Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 4th Jun 2006 13:01 UTC
Gnome I enjoy using many different desktop environments and operating systems. On a day-to-day basis, I use Finder, Explorer, GNOME, and KDE. They all have their good sides, but obviously, they have their fair share of bad sides as well. The next couple of columns will be about the latter. This week, I take a look at whatever bothers me about Ubuntu's GNOME/Linux combination (Dapper, obviously).
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Good
by LB06 on Sun 4th Jun 2006 13:24 UTC
LB06
Member since:
2005-07-06

You have some good points, but are you also going to write about what rocks about DEs?

Reply Score: 5

good points
by olicat on Sun 4th Jun 2006 13:42 UTC
olicat
Member since:
2005-10-18

ubuntu does boot quite quickly though, but still not as fast as os x.

as for gnome's redraw speed - it's truely a disgrace. try with a xinerama set up and drag one window from one desktop to another, and you'll see how bad things can be. i don't think this will ever be fixed, they'll just implement an open gl x server to get around it, rather than fix the gtk slowness.

Reply Score: 5

RE: good points
by rayiner on Sun 4th Jun 2006 14:24 UTC in reply to "good points"
rayiner Member since:
2005-07-06

GTK+'s redraw is actually fairly well-optimized. It's just optimized for the wrong thing. GTK+ has a habit of trying to batch and coalesce EXPOSE events. This cuts down on overall CPU usage, but increases latency, leading to visible redraw.

Of course, ultimately, a composited desktop is the only correct solution to the redraw problem. It also has the advantage of allowing the toolkit to optimize for minimal CPU usage, since the compositor ensures that redraw latency (with reasonable bounds), doesn't result in visible artifacts.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: good points
by ma_d on Mon 5th Jun 2006 02:33 UTC in reply to "RE: good points"
ma_d Member since:
2005-06-29

I like efficiency over low latency ;) .

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: good points
by aquila_deus on Mon 5th Jun 2006 04:09 UTC in reply to "RE: good points"
aquila_deus Member since:
2005-10-02

Compositing doesn't help when you switch desktop...

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: good points
by siti on Mon 5th Jun 2006 08:09 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: good points"
siti Member since:
2005-07-06

with compiz you don't have this issue because all non-minized windows are rendered to offscreen images. So when you switch between virtual desktops it is perfectally smooth.

Although if an application is slow to draw and you restore it, then it can look a bit ugly.

Reply Score: 1

RE: good points
by segedunum on Sun 4th Jun 2006 17:20 UTC in reply to "good points"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

i don't think this will ever be fixed, they'll just implement an open gl x server to get around it, rather than fix the gtk slowness.

It's sad, but that's what I think they'll do as well. It's also sad in that you're going to need hardware acceleration to really take advantage of a fully OpenGL powered X server. This isn't what desktop Linux was supposed to be about.

What will probably happen is they'll get around the problem in one way, but the problems will probably manifest themselves in another area.

Reply Score: 4

RE: good points
by JMcCarthy on Sun 4th Jun 2006 19:03 UTC in reply to "good points"
JMcCarthy Member since:
2005-08-12

"as for gnome's redraw speed - it's truely a disgrace. try with a xinerama set up and drag one window from one desktop to another, and you'll see how bad things can be. i don't think this will ever be fixed, they'll just implement an open gl x server to get around it, rather than fix the gtk slowness."

Haha, you mean like what OS X did with 10.2 !
----

As far Ubuntu's slow boot time -- go smoke a cigar.
It has less to do with Linux itself but rather Ubuntu.

If you want a fair comparison go waste a couple of hours installing Gentoo and then boot from that.

Since you're compiling everything you have vs everything you could have you'll get an Apple effect. The same goes for services.

Ubuntu is marginally slower than Windows XP to boot, but it's nothing painful. For me at least. Maybe a minute.

Edited 2006-06-04 19:08

Reply Score: 1

RE: good points
by blixel on Sun 4th Jun 2006 19:35 UTC in reply to "good points"
blixel Member since:
2005-07-06

I definitely agree with the GTK redraw problem. For me personally, that has been my number one complaint for the last 2 or 3 years about using Linux on the Desktop.

Here is an old video I made to demonstrate the problem. I don't think the problem is really any better than it use to be, but it's not as much of a problem for me these days because I don't use Gnome at all any more. I just use Openbox and rox-filer. I still notice sluggish redrawing, but it's not nearly as bad with general GTK apps as it is with Gnome+GTK apps.

http://www.davidcourtney.org/Files/Win-vs-Lin-video.asf

(Sorry that I only have an asf file. Video encoding isn't my thing.)

Here is another interesting video. I didn't make it ... I don't know who did. But this is the kind of ultra fast response time I dream about.

http://www.davidcourtney.org/Files/AmigaOS4-Fast.avi

I have Zeta installed on a spare machine ... one thing I really like about Zeta is how fast everything is. Navigating the file system, resizing windows, etc... It's all very responsive. The only slow thing about Zeta is when you draw your mouse cursor accross the desktop background as if you wanted to highlight multiple icons. For some reason, that single thing is *extremely* slow. I suspect it has to do with the fact that Zeta draws some kind of tranlucent window over the icons. They should get rid of the "special effect" and just use an ordinary line border.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: good points
by tristan on Sun 4th Jun 2006 20:14 UTC in reply to "RE: good points"
tristan Member since:
2006-02-01

http://www.davidcourtney.org/Files/Win-vs-Lin-video.asf

(Sorry that I only have an asf file. Video encoding isn't my thing.)


I'm not saying that GTK's redraw speed couldn't be better -- it definitely could -- but that video is pretty unfair.

In the Windows case, the window is on top of a blank desktop with a few icons on it -- it doesn't even have to redraw any wallpaper. On the other hand, in the Linux case you've got a Nautilus window on top of Firefox. For whatever reason, Firefox's drawing speed under Linux is extremely poor (open a page with some Flash images -- the Flash parts of the page are always displayed first). This is certainly something that needs fixing, but it's not the responsibility of the Gnome project, or even GTK, but instead the Mozilla/Gecko people.

A fairer comparison would be to move/resize a Nautilus window on top of a plain Gnome desktop, without wallpaper, exactly as you had in Windows.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: good points
by blixel on Sun 4th Jun 2006 20:27 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: good points"
blixel Member since:
2005-07-06

I'm not saying that GTK's redraw speed couldn't be better -- it definitely could -- but that video is pretty unfair.

Eh ... maybe. I see your point ... the video certainly wasn't intended to be biased though. The thing is, even if you bring MS Explorer (the file manager equivalent of Nautilus) over top of IE and resize and move the window, there is no redrawing.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: good points
by siti on Sun 4th Jun 2006 22:26 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: good points"
siti Member since:
2005-07-06

Using firefox on a complex webpage is probably the worst test you could ever come up with. Also the GTK+ theme that you have chosen is probably THE slowest theme there is.

Why don't you load a large text document in notepad with cleartype on, then you'll it flashing like crazy.

I am sure windows has some nice optomizations anyway to stop windows trailing. With linux and composite you never get one trail.

The latency/speed of GTK+/X should be improved but in that video was totally biased.

Edited 2006-06-04 22:28

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: good points
by blixel on Mon 5th Jun 2006 00:25 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: good points"
blixel Member since:
2005-07-06

The latency/speed of GTK+/X should be improved but in that video was totally biased.

It's not biased. It *was* a real example of what *I* experienced on my system on a daily basis. Sorry if I don't make a habit of minimizing all my windows before moving or resizing a window. Moving one window over top of another window is something I do all the time on a variety of Operating Sytems including Linux, Mac OSX, Zeta, and others. The X Window System just seems really bad about redrawing. The problem is completely reproducible on FreeBSD and OpenBSD w/ X.

Besides, I have been using Linux (Debian currently) as my primary (almost exclusive) Desktop OS for the last 3 years. (And another 5 years prior to that ... but not as my primary Desktop OS.) So what the hell would I have to gain by trying to make a video that showed an unrealistic example of the Linux Desktop? Nothing. That wasn't the point. It was a *real* example of what I was seeing *every single day* on my system. And I wasn't seeing the same type of problem on Zeta, Mac OSX, or MS Windows.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: good points
by PlatformAgnostic on Mon 5th Jun 2006 06:35 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: good points"
PlatformAgnostic Member since:
2006-01-02

FWIW, I just did the exact same thing as you did on Windows with a firefox page in a big window behind a notepad which I was resizing and moving around. I don't know what your hardware specs are, and I'll admit that mine are pretty crappy, but I noticed all of the same artifacts on Windows with the tearing and dragging that you saw on Linux. The results looked identical in fact. I think firefox just has slow draw speed, that's all. On the other hand, IE performs marvelously at updating its desplay behind a moving window (no tearing or anything). The delay between a double-click and a directory browse is about 250 ms on my machine on Windows.

Would someone take a look at this on Linux with Konq and tell us how it goes?

The tearing problem won't exist on a composited desktop, so it's probably not worth worrying about after next year.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: good points
by Ookaze on Mon 5th Jun 2006 13:42 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: good points"
Ookaze Member since:
2005-11-14

It's not biased. It *was* a real example of what *I* experienced on my system on a daily basis

You people have exactly zero credibility on that matter, and what's nice, is that now you prove it with a video, which IS HEAVILY BIASED despite what you claim.
Let's start with what you say (it's a real example that you experienced) and what the video imply :
- you daily resize your windows like a madman
- you daily scroll over your menu options like a madman, without even having time to read them
- you daily move a text editor window over Firefox like a madman (but only in Gnome)

Well, there's more, but this is enough already to make my point. No wonder not I nor anyone I know ever had these kind of problem : we're not mad, we are productive, while you do things that don't even make sense.
But the rest is worse.

Sorry if I don't make a habit of minimizing all my windows before moving or resizing a window

No, obviously you don't ... in Gnome. But as we can all see, you DO in Windows. So I'm left with 2 options : you're a pretty bad troll or a stupid lier.

Moving one window over top of another window is something I do all the time on a variety of Operating Sytems including Linux, Mac OSX, Zeta, and others

Do "others" include Windows ? Because in that video, you didn't do that on Windows. It's even more stupid to do that in Gnome, where there are things called virtual desktops. And moving Windows like that all day just depicts a crazy person, not someone wanting to be productive.

The X Window System just seems really bad about redrawing. The problem is completely reproducible on FreeBSD and OpenBSD w/ X

Except that you're completely wrong on this. Before explaining it to you, I'd like to point that the tearing that is easily noticeable on the Windows video, doesn't happen on Gnome (despite the fact that Windows have NOTHING to redraw, I'll explain).
Now the explanation. The problem you see is NOT even really X Window problem. What you see are Firefox redraw problem. You would have the same problems on the same hardware with Windows. When a window is out of some place above Firefox, it has to compute the replacement, in case sth has changed, because you see, Firefox does not display static images only. That's what you see there. With compositing, the server will remember (takes memory) what it should display, so it won't have to wait for Firefox. In your Windows example, there is just a blue color to redraw, and static icons. Windows already know what to redraw, so you won't see any problem.
A good, useful comparison would have been to move a Nautilus window over the desktop : but the video author could not troll then.

Actually, the only thing that you could really complain about in your video is the menu apparition time in Gnome (I suppose it's before Gnome 2.14 though).

Besides, I have been using Linux (Debian currently) as my primary (almost exclusive) Desktop OS for the last 3 years. (And another 5 years prior to that ... but not as my primary Desktop OS.) So what the hell would I have to gain by trying to make a video that showed an unrealistic example of the Linux Desktop? Nothing

And yet that's just what you did, so you just lack imagination, or think we lack imagination (or you are a bad troll).
Unfortunately for you, I've been there before, and I used Linux exclusively on the desktop for 5+ years (january 2001), and known it since 1999.
And I've seen trolls upon trolls talk about various supposed big flaws (only when doing crazy things like you did, which they would never admit though), and I can assure you there's one easy way to spot the performance trolls : their talk consistently contains a reference to Firefox (and Mozilla before) and OOo. The only difference here is that yours was in a video.
It's funny too that despite the favorable environment of the Windows test, the tearing was noticeable.
FYI, even Windows devs admitted before Vista, that they couldn't resolve the artifacts problems without compositing.

That wasn't the point. It was a *real* example of what I was seeing *every single day* on my system. And I wasn't seeing the same type of problem on Zeta, Mac OSX, or MS Windows

Yeah sure, especially without Firefox in the background.

Reply Score: 4

RE[6]: good points
by devurandom on Mon 5th Jun 2006 15:33 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: good points"
devurandom Member since:
2005-07-06

you daily resize your windows like a madman

Don't you never, ever resize windows?
And if so, in a good looking DE I *must* be able to resize windows without a glitch.

you daily scroll over your menu options like a madman, without even having time to read them

You do this sometimes, when you look for a menu option you know (at least approximately) where it should be. And I'm pretty fast at reading, so it's very much subjective what you mean with "reading".

- you daily move a text editor window over Firefox like a madman

I do this. I daily cut-and-paste things from my browser to other windows floating on top of them, and I move these windows, of course.

while you do things that don't even make sense.

What doesn't make sense to you can make sense for other people.

It's even more stupid to do that in Gnome, where there are things called virtual desktops.

Stop this please. Virtual desktops are the best things after sliced bread, but sometimes you must have two windows floating in the same desktop, and sometimes you have to move them, and if you want a decent desktop experience you shouldn't see evident redrawing artifacts. A glitch is a glitch, a bug is a bug, no matter if it becomes super-evident only if you push the thing to the limit.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: good points
by anevilyak on Sun 4th Jun 2006 21:48 UTC in reply to "RE: good points"
anevilyak Member since:
2005-09-14


I have Zeta installed on a spare machine ... one thing I really like about Zeta is how fast everything is. Navigating the file system, resizing windows, etc... It's all very responsive. The only slow thing about Zeta is when you draw your mouse cursor accross the desktop background as if you wanted to highlight multiple icons. For some reason, that single thing is *extremely* slow. I suspect it has to do with the fact that Zeta draws some kind of tranlucent window over the icons. They should get rid of the "special effect" and just use an ordinary line border.


That's an option in Preferences, Tracker.

Reply Score: 2

RE: good points
by siki_miki on Mon 5th Jun 2006 11:35 UTC in reply to "good points"
siki_miki Member since:
2006-01-17

Boot problem is not related to kernel - as the author of review states. Kernel boots in few seconds.

It's related to various services, often waiting for timeouts to happen or interfaces to respond (especially network ones!), or which are generally slow and unoptimized. They are the bottleneck.

Possible solutions:

Some services could be executed after the GUI is up.
(printing, mail check, ,even network in cases user is locally authenticating, etc.)


Other way is to use something as init-ng which will parallelize execution of init scripts. Some people argued that this isn't a proper to improve boot time, so instead services should be improved to be faster, but I don't agree.

For example, if you have IO intensive service and CPU intensive service running at the same time, system is more efficiently utilized than if they run in non-parallel way. Also if you wait for a network response, you could in the meantime run other processes. So generally it is faster with parallelization (probably even more on SMP machines).

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: good points
by Finalzone on Mon 5th Jun 2006 19:02 UTC in reply to "RE: good points"
Finalzone Member since:
2005-07-06

Some services could be executed after the GUI is up.
(printing, mail check, ,even network in cases user is locally authenticating, etc.)


Hence the concept of early-login (currently on hold due to networking issue).
https://bugzilla.redhat.com/bugzilla/show_bug.cgi?id=151952

That method allows to directly go to the login screen while booting services. When the bugs will be ironed out, expect it to be available on Fedora Core first due to its cuttier technologies.

Reply Score: 1

RE: good points
by cg0def on Mon 5th Jun 2006 13:51 UTC in reply to "good points"
cg0def Member since:
2006-02-12

well you are more than welcome to fix any bug/problem that you see and if it really exists I am sure that your help would be greatly appreciated. As for the redrawal speed there are a lot of things that can cause problems and it's not necessarily a gtk specific issue.

Reply Score: 1

v Er....not really....
by TrendKill on Sun 4th Jun 2006 13:43 UTC
RE: Er....not really....
by bsantos on Sun 4th Jun 2006 14:33 UTC in reply to "Er....not really...."
bsantos Member since:
2006-01-08

That's a bit short on arguments against his points...

Could you please add your views regarding the issues Thom brought up?

Cheers. ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Er....not really....
by Joe User on Sun 4th Jun 2006 15:51 UTC in reply to "Er....not really...."
Joe User Member since:
2005-06-29

I disagree on every point with the author. I'm not sure he ever booted into ubuntu/gnome at all.

Using Dapper to reply to you. I agree with just about everything he said as I can see it here clearly. Did you have a chance to try Ubuntu?

Reply Score: 2

@2
by spectator on Sun 4th Jun 2006 13:43 UTC
spectator
Member since:
2006-02-27

I must agree, that Gnome panels are pitiful. For me, they just take far too much space when taking into account what functionality they eventually offer.

It's them and poor performance (at least on my Inspiron 700m laptop) that made me use Xfce instead. In Xfce you can define a number of panels of your choice, choose their size, place them where you want and enforce them with any important feature that you would expect form a DE's panel.

Example (two panels, configuration options for a panel, configuration options for a custom menu): http://spectator.avx.pl/xfce.png (~125kB)


// edit: Another thought, it seems to me as if the article was far too concentrated on Gnome, and actually didn't gave much information about "Ubuntu's GNOME/Linux combination".

Edited 2006-06-04 13:47

Reply Score: 3

RE: @2
by nick8325 on Sun 4th Jun 2006 15:22 UTC in reply to "@2"
nick8325 Member since:
2005-10-06

In Xfce you can define a number of panels of your choice, choose their size, place them where you want and enforce them with any important feature that you would expect form a DE's panel.

You can do that in GNOME too...if you right-click on the panel, there are options to add and remove thingies from it, and to add and remove panels, and to move the panels around, and all that sort of thing (this is in 2.14, but they've definitely been there for a while).

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: @2
by spectator on Sun 4th Jun 2006 18:19 UTC in reply to "RE: @2"
spectator Member since:
2006-02-27

You can do that in GNOME too...if you right-click on the panel, there are options to add and remove thingies from it, and to add and remove panels, and to move the panels around, and all that sort of thing (this is in 2.14, but they've definitely been there for a while).

1. You cannot define panels in a number of your choice. One or two, that's it.
2. Yes, you can add thingies, did I write you can't? I have written such a comment about panels in Xfce to inform people who don't know how it is organized in that DE. Not everybody uses/knows Xfce.
3. Moreover, I find the Xfce way as both simpler in design and to configure to fit one's needs, but I know this is very subjective, this is the reason why I gave a short description and a screenshot. Look at it, maybe test Xfce, feel the difference. Decide whch is best on your own.
4. Finally, please, next time try to read what is written. Don't defend Gnome, where no one is attacking.

Reply Score: 0

RE[3]: @2
by nick8325 on Sun 4th Jun 2006 18:28 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: @2"
nick8325 Member since:
2005-10-06


1. You cannot define panels in a number of your choice. One or two, that's it.


What? Right-click->new panel adds a new panel. It makes as many as you like ;)

2. Yes, you can add thingies, did I write you can't? I have written such a comment about panels in Xfce to inform people who don't know how it is organized in that DE. Not everybody uses/knows Xfce.

Sorry, I misunderstood. I thought that as you said panels were why you switched to Xfce, you thought you couldn't do that in GNOME...my mistake.

4. Finally, please, next time try to read what is written. Don't defend Gnome, where no one is attacking.

I wasn't trying to defend it - I was just trying to correct what I thought was a mistake. Never mind, I seem to have got the wrong end of the stick.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: @2
by Kitty on Sun 4th Jun 2006 18:37 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: @2"
Kitty Member since:
2005-10-01

1. You cannot define panels in a number of your choice. One or two, that's it.

Not to be pedantic, but: untrue. Actually you can have more than two.
I'm not sure of the real upper limit to the number of GNOME panels, but I'm pretty sure it's some absurdly high number that you can't reach for practical reasons.
I used to have a floating, autosized small third panel for the workspace pager in addition to the default "top for menu and launchers, bottom for taskbar" layout.

Reply Score: 1

Good
by antik on Sun 4th Jun 2006 13:44 UTC
antik
Member since:
2006-05-19

If you don't know what sucks, then you don't know what rocks...

About mounting issue- You should try PC-BSD 1.1 (KDE 3.5.2) and tell me about your experience with mounting/unmounting.

Reply Score: 2

Valid points
by thecwin on Sun 4th Jun 2006 13:47 UTC
thecwin
Member since:
2006-01-04

As much as I love linux, these points are certainly ones that should be considered.

1. Linux doesn't need to boot slowly. Infact, I hacked my Gentoo's box boot procedure to usually take less than 8 seconds to get to the login screen. Even that was only by modifying the shell scripts and still having apache, php etc. start but after or at the same time as the desktop stuff.

With some coding and possibly dbus support in services for better syncronisation, and some funky udev config to make it so that the drivers can be loaded as and when they are needed in the boot procedure rather than blocking the boot, this bootup could be vastly shortened. I don't doubt that on a fast hard drive it could approach a few seconds to login screen.

2. Some distros do as you mention, personally I just add things inbetween the grey space (like launchers and the fast user switch, deskbar applets). But something does need to be done as many users do no config whatsoever.

3. Yes. This "feature" was neat at first until I realised how difficult it was to work with it. I think it's sort of been buried however, as GNOME developers are trying to work on more exotic ways of managing the desktop (like Apple's dock)

4. This is being worked on afaik -- but progress is somewhat slow. If you are using fglrx, try just going back to the radeon driver unless you need 3D. It's 2D is much faster.

5. Yeah. At the moment Evolution is too much of an Outlook-for-GNOME. It would seem more Linux-y if it was split up into different apps but well integrated. Aside from the UI issues, the evo backend is somewhat horrible too.

There is a project called tinymail which is faster than evo and uses far less memory. In future the work will probably be ported into evo or possibly evo might be replaced by things such as telepathy, tinymail and some other work (however this is me speculating).

6. Can't comment as I don't have a PDA.

7. These are being worked on I believe, and also some are Ubuntu's choice rather than GNOME.

8. The hal, udev and other utopia software is still a bit flakey sometimes, and this isn't helped by what I feel is a sub-optimal configuration in Ubuntu. Though, it's pretty rare I get a mounting problem in Dapper.

9. Can't comment as I don't have a Zipdisk.

Edited 2006-06-04 13:51

Reply Score: 5

RE: Valid points
by renox on Sun 4th Jun 2006 15:19 UTC in reply to "Valid points"
renox Member since:
2005-07-06

> 1. Linux doesn't need to boot slowly. Infact, I hacked my Gentoo's box boot procedure to usually take less than 8 seconds to get to the login screen.

This is not a interesting time to benchmark for a desktop.. The interesting time to benchmark is the time to get to a reactive GNOME/KDE environment not to the login screen.
That's said 8s for up to the login screen is not too bad, still worse than BeOS which was for me 14s *up to the desktop environment* on a Celeron333 with 128MB of RAM and *by default* that is to say with no tweaks/hack needed.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Valid points
by raver31 on Sun 4th Jun 2006 16:27 UTC in reply to "RE: Valid points"
raver31 Member since:
2005-07-06

BeOS was amazing at boot speeds. Pity everyone else could not learn from it.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Valid points
by dylansmrjones on Sun 4th Jun 2006 19:03 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Valid points"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Actually some could. However those systems are closely related to BeOS.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Valid points
by cg0def on Mon 5th Jun 2006 13:56 UTC in reply to "Valid points"
cg0def Member since:
2006-02-12

Just because you can hack the boot process so that it seems like everything loads up fast does not mean that one should do that. Infact what you did is a very poor practice and I don't expect it to ever apear in any mainstream distro. A production system has to be stable and reliable and I would much rather wait extre 10-15 secs than find out that some driver or a process was not loaded when I needed it. Also in a perfect world you would never have to reboot your pc and in the world of linux you barelly need to do that so boot up time is no problem. As for notebooks there is always hibernation mode.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Valid points
by renox on Mon 5th Jun 2006 15:41 UTC in reply to "RE: Valid points"
renox Member since:
2005-07-06

> in the world of linux you barely need to do that so boot up time is no problem

That's a lame excuse: I have a small flat and my silent PC is still too noisy to let it on at night: I like to sleep, thanks.

We're talking about *desktop* Linux distrib.

Reply Score: 2

a few comments
by pedromatiello on Sun 4th Jun 2006 13:55 UTC
pedromatiello
Member since:
2005-07-13

1. Linux boots too slowly.

i don't think linux takes that long to boot, but it wouldn't bore me anyway as i never turn the pc on more than once in a day (except when a kernel update is out) . of course, i disable all uneeded services. maybe you should try suspend? it seems to work nicely in desktops (still have problems with notebooks, i think).

2. GNOME needs a better default layout for its panels. The top bar is wasting an insane amount of space;

well, i like the current default and don't think it wastes a lot of space, but i use 1152x864 - maybe it's a problem for lower resolutions. anyway, you can change that will a few mouse clicks so i don't see a reason for complaining.

3. the taskbar entries' buttons change size, completely at will.

agreed. it sucks.

7. GNOME has too many 'Preferences' panels. It has two menus filled with just these dialogs ('Administration' and 'Preferences').

well, i think the separation makes a lot of sense but, yes, it can be improved in some points.

8 Mounting is still a mess in Linux.

maybe. i had zero problems with that under fedora since , maybe, fc2, but i've seen a recent suse just ignoring a pendrive inserted in a friend's pc (the same pendrive works fine under my fedora). don't know about ubuntu.


can comment non zipdisks nor on pda support as i never used none of them. i don't have any redraw issues - maybe it was my memory upgrade. ;) and yes, evolution needs love.

Reply Score: 2

RE: a few comments
by siki_miki on Mon 5th Jun 2006 11:15 UTC in reply to "a few comments"
siki_miki Member since:
2006-01-17

Fedora moved completely to gnome-volume-manager and it works well. AFAIK, it was a good choice, although KDE people will of course object (but well, it doesn't really require gnome).

On the other side, with SUSE I can't even mount a cd/rom, instead I get permission denied message. I can't believe that distros still don't have that logic ironed out. Even mandrake with supermount patch did have that working long time ago.

At least Eject button event was added to HAL recently, so distros are starting to pick this up and handle it by unmounting drives. FINALLY!

Reply Score: 1

What sucks about this 'article'
by iphitus on Sun 4th Jun 2006 13:59 UTC
iphitus
Member since:
2006-03-27

1) This is not the kernel developers fault, it's the distro in question and how they've configured their boot.

2) You're quite ignorant of the fact that some people like them like that. Personal choice mate, if you dont like it, change it. And again, this is something ubuntu could have chosen to change before shipping. They didnt.

3) file a bug so they remember.

4) GNOME? It's not GNOME, GNOME is a desktop environment, a grouping of applications to provide a unified interface for the user. It's what's underlying it. In this case, cairo is at fault, and the next version is meant to fix this.

5/6) cant say much, I dont use either, but for 6, isolate bugs and file them.

7) menus are distro configuration. has nothing to do with the GNOME developers. file a bug at ubuntu. Good reccomendation with merging some of the gnome control panels though, although to be honest, most of them are well seperated and laid out.

8) in most cases, distro configuration. when setup correctly, mounting occurs automatically and with no problems at all.

9) surprised you're still using those things. but anyway, stop complaining and do something about it. It's not common hardware now so it's very difficult for developers to test. File bugs, or heck, contribute something back yourself. And really, this should come under 8.

Mate, I can see you love to write provocative articles, but what's worse, is when you blame others for issues that are not their fault. You're the most frustrating type of user for a developer to deal with, you whine and complain, yet you don't file bugs, and dont actually bring problems to the developer's attention. Developers have better things to do than spend all day reading forums and news sites searching for bugs. The least you could do for them is put it somewhere accessible, such as a bug tracker, for them to access.

Edited 2006-06-04 14:01

Reply Score: 5

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Mate, I can see you love to write provocative articles, but what's worse, is when you blame others for issues that are not their fault.

That's why I SPECIFICALLY said that I was NOT, I repeat, NOT talking about GNOME alone, but about the COMBINATION. How much clearer can I be?

In addition, I DO file bugs. For instance, who filed a request/big report for GNOME's Metacity to have a double-click titlebar = minimise option, which it now has?

Edited 2006-06-04 14:22

Reply Score: 1

danieldk Member since:
2005-11-18

That's why I SPECIFICALLY said that I was NOT, I repeat, NOT talking about GNOME alone, but about the COMBINATION. How much clearer can I be?

While it true that this is stated clearly, it is still important to pinpoint the exact software component that is responsible for the problem that you identify. It will avoid creating misconceptions about various parts of the system, and developers will take the critique more seriously.

That said, the article is an interesting read. It describes specific annoyances, and many points would be a good addition to the 'have to look at'-list of distributors.

Reply Score: 1

somebody Member since:
2005-07-07

In addition, I DO file bugs. For instance, who filed a request/big report for GNOME's Metacity to have a double-click titlebar = minimise option, which it now has?

Don't take this wrong, but...
Damn me, but I really hope we never meet in person. This change pisses me the most of all. Everytime I set up some system, I dream about killing the person who proposed this change.

Point of my post? What is good for you is not necessary good for everybody. Just as I don't agree about your panel talk.

Reply Score: 5

RE: What sucks about this 'article'
by renox on Sun 4th Jun 2006 15:30 UTC in reply to "What sucks about this 'article'"
renox Member since:
2005-07-06

> 1) This is not the kernel developers fault, it's the distro in question and how they've configured their boot.

Not true: at some time the Linux kernel booted in more time that it used to take BeOS the time to boot up to the GUI.
So clearly the Linux kernel did have a part of the blame in the process..

AFAIK BeOS developpers weren't doing magic, so what they did could probably be reproduced on Linux.
But I don't know how BeOS devs managed to do it: did they do the hardware inventory in parallel? On Linux it's sequential if I remember correctly what I read.

Reply Score: 2

Mitarai Member since:
2005-07-28

The kernel by it self boot fast, the problem is the tons of services it have to load, some of them are not optimized and slowdonwn the process (X for example).

Reply Score: 2

Celerate Member since:
2005-06-29

Starting with XP, Windows resolved this problem by resorting to a multi-threaded boot process in which more than one service could be started at the same time. The funny thing is that Linux hasn't yet gotten past the tinkering stage with the same booting method, and this really suprises me to be honest.

One possible reason, and observation of mine, is that the developers for the desktop environments tend to be more on the ball when it comes to developing software designed for everyday people; whereas the kernel developers seem more geared towards writing a kernel that'll work in a business environment with a sysadmin at the keyboard. A faster multi-threaded boot process really isn't that big of a deal in businesses that have their computers on all the time and rarely expect reboots.

Reply Score: 4

AdamW Member since:
2005-07-06

Again, kernel developers have absolutely nothing at all to do with the boot process. I don't understand where that idea came from. It's the responsibility of distributors. I know some distros have already released versions with parallel init support; in Mandriva we've had pinit (http://qa.mandriva.com/twiki/bin/view/Main/Pinit) in the development version since January 2006, so the next release (2007) will use it.

Reply Score: 5

Cloudy Member since:
2006-02-15

Again, kernel developers have absolutely nothing at all to do with the boot process.

And here I am, as a kernel developer, working hard to reduce the time it takes to boot the kernel...

There are many aspects of the kernel that impact boot time, such as uncompression, module loading, and device probing.

Recently had a system spending 45+ seconds at boot trying to enumerate USB devices, all in the kernel, all before init started.

Parallel init, by the way, is not a panacea, and introduces its own problems. I've seen systems trying to boot too many things in parallel end up thrashing and taking longer to boot than if they'd booted serial.

Reply Score: 1

AdamW Member since:
2005-07-06

sorry, cloudy, I shouldn't have said "absolutely nothing at all", that was an unwarranted exaggeration. I should have said on most desktop systems, the kernel loading phase of initialisation happens very quickly and is not the part most people are thinking of when they talk about slow startup (which is, as has been discussed in the thread, the userspace initialisation process, where necessary system services, X, and the graphical environment are started). I should also have more precisely said that kernel developers have nothing at all to do with distributions' choice of init method, so suggesting kernel developers need to do something about sysvinit is just bizarre. ;)

Reply Score: 1

renox Member since:
2005-07-06

> kernel [cut] is not the part most people are thinking of when they talk about slow startup

Mmmm, when I think about normal startup time, it's should be 14s with KDE|GNOME included (that's what BeOS provided on a *much slower* computer): at that speed every part count..

Reply Score: 1

butters Member since:
2005-07-08

As the above poster says, none of what you are saying relates to the Linux kernel, but rather to the initscript architecture chosen/designed by your distribution. In addition to the version for Mandrive mentioned above, there's a conservative but effective parallel init option for Gentoo that works out-of-the-box. There's also a cross-distribution init replacement project called initng that drastically speeds boot time by as much as 75%. Well-developed initng ports such as the ones for Gentoo and Arch work as a drop-in replacement for the standard init with very little tinkering, and it wouldn't take more than 80 developer-hours to replace init with initng by default on most hobbyist distros.

Reply Score: 2

hobgoblin Member since:
2005-07-06

hmm, right.

by the time you see the:

something or other [ok]

on your avarage distro, the kernel is long gone and its init and the services thats doing their stuff...

was there not some new init variants being worked on that showed, at times, remarkable decreases in boot times?

allso, isnt beos a very limited os? ie, how many services and desktop items does it have to load after an initial install? and what about after some heavy installation of diffrent stuff...

atleast most linux distros gives you a usable desktop form the moment its done booting. if they go the route of windows, you will be stuck looking at a desktop you cant use because there is all kinds of stuff starting in the background.

Reply Score: 4

panzi Member since:
2006-01-22

> Linux boots too slowly.

The main issue is sysvinit. It's stone age crap. I can't understand why not more distributions use or at least support/push init-ng. init-ng trys to do at much paralell booting as possible.
a service is not bootet at step X, a service depends on other services an can be bootet when these other services are up.

Reply Score: 5

tihirvon Member since:
2006-01-02

> The main issue is sysvinit.

Another issue is complex/over-engineered boot scripts. If you have watched both Arch and Gentoo boot you know that Arch is much faster. Its scripts are very simple compared to Gentoo.

Reply Score: 2

DigitalAxis Member since:
2005-08-28

Well, I remember trying initng on Ubuntu Breezy; the startup went from something like 2:09 to 1:34... so it was helping; I just had/have way too much starting on this laptop.
I feel bad for Trigger|Debian though; he wanted bug reports on InitNG so he could improve the system, but I had no idea what to report on as a bug.

Reply Score: 1

RE: What sucks about this 'article'
by eelco on Sun 4th Jun 2006 15:42 UTC in reply to "What sucks about this 'article'"
eelco Member since:
2005-07-06

2) You're quite ignorant of the fact that some people like them like that. Personal choice mate, if you dont like it, change it. And again, this is something ubuntu could have chosen to change before shipping. They didnt.

I remember Fedora's first releases (and the last Red Hat releases) Had one big panel at the bottom of the screen. I always changed it to the Gnome default. I like the two panels, and i use them both.

And about the changing sizes of the taskbar buttons: it's bug that might be slightly annoying, but it is nowhere near a 'huge flaw'.

Reply Score: 2

stolennomenclature Member since:
2006-06-05

I don't agree with your critism of the author in respect to posting bug reports. We rightly all have freedom of choice - not everyone wants to be an unpaid beta tester and file bug reports. Some people just want to use software, not fix it. (In the same way many developers dont use the software they write - and hence why they rely on users to file bug reports - its the same difference).

I like driving cars but I don't want to get under them with a spanner and an oily rag. Despite that I still have a right to complain about my car when it does not work properly, without having the car dealership responding with "why dont you help us fix it".

In the same way that people can drive cars without also reparing them, I don't see any logical objection to someone making a critique without haveing also to be "contributing" in some way. I am sure IT journalists do not contribute to every IT project they critique.

With regard to the filing a bug report, I have tried to do so in the past, but the process of finding out how to do it, and of collecting together supporting doco is not trivial. Much more than an ordinary user would want to be bothered with.

As to his coment about the taskbar buttons, its hard to imagine that none of the Gnome developers are aware of that issue. Or the slow redraws.

The one problem I continually find with comments posted on internet forums is this aspect of questioning the rights of people to make comments. I think anyone should be able to make any comment they like about anything, for whatever reason. It is primarily what they say that is at issue, not whhy they say it or who they are. So critique WHAT they say but not the author and his right to say it.

Reply Score: 2

iphitus Member since:
2006-03-27

Of course, but if the developers dont know, how is it that the program can be fixed?

Car companies have millions to test their cars so that users dont need to file bugs. A majority of open source developers don't have any money for testing, nor extensive testing resources, so an analogy to a car, is hardly relevant.

By using an open source program, you're volunteering to be an upaid beta tester, because most developers simply cannot do so themselves, or do not receive sufficient testing during various pre-release stages.

Holwerda seems capable of posting about his problems on osnews, so I'm sure he's more than capable of posting a bug report - and as mentioned by his comment has has done so in the past and I commend him.

My other point still stands, Holwerda should not criticise those who are not responsible, configuration issues and such, are not something that should be blamed on the GNOME developers. Take the slow redraw as an example, that only occurs in the latest cairo iirc, ubuntu could well have shipped the version before and this issue would not have existed. And a bug in cairo isnt a bug in gnome... so the blame lies not on the gnome developers here, but elsewhere. Forgive me if it isnt cairo, it may have been gtk or gtk-engines that was responsible for this.

Reply Score: 1

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

olwerda should not criticise those who are not responsible, configuration issues and such, are not something that should be blamed on the GNOME developers.

Do you even READ? Re-read the column, then dive into the comments, and see how I said 55985903593 times that I was talking about the COMBINATION, not just GNOME itself. Let me quote the relevant paragraph from the column for you:

"I enjoy using many different desktop environments and operating systems. On a day-to-day basis, I use Finder, Explorer, GNOME, and KDE. They all have their good sides, but obviously, they have their fair share of bad sides as well. The next couple of columns will be about the latter. This week, I take a look at whatever bothers me about Ubuntu's GNOME/Linux combination (Dapper, obviously).

I specifically say 'combination', as some of the things that bother me when using GNOME are more related to the kernel or other parts of the distribution than to GNOME itself."


Emphasis added. So NO, your point does NOT stand.

Edited 2006-06-05 10:48

Reply Score: 1

r_a_trip Member since:
2005-07-06

The one problem I continually find with comments posted on internet forums is this aspect of questioning the rights of people to make comments. I think anyone should be able to make any comment they like about anything, for whatever reason. It is primarily what they say that is at issue, not whhy they say it or who they are. So critique WHAT they say but not the author and his right to say it.

With which you are trying to take away the commenters right to criticize the way an author is just naming bad points about an OS he didn't have to spend a dime on.

When it comes to service, pay up first and then demand fixes.

Reply Score: 1

Ubuntu -> Kubuntu
by TheBadger on Sun 4th Jun 2006 14:00 UTC
TheBadger
Member since:
2005-11-14

If KDE gets some things right, it'd be interesting to hear your opinions about Kubuntu. Certainly, with regard to consistency, Evolution, taskbars, and so on, KDE at least attempts to provide a complete environment both for the user experience and for development, instead of pretending that various other Free Software applications are GNOME applications.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Ubuntu -> Kubuntu
by somebody on Sun 4th Jun 2006 17:49 UTC in reply to "Ubuntu -> Kubuntu"
somebody Member since:
2005-07-07

If KDE gets some things right, it'd be interesting to hear your opinions about Kubuntu. Certainly, with regard to consistency, Evolution, taskbars, and so on, KDE at least attempts to provide a complete environment both for the user experience and for development, instead of pretending that various other Free Software applications are GNOME applications.

Soo, you're happy when someone is pointing (most of them are, I agree even though I'm avid Gnome user) real mistakes in Gnome, but you would preffer to hear what is good about KDE instead of what sucks?

Read first paragraph "They all have their good sides, but obviously, they have their fair share of bad sides as well. The next couple of columns will be about the latter."

In translation:
It means he will be posting what it sucks on KDE, not what rocks. It is not comparing options between DE, but specifiying sucking points of DE (and every DE has its own misshaps).

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Ubuntu -> Kubuntu
by TheBadger on Mon 5th Jun 2006 10:17 UTC in reply to "RE: Ubuntu -> Kubuntu"
TheBadger Member since:
2005-11-14

"Soo, you're happy when someone is pointing (most of them are, I agree even though I'm avid Gnome user) real mistakes in Gnome, but you would preffer to hear what is good about KDE instead of what sucks?"

No, I'd be interested to hear the author's opinions - both good and bad - of Kubuntu. Raising constructive criticism is a way of making something better, you know, and a specific look at Kubuntu (which he doesn't mention in the first paragraph) might permit the GNOME and KDE developers to see more easily what they have to do to improve their offerings.

Reply Score: 1

Some good points
by gallvs on Sun 4th Jun 2006 14:10 UTC
gallvs
Member since:
2005-08-12

Thom, you make some good points in this article, though some of the things you mentioned are not directly Gnome-related.

In particular, the taskbar buttons width problem is so annoying that out of desperation I started to use alternatives like pypanel or xfce.

Nowadays I just use KDE... :-)

Reply Score: 1

boot time
by nirvanix on Sun 4th Jun 2006 14:43 UTC
nirvanix
Member since:
2005-10-03

You obviously haven't used Arch linux lately. It boots faster than any OS I know of. If you want to stick with Ubuntu, put together a low power system and leave it on all the time - just turn the monitor off when not in use.

Reply Score: 5

RE: boot time
by ple_mono on Sun 4th Jun 2006 14:52 UTC in reply to "boot time"
ple_mono Member since:
2005-07-26

Yeah arch boots up very fast. But in arch's case it isn't very plug'n'play out of the box. So it takes some configuring before everything just works TM...

Thom - great article bay the way. I think you adress some of the biggest shortcomings of desktop linux ATM...

Reply Score: 1

node
by rayzer on Sun 4th Jun 2006 14:46 UTC
rayzer
Member since:
2006-06-04

I love GNOME, but your points make sense.
Especially the 1,2,3,4.
hope the gnome team could see this.

Reply Score: 1

meh
by bytecoder on Sun 4th Jun 2006 14:51 UTC
bytecoder
Member since:
2005-11-27


# GNOME needs a better default layout for its panels. The top bar is wasting an insane amount of space; to the left, we have a few menus and icons, and all the way to the far right we have the system tray and clock. In between, it's all gray. A solution would be to place the taskbar in between those two ends, but on most screens, the space there is just a little too limited to comfortably house the taskbar. Other than that, the top bar becomes extremely cluttered if it also houses the taskbar.

# Speaking of panels, please, GNOME developers, get your act together and fix that abomination, that thing from outer space, that amateuristic, UI-law-breaking, general piece of crap you dare to call a 'taskbar'. The GNOME taskbar is so utterly flawed it really just isn't funny anymore-- all due to one, big, huge flaw that the GNOME developers are aware of: the taskbar entries' buttons change size, completely at will. This is very confusing, as it forces you to look at your taskbar every time you want to activate a different window, because who knows where its taskbar entry might be this time? Windows can do this right (only when you fill up the entire taskbar do its entries change size), so why can't GNOME? If there's no need for taskbar entries to change size-- then don't.

To be honest, though, panels are starting to show there age. It's not so much the panels that are getting old, moreso the contents--application menus are terrible from a design standpoint, application lists--docks are no better.


# Evolution needs some serious love. While it does its general task really well (it's a good email client at its core), its UI is a big mish-mash. Too many options are given to the user, making the application extremely confusing. It just does not fit in well with the general idea of GNOME to hide advanced options, making the application seem out of place with the rest of the GNOME desktop. Because of all those buttons, menus, and options, the main window of Evolution takes up way too much screen space. The fact the application lacks the ability to customize its toolbars doesn't help either. Neither does the lack of having a vertical preview pane (something every self-respecting mail client should have these days).

Again, this seems like another area that gnome copied a fairly bad idea. In fact, I'd say that if it's an application and apple's written it, you shouldn't be copying it since it's likely not the best designed. It may be functional, but any sort of manager app, e.g. Evolution, Rhythmbox, etc., all suffer from the fact that they're doomed to reinvent the file manager. Consider this: a directory is a list of files; Evolution lists of files. Hmmm.

Reply Score: 2

...
by Mitarai on Sun 4th Jun 2006 15:25 UTC
Mitarai
Member since:
2005-07-28

I've always thought that constructive critics help more than 10 ass kissers.

My only issue with the taskbar is the animation speed of the panels when I have them in autohide mode, I'd like them to show and hide instanly, I know this can be reached trought the configs editor but not always work, the rest just work fine.

Reply Score: 1

BeOS love
by kill on Sun 4th Jun 2006 15:43 UTC
kill
Member since:
2005-11-03

What happened to this OS? You mentioned it twice in the article, it must have been something revolutionary that it "just works oh so well"(TM). Why did it die, or did it? Eugenia, is this actually you?

Reply Score: 1

RE: BeOS love
by tristan on Sun 4th Jun 2006 16:33 UTC in reply to "BeOS love"
tristan Member since:
2006-02-01

What happened to this OS? You mentioned it twice in the article, it must have been something revolutionary that it "just works oh so well"(TM). Why did it die, or did it? Eugenia, is this actually you?

Cut to the interior of a PC store, looking strangely like a pet shop.

Man 1: "'ello, Miss?"

Man 2: "Waddaya mean, Miss?"

Man 1: "Oh, I'm sorry, I have a cold. I wish to make a complaint about this operating system what I purchased not half an hour ago from this very boutique"

Man 2: "Oh yes, BeOS. What seems to be wrong with it?"

Man 1: "I'll tell you what's wrong with it my lad. It's dead, that's what's wrong with it!"

Man 2: "No, no, it's not dead, it's resting"

Man 1: "Look matey, I know a dead OS when I see one, and I've got one right here"

Man 2: "No no, it's not dead, it's resting. Remarkable OS, BeOS. Beautiful boot time!"

Man 1: "The boot time don't enter into it. It's bleedin' demised!"

Man 2: "No, it's pining... yeah.... pining for the fyords"

Man 1 (Incredulous): "PINING FOR THE FYORDS?!"

etc...

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: BeOS love
by kill on Sun 4th Jun 2006 18:00 UTC in reply to "RE: BeOS love"
kill Member since:
2005-11-03

PINING FOR THE FYORDS - Sorry, a little help on the humor here... I know what "pining" is, and I know what fyords (or fjords) are. But what does it have to do with death? Thanks.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: BeOS love
by axel on Sun 4th Jun 2006 18:18 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: BeOS love"
axel Member since:
2006-02-04

the parrot/OS in the skit is dead and as such not moving.
the pet store owner attempts to claim that the parrot/OS is alive and is simply not moving because he misses the fjords.

also stock, untweaked arch with the most recent kernel and a couple of non-default services (automount, samba, slim) takes 35 seconds to boot on a celeron 2 ghz with 256 ram, thats to a graphical login screen (can't say how long till desktop cause i use fluxbox and 1 dockapp so it's pretty much instantanious)
just for reference

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: BeOS love
by Wrawrat on Sun 4th Jun 2006 18:19 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: BeOS love"
Wrawrat Member since:
2005-06-30
RE[3]: BeOS love
by dylansmrjones on Sun 4th Jun 2006 19:05 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: BeOS love"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

You haven't been raised in the Monty Python religion? O_o

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: BeOS love
by hobgoblin on Sun 4th Jun 2006 22:03 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: BeOS love"
hobgoblin Member since:
2005-07-06

ugh, i didnt get the connection before i read the link in the post above and found the humor in the txt strangly familiar ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: BeOS love
by tristan on Sun 4th Jun 2006 20:50 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: BeOS love"
tristan Member since:
2006-02-01

Oh dear, I assumed everyone was familar with the Parrot sketch! It features a man trying to return a parrot to the shop where he bought it, as it's dead, and the shop owner refusing to believe him. Google Video has the original (Flying Circus) version here:

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=5775099474392087542

The "And now for something completely different" version is a better performance IMO, but that doesn't seem to be on Google.

Reply Score: 1

"The ZipDisk test"
by ealm on Sun 4th Jun 2006 16:43 UTC
ealm
Member since:
2005-11-11

Try Linspire. It auto-detected and mounted my zip drive.

Reply Score: 1

Just a Gnome hater...
by Governa on Sun 4th Jun 2006 16:59 UTC
Governa
Member since:
2006-04-09

Ok my opinion. The author starts by saying Gnome, W, Y and Z have their own pros and cons. And then the article is all about how Gnome is bad because this, this and that...

In conclusion, no serious article at all, (yet) just another Gnome hater. Next week he will be a OSX hater. Nothing new. Let me see if he has something to say about KDE at all... :S

Until then, I don't trust the author.

Say what you want to say NOW, not next week... what is this? A TV serie?

Edited 2006-06-04 17:03

Reply Score: 2

RE: Just a Gnome hater...
by nick8325 on Sun 4th Jun 2006 17:15 UTC in reply to "Just a Gnome hater..."
nick8325 Member since:
2005-10-06

Until then, I don't trust the author.

The author is the person who edits OSNews these days (i.e. posts stories, etc.). He posts a column of his own once a week (as the link in the story says). Next week he is going to talk about OS X. In other words, he is going to criticise lots of other things ;)

the article is all about how Gnome is bad because this, this and that...

That's not exactly true...he is talking about bad things about GNOME, but he hasn't said GNOME is good or bad.

There's nothing wrong with constructive criticism (a poster above said something similar).

Edited 2006-06-04 17:17

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Just a Gnome hater...
by Governa on Sun 4th Jun 2006 19:19 UTC in reply to "RE: Just a Gnome hater..."
Governa Member since:
2006-04-09

I guess you're right. These days I'm always seeing 'love this vs. hate that' so... ;)

+1 point for you.

Reply Score: 1

Nice article
by ralph on Sun 4th Jun 2006 17:10 UTC
ralph
Member since:
2005-07-10

Doesn't happen often, but this time I really enjoyed an article by Thom Holwerda.

Apart from not really seeing the top gnome panel wasting space and apart from personally not having encountered any mount errors for a long time now, I'll have to agree with all the other points.

And people, get a grip. It's the start of a series, so whining that he only critisizes Gnome is about the dumbest thing I've read all day and I already browesd /.

Reply Score: 4

Gnome points from Thom.
by Dark_Knight on Sun 4th Jun 2006 17:50 UTC
Dark_Knight
Member since:
2005-07-10

Thom,

Re: 1. Linux boots too slowly.

I've actually experienced the opposite with Gnome and KDE on SUSE Linux when compared to booting Windows XP Professional. What typically happens on Linux to cause slow booting of services just as on Windows is either misconfigured services, hardware not detected or a problem with a third party application. Between Gnome 2.12.2 and KDE 3.5.3 I've noticed a small speed difference with boot time to log-in window where KDE is slightly faster. Though it doesn't bother me due to as stated both desktops are faster that when booting into Windows.

Re: 2. GNOME needs a better default layout for its panels.

Please take a look at the review of SUSE Linux 10.1 here http://madpenguin.org/cms/?m=show&id=6899 and see the change Novell made with the default installation of Gnome. This was in part due to their customer feedback on making the transition to Gnome from Windows easier. For starters they moved the top menu tool bar to the bottom similar to KDE and got rid of the second menu tool bar that was waisting screen space.

Re: 3. The GNOME taskbar is so utterly flawed it really just isn't funny anymore-- all due to one, big, huge flaw that the GNOME developers are aware of: the taskbar entries' buttons change size, completely at will.

I haven't experienced this at all on Gnome 2.12.2. Maybe you're using Gnome 2.14 or something else but there's no random icon or font issues on my systems running Gnome. I do admit Gnome's so called "Menu Editor" is a piece of garbage as it does not really provide true editing functionality for adding application shortcuts. KDE has gotten this right but the Gnome developers seem to have left this as an after thought or possibly feel their users want to have all shortcuts on the desktop instead of being able to add them to the start menu.

Re: 4. GNOME has serious draw issues.

Haven't experienced this. Possibly you have a misconfigured graphics driver. I'm using NVIDIA driver 87.62

Re: 5. Evolution needs some serious love.

While I agree simplifying the options in Evolution would be better one also should be able to see the options given are really not much different than Microsoft's Office 2003. Evolution appears more professional and useful than KMail.

Re: 6. GNOME needs better support for Palm PDAs.

I haven't gotten a chance to test my Palm Treo 650 with Gnome Pilot so I can't really comment. Though I have heard from others that Gnome Pilot does need improvement with syncing and working with some Palm devices.

Re: 7. GNOME has too many 'Preferences' panels. It has two menus filled with just these dialogs ('Administration' and 'Preferences').

I do admit I prefer the "Windows standard" for a start menu since that's what most consumers have been using for the past decade due to Microsoft's previous monopoly on the desktop. KDE's start menu (aka: KMenu) is easier for Windows users to migrate to due to closely resembling Windows start menu. There's no reason why Gnome developers can't have everything catagorized in one start menu instead of having three menus "Applications, Places and Desktop" on the toolbar. While it's not difficult to navigate it could be simplified.

Re: 8. Mounting is still a mess in Linux.

Have yet to experience this on Gnome 2.12.2.

Re: 9. Ubuntu still does not pass my ZipDisk test; nor does any other distribution for that matter.

Don't know about that since I don't use a ZipDisk or even Ubuntu Linux. What I do use for media are SD Flash memory cards and DVD media for storage. I've noticed on Linux it's just as with Windows that as long as a consumer sticks with popular name brands then there's less chance of something going wrong. Some developers even have a hardware compatibility list of what they found works with their distribution. Anyway, one thing I've found is that Linux has far better hardware plug & play support than on Windows. On Windows a consumer typically has to use the hardware vendors install disc for Windows to properly detect and configure the device. Where as on Linux distributions such as SUSE Linux the install disc isn't necessary due to increased support for hardware.

Edited 2006-06-04 17:58

Reply Score: 2

RE: Gnome points from Thom.
by dylansmrjones on Sun 4th Jun 2006 18:39 UTC in reply to "Gnome points from Thom."
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Re 4. Trust me. Gnome has serious draw issues. Try using GNUstep+WindowMaker+GWorkspace. The problem isn't really GTK, nor the X-server - it's somewhere else in Gnome.

Re 7.

Just delete the default menues (they are 1 menu actually), and replace it with the main menu applet. Then you have 1 menu. That's what I'm doing and I like it.

However, the other approach isn't bad either. Different approach, different pros and cons.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Gnome points from Thom.
by hornett on Mon 5th Jun 2006 08:16 UTC in reply to "RE: Gnome points from Thom."
hornett Member since:
2005-09-19

Try using GNUstep+WindowMaker+GWorkspace. The problem isn't really GTK, nor the X-server - it's somewhere else in Gnome.

Were you using the same GTK theme in both?

The default theme in Ubuntu makes heavy use of antialiasing etc via Cairo which is rendered very slowly by a number of X drivers.

Try running gtkperf using the Human theme, then Industrial - I think you'll find that except on proprietry nVidia drivers, Industrial is drawn significantly faster. If there is any doubt on this, I will post some benchmarks when I get home tonight.

Hopefully, when EXA matures in all the X drivers this issue will be solved.

Reply Score: 1

Gnome sucks
by csousa on Sun 4th Jun 2006 18:17 UTC
csousa
Member since:
2006-02-04

About the article: Where gnome really sucks is about release cicles - like linux/ubuntu whatever the releases cicles are to short, you have to deal with constant changes and versioins, and have to install all the "think" every time (if you are a developer of gnome, is the hell to become inline with the last changes), and if you consider the "real world" of corporations this is a nightmare with your time to be consumed by installations/configurations.And yes, of course, you may choose "corporate releases" with extended lifetime, but you will miss many thinks, specially if you have to install a software that depends of the news changes in gtk.Because that I choose solaris and BSD to minimise that (at least you have a base system that not change very often and independant from the rest of system)

Reply Score: 1

AdamW
by AdamW on Sun 4th Jun 2006 18:21 UTC
AdamW
Member since:
2005-07-06

I don't understand why you say that the kernel developers should do something about slow booting. Boot up speed has almost nothing at all to do with the kernel.

Reply Score: 3

Boot process
by WereCatf on Sun 4th Jun 2006 18:30 UTC
WereCatf
Member since:
2006-02-15

As someone already suggested, distros should start using initng. I installed it on my Gentoo box and as a result, the whole thing was up in less than half the time than it took previously. At the moment initng works quite well, and when it matures a bit it will work even better. But, it's not only the sysvinit implementation which is at fault: the linux kernel is also quite slow to boot. Actually, on my Gentoo box, booting the kernel took half of the whole boot process, and the initng part the other half. Having the kernel boot faster would significantly reduce the time required to have a useable desktop in front of your eyes.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Boot process
by butters on Mon 5th Jun 2006 05:21 UTC in reply to "Boot process"
butters Member since:
2005-07-08

Short primer on Linux boot process:

Some architecture specific thingy (BIOS/OpenFirmware/Hypervisor/etc) looks for your bootloader and runs it.

Bootloader knows the location of your kernel image and loads it into memory.

Kernel enters its main function and initializes all sorts of data structures.

(Optional) initrd is loaded into a virtual ramdisk and probes for block device and filesystem modules to load.

Statically compiled drivers probe for supported hardware and initialize data structures.

Kernel starts the init process, which handles all remaining tasks necessary for the desired runlevel.

A static or dynamic module manager loads kernel modules as requested or as supported hardware is detected.

Finally, init starts the services specified in the desired runlevel.

Ok, so now we have a general idea of what's going on. Everyone's clear on the fact that parallel init systems dramatically speed the last step above, right? Beyond that, most of the time seems to be spent in the part where statically compiled drivers probe for hardware. Compiling drivers as modules helps, despite the overhead of the module loader, because while each static driver must look for see if there is supported hardware, modern dynamic module loaders such as udev decide which modules to load based on a single probe which enumerates the installed hardware components beforehand.

This didn't need to be an exclusive advantage of modules, but the switch from devfs to udev pretty much limits the flexibility of what we can do to optimize static driver initialization. It would be nice if the kernel could probe and enumerate installed hardware before it attempts to initialize static drivers, but I'm not sure it's so easy to implement this, even with the recent early userspace improvements. With udev, the kernel devs made a commitment to managing hardware support from userspace, which in my mind necessitates a commitment to modular drivers. If there will ever be a branch towards a 2.8 kernel series, I think a major initiative should be to focus on modularity, thereby giving userspace developers more latitude in developing innovative applications for the Linux kernel, including faster-booting desktops.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Boot process
by Cloudy on Mon 5th Jun 2006 19:05 UTC in reply to "RE: Boot process"
Cloudy Member since:
2006-02-15

Everyone's clear on the fact that parallel init systems dramatically speed the last step above, right?

That's "can", not "dramatically" and you need the "sometimes" qualifier.

parallelization comes at the cost of early resource contention, so the speedup can end up counter balanced by that.

But more than that, there are chains of events in the startup sequence. On a laptop using wi-fi, for instance, none of the networking can start until the wi-fi negotiating is done, and no network servers on any system running a dhcp client can effectively start before the client has negotiated a dhcp address.

Reply Score: 1

kcy29581
Member since:
2006-05-11

Thom's "test":
"9. Ubuntu still does not pass my ZipDisk test; nor does any other distribution for that matter"

Hmm.... A few simple questions. May be in the article but I could not seperate the rantings from the facts: Is this "ZipDisk" actually supported in Linux? Does it have kernel modules that support it? If it doesn't... why is this an issue with GNOME, the kernel, a COMBINATION (as you put it)

But if there IS a kernel module then perhaps the rantings could be justified... just!

Edited 2006-06-04 18:55

Reply Score: 1

anda_skoa
Member since:
2005-07-07

A ZipDisk is either a SCSI or an IDE device and does not need any special kernel support.

My model is an IDE drive and can be mounted like a CDROM, but is also writable.

I think Thom meant that the distribution he tested didn't add the correct fstab entry for it, although I have no idea what kind of entry he would have liked to have

Reply Score: 2

h times nue equals e Member since:
2006-01-21

A colleage of mine owns one of the older incarnations of the ZipDrive, which is attached via the parallel port to computers (the 100MByte version), which needs (still?) an additional kernel module from the SCSI low level driver section enabled, something I helped him to do (Kernel was 2.6.13, iirc, but I'm definitly not sure about the distrobution, most probably some debian derivative, as I can remember using apt-get for some other task, hm)

I know that the parallel variants of this drives have become quite rare these days, but I thought it might interest you that there *might* be some kernel problems with certain versions of zip drives.

Regards
Martin

Reply Score: 1

$0.02
by l3v1 on Sun 4th Jun 2006 19:40 UTC
l3v1
Member since:
2005-07-06

I don't even like Gnome (that doesn't mean I don't use it at some places), still...

1. Linux boots too slowly.

Kernel boots fast, Services boot fast or slow, depends on the type and the number of them. Yes, it can take a while till the graphical login. Still, have you ever measured booting times under win2k/2k3 srv with iis, ad, mssql, java appserver, etc. ? And I mean full booting times, not just til the login appears, since service loading takes longer than that.

2. GNOME needs a better default layout for its panels.
3. general piece of crap you dare to call a 'taskbar'


I couldn't agree more. And I could even add to that, but this is not about my anti-Gnome issues ;)

4. GNOME has serious draw issues.

Sometimes I also notice this, but it isn't so frequent that it would have troubled me in any way.

5. Evolution needs some serious love.

Oh yes it does. I hear people telling stories of 10+ crashes a day and more. My solution was to use kmail for a long time, then switching to thunderbird for a long time now, and I never felt the need to go back.

7. GNOME has too many 'Preferences' panels.

What I can add to this is probably not what you'd expect. I also think there are too many preferences panels, but not because of their number, but because of their capabilities/functionalities. I just think the very limited functions what you can reach in preferences/settings panels could be well better organized.

8. Mounting is still a mess in Linux.

Well, there are problems sometimes for less experienced users, still, I wouldn't call it a mess, more a badly configured system. If you can't configure it to work as you wish, you should try another distro which has better default out of the box auto-configuration capabilities. I, for one always mount and remove every removable media by hand and I explicitely don't want them to be automounted -- but that's just me and 99.999% of users don't do that. Still, there are distros that do a great job with autoconfiguration.

9. no matter what distribution I install, neither of them configures fstab correctly so I can use my ZipDisk instantly

Well, maybe on one day we will have a linux distro that does real magic in autoconfiguring devices and the user won't need to do a single thing to make the devices work instantly. But this is not yet that world, and no matter what OS you try on whichever platform, you will still need to do manual configuration, whether that means installing drivers from a disk or the net, or setting device parameters. All in all, complaining that Ubuntu doesn't recognize your zip drive is just that, complaining.

I know you wanted to make a list of nerving (for you) elements of your currently tried linux distro, still, _what's the point_ ? Never mind.

Reply Score: 1

Major on the Minor
by Einstein on Sun 4th Jun 2006 19:53 UTC
Einstein
Member since:
2006-06-04

Everyone complains about the major, but it's actually the minor that turns away Joe Average.

Case in point: Is it even possible to change the color of the Window bar in Gnome without changing the theme? If it is, it's so hard to find it's utterly useless.

I'm not pro KDE. I'm not even anti-Microsoft. I'm pro usability and I'm pro choice. I'm using GNOME 2.14.1 as I'm typing this, and I'm amazed how far it's came - only to end up merely a few feet further than where it started. Options for simple tasks like the one I mentioned are still either left out or hidden. I know GNOME aims to be corporate and simple but damn, I don't think people are THAT dumb.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Major on the Minor
by pecisk on Mon 5th Jun 2006 11:26 UTC in reply to "Major on the Minor"
pecisk Member since:
2005-10-20

How this is important?

And yes, you can change it without changing theme, simply click with alt.button, choose Panel Properties and there you got it.

Please don't make big issues out of nothing. Yeah, it is nothing. I use computer as a tool, as 95% people, so they don't care about it.

Power users do. But it is whole another story. ;)

Reply Score: 1

Boot Up Time
by Einstein on Sun 4th Jun 2006 20:03 UTC
Einstein
Member since:
2006-06-04

Also, I should say that Linux will almost always boot up slower than most Oses. Not because of flaw, but because of robustness.

Think about it, With Windows and OSX, you only have one DE. Because of that, you can limit how much checking and probing is necessary during boot. The rest can be coded into DE so it can be handled on the spot in a better method. Think how many services are started and stopped on the fly in Windows. Think how many hardware notifcations you get when you plug/unplug devices. It all meshes together.

Linux on the other hand has 3 desktop environments, about 3-5 major window managers (i.e WindowMaker, Fluxbox) and about 20 different signifcant distros. The kernel developers don't know exactly which DE will handle hardware notifcation which way, or even which distro will ship which DE.

So as a result, developers have to check for everything themselves at start-up time. If there were more standards that ALL distros and ALL DE's agreed and abided by - including start up daemons and hardware notification events - then you'd see a totally different picture.

That's just my 2 cents though; I'm not a rocket scientist and I don't work on kernel development, so take it with a grain of salt.

Reply Score: 2

re: article
by Tuishimi on Sun 4th Jun 2006 20:05 UTC
Tuishimi
Member since:
2005-07-06

1. They are working on it and new solutions are arriving - starting services in the background and allowing the system to come up more quickly, as in Mac OS (for example). Be patient.

2. Click, click, click. There. Fixed via preferences.
3. ?? You can specify widget sizes last time I checked. By changing them so a smaller size (than the default) it pretty much fixes that problem.
4. It spends more time getting it perfect. ;)
5. But it was designed to be like Outlook. To be familiar to the 500 trillion windows users.
6. Can't speak to that.
7. This too is changing as distros offer their own preferences apps. Granted I know this article is specific to gnome, but, still...
8. O.K. Yes. This is annoying but it is more or less infrequent.
9. Again, cannot speak to that.

Reply Score: 1

Points 2, 3 and 4
by AlanS on Sun 4th Jun 2006 20:39 UTC
AlanS
Member since:
2006-03-31

Point 2 - There is nothing wrong with the default layout of the panels. That space inbetween the drop down menus and the systrem tray/clock is good for quick launch icons. Failing that if you don't like grey, you can always change the colour or set it to auto-hide by right clinking on the top panel and selecting (you guessed it) properties.
Point 3 - Yes the taskbars items change size (I don't see this as a bug, but as a feature), so that where you have multiple instances of the same program open you have some chance in hell of knowing which one it is you want to open because the size of the laskbar items change based on the the length of subjects.
Point 4 - Yes Evolution suxs, the only sane and rational reason I could see for using it is if you need an opensource mail client that does the sort of stuff that Outlook does in the workplace. Otherwise use Thunderbird.

Reply Score: 1

Booting fast, breaking tradition
by ra1n on Sun 4th Jun 2006 21:09 UTC
ra1n
Member since:
2006-02-11

Actually there is a good project called initNG that deals with multithreaded boot, probably it breaks some of *nix tradition, but I think that on a desktop it doesn't matter, let's keep the good old init on servers, but on a desktop boot process needs to be fast...

Speaking of speed, have a look at how KDE improved startup speed in the latest release

Reply Score: 1

rajj Member since:
2005-07-06

All you're going to get by making the init scripts asynchronous are a lot of processes blocked in the wait queue due to I/O contention for the disk.

Reply Score: 1

baad_to_The_bone
Member since:
2006-02-08

"No, always-on kills the symptoms, not the cause, and hence is not a solution." What is this No? You're not in a dialogue, you're writing an editorial piece.

"Speaking of panels, please, GNOME developers, get your act together and fix that abomination" This whole paragraph sucks. Is this a conversation or an editorial?

"Why not combine the 'System Log' with the 'System Monitor'?" Why are you asking questions? Can't you just say "I think such and such should be combined."

"This is very annoying as it can stop you from actually ejecting the disk." It can't stop me because I'm not using linux. It can only stop YOU.

"Next week, I'll tell you about what sucks about Finder and Apple's MacOS X" Better improve your writing style by then, you pompous ass.

Reply Score: 2

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

I do not need to improve any part of my writing style in my columns. A column allows you to write in an informal sense; if I wanted to write about this in a very formal sense, I would write a proper article, consisting of an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. It would have a logical succession of points, leading up to a conclusion.

But not in a column. You better read columns all around you to gain a better idea of what a column is.

Other than that, please remember that English is not my native language. Dutch is, English is my 2nd language. Besides those, I speak and understand German fairly fluently. I also understand French (cannot speak it though), and have a basic understanding of Latin and Greek.

I would love to see you get around in Dutch.

Reply Score: 1

segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

Other than that, please remember that English is not my native language. Dutch is, English is my 2nd language.

In other words, you speak and write English better than English people :-).

Reply Score: 4

Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

"I speak only two languages. English, and bad English."

Reply Score: 3

stolennomenclature Member since:
2006-06-05

I liked your writing style. Actually I think the content is of prime importance, the style second. The person critising you seems to think that style is of primary importance.

Anyhow he does not seem to have any critique of your information to offer, so I guess he agrees with you!

Reply Score: 1

ma_d Member since:
2005-06-29

He makes a good point. You are informal to a fault in that one sentence... If you read the column like it were a typical forum comment then you can say "oh, he's saying that as if in reply to an objection he foresees." But if you read it as if it were in a more formal style you'd be confused.

Anyway, you're right that you don't have to be formal, but I think you'd get your points across better if you were more formal. But maybe you don't have time?

Reply Score: 1

fak3r Member since:
2006-04-12

Other than that, please remember that English is not my native language.I love it when a writer on a tech forum, IRC or mailing list will apologize for his 'bad English', when their writing is usually AT LEAST as good as the average English speaker, and usually better. The truth is the lazy who only speak English should be apologizing to them for not even attempting to learn another language. Don't take this as a slam, my 1 year of Spanish in College does nothing for me in this regard, but at least I cut people some slack when they're trying to make a point, I fail to see how the reviewer was a 'pompous ass', unless criticizing the untouchable OS X makes him that way!Thanks for your writeup of the shortcomings you see in Gnome, in the long run it will only make the DE better.Also, if the commenter's complaining annoys you, it's supposed to; for more information read How to be a curmudgeon on the internet (http://fak3r.com/articles/2006/01/20/how-to-be-a-curmudgeon-on-the-...) and you'll see that if they have nothing to say they'll criticize something not relevant to the subject.Regardsfak3r

Reply Score: 1

Cloudy Member since:
2006-02-15

I do not need to improve any part of my writing style in my columns.

Even James Joyce, a far better writer than you, and fluent in more languages, felt the need to continually improve his writing style.

Matters not how many languages you speak, you are writing in this one. Jósef Korzeniowski would never had used his Ukrainian upbringing as an excuse, but rather wrote "My task which I am trying to achieve is, by the power of the written word, to make you hear, to make you feel - it is, above all, to make you see. That - and no more, and it is everything."

Your columns routinely fail to make your audience see. While you should not aspire to the quality of Heart of Darkness in a column, you should at least aspire to clarity, and you do not always achieve that.

You recommend reading columns. It is a good recommendation. To you, I recommend reading the Bagehot columns in The Economist magazine. They set a standard of excellence for column writing.

When you reach the point where all of your columns are at least that quality, then you may claim you need no longer improve. Dergelijke eisen zijn niet meer dan ijdelheid.

Reply Score: 2

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Even James Joyce, a far better writer than you, and fluent in more languages, felt the need to continually improve his writing style.

Don't take my comment literally. I was replying to a person who felt the need to insult me for no apparant reason (wie kaatst, kan de bal verwachten). In a column, I will not bother as much with my writing style as when I'm writing a true article. The reason? A real article can be well over a few weeks of work-- a column is a few hours on a Sunday, at most.

Reply Score: 1

nick8325 Member since:
2005-10-06

"This is very annoying as it can stop you from actually ejecting the disk." It can't stop me because I'm not using linux. It can only stop YOU.

I assume "you" here means "one", as http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=you definition 2. As "one" in that sense seems to have mostly disappeared, "you" has replaced it.

</pedant> ;)

Reply Score: 1

lol
by joesnow on Sun 4th Jun 2006 22:53 UTC
joesnow
Member since:
2006-02-09

Some people like it, some don't. It's not inadequate in any way just because people like myself enjoy Gnome more than any other environment, and others don't. Trying to sort out which is "better" in regard to any linux related application is purely based on the preference of the individual.

I believe that unless you're a Gnome hacker yourself (anyone, i'm surely not) then you're capable of having a "this sucks, this doesn't" sort of opinion WITH MERIT because you work directly with the DE at a programmer's level, but even then, it's someone's opinion.

This isn't about what some people think are good and bad, because nobody's paying to use Gnome.

The people who should be critiquing Gnome, are people who use it actively, consistently, on a variety of hardware...not just hardware that their distro of linux doesn't support (which is usually what generates the most hate). Or people who actively participate in its development. Beyond that I honestly take most peoples' opinions 'w/ a grain of salt' so to speak, in regard to DE's in general.

one's desktop heaven, is a nightmere for another, one man's trash is another's treasure. ;-p

it's difficult to publish about something that's such a hot topic, but sometimes one questions if it's so hot and misunderstood that it's not worth even bringing up in the first place

Reply Score: 1

Regarding BeOS V2
by poohgee on Sun 4th Jun 2006 22:58 UTC
poohgee
Member since:
2005-08-13

Its an ex parrot I tell ye .. no no just resting .. ;)

:) - always worth a mention - .


Sometimes I do have the feeling that even big projects loose sight of their actual goals .

Hmmmm - BeOS I only know from being an OS for a harddisk recorder ;)

Cool -

There seems to be somehow a bit of a lack of really different DE interface designs - or is there a UNIX BeOS desktop out there etc ... ?

Just because KDE & GNOME are the big ones - doesnt mean that they will be the best etc - .

Id love to see Enlightenment & ROX being big - fast slim functional - are these goals of KDE & GNOME ?

Trolling a bit ;) - Just IMO.

BTW yeah GNOME with Linux do tend to have the above problems - but these arent keeping people from using GNOME Linux :

Lack of commercial applications (& IMO also well designed ones - Incscape IMO did a great job - GIMP might end up doing a similair thing hopefully i.e. PROPER UI design .. ;)

Package "management" (installating ,retrieval etc)

& driver issues

.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Regarding BeOS V2
by hobgoblin on Mon 5th Jun 2006 00:41 UTC in reply to "Regarding BeOS V2"
hobgoblin Member since:
2005-07-06

i do belive that the beos DE can be recreated using some of the existing DE's available for *nix.

i know kde at one time came with window artwork that looked like the beos tabs...

hmm, maybe fvwm would be a place to start ;)
still, it requires time with a text editor to poke it into shape. but to me those are often the most interesting ones.

btw, fvwm isnt a full DE, but a basic window manager. so it may be lacking some of the fluff some people want...

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Regarding BeOS V2
by Morty on Mon 5th Jun 2006 12:03 UTC in reply to "RE: Regarding BeOS V2"
Morty Member since:
2005-07-06

i know kde at one time came with window artwork that looked like the beos tabs...

It still does, it's in the default install in the kdebase package.. I think the look is still close to that of the BeOS decoration, but I don't think it's behavior is or ever was. The main reasons are simply lack of familiarity with BeOS among the developers, and lack of demand among the users for it.

The cpp file of the decoration is 39839 byte(s) big, so it's a rather small pice of code. I guess it would only require some time by someone familiar with the behavior of BeOS and a text editor to poke it into shape as you put it.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Regarding BeOS V2
by biteydog on Mon 5th Jun 2006 09:58 UTC in reply to "Regarding BeOS V2"
biteydog Member since:
2005-10-06

>>"Inkscape IMO did a great job - GIMP might end up doing a similair thing hopefully i.e. PROPER UI design......"

Some of us LIKE the Gimp - personally I am enormously more productive in Gimp than Photoshop (which is presumably your comparison program) - entirely due to the dreaded "right-click" menus - much, much faster. (As a pro photographer I have a VERY large throughput of images)

I suppose it's what you're used to - I preferred Sodipodi with its Gimpish interface to Inkscape, for the same reasons as above, though it was rather feature limited.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Regarding BeOS V2
by snozzberry on Mon 5th Jun 2006 18:05 UTC in reply to "RE: Regarding BeOS V2"
snozzberry Member since:
2005-11-14

Some of us LIKE the Gimp - personally I am enormously more productive in Gimp than Photoshop (which is presumably your comparison program) - entirely due to the dreaded "right-click" menus - much, much faster. (As a pro photographer I have a VERY large throughput of images)

As a pro photographer, how are you managing CMYK in Gimp? Or are you dumping that in someone else's lap?

Reply Score: 1

RE: Major on the Minor
by schiesbn on Sun 4th Jun 2006 23:08 UTC
schiesbn
Member since:
2006-03-30

>I know GNOME aims to be corporate and simple but damn, I don't think people are THAT dumb.

I don't want to discuss this topic again and again. Just let me say, GNOME is not about "dumb people" it's about people who want to work on top of the desktop and not with the desktop. For example myself, i have never thought about the color of the panel. The panel is there, it does it job very well and i start my apps and do my daily work. That's it. I don't want 101 option to configure my desktop i just want a inconspicuous powerfull (!= 101 personalization options) desktop to do my work.

Than let me say something about the start time of GNU/Linux. I have the same PC like my father so i have a good comparison. He uses Windows and i'm using GNU/Linux (Debian and Ubuntu). As we set up the PCs i was surprised that both had exactly the same boot time. Now about two years later my system still have the same boot time but my fathers Windows system needs notedly longer to boot.
So i think the boot time from GNU/Linux isn't that bad beside the fact the optimization is always possible.

Edited 2006-06-04 23:10

Reply Score: 2

Thom is right
by rx182 on Mon 5th Jun 2006 01:01 UTC
rx182
Member since:
2005-07-08

I myself use Gnome alot. It's my fav DE under Linux for many reasons... but yeah, it's far from being perfect.

First of all, it's not all Gnome's fault. I think the problem is somewhere between X11 and the popular toolkits. X11 is great on paper... but only on paper. Its ultra-layered approach still cause many latency problems. Fortunately, they are slowly replacing Xlib by XCB and some work is being done to change the way it draws on the screen. But things arent moving fast enough and I really don't understand that. All people need is some accelerated X11 (XGL is the way to go) with most toolkits rewritten to take advantage of XCB (multi-threaded architecture). And only that. We seriously dont need 10 more layers.

Back to Gnome. Well, the first thing I have to say is dont mix up Gnome, Metacity and GTK. When you don't like the way widgets are shown or when it feels slow, well maybe it's something with GTK. GTK is known to be slower than most toolkits out there. There is room for improvement.

Next, Metacity. That thing gives me headaches! There is no way to tweak it a bit. I'm so sick of that little ugly animation when I minimize a window. Everyone hates it. Take it out!

Finally, Gnome. Well, Gnome is nice. Except some problems with Nautilus and the fact that Gnome doesnt have a global control panel, it's ok. If they could fix that I would be happy. I don't have much complains about Gnome ;)

As you can see, usuability depends on many things, not just the DE. I myself prefer Gnome over KDE because I think KDE isnt polished enough and only a few apps are QT based, making other apps looks weird even with the GTK-QT theme engine. But KDE is still nice and I use it sometimes.

I literally hate OSX. Mod me down I don't care ;)

And Windows... well... I... love Windows! It's my all-time favorite. The interface is clean, responsitive and everything works as expected. But things are changing with Vista. I hate Aero and they completely screwed up the "classic mode" this time. Try using it on Vista and you will see what I mean ;) In the best world, the perfect system would probably be XP with a Linux/BSD backend. Having both of them really well integrated would be a dream.

my 0.02$ ;)

Edited 2006-06-05 01:04

Reply Score: 1

RE: Thom is right
by Ookaze on Mon 5th Jun 2006 14:21 UTC in reply to "Thom is right"
Ookaze Member since:
2005-11-14

I think the problem is somewhere between X11 and the popular toolkits

Yes, all of that being caused by backward compatibility.

X11 is great on paper... but only on paper. Its ultra-layered approach still cause many latency problems

That's not true, the latency is caused by its design. Which is understandable giving X11 age.

Fortunately, they are slowly replacing Xlib by XCB and some work is being done to change the way it draws on the screen. But things arent moving fast enough and I really don't understand that. All people need is some accelerated X11 (XGL is the way to go) with most toolkits rewritten to take advantage of XCB (multi-threaded architecture)

People don't need anything. The current system is good enough. Actually, devs know that work have to be done, but it has to be done right. That's why not a lot of people are helping with XCB for now, as modularizing XOrg was necessary to allow easy integration of XCB.

Back to Gnome. Well, the first thing I have to say is dont mix up Gnome, Metacity and GTK

Good.

When you don't like the way widgets are shown or when it feels slow, well maybe it's something with GTK. GTK is known to be slower than most toolkits out there

Wrong ! GTK is pretty fast. When it feels slow, start by reverting to the default Gnome theme and remove antialiasing, before saying GTK is slow.

Next, Metacity. That thing gives me headaches! There is no way to tweak it a bit. I'm so sick of that little ugly animation when I minimize a window. Everyone hates it. Take it out!

Metacity is like that by design. You can change it. And no, everyone doesn't hate the animation.

I... love Windows! It's my all-time favorite. The interface is clean, responsitive and everything works as expected

You're lucky then. It's not the case for me, and right now, I'm again forced to work with it, and it's a real pain. Ditto for the people that STILL try to make me help them with their Windows problems. I have a XP SP2 desktop at work, and it's not consistent (even between MS apps, like Wordpad and Explorer icons and spacing), it's not clean (I just have to look at the start menu which is a mess, and the load of icons on the background, some not even accessible in the menu), sometimes it's not responsive at all (this is a 3+ GHz PIV with 1 GB RAM ! I have 3 desktop in the same 1 GB at home !!), and it does not work as expected even though it's in classic mode (mouse locking sometimes forcing a reboot, services or apps impossible to kill, 1+ minute locks, multi copy order still wrong, directories shown as having subdirectories when they haven't, remote sub directories not shown in the directories panel until you force them to appear, ...).

Reply Score: 2

What does a DE really get me?
by d a v i d on Mon 5th Jun 2006 01:04 UTC
d a v i d
Member since:
2005-07-06

I've only ever used Linux on a really old Pentium 166 Mhz with 32M of RAM, and my current Celeron 1.06 Ghz with 256M of RAM, and I have never used a DE on either of the machines, mainly because of the low spec nature of them.

I used Enlightenment 16 on the older machine, and last year installed Linux on my Celeron and built Enlightenment 17 for it.

> The top bar is wasting an insane amount of space

I can imagine.

What does a "top bar" do for me anyway?

In Enlightenment I keep as much of my limited screen realestate available for my WINDOWS. I'm using my computer to look at my WINDOWS, not some "top bar".

Or am I missing something?

If I need to get a menu or something, I hit the menu key on my keyboard, or right click on the desktop with my mouse.

Hey presto, I get a menu WHEN I NEED IT!

Anyway, people who have lots of screen space to waste may not have these same issues as me ;) I have just a tiny 15 inch laptop screen to play with.

Reply Score: 1

hardware detection sucks
by stolennomenclature on Mon 5th Jun 2006 01:04 UTC
stolennomenclature
Member since:
2006-06-05

I have tried many Linux distros - not most, but many (many tens of distros) and have ye to find one that does hardware detection properly through the GUI.

Linux's handling of CD and DVD drives from media players is also pathetic. Its common for the media player to have its preferences set up to read from a device not actually configured - for example /dev/dvd, when the actually device is /dev/hdd. Its not a show stopper for a Linux veteran, but the average user is not in the equation.

I wish I had a dollar for everytime I have had to reboot Linux in order to be able to eject the optical disk from the drive.

Really it is hard to understand why this cant be fixed. It doesnt sound like reocket science.

Reply Score: 1

Comments...
by Cefiar on Mon 5th Jun 2006 01:59 UTC
Cefiar
Member since:
2006-06-05

1. Linux boots too slowly.

Agreed. Part of this is the kernel, part of this is sysvinit. People are looking at the problem of sysvinit, but this was deliberately held back from Dapper as it's a very experimental thing and initial versions could have lots of issues. Not what you want when you're offering Long Term Support.

Also this sort of thing is being looked at within Debian (upon which Ubuntu is based) and going a completely different way to Debian ends up a whole lot more work to maintain and support for Ubuntu, and if it turns out to be better, a lot of effort to then convert back to the Debian way. It's something that should've been looked at a whole lot sooner though within Debian.

2. GNOME needs a better default layout for its panels.

I use the top panel by adding applets and stuff that I find useful, like the Dictonary applet and the Disk Mounter. Of course, this could be done for the user automatically, but not everyone has the same sized screen, so that space depends entirely on your screen resolution.

3. Speaking of panels, please, GNOME developers, get your act together and fix that abomination, that thing from outer space, that amateuristic, UI-law-breaking, general piece of crap you dare to call a 'taskbar'. The GNOME taskbar is so utterly flawed it really just isn't funny anymore-- all due to one, big, huge flaw that the GNOME developers are aware of: the taskbar entries' buttons change size, completely at will.

On Ubuntu at least, right click between the seperator and the task bar buttons, select preferences and then click on the size tab. This will give you a minimum and maximum size. Change both of these to the same size and hey presto, you have fixed size buttons. Should this be the default? Perhaps. Should this be easier to get to? Definitely!

BTW: It's been there since Breezy (5.10) at least, possibly earlier - I just checked it now while using Breezy.

4. GNOME has serious draw issues.

Agreed. It's slowly getting better, but no where near what it needs to be.

5. Evolution needs some serious love. While it does its general task really well (it's a good email client at its core), its UI is a big mish-mash.

When it works, it's a good email client, When something doesn't behave exactly as it expects, it goes right out the window. I have regular problems with certain IMAP messages that crash Evolution, and require me to delete the on-disk cache before I can even start it again.

7. GNOME has too many 'Preferences' panels. It has two menus filled with just these dialogs ('Administration' and 'Preferences').

I think part of the reason for having Administration and Preferences, is that Preferences refer to the local user, whereas Administration refers to the machine itself. Personally I'd prefer Administration under the Preferences menu.

As for say the Network Tools, well they can be used by more than just the administrator. If anything, I think they need to remove the option to configure the interface. Having something like that in multiple places in confusing, and leads to a second method of doing something that needs to be checked and debugged when changes are made.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comments...
by da_Chicken on Mon 5th Jun 2006 04:46 UTC in reply to "Comments..."
da_Chicken Member since:
2006-01-01

Also this sort of thing is being looked at within Debian (upon which Ubuntu is based) and going a completely different way to Debian ends up a whole lot more work to maintain and support for Ubuntu, and if it turns out to be better, a lot of effort to then convert back to the Debian way. It's something that should've been looked at a whole lot sooner though within Debian.

I also hope that Ubuntu doesn't end up with a different solution than Debian. It's not totally inconceivable yet that initscripts-ng might make it into Etch. Just remember that Debian doesn't have paid full-time developers like Ubuntu. This makes Debian somewhat slower on its moves.

Also, there has been a LOT of changes in Debian since the Sarge release, keeping developers busy on improving other things. And cutting down the boot time isn't as high priority for Debian as it is for Ubuntu that is currently popular mainly as a desktop system. In fact, if initscripts-ng was only about making boot time shorter, I doubt that they'd even bother to work on it in the first place. But it's also supposed to improve process management in general, making it more reliable and adding other useful features.

Reply Score: 1

Problems, problems
by SlackerJack on Mon 5th Jun 2006 03:05 UTC
SlackerJack
Member since:
2005-11-12

Why do people keep going over the same crap everytime about GNOME as though KDE is perfect. KDE's own panel applet options were a mess until they took the idea from the GNOME layout.

I seriously think people just spend two minutes in GNOME and then rant that you cannot change this, or that like Xfce. The redraw issue is nowhere near as bad in 2.14, i've seen window redraw issues in both KDE and Windows.

Edited 2006-06-05 03:08

Reply Score: 0

harsh words and personal opinions
by voidlogic on Mon 5th Jun 2006 03:55 UTC
voidlogic
Member since:
2005-09-03

wow, that was harsh. Aparently Thom's personal preferences are enough to make a DE suck. This is what I have to say to the points he presented. (it should be noted his points and mine are completely subjective)

1. "Linux boots too slowly."
Dapper is faster booting on my machine than anything (Linux or otherwise) else besides XP I have tried. How about some numbers; based on my experence, I don't belive you.

2. "GNOME needs a better default layout for its panels. The top bar is wasting an insane amount of space;" my resolution is 1280x1024, which is pretty normal and the top bar is just a thick line. Its worth noteing the layout is completely customizible, easily, just drag.

3. "Speaking of panels, please, GNOME developers, get your act together and fix that abomination," this may be true. I never noticed until you pointed it out.

4. "GNOME has serious draw issues." I am running a FX 5200 with the nvidia driver and have "Option "RenderAccel" "true"" set. I and my customers have no redraw issue.

5. "Evolution needs some serious love." Agreed.

6. "GNOME needs better support for Palm PDA" I don't use a palm so i'll trust you

7. "GNOME has too many 'Preferences' panels" Agreed consolidation would be good, but is that enough to make it suck?

8. "Mounting is still a mess in Linux." You must be using a different dapper. I have been using it three months and everything has just worked. I'll know more as I move clients over.

9. "Ubuntu still does not pass my ZipDisk" hahaha zip disks? in the age of dvds and multi-gig flash drives ;)
I understand the need to get it working here and there for someone. But that is a need of very few people. So yes, it should work and does not, but that hardly makes dapper a sucky DE.

Reply Score: 1

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Aparently Thom's personal preferences are enough to make a DE suck.

And where did I say GNOME as a whole sucked?

Reply Score: 1

dear gnome team
by theGrump on Mon 5th Jun 2006 05:08 UTC
theGrump
Member since:
2005-11-11

you should pay as much attention to this gnome rant as the linux kernel team did to thom's kernel rant:

NONE

Reply Score: 4

taskbar changes size
by rdoggsv on Mon 5th Jun 2006 07:12 UTC
rdoggsv
Member since:
2006-03-19

there's no need for taskbar entries to change size !!! please fix this before anything else !!

Reply Score: 1

Few point to consider
by Finalzone on Mon 5th Jun 2006 08:21 UTC
Finalzone
Member since:
2005-07-06

When testing a desktop environment,
the report does not mention the tyoe of drivers used on each system as they can dramatically impact the performace of the desktop environment.

Comparing Windows XP with optimized driver like Nvidia with a distro that uses a generic driver lead a false conclusion which is like comparing a tuned Subaru WRX STI car with a basic Mitsubishi Lancer car. It would be nice if the author provided full details about the system including the drivers he uses for the test.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Few point to consider
by Thom_Holwerda on Mon 5th Jun 2006 08:48 UTC in reply to "Few point to consider"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Comparing Windows XP with optimized driver like Nvidia with a distro that uses a generic driver lead a false conclusion which is like comparing a tuned Subaru WRX STI car with a basic Mitsubishi Lancer car. It would be nice if the author provided full details about the system including the drivers he uses for the test.

Why do people insist on bringing Windows XP into the game??

Doe shaving a different driver make the taskbar problem go away? Does it solve the preferences dialogs problem? Does it solve the mounting problems?

The problems I mentioned are GENERAL problems I have been experiencing when using GNOME-- for YEARS, on a variety of different systems.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Few point to consider
by Finalzone on Mon 5th Jun 2006 18:44 UTC in reply to "RE: Few point to consider"
Finalzone Member since:
2005-07-06

Why do people insist on bringing Windows XP into the game??

My mistake. When you wrote that use Explorer from Windows system, I wrongly assumed you added that part of equation. However, you should be specific about the graphic card used for the test as some users might have a complete different perspective.

Does shaving a different driver make the taskbar problem go away? Does it solve the preferences dialogs problem? Does it solve the mounting problems?

It might be specific to the distro as I don't report the problem on Fedora Core 5.
Preference dialog is not really a problem although a single Windows for the control panel would be nice.
Mounting might be specific to the distros as I don't report any problem with Fedora Core 5. I cannot speak for the Zip drive issue though. You seem to address the issue to the wrong person.

Reply Score: 1

Jeff Waugh's response
by ralph on Mon 5th Jun 2006 09:38 UTC
ralph
Member since:
2005-07-10

Just wanted to point out that Jeff Waugh of Gnome and Ubuntu fame responded to Thom's article:
http://perkypants.org/blog/2006/06/05/but-why-the-rant/

To sum it up, he mostly agrees with what Thom said, but disagrees with how he said it.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Jeff Waugh's response
by segedunum on Mon 5th Jun 2006 13:56 UTC in reply to "Jeff Waugh's response"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

Just wanted to point out that Jeff Waugh of Gnome and Ubuntu fame responded to Thom's article:

Well, he's responded but we still have all the same problems. No doubt Thom will come up with some of the same problems within Linux and the desktop at some point, but using KDE. That's why the title is called 'Unbuntu's Gnome'.

Remember that asking FLOSS developers to do something is kind of like asking if you can borrow their car — don’t tell someone their ride is a hunk of junk while asking for the keys!

Well, we should tell everyone that the open source desktop hype is over and everyone should go off and use Windows or OS X. Many FLOSS developers usually take that as some sort of threat, but it isn't. That's just the way it is.

The problem with many open source desktop developers is they really don't want to take the rough with the smooth. No, nobody has the right to tell them exactly what to do with their time (unless they're getting paid them) but it's not good of open source desktop developers, and many from Gnome, to tell us about how Gnome and Linux is a ready replacement for Windows, Vista is going to suck, the open source approach is innovative and that people should be switching over. I know that's difficult to accept, but there it is. Many are happy to tell us about many thousand desktop deployments in places like Extremedura, but as soon as (fairly basic) problems are brought up that have existed for some considerable time it is kindly pointed out to us all that we are hitching a free ride on their software and we should just be damn well grateful.

Jeff Waugh replied to me once on a comment I'd made on his blog to the effect that the open source process has consistently proved that it is innovative. Well, in the case of the desktop it needs to get far more innovative in how it manages its resources, the infrastructure, the underlying software it uses, and as a result, lessens the number of basic bugs that are generated and prioritises fixing them so people know what's going on. Then everyone can get on with the cool stuff with confidence.

Evolution needs some serious love: Yes, indeedy, and you only covered the user interface!

Evolution is over five years old now, and versions around 2002 were actually OK (I know, I used them daily). If it has somehow now become broken and can't handle the functionality and features being asked of it then I'd seriously look at the scalability of the development technology and underlying infrastructure being used. It seems as though there's a lot of talk about Tinymail and using something more manageable.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Jeff Waugh's response
by Ookaze on Mon 5th Jun 2006 15:17 UTC in reply to "RE: Jeff Waugh's response"
Ookaze Member since:
2005-11-14

Well, he's responded but we still have all the same problems. No doubt Thom will come up with some of the same problems within Linux and the desktop at some point, but using KDE. That's why the title is called 'Unbuntu's Gnome'

Did you really thought the bugs could be closed in 2 hours time ?
Look at the bugzilla entry pointed to in the answer from J. Waugh, you'll see that everyone does not have the same opinion on how it should be resolved.

Well, we should tell everyone that the open source desktop hype is over and everyone should go off and use Windows or OS X. Many FLOSS developers usually take that as some sort of threat, but it isn't. That's just the way it is

Actually, you are only at fault for believing open source was some sort of magic cookie. It isn't, it never was, it never will be.
They just try to tell you that their free time is limited, and that all these people are not devoted to your only good (unless they're paid).
Resources are a problem in FOSS too you know.

it's not good of open source desktop developers, and many from Gnome, to tell us about how Gnome and Linux is a ready replacement for Windows, Vista is going to suck, the open source approach is innovative and that people should be switching over

Of course not. That's just that you mixed the voices of FOSS devs, advocates and distro in one sentence. So of course, everybody will agree with you, but what you say is just a straw man.

Many are happy to tell us about many thousand desktop deployments in places like Extremedura

Because that proves the work is good enough, yes, and it's useful too, what not to like ?

but as soon as (fairly basic) problems are brought up that have existed for some considerable time it is kindly pointed out to us all that we are hitching a free ride on their software and we should just be damn well grateful

No, it is pointed to you (I can't say us, I'm not part of you guys) that being KIND is not a monopoly on the devs. That instead of ranting and insulting devs that give their free time, you'd better come to them firmly but kindly with your problem. People are quick to say that FOSS people love to say RTFM, they just forget that they were never so nice. It will be hard for you to accept, but if I were a dev and saw this rant, I'd forget about it fast, and would not give this thom guy any of my time afterwards.

On Evolution, I can't say it doesn't need some love, I'm the first to complain about some of it annoyances, all far worse than any of the points of this article, which are really no showstopper at all.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Jeff Waugh's response
by segedunum on Mon 5th Jun 2006 22:16 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Jeff Waugh's response"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

Did you really thought the bugs could be closed in 2 hours time ?

Hmmm. That's not related to what I wrote there, and these bugs an problems haven't been around for two hours. They've been around for much longer than that.

Actually, you are only at fault for believing open source was some sort of magic cookie. It isn't, it never was, it never will be.

Then it's high time some of the hype-masters stopped pretending that it is. Thanks for the confirmation.

They just try to tell you that their free time is limited, and that all these people are not devoted to your only good

This isn't a case of developers being devoted to me or someone like Thom, and us demanding outlandish features like a 3D desktop or something OpenGL based and hardware accelerated. It's a case of pretty obviously basic, broken stuff, fundamental to a desktop, being left in whilst people pretend that a Linux based desktop can be a very serious replacement for Windows or OS X. It does no one any credit. Seriously.

(unless they're paid).

Then the open source model is flawed when it comes to the desktop. Sorry to be harsh, but against the competition people will then go out and buy a proprietary desktop which can fund developers to work on it and who won't bask in glory when praise is doled out and then complain bitterly whenever some robust criticism is made. Proprietary software is simply a better, less time consuming and hassle-free way of ensuring developers get paid.

No, it is pointed to you (I can't say us, I'm not part of you guys) that being KIND is not a monopoly on the devs.

Again, you've misunderstood and gone off on a tangent - as I expected. I'm not expecting them to be kind to a fault. What's been discussed is pretty basic stuff that's been around for some time if it wants to be a Windows and OS X replacement - as many of *you* like to say.

That instead of ranting and insulting devs that give their free time, you'd better come to them firmly but kindly with your problem.

Those very same developers who are also happy to tell us all that the open source desktop will conquer the world, is a better development model, is better than Windows and we should all be moving to it? How about people stop pretending that it's something that it isn't, and then people may have much more realistic expectations and we'll get much less ranting and far, far more constructive criticism and bug reports?

It will be hard for you to accept,

Au contraire. You're misunderstanding me again and are jumping up and down over something I'm not.

Within the context of providing an open source replacement for a desktop like Windows and OS X, which is what many, many open source desktop developers are talking about and promoting, I'm saying that you can't complain when people complain a bit that it falls short. It goes with the turf. I'm sure no developer would have come out heeding caution if Thom had said "Ubuntu and Gnome will easily replace Vista and OS X".

but if I were a dev and saw this rant, I'd forget about it fast, and would not give this thom guy any of my time afterwards.

Well I wouldn't. I would take it as a sign that I, along with many other developers, have hyped something too much causing people to think that it is something that it currently isn't. If I'm saying that people should be using the desktop I'm working on instead of a proprietary one then I'll say "OK, we have a number of things to work on, and if we want an open source desktop to truly be an alternative like we've been saying then we'll have to put our heads together over these things".

On Evolution, I can't say it doesn't need some love, I'm the first to complain about some of it annoyances, all far worse than any of the points of this article

I'm sure he could have gone on longer about Evolution, but he just didn't have the space.

which are really no showstopper at all.

If you don't think some of those are showstoppers then it shows how far there is to go.

Note, there are no threats, implied or otherwise, of any kind in here at all. This is simply how ordinary people and users will view it. People in the wider world who are 'ordinary users' and who want to use software that 'just works' will simply view things in that way and move on:

http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/02/21/1045638481419.html

"The 2.2 release came out early this month, to the delight of our users and critics. Not only did we succeed in putting out a quality release on time, we actually packed a six-month process into five, and received a lot of praise for achieving our goal of simple software that "just works"."

"There are over 6 billion people in the world, and approximately 500 million have 'chosen' their desktop operating system. That means around 5.5 billion people have yet to choose their desktop operating system, and we have to get them before Bill does.

GNOME and KDE are aiming for the stars."


Edited 2006-06-05 22:23

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Jeff Waugh's response
by searly on Tue 6th Jun 2006 11:57 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Jeff Waugh's response"
searly Member since:
2006-02-27

"It's a case of pretty obviously basic, broken stuff, fundamental to a desktop, being left in whilst people pretend that a Linux based desktop can be a very serious replacement for Windows or OS X"

Nobody is pretending, there are millions of Linux users for whom Linux based Desktops are a serious replacement, me included. I am Windows free (and Spyware/Virus free) since 2002. Now that does not mean that Linux / Gnome - KDE - [insert favourite DE here] does not have its flaws in certain areas and that certain things are broken. But if you notice Jeff's post does not argue that, in fact he agrees with most of the points Thom makes, and even goes further in some areas saying that he is surprised Thom has not picked up on.
However it is always a question of how one communicates these things and the attitude of the person doing it. Here a little quote from Thom's article.

"Speaking of panels, please, GNOME developers, get your act together and fix that abomination, that thing from outer space, that amateuristic, UI-law-breaking, general piece of crap you dare to call a 'taskbar'. The GNOME taskbar is so utterly flawed it really just isn't funny anymore-- all due to one, big, huge flaw that the GNOME developers are aware of: the taskbar entries' buttons change size, completely at will"

Not only is this extremely rude, it is also pretentious and arrogant. Something that Thom doesn't seem to have is basic respect for people. If i were a developer i certainly would not listen to anything Thom says if this is the tone he uses. Words like "get your act together" , "amateurish" "piece of crap" certainly will not motivate anybody in fixing anything, nor will the intended audience be disposed favourably towards anything Thom has to say, even if the content of what he says is right. The content was ok, however the packaging wasn't. Well at least we know why Thom stopped studying psychology, he doesn't seem to know a lot about it. All in all Jeff Waugh's response was extremely well balanced and restrained.

And now in Thom's own words:
Well Thom why don't you get "your act together" and sort out your "amateurish" writing or remove that "piece of crap" you call a column.

Edited 2006-06-06 12:03

Reply Score: 5

RE[5]: Jeff Waugh's response
by segedunum on Tue 6th Jun 2006 15:05 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Jeff Waugh's response"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

However it is always a question of how one communicates these things and the attitude of the person doing it.

The attitude comes from the fact that some fairly basic things have been left for many years, and we're still told it can be a replacement for Windows and OS X. It can't.

Many people around here can probably paint over some of these issues because we know they exist and we're used to them, but other people simply can't.

Not only is this extremely rude, it is also pretentious and arrogant.

Pretentious and arrogant would be working on something and pretending to everyone that it is something that it isn't, and then whinging when that fact is pointed out to me. As well as that, it's leaving basic problems in and wandering off to go and create all the cool 3D, XGL stuff.

Sorry, but this goes with the territory. Hopefully developers and open source projects will be more careful in future and look very objectively at what it can and can't do, and what problems still exist.

Well Thom why don't you get "your act together" and sort out your "amateurish" writing or remove that "piece of crap" you call a column.

Thom's column and web site isn't broken.

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: Jeff Waugh's response
by thebluesgnr on Wed 7th Jun 2006 02:28 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Jeff Waugh's response"
thebluesgnr Member since:
2005-11-14

and we're still told it can be a replacement for Windows and OS X. It can't.

Actually, it can. You could argue that adoption is slow, but that's a whole different issue.

As well as that, it's leaving basic problems in and wandering off to go and create all the cool 3D, XGL stuff.

Whether you like it or not, XGL, 3D and other "cool stuff" is getting coded and it's here on the Free Desktop. It's about time you start accepting it and stop trolling about anything Novell-related at every chance that you get.

Thom's column and web site isn't broken.

Much of the criticism is valid (and lot of it is not, btw). I hope he will give a second thought to searly's post instead of keeping silly scores.

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: Jeff Waugh's response
by Thom_Holwerda on Tue 6th Jun 2006 17:05 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Jeff Waugh's response"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

If i were a developer i certainly would not listen to anything Thom says if this is the tone he uses.

Then please explain why various GNOME developers are contacting me about more details on my gripes, so they can work on it or think about it.

1-0.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Jeff Waugh's response
by sjkx on Wed 7th Jun 2006 00:39 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Jeff Waugh's response"
sjkx Member since:
2006-06-06

If i were a developer i certainly would not listen to anything Thom says if this is the tone he uses. Words like "get your act together" , "amateurish" "piece of crap" certainly will not motivate anybody in fixing anything, nor will the intended audience be disposed favourably towards anything Thom has to say, even if the content of what he says is right. The content was ok, however the packaging wasn't.

The impression I got was Thom not caring much how others might feel about what and how he writes. Maybe he hasn't learned how to express strong criticisms and opinions without them seeming rude, disrespectful, or offensive to certain people attentive to those negative qualities?

It's disappointing when potentially interesting tech-oriented articles/discussions on sites like OSN suffer from lowbrow devolutionary commentary by "uncooperative" participants. Subtopics like this always remind me of how challenging it is for many public/open sites to practice and sustain higher standards of civility, maturity, and sophistication.

It's a mystery to me why any OSN staff member would seemingly disregard and not strive for qualities of integrity, then behave almost hostilely defensive when related matters are brought to his attention. And what does any writer with a similar attitude convey about this site to other participants?

Might have been best just to ignore this side show but I felt strongly enough about the issue to register and make those comments as my first post.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Jeff Waugh's response
by DevL on Tue 6th Jun 2006 10:25 UTC in reply to "Jeff Waugh's response"
DevL Member since:
2005-07-06

I completely agree with Jeff here, whining and moaning is not the right way to get things done when it comes to FLOSS.

Reply Score: 1

zip drive
by edmon on Mon 5th Jun 2006 09:59 UTC
edmon
Member since:
2006-06-05

did you ever tried to file a bug against that drive in debian???
:))
i am sure that after 6 months it will be in ubuntu:)

Reply Score: 1

IDE Zip?
by Sphinx on Wed 7th Jun 2006 01:30 UTC
Sphinx
Member since:
2005-07-09

I have one of those, a very uncommon device. This article's is the only other one I've heard about. After wrestling it into Win95 it was so flaky corporate went back to buying the parallel ones instead. Thing is the next generation motherboards won't even have parallel ide interfaces, I heard it's death rattle over at intel yesterday, so it might not be time well spent programming to it.

Revel in life's impermaneance, learn to let go.

Reply Score: 1

As if Ubuntu were the only Linux?
by Hosiah on Wed 7th Jun 2006 10:36 UTC
Hosiah
Member since:
2006-05-05

Every complaint you have is specific to (a) Ubuntu or (b) Gnome or (c) your own inexperience with computers. Yet you go through the whole spiel generalizing every problem from Ubuntu to Linux.

Quickly: (1) Ubuntu is the world's slowest Linux distro, by stopwatch. Yes, I've tried them all (major ones) and booted them side-by-side. (2)(3) You can change everything about the panels, including whether they even run; customize it from the menus. For that matter, you can run gnome-panel from Fluxbox without running Gnome and have it shrunk down to 12 pixels high and 20 pixels long in the bottom left corner.. summoned only when you call it. By the way, I don't use Gnome since they dropped Enlightenment. (4) Ubuntu speed/graphics card issue. (5) PC-based mail is dead with disco. Use exclusively disposable web-mail boxes. (6)(7) Gnome-only problem again. There's about 100 desktops out there; shop around. (8) This is hardware, or Ubuntu has made a serious slip. I have mounted everything from tape drives to USB thumbs all over Linux and have never had a *single* problem, ever, ever. (9) ZIP drives died BEFORE disco!

Look, I've been loving Linux for a solid ten years, now, and I wouldn't use Ubuntu if you paid me. I grant that it's great for beginners who want to get familiar with this new concept of a Linux live CD (though even Knoppix would be a damn site better). But, as with training wheels, I see Ubuntu as being made to be discarded on advancement.

Reply Score: 1