5. May 2011
Actually I am been pretty busy writing my diploma thesis so after the Toronto hackfest there wasn’t much activity from my side regarding GNOME. However, as I finally unsubscribed from gnome-shell-list it’s time to write something about my personal experience with GNOME 3 and the feedback that was mentioned on the list.
Personally, I use GNOME 3 on my Desktop and Netbook for some weeks now, both with Fedora 15 Alpha/Beta. It took me some minutes to get used to the concept and reorganize my workflow a bit but overall the experience was quite good. I especially like the way multiple monitors work, so I can always have empathy with IRC and chat on my secondary monitor. This is particularly useful as I definitely use much more work-spaces now than before to organize my tasks. There are still some rough edges, especially when it comes to all the “Finding and Reminding” stuff and the chat integration. Actually, I really don’t want to have both empathy and the shell displaying my chat messages and I don’t want to have the “Contact List” around all the time. But luckily some discussion started on desktop-devel-list to improve the situation. The point annoying me most is that I always have to press Alt/Meta key to switch off my computer as I have connected it to a plugbar to save the energy consumed in standby normally by the computer and the monitors and my secondary monitor doesn’t go into sleep mode when connected via HDMI. Another reason for not using standby is that I cannot sleep when the blinking “Standby-LED” of my desktop is lighting the room. I want a “Power Off” menu item – Period!
Besides my personal experience I followed gnome-shell-list for quite a while until the signal-to-noise-ratio became much too low. I would really like to have some kind of gnome-shell-devel-list that just summarizes all the technical discussion that only seems to happen on IRC currently as IRC is hard to follow normally. Anyway, I want to summarize some of the more interesting feedback:
- Window title bars seems to be too big for many netbook users and are seen as a waste of space. Allan has a blog post explaining the reasoning behind this though but it might not be ideal for small screens. I know that I reduced the font size on my netbook to have more space.
- Merge title bar of maximized windows into the top panel. This goes in the same direction as the first one and seems to be useful for smaller screens especially as the top panel is quite empty usually in GNOME 3.
- Dont’ hide stuff in “System Info“: Actually this control-center panel groups a lot of stuff like “Favourite Applications”, “Fallback mode” and (guessed?) “System information”. Seems this is poorly labeled and people are actually not finding what they want to change. Things should be grouped differently here.
- Persistent notifications are difficult for external developers that are used to the old-style notification system. That probably would be that bad if it would be easier to reach developers by mail as it is quite hard for external people to ask on IRC (in the right time-zone). As mentioned before, it would be important to have developers read & answer at least the technical posts on gnome-shell-list which doesn’t seem to happen. (See this thread).
The rest was a lot of noise in the style “I don’t like it”, “Fedora vs. Ubuntu”, “GNOME vs. Unity vs. KDE”, “But *I* want a task bar“, “I still don’t like it”, etc.