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Re: debian mate

On Wed, Nov 21, 2012 at 02:15:00PM +0100, Josselin Mouette wrote:

> > Don't get me wrong most of them could probably "get along" 
> > with the fallback mode after some degree of tweaking, but they would 
> > miss A LOT! Some examples? In no particular order: The complete 
> > infrastructure under gnome-fallback is a *completely* *different* horse. 
> > Some would say it is not even a horse, it is rather a mule! That "mule" 
> > behaves utterly different when it comes to several aspects. 
> You need to be more specific because despite being one of the
> maintainers I have absolutely no idea what you are talking about.

Well, I can confirm Michael's observations. We're running Debian
Squeeze at a physics department of a large German university.

Most users are using GNOME2. We have upgraded some of the machines to
Wheezy already to be able to test Wheezy before deployment. And many
users were actually confused after being confronted with GNOME3. Their
biggest disturbances were the missing desktop icons and the missing
GNOME menu. It's not something one should underestimate, the average
joe user is rather unflexible and lazy (and maybe stupid). But it's
not their fault, they just want to get their work done and not mess
around with the user interface.

> > The panel (no free arranging of applets / starters; 
> This is by design. Please point me to a case where the new layout
> mechanism doesn’t answer *real* user needs. OTOH being finally free of
> absolute positioning means the end of the awful bugs when resizing the
> screen or when applets change their size.

Some people want their panel at the bottom, some want it on the sides,
some want it on the top. Please do never tell people how to customize
their desktop because it is something absolutely subjective and
personal. That's why customization exists in the first place.

> > not all applets ported; 
> Port them. I’ve done it for a pair of them, it is really simple.

Why reinvent the wheel when we have everything perfectly there? It's
not that we gain something by porting everything to GNOME3 when stuff
is working in GNOME2/MATE.

Also, the whole extension zoo in GNOME3 is not really an alternative
because the extensions aren't even compatible between different GNOME3
minor versions which is a HUGE disadvantage.

> > simple right-click does not work anymore, alt or even alt+super+click
> > is needed now; 
> Obviously you haven’t had to manage a help desk where you get calls from
> people who have accidentally removed their notification area or their
> window list with a wrongly placed right click.

Again, I can confirm that.

> > menus arranged in a completely different and un-logical 
> > fashion;...). 
> Wut?

I think the new GNOME Control Center is actually horrible. It was much
more logical with GNOME2. It's not a good design when I have to search
where an option is hidden.

> > No language / keyboard settings in GDM anymore (Oops, you 
> > speak a different language with a different keyboard layout then the 
> > system default? Hope you did not use any fancy symbols for your password 
> > then!). 
> This one, I agree, is a real problem. I don’t like how upstream moved
> regional settings to the control center. Patches that reintroduce
> keyboard selection in GDM in a correct fashion will be accepted.

Actually, this is one of the most fundamental idiotic changes in
GNOME3. They automatically assume that everyone is using GNOME3 and
completely ignore the fact that many people actually use different
desktops or window managers, so they need to be able to select their
language *before* login.

And lightdm isn't helping in any way because language setting and last
session restore are actually broken (see [1] and [2]).

> > The control-center, a lot of stuff is missing. Gone are the days 
> > you can keep your laptop running when closing the lid. Want to prohibit 
> > display blanking? Sorry, gone too. 
> If you want very specific settings you can use gsettings to set those
> defaults. You are not talking of basic use cases that a random user with
> no understanding of a command line would need.

Again, this is something highly subjective and most users actually
prefer having *more* customizability, not less. Whenever you say
"Users don't need it", you actually mean "I don't need it".

> > That list goes on and on (ask the web for a more comprehensive list) 
> Yeeehaw, just “ask the web”. What could go wrong with that? Haven’t you
> noticed how asking the web will always lead to the same answer: any
> change will be deemed absolutely horrible and destructive.

No, that's not true. But developers *should* listen to the people who
are actually using the software. Changes are ok, but not if these
changes mean taking features away or making software more
uncomfortable to use.

Just look at Microsoft and their disaster with Windows 8 and you will
realize what will happen when you don't listen your users: The sales
figures for Windows 8 are so low that Microsoft is too embarrassed to
disclose them.

People who were defending Microsoft's decision always came up with the
same argument that users are too lazy to accept changes which is an
unfair accusation. Changes and improvements are always good (I love
stuff like systemd or Pulse-Audio, for example). But most changes from
GNOME2 to GNOME3 are not an improvement, they made things worse.

> > and some of those shortcomings can be 
> > tweaked away, which means effort and grief in varying degree. In short, 
> > gnome3-fallback just looks at the upper surface almost like gnome2 did, 
> > but is, behaves, works completely different. 
> Indeed, it works much better. It is a fallback for GNOME3, not just
> GNOME2 with sed s/gnome/mate/ so it was a bit more work, but certainly
> worth it.

Could you elaborate on this, please? Because I do not think at all
that GNOME fallback is a viable alternative to GNOME2/MATE and it was
never intended to. There is a reason why it is called "fallback mode"
and not just GNOME3 2D. The fallback mode was always just a temporary
solution until software rendering was ready and that's the reason why
it is now being dropped by upstream for the next release.

> > I kind of insist it being in jessie ;) And yes, that makes another good 
> > point why the gnome3-fallback just can't feel like the real thing. It is 
> > supposed to be for those users that 1.) can't use the shell as no 3D 
> > acceleration available 2.) absolutely can't or don't want to work with a 
> > new and different desktop-paradigm, with accepted pain and grief in 
> > varying detail...
> So what you suggest for jessie is, after users having gone through the
> “pain” of moving from GNOME2 to GNOME 3 classic, to go back to GNOME2
> with GTK2, GConf (sorry, MateConf) and almost everything looking like a
> squeeze desktop?

Most Debian users haven't gone through the pain of change yet, they're
still running GNOME2 with Squeeze. And please, don't call it "GNOME3
classic", there is no such thing. It's a fallback mode, an ugly one.



> [1] http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=679386
> [2] http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=683662 

 .''`.  John Paul Adrian Glaubitz
: :' :  Debian Developer - glaubitz@debian.org
`. `'   Freie Universitaet Berlin - glaubitz@physik.fu-berlin.de
  `-    GPG: 62FF 8A75 84E0 2956 9546  0006 7426 3B37 F5B5 F913

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