Linked by Eugenia Loli on Thu 8th Sep 2005 16:53 UTC
Gnome The Gnome Project released version 2.12 yesterday. We had a quick look at it by using the latest Gnome Live CD (1.12-pre) and Foresight 0.9.0 (2.12 final) and here are our thoughts over 2.12 and Gnome's status in general.
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Gnome is overrated...
by rx182 on Thu 8th Sep 2005 19:31 UTC
rx182
Member since:
2005-07-08

I tried Gnome 2.12 yesterday and I was not impressed at all. Like alot of people, I was hoping/expecting major changes in this release. But Gnome failed again to convince me that it was ready for intensive desktop usage. In fact, I was concerned about:

1- Performance
2- Look
3- Feel

--- Performance ---

The latest GTK+Gnome combo doesn't do better than the older versions. After hearing so much good things about Gnome 2.12 on osnews-like sites, I was expecting a little more than this. There's absolutely no performance improvement in GTK and Gnome. GTK is still a pig and Gnome follows the tradition as usual. I think they should focus on the issue a little bit more for the next release. I would make it top priority.

--- Look ---

Well even with a new default theme, Gnome hasn't changed a bit. Don't get me wrong; I don't think Gnome looks bad but there are many things that could be better, mainly in GTK. In fact, I never really liked GTK controls. They are too big and they don't look like controls I'm used to see. They need to be smaller, more standard (they look too flat) and finally more robust. It would improve the whole user experience alot if they could fix that. Also, the text should be smaller by default and more clear. I tried fixing the issue by recompiling freetype2 with the bytecoder but I didn't help much. I really don't know how this could be fixed and the Gnome font config utility really annoys me. It doesn't let me config my fonts like I would want to. I simply can't get good result with it.

--- Feel ---

Let's talk a little bit more about GTK controls. I think that most of the time they don't give a good feeling to the user. Mainly the buttons, the editboxes and the list/icon/detail views. There are problems with those that can really ruin the whole Gnome experience. You probably all have experienced weird Nautilus behaviors before. Icon view doesn't display stuff properly and the keyboard interface for list/detail view is sometimes unreliable. More weird behaviors happen with buttons and editboxes as well. Some of you would tell me it's not a problem with Gnome but with GTK but I see them as a whole. I won't close my eyes on Gnome problems just because they are inherited from GTK.

So that's my opinion: I think Gnome is overrated. For those who want to know if I'm a KDE fanboy I'm not. Indeed, I think KDE is overrated as well. Both need more code profiling and interface polishing. Unlike others, I don't expect a load of features but I only expect things to work as they are supposed to.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Gnome is overrated...
by ma_d on Thu 8th Sep 2005 21:23 in reply to "Gnome is overrated..."
ma_d Member since:
2005-06-29

Performance: Actually, it should be worse.

Look: Increase your screen resolution.
Clearlooks is amazing... It's reliable, it's fast, it's pretty, and it doesn't give me a headache.

Feel: I'm not sure if nautilus uses gtkiconview now, their used to be a hacked up icon view it used inside gnomelibs. I think iconview was added in 2.4 or 2.6 of gtk?
Honestly, you haven't named a problem. "This doesn't work how I think it should" is not a problem. "This works this way and it should work that way" is. Please, be less ridiculously general.

Why do you say they need more profiling? Do you believe there is a small subset of functions wherein the performance issue lies? You don't think it has anything to do with the architectures and you don't believe that the maintainers are aware of it?
I find both interfaces pretty polished... Sometimes polished to the point of either making things too complicated or making features dissappear. How are they lacking in polish?


Seriously though. What in the world do the buttons do that's wierd?! They're pretty simple compared to treeview, iconview, and combobox and those sorts of things which gtk may do differently; what do buttons do oddly?

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Gnome is overrated...
by on Thu 8th Sep 2005 21:54 in reply to "Gnome is overrated..."
Member since:

Performance:
Gnome feels much faster with video hardware that supports acceleration of the Render extension, it also is noticably faster when using a compositing manager, of course this results in more instability of X.

Look:
Try adjusting your DPI setting to be true to your monitor/resolution, and after that adjust your font sizes. (I prefer 11pt fonts). Also there are themes that make widgets smaller as this is typically adjustable in the engine.

Feel:
I've not experienced many weird behaviours, perhaps you could let us know what they are? A bug is a bug, and should get reported.

Reply Parent Score: 0

RE[2]: Gnome is overrated...
by segedunum on Thu 8th Sep 2005 22:27 in reply to "RE: Gnome is overrated..."
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

Gnome feels much faster with video hardware that supports acceleration of the Render extension

Wonderful. So Gnome needs hardware acceleration to get acceptable performance? Hardware accelerated XRender requires supported drivers (of which there are a selection of one) and it is notoriously buggy to the point where it isn't an option.

As was pointed out in another thread, the Glitz/OpenGL back-end for GTK/Cairo is not turned on for a reason. That reason is because to get any benefit out of it you really do need a solid, reliable hardware accelerated OpenGL implementation. Since the only manufacturer producing good enough drivers is nVidia, and they are closed source (and not always 100%), relying on one company's drivers simply to get your GUI up and running is simply not acceptable. You know, people promote desktop Linux as being able to run on older hardware......

Telling people to use hardware acceleration is not an excuse for what they're seeing.

it also is noticably faster when using a compositing manager, of course this results in more instability of X.

Well that's not really an option, is it?

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Gnome is overrated...
by poofyhairguy on Thu 8th Sep 2005 23:01 in reply to "RE: Gnome is overrated..."
poofyhairguy Member since:
2005-07-14

Performance:
Gnome feels much faster with video hardware that supports acceleration of the Render extension, it also is noticably faster when using a compositing manager, of course this results in more instability of X.



Its funny that you say that, because its Gnome (not XFCE or KDE) that refuses to add a decent composite manager built into its window manager (metacity). All the other major DE's has this.

Because of this, I plan to move to KDE when 3.5 comes (aka with a more stable compmgr) despite using Gnome for a year. I'm working now to make KDE look more like Gnome now. Gnome's stance on hardware acceration sucks, I wish they didn't punish those of us with Nvidia cards just because our drivers are closed and because no other cards can do it yet.

Your point is a very weak one.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Gnome is overrated...
by unodgs on Fri 9th Sep 2005 06:14 in reply to "Gnome is overrated..."
unodgs Member since:
2005-08-09

I agree about the big controls. This is what is the worst in Gnome. The second is slow GTK (maybe for someone who used only gnome it seems to be fast and highly resposive but for me (I use KDE on linux, but most of my time I work in windows) it is simply sluggish. And don't try to convience me that it isn't. This is the fact.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Gnome is overrated...
by on Fri 9th Sep 2005 10:20 in reply to "RE: Gnome is overrated..."
Member since:

I agree about the big controls. This is what is the worst in Gnome

Isn't this due to the HIG ? Apps can make icons the size they want, but the HIG has to be respected.
Anyway, you can use smaller fonts to scale down everything.

The second is slow GTK (maybe for someone who used only gnome it seems to be fast and highly resposive but for me (I use KDE on linux, but most of my time I work in windows) it is simply sluggish.

Stop contradicting yourself and comparing apples and oranges. If it feels fast and highly responsive when using only Gnome, then it is good enough, that's what we want. It's not a stupid speed contest like you imply.
Then, Windows shell has nowhere near the same functionalities as a Gnome (or KDE) desktop, so stop the nonsense.
Most of the thing Gnome (and KDE) are useful for to me are not even possible in Windows !! From start of session (sessions) to end (actually stops no matter what, even if with some delay), with a lot of things in between (on the fly language change, multiple language input methods everywhere, 3 simultaneous networked user desktops, shared sound between users, ...).

Reply Parent Score: 0