posted by Christian Paratschek on Mon 13th Sep 2004 19:48 UTC

"FC2 Reloaded, Page 2/2"
Click for a larger view Problem 3 (minor): Mozilla localization does not work (see bug). I also included this in my first article, even though I set "german" as my language, Mozilla was english and I had to download the language pack myself. Had to do this for every new version of Mozilla in Windows, so I am quite used to it. Also, what to do with Mozilla for the next version of Fedora Core? There's been some discussion, which browser to ship as default, the options are Mozilla (the suite), Firefox and Epiphany. Epiphany would make sense for consistency reasons. It is the Gnome-browser after all, and it is also based on Gecko. Firefox is the logical successor to Mozilla, but still not even a "1.0". We'll probably see all three in FC3 (which is not bad). If Mozilla (the suite) stays the default browser, please put the cool "bluecurve-theme" on it. I guess that would be an easy costumization that would do a lot for a consistent look of Fedora Core 3. Also, "bluecurving" Firefox, if it is included, would be great.

Problem 4 (minor flaw): Mozilla Mail, my default mail application, has a false menu entry. If you set it as the default mail application and click "E-Mail" afterwards, it starts without the "-mail"-option. So not the mail component, but the browser opens up (reported here). Workaround: uh, just use the "Mozilla Mail"-entry. :-)

Problem 5 (average): Rhythmbox. I had constant issues with Rhythmbox this summer. It did not seem to work any better than the 0.6 series, that was included in FC1. Sometimes, it just didn't start, and I had to start it again. I guess it segfaulted somehow, but I don't know why, because it always started without any problems when I started it via the gnome-terminal. The updated 0.8.5 version seems to be stable now, I am still not quite sure, but I couldn't get it to crash now that I write this article. Another major issue is also solved now: I finally can jump to every point in a song. This was a constant gripe I had with Rhythmbox in Fedora Core 1 and 2: when I jumped to another point in the song that was currently played, playback stopped most of the time alltogether. Now if I could just get my "Quality"-column back, I'd be a really happy camper...

Problem 6 (very annoying): the infamous "dual-boot bug". There have been a lot of discussions about this one, just check the bugzilla-entry, it boils down to a flamewar. Just to make sure, I will mention again that this is not a Fedora-bug, it is a problem related to the kernel and (primarily) to Windows using ancient methods to check where its partition sits. The two sides to this story are quickly told: "It's a Windows bug, we don't have to fix anything, they should get their act together" vs. "Even though this is not our fault, we have to do something about it, because Microsoft won't and our users get pissed at us." I do understand both camps here. Still, it's a major usability problem for a lot of people. Dual-booting Windows and Linux is not that uncommon. I do it myself (and got lucky because Windows still boots on my laptop). Why do I dual-boot? Well, because I need a Windows-test-system when I am "on the road". I rarely boot it, still I could not do without it sometimes. I really feel that someone should do something about this bug, because RedHat labels Fedora as an operating system for the geeks, for the community (vs. their RedHat Server/Desktop products). While it is pretty unlikely that a coporation that just bought 500 RedHat Desktop systems will want to dual-boot those with Windows, it is, as I said, a problem for many Fedora-users.

Problem 7 (semi-annoying): File-roller does not work. No, Nautilus does not work, when I select a few files, right-click and choose "Create Archive". Nothing happens. I didn't find this bug on bugzilla, I guess I'll file it later. Workaround is easy: just open File-Roller to create an archive instead of using the broken Nautilus-function.

What's left? Hmmm, maybe the missing multimedia-stuff? Well, I guess, if I was in RedHat's position, I would also exclude that stuff. As long as it is easy to install the missing decoders, I don't really mind. If I install Windows nowadays, I have to install a giant heap of software, including decoders, to get a working system, so I guess it is also O.K. for a linux distribution.

One more thing about files and folders, but this is more a design tip for the upcoming Gnome2.8-release: make /home/user/Desktop the default location for saving files and new folders. If Gnome goes the spatial file-organisation way, it should try to do it as consistent as possible: the more you "see" your files, the more you can drag and drop the files around, the better it gets! Plus, it solves the old "I just downloaded the file you told me, where can I find it now?"-problem that I have on like, every support call I have to do. Another possibility would be to set "Desktop = homedir" (possible via GConf-Editor), but that would be a pretty major change. Why do it anyway? Because it strengthens the spatial concept enormously. I firmly believe that Gnome has to go that road as far as possible. While there are different opinions on spatial/navigational file management, at least one thing is sure: if you do the spatial thing, you have to do it as consistent as possible.

So, that was it. The list of problems gets smaller every 6 months :-) Overall, I am really very content with Fedora Core 2. I will use it a few more weeks, then try Debian Sarge as soon as it goes stable, and, if all goes well, return to Fedora in October with Release 3.

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  1. "FC2 Reloaded, Page 1/2"
  2. "FC2 Reloaded, Page 2/2"
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