Gnome is in a deadend

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Gnome is in a deadend

Postby woodsideguy » Tue Nov 29, 2005 9:25 pm

Gnome is in a deadend says one of it's former developers
ZDNet Uk[/url]
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RE: Gnome is in a deadend

Postby M-Saunders » Wed Nov 30, 2005 10:17 am

The same 'opinion piece' has been plastered all over OSNews, Slashdot etc. for the last few days. It's not hard to identify the author, but I won't say anything until it can be proven... :-)

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Postby woodsideguy » Wed Nov 30, 2005 3:22 pm

Hmm. Checked out the other sites and see where you're coming from. However.. A lot of it is a rant, it's the equivalent of a baby throwing it's rattle out of the pram. But the points about HIG or rather lack of them are valid. Windows for all it's faults is more coherent in that respect although nowhere near OS X.

Given a choice though, I'd go for the cleaner interface of Gnome over the "designed by anal retentive kludge" that is KDE. There really is a limit to the amount of tweaking a user interface needs to/should show the end user. "Since we're trying to create a GUI for ordinary users lets overwhelm them with options". way to go guys!!
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Postby Cogar » Wed Nov 30, 2005 4:03 pm

Regarding the posted article, I suppose any product could use some improvement. I suspect we could find a few problems with the GUI in Windows as well. :)

Regarding KDE, I suspect that many of the people who like Linux do so because they want to be able to tinker with an OS. Those people are also likely to want to tinker with their desktop environment as well. For one, I like the ability to tinker with KDE. Besides, if you don't want to tweak the user interface, you are not forced to. 8)
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Postby nelz » Wed Nov 30, 2005 4:33 pm

That's fine, keep GNOME for you ordinary users and leave KDE for us extraordinary users that can appreciate it :)
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Postby woodsideguy » Wed Nov 30, 2005 4:58 pm

nelz wrote:That's fine, keep GNOME for you ordinary users and leave KDE for us extraordinary users that can appreciate it :)

Ah right. So when people ask me "is Linux ready for the desktop" I'll tell them
"well you can have a clean fairly user friendly look with a broken interface or a slightly less broken interface which is great for expert users".

These guys Symphony OS are heading in the right direction but without support from some of the larger Distros it's gonna be very slow
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Postby nelz » Wed Nov 30, 2005 5:56 pm

Why limit yourself to two choices? As for Linux being ready for the desktop, whose desktop? GNOME ain't ready for mine. What is wrong with giving choice?
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Postby woodsideguy » Wed Nov 30, 2005 8:04 pm

My comment about "is Linux ready for the desktop" was as I'm sure you're aware referring to the mass usage of Linux on the desktop. The average user, or as you possibly call them, luser, does not want that sort of choice od interface. Neither do they want something that only techies can use.They want something which simple and consistent which works. Something which will support out of the box whichever accessory they get for Xmas.

Linux could provide that but it does not seem to be happening. Ever since the first issue of Linux Format I've been seeing articles proclaiming that Linux is "ready for the desktop". (actually it was probably before then in PC Plus). Well it hasn't happened yet and this is something that has been been acknowledged by people like Bob Young, among others. That's one of the reasons that many of the big distros are pushing Gnome, to put out a common interface, albeit a "broken" one.

Even in the business centre it isn't happening largely because of user resistance. Despite the brave face put on by Munich part of the delay is caused by users not wanting to switch from Windows to Linux. Look at Vienna. Yes many users are happy to use Open Office, but on Windows. The users do not want to switch.

Give them a familiar and consistent interface and the change is possible. If not Linux will stay at the present 3% that it has had for the past few years and progress no further

If there was a common interface with an agreed HIG which developers actually stuck to there might even be a chance that Macrobe would port apps like Dreamweaver and Photoshop. Until then you can forget it. And please don't mention the Gimp et al. They are not in the same class and are not nearly ready to be considered by graphics professionals. People here may prefer to hand code web sites but in the real, commercial world Dreamweaver rules the roost.

I'm off to don my asbestos overcoat and may look back but don't count omn it
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Postby wyliecoyoteuk » Wed Nov 30, 2005 8:50 pm

Well, we use KDE on Suse. our users took approx 15 mins training to move from Windows to KDE.
Their main apps ?
Evolution for email (yes I do know its a Gnome based app) Konsole for a remote terminal for our database app (one even learned to launch 4 or more copies of it...grrr)
Openoffice for wordprocessing and spreadsheets.
Oh, and Firefox for web browsing and playibg bbc realplayer radio.
As a bonus, we have no trojans, viruses, or user cockups stopping the pcs running, and a nice secure firewall.
We use Gnome on one server (RH7.3), but mainly because KDE seems less favoured by RH.
My assistant uses Gnome just to annoy me, I insist on using KDE (partially to annoy him :)
Our most important Linux server (smoothwall) runs neither.

I took a look at both, and preferred KDE, but that may change, YMMV.

Thank Linus, that we have a choice, I hate the XP GUI, in my opinion, it reached it's peak with win2K, and XP was a retrograde step.(I know it takes me longer to do anything important with XP), It takes more "retraining" to move from 2k or 98 to XP than from windows to KDE.
Just watch a secretary smile when you show her how to enable "classic" view in windows. :)
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Postby M-Saunders » Thu Dec 01, 2005 10:03 am

"The average user, or as you possibly call them, luser, does not want that sort of choice od interface."

That's why a user settles on a distro with one interface, like Ubuntu. A user doesn't even need to be aware of anything else. Just because there are loads of desktops, WMs and toolkits for Linux, it doesn't mean a user has to run all of them! Linux is technology -- users run a distro. And some good distros keep things pretty consistent and clean.

"Something which will support out of the box whichever accessory they get for Xmas."

That's entirely separate to the choice of desktops.

"If there was a common interface with an agreed HIG which developers actually stuck to there might even be a chance that Macrobe would port apps like Dreamweaver and Photoshop. Until then you can forget it."

No, 'Macrobe' (what a merger that'd be!) isn't staying away from Linux because of some overstated choice of desktop issue -- that would be absurd. There simply isn't a market for their products at the mo. It's not hard to create a desktop-agnostic app that fits in well, whatever the environment. With the right theming, Firefox looks fine in both KDE and GNOME.

I agree that more consolidation is needed, and it's initially confusing for newcomers, but stop thinking from the technology viewpoint and think about distros -- after all, that's what users run. The Linux 'OS', as we call it, is a huge mash of technology and code, but it's the distros that turn it into something cohesive. Increasingly, desktop distros are choosing one environment and toolkit, giving the user a pretty consistent experience.

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Postby Cogar » Thu Dec 01, 2005 6:34 pm

I am not sure that the GUI is all that critical to Linux being "ready for the desktop." As an example, let me compare Linspire, a distro specifically aimed at the Windows desktop market, and SUSE 10. Both have very nice looking GUIs. The Linspire one appears to be built on KDE. If you choose the KDE option with SUSE, it looks pretty much like the Linspire one, except that it does not have the CNR Warehouse reminder popping up every time you log on. ;) However, there is a substantial difference between the two distributions in terms of hardware compatibility, ease of installation, stability, flexibility, etc. and I would readily recommend one over the other to "Joe Average." Stated more succinctly, I believe SUSE is a lot closer to being "ready for the desktop" than Linspire, even though they both have similar desktops and Linspire is actually striving to be a Linux desktop more than SUSE.
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Postby woodsideguy » Thu Dec 01, 2005 6:37 pm

That's why a user settles on a distro with one interface, like Ubuntu. A user doesn't even need to be aware of anything else. Just because there are loads of desktops, WMs and toolkits for Linux, it doesn't mean a user has to run all of them! Linux is technology -- users run a distro. And some good distros keep things pretty consistent and clean.

Wel when you step out of the technosphere of Linuxformat Towers try and think about ordinary users. The ones I'm trying to talk about. They don't want to know about different distros. They dont care about SuSE, Ubuntu et al. When they use Windows it is just that Windows. Not Dell Windows or HP Windows etc. Just Windows. If they use Apple/Mac they know what it is.

They also want a common interface. If theywere to use Linux they would expect it to look like the "Linux" their mates use not something different. That is irrespective of the applications used.

And some good distros keep things pretty consistent and clean.
See above, users want to see a common interface. If you step outside and attend an ECDL course for beginners one of the things they are taught is that the menus are always the same in MS Office. That is not the case in either KDE or Gnome. There is no serious use of HIG.

Macrobe may be my snide choice of a name but the entity now exists. They provide the design applications of choice for professionals. To say that there is no demand flies in face of the evidence provided at places like Codeweavers and others. There is no way most design shops will consider a move until these applications are available.

I agree that more consolidation is needed, and it's initially confusing for newcomers, but stop thinking from the technology viewpoint and think about distros -- after all, that's what users run
You are the one being a techie. ordinary users, the guy in the street doesn't even know what the word distro means. For most of them the term Operating System means nothing and if it means anything at all it equates to Windows.

Try a test visit to your local College and have a look at the ECDL classes. Not only for the level of knowledge the average user has but to see what you are trying to overcome.They ALL use Windows and the ECDL is based on MS Office. Going on about the choice of desktops and interfaces offered by Linux is going to do nothing to change that.

As for viruses, worms etc already ISP's like Telewest are offering a security package as free/cheap add on. That will be enough for their average punter to stick with what they have. Especially as if they were to change OS they would be on their own with no support from an ISP
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Postby nelz » Thu Dec 01, 2005 7:51 pm

Either you have carried out extensive research into what many others want, or you are making sweeping assumptions. What makes you so sure people want a "common interface". they already have that with Windows, yet they are looking at alternatives. Linux is about choice, take that away and what's the point?

Oh, and Telewest already support Linux, although security packages aren't needed as a cheap add-on. They are already installed with the rest of the distro.

I think you would make a better argument is you stopped assuming that the "guy in the street2 is too stupid/uninformed to understand while those who do understand are elitist techies.
"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." (Albert Einstein)
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Postby woodsideguy » Thu Dec 01, 2005 8:12 pm

nelz wrote:Either you have carried out extensive research into what many others want, or you are making sweeping assumptions. What makes you so sure people want a "common interface". they already have that with Windows, yet they are looking at alternatives. Linux is about choice, take that away and what's the point?


No I just work with ordinary people. They all want things kept simple. Looking at alternatives? No one I know. I tried Linux for the first time when PC Plus offered SuSE 5.3(?) on the cover and have talked about it at work and shown it to everyone who has come round to my house since then. How many have switched? Zero, none zilch. Whatever you and I say Linux will still be a hobbyists OS on the home desktop in 5 years time. If it gets to 3% it will be doing extremely well

Oh, and Telewest already support Linux, although security packages aren't needed as a cheap add-on. They are already installed with the rest of the distro..


Any OS with a TCP/IP stack will be "supported" by any ISP. Stop being pedantic. I was talking about support in the context of helplines and you know it

I think you would make a better argument is you stopped assuming that the "guy in the street2 is too stupid/uninformed to understand while those who do understand are elitist techies.


You obviously don't get out enough and meet people. Why do you think that there are people out there wearing Stetsons charging other people anything up to £50 to install free Antivirus and Firewall packages.

Well I've had enough of the particular part of the technosphere. I'm starting to think that Linux Fanboys are at leat as bad as their MS counterparts. I back off to the real world.

I'll continue to use multiple OS's, as each of them has their uses. I will also keep looking for a forum where people are openminded about OS's and GUI's. I'll look back in about 5 years and see if I stil see the same boring old rants and shake my grey head and sigh
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Postby nelz » Thu Dec 01, 2005 9:23 pm

woodsideguy wrote:
Oh, and Telewest already support Linux, although security packages aren't needed as a cheap add-on. They are already installed with the rest of the distro..


Any OS with a TCP/IP stack will be "supported" by any ISP. Stop being pedantic. I was talking about support in the context of helplines and you know it


Yes, I do know it. That's what I was talking about. Several ISPs now provide support for Linux users.

woodsideguy wrote:Well I've had enough of the particular part of the technosphere. I'm starting to think that Linux Fanboys are at leat as bad as their MS counterparts. I back off to the real world.


Are you capable of holding a discussion without insults?

woodsideguy wrote:I'll continue to use multiple OS's, as each of them has their uses.


As do most of the people on here. Horses for courses is a popular approach.

woodsideguy wrote:I will also keep looking for a forum where people are openminded about OS's and GUI's.


If you want a forum where the majority are not pro-Linux, I suggest you look somewhere other than a Linux forum.

woodsideguy wrote:I'll look back in about 5 years and see if I stil see the same boring old rants and shake my grey head and sigh


I expect you will see them, they'll start at exactly that time.
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