Gnome 3.0 is a long way off still and I have already written a wishlist for Gnome, however this time around I thought I write some specific feature requests for the next major Gnome release (coming in more than a year from now). These are applications that I would like to see included by default on Gnome 3.0 for a more full and integrated experience.
1. A home video editor
I have already written an article about video editing on Unix, however I just can’t escape the ghost of iMovie hunting me each time I use Unix/Linux. Kino seems to be a good candidate for this job and freedesktop.org‘s DBUS/HAL are coming along well. However, some HIG love is seriously needed on Kino and porting to Gstreamer as well (GStreamer which should also be using HAL by then). Feature request: adding support for normal web cameras too to grab video would be great. If such a video editor app becomes a hit, an application that enables you to create DVD UIs and burn Kino movies as VCD/DVDs should be in order as well.
2. Instant Messaging
Gnome needs an integrated (with Nautilus, Evolution and other apps) multi-protocol instant messaging application. It needs to be doing Jabber, AIM/iChat/ICQ, MSN, Y! and maybe IRC (X-Chat will always be available as a third party app to fill up any IRC voids). More over, the application will need to support video and audio conferencing for the above protocols. Personally, I use all 5 major IM protocols but I also use AIM/iChat, Y! and MSN’s video and audio capabilities and I solely miss those when I am using Unix. A lot of my online friends have an iSight and so video chatting has become a standard in my life (and I can’t wait until my town in Greece gets DSL support so I can videochat with my brother too!).
Good candidates here are Gaim and Gossip (which is currently Jabber-only). My personal favorite is Gossip as it is more HIG-compliant and simpler to use, however Gaim has already started a project to get video support, gaim-vv.
3. A CD/DVD burner
Ah, the Achilles heel of Gnome. Not a single such Gnome app fills up my requirements (both in functionality and in aesthetics) currently. I still have to use KDE’s K3B to do my job. However, the Coaster guys are seem to be in a good road and the Optimystic guy as well (both projects are using freedesktop.org’s libburn). Let’s hope that either of the two projects will be ready and fully featured for Gnome 3.0, because I don’t think I have the patience to wait more for something as vital as this.
4. Evolution and peripheral apps
This is probably coming already on Gnome 2.8, so hang on. Having a very professional/office-oriented application like Evolution 2.0 might be a bit of overkill for the Gnome desktop — I admit– however, it does bring a lot of other well-designed features in addition to a capable email client, e.g. an address book, alarm, scheduling etc. And having these integrated to other Gnome apps would be a huge plus.
And we need a video player that is able to play popular formats (and act as a plugin to web browsers). Totem with the Xine backend works great most of the time, however if it is going to be integrated on Gnome probably there will be a requirement for GStreamer. In this case, popular formats will need to be supported, and so a “bridge” between GStreamer and Xine libraries might need to be developed (so instead of compiling your multimedia app with either GStreamer or Mplayer or Xine backend support, you support just one and that one supports the other two — that’s a cleaner way for the user not having to deal with these technicalities).
As Seth Nickell also defended in the gnome mailing list a few months ago, a movie player most of the times doesn’t make a great music player. I agree with Seth on this, and this is why I would like to see a mature and full-featured Rhythmbox on Gnome 3.0. And this includes the following features: iPod support, being able to do CD ripping via integrating the nice-looking Sound Juicer (not by calling it as an external app), add support for visualization (by porting the XMMS visualization plugins to Gstreamer), and do some basic mp3/ogg tagging. A more sophisticated playlist might be in order as well.
7. Camera/Image viewing solution
The current image viewer for Gnome is the “Eye of Gnome” which is nicely integrated into Nautilus, but the image viewing part of it is not enough. Cataloging and digital/web camera support would be good too. F-Spot is great for that job, however it is written in Mono, and there are many who oppose Mono becoming part of Gnome by default, therefore my vote would go to gThumb (which will of course need to add F-Spot’s clean interface and features and some web camera support too).
1. Quick Lounge
Quick-Lounge was supposed to be included on Gnome 2.6, but it failed a few requirements. Let’s hope its developer will bring the gnome-panel plugin up to speed and have it incorporated on Gnome by default (useful for users who use a single panel for both the taskbar and other functions and want to save some real screen estate).
2. News Feed application
Sure, Evolution already does support RDF/RSS/etc, but in a very limited way. An application like Liferea would be great to have on Gnome by default (however some UI clean up would be required beforehand). Straw is more powerfull but it has a gazillion dependencies and it’s written in Python, which is also not included by default on Gnome.
3. A modem dialer
While more and more people are moving to DSL/Cable connections, there are millions who still use a dial-up modem. For these users Gnome should catter, maybe by creating a front end to wvDial.
4. Personal Finances
A new application that deals with personal finances would be useful to many. While many try to fix Gnucash, the truth is that the code is not as flexible and its extra dependencies make it problematic. The new application doesn’t have to have all Gnucash’s features (which are pretty extensive), but to function as a simple finance recorder.
5. Moving fully to ALSA
The volume control and ESD should be fully ported to ALSA. If I didn’t had added the OSS emulation on my Arch Linux 2 weeks ago I would get some cryptic messages from Gnome’s volume control telling me that some /dev devices don’t exist (they didn’t).
6. The Gonvertor
I always loved little utilities that support converting to and from many categories. Area, Mass, Velocity, Time, Money, Volume, Distance, Digital Quantity are just some of the ideas. I believe that such a tool would add nicely to the Accessories menu on Gnome.
7. PDA/Phone syncing
The gnome-pilot conduit doesn’t seem to support the newer PalmOS devices and there is definetely no support for Pocket PCs and smartphones. A new application taking care of these devices that are so integrated to our lives these days, would be most welcome (or it could be done via some Nautilus integration mounting the devices via serial, USB or bluetooth).
It will be a lie if we couldn’t see the need for a unified blog application that can take care Blogger, Movable Type, pMachine & LiveJournal. BloGTK seems to be the best solution of all currently, however it lacks LiveJournal support (found in Drivel though) and it is written in Python (which is not included by default on Gnome).
As you can see, there are so many nice apps that can’t be included on Gnome by default because of the language that they are written, maybe the Gnome Project would consider including the C++, Java, Python and GTK# bindings on Gnome 3.0 by default. I believe that these are most important bindings and they should be further supported by the Project.
While distro/BSD makers can include some of these apps on top of Gnome for their product, the fact remains that Gnome should be the one who should provide the most-needed modern applications to the distro makers in order to free them from extra work, as this is one of the reasons OEMs would prefer a fully integrated full-featured DE than a bits and pieces put together.
On another note, all applications mentioned here are requested to be HIG-compliant (and as an additional note, the HIG itself needs an update to include some guidance besides widget placement but overall usability architecture and steps on how to get there).
If Gnome could at least pull through the applications mentioned in the first page of the article for Gnome 3.0, I would personally be a very happy user and it would also make distro makers happier as well, driving the number of distros that shipping with Gnome, higher up.
I have to strongly disagree with some of the statements regarding creating larger “do it all in one place” applications (eg, Rhythmbox for audio, iradio and ripping, and a kcontrol equiv as one poster suggested). I greatly prefer (and IMO it is much simpler/more usable) to have multiple “do one job and do it well” applications.
Sound Juicer has a very simple UI, there is nothing confusing about having it launched from Rhythmbox and most users wouldnt not even know it was a seperate application. The same goes for a kcontrol equiv. A Nautilus view can be (and already is in some setups) used to display launchers for all the GNOME configuration utilities.
I will also say that the Rhythmbox UI is based upon the iTunes UI which is not very good. Not to bash Rhythmbox, they have created a very usable application, however it is not by any means the ‘ideal’ tool for the job, it just happens to be one of the best available (though I personally perfer Muine).
People tend to request that new applications move in the direction of familiarity, however it is important to understand that Gnome is not striving for familiarity, it is striving for usablity. Too often is familiarity used as a hack twards usability, which is a doomed effort.
While it may need “HIG”‘fication, ed2k_gui + the Overnet core works great and has a snazzy little applet. It looks very much at home on my Gnome desktop, and is extremely stable to boot.
For burning I use the latest Eclipt Roaster (eroaster). The newest version, which I could only find as source (compiles in a super jiffy without hassle on Fedora), works great! I find it even better than K3b for iso creating and burning. You can even drag from both Totem and Rhythmbox. So you create a playlist in Rhythmbox, which is very intuitive and drag it over. Adding a menu-entry to RB to make this happen should be a piece of cake. The only drawback to Eroaster is that it doesn’t decode compressed music files on the fly, but that does prevent coasters…look at it as a good time to make a pot of tea
Most Software you mention still exists and is stable and Useful.
You are Right we need a GonomOnCd or someting else.
And a good System needs good Software but GNOME dont needs it out of the Box. We have Distributers like RedHat, SuSE, Debian and much more to do this for us.
If you don’t burn CDs why shoud you install a bunrn-app?
If you dont want to chat, why do you want to use gaim?
Btw: Gaim will be integrated to Gnome and Evolution. Look to the bounty hunt.
Im not a plugger so i dont want BloGTK installed with GNOME.
Many People don’t needs the Features from Gthumb. I don’t need them, but EOG can’t display Slideshows – the only feature i want.
esd-alsa is there.
However, Solaris and FreeBSD for example -which also use GNOME- do not use ALSA. What do you suggest for that?
Uhm. You just use APT, URMI, YUM, FINK, Ports, Emerge, etc. for that. It comes with your distribution. What is wrong with that? With most distributions, you can use these utilities to search for a (certain) GNOME application.
This is a _MUST_ for gnome! GNOME desperately needs a good IDE, GUI builder, et cetera, if they want more people to develop nice applications for them.
Make 1 application that can use plugins to view document types like:
– dvi I have to use xdvi under gnome
This application should of course integrate well with Nautilus, like gpdf does.
please read before speaking in public !!
You should have listed MythTV and IVTV on page one of your suggestions.
three appz I’d like to have working (with full integration) in Gnome:
1- a CD/DVD burning ecc. suite as everybody says;
2- a PRESENTATION software (Agnubis… knock if you’re alive!);
3- a DTP (desktop publishing) software (like Scribus but… using gtk/gnome!).
I use xcdroast (http://www.xcdroast.org) for my CD/DVD burning requirements and I find it absolutely awesome. It’s functionality grow all the time and I never have any problems with it.
I’m totally right with you, but, it is so easy to write and say: “Gnome needs more changes in the file selector box, gnome needs a lot more of dock apps”, etc… But none of you are helping us with it… Remeber, Gnome and Linux is not a commercial app where any of you pay for it… We develop inside Gnome cuz WE want something and build something… Have Micro$oft done all your expectatives?…
I must say the earlier poster “Omega” is fundamentally correct. “Gnome” should focus on on improving and moving forward the desktop enviroment – and not bother with applications.
I mean, Eugenia, why did you not also add an Office suite?
a printing manager, etc etc. The best gnome app does not need gnome…the Gimp? I use fvwm but can run gimp, abiword, openoffice, etc. Why do I use fvwm?
2 reasons it lean on resources, fast and can be made to look unique. Gnome and KDE are so bloated. I would sue a lot of the functionality that a DE provides, but not at the price imposed by KDE or Gnome.
If gnome could only provide a solid infrastructure (example look at cocoa) on which to build apps. So Kde has an office suite, and everything including the kitchen sink. And guess what – none of them are really that useable, because it seems to me that those KDE apps developers simply want KDE to have all types of apps. In other words, these are not really applications that fill a need but rather applications that fill a desire..
Let those developers that have dedicated themselves to and have the expertise, creating applications (like gimp, abiword, Mozila) build them for gnome.
If you provide an easy / stable / avant garde desktop environment, then app developers will create apps for you. And since they have dedicated time to this, we can see that at least they have functional knowledge than people that start developing for the frist time. That is why all word processoers look like MS Office. But have you noticed that there is NO FOSS app that actually beats MS OFFICE? We don’t want clones – we want progress and being different by being better.
I like to hold up two examples of FOSS products and development philosophy as being the best: (1) Mozilla
For mozilla they have steadily achieved all their stated objectives. Their browser now sets the standards by which all other browsers are measured. And they did it by not looking at how other products look etc.
(2) Slackware maintains its goal of being “Simply the best”. It is rock solid, and does what it is intended to do -it will never include the kitchen sink in its distributions.
There is so much mediocrity in the FOSS world. Most app are always half-finished. Nothing really works well and for everbody, like an MS product.
But it need not be this way. Everyone wants to do things just to do things, very few actually want to “create” a well-crafted quality product. So KDE has cd/burner..oops gnome must have one too. Why?
Not meant to flame – but fish food for thought.
“I’m totally right with you, but, it is so easy to write and say: “Gnome needs more changes in the file selector box, gnome needs a lot more of dock apps”, etc… But none of you are helping us with it… Remeber, Gnome and Linux is not a commercial app where any of you pay for it… We develop inside Gnome cuz WE want something and build something… Have Micro$oft done all your expectatives?…”
And that too is part of the problem…
user expectations, often do not jive with those of the developer.
“Kementeus Xtian”, your reaction is correct and understandable. So much good work is being done in the FOSS world, and one wonders why it is not appreciated and recognized as much as it should. The reason is I think there is a disconnect between developer and user.
I don’t know how many times I have started to write an email to the folks at mozilla, gimp, and so many others just to let them know how great their product is, and how much I appreciate their work. I always stop because I felt foolish. But I should have, because the mozilla, gimp ,etc people actually made their product for people like me, and they need to know how it is working for me.
So how can gnome get its users to participate?
Participate by having a sense of co-ownership in Gnome.
By that I mean, co-ownership of product quality,
direction, and yes also at times help out with testing, documenting , anything else. I am not saying making some fuzzy community, but forming rather a community of pride and spirit that leads to…if a gnome user ends up saying, “this product has problems, is unuseable, etc, etc”, then they have themselves to blame because if they take ownership in gnome’s quality then they are actually contributing to its development as well.
And I still disagree with Eugenia’s approach to gnome.
Anyway let me now say this: I do apreciate the whole Gnome DE, even though I do not use it because of bloata and instability, I do use some of its great apps 🙂
To focus on a modem dialer program would be utterly wrong. What we need in Gnome is something like Redhat/Fedoras network config tool. That means: Connections like modem,ISDN, ethernet are supported – but also VPN:
Everything else (just for modem) is nonsense in my opinion. Gnome should not depend on specific underlying applications like wvdial. I would let Distributions decide how the global configurations are written. Well PPtP could be easily managed for users and is solved very much like dialing in in Windows.
It would be nice if we could create PPtP connections for users. That would enable Gnome to use Microsoft VPNs (well we allready have PPtP solutions that are GPLed) as an option. The Redhat network config tool sould be part of the gnome-system-tools. And gnome-system-tools should be part of Gnome 3.0!
As a slackware users I would be happy to have just Gnome + GTK app’s OR KDE + Qt app’s to avoid chewing up gig’s of HDD space unecessarily.
I made a list of essential apps & found no decent DVD burning app for Gnome. Sure I can launch K3b inside Gnome but it is slow & I have to have all that HDD space devoted to a DE I am not using. Strangely GTK apps launch instantly in KDE but not the other way around.
When I look at the list I can find a Qt app for everything but not the other way around. I kinda like the clean Mac like DE of Gnome but only a die hard unix person could love using it because it lacks features forcing you back to the command line _a lot_.
Considering Gnome started _before_ KDE, it is looking like Gnome is falling behind more & more.
So, for me, the practical route is to stick with the more feature rich & app rich KDE & save space on Gnome/Gtk…
I know there are some rudimentary things out there for tar/dump/cpio, but I would like to see a bonafide front end to utilities like mt and mtx (for tape changers) as well as these others. Even a nicer front end to amanda would be a start. I really could use such a tool, and I believe I may not be the only one. The various web interface apps don’t give me the control and flexibility I am looking for.
Please don’t ask for new features till the current ones are fixed and this will only make gnome go Windows way. Why do we have to mimic Windows or Mac OS? Stop gnome from turning stupid. Gnome is for developers by developers so keep it that way. If Gnome doesn’t have those nifty user-dumb features, use Windows+cygwin or Mac OS or KDE, leave Gnome alone.
These are my opinions:
1) Home video editing. Waste of time / money almost, but would be nice to see it done on Linux. Still, that’s almost a waste of time to me in terms of spending time editing videos about my family instead of spending time with my family. Therefore, I’m neutral.
2) Instant Messaging. GAIM works fine — inject some developers into GAIM and add video abilities. Still, I don’t video, because I don’t have time. I use my machine mainly for working, not playing.
3) CD / DVD Burner: I use K3B. Half of me thinks “who cares, use K3B” and the other half thinks “I hope Gnome puts out a non-coaster-making cd/dvd burner”.
4) Evolution and peripheral apps. I say forget evolution. I use KMail exclusively for the filtering system it has (with SpamAssassin). I say either clone KMail (or an app with the filters it has) or I’ll keep using it. Sylpheed isn’t good enough IMO, neither is Mozilla Mail. Sorry.
5) Totem. So? Encorporate MPlayer and/or Xine — they work fine. GMplayer also worked fine, albeit slightly frustrating at times.
6) Rhythmbox. Yes! If you encorporate that, I would love it. Stop bothering trying to make your own. Get their permission to bring it into the “gnome camp” or something. It is awesome. However, I can always use XMMS too.
7) Camera / Image viewing. This would be a good idea — still pictures. Either as an add-on to GIMP (since GIMP is awesome) or as a Nautilus plugin maybe.
9) News Feed app. Good idea. Start minimalistic and add features slowly. gDesklets have a nice news feed desklet / sensor, but I don’t use it normally. I just point my web browser (Galeon / Mozilla) to CNN or whatever. I do use newsgroups, but in KNode, because I don’t like the others. This is starting to sound like the microsoft thing with people getting used to KDE and liking only KDE stuff, yet not using Gnome stuff much. Oh well, it’s life.
10) Personal finances. Why can’t people just use a spreadsheet or something? I think it’s sad that people want something to hold their hand. Still, for calculating how to pay off debt (which is the funny way we need an app like this), it would be useful. Doesn’t GnuCash do this stuff? I haven’t bothered recently …
11) ALSA. We should incorporate it, but I don’t think it’s necessary to move to it. ESD worked fine so far as I could see, even with KDE and XMMS apps running in Gnome. What gives? I mean, the abilities would be nice, with JACK as well, but why totally ignore ESD?
12) Gonverter: an excellent idea. I’d love to see this and/or help develop it.
13) PDA/Phone Syncing. I don’t care about it, honestly. The more places I have personal info, the more likely it will be for someone to steal or read it. But hey, it would be a nice idea, maybe, but I wouldn’t care.
14) Blogging. Never did it, don’t care. It’s not really a news feed, more like an opinion feed. But oh well, if they want it, I guess they can develop it too.
Conclusion: I use XFCE and Gnome apps, and would prefer to stay in the GTK apps, but alas I must use KDE apps at times. But to fill those voids, Gnome will have a long way to go, but it can be done. Just remember, I prefer to use the app I like best, as do most other people. Oh, and can we encorporate more themes? I love the Gnome artwork, but the default 2.4 themes sucked.
I find this article kind of funny:
Eugenia complains about the lack of applications in Gnome, and finds corresponding apps in KDE, but does not want to use them. You know, there’s a free nice KDE app for almost all your needs. Why would you not use them? Because they look different? Use Gtk-qt and make all apps look the same.
Because they use different toolkit? I thought you were burning CD’s? K3B does it just fine. Of course someone could copy K3B’s functionality to a Gnome app, but what’s the point?
This is just one sad example of doing and wanting duplicate work. Making 7 different CD burning apps just for every Eugenia / toolkit / desktop is a waste of time.