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Re: Reverting to GNOME for jessie's default desktop

2014-08-07 23:57 GMT+02:00 Jordi Mallach <jordi@debian.org>:
> Hi Debian,
> It's been around 9 months since tasksel changed (for real) the default
> desktop for new installs. At the time of the change, it was mentioned
> the issue would be revisited before the freeze, around debconf time.
> Well, it's roughly that time. :) So I'd like to plainly request GNOME is
> reinstated as the default desktop environment for a number of reasons.
> Many members of the Debian GNOME team feel shipping Xfce by default would
> mean regressing in a few key areas like, as mentioned before, accessibility,
> localisation and documentation of the default set of applications. We are wary
> about the state of some features of the current default with respect
> to power management and bluetooth, for example. These features are driven by,
> and working since day 1, by GNOME 3.12.

In my own PCs most of the time I have Arch Linux installed, and I use
Gnome 3 as my DE of choice since its first release. However, when I
have to install a GNU/Linux distro in a system I do not directly
control (i.e. my sister's pc, my mom's pc etc), or when I want a solid
distro, I always install Debian for its great stability, and I usually
choose Xfce as the DE. This is just to say that I have experience with
both the DE and I like them both, but in different ways.

I feel that Xfce4 is more conservative than Gnome 3, both in term of
look & feel and the way it is developed. Yes, this is my opinion, and
I have no 'hard data' to back up this claim, just my experience. My
point is that Gnome 3 has a history of abrupt (and sometimes
disruptive) changes between releases, and I say this as a generally
satisfied Gnome 3 user. A couple of examples come to mind. I don't
remember in which release, but support for terminal transparency was
abruptly and unexpectedly removed. You could call it an eye-candy, but
for me and many other users it was a feature. I used it to see an
underlying windows while typing. Now I use Xfce-terminal. Another
example: in Gnome 3.8 (I believe) the look and behavior of GDM were
abruptly changed. I used to have a customized background in my login
screen; one day I updated my system, and I found an ugly grey
background (e.g. http://worldofgnome.org/uploads/2013/03/gdm.png ). I
was sure I stumbled in a bug, but then to my surprise I realized that
*everyone* was seeing the grey background, and that it was actually
intended behaviour. I should also point out that at the time I
couldn't find a simple way to change the grey background (eg. a .conf
file to edit) so I desisted. As far as I know you needed (and I think
you still need, though I'm not sure) an external tool to change the
background in GDM. Personally, I'm happy enough with the look and feel
of Gnome 3 to tolerate these nuisances, but I have also to say that
this sudden changes don't feel very debianish. On the other hand, Xfce
has a slower relase cycle, and I don't remember any drastic change in
behavior between Xfce4 releases.

I'm not a DD, so I'm not advocating for one choice or the other.
Obviously, my experience is n=1, so my sample is probably not very
representative  of the whole population of users.

Just my 0.02 euros.


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