the record.) Now I got a Thinkpad X60 with Core 2 Duo and speed doesn't bother me anymore, but anything Gecko-based still seems to be a bit sluggish even now. Maybe I'm just sensitive, these things can be very individual.

Re:am I missing something here? (1)

typicallyterrific (934202) | more than 6 years ago | (#22224676)

First of all, GNOME is not a window manager. It is a complete desktop environment. When last I used GNOME, Sawfish was the default GNOME window manager. Before that, it was Enlightenment. I haven't followed GNOME for a while, maybe they've changed the WM again. The point being, you can use a number of WMs with GNOME; it is not, itself, a window manager.

Holy fuck, dude. Metacity has been the default client for almost five years now. The last time anyone had this conversation, in a serious manner, was also debating the merits of Red Hat 9, the average computer was probably a Pentium 2 or a Pentium 3, and we were ALL using 2.4 because 2.6 would only come out in December.

Today, the cheapest computer you can buy from Dell will almost certainly run the latest Ubuntu without a hitch.
Nothing against fluxbox users, it's just, well, Desktop Environments are way more useful than they used to be, and Moore's Law finally caught up with us. On my dual-core, how well my GUI layer performs is just about my last concern, and it multiplexes all the terminals I want either way, thank you very much.

I would *love* it if you were still running some similarly ancient distro, tho. That's hardcore.

Re:am I missing something here? (3, Informative)

ChristTrekker (91442) | more than 6 years ago | (#22224702)

Anything that is a complete desktop environment probably doesn't meet most people's definition of low cruft, but if there is one that makes that cut in the free software world, I'd vote for XFCE. [...] If you really want low cruft, though, you need to really run just a window manager. Fluxbox and IceWM are a couple of very good choices in that area.

Between those "extremes" are even-lighter desktops like Étoilé and EDE, and somewhat-heavier WMs like Enlightenment. Lots of options in the X11 world. Readers may want to take a look at this comparison [wikipedia.org] to start.

Re:am I missing something here? (2, Informative)

cparker15 (779546) | more than 6 years ago | (#22224136)

GNOME is a desktop environment. Metacity is a window manager.

Re:am I missing something here? (4, Informative)

hr.wien (986516) | more than 6 years ago | (#22224144)

Neither KDE nor Gnome are just window managers (that's Metacity and Kwin). Desktop environment is a more fitting term for them. They both aim to include most of what you need for basic day-to-day use of your computer. They also make sure everything they include is nicely consistent, which makes for a good user experience.

As for your speed concerns, I don't see how inclusion of a few new apps will slow down anything? It will take a bit more disk space probably, but it won't slow anything down unless you use these new apps. You're also free to uninstall anything you feel is redundant.

Re:am I missing something here? (1)

Simon80 (874052) | more than 6 years ago | (#22224156)

You're confused, GNOME is a suite of applications that provide a usable desktop environment, not a window manager. The window manager used in GNOME is called metacity, and it certainly is not becoming a VNC client.

You're missing an entire desktop! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22224158)

GNOME is not a window manager, it is a desktop environment. GNOME has a window manager (metacity).

Re:am I missing something here? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22224160)

Yes, you are missing something. GNOME is a desktop environment, not a window manager. Metacity is GNOME's default window manager. The article discusses improvements to the various applications that come with GNOME, not to the window manager (other than half a sentence mentioning that Metacity will finally have a compositor). (Why is it that such an uninformed post was modded "3, Insightful"? Sad...)

Re:am I missing something here? (1, Flamebait)

opypod (1169579) | more than 6 years ago | (#22224162)

what's wrong with the gnome developers??? do we need more eye candy and bloat to make gnome even suckier? instead of all that crap ... why don't you make a lighter, faster gnome. and i would just LOVE it if evolution (ok ... i know this is not gnome ... but it IS the "official" gnome email) would work right.
focus on the real issues ... not the eye candy. if i wanted a bloated sack, i'd re-install windows.

Re:am I missing something here? (4, Informative)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 6 years ago | (#22224278)

RE:["why don't you make a lighter, faster gnome"]

http://www.xfce.org/ [xfce.org] = a lighter, faster gnome...

Re:am I missing something here? (1)

metalcoat (918779) | more than 6 years ago | (#22224178)

I am not in IT, but have a vague background of 3 medium size utility companies in my area. They all use Linux (SLES 9,Debian,Ubuntu) to power their web servers and all use VNC to connect (but do not know what it is called.) I have had to teach the IT people for those various companies how to configure and maintain the servers through the command prompts. None of them have ever ventured outside Windows GUI.

The sad reality is that 2 of those servers rely heavily on Gnome (VNC) for maintenance, since I have left they have outsourced the work. I think VNC is becoming the norm now, and at least make it an easy option without a whole lot of configuration.

Re:am I missing something here? (2, Insightful)

brunascle (994197) | more than 6 years ago | (#22224182)

these are mostly just changes to applications in the "official gnome apps" list, and new apps added to that list. they're not really going to affect the performance of the desktop itself (i.e. gnome-panel, nautilus, metacity, etc).

Re:am I missing something here? (1)

mincua (910980) | more than 6 years ago | (#22224234)

Gnome is a full desktop enviroment so iti is normal to include all this programs, Metacity is the window manager.

Re:am I missing something here? (4, Insightful)

Ckwop (707653) | more than 6 years ago | (#22224236)

This looks to me like Gnome trying too hard, and adding too many capabilities to what is, so far as I understand it, just a window manager. Why, for example include vnc? It's not like seperate client/servers for this task aren't available, and most are pretty good.

This is a very good point. Linux is so flexible because each project has a different agenda and a different set of design criteria it is trying to satisfy.

I think that Gnome should not try to be a direct competitor to KDE. KDE is huge, has tonnes of software included with it and tries to be everything to everyone.

We need a desktop environment that does that.

However, this doesn't mean that Gnome should try to be this too. If it tries to, it will lose. KDE's software base is absolutely huge, and it's all controlled from a series of close-nit projects. Gnome would struggle to match that style of development.

Gnome's advantage is that is simpler and less complex. It is my view, Gnome should be a like a good text-book; it is complete not when there is nothing left to add, but nothing left to take away.

Free software is about choice. You don't have a real choice when both options put before you are the same. The differences between open-source projects are not weakness but strengths. Being different allows you to choose your software according to your needs; it allows you to adapt.

Simon.

Re:am I missing something here? (4, Interesting)

samkass (174571) | more than 6 years ago | (#22224382)

I assume you're with the crowd that are (mis)using Slashdot's tagging feature to make editorial comments about window transitions not being a "feature". It's kind of ironic, because some of those same people will, at times, talk about Linux's viability as a desktop operating system, where utility of transitions are immense. In fact, transitions are probably one of the more valuable HCI movements lately, and give users great feedback as to what happened to their data/windows and where they went. All the way back to the Newton's "crumpling paper" when things were thrown away, Apple has been using them to great effect. When minimizing something to the dock in MacOS X, it's an extremely good way of showing the user where they can find it later.

Considering my 6-year-old PowerPC-based Mac can do them just fine, I think keeping things "lean" for lean's sake is counterproductive. All the visual aspects should be analyzed from a consistency and return-on-performance factor, and while transitions may have been too expensive to performance at some point, nowadays they're virtually free and a great tool.

Re:am I missing something here? (1)

oletk (860693) | more than 6 years ago | (#22224416)

Metacity is Gnome's window manager.

Re:am I missing something here? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22225034)

If they only improved the file open dialog window, gnome would become vastly more usable

Re:am I missing something here? (1)

julian67 (1022593) | more than 6 years ago | (#22225122)

I'd like to know how to define cruft and more particularly how it might be measured and indexed. Is there a gui tool that might scan my partitions and identify such cruft, perhaps displaying it's findings as a pie chart? Or maybe a cli tool...perhap dc -h (display cruft) which can pipe the output to rm? I'd like these tools to work in an integrated way in my distro of choice. Btw is anyone out there running a distro which was forced on them? Do you have a "distro of compulsion"? Thought not. That's my question of choice, written on my keyboard of choice, displayed on my monitor of choice. Ok got to go and walk the dogs (showing them at crufts this year).

khtml (1)

Arthur B. (806360) | more than 6 years ago | (#22223984)

Why webkit over khtml ? To avoid the irony ?

Re:khtml (3, Informative)

N3TW4LK3R (841526) | more than 6 years ago | (#22224090)

AFAIK, the KDE team is also switching to Apple's fork of KHTML, WebKit.

KHTML is very good of course, but it wouldn't make sense to switch to an engine that's going to be made obolete soon.

Re:khtml (1)

LizardKing (5245) | more than 6 years ago | (#22224174)

WebKit can be used in apps written in C and Objective-C, thanks to the KWQ wrapper, and unlike KHTML it has no dependencies on the Qt toolkit.

Re:khtml (1)

ArcticFlood (863255) | more than 6 years ago | (#22224372)

I'm pretty sure that you can use GtkHTML [wikipedia.org] , a KHTML fork, in GTK+ apps without needing Qt. But WebKit for GTK+ is better maintained, which is probably the reason it was chosen.

Gnome's notable improvements (3, Funny)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 6 years ago | (#22224092)

Just encouraged me to switch to XFCE [xfce.org] ...

And people say there should be a single desktop...

 

Re:Gnome's notable improvements (1)

Skewray (896393) | more than 6 years ago | (#22224454)

Real men use Blackbox. I use KDE. My favorite is XFCE. Go figure.

Re:Gnome's notable improvements (1)

Sleepy (4551) | more than 6 years ago | (#22224788)

>And people say there should be a single desktop...

Actually, NO ONE says there should be a 'single desktop'. (Well, I'm sure some people will say anything, but...)

What developers and managers often bemoan is that there is no SINGLE API for development of desktop apps.

In fact your example of XFCE is a PERFECT example of what happens when there IS a common API. XFCE uses GTK as the engine.. as does GNOME.
The 'core' functions are all there... and then extended.

I don't think there should EVER be a single desktop -- that sounds like a nightmare on so many levels.
I would however love to see a merger between Qt and GTK, or at least much larger co-operation (and there is some already, via freedesktop, but it's all bottom-up driven.

Things may get more interesting on that front, now that Nokia owns Trolltech. I hope they can manage something without scaring the KDE folks.

Re:Gnome's notable improvements (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22225486)

Those who do not understand KDE are doomed to reinvent it.

A Notable Improvement would be ditching Totem... (1)

Nemilar (173603) | more than 6 years ago | (#22224126)

(Warning, the following might sound like a troll, but I promise it is just a rant -- against a piece of software I have learned to hate something on the level as myspace. I'll try to make some decent anecdotal arguments)

I know it isn't just me, because whenever I say it, a lot of people give me a "Hell yeah!" - Totem Player is terrible. It's just awful. I dare say it might be the worst media player on the Linux platform. Gnome needs a new default media player.

If I let Totem try to play a DVD, it hangs for almost a minute before it starts playing.
It stops playing halfway through my mp4 files, for no reason. Just hey, now would be a good time to crash.
Its picture seems inferior to that of other players, for example smplayer.
Its control interface is basic, at best. There are other words I would use to describe it, but you can use your imagination.

VLC is a great media player. mplayer is a great player, and smplayer is a GREAT frontend for it, especially in KDE. We've got Xine, too. We have all these great media players, and Gnome sticks us with Totem?!?

Re:A Notable Improvement would be ditching Totem.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22224474)

I'll give you a "Hell yeah!" on that. Totem is crap. It's slow, always prompts to install codecs and then the installation fails at least 75% of the time anyway making it prompt me again and 'round we go.

VLC is so much better; that's one of few programs that I have to install as soon as Ubuntu is running.

Re:A Notable Improvement would be ditching Totem.. (1)

MrDrBob (851356) | more than 6 years ago | (#22224564)

Alright, I'll bite. I presume you're using totem-xine, as opposed to totem-gstreamer? The first two problems are completely beyond Totem's control, and are problems with the backend library. In my experience, libxine has more such problems than GStreamer, even though it has support for a wider range of codecs. Your fourth point about Totem's "control interface" could be valid, but some suggestions for improvement would be better, rather than just a "that's crap". In summary: file bugs or nothing can be done about it.

Re:A Notable Improvement would be ditching Totem.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22225246)

The point he was making was, regardless of if there is a better version of Totem, the one that ships with gnome and is default just plain sucks. And I concur. It's bloody unusable.

Re:A Notable Improvement would be ditching Totem.. (1)

andre.ramaciotti (1053592) | more than 6 years ago | (#22225532)

Well, kaffeine uses xine as its backend and I've never had such problem with it.

Re:A Notable Improvement would be ditching Totem.. (1)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 6 years ago | (#22224622)


Listen to this person. He or she speaks truth!

Re:A Notable Improvement would be ditching Totem.. (3, Interesting)

sayfawa (1099071) | more than 6 years ago | (#22224658)

I have to agree. I don't like to diss open source products, but man, out of several years of using Gnome I just haven't ever had a good thing to say about Totem.

But an interesting anecdote is that my flatmate recently converted to Linux. He was a Windows "power user", not afraid of getting into any aspect of the system, and he's the same now with Linux. And he is actually completely satisfied by Totem. "But don't you find that it never plays anything properly, ever?" I asked him. "Nope, it plays everything I throw at it" he tells me. I've seen it too. Weird how experiences can vary so much.

No contents in moving windows (1)

tsbiscaro (888711) | more than 6 years ago | (#22224132)

That's what I want in GNOME. KDE has the option to not display contents in moving windows, makes your box a little bit faster if you move your windows a lot, like me.

Re:No contents in moving windows (1)

liquidpele (663430) | more than 6 years ago | (#22225382)

The Metacity window manager has a wireframe mode for when you move and resize windows. When wireframe mode is turned on, only the outline of windows is displayed when you move and resize windows. The contents of the window do not need to be updated during the move or resize. The contents of the window are displayed when the move or resize is complete.

To turn on wireframe mode, run the following command:

# gconftool-2 --type bool --set /apps/metacity/general/wireframe_move_resize true

Sounds great! But does it run on Linux? (0, Flamebait)

TheBrutalTruth (890948) | more than 6 years ago | (#22224166)

Or Windows, like KDE tries to for some reason...

Re:Sounds great! But does it run on Linux? (1)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 6 years ago | (#22224232)

No, it runs on X11 the X Windows environment.

Re:Sounds great! But does it run on Linux? (1)

BlackCreek (1004083) | more than 6 years ago | (#22224560)

Or Windows, like KDE tries to for some reason...

I don't have strong preferences between Gnome and KDE (though I currently use KDE more often), and I the only OS I use is Linux, but I honestly believe that the most promissing (long term) change of KDE4 is the fact that many applications will be ported over to Windows and OSX.

My hope is that given the sheer volume of windows users, if any KDE application gets remotely popular on windows it would increase its user base dramatically (be it from professionals or home users); which should lead to increase in support for the given application, and therefore in its overall quality. Be it testing documentation, or debugging.

Other than that, I believe that allowing windows users to, from within Windows, get familiar with applications they would use on Linux is a major help reducing doubt and anxiousness about migrating.

They should improve the gnome VNC server (1)

Werrismys (764601) | more than 6 years ago | (#22224170)

vino sucks. It's totally unusable: buggy, slow, and fails with 3D acceleration. x11vnc, on the other hand, works very very well. Why not borrow the code?

Re:They should improve the gnome VNC server (1)

muszek (882567) | more than 6 years ago | (#22224696)

Earlier today, I read Ubuntu Hardy Heron, Alpha 4 release announcement [ubuntu.com] (due in two days). Vinagre [gnome.org] is going to be installed by default... it looks like it might be inherited from Gnome.

Re:They should improve the gnome VNC server (1)

mhall119 (1035984) | more than 6 years ago | (#22225576)

Ubuntu 8.04 (Hardy Heron) is going to use Gnome 2.22, so I would assume it would have all the features mentioned in this article.

Gedit wish list... (1)

apathy maybe (922212) | more than 6 years ago | (#22224196)

I wonder if any of the items on my Gedit wish list are going to be looked at?

I use Gedit for my IDE of choice. However, I have wishes to make it better.

The big two are simple,
when working on an indented line and press enter, the next line is indented the same distance.

When the cursor is next to a bracket (brace, etc.) {([ ])}, or even quotes ' " " ', it highlights one that matches it.

The other items were fixed between 2.18 and 2.20, so no worries there...

As for Epiphany, someone asked if anyone actually uses it... I do. But not actually for web browsing, just web development. It loads faster then Firefox (esp. with all the extensions required to make Firefox usable...), and it has tabs. That's all I really need.

As for the other items, I'm not sure how many of them are actually going to affect me. There are other things that would be nice, like a better system for power management, but really GNOME is so much better then it was just a few years ago.

Re:Gedit wish list... (4, Informative)

deanlandolt (1004507) | more than 6 years ago | (#22224384)

I'm running 2.20.3 on Ubuntu Gutsy...

when working on an indented line and press enter, the next line is indented the same distance.
Edit > Preferences > Editor > Enable automatic indentation

When the cursor is next to a bracket (brace, etc.) {([ ])}, or even quotes ' " " ', it highlights one that matches it.
Edit > Preferences > View > Highlight matching bracket I'm not sure when the features came in, but perhaps you need a minor version upgrade?

Re:Gedit wish list... (1)

sayfawa (1099071) | more than 6 years ago | (#22224718)

Yeah, And those have been there for years. Gedit has a huge amount of preferences that people don't seem to discover for some reason. I think people look at it's default state and just assume it's another extremely simple Gnome app with no user-defined preferences.

Re:Gedit wish list... (1)

apathy maybe (922212) | more than 6 years ago | (#22224726)

Bloody hell. I was just thinking, I bet someone is going to point me to a plugin that does just that... No... It is built right into the editor!

Thanks! This will make my job easier, that is for sure.

(Just goes to show, looking around in the options is a good idea...)

Re:Gedit wish list... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22224550)

when working on an indented line and press enter, the next line is indented the same distance.

You're kidding. Gedit doesn't do that? That's pathetic.

Re:Gedit wish list... (1)

Drooling Iguana (61479) | more than 6 years ago | (#22224666)

when working on an indented line and press enter, the next line is indented the same distance.
GEdit does that already, just not by default. I can't recall off the top of my head where the option is and I'm not at a Linux PC to check, but it should be fairly easy to find.

Re:Gedit wish list... (1)

tzhau (552139) | more than 6 years ago | (#22224724)

I am a fan of gedit as well. Bracket matching and line auto-indentation is indeed available! (I am using version 2.20.3).

Also keep an eye on the plugin system taking off (python and c supported):
http://live.gnome.org/Gedit/Plugins [gnome.org]

Gedit makes for a nice minimalistic editor that you can take as close to an IDE as you see fit.

Evince (1)

tloh (451585) | more than 6 years ago | (#22224206)

....transition effects inside the Evince document viewer....
I'm not at all sure what this is, but there is one thing that I hope Evince will be improved on. When used to view some PDF documents with Chinese fonts, the text comes across as terribly mangled. Though readable with great effort, the rendering is very coarse with inconsistent line widths. I may not be speaking for a large number of affected users. However, Gnome under Ubuntu for me has been indespensible as the computing plateform of choice for my retiree father. Those of us living in the US have difficult choices in the way of foreign language text suppport in the Windows camp. Available retail OS from MS in the US target primarily English users. Alternatively, for me at least, the Multilingual User Interface add-on from MS has been a pain to deal with. Contrast this with Ubuntu, where a default install in the language of one's choice provides everything (dialog boxes, menu options, etc.) in one's native language - the choice is a no-brainer. Since deploying Gnome/Ubuntu on my father's box, he's been considerably more happy and I've cut down dramatically on time/effort spent on troubleshooting, support, and computer tutoring. But as my encounter with certain PDFs show, there is still a lot of room for improvement.

Evince (1)

Stuidge (1104439) | more than 6 years ago | (#22224238)

A serious question: have they improved the rendering time of evince? Because right now it can be torturous waiting for a document to be redrawn after zooming in, especially compared to Foxit on Windows

Who cares? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22224242)

GNOME used to be, and still is, my preferred Linux desktop - mainly for its look and feel, to be honest. But with "who cares?"-releases like these, I really wonder how long it's going to stay that way. Seriously - those list items are supposed to be "improvements"? Who cares about epiphany's rendering engine? FWIW, Gecko renders pages just fine. And transition effects in evince? Did anyone need that? A release of a big software package such as GNOME where such a minor change with questionable utility is actually notable really can't impress me. I haven't used KDE in quite a while, but recently saw it running on a machine with a recent SuSE version. It seemed quite polished and made me eager to test 4.0 or 4.1. Seems to me the problem of choosing a linux desktop converges more and more towards "You want something full-featured? Use KDE. Want something that keeps things simple? Use blackbox / xterm / screen".

Does the file manager still suck? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22224260)

Does Nautilus still default to that horrible Windows95-esque behaviour of opening every directory in its own little tiny window and require users to dig around in gconf to change it to something more reasonable?

Re:Does the file manager still suck? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22224924)

No.

Re:Does the file manager still suck? (1)

Chosen Reject (842143) | more than 6 years ago | (#22225082)

I don't know what the latest default behavior is, but if you had to dig into gconf to change it, you were doing it wrong. It's in the preferences for Nautilus itself.

filechooser ? (4, Informative)

C0vardeAn0nim0 (232451) | more than 6 years ago | (#22224300)

my pet peevee with _any_ GTK based app is the filechooser.

it's ugly and far from intuitive.

there's a wrapper aplication that allows some GTK apps use KDE's filechooser, but it doesn't work with everyting.

if GTK developers really don't wan't to fix this, could they at least put something to allow the use of KDE's dialogs when the app is not running under gnome ?

BTW, the wrapper is here: http://www.kde-apps.org/content/show.php?content=36077 [kde-apps.org]

filechooser is terrible... (2, Informative)

neapolitan (1100101) | more than 6 years ago | (#22224610)

Was going to mod you up, but I'll reply instead (sorry!).

I completely agree.

The GNOME filechooser is an abomination. It is one of the reasons that Linus Torvalds uses KDE, and the reason that no sane person will touch GNOME.

1. COMPLETELY unintuitive (and difficult to get used to) initial layout. Instead of having an area with the file name that you can type in, there is simply a three-panel directory. What happens if you start typing? Some weird mystery box appears that is right on top of your filter dialog, which is unlabeled!

Want to type part of the filename? Go ahead, but as soon as you make a selection to change to a different directory, it is gone! What's more, if you were in a Save dialog, the default value is now gone forever.

2. The CANCEL and OK buttons are reversed from almost all other GUIs. Cancel to the left? Cancel above OK? What???

3. Windows-like distrust of any other directories other than your home. Want to save something in /usr/local? Well, go to "File System" first so you can then access your root.

Numerous other issues (resize behavior -- the whole dialog moves if you change file type), etc. prevent me from using this, EVER.

For those linux readers using firefox, a simple fix is to go to about:config and change ui.allow.platform.filepicker to FALSE. Do it now, for your own sanity.

Re:filechooser is terrible... (1)

C0vardeAn0nim0 (232451) | more than 6 years ago | (#22225220)

thanks dude. i was going mad googling for that FF option. i had it set on seamonkey on my desktop box before i turned it into a hackint0sh (don't ask!!!), and now i was having a hard time trying to find it againg to apply to my notebook.

Transitions and frills... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22224428)

have just made the latest eog (eye of gnome) snapshots painfully slow.

Transition effects = good (2, Insightful)

thatblackguy (1132805) | more than 6 years ago | (#22224556)

For the proverbial 'year of the Linux desktop' this is the sort of thing that we need. The flashy stuff might not matter to the slashdot crowd but to the average joe, the cosmetic improvements itself would be a reason to consider linux. We just had that article about better designed GUI's rating over better functioning programs, looks like the Gnome developers have taken that to heart.

Evolution (1)

cigarky (89075) | more than 6 years ago | (#22224660)

I'd be happy to just settle for support for Exchange 2007 in Evolution 2.22 (I mainly use KDE applications in a gnome desktop anyway). I'm getting tired of work-arounds. What did all that Microsoft money to Novell buy?

Re:Evolution (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 6 years ago | (#22224898)

Publicity I guess. Although they claimed it was interoperability.

Who cares (0, Troll)

timberwolf753 (1064802) | more than 6 years ago | (#22224762)

Who cares about Gnome. Gnome is for idiots that want the least custimazation like a windows user. Choose a realy desktop used KDE.

Re:Who cares (1)

Miguel de Icaza (660439) | more than 6 years ago | (#22225402)

Choose a realy desktop used KDE.
WTF? Maybe you should get work done instead of masturbating with your desktop environment. Other than changing the background image and window color scheme, how much more diddling do you need?

Removed .NET yet? (3, Insightful)

metamatic (202216) | more than 6 years ago | (#22224852)

Any chance that they've removed the dependency on Microsoft's patented .NET technologies via Mono?

(Yes, I know you can manually remove bits of the Gnome environment to get rid of Mono; but the Gnome environment by default includes Mono.)

Switching to WebKit? (3, Interesting)

daemonc (145175) | more than 6 years ago | (#22225156)

"In order to use the WebKit backend, Epiphany must be built with the --with-engine=webkit argument."

That sounds more like WebKit is available, as an option, if you are compiling from source, than "switching" to me...

Nothing Notable (1)

HermMunster (972336) | more than 6 years ago | (#22225244)

Compared to KDE this is a non-update. It is almost irrelevant. One need not even look at it. I'm a gnome user and that's my opinion. There are tons of features they could add but mostly they could seriously fix the issues they have with it.

I will stay with KDE, thanks a lot! (1)

Maimun (631984) | more than 6 years ago | (#22225404)

Last year I tried Ubuntu and the reason I ditched it and went back to RedHat/Fedora was Gnome. I can't stand Gnome, it is ugly, intrusive and non-configurable. Then I tried Kubuntu but gave up almost immediately on it -- it seems those who say that Kubuntu is Ubuntu's poor cousin have a point. So, now it's good old Fedora again. Sure, the update system is more primitive than Ubuntu but it has WORKING KDE, which far outweighs all its perceived disadvantages. I wish KDE was the primary environment of Fedora, of course :)
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