11 thoughts on “Remember the O’Jays”

  1. It’s an interesting argument: we haven’t had the problems of users being totally lost when they upgrade unlike Microsoft, as this would totally suck on a twice a year release cycle. Microsoft make it managable as they have a twice a decade release cycle. However, there are few rocking new features, especially for people who don’t know what is part of Desktop and what is a random Gnome application. For example when Sound Juicer was added to GNOME Desktop it gained a kick arse CD ripper, but as most distributions were shipping it anyway, the end-user experience was no difference.

  2. GNOME 2.10 already looked quite good but, so there was not much need to improve that. At least the part that your screenshots are showing. What it misses are how much more polished the application dialogs are looking nowadays.

    The most important point though is that it works so much better now. In the old days, applications weren’t nearly as integrated with each other and the hardware as they are today.

  3. I loved the rounded corners on the upper panel of the old versions of Gnome. For the rest, details make a huge difference : polish, integration, lickables antialiased fonts, vibrant colors, beautiful icons.

    (please excuse my poor english, I’m French)

  4. I loved the rounded corners on the upper panel of the old versions of Gnome. For the rest, details make a huge difference : polish, integration, lickable antialiased fonts, vibrant colors, beautiful icons.

    (please excuse my poor english, I’m French)

  5. Nautilus still has a reload button and the panel is still an exercise in frustration. It’s a pity that with all the advances made on the desktop in that time, the two basic bits of “the desktop” haven’t really visibly improved.

    – Chris

  6. We could do even better and make Gnome look like it did 6 years ago by changing the panel layout! 😛
    Ximian suggested the two panel layout but in their current incarnation as part of Novell they have wholly abandoned it leaving the rest of Gnome to continue the idea they themselves have given up on.

    A part of me says of course it looks largerly the same, it is still Gnome 2.x and it should look more or less the same.

    On balance it is mostly awesome that Gnome looks pretty much the same as it did before. The big improvements have come in less visible forms such as Gstreamer. As AIGLX or Compiz mature we may get more of the desired eye candy but again I expect it will happen mostly without fundamentally changing the basic look of Gnome.

  7. yes, but it’s apparent that someone has a patch set in the works!

    note the following features demonstrated in the later screenshot:

    xchat – replaced with xchat-gnome, being used to passively monitor for notificatons of interest. Evidently, there is also a new gconf key: dont_show_minimized_windows_on_tasklist

    galeon – replaced by firefox

    graphic preview in nautilus – user has already located images using F-spot and now is out buying hamburgers for an afternoon grill out.

    bug buddy – removed, bugs no longer present in gnome

  8. As a comparison: Windows XP four years ago looks similar to Windows XP of today. Mac OSX 10.2 of four years ago looks similar to OSX 10.4 of today.

    It seems it takes about every 5-6 years for standard desktops to go through a major revision. I guess this puts Gnome right on track for the major adoption of tools like Cairo/xgl/etc.

  9. As for appearance, yes, GNOME could do better (just like anything). Both on little visual things (these pixels aren’t quite right…) and the bigger usability things (top+bottom panels hurt even more now that everybody has widescreen displays, and why do we still not have the menubar on the top of the screen…).

    But then, for every little thing like this that has gotten worse, it’s gotten better in 2 ways. The old filepicker was really bad, for example, and the new tree-expansion in Nautilus is great. And Gtk+ has improved considerably (especially with the addition of Cairo) so it’s easier to improve things today.

    The real question, for me, is performance: is it faster (and take less memory) than 4 years ago, on the same hardware? Overall it’s pretty good, but Nautilus still seems pretty sluggish, and the foot-menu always takes 5 or 10 seconds to appear, which is pretty bad. Then again, I’m seeing a lot of recent interest in performance, so the future looks bright!

  10. I’m going to disagree with a lot of what was said here. (If I just simply agreed, it wouldn’t be interesting.)

    1) I don’t feel like Gnome from 4 years ago looks the same as today. I don’t even have to go 4 years back to feel the changes. I use Ubuntu Dapper at home, and various flavors of Red Hat and Fedora at a recent job I had. I could tell the difference immediately when I sat down at even a RHEL4 box. It was almost… painful… to use. I *love* the direction Gnome is going. It gets leaps and bounds better with every release.

    2) I don’t think OSX 10.2 is very similar to 10.4 either. It’s so much different that it’s (like Dapper vs. RHEL4) difficult and frustrating to use on the rare occasion that I encounter it. OSX has come along way since 10.2, just like Gnome has in the same amount of time.

    3) Not everyone has a widescreen display. 😉 Including the laptop issued to each of us by our employer, my wife and I have 7 computers in our apartment. *None* of them have a widescreen display. Even on my 19″ LCD, it would be difficult to function on only one panel.

    Ken, what do you mean by not having the menubar on top of the screen? I must not understand you correctly, because what I think of as the menubar has been in the top left corner of the screen for every release since I’ve been a Gnome user.

  11. Looks the same – I think it’s a good idea, in general since it still looks like WinXP, and MacOSX.

    What bugs me are the 4 and 5 year old bugs that are still relevant. Yep, they exist. Right now, we have one less after the file-selector has been fixed, but GNOME still has 5 year old bugs that are seriously annoying – if you want to know which ones I’m referring to, just do a search in Bugzilla.

    The problem with such bugs is not the fact they exist, but the fact that they get no deadline, and no explanation. For example, check the file-selector bug that was fixed by Frederico. No one ever said “This will take 30 days of hard work to do.” No one ever said “We won’t fix it, since we like it.” The last sentence would have probably been a lie, since the usability team stated they consider the current situation broken. So why wasn’t it fixed until now? Who knows?
    That’s why the file-selector was considered such a big issue – to an outside user it seemed rather arbitary.

    So looks the same – actually rather good.
    Bugs are the same – rather bad.

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