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Re: GNOME Gripes

Ross Boylan wrote:

> I've been using GNOME for awhile in potato--my first encounter with
> it.  It just doesn't seem ready.  I know potato is pre-release, and we
> may not have the latest GNOME in it, and the GNOME folks are working
> hard.
> So I thought I'd gripe, check if this matches others experience, and
> then maybe file some bug reports if I haven't made some configuration
> goof.  I also have no idea if the problem is GNOME or the debian
> integration of GNOME.
> I'm running on i386, mostly with sawmill window manager.  gdm runs the show.
> Stability:
> Balsa crashes very frequently.

Same here (and I also agree with your later observation that it is
missing a lot of
desireable features).  Balsa is not ready for prime time.

And you didn't mention it, but the GnomeCard program (which implements
"address book") might be the single buggiest, flakiest and poorest
implementation of
*any* program I have ever tried to use.

> The GNOME wrapper for gv crashed so much I could barely look at a page
> (the file started as .pdf.gz).

I didn't even try it.  gv works just fine for me.

> Features:
> Session management is not there.  All my windows come back in the
> first pane of the desktop.  There seems to be no way to get rid of
> things once they are in there.  I tried closing them and resaving the
> session.  I tried deleting them from the session configuration tool
> (whose help button, by the way, does nothing).  The net result of this
> is that I now have about 6 xman's running when I start up.
> The features in most places are pretty thin--for example, balsa is not
> very capable even when it is running.
> Aesthetics:
> I think the default enlightenment theme--in fact most of the themes
> for most of the window managers--are just ugly.  The default theme
> makes it look as if you have a rusting scrap heap on your desk.

Yes, but E! themes are easy to get and install and some are (to *my*
eye) wonderful.

I particularly like Absolute E and Blue Steel, but there are a slew of
others.  Be
certain that you get the latest [16] versions   I tried several and just
dumped the
ones I didn't really like.

As for opening windows in a particular desktop, a right click on the
title bar of
running windows should give you a pop-up menu which includes the option
"Remember."  This has several sub-options which include "Desktop" and
"Location."  (I
said "should" because different themes do behave a little differently,
so if it's not
a right click on the title bar, try different clicks on various
buttons.  And, of
course, all of this is E-specific and is not implemented by GNOME
without E.)

Or, if you prefer the command line, enter 'eesh' in an xterm window,
then enter
'help' to get a list of available commands, or 'help <command>' to get a
of how to use any command.  (Hint:  'window_list' is a very helpful
place to start.)

That said, it's also important to add that Black Box and Saw Mill (now
btw) have recently become popular wm's in part, at least, because E is
definitely a
resource hog.  Perhaps one of them would be more appropriate with an
i386.  (Many
folks find them more appropriate -- period.)  Personally, I think Black
Box is
gorgeous, but I can't figure out how to do some pretty fundamental
stuff, such as
resize windows.  Maybe if I found the right set of docs I'd learn to
like Black Box
or Sawfish myself.

Also, E has nothing, really, to do with GNOME.  In fact, it (E) aims to
do most
everything that GNOME does all by itself, although it definitely can be
used as a
"GNOME-aware" wm.  I believe it was the first available GNOME-aware wm.

> Only the NextStep derivatives have a decent look, to my eye.

Yes.  I used NextStep before I switched to Enlightenment, and I liked

> Internal Design:
> I think GNOME's facilities and interfaces should have been done in
> object oriented fashion.  Instead, it's got this clunky C interface
> that reminds me of MS Windows.  I understand KDE went the other
> route.  Yes, I know it can all be packaged in CORBA someday, but why
> do the How to program for GNOME docs say (it has been awhile since I
> looked) that the C interface is the native one?

There's no reason to rehash the entire KDE-QT/"free software" history
here, but it is
worth remembering that KDE started waaaaaaaaay ahead of GNOME and
ahead of GNOME in almost every aspect.  Unfortunately, to my eye, I find
KDE very
boring.  And it works far too much like a certain Washington state
computer virus for
me.  Even down to that stupid "start here" button.  No.  KDE gives me
the willies.
(Does anybody still ever say that?)

On the other hand, I love lots of the KDE software.  Especially
'korganizer' and
'kab' (the KDE address book) and 'kmahjongg' <grin>.

Btw, there is one GNOME program that I really do enjoy using.  That's
gftp.  It's
very thoughtfully implemented, it's stable, it's actively maintained (so
that any
bugs which do appear are *quickly* corrected) and it helps me a lot
'cause I maintain
several fairly large Web sites using it exclusively as my ftp client.

> Everybody's got to flame every now and then.

I didn't particularly think of what you wrote as a flame.


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