Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 13th Jul 2009 22:29 UTC, submitted by suka
Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu Mark Shutttleworh, the head honcho over at Canonical and Ubuntu, has given an interview to derStandard.at during the Gran Canaria Desktop Summit. He talks about GNOME 3.0, the struggle to improve the user experience on the Linux desktop, as well as various other things.
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Problems with file management...
by Jason Bourne on Tue 14th Jul 2009 01:04 UTC
Jason Bourne
Member since:
2007-06-02

He's pretty right about file management. Although there is no standard, in Windows is much easier than Linux. Windows Explorer is superior to Nautilus/Konq/Dolphin in my opinion. As a matter of fact, Explorer is the only thing I miss from Windows, when I am on Ubuntu. Nautilus is simply stupid... names cut in compact view, huge fonts, no lasso in list view (a GTK limitation), pretty lame... Dolphin is getting more and more "featured"... really, KDE4.3 is getting close to a real spacecraft control-panel, each version is getting worse - every developer wants its thing there. I wonder if Google Chrome OS will eat everybody's lunch at the end of the day... it is known that it will run a Linux kernel, but if these guys design a slick desktop, I think desktop projects should worry and start to set a standard.

Reply Score: 1

joekiser Member since:
2005-06-30

no lasso in list view (a GTK limitation), pretty lame...


Sounds like a Gnome "usability" enhancement. In Thunar (Xfce file manager), I have no problem lasso-ing multiple items in either variant of list view.

Reply Score: 4

sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

no lasso in list view (a GTK limitation)

What, exactly, do you mean by 'lasso'?

Reply Score: 2

r_a_trip Member since:
2005-07-06

I think by "Lasso" is meant to be able to left click and draw a rectangle around files to select them.

Reply Score: 4

vtolkov Member since:
2006-07-26

I also think that he is right about files. I use Windows, but I always replace Windows with something more useful and less distractive. I do not like a mix of icons and windows in Explorer, so I use two-panel Far Manager for files and BBLean for windows and tasks.

Reply Score: 1

backdoc Member since:
2006-01-14

Nautilus is pretty decent. It's the thing I like most about Gnome. To each his own, I guess.

Reply Score: 2

beranger Member since:
2006-09-26

Nautilus is simply stupid... names cut in compact view


There is an elementary fix to the horrendous default way Compact View looks in Nautilus.

To make it behave as expected, fire gconf-editor, navigate to /apps/nautilus/compact_view/ and uncheck the (value for the boolean) key all_columns_have_same_width.

It should behave now: http://beranger.org/miscf/compact_fix_full.png

Reply Score: 2

vivainio Member since:
2008-12-26


There is an elementary fix to the horrendous default way Compact View looks in Nautilus.

To make it behave as expected, fire gconf-editor, navigate to /apps/nautilus/compact_view/ and uncheck the (value for the boolean) key all_columns_have_same_width.


That's the "elementary fix"?

Reply Score: 6

rockwell Member since:
2005-09-13

Sure. Remember, this is Linux, where everything is a pain in the ass.

Reply Score: 6

Tom9729 Member since:
2008-12-09

I think it's also an option in the Nautilus preferences dialog. Either way it's really no worse than making a registry change in Windows (gconf can be scripted too).

Reply Score: 1

stabbyjones Member since:
2008-04-15

from a nautilus window is way easier,

edit -> preferences

Views Tab -> Untick the box "all columns have the same width."

Reply Score: 3

BigDaddy Member since:
2006-08-10

Windows Explorer is superior to Nautilus/Konq/Dolphin in my opinion.


I am trying figure out if you are being serious here or not. Explorer is a horrendous file manager. That's why there is so many alternatives to it available. When I used Windows, I got by with xplorer2, but even that pales in comparison to Konq. Dolphin has made huge strides in usability in it's latest incarnation.

I'm no fan of Nautilus and would probably agree with Explorer being better than it though. But like it was said before, to each their own.

Reply Score: 2

polaris20 Member since:
2005-07-06

"Windows Explorer is superior to Nautilus/Konq/Dolphin in my opinion.


I am trying figure out if you are being serious here or not. Explorer is a horrendous file manager. That's why there is so many alternatives to it available. When I used Windows, I got by with xplorer2, but even that pales in comparison to Konq. Dolphin has made huge strides in usability in it's latest incarnation.

I'm no fan of Nautilus and would probably agree with Explorer being better than it though. But like it was said before, to each their own.
"

Windows Explorer works just fine; not sure what issue you're having with it. Just because there are many alternatives to something doesn't mean the original is bad.

Reply Score: 3

v Comment by diego
by diegoviola on Tue 14th Jul 2009 01:52 UTC
Windows stock...
by Jason Bourne on Tue 14th Jul 2009 01:52 UTC
Jason Bourne
Member since:
2007-06-02

Windows Explorer stock mode is pretty lame... made for the dumb. Nautilus wanted to do something like that when it set spatial view as default. Windows Explorer Classic mode, as in Win 3.11 has always been my favourite productive setup. I like two panels, first panel narrower displaying tree view. The second much wider panel displaying the selected folder contents from the narrower panel. I think Xfe, Krusader, GnomeCommander and PCFman followed this idea but Nautilus/GNOME chose to immitate stock XP.

The lasso *HAD BEEN* a GTK limitation, until some GTK version in 2007. GNOME guys had written a patch for lasso but it never got in default GNOME.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Windows stock...
by Bending Unit on Tue 14th Jul 2009 08:11 UTC in reply to "Windows stock..."
Bending Unit Member since:
2005-07-06

Windows Explorer stock mode is pretty lame... made for the dumb.

I like two panels, first panel narrower displaying tree view. The second much wider panel displaying the selected folder contents from the narrower panel.

But what you try to describe is indeed how the Windows Explorer looks like? No?

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Windows stock...
by fretinator on Tue 14th Jul 2009 13:53 UTC in reply to "RE: Windows stock..."
fretinator Member since:
2005-07-06

No, he is referring to WinFile, the file manager in windows 3.1. You have 2 panes - each pane has a a complete explorer. Thus you can navigate to a source directory on the left pane (and the left pane also shows the contents of the directory), and then navigate to a destination directory in the right pane (which also shows the contents of the destination directory). This makes it easy to drag and drop betwen source and destination directories - in one window, not multiple explorer views. Also, drive icons appear in a toolbar above both panes, for quick switching to drives.

This is usually known as the Norton Commander view - a tribute to the old DOS standby. I, and many others greatly prefer this view. On Windows I was greatly disappointed when they torched Winfile and replaced it with Explorer. I hate massive scrolling up and down to find things (think bad web page design!). When I am on Windows, the first thing I install is Powerdesk, so I can get my two panes back. Linux has many variants, including the old standby Midnight Commander.

To me, Explorer typifies Microsoft's idea of usability. The only thing worse is the Ribbon!

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Windows stock...
by phoenix on Tue 14th Jul 2009 17:47 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Windows stock..."
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

No, he is referring to WinFile, the file manager in windows 3.1.


No, what the OP described (smaller left pane with a tree view) is *exactly* how Windows Explorer (in Explore mode) works. You have the directory tree in a pane on the left, and the directory contents in the pane on the right.

He is comparing that to the "My Computer" mode of Windows Explorer where you get just the directory contents in a single window.

Read what the OP wrote, again, and you'll see. ;)

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Windows stock...
by fretinator on Tue 14th Jul 2009 18:05 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Windows stock..."
fretinator Member since:
2005-07-06

Darn, I'm wrong. That happens at least once a year! ;>}

Reply Score: 3

"Intel is hugely investing in X"
by John Blink on Tue 14th Jul 2009 02:07 UTC
John Blink
Member since:
2005-10-11

Now that would make a nice article.

In what way are they investing?
When did this work begin?
Of their efforts, what has been released and what could we expect in the future?

Reply Score: 2

RE: "Intel is hugely investing in X"
by tux68 on Tue 14th Jul 2009 04:38 UTC in reply to ""Intel is hugely investing in X""
tux68 Member since:
2006-10-24

For the past few years Intel has been contributing open documentation for their hardware and hiring full time developers to create corresponding open source drivers for Xorg, DRM/2 and Mesa and other important parts of the visual stack such as Cairo. Check out http://intellinuxgraphics.org/team.html to see the list of high-profile names working for Intel.

Lots of their work has already been released into the wild (see Fedora 11 for example) and much more is on the near horizon.

Reply Score: 3

John Blink Member since:
2005-10-11

Thanks.

Still think it would make for a good story ;)

Reply Score: 2

Why not fix it?
by stanbr on Tue 14th Jul 2009 10:20 UTC
stanbr
Member since:
2009-05-22

So lets see if I get it... he says the whole file structure is broken, but instead of fix it, we should start using some weird program that will magically find our files. The only problem is:
1- My files will continue to be in a weird structure.
2- This magic will cost me lost of cpu cycles and memory, and I think we have better things to do with it.

I don't care about zeitgeist, google destkop, beagle, and not even locate... just fix the damn file structure so it's easier for the users to find the files...
Can't understand the concepts of directory and files? Then just don't use a computer at all my friend...

Reply Score: 4

RE: Why not fix it?
by kaiwai on Tue 14th Jul 2009 11:56 UTC in reply to "Why not fix it?"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

So lets see if I get it... he says the whole file structure is broken, but instead of fix it, we should start using some weird program that will magically find our files. The only problem is:
1- My files will continue to be in a weird structure.
2- This magic will cost me lost of cpu cycles and memory, and I think we have better things to do with it.

I don't care about zeitgeist, google destkop, beagle, and not even locate... just fix the damn file structure so it's easier for the users to find the files...
Can't understand the concepts of directory and files? Then just don't use a computer at all my friend...


Why is it a weird structure? if you're an end user the only thing you need to interact with are the files in your directory, everything outside that can be manipulated through package managers, configuration tools provided by the distribution and so forth.

What it seems to be is that you're driving to the bottom of the barrel to find something to loath about something that is different to what you're used to.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Why not fix it?
by vivainio on Tue 14th Jul 2009 12:02 UTC in reply to "RE: Why not fix it?"
vivainio Member since:
2008-12-26

Why is it a weird structure? if you're an end user the only thing you need to interact with are the files in your directory, everything outside that can be manipulated through package managers, configuration tools provided by the distribution and so forth.


it doesn't help that programs drop the files they emit to random places (web downloads, email attachment saving, camera photo import, notepad applications, "New document" feature in various applications).

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Why not fix it?
by kaiwai on Tue 14th Jul 2009 12:09 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Why not fix it?"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

"Why is it a weird structure? if you're an end user the only thing you need to interact with are the files in your directory, everything outside that can be manipulated through package managers, configuration tools provided by the distribution and so forth.


it doesn't help that programs drop the files they emit to random places (web downloads, email attachment saving, camera photo import, notepad applications, "New document" feature in various applications).
"

Pardon? Downloads using firefox go on the desktop, email attachments are saved to what ever directory you choose, camera photo import goes into the photos directory, with pretty much everything else being saved directly in the user directory.

Point me to one application that doesn't exhibit 'sane' behaviour - I'm not claiming that they don't exist but lack a key thing called 'evidence' to back up your position.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Why not fix it?
by vivainio on Tue 14th Jul 2009 12:29 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Why not fix it?"
vivainio Member since:
2008-12-26


Pardon? Downloads using firefox go on the desktop, email attachments are saved to what ever directory you choose, camera photo import goes into the photos directory, with pretty much everything else being saved directly in the user directory.


I think it's "choosing the directory" that messes it up. I try to keep *some* structure on my saving, which includes avoiding "Desktop" (though in vain - it's a horrible mess already).

There is no way I can easily keep track of what I've recently used, without something like Zeitgeist/tracker.

To make the example more concrete, some random files from my home directory:

callgrind.out.4780
better-settings-widget-allocation.patch
openssl_0.9.8e.orig.tar.gz
show_bug.cgi.html
t.png
modest-11-1895.rcore.lzo

+ 400 more.

The problem is that at the time I have to save the files, I have no time to micromanage where stuff should go. It doesn't make it easier to get at them when I need them.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Why not fix it?
by kaiwai on Tue 14th Jul 2009 14:21 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Why not fix it?"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

I think it's "choosing the directory" that messes it up. I try to keep *some* structure on my saving, which includes avoiding "Desktop" (though in vain - it's a horrible mess already).

There is no way I can easily keep track of what I've recently used, without something like Zeitgeist/tracker.

To make the example more concrete, some random files from my home directory:

callgrind.out.4780
better-settings-widget-allocation.patch
openssl_0.9.8e.orig.tar.gz
show_bug.cgi.html
t.png
modest-11-1895.rcore.lzo

+ 400 more.

The problem is that at the time I have to save the files, I have no time to micromanage where stuff should go. It doesn't make it easier to get at them when I need them.


So what you're talking about is your disorganisation and how all and sundry should bend over backwards to be your slave. It isn't the operating systems responsibility to fix up a person who isn't organised; a computer and operating system are merely blank slates that is left up to the individual to decide how things should be laid out.

Take me for instance:

~/Downloads/Updates
~/Downloads/Updates/Operating System
~/Downloads/Updates/Applications
~/Downloads/Updates/Applications/[Vendor]

~/Documents/[University Course]
~/Documents/[University Course]/Assignment
~/Documents/[University Course]/Lecture Notes

I'm sure you've got the message; it isn't the role of the computer to second guess you or for the programmer to make decisions on your behalf; what you need to do is learn the fine art of organisation and structured thinking rather than just randomly flopping files left right and centre as you'd do with your clothes by hanging them on the ground.

As for "I have no time to micromanage where stuff should go", what a load of bollocks; if you were organised from day one rather than randomly plonking crap in any old location then we wouldn't even be having this conversation. What you remind me of are disorganised people who frantically run around not being able to find things but had they organised their life properly, they would know where they left their wallet, keys, books for university and so forth.

I'm the worlds laziest person but if I can get some structure and sanity to my home directory - anyone can.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Why not fix it?
by vivainio on Tue 14th Jul 2009 15:06 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Why not fix it?"
vivainio Member since:
2008-12-26


So what you're talking about is your disorganisation and how all and sundry should bend over backwards to be your slave.


Yes, I'm disorganized. The stuff I deal with isn't usually easily categorizable on-the-spot, when I need to deal with that. Most of the stuff on my home directory is probably crap that I don't need anymore (which was only relevant for ~ 1 hour), but I just never deleted "just in case".

Of course I carefully categorize stuff for "archival" purposes (photos, music, pornography ;-), but my work stuff - well, I feel that thinking of file placement "breaks my flow" in bad fashion.

I'm not asking the OS to bend backwards to accommodate my wishes - but if it does, more power to them. Most operating system "innovation" is more useless anyway.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Why not fix it?
by Axord on Tue 14th Jul 2009 14:24 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Why not fix it?"
Axord Member since:
2005-06-30

The problem is that at the time I have to save the files, I have no time to micromanage where stuff should go.

Perhaps this firefox extension can help a bit with that: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/25

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Why not fix it?
by BigDaddy on Tue 14th Jul 2009 14:00 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Why not fix it?"
BigDaddy Member since:
2006-08-10

Point me to one application that doesn't exhibit 'sane' behaviour - I'm not claiming that they don't exist but lack a key thing called 'evidence' to back up your position.


Here's a weird one I get all the time. For some reason Firefox seems to forget file associations on my computers. Don't know why. But I have to navigate to /usr/share/apps/app_name_here to open the file. If I was less knowledgeable, I would have no clue to look there.

I am one of the people that believe more sane structure or at least naming scheme would be a big improvement.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Why not fix it?
by kaiwai on Tue 14th Jul 2009 14:11 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Why not fix it?"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Here's a weird one I get all the time. For some reason Firefox seems to forget file associations on my computers. Don't know why. But I have to navigate to /usr/share/apps/app_name_here to open the file. If I was less knowledgeable, I would have no clue to look there.

I am one of the people that believe more sane structure or at least naming scheme would be a big improvement.


So what you're actually talking about has nothing to do with directory structure but a given distribution failing to properly setup the default applications to which Firefox points to.

Call me a luddite, but I prefer to manually download and save my files, then manually load the application I want to use to view the file with - too many times I have found that either applications hijack the file associations or the automatic assumption by the desktop that I want to open it with a particular application even though 5 minutes before I had installed the viewer that I preferred.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Why not fix it?
by phoenix on Tue 14th Jul 2009 17:55 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Why not fix it?"
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

Call me a luddite, but I prefer to manually download and save my files, then manually load the application I want to use to view the file with - too many times I have found that either applications hijack the file associations or the automatic assumption by the desktop that I want to open it with a particular application even though 5 minutes before I had installed the viewer that I preferred.


This is where the "Always ask" option in Firefox comes in handy ... as it will popup a dialog asking you what to do with a download. Want to save it to disk? Check that box. Want to open it with an app? Select the app from the list.

I also tend to dislike "automation" when it comes to web downloads. Like you said, too often, a random app/plugin update will hijack the mime-types/app-registration and cause all kinds of weird things to happen.

I think the main problem a lot of people have with computers is that they don't think they can take control. They think the computer should just know what to do, automagically. But all a computer knows how to do is what you tell it ... if you don't tell it to do something specific, then you really can't be mad when it screws it up. ;)

Take control of your computer. Configure it to work the way *you* want it to. Don't become a slave to a hunk of metal. ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Why not fix it?
by BigDaddy on Wed 15th Jul 2009 04:40 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Why not fix it?"
BigDaddy Member since:
2006-08-10

This is where the "Always ask" option in Firefox comes in handy ... as it will popup a dialog asking you what to do with a download. Want to save it to disk? Check that box. Want to open it with an app? Select the app from the list.


Perhaps I did not make myself clear. I do not have a drop down list of applications, it just doesn't recognize the file format. Be it .torrent or .jpg.

That is not the distro fault as I installed firefox. Regardless of the reason, if I didn't know where the program itself was, I would be screwed.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Why not fix it?
by testman on Wed 15th Jul 2009 12:26 UTC in reply to "Why not fix it?"
testman Member since:
2007-10-15

2- This magic will cost me lost of cpu cycles and memory, and I think we have better things to do with it.

Most people with reasonably modern computers should have cycles aplenty for such a task. What could you possibly need every last cycle for on a Desktop PC? Do you fold protein structures on your time off?

Can't understand the concepts of directory and files? Then just don't use a computer at all my friend...

Don't be ridiculous.

On my Windows Vista machine, folder layout is essentially meaningless for the most part. When I want to access a document I have written earlier, I simply enter it into the search bar. Windows 7 even groups these into logical folders, regardless of where they are on your system. I understand that the Mac features something similar.

Don't understand the concept of Kernels and Userland? Then just don't use a computer at all "my friend…"

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Why not fix it?
by stanbr on Thu 16th Jul 2009 18:39 UTC in reply to "RE: Why not fix it?"
stanbr Member since:
2009-05-22

Most people with reasonably modern computers should have cycles aplenty for such a task.


I want my hardware to not be obsolete in 2 years. I dont want stupid coolers that makes loud noise and break all the time. I want my programs to open in less time as possible.

I DONT want more useless crap running in background.

simply enter it into the search bar


Your computer probably is a big mess.. you must be the kind of user that format and re-install the system every 6 months.

Don't understand the concept of Kernels and Userland? Then just don't use a computer at all "my friend…"


Since when your search bar is kernel-side?..

Reply Score: 1

Dasher42
Member since:
2007-04-05

Sorry, this is completely subjective, but this touches something that really bothers me. The main reason I use Gnome is that its applications usually follow the Gnome HIG and tend to let you get things done without an unnecessary number of clicks. That's not something you can accomplish with a light window manager or a KDE theme. It takes an attention to UI detail usually reserved for the Mac. That's what I find special to Gnome, not the ABI, not Vala, not Mono or the lack of it, and certainly not licensing issues that are a thing of a past. C++ is more stable.

There's a feature I'd like for GTK 3.0 I'd like to see: being Qt 4.x. There are C and .NET/Mono bindings for Qt, no? If you're going to break the GTK ABI, you can think laterally, right? You can do the Gnome look and feel with a different toolkit, right? Do you have to have old GTK for Gnome's look and feel? Is it just me, or are the reasons for a lot of the technology divide a thing of the past? The user experience and the licensing are what matter most, right? The recent comments out of Google about the experience of making the Linux port of Chrome with GTK has me thinking that this kind of rethink is needed.

Why, if they're going to keep fracturing the technology base just because they can, why, I might as well just grab an Etoile CD and switch to GNUStep out of grumpiness. Now there's a project with a real reasons driving its technology choices.

Just saying. The sad part is, this topic is actually worth bothering with a flamewar for some people. Oy, I hope not. If there's some essential reason why a whole new GTK and Gnomar are necessary with Qt's licensing and bindings in their current state, that's no problem. I just can't think of them.

Edited 2009-07-14 10:33 UTC

Reply Score: 3

vivainio Member since:
2008-12-26

There's a feature I'd like for GTK 3.0 I'd like to see: being Qt 4.x.


Ditto. But this is not an "old and tired" discussion - it's a discussion that the persons involved never had.

Everyone has a say on Mono, but the surefire way of silencing a room full of Gnome developers is to bring up Qt.

BTW, Qt doesn't have stable/supported C bindings, but those are not needed anyway; You can still code most of your stuff in C if you want.

Reply Score: 2

kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

There's a feature I'd like for GTK 3.0 I'd like to see: being Qt 4.x.

Ditto. But this is not an "old and tired" discussion - it's a discussion that the persons involved never had.

Everyone has a say on Mono, but the surefire way of silencing a room full of Gnome developers is to bring up Qt.

BTW, Qt doesn't have stable/supported C bindings, but those are not needed anyway; You can still code most of your stuff in C if you want.


Moving to Qt would make sense given that there are only a small number of active developers contributing to GTK versus Qt which has a large company behind it with full time developers. With that being said, however, if GNOME were to adopt Qt, then why not just throw out the whole project and merge with KDE? at the end of the day, if you are going to move from GTK+ to Qt, pretty much your code will be thrown out and requiring massive re-writes.

I don't see it happening, however, even though it would consolidate the development effort under one large umbrella project focused at the desktop - there are far too many ego's at play with each adament that GNOME is the way to go even though GTK+ is pretty much a zombie development project with barely any contributions to it (with a tonne of out standing bugs yet to be fixed including the shocking performance issues).

Edited 2009-07-14 12:05 UTC

Reply Score: 2

darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

There are more issues involved than simply egos. One major issue being accessibility, something GNOME at least is very committed to. QT4 has very little support for the features needed and, even what support it does have was implemented in such a way that the current AT technologies are unable to interface to it (way to go, Trolltech on that one). With GTK, the GNOME team can make sure everything works the way they need it to, leading into the next issue at hand. GTK and GNOME are very closely linked, for all intents and purposes they might as well be considered one huge umbrella project. GTK can be made to fit the needs of GNOME with very little effort, as the GNOME team and GTK team work very closely together. The same cannot be said of KDE and QT, while KDE is written with QT the KDE people have very little say on where QT will go in the future. The tight link between GTK and GNOME is beneficial for both, and they would sacrifice a lot of that certainty by switching to QT. That's a big reason why they won't do it, it's not just some egos holding off such a thing. There are good and logical reasons for it, not that most QT fans would like anyone to know this of course...

Reply Score: 1

kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

There are more issues involved than simply egos. One major issue being accessibility, something GNOME at least is very committed to. QT4 has very little support for the features needed and, even what support it does have was implemented in such a way that the current AT technologies are unable to interface to it (way to go, Trolltech on that one). With GTK, the GNOME team can make sure everything works the way they need it to, leading into the next issue at hand. GTK and GNOME are very closely linked, for all intents and purposes they might as well be considered one huge umbrella project. GTK can be made to fit the needs of GNOME with very little effort, as the GNOME team and GTK team work very closely together. The same cannot be said of KDE and QT, while KDE is written with QT the KDE people have very little say on where QT will go in the future. The tight link between GTK and GNOME is beneficial for both, and they would sacrifice a lot of that certainty by switching to QT. That's a big reason why they won't do it, it's not just some egos holding off such a thing. There are good and logical reasons for it, not that most QT fans would like anyone to know this of course...


That is all very nice but the reality is that GTK is a dead man walking; zero improvements of a sizeable nature to correcting the issues which end users have been whining about since God was a teenager. It has been over how many years and I am still hear complaints about performance. Then there is the bugginess; how many full time programmers are actually dedicated to fixing these issues up? then there is the low quality of the win32 port of it to ween people off proprietary applications on Windows in favour of FOSS alternative, the C++ bindings that aren't up to scratch (based on feeback from C++ programmers), the Mac OS X port is missing in action. It just keeps going from bad to worse.

Then we have the GNOME desktop, good lord; saddled with the same crap from Mozilla that keeps sucking up the memory and pulling down an otherwise stable desktop environment - and when someone proposes Webkit to replace Mozilla core, there is pussy footing around by the leaders within the GNOME steering committee! oh, but it just keeps getting better - then there is the over reliance on HAL which is the quintessential example of bad design, then there is the over integration of GNOME with Linux which makes portability to non-Linux platforms hell on earth (ask any SUN or *BSD maintainer).

Just when you think things couldn't possibly get even roser, you then have vendors and distributions where all you hear is this giant sucking sound of a one way transaction; where there is a whole lot of bundling but very little contribution back to GNOME to make substantial contributions beyond merely submitting bug fixes - if they had made some contributions then the issues in paragraph 2 would exist.

It stands to reason, therefore, that GNOME is in a tricky situation and none of the distributors are making sizeable investments in raising the bar for the end user experience. None of them are willing to face the cold hard reality that when compared to Mac OS X and Windows, GNOME is sorely lacking in not only development itself but third party commercial developers creating the sorts of applications that end users want to buy from big box retailers. They want dinky card making applications, they want movie makers, photo tweakers, a Photoshop Elements clone instead of the usability abortion that is GIMP (and its cadre of arrogant developers).

The issues with GNOME go well beyond just the immediate development effort - and mark my words we'll be having the same conversation in 5 years time well after 3.0 has been released; fingers will be pointed in every direction for the failure of Linux to take off on the mainstream desktop because a failure to take ownership of the problems that exist on the platform for users and developers outside the 'fold'.

Reply Score: 2

phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

The same cannot be said of KDE and QT, while KDE is written with QT the KDE people have very little say on where QT will go in the future.


Just to clarify, the KDE devs do have a say in where QT goes in the future. Quite a bit of tech from KDE gets merged into QT. Where do you think the multimedia layer in QT 4.x came from? Hint: search for phonon. There's also been a lot of canvas work and graphics work that originated in KDE that got merged into QT. Just read some of the QT dev blogs to see more.

QT/KDE development is not as one-way as you seem to think it is.

Reply Score: 2

Dasher42 Member since:
2007-04-05

Well, that's an interesting reason to be sure. I have to wonder if an answer to this could be a C wrapper around the Qt toolkit to suit their purposes. They don't even have to use the latest Qt; they can carefully move along with their own supported release. Qt is GPL. They can even fork it a little. Are there platforms important to Gnome that don't have solid C++ compilers? I can't think of any.

I have every confidence that KDE and Gnome have enough difference of design goals that they could share technology and remain distinct. I think that the actual developers of these projects are pragmatic enough to think about this.

A Gnome-specific version or fork sounds reasonable. Sounds like this is a social engineering problem at this point.

Reply Score: 1

Darkmage Member since:
2006-10-20

You won't get gtk devs to give up their toolkit, too much work to port the apps over. They'd rather just have an evolutionary change with a couple of functions being made obsolete here and there. Some of us open source devs aren't writing code to be trapped into constantly updating it all the time...

Reply Score: 2

vivainio Member since:
2008-12-26

You won't get gtk devs to give up their toolkit, too much work to port the apps over. They'd rather just have an evolutionary change with a couple of functions being made obsolete here and there. Some of us open source devs aren't writing code to be trapped into constantly updating it all the time...


It wouldn't be at all about updating the old apps to use a new tookit - but instead, using a new toolkit to write new apps.

Reply Score: 2

YEPHENAS Member since:
2008-07-14

That's what I find special to Gnome, not the ABI, not Vala, not Mono or the lack of it, and certainly not licensing issues that are a thing of a past. C++ is more stable.


There are nice GTK+/C++ bindings.
http://www.gtkmm.org/docs/gtkmm-2.4/docs/tutorial/html/index.html

Basing the toolkit on C++ instead of C would make it less bindable, and C++ is a wreck of a programming language.

There's a feature I'd like for GTK 3.0 I'd like to see: being Qt 4.x. There are C and .NET/Mono bindings for Qt, no?


No, there are no C bindings for Qt.

Reply Score: 0

Why change everything?
by spinnekopje on Wed 15th Jul 2009 07:15 UTC
spinnekopje
Member since:
2008-11-29

I understand the inner works of an os/programs change. Those things should be optimised.

Why should gnome change completely? Sure, I would like split view in nautilus, but I'm quite happy how everything works now in ubuntu. Although I must admit I switched back to the notification icon for updates and removed a stupid envelope that was there after updating and for which I still haven't found a good reason.

I really don't like all those fancy menu structures which take too much time to find the programs I need.
I also don't like programs to help you structure your documents, that's like hiring a person to get his/her structure in your house.

It is ok that a lot of people want something fancy and new, but at least give users the option to stay up to date without all those unnecessary features and keep it stupid simple.

Reply Score: 1

Windows Stock...
by Jason Bourne on Wed 15th Jul 2009 15:58 UTC
Jason Bourne
Member since:
2007-06-02

What I meant was that the file manager that I got used to was the one like in Windows 3.11 for workgroups. Later than that, Windows 95/98 came and its stock mode was "spatial view" (Hey Nautilus team, you really wanted to copy them, didn't you?) There has been an option for all Windows from 95 to XP to enable that "Classic View", which is what I have been using all the way because it simply gives much more control. The dumb users will not care and always live with the one pane/icons option. But as long as the user is a bit more intelligent he will soon find out the classic view will give much power and control and switch to it.

There is nothing wrong in copying Windows good things, but it's a sick disease to see developers copying the bad things from Windows (the KDE4 menu mess as an example). I think it's time Linux deserved a standard and slick desktop once for all. (Hello Google!)

Reply Score: 1

RE: Windows Stock...
by phoenix on Wed 15th Jul 2009 21:02 UTC in reply to "Windows Stock..."
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

What I meant was that the file manager that I got used to was the one like in Windows 3.11 for workgroups. Later than that, Windows 95/98 came and its stock mode was "spatial view"


Not quite.

Windows Explorer has two modes, neither of which is "default": explore and "open" (for lack of a better name -- or is this what people call "spatial"?).

When you double-click on My Computer or folder icons on the desktop, Windows Explorer opens a single window showing a single directory (the "open" mode). You need to use copy/paste a lot to do anything with this, or else open multiple windows to multiple directories. Royal pain to use, IMO.

When you click the Windows Explorer link in the Start menu, then it opens in explore mode, with the folder list down the left and the contents of the selected folder on the right.

When you right-click on a folder icon, you get both choices in the context menu (Explore/Open). It's all the same executable/application. It's very easy to use drag'n drop here for file management.

Later versions of Windows Explorer (I know it's in Windows XP, don't know when exactly it was added, though) added a button to the toolbar (Folders) to toggle the directory tree pane, thus merging the two modes into one.

Then another button was added (Search), combining the separate search app into Windows Explorer.

There has been an option for all Windows from 95 to XP to enable that "Classic View", which is what I have been using all the way because it simply gives much more control.


Classic View is something else entirely, and has nothing to do with the two modes that Windows Explorer works in.

Classic view turns off the HTML backgrounds in folders, gets rid of the left-hand context/help/shortcuts pane, and puts the Control Panel back into icon mode. This has nothing to do with the explore/open modes, as you can still click the Folders button in the toolbar to switch between them, regardless of whether or not Classic View is enabled or not.

There is nothing wrong in copying Windows good things, but it's a sick disease to see developers copying the bad things from Windows (the KDE4 menu mess as an example).


Personally, I prefer the Lancelot menu over the stock KDE4 menu. At least there's still the option of using the old menu style as well (just right-click on the K to configure it).

However, krunner (the "run" command box) is so powerful that I rarely, if ever, use the menu. It's so much simpler to just press Win+r (the default is ALT+F2, but Win+r is easier to type so I always change it) and start typing the name of the app or document I want, then tab/enter or click on the icon that represents what I want to load. I can honestly count on 1 hand the number of times i use the apps menu each day in KDE4. You can configure which data sources krunner queries, making it even nicer to work with.

I think it's time Linux deserved a standard and slick desktop once for all. (Hello Google!)


IMO, we've had that for several years now with KDE. ;)

Edited 2009-07-15 21:05 UTC

Reply Score: 2

zaine_ridling
Member since:
2007-05-13

I love Shuttleworth, but last year he said that the Linux UI could be better than Mac's in about 7 months. Too bad the interviewer didn't quote him verbatim on that promise, but only mentioned it, to which Shuttleworth said, "We're doing exciting things, but we can't show you any."

Not that it matters; I'm quite happy with KDE 4.x.

Reply Score: 1

Comment by Jason Bourne
by Jason Bourne on Wed 15th Jul 2009 23:37 UTC
Jason Bourne
Member since:
2007-06-02

[quote]IMO, we've had that for several years now with KDE.[/quote]

I think you meant KDE 3, right? Because I don't see KDE4 nowhere near dominant on the desktop field among distros and among Linux users.

Reply Score: 1