Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 27th Mar 2014 00:00 UTC

Major new features for this release include a significant update to the experience for finding and installing applications, as well as major facelifts for the Videos and gedit applications. Those who have high resolution displays will benefit from greater support, and users will experience better start up times as well as more efficient resource usage. They will also be able to quickly organize their applications with the new application folders feature.

I remember a time when GNOME and KDE releases were big deals here. Feels like eons ago, a distant memory from an irrelevant past.

Order by: Score:
by WorknMan on Thu 27th Mar 2014 00:28 UTC
Member since:

I remember a time when GNOME and KDE releases were big deals here. Feels like eons ago, a distant memory from an irrelevant past.

Reminds me of MAME, the arcade emulator. A bunch of us used to hang out on IRC, eagerly awaiting the next release. Now nobody gives a crap ;)

Reply Score: 9

hopeful delusions
by mistersoft on Thu 27th Mar 2014 00:49 UTC
Member since:

a distant memory from an irrelevant past

Sounds like one half of and extinct relationship trying to rewrite the history of a once full and productive union.

I can't help but feel you've been fully seduced by the phone and mobile OS bubble. I use the word bubble as the current popularity of mobile reminds me of the 90s tech stock bubble - not so much via any intrinsic link - purely the similarity in the weight of expectations based largely on hope than on experience rather than hard numbers and facts.

I think people *want* mobile to become some sort of minority report level information interpreter and life advancement facilitator - jesus even samsung started calling the galaxy line, what was it a 'life companion'.? mmm.

desktop environments and traditional desktop windowing paradigms have *plenty* of advancement of their own left to do before the minority report, google glass, VR and AR, brain plugin systems gain any real relevance. I think there's a decade and maybe two of traditional desktop computing left - and that's just on the personal side. On the business side it's far longer

Reply Score: 14

RE: hopeful delusions
by Luminair on Thu 27th Mar 2014 15:49 UTC in reply to "hopeful delusions"
Luminair Member since:

maybe the "past" he's referring to is the one where people thought linux could beat windows on the desktop

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: hopeful delusions
by No it isnt on Thu 27th Mar 2014 17:05 UTC in reply to "RE: hopeful delusions"
No it isnt Member since:

I'm not convinced that past has ever existed. Year $CURRENT+1, the year of Linux on the desktop, has always been a joke.

But back when it started, Linux still suffered with Netscape on an IE internet. Office compatibility was years off. Choosing to run Linux had real, negative consequences, just like buying a Mac.

The situation is far better these days, which is probably why the joke has become so stale: Linux is already pretty mature as a desktop. The little tweaks don't matter as much, and the bigger issues (Wayland) will take several years to resolve. Maybe 2017 will be the year of Linux on the desktop.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: hopeful delusions
by cdude on Sun 30th Mar 2014 03:35 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: hopeful delusions"
cdude Member since:

Thing is the years of the desktop are gone and the new desktop, that is mobile, tablets and portable devices, *is* running Linux.

There you go. The Linux desktop happened, it won, it just didn't happen on the old, fat, power-hungry, noicy, expensive and non-portable home-mainframes. It happened on portable mass consumer devices while PC-workstations faded away from mass consumer market to a niche.

Today, present, much more devices running Linux are sold then ything else and its still growing like hell. What happened with Windows? It just became yet another mainframe-OS nobody of us is really using in the future.

And while some may still in denial even now, fact is things changed. Microsoft itself moved away from its Windows-island bringing Office to relevance again and that means to plaforms that are relevant what just isn't Windows any longer.

Edited 2014-03-30 03:45 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: hopeful delusions
by Soulbender on Thu 27th Mar 2014 17:48 UTC in reply to "RE: hopeful delusions"
Soulbender Member since:

Maybe the past is when Thom cared about other things than Windows Phone and Apple.

Reply Score: 6

by woegjiub on Thu 27th Mar 2014 02:00 UTC
Member since:

The new Gnome release is nice, but it doesn't change much.

The desktop is a mature platform, with its paradigms completely set, and uniform across all major DEs (windows/OSX/KDE/Gnome/XFCE etc.).
They all have pretty much the same interface, with pretty much the same software and pretty much the same amount of features.

Things like KDE's KF5 and PD2 are going to be incredible, but to the end user, it'll just mean more people working on applications (due to KF5's modularity), and a nicer theme.

These mature platforms don't really change much over the space of years, apart from having a few bugs fixed and some features that not everyone will use added; it's nothing game-changing or revolutionary like it used to be.
Perhaps that's good; I know we don't want a repeat of the KDE4 or Gnome3 launches.

Reply Score: 7

by k.g.stoyanov on Thu 27th Mar 2014 03:01 UTC
Member since:

every desktop environment, including gnome, kde, windows 6 7 8x, ios, Mios etc, needs to be simple. i just want to run my shit - my porn, my movies, my pictures, my music..i do not need any cool graphics, i do not care if it looks shiny - i am starting my computer and play my shit, everything else is in background. i want it to be fast. so this is why i left first kde, then gnome. lxde is close enough, but it still needs some efforts. i am stuck with xp and i am kind of happy..i just do not care about my desktop anymore.

Reply Score: 5

Comment by Drumhellar
by Drumhellar on Thu 27th Mar 2014 04:19 UTC
Member since:

I remember a time when GNOME and KDE releases were big deals here. Feels like eons ago, a distant memory from an irrelevant past.

Well, It's been a couple years since KDE4 or Gnome3 were released - it's been mostly incremental updates since then - nothing exactly groundbreaking.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Comment by Drumhellar
by hussam on Thu 27th Mar 2014 05:21 UTC in reply to "Comment by Drumhellar"
hussam Member since:

That's not entirely true in KDE's case. KDE4 started with (almost typed kwith) nepomuk built into kdelibs, created an extra nepomuk-core package (nepomuk2) and now added baloo as a replacement for both (nepomuk1 and 2 will be removed in KF5).
Many plasma applets were rewritten in QML during the kde4 releases.
We won't see any stability in KDE development till we hit KF5.

Edited 2014-03-27 05:21 UTC

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: Comment by Drumhellar
by Drumhellar on Thu 27th Mar 2014 08:23 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Drumhellar"
Drumhellar Member since:

Well, a lot of those are behind-the-scenes changes, and, sadly, not a lot of people get excited about behind-the-scene changes.

I do, but most people don't.

Reply Score: 3

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:

I do too. Not to rehash ancient history, but KDE 4 had some growing pains. Each release it gets more stable & faster ( for me, so far up until KDE platform 4.12 where I'm at now).

Same deal with Gnome3. I've actually switched to Gnome3 at home. It seems to be better by default for my home workflow. But at work, KDE can't be beat so far...

Plus there is the whole transition to wayland that will happen with in the next year or two. Will I notice a difference? I don't know exactly, but I think it will provide a foundation for future innovation that wouldn't have been as easy as with ye olden X11. I'm kind of excited to see where it goes.

I think phones are actually maturing faster. There is nothing on the horizon that looks like a game changer there, with the real change coming with wearables and chrome cast. I think.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Comment by Drumhellar
by Rehdon on Thu 27th Mar 2014 11:46 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Drumhellar"
Rehdon Member since:

What's KF5?

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Comment by Drumhellar
by IndigoJo on Thu 27th Mar 2014 14:41 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Drumhellar"
IndigoJo Member since:

KF5 = KDE Frameworks version 5.

Reply Score: 5

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:

Its the whole "KDE isn't the desktop or the apps or the libraries behind any of those things, but a project run by people" They decoupled those to allow them to progress at the whichever rate of development works best.

What most people think of as "KDE" is now Plasma Desktop and Kwin. I think.

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: Comment by Drumhellar
by Drumhellar on Sun 30th Mar 2014 21:43 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Drumhellar"
Drumhellar Member since:

In Fedora, the package group that installs Gnome is "GNOME Desktop". For Xfce, it's "Xfce Desktop", and likewise for LXDE, MATE, and Cinnamon.

KDE is "KDE Plasma Workspaces"

Reply Score: 3

Desktop Environments
by Flatredline on Thu 27th Mar 2014 04:33 UTC
Member since:

I have used so many DEs over the years that I am comfortable with pretty much any interface, and I have found that I like a bit of polish. No need to go overboard, just make it look decent and then just let me run my applications please. I do not need my DE to be integrated with everything under the sun.

I am also not a huge fan of the "search for everything" paradigm that DEs seem to be pushing. It's a personal preference - it is useful at times, but give me a sane menu structure and I am usually happy.

Having said that, obviously others have their own criteria and I always encourage people to try new environments until they find one that is to their liking. Believe it or not, my wife really likes XFCE (she liked KDE as well, but it was running too slowly for her...older hardware being the culprit there). For her, Gnome was a bit too much of a leap for some reason.

I will give the new release a try of course (just can't help myself - never broke my distro/DE-hopping habit); maybe some subtle changes will make it a bit more to my liking. If nothing else, it's always interesting to try it out.

Reply Score: 4

desktops vs apps
by project_2501 on Thu 27th Mar 2014 08:58 UTC
Member since:

The importance of desktops is falling.

Apps are increasingly web apps. Who still uses a thick email client? Not many.

Who would have thought you'd keep your files on the cloud. I didn't but I do.

People do care about the devices form and it's nice to have an operating system to optimise battery life etc but more people are using online video players vs local players. Online editors online image fixers...

For developers the web is more the runtime and the OS just needs to support the browser.

In not saying the desktop is dead... Yet.

Myself I just need an OS to run a browser efficiently. And I did say OS not desktop.

Reply Score: 3

RE: desktops vs apps
by ichi on Thu 27th Mar 2014 11:23 UTC in reply to "desktops vs apps"
ichi Member since:

There are still lots of things a desktop can provide to make your life easier even if you live completely on the "cloud" with webapps, eg:

-Integration for webapps notifications.
-Easy configuration of your networks settings, including VPN connections.
-Integration of your online storage with local folders for synchronization and link sharing.
-Window management, if you'll be running webapps on separate browser windows.
-Independent volume controls for different audio streams on different webapps.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: desktops vs apps
by project_2501 on Thu 27th Mar 2014 18:57 UTC in reply to "RE: desktops vs apps"
project_2501 Member since:

All of these things can or could be done by a browser.

Reply Score: 2

RE: desktops vs apps
by stabbyjones on Fri 28th Mar 2014 00:58 UTC in reply to "desktops vs apps"
stabbyjones Member since:

the amount of people using outlook would be pretty damn high.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: desktops vs apps
by project_2501 on Sat 29th Mar 2014 22:46 UTC in reply to "RE: desktops vs apps"
project_2501 Member since:
RE[3]: desktops vs apps
by stabbyjones on Mon 31st Mar 2014 09:03 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: desktops vs apps"
stabbyjones Member since:

Haha, my personal sentiment exactly.

Reply Score: 2

Too many releases?
by Troels on Thu 27th Mar 2014 09:07 UTC
Member since:

I agree that the releases of KDE and Gnome used to be exciting, and now i don't really care all that much. My theory is that they are now so mature that adding new exciting stuff takes a much longer time, and with the fast release cycle that means that no single release is all that interesting.

It is the same with Google Chrome and Firefox, a while ago new releases mattered, now they come all that time and i don't even bother to find out what is new.

It is almost the same with Windows now, ME -> XP, and XP -> Vista was a big change (once they finally got vista to work). Vista to 7 not so much, but many people never got over the initial Vista problems so they needed a marketing change. 7 to 8, again a fairly big change (not going into whether it is for the better). 8 to 8.1 does not keep me awake at night, and from what i have gathered so far, neither will 9, but if 9 will bring the needed marketing change then hopefully 10 will be interesting.

Same again with Android and iOS, since iOS 4 and Android 4.0, there has been no single release that i found really interesting.

Edited 2014-03-27 09:11 UTC

Reply Score: 5

It's fine by me
by testadura on Thu 27th Mar 2014 10:19 UTC
Member since:

These releases might not be big deals, but I prefer it this way. Big deals imply big (or even braking) changes required because of problems. Little improvements indicate a solid working desktop environment where improvement is to be found in subtleties like styling improvements and less resource usage.

Since some years I am a very happy Gnome 3 user. It is stable, fast and supports my workflow with very little mouse usage. Besides this it is looking great: clean and easy on the eye!

Reply Score: 4

RE: It's fine by me
by charlieg on Thu 27th Mar 2014 11:58 UTC in reply to "It's fine by me"
charlieg Member since:

Yeah, the Gnome3 developers have copped a lot of flack over the years but I think their vision is crystalizing better than any of the other big DEs. Some of the screenshots accompanying the 3.12 release look really nice. They've streamlined the UI, made it look polished and professional, bringing coherency to their application suite.

It reminds me a bit of Luna from ElementaryOS, whose own updated release seems to be taking forever.

They are also doing things the right away around. Design, implement, react to feedback. KDE seems to react to feedback, implement, then design which leads to a very disjointed desktop. Whilst you may or may not agree with the Gnome UX vision, at least they have one that is clear and adhered to and now its out there they are refining it according to user feedback to improve it further.

Reply Score: 5

What to do?
by Dasher42 on Thu 27th Mar 2014 14:19 UTC
Member since:

I hate to be rude about the work of amazing open source programmers, yet sometimes I feel that the rush to tablets has people forgetting the power users and their workstations.

I feel software should be engineered elegantly and robustly inside and out. I think that Gnome gets the actual end user experience more right than wrong, but any environment that doesn't let me customize keyboard shortcuts and behavior to suit my muscle memory can really go get stuffed. I didn't build up my skills to just wrap them around the latest UI fad.

So, I wind up using Unity because I can then grab compizconfig settings manager and get the keyboard shortcuts I want and almost - almost! have the composited desktop environment I want, except when it's not. Then I try KDE and find its UI a Windows-aping mess. Not that Redmond or Cupertino have done me any favors lately, either, not that I'm going to trust a closed source OS with my serious work anyway.

I'd love to see some clean engineering under the hood like QT affords and customization-friendly polish on top too - anyone? Does anyone have users like me in mind anymore? Hawaii desktop perchance?

Screw tablets! 104 keys and triple screens for life!

Edited 2014-03-27 14:27 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: What to do?
by diegoviola on Sat 29th Mar 2014 21:38 UTC in reply to "What to do?"
diegoviola Member since:


QT means QuickTime.

Get it right.

Reply Score: 2

I disagree with the author
by fithisux on Thu 27th Mar 2014 14:42 UTC
Member since:

"I remember a time when GNOME and KDE releases were big deals here. Feels like eons ago, a distant memory from an irrelevant past."

Not for me. GNOME/KDE are big deals. The problem is that we need more open source drivers/specs for these desktops to reach their prime time (not only on Linux). Mobile for me is not an option since it relies on blobs.
I use my Phone for Calls/sms/time and nothing else. Completely spartan.

Reply Score: 4

by Hiev on Thu 27th Mar 2014 15:05 UTC
Member since:

Great release, congratulations to all the GNOME team.

Reply Score: 3

by gfx1 on Thu 27th Mar 2014 15:09 UTC
Member since:

Did they fix the overgrown titlebars?
In previous releases of gnome 3 they found it acceptable to use 1/3 of the screenheight for a menubar a titlebar and other fluff. Leaving very few pixels to actually do something with.

Reply Score: 3

RE: titlebar
by VistaUser on Thu 27th Mar 2014 18:30 UTC in reply to "titlebar"
VistaUser Member since:


Gtk HeaderBars seem to be the solution. I am liking where things are going here, and the overall UI vision of Gnome 3 is starting to crystalise with their use.

Reply Score: 3

People needs and hobby
by acobar on Thu 27th Mar 2014 15:11 UTC
Member since:

First and foremost, a DE will be always needed to work productively on many fields, be them creating apps, working with engineering projects (besides software), planning and so on and so forth. If you have a need, it is so flexible and powerful that you should use a basic level of organizational methods to really enjoy them; most people just don't have the need or the drive.

Second, most OSnews readers are probably the kind of people that likes to fiddle with things, in this case particularly, with computers and gadget stuff. And now we have more gadgets to disperse our attention. Also, as already said, DE are approaching maturity on interaction methods, even if you sweep and replace the underground, what most users will see is about the same. It is hard to excite this way, and I see it as a positive thing. Also a lot of us don't use the tons of features they make available (don't know about Gnome but KDE is fantastic on how you can automatize lots of things and how you can access things remotely like they were on your own computer) and even less use the latest "new!" one.

Third, the (immense) majority of people didn't need a desktop from the start, it was a hype that cost them time and money for not that much benefit. Smartphones are a way more consumer friendly appliance, one that I actually recommend people to buy.

Also, many things are going "Cloud" from where you can access them from anywhere: email, contacts, calendar, communication logs, photo exchanging, music, movies and all. And they are easier to use from phones.

These things leave us with a small fraction of the population to really "care" about a particular desktop and it does not help that most of them are so ingrained on MS Windows environment (nothing against, I actually like Windows 7 but prefer KDE very much) that only an huge disregard to their requests would make them move, and MS IS capitulating.

That is the reality for all free DEs and the reason the developers should think very hard before shuffling the current interaction methods, your "users" may very well disband.

The critics about the reform of the underground foundation, well, at some point they are needed, as anyone that had created a complex application can attest. Unluckily for free software, developers with time and will to keep up with the changes are scarce, so the DE developers should be wise enough to minimize the "cost" the reform will bring.

Reply Score: 7

Gnome 3 is my favorite
by pica on Thu 27th Mar 2014 18:12 UTC
Member since:

The first two, three weeks have been a hard time for both my wife and me. The concepts of Gnome 3, how I as an user interact with the desktop environment are not comparable with "classic" desktop environments including Gnome 2, KDE 4, Windows 7 and yes, also Windows 8. Im not that familiar with OS X, as a result I have not mention that one in my list. But these concepts work fine for my wife as well as for me. We both do want to miss them.

With that message a big, big thank you to all people who contributed to Gnome 3.


Reply Score: 3

totem upnp/dlna
by stabbyjones on Fri 28th Mar 2014 01:02 UTC
Member since:

Where the hell is my damn upnp plugin? I've been waiting for this to come back for years.

Since the switch to grilo from coherence i haven't seen anything of value in this respect.

Reply Score: 3

aesthetics vs usability
by SzoylentGreen on Fri 28th Mar 2014 13:43 UTC
Member since:

Gnome 3.12 looks very appealing from an aesthetics standpoint. Everything is nicely polished, very consistent. They have very clean choice of color schemes and a very consistent and clean icon set.

Problem is they've made some bizarre choices from a usability standpoint. Why the hell is it that about half the functionality is in the right side popup menu (the gear icon), and the other half is with the global half menu. WTF, seriously.

Then you have Unity which is borderline unusable on a desktop, at least with out unity tweak tool.

Finally KDE. KDE may have some seriously blind UI designers. Actually, I don't think they have any UI designers. Its really clear that most of the apps were made with a GUI form designer, i.e. everything looks like a dialog box from a VB application. The icons are ugly, plasma is garish, But at least its USABLE. You don't have to try to figure out what functionality is with which half menu. All the menu items are in one place.

If your going to do global menu bar, at least do it right like OSX. I'm perfectly fine using local or global menus, I just want them to work. Unity's global menu bar is totally schizophrenic, just seems to randomly switch around, really distracting. Plus it completely broken with Eclipse.

It seems like Linux just can't get global menu bar right. So how about this, don't use one. Just do local menus because they can seem to get those to work right, see Gnome 2 and KDE.

And this nonsense of the Unity hiding local menus, talk about distracting and jarring, whenever you move away from the window, the menus hide.

Reply Score: 2

The tech world moves on
by Orichalcum on Sat 29th Mar 2014 08:43 UTC
Member since:

These days, companies like Intel, Microsoft and Blackberry send me free hardware and offer free support to get apps and games ported to their devices and OS.

Can you IMAGINE this 15 years ago? How all-powerful they were? In the 90's Microsoft didn't give me the time of day. As late as 2009 Blackberry refused to send me even a native SDK. Look at them now.

The world moves on.

Reply Score: 4