Linked by the_randymon on Thu 17th Jan 2013 22:19 UTC
Fedora Core "Linux fans hope that the interface changes in Windows 8 will drive more users to Linux. But the open source operating system is facing interface challenges of its own. Part of the problem is that - after so much controversy within the Linux community - there are so many interfaces to chose from. But the new version of Fedora - a desktop focused version of Red Hat’s distribution of Linux - is offering users an easier way to choose between the many flavors of Linux GUI."
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Depends
by WorknMan on Thu 17th Jan 2013 22:46 UTC
WorknMan
Member since:
2005-11-13

As a self-proclaimed power user, I don't think it matters how many GUIs you have to choose from, especially if they're not all compatible with each other.

What matters more to me personally is how well apps run across all of them. For example, I don't like the idea of certain apps running/integrating better in some desktop environments and not others.

If people really want Linux to gain any kind of traction on the desktop, that shit better be tight and run flawlessly, no matter what DE I'm running. For example, if I'm running a KDE/QT based app and copy an image to the clipboard, will I then be able to paste it into a Gnome/GTK-based app, under any desktop environment I have to choose from?

Note that this question isn't rhetorical... I have no idea if this would work or not. But if the answer is that it wouldn't work, and these desktop environments/frameworks are just 'islands' that are completely separate from each other, then Linux on the desktop will be as irrelevant 20 years from now as it is today, until/unless this changes.

Edited 2013-01-17 22:54 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE: Depends
by ssokolow on Thu 17th Jan 2013 23:59 UTC in reply to "Depends"
ssokolow Member since:
2010-01-21

As a self-proclaimed power user, I don't think it matters how many GUIs you have to choose from, especially if they're not all compatible with each other.

What matters more to me personally is how well apps run across all of them. For example, I don't like the idea of certain apps running/integrating better in some desktop environments and not others.

If people really want Linux to gain any kind of traction on the desktop, that shit better be tight and run flawlessly, no matter what DE I'm running. For example, if I'm running a KDE/QT based app and copy an image to the clipboard, will I then be able to paste it into a Gnome/GTK-based app, under any desktop environment I have to choose from?

Note that this question isn't rhetorical... I have no idea if this would work or not. But if the answer is that it wouldn't work, and these desktop environments/frameworks are just 'islands' that are completely separate from each other, then Linux on the desktop will be as irrelevant 20 years from now as it is today, until/unless this changes.


Agreed. Things like the XDG Desktop Entry Specification (.desktop files), MPRIS, and managing to get KDE 4 and GNOME to agree on D-Bus really epitomize the progress Linux desktops have made toward greatness.

The problem is, every now and then, I hear rumblings from one (or more) guy(s) in the GNOME project who seem to think "you're either a GNOME app or you're not" is a winning stance to take to build a popular brand, rather than a sure-fire path to killing Linux's secret sauce.

It's actually the main reason I try to minimize my use of GNOME and KDE apps in my LXDE desktop (performance aside).

They often use theming tweaks or animations or custom widgetry or behavioural tweaks that only feel native in their home desktop, even after you've done your best to make them fit in... or they're just so poorly tested outside their home desktops that they have deal-breaking bugs.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Depends
by WorknMan on Fri 18th Jan 2013 02:54 UTC in reply to "RE: Depends"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

The problem is, every now and then, I hear rumblings from one (or more) guy(s) in the GNOME project who seem to think "you're either a GNOME app or you're not" is a winning stance to take to build a popular brand


That might actually work, but not for Linux as a whole. If they're going to go that route, they should build an entire OS around it (even if it's Linux as the foundation), so that that tight integration exist through the entire operating system, not just the desktop environment. Something like a 'Gnome OS', I guess.

Edited 2013-01-18 02:55 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Depends
by the_randymon on Fri 18th Jan 2013 09:16 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Depends"
the_randymon Member since:
2005-07-06

If they're going to go that route, they should build an entire OS around it (even if it's Linux as the foundation), so that that tight integration exist through the entire operating system, not just the desktop environment. Something like a 'Gnome OS', I guess.



Yikes. Don't give those guys any ideas. They're already feeling somewhat messianic with their desktop-which-is-no-longer-a-desk. I'd hate to see them try to create GnomeOS and I'm not feeling too bullish on FirefoxOS either, for the same reason.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Depends
by cyrilleberger on Fri 18th Jan 2013 08:58 UTC in reply to "Depends"
cyrilleberger Member since:
2006-02-01

Note that this question isn't rhetorical... I have no idea if this would work or not. But if the answer is that it wouldn't work, and these desktop environments/frameworks are just 'islands' that are completely separate from each other, then Linux on the desktop will be as irrelevant 20 years from now as it is today, until/unless this changes.


Copy/paste, between applications using different toolkits, has been working for at least twenty years. I know GTK and Qt barely existed twenty years ago, but the clipboard protocol predate them.

Any other "missing" features ?

Reply Score: 2

...
by Hiev on Thu 17th Jan 2013 23:28 UTC
Hiev
Member since:
2005-09-27

All I need is a console, vim and firefox, I don't care about the rest.

Reply Score: 4

RE: ...
by Radio on Fri 18th Jan 2013 07:18 UTC in reply to "..."
Radio Member since:
2009-06-20

All I need are the beeps from my motherboard.

Reply Score: 6

RE: ...
by CavemanGR on Fri 18th Jan 2013 21:21 UTC in reply to "..."
CavemanGR Member since:
2011-08-11

All you need is a console, vim and firefox???
What exactly are you going to cook with those 3???

Ok, you asked for it, so here you go:
http://i46.tinypic.com/dnzjmf.jpg

Edited 2013-01-18 21:22 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Comment by UltraZelda64
by UltraZelda64 on Thu 17th Jan 2013 23:42 UTC
UltraZelda64
Member since:
2006-12-05

Linux fans hope that the interface changes in Windows 8 will drive more users to Linux.

Couldn't care less myself, honestly. I'm more concerned with keeping the freedom to install whatever operating system I want, without things like "Trusted Computing" and "Secure Boot" getting in my way. And without having to--directly or indirectly--pay some third-party mega corporation like Microsoft just for the privilege, while still getting anything less than full access to a machine I just bought.

Edited 2013-01-17 23:55 UTC

Reply Score: 13

RE: Comment by UltraZelda64
by Valhalla on Fri 18th Jan 2013 01:50 UTC in reply to "Comment by UltraZelda64"
Valhalla Member since:
2006-01-24

Agreed, although I don't mind if Linux gets more popular, I sure as hell don't want it adhering a one-size-fits-all solution. There are other systems for that, what defines the Linux or rather *nix ecosystem for me is choice, as you said, total user control.

The large amount of WM's, DE's etc available to try allows to find the solution that works just right for you rather than settling with someone else's decision of what you should use.

And if you really don't want to have to make that choice then there are disctributions that will cater for you aswell, but it's something you choose rather than it being the only option available.

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: Comment by UltraZelda64
by UltraZelda64 on Fri 18th Jan 2013 02:37 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by UltraZelda64"
UltraZelda64 Member since:
2006-12-05

And if you really don't want to have to make that choice then there are disctributions that will cater for you aswell, but it's something you choose rather than it being the only option available.

Very well said. The options are already all there, someone interested just has to look! And not very hard either... the prominent Linux distributions tend to be of the "one-size-fits-all" type that the majority of people would find themselves more at home on right from the start.

But absolutely no alternative operating systems will matter when you have to rely on a corporation to bless each and every one of them for you just to be able to use them on your own machine. Never mind the crippling that will happen when a kernel needs to be signed by *their* signatures for any hope of running.

Reply Score: 3

Rant kind of pointless
by cmost on Fri 18th Jan 2013 00:12 UTC
cmost
Member since:
2006-07-16

The article seems to imply that having choice in Linux is a bad thing. I couldn't disagree more. I think it's great that multiple DEs exist and I don't even care that Cinnamon has forked from Gnome 3.x, or that MATE has forked from the reliable Gnome 2.x, etc. All I care about is that MY desktop choice (KDE) works well and allows me to be productive. That it does with aplomb. While ordinary computer users might want a unified desktop experience such as Mac OS-X or hand-holding while they figure out how to use their OS, I personally can figure out how to make things work my way myself. Windows limits that choice IMHO; Linux does not. To each his own. Long live Linux and long live the freedom to choose!

Edited 2013-01-18 00:16 UTC

Reply Score: 10

RE: Rant kind of pointless
by WorknMan on Fri 18th Jan 2013 03:06 UTC in reply to "Rant kind of pointless"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

The article seems to imply that having choice in Linux is a bad thing. I couldn't disagree more. I think it's great that multiple DEs exist and I don't even care that Cinnamon has forked from Gnome 3.x, or that MATE has forked from the reliable Gnome 2.x, etc. All I care about is that MY desktop choice (KDE) works well and allows me to be productive. That it does with aplomb.


It's not really the choice of desktop environments that is the problem. For you, you're happy with KDE because it works well. But what if one day you decided to switch to Gnome, XDE, or something else. Will all those aps that you use that have been optimized to run well under KDE work as well under a different desktop environment? In Android land, we call this kind of thing fragmentation, and it ain't good. It's not so bad with different manufacturers skinning the OS, because you can run almost all apps without any modifications, recompiling, or jumping through hoops. But when you have companies like Amazon forking the hell out of it, it's probably good for Amazon, but bad for Android as a whole.

And why do you even have to have multiple desktop environments to give people choice? Couldn't you just have ONE that was flexible enough so you could customize the shit out of it, and modular enough so it wouldn't slow down for peiple that like a minimal setup? Even if there were distros shipping 40 variations of that DE, it wouldn't matter because apps would work the same under ALL of them.

In other words, my point is that it doesn't really matter how many choices you have - the critical thing is that all of those choices need to work and blend in together seamlessly under one environment.

Edited 2013-01-18 03:09 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Rant kind of pointless
by TechGeek on Fri 18th Jan 2013 04:52 UTC in reply to "RE: Rant kind of pointless"
TechGeek Member since:
2006-01-14


And why do you even have to have multiple desktop environments to give people choice? Couldn't you just have ONE that was flexible enough so you could customize the shit out of it, and modular enough so it wouldn't slow down for peiple that like a minimal setup? Even if there were distros shipping 40 variations of that DE, it wouldn't matter because apps would work the same under ALL of them.

In other words, my point is that it doesn't really matter how many choices you have - the critical thing is that all of those choices need to work and blend in together seamlessly under one environment.


I personally think you are right, but the Gnome project doesn't from what I have read. The problem is that they want the world to know you are running Gnome when they see your desktop. So any move to change it from what they deem fit is met with disdain. Hence the black bar at the top that is mostly wasted space that they really won't let you change. They seem to forget that at the end of the day, its "my" damn desktop and I will do what I want with it.

Edited 2013-01-18 04:53 UTC

Reply Score: 8

RE[2]: Rant kind of pointless
by tupp on Fri 18th Jan 2013 09:24 UTC in reply to "RE: Rant kind of pointless"
tupp Member since:
2006-11-12

It's not really the choice of desktop environments that is the problem. For you, you're happy with KDE because it works well. But what if one day you decided to switch to Gnome, XDE, or something else. Will all those aps that you use that have been optimized to run well under KDE work as well under a different desktop environment?

Huh?

Will all of your apps optimized for the Mac run well when you decide to switch to Windows (or vice versa)? Certainly, some won't run at all in your new platform.

However, with Linux, at least all the apps run fine along side other DE/WMs, with, perhaps, contrasting "styling."


In Android land, we call this kind of thing fragmentation, and it ain't good. It's not so bad with different manufacturers skinning the OS, because you can run almost all apps without any modifications, recompiling, or jumping through hoops. But when you have companies like Amazon forking the hell out of it, it's probably good for Amazon, but bad for Android as a whole.

Not sure to what you refer, but differences in styling/themes from one Linux DE/WM to another are not the end of the world.

Even frail "first worlders" can navigate between Gnome, KDE, Motif apps etc, without any difficulty.


And why do you even have to have multiple desktop environments to give people choice? Couldn't you just have ONE that was flexible enough so you could customize the shit out of it, and modular enough so it wouldn't slow down for peiple that like a minimal setup?

There are several Linux/Unix DEs/WMs that are flexible/customizable as you describe, so the user merely has to pick one.

No one owns the Linux "desktop" (thankfully). Anyone is free to make a new, improved DE/WM as they see fit. Of course, end users don't even have to consider using such a new DE/WM -- each one can keep using the DE/WM with which one is familiar.


In other words, my point is that it doesn't really matter how many choices you have - the critical thing is that all of those choices need to work and blend in together seamlessly under one environment.

Never had any problems switching between apps geared for a variety of different DEs/WMs.

Furthermore, most of the programs that I use are DE independent/agnostic.

Edited 2013-01-18 09:25 UTC

Reply Score: 5

RE: Rant kind of pointless
by moondevil on Fri 18th Jan 2013 06:50 UTC in reply to "Rant kind of pointless"
moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

Kids, remember the UNIX wars.

Linux distributions are going down the same path.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Rant kind of pointless
by Sodki on Fri 18th Jan 2013 07:45 UTC in reply to "RE: Rant kind of pointless"
Sodki Member since:
2005-11-10

Kids, remember the UNIX wars.

Linux distributions are going down the same path.


I don't think so. In the UNIX wars everything was proprietary and kind of locked down. In the GNU/Linux world of today (almost) everything is open and distros (mostly) use the same exact parts, only put together in a different way.

Case in pont: the MATE desktop. Forked by Mint developers, is now available on a multitude of other distros. No war involved.

IMHO, the reason why MATE is available on Fedora is RHEL 7, which will be based on Fedora 18. This way RHEL gets to maintain the same look as RHEL 6. It's as simple as that.

Reply Score: 8

RE[3]: Rant kind of pointless
by moondevil on Fri 18th Jan 2013 10:39 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Rant kind of pointless"
moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

This does not matter for business.

The changes between distributions at the UI, code level, distribution formats, directory structure are forcing business to marry with a certain distribution.

This makes the process no different from the old days when we were evaluating HP-UX, DG/UX, Aix, Xenix, Solaris, ...

As for the open source part, the only thing most companies I work with care about, it that is means free as in "no need to pay".

The only ones that saw a value on it, was for creating an company internal distribution.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Rant kind of pointless
by TechGeek on Fri 18th Jan 2013 17:59 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Rant kind of pointless"
TechGeek Member since:
2006-01-14

Actually I think the same things about cinnamon. Allows them to use the latest technology, but looks a lot closer to the older Gnome interface than Gnome 3 stock. Maybe they are pairing them up to see which is used more.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Rant kind of pointless
by UltraZelda64 on Fri 18th Jan 2013 07:48 UTC in reply to "RE: Rant kind of pointless"
UltraZelda64 Member since:
2006-12-05

So? Just choose the one you like and stick with it. No need to worry about what you don't even use.

There are two pointless grades of gasoline at every gas station, and one other one that I actually use... big deal, just get the one your car needs. There are several watered-down, reduced-fat variants of milk... I just get whole milk, act as if the rest don't even exist. Simple. The others don't affect you, so why complain about their existence?

Edited 2013-01-18 07:56 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Rant kind of pointless
by moondevil on Fri 18th Jan 2013 10:33 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Rant kind of pointless"
moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

So? Just choose the one you like and stick with it. No need to worry about what you don't even use.

There are two pointless grades of gasoline at every gas station, and one other one that I actually use... big deal, just get the one your car needs. There are several watered-down, reduced-fat variants of milk... I just get whole milk, act as if the rest don't even exist. Simple. The others don't affect you, so why complain about their existence?


Because food products are not the same as developing software for specific operating systems, each with its own away of doing things.

Choosing to invest in Red-Hat vs Ubuntu vs whatever Linux is starting to look to the same process as HP-UX vs Aix vs Solaris ....

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Rant kind of pointless
by UltraZelda64 on Fri 18th Jan 2013 19:33 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Rant kind of pointless"
UltraZelda64 Member since:
2006-12-05

Invest? You talk as if you can't just install a distribution on one (/) partition, /home on another... and then if you decide to change just blow away the old OS with no trouble, keeping all of your files. All in probably a half-hour or less.

There is absolutely nothing in one Linux distribution blocking you from switching to another. Nothing is locking you in. You are just as free to leave as you were to come in the first place.

And actually...

"Because food products are not the same as developing software for specific operating systems, each with its own away of doing things."

Check some recipes. They often make it very clear on what ingredients you need and things like cooking times and cooking methods. Often to a very specific type (red onion, whole milk, mozzarella cheese, French bread)... don't follow the directions properly, and who knows how a recipe would turn out. Only one thing is guaranteed: not as intended.

Edited 2013-01-18 19:45 UTC

Reply Score: 2

too many choices complicates support
by matthekc on Fri 18th Jan 2013 02:30 UTC
matthekc
Member since:
2006-10-28

If you are supporting friends, some of whom you did not choose the distro or desktop environment then the additional options makes supporting people harder... true story.

Reply Score: 2

UltraZelda64 Member since:
2006-12-05

Are you their paid tech support or something?

Reply Score: 1

r_a_trip Member since:
2005-07-06

Easily sidestepped. You want me to support you? You run what I put on your machine. That is what I run myself, so I can answer questions. (I run Mint, so newbies won't go apesh*t over their setup and I have what I need a few terminals away.)

You are able to change your Desktop Environment or even the distro itself? You don't really need my support. You can still ask me questions and I trust you can approach your system abstract enough to translate my suggestions into steps for your particular setup.

Reply Score: 7

UltraZelda64 Member since:
2006-12-05

You are able to change your Desktop Environment or even the distro itself? You don't really need my support. You can still ask me questions and I trust you can approach your system abstract enough to translate my suggestions into steps for your particular setup.

I was also thinking something along those lines. If someone knows enough to actively choose their own OS/Linux distro, then surely they don't need too much hand holding... at least, I would think. Many of the basics are shared between distros, and as you said, conversions of the basic instructions should not be too difficult... especially for someone capable of personally choosing what operating system they run.

If the "support" guy has trouble helping with someone else's OS, then maybe that person needs to go to someone else for help, or the support guy needs to start limiting what systems and topics he's going to help with. Or the support guy could charge for the extra trouble with helping, and just deal with the fact that no two operating systems are the same.

Edited 2013-01-18 09:18 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Is this news?
by IndigoJo on Fri 18th Jan 2013 08:58 UTC
IndigoJo
Member since:
2005-07-06

A distro allows you to choose which GUI you install, when you install the OS ... that's news? Fedora has always been like that, as has SUSE and Mandriva or whatever it's called now. That was the standard before one-desktop live CDs became popular with Ubuntu. Fedora and SUSE also offer the live CDs and, I imagine, most people will be downloading those as they are a quarter of the size of the DVD image, or less.

And the article is riddled with inaccuracies. Fedora is not a desktop-focussed version of Red Hat; it's a test-bed for Red Hat.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Is this news?
by the_randymon on Fri 18th Jan 2013 09:19 UTC in reply to "Is this news?"
the_randymon Member since:
2005-07-06

Agreed. I'm the one who submitted the article. It's pretty wimpy in facts, and gets a few of its facts wrong. But I thought it would lead to an interesting discussion, which, so far, it has in fact done.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Is this news?
by PieterGen on Mon 21st Jan 2013 15:22 UTC in reply to "Is this news?"
PieterGen Member since:
2012-01-13

Freedom to choose the desktop you like is (part of) what makes Linux, ain't it? Linux (allright, allright, GNU/Linux) is a Lego-like system where the user mixes and matches too get the operating system he likes.

BTW, what the **** are those Gnome doing? The reluctance of users is not just "conservatism", which is essentially what they say. I myself am a 'power user' whatever that means ;-) Anyway, I work or have worked happily with i3WM, OpenBox with Tint2 panel, XFCE, LXDE, Gnome2, MATE, Cinnamon, AwesomeWM, Android "stock", Android "TouchWiz", WindowsXP, iOS. All of these are passable to good. Even Unity in its present form is OK.

But Gnome3 is "an unholy mess". Yes, bad UI does exist. Unity (first generation), Win8 and Gnome3 are just bad. Of course you can get used to it. You also can get used to crazy regimes, like in North Korea. But "getting used to it" that doesn't make it good.

Reply Score: 1

WOW
by stabbyjones on Fri 18th Jan 2013 11:36 UTC
stabbyjones
Member since:
2008-04-15

just like every other distro!

Reply Score: 3

rklrkl
Member since:
2005-07-06

The linked-to article claims that you can pick from several desktop environments including MATE and Cinammon, but when I installed F18 in a VM recently, it does *not* offer those in the dismally revamped Anaconda installer.

Instead, you have to dig up a terminal, then yum groupinstall "MATE Desktop" (like people are going to know that's the command!), reboot and then select MATE desktop from the pre-login. Hardly an easy way to get it on your system and it's equally as tough for Cinnamon (which isn't even officially supported by Fedora apparently!).

Got to say that F18's GNOME 3 is as useless as ever and MATE, although trickier to install than it should be, is a much better experience, IMHO.

Reply Score: 2

RHEL 7
by Jason Bourne on Sat 19th Jan 2013 21:58 UTC
Jason Bourne
Member since:
2007-06-02

With RHEL 6 series, we have good old GNOME 2 stable enough, with the ability to run compiz quite without any issues.

I was trying F18 and I can tell it for sure that everything that is going on right now is going to cause a huge impact on Red Hat. Not that you actually need a GUI to run RHEL, but the new installer is a complete mess and they seem to have no clue or leadership capable of taking ONE right direction, such as develop a fork of GNOME 3 to mimic exactly all the goodies of GNOME 2. Eveything in Fedora feels messy, like a siamese twins each one going in different directions.

Canonical paid the price doing some real stupid decisions about Unity, but they had the balls to stick to their own interface-plugin, more like the corporative decision - it can be good or bad, depending on the choice of the leader. But with Fedora is weird, is too much democracy for my taste.

Reply Score: 1

RE: RHEL 7
by zima on Thu 24th Jan 2013 19:26 UTC in reply to "RHEL 7"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Canonical paid the price doing some real stupid decisions about Unity

You know by now (from http://stats.wikimedia.org/archive/squid_reports/ ) that Ubuntu might even be the most healthy non-Android Linux...

Reply Score: 2