Home > Gnome > Getting to Know Gnome Getting to Know Gnome Eugenia Loli 2004-02-08 Gnome 28 Comments Steven Garrity writes about his experiences with Linux and Gnome: “I’ve noticed a few little user interface niceties worth sharing“, he says. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 28 Comments 2004-02-08 10:33 pm On my old Win98, I only need to right-click and choose Rename as well and if the file extensions are hidden, I don’t have to worry about them either. It’d been nice if he’d have pointed this out. 2004-02-08 10:46 pm Since the article was linked from slashdot today as well, we had to replace it with a static version on a backup server, hence the messy URL. For reference, the permanent link for the article is: http://www.actsofvolition.com/archives/2004/february/gettingtoknow 2004-02-08 11:03 pm Smart File Renaming: Windows explorer context menus also have rename. The extention thing is cool though. Smart Screenshots being able to paste a screenshot from the clipboard to any app is a plus, and you can a take screenshot of just the selected window with “ALT-PRINTSCREEN”. Don’t Tie My Hands You only get a black box on the dvd’s screenshot because your playing video in overlay or VMR mode, both of wich use hardware acceleration. If linux is playing your dvd in plain RGB mode then you shouldn’t be happy because it’s playing it in software mode and using more cpu than it should. Who said fonts aren’t good in Linux? They still look worse than MS’s fonts IMO. Zooming Files ok, this one is cool 2004-02-08 11:04 pm “and if the file extensions are hidden, I don’t have to worry about them either.” But what if they aren’t? I know I always unhid them, for instance. -Erwos 2004-02-08 11:14 pm being able to paste a screenshot from the clipboard to any app is a plus, and you can a take screenshot of just the selected window with “ALT-PRINTSCREEN”. Its not a plus. Its unintuitive as hell. Open up the image file and copy-paste for those rare times you want to paste it into another app. Or have the app allow to to import a srenshot into it (like gimp does) for those 2 apps that need it. You only get a black box on the dvd’s screenshot because your playing video in overlay or VMR mode, both of wich use hardware acceleration. If linux is playing your dvd in plain RGB mode then you shouldn’t be happy because it’s playing it in software mode and using more cpu than it should. Its not in rgb mode, what is nice is that since some people ho might want to take a screenshot of the dvd will be confused in how to do it, just having it in the menu of the dvd player to give you a screenshot is very cool. 2004-02-08 11:15 pm a) The author didn’t say that GNOME was the only DE that has Rename in the context menu for files. What he said was that it is the only DE that doesn’t have any other way of renaming files builtin. b) I agree with this point (about screenshots) to a certain extent. I also think that it’s extremely convenient to not have to open a seperate app in order to save your screenie to a file. After all, this is what most people tend to do with them. c) DVD playback on Linux is generally done in hardware as well, but like some Windows apps, there are Linux DVD players that can grab frames from the DVD. It doesn’t mean that the DVD is being played in software mode though. And besides which, this is application specific, rather than DE specific, so I don’t really see why the author mentions it. d) Fonts look shite on my Win2k installation This one is a matter of preference though; I like the way fonts look on my GNOME desktop. e) Agreed. 2004-02-08 11:19 pm Anyway, I’ve been using Gnome as my desktop in work since the release of version 2 and I have to say that I think it’s fantastic, particularly 2.4+. I honestly think that the only thing holding Linux back as a contender in the desktop market is the reticence of some companies to publish Linux versions of their apps. 2004-02-08 11:27 pm You can have your screenshots sent to the clipboard in OS X (add ctrl to the shortcut). 2004-02-08 11:40 pm I’ve got a new ms-keyboard with a F Lock-button and some of the other new rearrangements of buttons compared to an old good keyboard. I usually press the F Lock-button to be able to use F-buttons – but by doing so, the PrtScn-button switches to become Insert instead. This gives me some alternative uses for the button. PrtScn = grabs entire sceen in the the clipboard Alt+PrtScn = grabs the current window to the clipboard Ctrl+PrtScn = another way of grabbing the screen (at least in win9x) Shift+PrtScn = SysRq and does whatever SysRq does 😉 and if F-lock is activated: Insert = usually change to insert mode for text input Shift+Insert = Pastes the clipboard The button looks something like this by the way: ——- PrtScn <- text on top of the button SysRq ——- Insert <- text below the top ——- Here is how to grab a screenshot and paste it… (Alt or Ctrl or no modifier) and PrtScn, then F-Lock, then Shift+PrtScn… hmm, nope that didn’t work, the F-Lock wasn’t activated… 😉 By the way, what does SysRq do? 2004-02-08 11:57 pm Also neat in gnome is when you push alt-PrtScn to take a screenshot of the current window it automatically names the screenshot after the app. Eg Taking a screenshot of rhythmbox gets named “Screenshot-Rhythmbox.png”. 2004-02-08 11:57 pm SysRq is a way of passing commands directly to the kernel. It can be very useful when e.g. something in userland has to all intents and purposes locked up the computer but the kernel’s still alive and kicking. Check out http://linuxgazette.net/issue81/vikas.html for a nice overview of its functionality. Note that support for it is disabled by default, so you’ll likely have to recompile your kernel should you want to take advantage of it. 2004-02-08 11:58 pm Hey Steve, I’ve done a rough translation of the article for the http://noticias.es.gnome.org“>Spanish . If you don’t like it, just say so and I can take it down. 2004-02-09 12:41 am If the video is rendered in overlay mode then it’s impossible to take a screenshot of both the video and the desktop, if you try, the only thing you get is the back box were the video should be. You can get either the desktop or the video but not both. As for just the video screenshot, if media player 9 doesn’t take them you can always use media player classic (http://gabest.org/) instead, and (for divx) ffdshow, bsplayer etc. 2004-02-09 2:19 am being able to paste a screenshot from the clipboard to any app is a plus, and you can a take screenshot of just the selected window with “ALT-PRINTSCREEN”. Its not a plus. Its unintuitive as hell. I don’t think so. In Windows, ‘Copy’ generally means copy it to the clipboard, whether that be text, images, or whatever. Personally, I like it this way. Say if I right click on an image in the web browser, I can either save it to the hard drive, or simply copy it then paste it directly into another application – if I have both choices from the menu, I don’t need a window popping up asking what I want to do with it. 2004-02-09 2:22 am Short but sweet, I like the fact that people are out there noticing these little details, be they good or bad. It’s also gratifying to see someone acknowledge OS X’s GUI as performing better than the competition these days (a year or two ago, it was fashionable to sneer at OS X’s GUI performance, and I can’t say it wasn’t without reason). BTW, thanks Manik for that great tip! I didn’t know I could add shift to the combination to send the screenshot to the clipboard — I’ve been dealing with stupid PDF files all this time. Cool beans. Jared 2004-02-09 2:23 am Works fine if you just turn off overlay/hardware acceleration in WM preferences. 2004-02-09 2:26 am Same hardware, Mandrake fonts look a million times better than Windows XP. The new KDE 3.2 has a bunch of neat new features that could be written up like this too. I’ve been giving my wife time on my Mandrake laptop. Our XP installation is about 2 years old now and it’s pretty degraded.. I asked her to play with Mandrake for a while to see if she could live with it. She said no problem. She likes it better. Some of it is “new toy itis”, but since her life is Mail / Web / Photoshop (through Wine) / Digicam, there’s nothing she’ll be missing if we switch to Mandrake 10 beta 2. I’ll miss Premiere, but I’m buying a used G4 tower to do the baby-movie editing. Finally, Microsoft free. (Gnome’s future as a Mono based enterprise easily matches KDE’s Qt problems. Wouldn’t touch Gnome, myself..). 2004-02-09 4:49 am At least if you accidently select something for renaming with the other methods, you know how to do it in the future. Huh? How come that time when I double clicked the file it re-named it? And now how can I run the file? Whenever I double click, it just highlights the filename/unhighlights it! Or alternatively, how about when you mean to rename it, but double click too quickly? And how hard, exactly, is it to go look in the Edit menu if you want to edit the filename? 2004-02-09 4:56 am All valid questions. My only point was the article was very poor and did not examine anything in any degree of depth. Each renaming scheme has its own pros and cons, and the article was very simplistic and did not touch on any of this. 2004-02-09 5:21 am I can’t believe people argue about this stuff. User interfacing is the users preference. Of course there is good and there is bad in user interfacing, but in the end it’s the users rating that matters. I personally switch between KDE and Gnome. I like a panel that is powerful. On Kicker right now I have: k-menu Several app shortcuts desktop view CLI app launcher CPU/Mem watch Xmms controls Sound adjustment on all channels klipper schedule trash (this is where it’s supposed to be) pager clock And then I run ksmoothdock for my taskbar, because icons save screen space over text, and I am a visual person. So I deal better with icons and screen positions than text. Some people hate icon taskbars, they like text. Everyone is different. If we all interfaced the same we’d all talk the same. So, IMO, the bottom line is configurability. 2004-02-09 5:48 am That idea about just selecting the filename by default when renaming is pretty good. So I’ve added it to my own little file manager. 2004-02-09 8:07 am “Everyone is different. If we all interfaced the same we’d all talk the same. So, IMO, the bottom line is configurability.” And yet, somehow modern medicine manages to work. 2004-02-09 8:17 am seeing gnome inside out i dont see gnome better than kde osx even windows… 2004-02-09 9:39 am Sagres, I don’t think that he was trying to capture the entire desktop, or the entire window with the DVD playing; I think he was just trying to capture a single frame, as in the Pearl Jam image that he posted. 2004-02-09 11:15 am When you want to rename a file in OS X (at least in Panther anyway), all the letters in the filename are highlighted when the edit box is activated. One click places the caret where you clicked (unselecting all others). If you want to change the filename only, doubleclick to the left of the period and the filename will be highlighted. If you want to change the extension only, doubleclick to the right of the period, and just the extension will be highlighted. I think both the gnome and Mac methods are very good. You get used to either pretty quickly. The gnome method is more obvious than the macs, but it’s more difficult to change the extension. Both do it better than Windows. BTW, if you take screenshots with the Grab utility rather than using keyboard shortcuts, the Mac works pretty much the same way as gnome. 2004-02-09 11:31 am …stability is about, eh well, stability. i don’t get it. why is such an article linked on osnews… wasn’t this meant to be a techie place? the auther is obviously far from being a techie and even eternitys away from even the simplest technical understanding (if you have read the other article by him, you will know what i mean)… please, no more of these…. 2004-02-09 6:32 pm Actually, modern medicine *doesn’t work* much of the time, which is why a huge number of people are exploring alternative, personalized approaches to health such as herbal medicine, homeopathy, nutritional therapy, massage, acupuncture, etc. It’s called “holistic” medicine — i. e., it takes YOU and YOUR body and YOUR mind into consideration when developing a health program custom-tailored for YOU. So maybe this whole customization idea for GUIs ain’t too far off anyway, huh? Jared 2004-02-09 8:39 pm If the player supports VMR9 you can take a screenshot of it without it being a black box. On windows I only know of 2 things that support it though, zoom player and hauppage’s wintv software.