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Gnome-Shell


MethPervert
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What do you guys think of gnome-shell? TBH, somethings i like, but somethings i don't. It seems to me to still be a work in progress. certain things like transparency on shell interpreters not working, custom bashrc files causing text formatting issues. There is also the annoying issue that is the lack of support for manually creating custom launchers through the gui shell, and the lack of a minimise button on windows. I hated kde for its rather peculiar feel, gnome seems to be going in the same direction.

What are your thoughts on on it? How many of you actually use a DM?

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Wouldn't be surprised if a project fork starts that seeks to preserve and build on the classic GNOME-Panel, but then again you could get much the same experience with Xfce.

The hilarious thing is the whole Ubuntu Unity/Gnome Shell p*ssfight, when neither of them really seems like they're ready for production use. I'm sure a lot of the bugs will get ironed out eventually. I was using just a netbook at home for a long time and elected to stay with Ubuntu 10.04 for a long time because of Unity (and the fact that my integrated clickpad worked with the LTS release then promptly broke with 10.10). How the heck could they push Unity as a "netbook" launcher when its more resource intensive than regular old Gnome?

The other thing is that I wish there was more innovation from Linux GUI makers, rather than a drive to see who can copy Apple the best.

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The hilarious thing is the whole Ubuntu Unity/Gnome Shell p*ssfight, when neither of them really seems like they're ready for production use.

Yet both are being used in production. What exactly do you find "not production worthy" about them?

How the heck could they push Unity as a "netbook" launcher when its more resource intensive than regular old Gnome?

It's mostly just your GPU that's getting a workout. In a traditional window manager your CPU would be doing a lot more work and the GPU would be sitting mostly idle. Since the CPU time is more valuable than GPU and the GPU is just going to waste, it makes sense to push the WM workload to the GPU.

Furthermore, Unity aims to be much more economical with screen real estate, which is becoming more valuable as netbook and laptop manufacturers are shipping a measly 1024x600 or 1366x786 resolution on many models.

The other thing is that I wish there was more innovation from Linux GUI makers, rather than a drive to see who can copy Apple the best.

That's a disingenuous comment. First of all, Unity isn't just a copy of Apple. It draws on design elements from Windows 7 and one or two good ideas from the Linux WMs as well. Sure, it's not packed full of innovation, but it's cherry-picking good ideas from a variety of successful UIs. It could be argued that it's convergent evolution.

Also, it's not "Linux GUI makers", it's just a few relatively high-profile projects. The Linux WM space is incredibly crowded and diverse. From the feature-packed environments like KDE or Gnome, to the device-friendly ones (Enlightenment, Matchbox), to the minimalist WM of the *box family (blackbox, openbox, fluxbox), to the tiling window managers (ratpoison, XMonad, dwm, wmii, awesomewm), to the compositing WMs (Beryl, Compiz). Linux WMs are full of variety and innovation, and very very few are at all reminiscent of OS X or Windows. You should explore just a few of the many many alternatives out there before writing them all off as Apple clones.

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Regarding GPUs, that's exactly the problem when they packaged Unity for the Netbook Edition in 10.10....I haven't seen a netbook with a GPU yet (where would you fit it?) and the integrated graphics chip on the Intel Atom is nothing to write home about. Unity in 10.10 ran really slow and laggy on a netbook, even with an upgraded 2GB of RAM. Me and most people I know either kept 10.04 for the Maximus feature of just switched to normal Gnome-Panel and tweaked it to maximize screen space.

Both Gnome and Canonical are pushing their respective products hard and I don't think they learned much from the fallout of the KDE 3 to 4 transition, like I had hoped they would. I've been playing with Unity a little since 11.04 just go released......still laggy, unresponsive (like a half-second delay between clicking the App Menu in the side dock and it actually showing up), still a frustrating lack of structure, unintuitive, etc. Right now, there's little you can do to customize the look and feel of the dock and tool bar (but I'm sure that functionality can be added with a little more dev work). What irritates me most about Unity is how the main menu now behaves like a really crappy search engine...finally figured out I could "filter" apps by category to half-a$$ approximate a hierarchal menu structure. But still, when I want to open an application, why not give me, say, a single row of "Frequently Used Apps" and below that a layout of menus or categories of apps. It's the same thing that tees me off about the Android app menu: namely, everything splayed out right there with no organization or structure. Why the hell am I being shown "Apps Available for Download"??? If I want to download something, I'll open the friggin' Software Center, Synaptic, or APT and look for it! It feels like Canonical is advertising to me, lol! :lol:

All the indications seem to be that Canonical was pressed for time and rushed 11.04 out the door just to meet the six-month release cycle deadline. I think Unity will eventually become a good UI, if they listen to the users and keep improving based on their feedback, but it still has a way to go.

I played with Gnome Shell in February of this year...haven't touch the new Fedora release using it yet, but understand it's a little further ahead than Unity is. At the time, it seemed a little bit laggy and wonky, but much more responsive than Unity. Also like Unity, there were no longer all the applet and theme options you had with Gnome Panel, but I'm sure that will be addressed with more development time and as more people develop add-ons to it. But regardless, Gnome Shell seems to be a LOT further towards prime time than Unity. It actually still has menus :lol: !

There's also other questionable decisions both the Gnome team and Canonical are mulling over. One is the fact you now have to use Mutter to run Gnome Shell....no more Compiz, Metacity, or anything else. The flexible you had with Gnome (Compiz-Fusion eye candy for powerhouses, Metacity for older, less-beefy machines) is effectively gone.

Unity at least for now offers Gnome 2 and Unity 2D, but for how long? It's slowly losing that built-in flexibility as well. Plus they want to ditch X11 for Wayland....which isn't necessary bad, since using X11 just because it's been around forever isn't really justification for never inventing a new display server...but I hope to jeebus they don't ramrod it forward like they have Unity. Wayland ain't quite out of beta stage yet, either.

Both UIs are moving in a similar direction to Windows and OS X, more bloat and less friendly to slower machines. I actually own a fast computer now, but I like having an OS that doesn't suck up resources and leaves more CPU cycles and RAM for my applications. Gnome + Metacity was a really good compromise between looking good, being full-featured, yet easy on your processor.

Ok, I'll admit the Apple copy-cat dig is a bit unfair on my part...that's a dig best levelled at just Canonical. Canonical does seem to lean heavily on Apple for inspiration in the last few releases (moving to the more purplish theme, moving the min/max buttons to the left, etc.). I'm on a Mac right now and a few tweaks of the Dock would have it more than halfway to looking like Unity.

For now, I'll stick with Ubuntu Classic. When that goes away, it'll probably be Debian for me. I play with CentOS and Fedora from time to time, I'm just most at home with APT and other Debian-based features.

Edited by chikpee
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I use xmonad as my WM with urxvt as my terminal on my laptop; on my desktop openbox, tint2, conky, urxvt. I find DEs to be useless.

Edited by dr0p
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