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1 • Xubuntu 14.04... (by Marc Visscher on 2014-05-05 09:43:10 GMT from Netherlands) |
It's nice to see that Xubuntu is matured. I still running a Xubuntu 12.04 LTS (Precise Pangolin) on my almost 12 years old computer, and it still runs fine. But soon I'll try the latest one.
I must say that XFCE became one of the nicest desktops to see and to work on. Lots of props for the XFCE-team. Thanks for the review, by the way! ;-)
2 • Xubuntu (by greg on 2014-05-05 09:55:17 GMT from Slovenia)
Xubuntu is indeed a very fine distro. I too installed it in virtualbox and was very pleased with it. XFCE is very easy to use and improvements in the last year or so made it even more attractive. a definite keeper on rescue USB key. works well even on a bit older mashcines since it doens't have the bling. i especially like how easy it is to modify and reconfigure desktop in XFCE. Otherwise i use Kubuntu on majority of mashcines and found my self at home using KDE.
3 • Xubuntu (by Wine Curmudgeon on 2014-05-05 11:00:28 GMT from United States)
I'm still running Xubuntu 12.04, too, and it has been as sold as a rock. No crashes, no freezes, and just works. Looking forward to 14.04.
And don't worry about the installation freeze. Truing to update during installation has never worked for me, either.
4 • OpenMandriva (by TheKeyboardSlayer on 2014-05-05 13:34:10 GMT from United States)
Congratulations on the release and keep it up!
Such a huge milestone for the new Open Mandriva Foundation...it didn't look like they would be getting very far in the beginning but they've finally worked out all the foundational kinks and turned out a solid performing and looking release.
5 • Xubuntu 14.04 (by Richard on 2014-05-05 14:26:07 GMT from Spain)
Xubuntu is the best spin, better than the main release even. Setting up a nice "classic feel" desktop takes no time compared to fighting with gnome-fallback or gnome-shell. After struggling with those for a couple of years since upgrading from 10.04 I felt like crying with joy after installing the Xub - why didn't I do it sooner? :) The only minor downer is that the Xfce that ships is 4.11 which is a development snapshot and I have hit a couple of bugs regarding sloppy focus. It might have been safer going with 4.10 for the LTS. The 4.11 release does add better multi screen support, so I understand why it is used. We'll have to see if the Xubuntu devs update the Xfce packages with bug fixes during the lifetime of the LTS release, that would be the icing on the cake.
6 • Xubuntu (by Nate on 2014-05-05 15:41:37 GMT from United States)
I use Xubuntu for some of my machines. I prefer the Ubuntu base system, since it's easier to get software for. However, while I have no personal problem with Unity, I don't use it most of the time. It uses so much memory that the system is unusable on older machines. I prefer Xubuntu because I get a good base system, but also an interface that's memory efficient enough that the system can actually run correctly.
The other reason is PAE. Xubuntu doesn't include the Kernel module for PAE by default, whereas Ubuntu does include it. On some of my machines, that means that Ubuntu won't even get to init, but Xubuntu will.
7 • Zenwalk Live (by Somewhat Reticent on 2014-05-05 16:06:51 GMT from United States)
Unpack ISO to USB flash drive, apply bootloader: no multi-boot parameter apparent (hard-coded folder tree?), but a good job for a one-man(with-a-day-job) show. Pity forum registration is "not possible. See http://slackware-live.tuxfamily.org/ for more data on developer.
8 • Hidden Wifi Access (by Ed Marlow on 2014-05-05 16:15:52 GMT from United States)
Security is foremost, and a Hidden Wifi is one of the important tools. I've been trying to load a second desktop with a new (different) linux and found almost all the new distributions fail to include Locate A Hidden Network as an option.
Open Mandriva LX2014, OpenSuse 13.1, Solyd & k 201405 all have disappointed. Thankfully Zenwalk Live 7.4 and Xubuntu 14.04 and old faithful Mint are up to the task of finding and using a the more secure Hidden Wifi Networks.
9 • Re: #8 Hidden Wifi Access (by Vukota on 2014-05-05 17:19:56 GMT from United States)
Hiding SSIDs is just a notch higher than "useless" on the protection front (http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/28653/debunking-myths-is-hiding-your-wireless-ssid-really-more-secure/). If you want to protect yourself better, don't use wireless at all.
10 • Re: #1, old hardware (by AliasMarlowe on 2014-05-05 18:18:53 GMT from Finland)
Yep, Xubuntu is fairly good for old hardware. There is probably a better distro, but not as easy to install/use or with fewer applications.
FYI, I run Xubuntu 12.04 on all of our PCs, including a 10+ year old laptop.
11 • Xubuntu & wifi (by M.Z. on 2014-05-05 18:46:16 GMT from United States)
Does anyone else find it odd that Xubuntu appears to be using the same default theme that Mint has been using for the past few releases?
@8 - wifi
I've hear the same advice that #9 linked to, you're actually safer just using a good password on WPA2 than you are using hidden Wifi. That's the main reason I've never bothered with it, though I still do all my serious online transactions over a physical wire.
12 • Xubuntu (by P.S. on 2014-05-05 19:04:20 GMT from Netherlands)
Xubuntu has become my new Ubuntu. :)
Call me old-fashioned, but I don't see the point in changing the desktop interface, if the old one just worked. Plus, Xubuntu works efficiently on my parent's ~10 years old underpowered machine.
13 • @8, 11 (by Pearson on 2014-05-05 19:32:34 GMT from United States)
"Security through obscurity is no security at all" -- I forget where I first heard that
I have my wifi password protected, but also hidden just to keep from tempting the kiddies in the neighborhood. I'm sure my password could be figured out eventually.
14 • @ 12 • Xubuntu (by Ron on 2014-05-05 20:37:39 GMT from United States)
"Call me old-fashioned, but I don't see the point in changing the desktop interface"
For some time now, something has bothered me about the latest and greatest in operating systems. What you say? Its this: What are we really doing on the computer, are we exercising the monitor screens? Are we dusting the mousepads?
Are we testing the battery life cycles? Does anyone realize that the operating interface is not the be-all-end-all of computing - no!! its just a way to get into the real nitty gritty of computing - APPLICATIONS!
APPLICATIONS, not boot up and boot down, not filetypes, not package management, not of all things the background artwork for goodness sake. Really, when a reviewer starts lavishing on and on about the artwork it tells me he has possibly had a mental hysterectomy. Its really meaningless!
If all the time and effort was spent on real APPLICATIONS how much more and better things would be in the computer world of Linux.
15 • @14 (by mcellius on 2014-05-05 22:52:15 GMT from United States)
Ron! You're exactly right! Great comment!
All this arguing over which DE is better is silly. It's a matter of personal preference, nothing more: find what you like and use it and don't worry about what others are using. Arguing about it is like arguing over which is better, Italian food or Mexican. Neither is better, it's just about whatever you like, and nothing more.
And yes, we run computers not to have a particular interface, but to use the applications! That's what computing is about.
16 • (by on 2014-05-05 23:07:12 GMT from United States)
@14 you stated: "APPLICATIONS, not boot up and boot down, not filetypes, not package management, not of all things the background artwork for goodness sake. Really, when a reviewer starts lavishing on and on about the artwork it tells me he has possibly had a mental hysterectomy. Its really meaningless!
If all the time and effort was spent on real APPLICATIONS how much more and better things would be in the computer world of Linux."
I am with you 100%, been saying this for a few years now.. Choice is GREAT.. if you MUST go through 6 browers, 7 email clinets, 9 music players, 6 IRC clients, 5 different calculators, orignal artwork, 5 video players, 7 package managers, 9 terminal/konsoles, et al, ad nauseum to get your favorite ONE Of each.. so be it..
But why cant the top say.. 10-20 linux distros get together, form a collaborative and make a KiCKArSE distro with the BEST linux has to offer from all those choices.. and streamline it.. then and I believe ONLY then will linux be a real desktop competitor!
just my .02 now I'm broke
17 • Xubuntu is a good base for installing Mate (by fernbap on 2014-05-05 23:48:51 GMT from Portugal)
Tried it. It looks solid and performant.
Then i installed mate and compared both performances. Mate won.
Personally, i advise you to do the same. Install Xubuntu, add mate desktop (and compiz and emerald).
Btw, I always use synaptic for adding/removing software. If it isn't installed, just add it.
Then spend some time in both environments. You will find yourself using Mate more often than XFCE. At least, that is according to my experience and that of a few people i know.
18 • @16 (by craigdt on 2014-05-06 00:06:18 GMT from United Kingdom)
Because there will be users that prefer Unity, Gnome3, KDE, LXDE, xfce, gtk, qt and on and on and on...
19 • Xubuntu 14.04 & Fedora Workstation (by :wq on 2014-05-06 01:25:17 GMT from United States)
I wish the Xubuntu developers had set the default Whisker Menu behavior to show categories by hovering, and maybe set xfwm4's focus model to focus follows mouse, but those are very minor changes. I'm glad they got rid of the bottom "Launcher" panel that was introduced with 11.04 though. I've read several comments from people who have had issues related to light-locker (bugs #1259339 & #1303736).
As for Fedora Workstation, I would still like to see a Fedora release that is supported for around 26-38 months, not just ≈ 13 months, preferably with something akin to backports. I don't think that would step on RHEL's toes too terribly much. Also, IMO, the Fedora.next presentation at FOSDEM 2014 (more so the attendee response than the actual presentation) hinted that community improvements could also stand to be made. I sensed a fair degree of frustration. I have seen similar occasional frustration on display when reading through the mailing lists. Some of that is common to all projects, and is unavoidable, but also I think some of it could be mitigated.
20 • Lubuntu (by Andrew on 2014-05-06 02:00:04 GMT from Australia)
Could Distrowatch do another resource/memory analysis on Ubuntu/Kubuntu/Xubuntu/Lubuntu?
I still find Lubuntu the best for memory usage, which I believe is the most critical factor with old PCs (especially laptops where upgradability is limited).
If I only had 256MBs of memory and needed to keep it within the Ubuntu universe (pun), I'd go with Lubuntu. 512MB, the answer would still be Lubuntu. At 1GB, either Xubuntu or Lubuntu. 2GB and over the choice opens up to everything.
21 • One Distro myth (by M.Z. on 2014-05-06 06:58:38 GMT from United States)
In addition to what # 18 said, there is also the factor that most distros have somewhat different goals, because if they didn't they would have joined another project instead of creating one. In addition many distos have different solutions to the same problem based on what works best for their user base, which is of course a consequence of having different target audiences & goals. Even if having different goals, users, & solutions wasn't a problem, there is still the issue that open source projects do what they want. A good deal of effort is made by volunteers that only code on the side when it is something they want to do & something they feel fits them. You're just not going to get all these people to march to the beat of the same drum no matter how many people make the suggestion, and there have been plenty.
It's also worth noting that diversity of solutions & designs can create some security, just look at the OpenSSL bug & see new projects like LibreSSL emerge. It looks like these two products will adopt different practices regarding auditing & other security measures. This means distros hit by a bug in one version of SSL in the future won't be likely to be affect distros using the other SSL implementation. Of course how far distros go in trying to diversify that particular piece of software is yet to be seen; however, slightly less uniformity could work to the advantage of everyone.
22 • Lubuntu and Xubuntu memory usage (by Anonymous on 2014-05-06 10:59:41 GMT from Romania)
I tried Xubuntu before but I found that Lubuntu has about the same features as Xubuntu but with a much smaller memory footprint.
The only clear visible diference betwen LXDE and XFCE is that XFCE has rounded courners...
I have an haswell i7 with 16GB of ram so my PC is not at all old and slow but I just don't like wasting resources.
23 • Great Xubuntu review (by cc_INC on 2014-05-06 11:47:12 GMT from Netherlands)
Xubuntu has been my favorite distro for a few years now. It's an excellent, stable, responsive and easy to learn/use OS. And the community behind it is just awesome!! I helped my fiancé and my mother-in-law(-to-be) switch to Xubuntu after Windows XP went EOL. They felt right at home. I am trying to get as much XP refugees on the Xubuntu band-wagon.
Many thanks Jesse & Distrowatch for this great review and for putting Xubuntu in spotlight.
24 • @22 memory usage (by greg on 2014-05-06 12:02:27 GMT from Slovenia)
"The only clear visible diference betwen LXDE and XFCE is that XFCE has rounded courners..."
Ha, ha you made me laugh. yes that is the immediatelly visible difference :-)
but otherwise there are a few important differences underneath. LXDE though it is improving fast is still not at XFCE level (again underneath it all). which reminds me - i need to give latest Lubutnu a spin...
if you like light then windows manager is good enough (icewm, jwm, openbox). lately i've been fooling arround and learning tiling windows manager i3. fast and easy to use as long as you know the shortcuts. very low memory foot print. i have an old single core mashcine with pumped up ram and running linux in vbox - these windows managers are good.
25 • LXDE, XFCE, E17, Unity, KDE, Mate, Cinnamon, ... (by gregzeng on 2014-05-07 04:03:08 GMT from Australia)
Part of "freedom" is the choice of touch-screen, mouse, trackball, mouth-stick, etc. This main factor determines which Interface might best suit. The CPU-GPU demands are noext IMHO: Compiz (Unity, etc) being the most stressful, followed by KDE.
Seemingly unknown: LXDE is limited in task-bars and virtual windows. Other interfaces have seemingly unlimited virtual windows. Only XFCE allows seemingly unlimited numbers of task-bars, on all sides of all your many screens and all your many virtual windows.
All interfaces can use Docky, AWN, etc to increase the number of task-bars. But to help XFCE catch up with KDE, it needs GKRELLM or SCREENLETS for realtime-onscreen performance monitoring. (Just in case yu did not know).
26 • OpenMandriva (by Dave Postles on 2014-05-07 11:23:39 GMT from United Kingdom)
Very polished. Good for people new to Linux. Not lightweight. Please restore some stuff to the repositories which has been excised.
27 • Unity (by JWM on 2014-05-07 18:47:10 GMT from United States)
Hi, Sorry for carry over. I previously stated by dislike for Unity. I miss the full listing of installed programs that I could never fully find in Unity. I miss the ability to start a program in less that 3 inches or 3 clicks. I have done some searching on the web and experimentation. I had been told Unity is the new wiz bang does everything better DE. If someone can tell me then how to make Unity function as good as my previous fully functioning find everything quickly even if I don't know the name menu. For now I can't find that information. I am a 25 yrs plus DOS, Windows, Unix, Linux experienced user and not a noob.
28 • Unity customization to quick access to installed programs (by ange on 2014-05-07 21:27:32 GMT from Hungary)
#27 - replace it with anything else like gnome shell or kde or any wm with desktop menu. I prefer slingshot-launcher with wingpanel and plank, it works well in elementary os. Xfce is good too but a little bit old fashioned.
I hope somebody will create an openbox alternative with more flexible, css based styling, to go beyond limits in font sizes and paddings/margins. I need small things in wm.
29 • Unity dash and launching applications (by Jesse on 2014-05-07 21:51:44 GMT from Canada)
>> " previously stated by dislike for Unity. I miss the full listing of installed programs that I could never fully find in Unity."
To see all available applications, like you would in a traditional application menu, click on the Unity dash button. Then click on the Application scope button. That's it, two clicks. Your installed applications are displayed at the top of the dash and available software is displayed underneath. If you want to see a specific sub-category of software like "Office" or "Multimedia" click on the Filter Results button and select the software category you want to explore.
>> "I am a 25 yrs plus DOS, Windows, Unix, Linux experienced user and not a noob."
Maybe the problem is your experience has resulted in habits rather than transferable skills. The hardest part of learning something new is unlearning previous information. I mentioned running into that problem when I started my review of Ubuntu last week. It takes me abotu a week to re-form my habits to the way unity does things. However, I must say, once I got used to the way Unity works I was very happy with it.
30 • Unity & Stuff (by M.Z. on 2014-05-07 22:58:15 GMT from United States)
@27 & 28
The suggestion to install something else is probably the best solution to Unity, but I'd strongly disagree with #28s suggestion of Gnome shell. That particular DE had lots of problems in older 3.x releases, but the recent ones have become far worse from the perspective of launching programs via the GUI. You could try Unity tweak if you want to keep default Ubuntu. I think its a common solution for those that feel the need to use the default desktop; however, those that believe the hype on Unity tend to ignore the shortcomings & privacy issues rather than look for a real solution such as a different DE.
I'd strongly recommend either Cinnamon of KDE as a fully modern alternative that can function as well as any previous desktop. Cinnamon has a nearly perfect default main menu that gets things done quick & efficient via both search and GUI click, while KDE can be made to do the same by enabling the mouse based application launcher menu while keeping the kicker/app launcher menu. Of course KDE is also so flexible that you can probably find at least a couple of other ways to do both search based launch & old style main menus, and then stick with what works best for you. I think this kind of built in flexibility is a key selling point of both KDE & Cinnamon because you can get things done the way you want relatively quick & easy compared to Gnome 3 & Unity. Unity & Gnome are broken by default & want you to jump through hoops to get things functional. Why bother with it? Use something better.
31 • @27 & 28 Unity & Stuff (by mandog on 2014-05-07 23:25:30 GMT from Peru)
Just to correct you Gnome from 3.8 comes with a standard menu you just enable it with gnome-tweak-tool If the distro does not come with tweak-tool installed it just goes to show how little the developer is interested in there users?
32 • #23 XFCE as a Win XP replacment (by Pmulax on 2014-05-08 07:43:09 GMT from Spain)
As #23 mentioned, Xubuntu or Mint XFCE make almost perfect Windows XP replacements, though in my case I had to "adulterate" them with MS Office+WINE and Pipelight (Shockwave), so the new users could keep their "workflow" (I can agree for the first, but the second add-on I know is just to play). Using the Win2-7 theme, and the Willis window border, you get a WinXp simil that's easy to grasp in a few minutes.
The person who I installed this for was surprised his PC could boot so fast and run MS Office fluidly (though I'm sure he thinks I'm just exagerating when I tell him he hasn't to worry about viruses...je je).
My next "volunteer" will get Kubuntu with Win7 theming.
33 • Unity DE (by JWM on 2014-05-08 16:04:07 GMT from United States)
I tried Cinnamon on Ubuntu but the DE crashed after an Ubuntu update. Reloading didn't help. Tried KDE, but had issues after an Update. Tried to go back to Unity to try it again and the visual functionality in Unity was gone. Tried to reload graphics drivers but it did not help. It had shadowing, did not refresh, and self replicating windows. It seems Unity does not play well with other DEs. The Gnmoe, KDE, Other DE switch did not seem like an issue in the past //
I tried the Unity Dash / applications and filters to find programs, but it did not display all the apps that would normally be on the old expanding menu. It seems if you know the name you are in, but if you go by location or looks, groups, sounds like, or color your are out and tough luck. // I thought typing was what everyone was trying to get away from????
Sometimes us old guys are set in our ways, and sometimes we know and understand things that others have not experienced yet. ;)
I wish I knew then what I know now or have forgotten by now......
I like like Linux, like the freedom, I like the people ....have fun.....
34 • Unity & Stuff (by fernbap on 2014-05-08 16:07:52 GMT from Portugal)
Unity and Gnome 3 would be the last thing i would recommend to any user.
Picture this: you are unfamiliar with either of them. You try them. The first thing you will want to know is what that distro has to offer to you, which apps are in there, if the distro covers all your needs. You don't know and will continue not to know. Sorry, the distro will remain a mystery to you because it was not made with transparency in mind.
Unity will seems to you like a desktop vertion of an online store. It is even not clear to you what stuff you already have and what stuff is missing.
For a linux newcomer, it is even worse, as the apps have different names than those they are used to work with. Horrible, horrible!
XP users are not idiots. All they want is something they understand and can explore, even if it is not familiar. Any DE that maintains the paradigm they are used to (a menu, a menu bar, mostly).
The structure of the menu is also important. It is important to divide the available apps into categories. They might not be familiar to the name Libreoffice, but they will understand what those apps are for if they are included in a category called, say, "office applications". They see something called "writer" in there, and they will know what it is.
No, not Gnome 3 or Unity.
35 • Application list (by Jesse on 2014-05-08 16:42:47 GMT from Canada)
>> "Unity will seems to you like a desktop vertion of an online store. It is even not clear to you what stuff you already have and what stuff is missing."
As I pointed out a few posts above, it is very easy to get a full list of available software in Unity (or GNOME Shell). in Unity simply click the Dash, then click the Application lens. If the list of software is compacted, you can click "See more results" to get a complete list of all desktop software, just as you would with a traditional application menu. You can filter items down by category of software by clicking the Filter button and selecting a type of application.
>> "For a linux newcomer, it is even worse, as the apps have different names than those they are used to work with. "
Wrong again. In GNOME Shell and Unity you do not need to know the name of a program, you can search by function. For example, searching for "word" or "word processor" brings up LibreOffice Writer. Searching for "music" brings up Rhythmbox, "spreadsheet" brings up LibreOffice Calc. This is actually one of my favourite features of both desktop environments, it saves people from knowing the name or category of software they want, they only need to know the function they wish to perform.
>> "XP users are not idiots. All they want is something they understand and can explore, even if it is not familiar. "
I have handed Unity to a handful of people migrating from XP and they all handled it fine. There were no problems with any of them. The only people I have encountered who claimed they could not understand GNOME 3 or Unity were already Linux users.
>> "The structure of the menu is also important. It is important to divide the available apps into categories. "
As I pointed out above, Unity does this, just click the Filter button.
36 • @35 (by fernbap on 2014-05-08 17:23:56 GMT from Portugal)
Jesse, one of the most causes of confusion for XP users is the difference between a text editor (notepad) a rtf editor (wordpad) and a text processor (word). Many of their issues is saving a plain text document. Most use word, and then the document is no longer a plain text document.
Many will want Notepad to be available, because that is their way out of the confusion, the trusty app that does exactly what they expect it to do.
All DEs include a text editor, but the user has no way to find them as such. Also, most defaults for double-clicking a file are wrong under the XP point of view.
This is the kind of stuff that is important to a XP user when migrating to Linux.
Trying to make distros that look exactly like XP is no help, because they will not behave exactly like XP. Besides, XP users are already tired of the XP looks, and would appreciate something with a different look. Also, that hides many great stuff that Linux has to offer and XP doesn't, like multiple workspaces.
Also, all the things you describe that you can do with unity in order to find apps is not intuitive to a XP user.
37 • Intuitive? or Translated? (by Fossilizing Dinosaur on 2014-05-08 17:36:53 GMT from United States)
Migration from Windows products isn't constrained by intuition, or by "look-and-feel". One primary hurdle is vocabulary, a challenge to mentor. Keyword similarities can help, but a system-wide option for explanatory pop-ups would provide for truth-in-labeling. This would, of course, be work, and require gentle tact.
38 • Search Vs. GUI & multiple DEs (by M.Z. on 2014-05-08 18:15:36 GMT from United States)
I think one of the points you're missing is the amount of clicking & hunting required to launch things via the GUI in Unity. I've never heard any review mention significant changes to how things are launched when you use the Dash point & click style, and to me the point & click style of launching is both important & painful to use in Unity. The GUI function of the dash feels barely adequate for occasional use, but for regular use it seems to me to be intolerable. Unity may be excellent at search & launch when combined with the keyboard; however, it seems to fall on its face when used point & click style, and nearly every other DE is far faster & less frustrating while doing point & click launches than Unity is. The relative ease of search functions also gives me pause because it seems designed to drive users into the waiting arms of the Ubuntu spyware function. I still have hopes that the spyware function will come to an end & users will be asked to support Ubuntu rather than having the function turned on by default; however, this behaviour makes me very cynical about any DE that puts keyboard based search & launch first. I'll always have to ask myself from now on if a keyboard drive DE is trying to make money off my by sending what I type to others.
I've had similar issues trying to use multiple DEs on Ubuntu based systems like Mint. I think you may have to switch to another Distro to have multiple DEs living beside each other. I think those sort of issues are relatively sorted out on PCLinuxOS, but I mainly stay with KDE when I use it despite having other DEs installed. I have been playing with Cinnamon on PCLOS since it hit the repos a while back & haven’t noticed any issues. Maybe Ubuntu just isn't designed to update with multiple DEs installed? I think someone mentioned last week that you could try multiple logins for different DEs, but that doesn't seem like a great workaround to me.
39 • 35 • Application list (by mandog on 2014-05-08 18:20:42 GMT from Peru)
Jesse is quite right i live in a country that people only know of windows as it for sale on every pavement for pence.
I only use Linux and we are the only people apart from internet cafe and a couple of businesses connected to the net.
Nobody that asks to use the net has any problem with using gnome shell I don't have to explain anything even though it is in English and they only speak Spanish makes you wonder if its just a culture thing or the unwillingness to learn that is the main user problem?
40 • Current "advances" in user interface design (by eco2geek on 2014-05-09 05:05:08 GMT from United States)
When GNOME shell came out, it seemed to start a trend. Part of the trend was using layouts of large icons (i.e. what you see in the Unity dash or GNOME shell's overlay mode) to launch programs. The other part of the trend was to have a search function to find the program or feature you want. (And, of course, a quick launch bar, as if to admit that the new UX design wasn't as efficient as all that.)
Naturally, as a person who's spent years interacting with hierarchical menus, first with Windows, then with KDE, then with "classic" GNOME, I saw no need to switch to using large icon spreads. Using them to start programs seems like the equivalent of having to find a needle in a haystack. In GNOME shell, IIRC, they're not even categorized any longer.
As far as the search function goes, it also works very well in KDE's kicker menu, so if I need it, it's there. But I see no need to learn a new paradigm (searching for everything) when using a well-organized hierarchical menu works pretty darn well (with the occasional search for those times when you don't know exactly where a program's hidden).
It's not that I don't "understand" GNOME shell or Unity. It's annoying when people say that. (Although many of the UX design choices they've made in GNOME shell seem completely daft.) If I had to, I could use either. Fortunately, I don't have to. Thank God for choice.
41 • Real DEs do more (by M.Z. on 2014-05-09 06:04:25 GMT from United States)
So you're saying people can use Gnome to get online easily? I don't think anyone ever called that an issue, and if that's really all you do for computing you could be satisfied with a Chromebook or a tablet. Why even bother with a real full PC & full Linux distro if that's all you want? If Gnome is only really good for getting online or doing one important task at a time, then it effectively hobbles your PC.
I'll admit that I mostly go online to read stuff on the web & watch videos, but there are lots of other important things that I want to do quickly & effectively. I even do several things at once, like digging into GIS map data, doing research online, and reading documents while I compose a paper. I think its important to be able to do all these things at once effectively & quickly, so I use a full PC with a normal DE that allows for quick launches via GUI or search, and easy multi tasking. This last point is especially important if you're doing three or more things as a part of one task. Gnome 3 is so broken in this regard that they don't even want you to be able to minimize things via the GUI by default. What possible reason could there be to hobble the desktop that much? You don't really even have a whole desktop with Gnome 3, just an overpowered tablet look alike. If you like tablets use them instead of a PC, don't break the desktop with something like Gnome 3. Of course if you can really get stuff done on Gnome 3 & think it's effective, then use it. To me Gnome 3 just isn't worth the effort.
42 • @41 • Real DEs do more (by mandog on 2014-05-09 12:51:53 GMT from Peru)
They don't only use the net they use it for study, filling out legal forms using Kingstone writer, and anything else they need to do this is Peru no post everything is done online. Unless you have 20hrs to waste and travel by coach to Lima
Yes Gnome shell/Unity does it all as simple as any other de XFCE/KDE etc. Its all in the mind set, If the mind set is stuck in the past then its hard to get your head around it, But if the mind set is is in the present it all makes sense. Modern clean simple to use If people with no proper education can use it with no instruction anybody can.
43 • Unity/Gnome3 UI (by Pearson on 2014-05-09 21:02:02 GMT from United States)
I know very little about Unity and Gnome3 (use Gnome 2 at work -- Red Hat 6), If I understand what I'm reading here, the primary means of starting apps in Unity and Gnom3 is the search function; I know I could be wrong based on Jessee's explanation of "click the Dash, then click the Application lens", but I don't know how obvious those are to newcomers (do they have text labels?).
When I'm working in a GUI, I think in a GUI -- I'm working visually, looking for things with my eyes. I generally don't want to have to type commands or searches to find what I want. To be honest, that's one of the things I dislike about a lot of the WIKIs and InfoCenter-like applications. You're expected to type in what you're looking for. Well, if I don't speak the lingo it's hard to enter a meaningful search phrase.
44 • @43 • Unity/Gnome3 UI (by mandog on 2014-05-10 01:37:06 GMT from Peru)
Gnome3 from v3.8 has a standard menu that you can enable with a built in extension + many more all fully supported and installed by default and no this is not classic mode but they are used by both.you can also install dash to dock that does what it says on the tin and many more.
Its a load of tripe gnome 3 is not user friendly it can be made to function as gnome2 with better clean icons using just the top panel right down to network monitor.+ showing running+min apps, icons for apps that close to panel.
Its all in the tiny minds of a few that like to hear themselves complain.
45 • Gnome & GUIs (by M.Z. on 2014-05-10 02:36:21 GMT from United States)
The real question isn't will people put up with Gnome 3 while doing stuff, it's what proportion of people would actively chose Gnome 3 over the alternatives. I'd guess that if you labelled a group of Linux PCs by desktop & let people chose what they wanted they would quickly gravitate away from Gnome & toward any alternative. It isn't that Gnome can't be useful at all, it is that Gnome 3 is poorly designed compared to alternatives. I'm well aware that Gnome can be used productively with enough effort, but why go to the trouble when it just does things in a more obtuse fashion rather than actually improving anything?
The problem is the tablet inspired UI that is full of hidden features, missing options, & magical thinking about how users just want to take an extra 12 steps to get everything done. I'd say that Windows 8 was the biggest test of a tablet style interface on the desktop, & it was a complete & utter failure even when compared to Vista. Gnome 3 has a large amount of vague similarities in design such as hidden features & a big launcher menu. The new versions of Gnome are by no means the same as win 8, but they have very similar principles that just aren’t appreciated or liked by most users. One of the biggest differences is that MS has to respond to users to keep sales high, while Gnome is driven by developers that aren't necessarily responsible for maintaining market share or profitability. That being said, even Red Hat, the biggest supporter of Gnome, didn't believe that regular Gnome Shell was acceptable for business users & forced designers at Red Hat to come up with an alternative default mode. The new Gnome is a very niche DE designed for people that want change for the sake of change rather than for improvements. That's fine if it's want you want, but it isn't for everyone.
That's a very important point about the new desktops, & especially Gnome 3. The minimize & maximize buttons are gone & that functionality has been hidden out of sight from users. Window snapping is what passes for easy to find maximization, and in order to get a window out of the way you have to start shifting things through different workspaces. It doesn't seem nearly as intuitive or easy as the old desktop paradigm. Another example is how early versions of Gnome 3 didn't show you the option to power down your PC unless you knew a specific key combination. How hiding even basic functions from users is seen as progress is completely beyond me, but it's being done. Gnome is now a desktop designed for a tinier set of users than ever before, while older versions were made to be intuitive for anyone to use. It's like the Gnome folks are calling a four sided wheel progress despite obvious shortcomings.
46 • @43 - You should check them both out (by eco2geek on 2014-05-10 02:46:22 GMT from United States)
@43 - Download some live images and check them out, for goodness sake!
Both Unity and GNOME shell do start with the idea of pressing the "meta" key (usually the Windows key on most keyboards), and then typing to find what you want. That's where their similarities end.
For example, Unity uses "lenses," customized search panes which you can choose, for example, if you're looking for applications, images, or video on your computer, or even web content. There's a lot of documentation available about how to use it, both in-product and on Ubuntu's web site(s).
RHEL 7 is apparently coming out with GNOME shell, and it will be very interesting to see how actual paying customers react to it (as well as to Anaconda, with its new UI).
The most off-the-wall UX choice in GNOME shell, IMHO, was to get rid of the task manager bar. In other words, there's no place on the main screen to minimize to, or maximize from (unless you use an add-on). This makes the concept of minimizing an application rather useless. When you "minimize" an application now, it disappears to an app picker window (aka the "Activities Overview" window), which is the same window you get to by pressing the "meta" key. (You perform your app searches there, too.)
There's a "classic" mode in GNOME shell, that mimics GNOME 2, but it looks pretty ugly. For example, the bottom bar and the top bar aren't the same width.
As for @44 - "the tiny minds of a few" - GNOME 3 won Linux Journal's 2013 Reader's Choice Award for the "Best "Worst" Linux/Open-Source Idea". Their voters would probably be surprised at your description of them. Or, being Linux users, maybe not. :-)
47 • Unitiy DE (by JWM on 2014-05-10 04:36:21 GMT from United States)
" The only people I have encountered who claimed they could not understand GNOME 3 or Unity were already Linux users."
I find this very humorous and I believe it actually proves the opposite point.
If I understand this view point:
Experienced Linux users (and DOS, UNIX, Win, Other interfaces) who have seen and or assisted in growing the expanding older menu to finally become the easy to use DE that works well; we have seen many UIs come and go and are complainers if we don't like Unity as much as other DEs. (We are complainers, but for good reason.) (Yes, that sentence was too long)
However unexperienced users with little or no knowledge of few if any computer interfaces other than smart phones are the new users and target audience, and think Unity is easy to use.
Sorry but I can only think that the smart phone group does not really know what they are missing.
When I talk to a person that grew up with a Smart phone or Ipod about having multiple windows open and using many programs at the same time, I see their eyes glaze over and they have no Idea what I am saying. Why would anyone use more than one program at a time, or why would you want to see to programs up at the same time?
This Unity works better for these folks, that is great and all the power to them. That is why it is good to have multple DEs in the Linux world.
But the experienced users would like not to loose the ease and functionality we once had with Ubuntu.
At least make Unity/Ubuntu play well with other DEs.
Thank you for your time,
I do appreciate what Ubuntu has done for Linux, and have used Ubuntu since 2005. I just can't see any logic or efficient use of Unity except to attract those that grew up on smart phones, and leaving the rest of us behind.
48 • @45 Gnome & GUIs (by mandog on 2014-05-11 00:30:04 GMT from Peru)
@45That's a very important point about the new desktops, & especially Gnome 3. The minimize & maximize buttons are gone & that functionality has been hidden out of sight from users. Window snapping is what passes for easy to find maximization, and in order to get a window out of the way you have to start shifting things through different workspaces. It doesn't seem nearly as intuitive or easy as the old desktop paradigm. Another example is how early versions of Gnome 3 didn't show you the option to power down your PC unless you knew a specific key combination. How hiding even basic functions from users is seen as progress is completely beyond me, but it's being done. Gnome is now a desktop designed for a tinier set of users than ever before, while older versions were made to be intuitive for anyone to use. It's like the Gnome folks are calling a four sided wheel progress despite obvious shortcomings.
That is not entirely correct I can minimise any number of programs all showing on the topbar in fact I have the same funtionabily as Gnome2 with a modern interface using gnome shell. If devs can't be bothered then the user can enable extentions.
Having used Linux for desktop since before Gnome existed, I've seen this before.
"Gnome 1 sucks."
"Gnome 1 was great, why did they break it for Gnome 2?"
"Gnome 2 was great, why did they break it for Gnome 3?"
49 • Gnome developers mindset (by RollMeAway on 2014-05-11 02:20:48 GMT from United States)
As I recall, when gnome 2 first came out, it was disliked.
Over time outside devs created many tweak tools, gnome-control-center being a widely accepted one.
Users then gained control over their desktops and were happy.
Gnome devs did not like this. They had lost control of their creation, and decided they must start over from scratch with gnome 3.
Likely history will repeat itself.
50 • Gnome 3 (by Thomas Mueller on 2014-05-11 03:20:37 GMT from United States)
I've tried Gnome 3 on several live-USB installations. First one wouldn't boot or wouldn't start the graphic interface, though that was on an old PC with 256 MB RAM. Later tries on newer hardware ran, but I found navigation very difficult. IceWM seems much better, and much easier to find my way around, and better than Windowmaker, Fluxbox or fvwm.
One of those later tries was Linux, and the other was OpenBSD live USB from liveusb-openbsd.sourceforge.net . On the live USB for OpenBSD, based on OpenBSD 5.4, at first X wouldn't start, but subsequently I got it to start after tweaking xorg.conf from existing NetBSD installation. Still, it was crash-prone with Firefox, and wouldn't access my hard drive because OpenBSD lacks support for GPT (or USB 3.0).
51 • Truth is in the eye of the beholder (by M.Z. on 2014-05-11 20:42:49 GMT from United States)
Actually it's very factually correct to say that minimization has been obfuscated from the default versions of Gnome 3. The buttons are gone & it's plain to see. I don't really care about how many hundreds of workarounds can be applied to make Gnome Shell into something functional, if it were well designed I wouldn't have to apply all the workarounds. Humans are visual animals & a good GUI would have most if not all important functions visible and usable by default rather than require hours of hunting & retraining. You can do what ever you want to make Gnome 3 useful & if this give you a sense that the 'truthiness' of the situation is that Gnome 3 is good, then fine; however, what your gut feels doesn't change how Gnome works by default. I find that it's broken by default & not worth using, while you like to apply endless workarounds. That doesn't make me wrong about the default, nor does it weaken my opinion about the quality of the design.
I'd also point out that the poll #46 mentioned on the worst idea in open source also had a poll that put Gnome 3 far behind KDE & some other alternatives. In fact a larger portion of voters called Gnome 3 the worst idea in open source than called it the best desktop. I'd say that many users find Gnome 3 to be a very questionable design, & if you make questionable comments about how great it is then someone is likely to call you out on it. Then we end up with a giant thread where Gnome 3 lovers keep talking past critics & telling everyone how great Gnome is. It's fundamentally a strange & questionable design, but if it works for you go ahead & use it. Just don’t expect a lot of agreement from others on how great it is.
52 • 51 • Truth is in the eye of the beholde (by mandog on 2014-05-11 22:34:14 GMT from Peru)
I don't know or want to know your experience.
I only know mine I have used every interface since win 3.1 and since the linux beginnings with slackware I have heard all these arguments over and over again not only with gnome but every DE. I've used every DE and still do the only one that I avoid if I have the choice is KDE as it does nothing for me since 3.5 the difference is I don't put KDE down at every opportunity why should I its a fine desktop for playing with but cannot function as pure KDE as GTK has far more choice. My actual wm of choice is based on what I can do with ease with that DE as I do a lot of processing of short films, music, data, all at the same time 18hrs a day, the web is just a sideline while I get real work done. I use what really fits the bill for my needs crashing etc. costs me money I find gnome to be the most stable for me needs.
53 • @49 losing control (by Jeff on 2014-05-12 03:05:55 GMT from United States)
This time the Gnome devs are working to stay in control.
Each new release of Gnome breaks the previous ones.
A Gnome 3.6 theme will not work on Gnome 3.8 and so on.
Their stated objective is to protect the "brand" by locking in the appearance.
Number of Comments: 53
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