Fedora 16 And GNOME Shell: Tested And Reviewed

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Th-z

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[citation][nom]Adam Overa[/nom]What makes all of this worse is the way GNOME dismisses the complaints, chalking it up to the fact that people don't like change and that its users will acclimate.[/citation]
The situation is similar to Windows 8 CP. Those who don't like the way desktop environment gets mixed and mashed with Metro UI elements are dismissed as people don't like change.

I mean no, it's not "don't like change". To make long story short, it's just bad. I feel in many UI change cases, they change for the sake of change or just want to be different, not actually better, like fashion in clothing. No matter how bad it's, there's bound be people like it, the question is how many.
 
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Very solid review. I'm a long-time Fedora user, and reluctantly upgraded my home desktop to 16 a few months ago. You've captured most of my usability gripes with Gnome 3. My biggest one is the terribly excessive mousing required -- back and forth from one side of the (large) screen to the other -- which is especially annoying with a thumb trackball; I may finally be forced to learn the keyboard shortcuts. I also find the 'activities' UI design to be mentally disruptive when launching a new application. Pressing that button to get to the app icons redraws the whole screen with something entirely different, which is visually jarring. With Gnome 2, there is a visual continuity in the desktop.

You point out that much of the shortcomings can be resolved with Gnome tweaks and shell extensions (and indeed they can now), but from what I've read elsewhere, the Gnome developers view these Gnome 2-like extensions as completely counter to where they are trying to take the UI. This makes me wonder if it isn't better to just switch to something like XFCE now, rather that kick and fight, release after release with where Gnome is going.
 
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Where is the option or link to read it all as one single page, please?
 
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It would've been nice to have had this review performed by a rather more impartial journalist (i.e. a non-Linux user;someone who doesn't have a KDE-shaped horse in the race).
 
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Using Xfce in Ubuntu 12.04. A desktop dosen't need more, at this time, but future could change it.
 
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My problem with GNOME3 is simple. I'm an admin in a public library and have both staff and the general public using Linux workstations. I MIGHT be able to get the staff retrained to use something this alien because I could do extensive training during our bi-annual all staff training sessions. But it would be hilarious trying to put this turd in a public computing lab; and watch how fast they would form a lynch mob.

Maybe in a few years, if Microsoft actually gets away with forcing all PCs to have touch screens and everyone to become accustomed to assuming everything is a tablet. Now though? Hah!
 

gondor

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I like the vampire comparison - my thoughts exactly :) I started my Linux endeavours with Slackware 3.0 back in 1995 and have always been a staunch fan of CLI (ditto in *BSD), yet as I get older I'm beginning to lose the whatever-it-takes-to-make-a-point attitude and move towards more cozy out-of-the-box solutions.

I'm eagerly awaiting Ubuntu 12.04 and plan to install it for real use rather than just experimentation (I have only ever used Slackware and NetBSD for real work) but I don't understand the developers that keep trying to alienate the prospective users. Gnome3 is just the most prominent exmaple of such stupidity but truth to be told Ubuntu (with its dumbass Unity-on-left-edge-because-we-said-so attitude) isn't trailing far behind and is also likely to go the way of now exinct African bird unless someone sees the light.

Yes, users want easy to use systems but they also want reasonable customizability. Even in Windows XP one could pin that damn taskbar to any single edge of the screen. Rotated versions of Unity already exist. Why is it so difficult for Canonical to settle for a version that can be pinned to any, vertical or horizontal edge ? Don't repeat the mistake of Gnome developers, don't shove poor decisions down your users' throats just because you can; start paying attention or get left in the dust by the roadside as other solutions come along !


P.S. I too wish that your tests included more "mundane" benchmarks such as document opening time etc. Things that people do every day (opening and saving documents, compiling source code, serving contents ...) mean much more than just raw data transfer rate numbers ;)
 

tntom

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Great Review Adam Overa! Thanks for the detailed well thought out review.

Really enjoyed your perspective hitting all the points that interest me. It has been along time since I used RedHat. I prefer Ubuntu with KDE = Kubuntu. It has been a year since I used any form of Linux. I have too many productivity applications that do not work as well in Wine to make it worth it and my system is not fast enough to use virtualization effectively. Will get onboard again in six months when I upgrade to either an A-series or i7.
 

jamie_1318

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[citation][nom]Tom Hunt[/nom]I am a dairy blogs reader, reading this blog gives me a interest developing mood towards this field. Please go on and don't stop because you are doing a great job secreatly.[/citation]

Has anyone successfully decoded this message? Does anyone know what native language this person is? Is there some kind of "in joke" I'm missing? How has this post not been deleted yet for being incomprehensible?
Whoever they are joined up just to put this incomprehensible message on the board and that leaves me suspicious.
 

RogueKitsune

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I am not a huge fan of GNOME 3, but i do like it a lot better than UNITY. UNITY is just a hot mess of windows 8 UI tablet BS. Right now I am using Linux Mint with Cinnamon UI (http://cinnamon.linuxmint.com/), which is a little laggy on my laptop for some reason, but i think its the best UI out there right now. I might try to get back into using KDE or XFCE but for now Cinnamon will do
 

sseyler

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I do Fortran numerical computation on Fedora 16 using Intel's Fortran compiler and I do data visualization using Wolfram Mathematica. In combination with Gedit, I find the easiness in switching between necessary views very simple. Gnome 3 forced me to learn to use my mouse to flick windows to the corners and sides of the screen to control my workflow. Consequently, I've actually found myself more efficient while doing work on Fedora 16 over Linux Mint 12 and I've found my research to be more enjoyable on the Gnome 3 interface.
 

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Report comments that nobody understands. They aren't a use to anyone.
 

Marcus52

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I really get making things user-friendly, even for those who are relative technical dummies, and GUIs are mostly designed to do just that. What I don't get is penalizing the power user in the process; this is a fault of some Linux distros and Windows, and I'm willing to bet the same applies to OS X.

There is simply no reason to frustrate the people who want to do more; who want to fine-tune. A new version should never provide, in any way, less than what a previous version provided.

;)

;)
 
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Dear Tom's Hardware Guys:

"While Fedora 16 shows more wins than Ubuntu 11.10, many of those are practical ties. Therefore Ubuntu 11.10 remains the king"

Why can't you just be unbiased and admit that Fedora won this benchmark? Do you think you're sounding unbiased saying that even though Fedora came out on top, Ubuntu was *almost* better, therefore Ubuntu wins? Tell me that isn't just silly..
 

bnr

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This list of faults is faulty; most of these features are there you just don't know how to use them or have an in ability to adjust from your old work habits to just as convienent new ones; this is a new environment, to work with it properly, some changes to your workflow may be required.

I have been using gnome3 since fedora16 beta, during that time it has improved some, mostly I learned how to actually use it. It is different and takes getting used to, but with that I can say that your complaints meerely undline your inexperience with the new interface; this is not strictly your fault, the people from the GNOME project need to do a better job of explaining the changes to people. I think that this part of the job has been left undone in no small part because gnome3 is still in the early day of its developement; some things such as the user configuration dialogs and some of the defautl behaviors need to be work on and experiemented with before The Manual gets written.
 

gevan

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Congrats for the in depth and unbiased reviewing of Gnome 3. I mostly agree with most of the ctiticism. However, I believe that the discussion about Gnome's status and future is not fair. Debian, that fully supports Gnome 3 is not mentioned at all. The same is true about Arch. Both distros are community driven and very popular.
While I don't have strong statistical evidence to support my personal experience, I have seen numerous Windows users to be really impressed by Gnome 3 (somebody asked me whether my netbook was running MacOSX...) Even, my 12 year-old daughther wants me to upgrade her Debian Squeeze laptop to Wheezy because she fell in love with Gnome 3!
 
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I love how Gnome3 detractors deny vehemently that the hatred is not because it is different from what they are used to, before describing in detail how to make it just like Gnome2 :)
 

FedoraUser

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Would you be so kind and tell us what is taking so long to boot Fedora?
"systemd-analyze blame | head" is a good starting point
 

jonabbey

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I quite like Gnome Shell, and really do prefer it of all the operating environments I work with now (Fedora, Lion, Windows Vista). Whenever I'm on my Mac laptop, I have to work hard to avoid slapping the left Windows/Clover key, expecting it to pop up the overview.

That's the main question I had in reading your interview, incidentally.. you talked about all the mousing required to get to the Activities button, and I can see how that would be a pain, but I just don't ever do that. Moving my thumb to slap the left Windows key is very quick, and the overview it gives me of the environment is superb. Right now I have 16 terminal windows running, and I can quickly select among them with a minimum of fuss.

Obviously, the fact that I'm running 16 terminal windows at a time tells you a bit about the sort of user I am, though. I have 16 terminal windows on the left monitor, Chrome full-screen on the right, and it works great.
 

jonabbey

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I quite like Gnome Shell, and really do prefer it of all the operating environments I work with now (Fedora, Lion, Windows Vista). Whenever I'm on my Mac laptop, I have to work hard to avoid slapping the left Windows/Clover key, expecting it to pop up the overview.

That's the main question I had in reading your interview, incidentally.. you talked about all the mousing required to get to the Activities button, and I can see how that would be a pain, but I just don't ever do that. Moving my thumb to slap the left Windows key is very quick, and the overview it gives me of the environment is superb. Right now I have 16 terminal windows running, and I can quickly select among them with a minimum of fuss.

Obviously, the fact that I'm running 16 terminal windows at a time tells you a bit about the sort of user I am, though. I have 16 terminal windows on the left monitor, Chrome full-screen on the right, and it works great.
 

baltazard

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I agree that gnome 3 should have been a preview rather than a final product, and the extensions should have been a default components rather than an extra you need to Google for, but beside all that, gnome 3 is a fantastic desktop environment, I'm not an expert nor a novice, but I found G3 more intuitive than unity or KDE, KDE is a bit an old XP from my point of view and unity well a nightmare for me.
Adding Cairo dock or docky to G3, some extension here and there and Gnome 3 is truly an enjoyable experience.
 
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Very good review, in special about DE.

Best Frase: "For whom, Gnome-Shell was make?"

Gnome_Shell people, make Canonical goes to Unity. Linux Mint make a fork with Cinnamon, other group make Matte, and many goes to XFCE.

Was not enough hear people claims.

They make Linux Desktop loose users.
Loose a lot of time and work.
Breaking community in many groups.

Why not simple launch Gnome 3 like a Preview and receive and accept feedback from people?

I hope, that these 3 efforts (Gnome3, Unity, Cinnamon) became again a single project.

God bless us.

 
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Reply to Job Dioggenes
"
Why not simple launch Gnome 3 like a Preview and receive and accept feedback from people?"

That was already done in 2008-2009. Amazing that some people knew about Gnom 3 arrival yet continue to bitch about it.
 
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