Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 20th Feb 2007 09:59 UTC
Window Managers What is wrong with KDE 3.x? What is wrong with GNOME 2.8+? These seem to be the two questions arising from the recent revival of Linus vs. GNOME spat. We all know the history; Linus called the GNOME guys 'interface nazis' and advised Linux users to use KDE, which resulted in the longest comment thread on OSNews ever. That kind of fizzled out, only to be brought to light again by Linus submitting a few patches to make GNOME behave more like he wants it to behave.
Thread beginning with comment 214794
To view parent comment, click here.
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
RE: Unbelievable
by snowbender on Tue 20th Feb 2007 17:28 UTC in reply to "Unbelievable"
Member since:

"This is what open source is NOT supposed to be about. Open source is about alternative and respect of the alternate, not about telling people off just because you're famous for starting a now huge open source development like Linux...."

First let me ask you... You say you've always liked Gnome better than KDE... did you use Gnome 1.x? Or did you only recently start using Gnome 2.x series?

I think a lot of Gnome users, who are Gnome users right from the start, from the 1.x series, feel in some way neglected. We are programmers, we are advanced power users, we used to like and support the Gnome platform. And all of a sudden, there's this whole "my grandma is having a hard time with Gnome, so it needs to be much much simpler"-movement. And in Gnome 2.x all configurability is removed (or pushed in gconf-editor). It's as if the target group for the desktop environment in Gnome 1.x were programmers or advanced users, and the target group for Gnome 2.x is grandma and grandpa. So, of course, the Gnome developers upset their longtime users, because they neglect their longtime advanced users, while adjusting the whole Gnome platform for some target group (grandma and grandpa) who, right now, is not using their platform. I'm not saying that Gnome 1.x series was perfect and I actually think the ideas behind Gnome 2.x are good, but the Gnome developers went way too radical about it. They definitely shouldn't neglect their current (and previous) users.

I believe that is the frustration that Linus is feeling. I'm feeling it too and I know other people are feeling it too. We, the loyal Gnome users, are pushed aside, so that the wishes of the Windows using crowd can be fulfilled. That's how it feels to me. But, of course, when I say it, that's not gonna make much noise. When Linus says it, it does make a lot more noise. In my opinion, respecting your original target group is just basic respect for your users, whether the software is open source or not.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: Unbelievable
by DeadFishMan on Tue 20th Feb 2007 17:56 in reply to "RE: Unbelievable"
DeadFishMan Member since:


I couldnīt have said it any better...


Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Unbelievable
by subterrific on Tue 20th Feb 2007 19:13 in reply to "RE: Unbelievable"
subterrific Member since:

What specifically is missing now for you to feel not neglected?

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Unbelievable
by h times nue equals e on Tue 20th Feb 2007 21:16 in reply to "RE[2]: Unbelievable"
h times nue equals e Member since:

Although I'm not the OP, I have had similar experiences, so I will try to explain:

First, let me tell you (just in case you haven't used it) that GNOME 1.x was sometimes a bitch to configure, esp. if the distribution focused on KDE (like SuSE, which I was using back then). It took me some time to adapt GNOME 1.x to work with me (and it took even longer to get the hang of the things it didn't allowed me to adapt). Next, replacing the underlying WM was more common for GNOME setups than for KDE back then (I once configured a GNOME installation at a colleages desk and it took me minutes to figure out, that the reason some of the advanced options were in a strange place was, that he was using sawfish instead of my familiar WM. I was less familiar with Linux then :-) ), so that behavioural patterns for configuration were not always transferable across distributions / installations. I was initially (to use this stupid market-speech) "very excited" when the 2.x series of GNOME promised to fix this issues.

I had my first "what the duck" moment when the galeon (which was my default browser) 1.3 release and the subsequent fork into the galeon/epiphany double occured, leaving me with approx. half the configuration options in both browsers I had grown to rely on. At the same time (IIRC, this is some years from now, please correct me if I'm wrong) many more - partially obscure, I admit it - configuration features got axed in the sake of simplicity and the new HIG. All in all nothing wrong with that, but the decisions (aka the "sane defaults") ran many times counter what I have got used to previously during the "GNOME-1.x-vs.-myself-adaption" stage. With no first-class-citizen access to "advanced configuration options" (I will try to keep calm while thinking about gconf-editor, thank you for asking), I felt limited and came finally to the conclusion, that I was no longer the intended audience for this DE.

I left GNOME with the 2.6 release (the spatial-or-not-spatial debate was fun to watch from a safe distance) for good, because I found a more suiting environment (XFCE) that has so far allowed me to adapt even minor settings to my pleasing (I like for example non-flat buttons in the taskbar still better, thank you for letting me set this back even in 4.4!) while staying out of my way during work.

So what would be needed to get me back to GNOME? An "Advanced Settings" panel/tab/button for most applications and dialogs, even if I don't need them 90%+ of the time. A more straightforward way to build GNOME releases from source and perhaps a little-more open attitude towards users who are not afraid of learning curves even "later" would not hurt either.

But OTOH, since there are many GNOME users who are happy with what they got, I doubt, that this will
(or even should) happen, because otherwise, GoneMe would probably have been more successful.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Unbelievable
by s_groening on Wed 21st Feb 2007 01:51 in reply to "RE: Unbelievable"
s_groening Member since:

Actually I was there in the 1.x days and might actually have disliked it for some of the reasons you seem to like, e.g. the more configurable GUI.

However, I do not at all dislike the fact that you'd be able to configure it more freely, on the contrary I'd like to see a somewhat Mac OS X like centralized settings interface that was easily extensive and I actually find this to be very nicely suited for the Gnome 2.x approach to things.

I'd like Gnome to be more akin of Mac OS X than of Windows, where as I feel like being more in a 'Windows-like' environment on KDE (I'll probably get slayered for this...) and I really like the fact that all though simple and easy to use, Gnome remains its own.

Elegance and clean design really means a lot to me. I'm sorry, but it's just worth more to me than being able to make my desktop look like WOW or something like that. At the same time I do miss more of this in the open source communities, where functions seem to come before usage, which is a shame, since I personally know graphics designers that would love to give a helping hand in this respect. I don't really know if these people are targeted by the developing communities to help straightening out these aspects of software development. Anyway, they should be...

Instead I see badly organized GUI layouts, extensive use of background images (e.g. the K3B main window) that absolutely just pollutes the look'n'feel of the application. This is what the Gnome HIG tries to fight, and I like to say I favor this over anything on *nix.

I understand that Linus might be disappointed, but I don't like the fact that he supposedly wants us to switch to KDE because he's sorry about the state of Gnome affairs - that is for everyone to decide for him self! (Just as I hate the appalling 'I'm a Mac - and I'm a PC' ads...)

Reply Parent Score: 2