[lug] gnome shell, unity and going back

Michael J. Hammel mjhammel at graphics-muse.org
Fri Nov 11 14:43:57 MST 2011

On Fri, 2011-11-11 at 12:19 -0700, Davide Del Vento wrote:
> Did anybody moved to KDE? With what success? What about switching
> XFCE? I'm considering this my only option, at this point.

I've been with GNOME since it got "useful" but periodically bounced over
to XFCE when they introduced some feature that annoyed me.  But that
hasn't been in some time.

Then I upgraded a laptop at work to F15.  Ugh.  I immediately made XFCE
my default.  GNOME 3 is pretty.  GNOME 3 is new and shiny.  GNOME 3
completely breaks my long trusted and well structured desktop workflow.
That left panel thing is majorly annoying.  Menus that display as huge
icons on my desktop is nothing but clutter (I've never used desktop
icons - just panels with icons, my desktop is icon-clutter free).  Is
this supposed to be a desktop or a media center?  Big icons like that
are nice from across the room, but I don't really do my desktop work
from across the room.

XFCE is very stable and keeps most of my workflow in place.  The one
thing that isn't working is double clicking on the window manager title
bar to shade a window.  I have it configured for that, but it doesn't
seem to be honoring it.  There is a shade hint button on the upper
right.  Works well enough for now.

I have a bunch of systems on F14 (and a major server at work at F12)
that are gonna go to F15 or F16 very soon.  I guess I'll find out how
much XFCE keeps me happy when I do that cuz GNOME is out.  Period.

> Or did anybody hated gnome3 a lot (even in fallback and trying to
> restore the "super-needed" functionalities such as
> "focus-follow-mouse", "minimize" and "maximize") and eventually
> learned to like (or at least cope with) it?

I don't hate it, but I find it unproductive.  It's pretty if all you do
is play games.

> Bottom line question: I know only myself can know what I need and like
> and I should try it by myself. However, since this is a major switch
> which I was hoping to avoid, I would love to learn what other people
> did - I mean, people who loved gnome 2 and hated gnome 3 (and unity
> FWIW) when they first saw it, if you are not in this category, feel
> free to comment, but it's not your opinion I'm looking for :-)

Not only do I dislike Unity, I don't use Ubuntu (unless work *REQUIRES*
it, which I try to avoid if possible).

But I'm getting old.  I grew up with setting my desktop by choosing
which apps to put in my .xinitrc.  Now it feels like the children are
running the asylum.  Honestly, SysV init was so broken we've needed two
different replacements in the past 3 Fedora releases?  I think not.  I'm
still a Fedora fan.  Wish I knew more about how to roll my own spin.  It
would definitely not run GNOME as a desktop though I'd probably be stuck
with it for some utilities (same with KDE).

Fortunately for me I believe the way forward is boutique computing.
Make your own distro with Crosstool-NG and Buildroot and stuff it on a
Rhaspberry Pi or BeagleBoard.  I'm not there yet, but 2012 is
looooooking goooood......
Michael J. Hammel                                    Principal Software Engineer
mjhammel at graphics-muse.org                           http://graphics-muse.org
I have no special talents.  I am only passionately curious. -- Albert Einstein

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