Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 18th Jul 2007 22:40 UTC, submitted by zaboing
Gnome During his opening speech at the GNOME Developers conference GUADEC Jono Bacon, community manager for the Ubuntu distribution, called for a common vision inside the project, an area in which the project as a whole is currently lacking. Only a few hours later Red Hat developers Havoc Pennington and Bryan Clark presented their own proposal for a reinvention of the Open Source desktop: The GNOME Online Desktop. My take: As I have been saying for a long time, GNOME needs a vision (and leaders) for the future. I'm glad that people are finally stepping up.
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Oh dear...
by slight on Wed 18th Jul 2007 23:26 UTC
slight
Member since:
2006-09-10

What a great idea. Just as we are starting to break out of one type of lock-in, lets heavily tie the open source desktop into a bunch of proprietary web-services..

Reply Score: 5

RE: Oh dear...
by Rahul on Wed 18th Jul 2007 23:43 UTC in reply to "Oh dear..."
Rahul Member since:
2005-07-06

The blog followup on keynote reactions is a good place to get some ideas on where this is going.

http://log.ometer.com/

Merely because the online services run Free software does not help you without the ability to completely duplicate their infrastructure. What any end user will probably care more about is open access to data so that you get the hell out if the service you use turn out to be nasty.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Oh dear...
by butters on Thu 19th Jul 2007 04:26 UTC in reply to "Oh dear..."
butters Member since:
2005-07-08

Yeah, not such a great idea. GNOME may want to be Mozilla really badly, but that's not their destiny. KDE realized that as a free software desktop environment, their primary objective is to work hard at making the desktop development environment more productive. That's what KDE4 is about.

GNOME is a desktop project. Their next step is to think about how they can make the task of developing applications for the desktop easier and more compelling. Now is not the time to give up on the desktop and refashion GNOME as a window manager for Gecko.

After all the work Havoc Pennington has done for the free software desktop, now he's surrendering. He's saying that it's time to admit that the web has won, and that free software must scale back its ambitions to become a portal to the web. Or maybe he's surrendering to KDE. But either way, he's giving up.

The desktop is only dead in Havoc's self-fulfilling prophecy. A lot of free software developers are really excited about the innovative new development frameworks emerging for the free software desktop. Maybe not so much is happening on the GNOME side of the aisle. But that doesn't mean there isn't interest in an effort to reinvigorate the GNOME development environment.

Edited 2007-07-19 04:27

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Oh dear...
by Kroc on Thu 19th Jul 2007 07:27 UTC in reply to "RE: Oh dear..."
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

Apple don't seem to have a problem with exciting their developers about their APIs and developer tools. Heck, even as a Windows user before I knew about their APIs and developer tools, that's one of the draws to the platform.

GNOME need to be more public, inviting and transparent with their developer features and APIs to attract people to the platform. They also need to show some excitement. KDE is beating them in every way - they've Plasma and QT4 which a lot of people will have heard of, even if they don't know what they are, and an exciting new vision for the desktop with KDE4

If anything, I'd say GNOME are overreacting... and setting themselves up for a fall. Get developers excited about what you've got now - not some pie in the sky ideas that just arn't practical. I don't want a gecko-box. I like being offline sometimes thank you.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Oh dear...
by NxStY on Thu 19th Jul 2007 14:56 UTC in reply to "Oh dear..."
NxStY Member since:
2005-11-12

You obviously didn't read much about the project. What proprietary web services are you talking about? Mugshot is completely open source.

Edited 2007-07-19 15:01

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Oh dear...
by lrose on Fri 20th Jul 2007 00:39 UTC in reply to "RE: Oh dear..."
lrose Member since:
2007-07-19

While mugshot is open source, Google/Picasa, Yahoo/Flickr, MySpace and Facebook are not. If you read online-desktop.org it makes it pretty clear their goal is to provide an api that uses if not requires social networks.

Also who's to say that gnome could keep up with web services anyways? It has been only a couple days and it looks like they will have competition. (There implementation actually sounds better since they aren't ignoring the fact the internet isn't always accessible)

http://blog.wired.com/monkeybites/2007/07/facebook-aims-f.html

by the way, I am a gnome fan. Never really liked the over used K app names in KDE.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Oh dear...
by NxStY on Fri 20th Jul 2007 09:27 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Oh dear..."
NxStY Member since:
2005-11-12

But the initial post was talking about vendor lock-in. Gnome online desktop will be tied to mugshot, but that doesn't mean you'll have to use it, or any other web services (proprietary or free) that would work with gnome.

Reply Score: 2

Am I the only one?
by leech on Wed 18th Jul 2007 23:31 UTC
leech
Member since:
2006-01-10

Am I the only one who shudders at the thought of having all my information online at all times? If I'm controlling the server itself, that's one thing, but I'd rather not have something like an important document I'm writing to be on some server out there on the net.

There still is a use for having an Offline computer, though sadly it's starting to disappear. Also if you think about it, if we start moving towards a time when people just connect to their desktops all remotely, then all that money people have been spending on mass storage for their own system will be obsoleted.

One last point, this really couldn't work until everyone has Internet 2. Some places in the world or even in some cities can't get any higher than 256kbs, or even 56kbs.

I can see something like this in 10 years or so, but it's not very viable now.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Am I the only one?
by rainman on Wed 18th Jul 2007 23:46 UTC in reply to "Am I the only one?"
rainman Member since:
2007-05-22

Am I the only one who shudders at the thought of having all my information online at all times?


As a 56k dial-up user, I can assure you that you are not the only one. Transferring anything over 56k is a pain, having to transfer _everything_ over it would be prohibitive.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Am I the only one?
by kaiwai on Thu 19th Jul 2007 01:53 UTC in reply to "RE: Am I the only one?"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

As a 56k dial-up user, I can assure you that you are not the only one. Transferring anything over 56k is a pain, having to transfer _everything_ over it would be prohibitive.


That's only half the story; in countries such as Australia and New Zealand, flat rate plans are prohibitively expensive and the connections are castrated at peak times. The only alternative are the cheaper but metered plans which give a certain number of megabytes/gigabytes downloads per month.

Like I said in a chatroom last night, the GNOME development is far too US or more correct, western focused/centric rather than realising that not all countries have the same level of infrastructure and it would be prohibitive for many users regarding many of these pie-in-the-sky ideas.

It goes further, for example, take Apple for example, in their dash board, its all very nice for those who live in the US, but how about those who live outside who want financial data from their own stock exchange - for example, there isn't that ability.

This reminds me very much of Microsofts notion "create software and the hardware will eventually come up to meeting the requirements" - which completely ignores that those in developing (and even non-developing nations), that a NZ$1500 is expensive and unreasonable to expect an end user to invest that much money into a computer merely for surfing the internet and typing up things.

The 'network desktop' is doing the same thing, but replace hardware with bandwidth.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Am I the only one?
by OStourist on Thu 19th Jul 2007 02:04 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Am I the only one?"
OStourist Member since:
2007-06-19

Actually I don't even think it makes sense in the US yet.
Many areas still are on 56K modem and many /. articles
cry foul over the situation in the USA vs say South Korea or Japan.
But yes , Western-centric..

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Am I the only one?
by zombie process on Thu 19th Jul 2007 15:51 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Am I the only one?"
zombie process Member since:
2005-07-08

FWIW, the US is pretty much a 3rd world country when it comes to internet pipe. Sure, we control many of the internet resources, but most places still have crap for connectivity, and the teclos are largely to blame.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Am I the only one?
by OStourist on Wed 18th Jul 2007 23:48 UTC in reply to "Am I the only one?"
OStourist Member since:
2007-06-19

No you are not. While on-line services will become
more common , people will never j
treat their computers as X terminals only.
Hardware integration , games, ..for many
things like playing your mp3 collection or watching videos it simply makes no sense to do it over the internet even if there was the bandwidth to do it.
But the most important thing is privacy. P2P and bittorrent are not going away soon and I don't think anyone would want their possibly illegally downloaded tv show to be on a public server and thus more vunerable
to the legal mood of the day.
The genie can't be put back in the bottle(though the RIAA will try)

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Am I the only one?
by Coral Snake on Fri 20th Jul 2007 05:04 UTC in reply to "RE: Am I the only one?"
Coral Snake Member since:
2005-07-07

The problem is that we are training in the public schools and universities a generation of SHEEPLE that will surrender important freedoms (like private offline computing) for the "next big advancement in technology" the "conveninece" of not having to install their own software or supposed "security" of having their information centrally controlled. Gun grabbers, Neo_CONs and internet software renters all depend on this basic fact of how our current society is being developed.

I'm actually surprised that the Open Source community actually contains enough SHEEPLE to be involved in an anti freedom scheme such as this. Even done with F/OSS centralized control of comoutung is a worse offense against freedom than anything the PROPRIETARY software manufactueres have done so far (Even though they are also talking about participating in this disgusting treasonous business, particularly Microsoft.)

Edited 2007-07-20 05:09

Reply Score: 1

RE: Am I the only one?
by jaylaa on Wed 18th Jul 2007 23:52 UTC in reply to "Am I the only one?"
jaylaa Member since:
2006-01-17

I agree. But I'm also amazed that people let the only copy of their massive amounts of email reside on Google's servers. These same people will probably have no trouble with storing the only copies of their CVs and vacation photos on someone else's computer as well.

But I don't think we have to worry about offline storage becoming obsolete until we can stream an HD movie with no noticeable lag from the other side of the planet. But maybe that will happen in your 10 year estimate? Who knows?

Reply Score: 4

RE: Am I the only one?
by bosco_bearbank on Thu 19th Jul 2007 01:19 UTC in reply to "Am I the only one?"
bosco_bearbank Member since:
2005-10-12

No, you're certainly not the only one. Back in the dark ages (1981), I wanted a PC because it was just that - a personal computer. No more annoying mainframe outages. No worries about someone else losing or messing with my private data.

If I have something to share, I'll put it on the web. If I need to be able to work on a computer wherever I go, I'll either carry my laptop or place my os, apps, and data on a bootable flash drive.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Am I the only one?
by Marcellus on Thu 19th Jul 2007 15:24 UTC in reply to "Am I the only one?"
Marcellus Member since:
2005-08-26

I can see something like this in 10 years or so, but it's not very viable now.

With the amount of time it would take to get something like this done, you have to start early.
By starting now, they will be ready to take on the future.

Reply Score: 2

Tragic really
by Serenak on Wed 18th Jul 2007 23:51 UTC
Serenak
Member since:
2006-01-11

Come back Larry (Ellison) your NC idea is still alive and kicking... just out in the badlands and unwashed. When will these people get it?

We don't want to give up our stuff to some "cloud computing" nightmare (William Gibson anyone?)

I am sure that over time more stuff will move "out there" but people like having their stuff "right here" and "right now"...

Would you really want your whole "digital life" beholden to your service provider... I know I wouldn't!

Webtops and Google Services and other online "cloud computing" stuff has a place and can serve a useful function - I won't deny it... but if that takes over inside 20 years from the current model of my stuff on my storage in my own barricaded LAN I will be very surprised.

Reply Score: 5

Revolution? Sounds Fun.
by Rlwimi on Wed 18th Jul 2007 23:54 UTC
Rlwimi
Member since:
2006-11-02

Revolutions
Forks
New projects

Fantastic stuff to work on instead of all that messy, time consuming, and tedious work of making existing stuff work. Much more fun to give interviews when you talk about your Big Plans instead of sitting in front of a computer making things actually work like people who get paid to write software do everyday.

You want to finally bring Linux to consumer desktops? Here you go, it's no secret and it is giant amount of tedious work that will require open source developers to actual like grownups and not children who throw tantrums and run off and start their own projects at the slightest disagreement with each other:

* Standardize on Ubuntu or whatever. Pick one.

* Unify KDE and Gnome

* Drag and drop application installation and deletion and bundle support to the same level OS X has

* The complete and utter end to any end user ever having to touch X config files - or any other unix text config file

* A complete overhaul of font rendering so that it is out of the box on par with OS X

* A complete overhaul of UI widget alignment in applications. Spend as much time in Interface Builder to understand why OS X apps look and feel so good to users in the same way professionally typeset pages are easiest to read

* A complete set of open source apps of the calibur of Apple's iApps. Apps that look just as good, have the same level of polish, and have the same level of functionality for working seamlessly with iPods, digital cameras, and other common consumer products that consumers use with ease with OS X every day.

* A virtual one to one ease of use across the board with a Linux desktop system and an OS X system for all tasks that the common user does every day:

Be notified of system software updates
Be notified of application software updates
Rip, sync with your iPod, and play music
Import, organize, tag, show photos from digital cameras
Single click to download apps, drag them anywhere, have all app resources packed in a bundle type structures, and all dragging to the trash
And so on.

That is years worth of tedious work. Or you can sit around talking about Big Plans and how you actually have more features than Vista or OS X, babbling about 'choice', rationalizing about how the command line installs and maintenance is easy enough for end users, and so on.

Making consumer grade software is grueling and time consuming and very unglamorous. The easy part is what open source developers have done so far with Linux on the desktop - making stuff actually work is 90 percent of commercial software development.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Revolution? Sounds Fun.
by baadger on Thu 19th Jul 2007 01:15 UTC in reply to "Revolution? Sounds Fun."
baadger Member since:
2006-08-29

You keep talking of tedious work yet by your second bullet(*) point you've already thrown a large % of the wider open source communities work in the trash.

You know a lot of people don't write open software because they want to compete with Microsoft or Apple, they write software because it's fun or because it fills *their* needs and open sourcing it is a good relatively effortless way of sharing their work.

At the end of the day it comes down to what you're used to, I've used a Linux/GNOME desktop exclusively for 18 months, and when I occasionally use Window's (which I have no quibble doing) a lot things irritate me about the UI and the overall user experience...and I'm sure there must be at least one level headed Apple user who could say the same in switching to something else.

I'm tempted to say you're being an arrogant prick. GNOME 2.0 has undergone massive *incremental* improvements in every release. It's a stunning example of hard work, project evolution and collaboration.

KDE 4. Vista. Mac OS X Tiger. What do they all have in common? Hype, and lot's of it. In the proprietary commercial world it's about marketing and profits, but in open source it's just one of the ways people in the unfortunate position of trying to put together something as complex and tedious as these projects keep themselves going and gain the support of others. Now... whats wrong with that?

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Revolution? Sounds Fun.
by broken_symlink on Thu 19th Jul 2007 01:53 UTC in reply to "RE: Revolution? Sounds Fun."
broken_symlink Member since:
2005-07-06

I completely agree with you. There have been massive improvements in gnome. It seems like he just wants a free version of osx so he doesn't have to pay for it.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Revolution? Sounds Fun.
by OStourist on Thu 19th Jul 2007 02:09 UTC in reply to "RE: Revolution? Sounds Fun."
OStourist Member since:
2007-06-19

Well much as I love free software and linux I do think that the reasons people write open source are more complex than it just "being fun" - which it is.
Some want to work in IT and what better thing to put on
your resume when applying for that first job?
And compete? When I use Rhythmbox or Amarok I sure hope they ARE competing against propriatory stuff because I'm a cheap *** and don't want to be forced to use windoze
for feature X.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Revolution? Sounds Fun.
by elsewhere on Thu 19th Jul 2007 02:16 UTC in reply to "RE: Revolution? Sounds Fun."
elsewhere Member since:
2005-07-13

KDE 4. Vista. Mac OS X Tiger. What do they all have in common? Hype, and lot's of it. In the proprietary commercial world it's about marketing and profits, but in open source it's just one of the ways people in the unfortunate position of trying to put together something as complex and tedious as these projects keep themselves going and gain the support of others. Now... whats wrong with that?


I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt on this ambiguous comment and assume you didn't really mean to compare KDE4 to Vista and OSX in terms of the proprietary commercial world compared to GNOME, since that would be egregiously wrong considering the fact that GNOME is heavily dependent upon the largesse of "commercial world" paid-developers working for companies that have their own particular agendas (mono, java, gcj, whatever).

KDE and Gnome may move in different directions, but they're heading to the same destination and still giving each other help along the way. Please keep that in mind. 18 months on GNOME is hardly enough time to chart the direction or gains of either desktop in an authoritative way.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Revolution? Sounds Fun.
by kaiwai on Thu 19th Jul 2007 02:10 UTC in reply to "Revolution? Sounds Fun."
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

* Standardize on Ubuntu or whatever. Pick one.

* Unify KDE and Gnome


Its not going to happen - and why should it; given that both have standard(ising) on DBUS, the need to have one is moot; applications can share data between them, the themes can be homogenised so that all applications appear to look the same - but ultimately it doesn't look any worse than the 6 widget kits I found in Windows Vista in a space of a few hours - ranging from win16 widgets to the latest and greatest - all Microsoft software.

* Drag and drop application installation and deletion and bundle support to the same level OS X has


Which is the crappest way of installing applications; I had a Mac, and I remember the litany of crap that software would leave hanging around. Crap in my user library/preferences directory, crap left in my home directory, it was awful.

* The complete and utter end to any end user ever having to touch X config files - or any other unix text config file


Who said they need to do that? no one needs to do it if you have a modern Linux or Solaris distribution.

* A complete overhaul of font rendering so that it is out of the box on par with OS X


http://www.geocities.com/kaiwainz/Screenshot.png

There is something *terribly wrong* with that screenshot? btw, thats running on Solaris Nevada (opensol-20070716)

* A complete overhaul of UI widget alignment in applications. Spend as much time in Interface Builder to understand why OS X apps look and feel so good to users in the same way professionally typeset pages are easiest to read


What is wrong with the GTK widgets? "UI widget alignment in applications"? what the hell is that?! more gobblygoop to make one feel sophisticated? that sentence has no meaning.

* A complete set of open source apps of the calibur of Apple's iApps. Apps that look just as good, have the same level of polish, and have the same level of functionality for working seamlessly with iPods, digital cameras, and other common consumer products that consumers use with ease with OS X every day.


Interesting, I hook up my HP M307 camera, load up GTKam, selected my camera from the list, and voila, I can download all my photos - what is so difficult about that? as for iPods - again, Rhythmbox supports it out of the box along with Banshee. MTP devices are also supported as well.

* A virtual one to one ease of use across the board with a Linux desktop system and an OS X system for all tasks that the common user does every day:

Be notified of system software updates
Be notified of application software updates
Rip, sync with your iPod, and play music
Import, organize, tag, show photos from digital cameras
Single click to download apps, drag them anywhere, have all app resources packed in a bundle type structures, and all dragging to the trash
And so on.


Again, have you actually *USED* Linux or *USED* any X based desktop system, because all of those already exist *RIGHT NOW*.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Revolution? Sounds Fun.
by cb_osn on Thu 19th Jul 2007 02:46 UTC in reply to "RE: Revolution? Sounds Fun."
cb_osn Member since:
2006-02-26

http://www.geocities.com/kaiwainz/Screenshot.png

There is something *terribly wrong* with that screenshot? btw, thats running on Solaris Nevada (opensol-20070716)


Yes. The letters a, s, w and the number 8 have a heavier weight than the other glyphs. It sticks out like a sore thumb.

Font rendering has never been the strong suit of any UNIX desktop.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Revolution? Sounds Fun.
by kaiwai on Thu 19th Jul 2007 03:55 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Revolution? Sounds Fun."
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Yes. The letters a, s, w and the number 8 have a heavier weight than the other glyphs. It sticks out like a sore thumb.

Font rendering has never been the strong suit of any UNIX desktop.


Pardon? sure, the 8 definitely does, but where in regards to a, s and w?

Also, does this profoundly affect the readability of the text or detract from the over all desktop experience? Stop digging up 'excuses' that either don't exist or need to be exaggerated before they're actually recognised as issues.

Quite frankly, font rendering on *NIX is at a stage that there are bigger fish to fry that *TRULY* impact on the end users experience in a substantial way that affects their ability to use the operating system effectively than any so-called artefacts that exist in the font rendering.

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: Revolution? Sounds Fun.
by Cymro on Thu 19th Jul 2007 16:38 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Revolution? Sounds Fun."
Cymro Member since:
2005-07-07

"font rendering on *NIX is at a stage that there are bigger fish to fry that *TRULY* impact on the end users experience"

You may not care about font-rendering but, rightly or wrongly, people do. The poor font rendering is the first thing I notice when I boot up Gnome after using OS X, or even Windows for that matter.

I don't see why fixing it should be any different to peple working on Beryl/Compiz. Some people think "eye-candy" is frivolous and unnecessary.

They're different open-source projects, and those "bigger fish to fry" are completely independent tasks.

Edited 2007-07-19 16:39

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Revolution? Sounds Fun.
by JeffS on Thu 19th Jul 2007 17:59 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Revolution? Sounds Fun."
JeffS Member since:
2005-07-12

"You may not care about font-rendering but, rightly or wrongly, people do. The poor font rendering is the first thing I notice when I boot up Gnome after using OS X, or even Windows for that matter. "

Have you tried clicking on "System" -> "Preferences" -> "Fonts" and selecting the "Use Sub Pixel Hinting" radio button? If you are on an LCD/Laptop, this will smooth out the fonts, if they are jagged at all.

Personally, I have always found Gnome fonts to be excellent.

When someone complains about fonts in Gnome, or *nix/X11 in general, I'm baffled about what they're talking about. I've never had problems with Gnome/*nix/Xll fonts.

Now, I have had problems with Java/Swing's (prior to version 6) default font rendering. It's amazing that, prior to Java version 6, Swing defaulted to non anti-aliasing fonts. But better late than never.

And having played with MacOSX, I see no difference in the fonts.

And while I'm on the subject of OSX, I'm not particularly fond of the interface. For my tastes, it's too cold, too bubbly, too childish. I feel the same about WinXP. I also find some of the LnFs of KDE to be a little too cold and metallic.

I like the warm, friendly, clean, homey, almost zen gardenish feel of Gnome.

But that's all personal tastes. There's no right or wrong in that (in spite of what all the Gnome, KDE, MacOSX, and Windows zealots might want to flame about).

Reply Score: 5

RE[6]: Revolution? Sounds Fun.
by MamiyaOtaru on Thu 19th Jul 2007 23:29 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Revolution? Sounds Fun."
MamiyaOtaru Member since:
2005-11-11

Have you tried clicking on "System" -> "Preferences" -> "Fonts" and selecting the "Use Sub Pixel Hinting" radio button? If you are on an LCD/Laptop, this will smooth out the fonts, if they are jagged at all.

There's more to font rendering than antialiasing and subpixel rendering. Kerning for example ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kerning ).

Cleartype and OSX font rendering are good at what they do, though both have slightly different goals. OSX tries to recreate the look of the typeface regardless of size, while Cleartype puts some effort at squeezing fonts into pixel boundaries (less "fuzzy"). Getting their results involved in both cases more than subpixel rendering and antialiasing.

X font rendering isn't as refined yet, though it is getting there quickly. But trotting out the hints about subpixel rendering (as if anyone didn't know about that yet) in response to every criticism is not helpful.

Reply Score: 4

RE[7]: Revolution? Sounds Fun.
by Cymro on Fri 20th Jul 2007 13:43 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Revolution? Sounds Fun."
Cymro Member since:
2005-07-07

As MamiyaOtaru says, sub-pixel rendering is not the issue. I've tried that and all the other settings. Playing with the hinting gives an almost OS X effect, but it's extremely blurry.

Look in OSNews recnt archives for some really interesting articles on this topic. If it ever changes, I think the difference will pleasantly surprise a lot of people.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Revolution? Sounds Fun.
by Parry Hotter on Fri 20th Jul 2007 02:31 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Revolution? Sounds Fun."
Parry Hotter Member since:
2007-07-20

You are right, font rendering sucks, but it sucks for a reason; U.S. patents. The patches have been ready for years, just waiting for some key patents to start expiring, check
http://www.freetype.org/patents.html

If you're on Ubuntu, have a look here for some font rendering goodness: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=343670

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Revolution? Sounds Fun.
by KugelKurt on Thu 19th Jul 2007 08:16 UTC in reply to "RE: Revolution? Sounds Fun."
KugelKurt Member since:
2005-07-06

* Drag and drop application installation and deletion and bundle support to the same level OS X has

Which is the crappest way of installing applications; I had a Mac, and I remember the litany of crap that software would leave hanging around. Crap in my user library/preferences directory, crap left in my home directory, it was awful.


What? I've never seen an easier installation method than http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9c8ENqUqnA
And if anyone prefers the "Linux way", there's Fink.
I also don't know why you're complaining about a few KB of application settings left of the HDD. It's not that they matter in a 80+ GB HDD environment.

"UI widget alignment in applications"? what the hell is that?! more gobblygoop to make one feel sophisticated? that sentence has no meaning.

You demand that other people actually use Linux and you (by your own words an ex Mac user) don't even have used Interface Builder?
Interface Builder helps the developers to align an application's GUI widgets. This way even a developer who is not a usability expert can design windows that look organized and clean.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Revolution? Sounds Fun.
by kaiwai on Thu 19th Jul 2007 10:12 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Revolution? Sounds Fun."
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

What? I've never seen an easier installation method than http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9c8ENqUqnA
And if anyone prefers the "Linux way", there's Fink.
I also don't know why you're complaining about a few KB of application settings left of the HDD. It's not that they matter in a 80+ GB HDD environment.


Excuse me, for me, its pkgadd -d [package] and when I want to uninstall it pkgrm [package], want to find a package, pkginfo | grep [package] - what is so hard or difficult about that. Apple uses packages and yet there is no uninstall for them - how do you explain that one? packages that use install scripts and yet, no way to remove those pieces beyond searching through the hard disk. The configuration files are a symptom of a bigger issue.

You demand that other people actually use Linux and you (by your own words an ex Mac user) don't even have used Interface Builder?
Interface Builder helps the developers to align an application's GUI widgets. This way even a developer who is not a usability expert can design windows that look organized and clean.


Excuse me, but given that all one has to do is read the GNOME HIG and follow those instructions, I'd say its laziness more than anything else.

Oh, and if there are alignment issues - then lodge a bug; numerous bugs relating to widget alignment have been made to the Pidgin and XChat projects, and they all get corrected in a timely manner.

Name *ONE application that is messy and disorganised that are of 'high profile'.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Revolution? Sounds Fun.
by KugelKurt on Thu 19th Jul 2007 11:39 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Revolution? Sounds Fun."
KugelKurt Member since:
2005-07-06

xcuse me, for me, its pkgadd -d [package] and when I want to uninstall it pkgrm [package], want to find a package, pkginfo | grep [package] - what is so hard or difficult about that.

And -- as I said -- on Mac OS X there's Fink to do exactly the same.

Apple uses packages and yet there is no uninstall for them - how do you explain that one? packages that use install scripts and yet, no way to remove those pieces beyond searching through the hard disk. The configuration files are a symptom of a bigger issue.

If you really think that those few config files waste gigs of HDD space (they don't), you could use tools like AppTrap: http://osx.iusethis.com/screenshot/apptrap.png

given that all one has to do is read the GNOME HIG and follow those instructions, I'd say its laziness more than anything else.


There also Apple HIGs. So? What's wrong with a tool (in this case Interface Builder) that helps the developers with perfect widget alignment?


Name *ONE application that is messy and disorganised that are of 'high profile'.


GIMP, OpenOffice, Konqueror, VLC (the preferences window), etc.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Revolution? Sounds Fun.
by kaiwai on Fri 20th Jul 2007 06:20 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Revolution? Sounds Fun."
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

GIMP isn't a GNOME application, neither is Konqueror or VLC.

VLC is a multiplatform WxWidget application, if you change something to meet 'GNOME HIG' requirements you end up angering those who run it on MacOS X and Windows. Again, its a multiplatform application.

OpenOffice is improving, but if you notice major issues then lodge bugs for it and what is wrong - again, simply screaming that things are nice on this forum isn't going to fix it.

Konqueror is a KDE application - not a GNOME one. This article is talking about GNOME and GNOME related applications.

So far you've failed to point out where applications in GNOME fail to conform to the GNOME HIG. You've pointed out all three applications which are not official GNOME applications, not bundled with GNOME and 2 of the three are 'designed from scratch' multi-platform applications and hence, again, a designed as such - of course it will stick out.

Again, you've failed to give examples; Take some screen shots and point out the flaws. Simply screaming from the side lines, again, without evidence is nothing more than flame bait and best and slander at worse. Screaming without lodging bugs shows that you have no desire to actually correct the issues but instead scream and shout because you like the sound of your own voice.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Revolution? Sounds Fun.
by KugelKurt on Fri 20th Jul 2007 12:22 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Revolution? Sounds Fun."
KugelKurt Member since:
2005-07-06

GIMP isn't a GNOME application, neither is Konqueror or VLC.

Stop putting words im my mouth. I never said that these are GNOME apps. Where did you say they have to be GNOME applications? You mentioned Pidgin and XChat. These two are not GNOME apps either.

Rlwimi, the starter of *this thread* commented about Linux in gerneral.
He said that Interface Builder helps developers to design apps with a clean GUI. He wasn't refering to a particular toolkit.

Later *you* bitched about Mac OS X's way how apps are installed and said that pkgadd is superior. What does pkgadd have to do with GNOME? It's not a GNOME app.

When I gave you a few examples of apps commonly used on Linux with a messy GUI, you dismissed those -- suddenly only GNOME apps count.
Face the reality. Usually Linux distros with GNOME as default desktop ship with OpenOffice as office suite, they ship with GIMP as image editor, and they ship with Firefox as web browser.
Neither of them is a GNOME app. But they all are common in a real life GNOME environment. And even more toolkits are mixed in a real life Linux desktop environment.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Revolution? Sounds Fun.
by lezard on Thu 19th Jul 2007 10:38 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Revolution? Sounds Fun."
lezard Member since:
2005-10-11

Linux way is much easier, remember that you first have to find a way to download Skype? With Linux, open the software installer, select skype, and press "ok"...
I know wich one I prefer ;)

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Revolution? Sounds Fun.
by RawMustard on Thu 19th Jul 2007 11:06 UTC in reply to "RE: Revolution? Sounds Fun."
RawMustard Member since:
2005-10-10

Sadly I can't mod you up any higher. Well said!

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Revolution? Sounds Fun.
by Oliver on Thu 19th Jul 2007 11:17 UTC in reply to "RE: Revolution? Sounds Fun."
Oliver Member since:
2006-07-15

Couldn't agree more ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Revolution? Sounds Fun.
by Coral Snake on Fri 20th Jul 2007 05:33 UTC in reply to "RE: Revolution? Sounds Fun."
Coral Snake Member since:
2005-07-07

Actually if I were selling computers with Linux pre installed I would choose Mandriva as the distribution to pre install over Ubuntu, SuSE, Fedora or any hundreds of "minor players". I have used Mandriva since I found it under its old name Mandrake after dropping Red Hat and find it to be one of the best "middle road" distributions around. (By middle road I mean it is easy to install and use for the amateur GUI jocky but still has the command line power that genuine Linux power geeks like.)

I also find GNOME and KDE to be more integrated in Mandriva than any other distribution and find I can switch desktops at leasure and use the same softwares (Either KDE or GNOME with no problems.

the computers I sell would come with DVD players and would come with the Mandriva PowerPack DVD as their "OEM" software disk as this version is ready with everything from programming, to office work, to games, to servers, to music composition through Rosegarden probably the best music composition program currently under Linux.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Revolution? Sounds Fun.
by hobgoblin on Thu 19th Jul 2007 02:21 UTC in reply to "Revolution? Sounds Fun."
hobgoblin Member since:
2005-07-06

unify gnome and kde?!

no need, as they use a common message passing system (thanks opendesktop) and, as long as the base libs are installed, can the others apps without a problem.

ok, so they dont look the same but to me at least thats a lesser issue. but it appears that to the osx crowed, thats a cardinal sin for some reason.

hell, im itching to take apart your points 1 by 1...

so here goes:

1. not going to happen. just not going to happen.

2. already covered.

3. hmm, maybe it will show up some day. im writing this in gobolinux and i know someone was working on a script to monitor the copying of package into a specific directory as a sign to install that package. as for removal of a program? delete a directory ;) not sure what your trying to say with bundle tho, but i think there is work being done on metapackages. but if your talking about packaging the libs a app use with the app, take a look at pcbsd or something.

4. or better yet, the end of the end user having to do any config at all? kde today have support for doing samba and cups configure in its control panel. using randr it can change resolution on the fly (as long as the screen and card is properly configed in said x config file). the real issue here is the need for correct hardware info, something the pnp system that microsoft drummed up for win95 (remember that?) should take care off, in theory. in practice its not so well. hell, from what i have heared apple have a habbit of having their screens present verifiably false info thru the pnp system.

5. being worked on i think. was some stuff about that recently. but all in all its a question of what you want, readability or correctness on paper. one will result in a tradeoff on the other. now if there was a interesting way to reconfig that one the fly...

6. woho. i have yet to find out whats to marvelous about the osx gui. to me it looks and experiences just like another gui. but maybe im drinking the wrong cool-aid?

7. dont know what these iapps are, sorry. but interaction with hardware i have already covered. it requires the hardware people to play nice when it comes to standards, so that the programmers dont have to apply 1001 small patches to take into consideration the small quirks of the hardware. maybe having the cameras follow existing protocol standards?

8. hell, yes. lets use osx as the benchmark for everything linux. but first, define the common user. the impression im left with when it comes to users of apple products is that they are less then common ;)

still, notified of updates, application or otherwise, check

rip, sync with music player of choice, play said music, check

camera support, check

single click to download apps? i can do one better. same app that does updates also holds a comprehensive list of app apps that can be installed on chosen distro. and can do the uninstall at any point. basically, one stop show to install, update and uninstall. imo, thats on par with the osx way.

oh, and stuff actually work. im burning cd's and dvd's, downloading all kinds of stuff, and "consuming" it, right now.

hell, im getting better bluetooth support when using linux then i did using windows.

want to transfer music or pictures to and from my mobile phone (music player and camera of choice), check. over both cable and bluetooth btw. transfer files to or from a windows computer, check. samba works.hell, i can organize images right in the file browser. no need for special app.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Revolution? Sounds Fun.
by RawMustard on Thu 19th Jul 2007 11:13 UTC in reply to "RE: Revolution? Sounds Fun."
RawMustard Member since:
2005-10-10

I think these peoples last experience with linux was redhat 5, my how we've come a long way since then ;)

I wouldn't give up my Ubuntu feisty for quids, the others (MS and crabapple) can go take a long jump of a short pier ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Revolution? Sounds Fun.
by hobgoblin on Fri 20th Jul 2007 05:32 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Revolution? Sounds Fun."
hobgoblin Member since:
2005-07-06

true that. there is something to be said about a lost reputation. ones burned, always afraid of fire or something like that...

Reply Score: 2

RE: Revolution? Sounds Fun.
by spikeb on Thu 19th Jul 2007 03:00 UTC in reply to "Revolution? Sounds Fun."
spikeb Member since:
2006-01-18

almost the entire post is a bunch of crap. really, try harder to troll next time

Reply Score: 1

RE: Revolution? Sounds Fun.
by sorpigal on Thu 19th Jul 2007 03:46 UTC in reply to "Revolution? Sounds Fun."
sorpigal Member since:
2005-11-02

* Standardize on Ubuntu or whatever. Pick one.

This will not and should not happen. I know the gut feeling tells you one distribution is a good idea, but it would not be healthy for the market or good for the users (same thing, really) and it is not happening. Ever.

* Unify KDE and Gnome

That's also a bad idea. Windows and OS X don't even have one unified widget set and development API. OS X is closer than any, but still... I know what you wanbt. You want look-and-feel to be the same between the apps. You want seetings (e.g. default font browser, etc.) to be the same. You're going to get it, slowly, but you are not going to get the two projects to merge and youa re not going to get one of them to die off.

* Drag and drop application installation and deletion and bundle support to the same level OS X has

You can get this today, if you use a distribution which works this way. You'll find that in many scenarios, and for certain types of people, this is really bad behavior. Making it something done by a 'desktop-oriented' distribution and not by e.g. a workstation-oriented distribution or a server-oriented distribution makes good sense. Even if you could get most distributions over to using this installation/package management model it would not be a good idea and would (among other things) simply cause more distributions to spring up and serve the people who don't like app bundles.

* The complete and utter end to any end user ever having to touch X config files - or any other unix text config file

For X this is coming Real Soon(tm). For the other htings, it depends on what you're doing. You will probably have to hand-edit config files for most server-type programs (daemons: postfix, apache, slapd) for the forseeable future. The fix for this is debatable.

* A complete overhaul of font rendering so that it is out of the box on par with OS X

OS X fonts suck as much as Linux fonts, in my opinion. Making fonts render in a more OSX-style will just spin wheels, not improve things.

* A complete overhaul of UI widget alignment in applications.

You can't make people do things like that. You can suggest it and beg for it but you cannot enforce it. While it would be nice if all apps acted the same way in this regard where doing so made sense the reality is that it is not necessary and will not happen any time soon.

* A complete set of open source apps of the calibur of Apple's iApps.

Mostly done. Equivalent functionality mostly exists in one app or another. Getting a unified look and feel for all of them is a pipe dream (herding cats...). The reality is that polish takes time and dedication, which is easier if you're paid full-time and not so easy if you're writing the app in your spare time. Each application's usability will need to be incrementally patched to correctness. I expect *you* to do this, since you seem to think you know what changes are needed.

Be notified of system software updates. Be notified of application software updates

You've got it, if the distribition wants to bother.

Rip, sync with your iPod, and play music

I think this is a laughable feature. Playing music? Check, got that one years ago. Sync with an ipod? Syncing with portable music players is not a killer desktop feature. And, anyway, it mostly depends on a good music playing app, of which we have several some of which already sync with the ipod.

Import, organize, tag, show photos from digital cameras

If your camera is supported this is essentially done. Again, the distribution would need to make sure the existant software is tied together to make it work out of the box.

Single click to download apps, drag them anywhere, have all app resources packed in a bundle type structures, and all dragging to the trash

Not a good idea. See above.

Making consumer grade software is grueling and time consuming and very unglamorous.

Agreed, but making stuff work like OS X is not a good goal.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Revolution? Sounds Fun.
by shapeshifter on Thu 19th Jul 2007 08:58 UTC in reply to "Revolution? Sounds Fun."
shapeshifter Member since:
2006-09-19

We've had all this already for a long time.
It's called Windows!
And we don't like it!
That's why there is KDE and Gnome, and many other WMs.
We don't like autorun (hello Sony rootkit), prefere fstab and manual mounting.
Some like Slackware instead of Ubuntu.
We don't like being notified of anything and don't like auto updates.
We like being in controll of our computers.
We're long time Linux users and we like things the way they are.
You want in? Learn to think for yourself and stop relying on the OS to do everything for you.
Otherwise go use Windows or buy a Mac and stop trying to change Linux.
Windows sucks big time, Mac sucks less, Linux is perfect.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Revolution? Sounds Fun.
by abraxas on Thu 19th Jul 2007 14:19 UTC in reply to "Revolution? Sounds Fun."
abraxas Member since:
2005-07-07

* Standardize on Ubuntu or whatever. Pick one.

Who makes that decision? The very nature of open source prohibits someone from standardizing on an OS or application. That's kinda the point. You're free to use whatever application you like, as long as your data is in open formats.

* Unify KDE and Gnome

Same thing applies here. You might as well say that we should all use Vista. It's not going to happen. Choice isn't a bad thing.

* The complete and utter end to any end user ever having to touch X config files - or any other unix text config file

That's not an issue on preloaded machines and if Linux does ever become mainstream that is how it is going to happen. Most current desktop distributions do a pretty good job at graphically configuring settings anyway.

* A complete overhaul of font rendering so that it is out of the box on par with OS X

My fonts are better than OSX and Windows in my opinion. Fonts haven't been an issue on Linux in years.

* A complete overhaul of UI widget alignment in applications. Spend as much time in Interface Builder to understand why OS X apps look and feel so good to users in the same way professionally typeset pages are easiest to read

I see where you are going with this rant fanboy. Just buy a Mac and let other people decide what they want. In fact I don't think emulating a Mac is going to get a lot of marketshare considering Linux already has more desktops than OSX.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Revolution? Sounds Fun.
by sappyvcv on Thu 19th Jul 2007 14:47 UTC in reply to "RE: Revolution? Sounds Fun."
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

Choice isn't a bad thing.

It can be if the user doesn't have enough knowledge to make the choice or doesn't want to make the choice, just wants something that works.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Revolution? Sounds Fun.
by abraxas on Fri 20th Jul 2007 00:46 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Revolution? Sounds Fun."
abraxas Member since:
2005-07-07

It can be if the user doesn't have enough knowledge to make the choice or doesn't want to make the choice, just wants something that works.

I guess Microsoft better take Vista basic, Vista home premium, and Vista business off the market then. Apple should stop selling computers too. In fact there should only be one chip maker, one gfx card maker, one monitor maker, etc. Hell lets get rid of all the other computer manufacturers and just leave Dell, I'm sure they can make a one-size-fits all computers that everyone will be happy with. How can we expect people to know the difference between processors, graphics cards, or even manufacturers anyway?

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Revolution? Sounds Fun.
by sappyvcv on Fri 20th Jul 2007 13:27 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Revolution? Sounds Fun."
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

I said it can be. Please take that into account.

And too much choice can be bad as well.

In the case of Vista, those likely to be not wanting to make a choice will just get it installed for them on a new computer. If not, they can run the upgrade advisor from Microsoft and it will tell them which version they recommend (no it won't always try to sell them ultimate).

Reply Score: 2

RE: Revolution? Sounds Fun.
by unoengborg on Thu 19th Jul 2007 15:34 UTC in reply to "Revolution? Sounds Fun."
unoengborg Member since:
2005-07-06

From your post, it seams that you havn't used Linux for a while as many of yuour items are allready fixed in modern Linuxes.


Be notified of system software updates
Be notified of application software updates


Most Linux systems do this allready.


Rip, sync with your iPod, and play music
There are apps for that too, I have no idea of their quality as this is not something I normally do.

Import, organize, tag, show photos from digital cameras
Single click to download apps, drag them anywhere, have all app resources packed in a bundle type structures, and all dragging to the trash
And so on.


Most Linux distros support digital cameras. on connection you get asked if you want to import the images into your album. Again I don't want a single click download of applications when I allready have a single click install. Users should not need to bother abaout the location of their application files. When a new application is installed the functionality should just be there for the user in the Application menu for the user to use.

There are however some things from MacOS-X have that I would like to see on the Linux desktop. First of all I would like to hide directories that only are of use to sysadmins and developers such as /etc, /proc, /usr, /lib, /bin, /sbin, /boot, /dev,... Gnome allready have a mechanism to do this, at least in the file manager, but unortunately they still appear in file dialogs.

Removable media should open in the filemanager as top level hierachies. i.e. you shoulnd be able to navigate up in the filestructure and end up in some unfamilliar place. The same thing should apply to electronic artifacts that have a well known representation in the real world such as the Trash.

It should be possible to have a MacOS-X like top menu regardless of what GUI toolkit you use. Today this allready possible in KDE. Having one menu saves desktop real estate, and according to Fits law it is much faster to uses.

The best way to do this would probably to let menus be handled by a separate program, a menumanager, just like windows are handled by the windowmanager or the session by a session manager.
Such a menu manager would make it possible for much more flexibility on future desktops, and it would also be a good place to add hooks for accessability.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Revolution? Sounds Fun.
by KugelKurt on Fri 20th Jul 2007 12:29 UTC in reply to "RE: Revolution? Sounds Fun."
KugelKurt Member since:
2005-07-06

It should be possible to have a MacOS-X like top menu regardless of what GUI toolkit you use. Today this allready possible in KDE. Having one menu saves desktop real estate, and according to Fits law it is much faster to uses.

There's a patch to add that functionality to GTK apps, but the GNOME developers refuse to add that patch. See http://gnomefiles.org/app.php/Mac_Menubar_for_GNOME_and_Xfce

GNUstep/Étoilé also offer that functionality. See http://www.flickr.com/photo_zoom.gne?id=427649481&size=o

Reply Score: 1

RE: Revolution? Sounds Fun.
by rajan r on Thu 19th Jul 2007 17:30 UTC in reply to "Revolution? Sounds Fun."
rajan r Member since:
2005-07-27

Rlwimi,

Essentially what you're asking for is Linux to be an OS X clone. That's a horrible idea. There are nice aspects of OS X, some horrible aspects that should never be imitated (font rendering - great for print, horrible for on-screen reading. Yet another place where usability is sacrificed for art).

And making Linux *just as good* as Mac OS X would never make it successful (I may as well buy a Mac) - and certainly not revolutionary, by any stretch of the term.

And considering what you're suggestion (no more distributions, just one flavour - and KDE merging with GNOME despite the enormous structural differences), I think you have no idea what you're talking about.

Full disclosure: I'm getting a Mac soon. I just recognize that OS X isn't all that great, it just sucks the least.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Revolution? Sounds Fun.
by Cutterman on Thu 19th Jul 2007 20:04 UTC in reply to "Revolution? Sounds Fun."
Cutterman Member since:
2006-04-10

Bin playing with Linux for years and gave up Microsoft for SuSE three years ago.

Ended up running mostly Ubuntu on my machines.

Bought a Mac Mini out of curiosity a month ago to see what all the fuss was about.

Now I know. What a pleasure! And plenty of excellent free stuff or cheap shareware if you know where to look for it.

And you're quite right.

But unfortunately I don't think it'll ever happen. Too many people running in different directions.

So it goes...

Reply Score: 1

Or are Gnome just trying to sound BIG?
by Serenak on Thu 19th Jul 2007 00:03 UTC
Serenak
Member since:
2006-01-11

Oh yeah we are small...

But we could be huge - the next MS in fact

All we have to do is convince everyone that the Gnome Online Desktop (GOD - btw anyone else notice that one?) is sooo much better than the stupid Oracle NC idea or the variety of Webtops available now.

Oh yeah and please bung us a MASSIVE amount of venture capital... you'll make millions in return "Honest"

Never mind that HUGE swathes of users barely have access to the 'net, unlike those of us who tend to visit sites like OS news...

Or the fact that if all users were even remotely interested in OS's etc Windows would not be the OS that dominates...

Reply Score: 3

Pyro9219 Member since:
2007-02-05

Gnome Online Desktop = GOD...

OMG I laughed till I cried on this one... Nice find ;)

Reply Score: 3

rtfa Member since:
2006-02-27

or try
Desktop Online Gnome

Reply Score: 2

Joe User
Member since:
2005-06-29

A whole lot more people than you can expect don't have a connection to the Internet. Most people who don't live in the city, travellers who don't have access to Wifi, etc... They're stuck.

They already have the problem of not being able to update Linux that relies on a connection to the Internet. That wasn't a wise assumption. One should be able to update with a removable medium.

If the desktop is more integrated to the Internet it's a good thing but it shouldn't depend on it.

Reply Score: 5

twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

I couldn't agree more.

Reply Score: 2

The G.O.D. ...
by PLan on Thu 19th Jul 2007 02:17 UTC
PLan
Member since:
2006-01-10

...is a solution in search of a problem. I don't hanker after a "stateless desktop" at the moment and I don't see that changing in the future.

Reply Score: 3

A Good Thing
by richip on Thu 19th Jul 2007 02:39 UTC
richip
Member since:
2006-08-30

What is wrong with some of you?! Can't you see how this is a good thing? First of all, the use of web services for desktop-use *IS OPTIONAL*. You can choose to enable it or not. Second, web services are a reality and not all proprietary services out there are untrustworthy. I store bookmarks in del.icio.us and would actually welcome some way to access it not just from one browser.

Finally, this is a great idea for companies who want to integrate their in-house web services into their employees' desktops. Collaboration would be a piece-of-cake. First, it takes care of communication (IM becomes integrated) and scheduling and updates (via RSS) of company activities become second-nature.

Reply Score: 4

It may be optional, or not
by Wes Felter on Thu 19th Jul 2007 15:51 UTC in reply to "A Good Thing"
Wes Felter Member since:
2005-11-15

There are only so many talented people working on GNOME; if they leave traditional "crufty" desktop applications to rot then it won't be long before you need online services for basic tasks.

Reply Score: 5

Vision
by Wrawrat on Thu 19th Jul 2007 02:52 UTC
Wrawrat
Member since:
2005-06-30

Having a vision is one thing, gathering enough support to make it reality is another...

While an online desktop is a nice idea, I just fear it won't appeal to the right clientèle. Sure, young people are quite open to new, cool, hip stuff. However, experienced computer users (long-time users, geeks or developers) tend to be more conservative. Unfortunately, this group makes a large part of the FOSS user base. Many are not going to be happy, especially if the quality of subsequent GNOME releases suffers because of the resource drain the new vision would inevitably bring.

In addition, geekness and hipness tend to be mutually exclusive. Developers tend to be rather bad designers (aesthetically speaking) and people won't rush in just because it's an open platform...

I'm not sold to the ASP model. There was a reason why most companies got rid of their terminals... Hanging out on social networks are less involving than storing your work on a central server. It doesn't really matter when MySpace goes down. It will matter when the GOD server goes belly up.

Anyway, I'm among the conservatives, so I guess I am biased. We'll see how it will turn out, but it's definitely not my vision of desktop computing.

Edited for clarity

Edited 2007-07-19 02:54

Reply Score: 5

lrose
Member since:
2007-07-19

I know I am not first to comment on this but these new features would rely on proprietary APIs. Let me say that again, Proprietary APIs! Isn't this what open source is all about, being OPEN. These services make no guarantees on the quality nor availability of their services. Some even go as far as stating they have as much right to the use of your data as you do. (AT&T's broadband TOS) There is no way to get around the fact these companies are in the business of making money and to do that the must sell ads. When it is no longer profitable to support these API they will drop them. Then what? You loose everything stored there. Now that might be a worse case scenario but then again, they make no guarantees.

Even Mugshot is selling information about you:

“As you use Mugshot, we may collect other information relating to you, such as the content of any messages you post ... and the music you listen to. For example, if you often listen to a certain musical artist, we or an advertising partner with whom we share your personal information might display an advertisement alerting you to the release of a new CD by that artist.”

Just because you can stop that information from being published doesn't mean that they don't collect it.

Disclaimer: This is only a small part of the privacy statement you should read the complete document and form your own opinion.

The part always get gets me is where they collect the the music you listen to. I'm sure the RIAA will eventually realize that people have been leaving traces of their mp3 file collections everywhere. You give them everything they need song name, title, and your IP address (Think downloading album cover art) Everything now-a-days seems to connect to the Internet (not that it is a bad think just an observation.) I'll probably never touch a computer again the day notepad needs to connect to the Internet.... (just a little humor)

While I'm not against some integration, I think a full, over-hyped integration is a bad approach and frankly against Gnome's incremental advancement approach. The fact is that a lot of information is just not suitable for mass online consumption. Editing raw video is barely possible now when it creates 30GB files.

I touched on this before but it is probably the most un-nerving, why an open source project would be pushing for integration with proprietary solutions is a little puzzling. This sort of sounds like the “open source” mantra of this group has lost its way. Someone even suggested using Google appliances for solving the confidential information issue within a company. If I wanted proprietary solutions, I would be using MS a lot more than I am! Like it or not they are king of the hill in proprietary solutions. (Lack of innovation and all, if MS says jump the vendors say how high)

So to some it up, a little integration is good. I don't want all of my data and any usage sold to advertisers and the default shouldn't be to send everything to the some proprietary service which I have no control over. If the “younger” people disagree then they only need to be a victim of identity theft to show them the importance of a limiting your public information.

PS. If the gnome people need inspiration starting looking at Mac OS. Also, if they have it their way it wouldn't be “Optional” because it would be again the Gnome mantra of limiting the users choices.

Reply Score: 5

What if...
by systyrant on Thu 19th Jul 2007 03:43 UTC
systyrant
Member since:
2007-01-18

in the future, a lot of application are web based, but we lose connection to the web?

By lose connection I mean because of service interruption, natural disaster, storm, etc. and not because the Internet just one day goes away.

Reply Score: 3

lol
by Duffman on Thu 19th Jul 2007 06:38 UTC
Duffman
Member since:
2005-11-23

"the Next Desktop Revolution"

A lot of modesty here ...

Reply Score: 2

Online Apps are complete pants
by rtfa on Thu 19th Jul 2007 07:32 UTC
rtfa
Member since:
2006-02-27

to be used on a regular basis, they are even cr*p on an intranet.
Give me a real app any day and perhaps have a web-based one as a backup

Reply Score: 4

No thanks - not in a million years!
by REMF on Thu 19th Jul 2007 09:46 UTC
REMF
Member since:
2006-02-05

I am a KDE fan anyway, but with no aversion to Gnome.

However, the idea of GOD horrifies and repulses me.

If KDE had come up with this travesty as a roadmap for KDE4 i would already have converted to Gnome.

I like MY desktop, on MY computer, accessible to ME and ME only.

Reply Score: 5

Pyro
by eelco on Thu 19th Jul 2007 10:35 UTC
eelco
Member since:
2005-07-06

Another initiative introduced at Guadec showed a firefox based desktop environment:
http://pyrodesktop.org/

Reply Score: 1

gimmie vs Onflop desktop
by pierino on Thu 19th Jul 2007 10:47 UTC
pierino
Member since:
2005-07-31

is HP the same guy who wrote this commercial framework disappeared into black hole ?
http://sources.redhat.com/inti/inti-manual/intro.html

Reply Score: 1

Online Disks
by Claxus on Thu 19th Jul 2007 10:52 UTC
Claxus
Member since:
2007-07-19

So to make this possible, I guess that backed-up online disks would be needed.

And how do we get backed-up online disks?

1. Paying for it. Its not very cheap nowadays, when compared to buying a new harddisk. Check out the prizes for extra disk space on for example dot-mac.

2. Advertising. For example gmail. A bit difference in privacy when compared to storing data on your own harddrive.

3. Together with friends or trusted collegues setup something similiar to Andrew Filesystem. The requirements are:
- The files are distributed and thereby backed up among all participants, like a software raid.
- A common permission handling system determines who can see what, and newcommers have no permissions.
- Encryption may be applied, if I want a file to be backed up, but not in any way accessible by others (somewhat overlaps permission perhaps).

If 3 was easier to setup and orginize, there would be no need for external online-disk providers.

Reply Score: 1

RawMustard
Member since:
2005-10-10

And if they've got time to dream up silly ideas like this, they've got the time to fix all those 4 year old bugs in their current offering. Particularly the one that moves files around the desktop whenever you save them - Now where did that file go this time? grrrrrrr!

But I can understand their reasoning for this kind of thing. Now when they remove features, they'll be gone when you next login, no need to wait for the next upgrade.

IMHO, Gnome have lost the plot big time and it's showing!
Pass me the fork - err never mind...

Reply Score: 2

Sigh
by tux68 on Thu 19th Jul 2007 12:09 UTC
tux68
Member since:
2006-10-24

Gnome development is clearly being controlled by those more interested in finding new online revenue streams for their companies than they are in providing a decent desktop that works just as well offline as it does on.

Shame really.

Reply Score: 5

Sigh
by sargek on Thu 19th Jul 2007 12:46 UTC
sargek
Member since:
2007-07-12

I am glad there are others here that feel the same way: I shudder to think my beloved Gnome will be a glorified "Active Desktop". I have been using Gnome for many years and love its simplicity. I have seen screenshots of the proposed "Online Desktop" components, and if the desktop moves this way, I am sad to say I will be forced to move to another desktop like Xfce4 or a window manager only, like Openbox.

Making the desktop linked to or fed from the Internet is quite possibly the stupidest idea I have seen to date. Well, maybe not the stupidest, but it ranks up there...glad I'm not the only one who feels this way.

Reply Score: 2

Why all the fuss?
by axilmar on Thu 19th Jul 2007 12:54 UTC
axilmar
Member since:
2006-03-20

Why should we get rid of browsers, when they do the job adequately? unless a new web standard is developed, I do not see how making the Gnome desktop a browser will make any difference.

Reply Score: 1

i prepare switch to kde 4
by pierino on Thu 19th Jul 2007 13:05 UTC
pierino
Member since:
2005-07-31

i've enough of this bullshits around gnome project.
WTF is the Online Desktop ?
Novell has Icaza with him pet project mono and
now RedHat are trying to push this toy into gnome.

Reply Score: 3

The net is the computer ...
by deb2006 on Thu 19th Jul 2007 13:11 UTC
deb2006
Member since:
2006-06-26

... yesh, sure - but I won't participate in this. I'll most certainly NOT leave my documents outside of my hard disk. No, sir. And in this matter I neither trust Microsoft nor Open Source.

Reply Score: 1

yikes
by poundsmack on Thu 19th Jul 2007 13:47 UTC
poundsmack
Member since:
2005-07-13

well i guess it could be worse:

Gnome SkyNet eddition, "stay connected"

Reply Score: 2

missing the point...
by karl on Thu 19th Jul 2007 13:50 UTC
karl
Member since:
2005-07-06

I have a sneaky suspicion that a lot of posters are missing the point of Havocs presentation.(*note* I may also be off the mark ;) )

Havoc has a couple of quirks-at once he writes often in such horribly abstract ways that after reading one spends more time scratching their heads than pondering what he wants people to think about, his stuff is often quite pie-in-the-sky, yet he also a proficient coder, his hype/work ratio is much more productive than most who rant about as yet unseen future horizons.

I think there is something quite simple in what Havoc is looking at. His vision seeks to address a handful of recurrent problems/themes:

a) data duplication
b) data repetition
c) data synchronization
d) creating contexts by connecting various data into new cohesive structures.

Havoc has been working on Mugshot for quite sometime now. I remember reading his first blogs about mugshot, where he announced it. Virtually noone who read his blog at the time could even begin to grasp wtf havoc was talking about. But, although I have yet to use mugshot, I suspect it is somewhat akin to a kind gnome-keyring for internet services. You log into mugshot and mugshot logs you into those internet services which you already use. Once you are logged into this network of services it becomes possible to create new services based on the availability (*presence*) of this network of services.

I am sure there is more to mugshot than this but this is the gist I am get of it: why do I need to authenticate myself with a dozen services each time I get on the internet on each machine I use-one application could work as a gateway for all of these applications. If I a have a simple way of accessing all of these services at once then why not create a way of being able to capture certain pertinent data and make it available to me when I log into this application regardless of where I am and on what computer I am using, regardless even of the OS I am using.

Havoc is not talking about us moving to thin clients using remote X. He is talking about creating a portable environment with certain data and even certain applications being instantly available where ever we are on whatever computer we happen to be using. Bigboard is like an environment inside of an environment- but this time, in contrast to those who use cvs sync to copy their ssh keys from one *nix box to next, not for geeks.

So much information on computers is duplicated. Duplication involves repetition and causes synchronization to become a major pain. Havocs approach could reduce such duplication, which in turn would reduce the amount of repetition and handle synchronizing transparently.

In the past years we have seen more and more internet services popping up(google, flickr, last.fm etc.) which are allowing us to have relatively transparent access to our data when we want it, where we want it-independent of having our own pc in front of us. Yet the explosion in services is quickly becoming an impediment of its own-one has to remember so many passwords, where what is stored, and that which is stored in one service is quite frequently not available to other services(think repetition, duplication, synchronization). An online desktop would be a step towards streamlinig interaction with each of these services and making these convenient to access.

Havoc is looking towards a kind of portable identity management. Apple to a greater, and MS to a lesser extent have realized the value of "life style"-the intense identification of younger people with their gadgets and media(think ipod, zune). Now create a framework which captures your *presence* in the internet(ie. which services do I use, and which services do these services offer to which I am registered) and allow for transparent communication(IM, video,voice chat, file sharing, URL/bookmark sharing etc.) between my *presence* and those of my peers, who also have online *presences*. This is powerful product stuff-stuff which could really speak to me, me, me ;)

And of course this tech works not only under Linux(debian, kernel 2.4 glibc ver. X.Y.Z)-but under windows and macintosh(and Haiku perhaps one day). So you lure lots of younger folk into using this Free Software, and make Free Software as ubiquitous in the desktop internet space as it is becoming in other areas-where people use Linux without ever even knowing(apache servers, google, linksys routers, Tivo etc.)

Now at this point one needs to start thinking about privacy and about transparency. Now one needs to draft up a kind of social contract- which data is accessible in which ways, is used in which ways by whom. If software came along enabling a transparent online desktop and the users and developers of this were bound to a kind of social contract pressure could be exerted on those companies offering online services to make their services available, accessible and transparent. Privacy and accessibility would be the the top priorities of such a social contract.

Enough rambling. This is the gist of what Havoc and other folks are working towards, as best as I understand it. I am looking forward to what these folks come up with-and if I agree with their standards I may end up using this new software.

Reply Score: 4

RE: missing the point...
by leech on Thu 19th Jul 2007 14:15 UTC in reply to "missing the point..."
leech Member since:
2006-01-10

The thing is that we're not missing the point. I most certainly wouldn't want one gateway to the services I use on the internet, especially ones such as various banks, etc.

Think of it this way, if you had a port city and then inside this city was an airport that let open access to every other place in your country, then someone with nefarious purposes slipped into the port city and was able to pillage all of your other cities without even blinking an eye, you'd be nervous too.

My biggest problem with any of this is the security angle. Sure it'd be nice to be able to log into anyone's machine and then go into the net and have access to all the services and applications you use, but what if that person has a key logger on their computer. Boom, all of a sudden all of your personal information is in someone else's hands.

I'm with some other posters here, if this goes the way it's presented, I'm going to move to KDE4. Honestly, what's stopping people from doing this NOW? It's not all that difficult to set up a VNC server (or something similar) on your PC and then access it through any other PC with a VNC client. I've done it before just to see how well it works. Why on earth would you need a separate new service for this? It's also not very secure to do it this way. There are ssh tunnels, etc to make it more secure, but there is still always the possibility that you use someone's infected Windows PC with a key logger or something equally bad.

There really is no want / need for it to be more integrated. Besides, if you want your documents / applications ready wherever you go, there is of course always a custom LiveCD that you can build and a flash drive. Yes, you can even build a custom Windows LiveCD, if you're so inclined.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: missing the point...
by karl on Thu 19th Jul 2007 15:11 UTC in reply to "RE: missing the point..."
karl Member since:
2005-07-06

I fully agree with you that Privacy (security) will be the deciding aspect of this new tech. Either our security desires will be addressed or people won't use it.

The way I see it is that right now tremendously large numbers of people are using online services as we speak(or rather we are speaking(typing to one another) via one of these services right now). Anything which simplifies and facitlitates the use of such services will command a great deal of appeal: the more of these serivces one uses and depends on the less one is willing to overlook the clumsy UI's, the obnoxious terms of use etc.(ie. if I only use one service, and don't really need it, I might be tempted to ignore the security concerns and the artificial limitations imposed by UI(which implements the services corporate policies,which control access to my data.-we call this making an exception, and sometimes we even make an exception of the exception-and then we wake up with security problems and rant about access to our data).

Havocs ideas can only come to fruition if their is community-wide work towards establishing a kind social contract/lisence, which binds, users, developers, and service providers into a framework which gurantees some definition of Privacy in regards to what constitutes My Data(tm).

How this will look is still up in the air. I am not going to condemn such prior to seeing the shape that such a contract will take. These guys are Free Software developers-they have strong notions about what constitutes their own work, they deeply care about software transparency(ie. seeing the code), they can't use lock-in to force their users to using this or that-so they have to convince their users through usability and values. I believe it maybe be possible for a community-wide development to leverage pressure on the existing online services, and usher in a new generation of web services catered to such a contract, to address our security needs and desires. Perhaps even in the direction of something like a GPL lisence (GPL v3. plus exceptions defining Privacy and Security issues).

Ahem.. You mentioned VNC. *this* is not what Havoc is talking about. You simply cannot compare what Havoc is talking about to SSH, VNC, Remote Desktop, NX etc. Secondly the only private data available in such a online desktop is the data which you put into the various services which are linked together in such an online desktop-ie. you choose which data to share, how to share it, with whom to share it etc. There is nothing like a shell access to *your* machine available in such.

We can speculate about possible securities issues till we are blue in the face but the devil is in the details- and we don't have the details yet because this tech is still in the works-If you are genuinely concerned about this issue now would be the time to get involved and informing those who are developing such of your concerns.

And of course you are talking about all of this as if the next version of GNOME will magically force all users into wearing a new t-shirt with the words "steal my data" written on to it. The way I look at it is that developers in KDE and GNOME have been working on addressing issues of network transparency and data accessibility for years, where the current iteration of desktop, is the result of attempted solutions to these issues. An online desktop is but one of many answers, and will only appeal to some users, and being as it is that the existing application developers are all banging their heads over finding ways of addressing these isues, such an online desktop serves as a direction, a vision. A lot of this functionality is already being rolled back into individual applications-perhaps soon we will see a plugin for Eye of Gnome to manage flickr photos, eds will soon sync with google calender. I also see things like pyrodesktop pointing in this direction. Have you read up on on telepathy project ?

At this point a whole new range of possible applications of this new tech is opening up before us. I find it fascinating that this new stuff is being openly discussed and debated and I am sure that a) noone will be forced to use any of this, b) that prior to reaching the illusory online desktop lots of applications will benefit immensely from new tech brought about in pursuit of this goal c) that those developing such will be much more conscientious in their approach to issues of security than any proprietary online service is.

Reply Score: 1

KugelKurt
Member since:
2005-07-06

I guess I'll be modded down for that, but as I remember past geeks, they were zealots for privacy. They rebelled against WinXP's activation process because of privacy concerns.
But today's geeks? They use GoogleMail and let Google spy their conversations. They use Google Calendar. They "scrobble" every track they listen to Last.fm. And now that GNOME Online Desktop thingie.

So yeah, it's a revolution. It's a 180° turnaround compared to previous geek ethics.

Reply Score: 4

karl Member since:
2005-07-06

I agree and disagree with what you just said it pertains to Havocs online desktop.

On one level privacy meant freedom from Corporate/Government control and freedom to do what we want with our own data. Yet for many people what they choose to share via online services does not encroach upon their sense of privacy.

So to answer you:

1) It is not so much a revolution as a transformation-concerns about privacy now reflect on that which people wish to share with one another and about how they access their own data. I know plenty of traditional geeks who are very concerned about privacy who also make use of online services and who actively choose which data to share with whom. There is no necessary logical contradiction between privacy concerns and usage of online services.

2) The traditional geek population is not the target audience of the online desktop. Are those that use iPods, itunes, flickr, and blog geeks? The target audience of the online desktop are computer-affluent, they are proficient in their use of computers as gateways to online services. For these people the computer is merely a stepping stone, a tool, a path to access and share what they want with whom they want and how they want to share.

Reply Score: 1

Down
by weirdnut on Thu 19th Jul 2007 15:51 UTC
weirdnut
Member since:
2006-01-19

They can't even keep their "online-desktop.org" site running.

Why would I want my desktop online if it's going to be down all the time?

Reply Score: 5

Gnome doesn't need an revolution
by JeffS on Thu 19th Jul 2007 16:18 UTC
JeffS
Member since:
2005-07-12

Gnome is already a fantastic desktop - looks great, it's very easy to use, it's fully functional, it's fast, and it's a joy to use.

And the incremental, evolutionary improvements that Gnome is making is quite fine with me. They've even managed to make the desktop faster in recent releases.

And the last thing I want is the clutter, bugs, crashes, and decreased speed that creeping feature bloat would bring.

I really appreciate the restraint that Gnome developers use. They keep the overall big picture in mind, and judge how a feature will work with the overall big picture, and judge whether users will actually use a feature, before they include it.

Going forward, I just hope that Gnome devs keep on keeping Gnome beautiful, clean, elegant, fast, simple.

Edited 2007-07-19 16:19

Reply Score: 3

Yeah not so much into the Online Desktop
by atari05 on Thu 19th Jul 2007 20:38 UTC
atari05
Member since:
2006-06-05

You know, I have tried a couple of online desktop sites and they are cool but I would never use them as my main source of desktop power. I like to have the wraps on my data. The net is cool and so are alot of net apps but at some point its like we are just handing over the tools for something to screw us in the end ....

Reply Score: 1

ishmal
Member since:
2005-11-11

Yet again, someone is asking all developers to stop doing what we so selfishly want to do, and do what HE wants us to do. Because variety and individual expression are worthless in comparison to endless drudge work on user interfaces that everyone will hate. Because every user is a Human Engineering expert with a precious opinion. Because, of course, the user is King. And the more moronic the user is, the more rights he seems to have.

I hated the Profiles on Windows NT, why would I want a Gnome clone of them?

Reply Score: 1

wise decision
by netpython on Fri 20th Jul 2007 13:35 UTC
netpython
Member since:
2005-07-06

I think they made a wise decision.

Reply Score: 2

Yeah, great
by Alleister on Fri 20th Jul 2007 20:41 UTC
Alleister
Member since:
2006-05-29

What's better that not having inet for 6 weeks? Easy, not having inet for 6 weeks and thus being incapable to use your whole computer.
Why are web solutions free (as in beer)? Because in return you suffer through advertising.
And yet another great thing is: the new initiative in Germany to spy on user data won't even require the "Bundestrojaner" since all your information will lie wide open for every neo-stasi guy to go through.

So yeah, that is a great vision of the future... get rid of reliability, be bombed with advertising and virtually give up all privacy.

Reply Score: 4