Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 28th Nov 2007 22:40 UTC
Gnome GNOME 2.20.2 has been released. "This is the second update to GNOME 2.20.0. The update fixes all known and unknown bugs and crashers." Not a whole lot more to say on this one.
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Important missing GNOME features
by danboid on Thu 29th Nov 2007 11:02 UTC
danboid
Member since:
2006-03-21

GNOME is (about) a decade old now but is still missing simple desktop functionality that was present in Win95. Some of the biggest missing features are

PRINTER INK LEVEL MONITORING

The GNOME print tool needs to let interface with libinklevel, escpd etc. so that users can check printer ink levels without logging in as root and typing esoteric commands. Very common desktop task still not catered for!

GUI REMOVABLE DISC FORMATTING TOOL

There is still no easy, graphical way to format removable USB and firewire drives under both GNOME and KDE! You should just be able to right-click on the discs icon then choose 'Format'. I think HAL needs some new functionality for this

PIXEL PRECISE DESKTOP ICON PLACEMENT

OK, so this is just a niggle this one but it does annoy me that icons get snapped to a low-res grid on the desktop instead of staying where you want place them.

Any think of any more basic stuff like this?

Reply Score: 4

JCooper Member since:
2005-07-06

Printer ink level monitoring works fine for me - because its the printer drivers that provide the information/UI not the desktop environment. I can easily tell how much ink is in my network attached Brother 560CN, thanks to their most excellent linux support.

Agreed formatting needs love, I seem to remember a planet gnome post about bringing the floppy-format tool into the 21st century, not sure what happened with that. Gnome Parted (gParted) can do formatting, though it's hardly the ideal tool to use for simple removable media.

As for pixel precise icon placement, doesn't bother me, Nautilus handles all the crap I save to the desktop just fine ;)

Reply Parent Score: 3

WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

There is still no easy, graphical way to format removable USB and firewire drives under both GNOME and KDE! You should just be able to right-click on the discs icon then choose 'Format'. I think HAL needs some new functionality for this

Atleast that one doesn't seem very difficult. I might whip up a simple GUI for such later on today, just for the heck of it ;) It's not a very common need and it could cause serious damage (ie. unknowledgeable user could potentially delete all of his/her files on the media) but that could be alleviated by giving clear warning to the user before applying any changes..

Reply Parent Score: 4

djst Member since:
2005-08-07

"GNOME is (about) a decade old now but is still missing simple desktop functionality that was present in Win95. Some of the biggest missing features are [...]

PIXEL PRECISE DESKTOP ICON PLACEMENT"


The more I think of it now, the more upset I get. Why have they kept PIXEL PRECISE DESKTOP ICON PLACEMENT away from us for this long? Don't they want Linux to succeed? Do they want people to run Windows 95 instead?

Their failure to deliver PIXEL PRECISE DESKTOP ICON PLACEMENT is not only an insult to the PIXELs making up the DESKTOP ICONs, it is also a serious usability issue, because you have absolutely no control where your ICONs are PLACEd.

This is PRECISEly why 2007 wasn't the year of Linux Desktop -- we had no PIXEL PRECISE DESKTOP ICON PLACEMENT.

Reply Parent Score: 11

SlackerJack Member since:
2005-11-12

It's funny how they pick one feature on send the whole desktop environment back to WIN95 days. I'll ignore the win95 icons in Wordpad and the font installer in Vista then.

Reply Parent Score: 5

leech Member since:
2006-01-10

I know sometimes it's hard to tell if people are being sarcastic or not, but for the love of God I hope you were.

By the way, there IS Pixel precise desktop Icon placement. Just turn off the "Keep Aligned" thing. Damn, I don't know when I'd even ever use that feature, I always keep mine aligned, otherwise there would be utter chaos, CHAOS I TELL YOU!

Reply Parent Score: 6

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Pixel precise placement of icons?

Right-click on desktop, remove tag from 'keep adjusted' - there you are.

Reply Parent Score: 5

Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

"The GNOME print tool needs to let interface with libinklevel, escpd etc. so that users can check printer ink levels without logging in as root and typing esoteric commands. Very common desktop task still not catered for!"

Can you explain "esoteric commands" please? :-)

As far as I know, many inkjet printers provide ink level monitorin using their own panels (on the printer itself) or through the printer driver.

What about laser printers? Do they require a toner measurement plugin + page counter for the desktop?

What about thermo printers? Temperature monitor?

What about dotmatrix printers? Amount of tractor sheets available?

What about daisywheel printers? Meters of carbon ribbon left?

Never mind, I was just joking (for the last three ones).

"There is still no easy, graphical way to format removable USB and firewire drives under both GNOME and KDE! You should just be able to right-click on the discs icon then choose 'Format'. I think HAL needs some new functionality for this"

I would agree if you would talk about KDE or "Windows", but, as far as my own individual observations go, those users who use Gnome do not need such a tool, or maybe they wouldn't use it if it's available. On every Gnome desktop I've ssen in my life, a terminal was present. Most users don't find it any complicated to "fdformat -y /dev/fd0" or "newfs da1", because that's much more faster that clicking around and being bothered with options that are default for the CLI tool anyway.

"OK, so this is just a niggle this one but it does annoy me that icons get snapped to a low-res grid on the desktop instead of staying where you want place them."

I agree here. There should be no such force until you set it to be. For example, a desktop context function like "adjust icons to grid" or "switch grid off / on", along with a dialog to set grid parameters, could be a solution here.

"Any think of any more basic stuff like this?"

Ink inside a USB device is no basic stuff. :-)

Reply Parent Score: 3

superstoned Member since:
2005-07-07

On every Gnome desktop I've ssen in my life, a terminal was present. Most users don't find it any complicated to "fdformat -y /dev/fd0" or "newfs da1", because that's much more faster that clicking around and being bothered with options that are default for the CLI tool anyway.


I'd say that's rather 'esoteric'. Windows does that better, KDE has the same problem as Gnome does - no easy accessible gui for simply formatting a disk. Telling ppl to resort to the commandline is stupid. Just admit KDE and Gnome lack such tools, period.

Reply Parent Score: 6

segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

I would agree if you would talk about KDE or "Windows", but, as far as my own individual observations go, those users who use Gnome do not need such a tool, or maybe they wouldn't use it if it's available. On every Gnome desktop I've ssen in my life, a terminal was present. Most users don't find it any complicated to "fdformat -y /dev/fd0" or "newfs da1", because that's much more faster that clicking around and being bothered with options...

I'm sorry, but I'm completely lost for words at that paragraph. I really am. I just find this sort of thinking to be brain damaged. Seriously. Why on Earth do you think people are using a desktop and any sort of a GUI in the first place?!

The desktop is a window for a user, no matter how advanced or 'ordinary', to get into the operating system and perform various tasks they want to do. If they can't do certain tasks then the view from that window is severely restricted. End of story. In this area, Gnome, KDE and Unix/Linux desktops in general are just behind OS X and Windows by a long way. Hopefully stuff like HAL, Solid and various other things will improve that, but quite frankly, it's years overdue.

Reply Parent Score: 4

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

I would agree if you would talk about KDE or "Windows", but, as far as my own individual observations go, those users who use Gnome do not need such a tool, or maybe they wouldn't use it if it's available. On every Gnome desktop I've ssen in my life, a terminal was present. Most users don't find it any complicated to "fdformat -y /dev/fd0" or "newfs da1", because that's much more faster that clicking around and being bothered with options that are default for the CLI tool anyway.


Why would you need NetworkManager when there's a terminal and ifconfig? Why would you need Rhythmbox when there's a terminal and mpg123?
This is assbackwards reasoning. Good luck having mom inserting a flash drive and figuring out, on her own, that she needs to a) use a terminal and b) use a command that she have no idea how to use.
Having an option in Nautilus to format removable drives would be a really good idea.

Reply Parent Score: 2

alucinor Member since:
2006-01-06

I really wish you could alt-tab between windows while dragging and dropping ... this is great when you have little screen real estate and don't want to fiddle with resizing your windows just for a quick DnD operation.

Reply Parent Score: 2

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

You can just drag the object to the taskbar, and drop it over the taskbar-item corresponding to the target window. The same trick works in Windows btw.

Reply Parent Score: 2

rossburton Member since:
2007-01-25

If you drag onto an entry in the task list, that window will come to the top, so you can then drag onto it. Saves having to use the keyboard and mouse at once.

Reply Parent Score: 2

parentaladvisory Member since:
2006-12-18

I havent read on futher into this thread, I just feel that I have to respond with what I find is pretty basic, nad that is(I assume GNOME had multiple desktops from the start?) that you cant set "one wallpaper for each desktop". I have found some "3rd party" apps to do this, but a good well-intergrated solution would be alot better.(comparing to spaces in OSX, they where there in the previous version, but it was 3rd party "hack", and in the new version, it all seems very slick and intergrated)(dont know if it is possible to have different wallpapaers for different desktops in osx though...)
Well, it works in KDE, and should work in GNOME to, to me its basic functionality, if you have had the multiple desktops for 10 years...

Reply Parent Score: 2

Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

"[...] set "one wallpaper for each desktop". I have found some "3rd party" apps to do this, but a good well-intergrated solution would be alot better. [...] Well, it works in KDE, and should work in GNOME to, to me its basic functionality, if you have had the multiple desktops for 10 years..."

Even CDE had this functionality, and CDE is much older. :-)

I've seen the desktop wallpaper to be a useful means of distinction, but it only works as long as you don't run one maximized application per desktop.

Reply Parent Score: 2