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
Gaius_Maximus
Member since:
2012-08-31

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?

Reply Score: 5

RE: I'm confused
by thesunnyk on Mon 24th Sep 2012 04:10 in reply to "I'm confused"
thesunnyk Member since:
2010-05-21

Document oriented or Application oriented desktops are competing ideas. Neither is more advanced. However, there have been advances within each paradigm that make one more palatable (or fashionable) than the other.

I think you're assuming that Gnome 3 is for the tablet (AFAIK, Gnome 3 isn't designed for tablets) and then claiming that you could've used a Gnome 2's ideas for a tablet anyway. I don't think the Gnome guys are trying to win in the tablet space. At least, the idea of Gnome 3 having to evolve to tablets only recently came up, and there probably won't be any real code along that line until past Gnome 3.6.

I tried to explain in the article how one could go about using Gnome 3. Perhaps I didn't do a very good job, but basically, if you can't "do work" in Gnome 3, maybe it would be worth writing down what doesn't work for you in a very specific way, and using that as a basis for criticism. Gnome 3 is minimalist, to be sure, but the idea is to make the user more productive. If this isn't true, the Gnome devs need to know exactly why.

As for why Gnome 3 has changed compared to Gnome 2, I guess I can't really answer that. Why does any free source software change? To scratch an itch.

Reply Parent Score: 3