Linked by thesunnyk on Sun 23rd Sep 2012 22:14 UTC
Gnome "Gnome 3 has received a lot of disapproval of late, from the Gnome foundation being charged with not taking care of its users, or losing mindshare, to Gnome 3 itself being an unusable mess. I've been using Gnome 3 myself for a few months to sort the truth from the fiction, and to try and understand just how the Gnome foundation expects their newest shell to be used. I will end with some thoughts on how Gnome 3 can be improved. The review will require a fairly lengthy preface, however."
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I'm confused
by Gaius_Maximus on Mon 24th Sep 2012 03:40 UTC
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Object oriented? Document centric? I guess I don't understand. I mean, whatever advances the underpinnings of 3 may have over 2 are a completely separate issue from the UI, or? And the problems I see are really all related to the UI. And the designers are trying to rework the UI to be more tablet/finger friendly. And this is what baffles me.

Are the designers so delusional as to think that climbing aboard the tablet train early (and abandoning its loyal desktop users in the process) will gain Linux the market penetration that has eluded it on the desktop? If that were likely, a minor tweak of Mythbuntu would have already done that.

Linux has always been about work, which is why it's been so successful on servers. Tablets have been about providing an appliance for browsing and reading, which is why the Kindle has been good enough for so many. Why on earth would we want to win that battle?

But, even more baffling to me is the conflict between paradigms (menus vs. icons) in the same shell, and the reinvention of the wheel. I mean, not that I care for them, but, since we already have them, what's wrong with desktop icons for tablet users? Why does the entire interface need to be overhauled to accommodate them? Most of what tablet users need was already there. A simple theme could have taken care of this without depriving the rest of us. Even if they're too small for fat fingers, things like scroll-bars still serve a purpose in a touch interface by informing the user of where in the document they are, and how much of that document is on-screen. One need not throw out the baby with the bathwater. All the desktop elements can happily remain for familiarity's sake. The context menu need only be expanded on to make access to those features easier for touch screen users.

Maybe the Gnome crew are just better at designing code than they are at designing UIs. Or maybe there's some grander plan that's yet to be revealed, and we're all missing the point. Or am I just not getting it?

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