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GNOME Software Linux

Samba's Jeremy Allison On Linux's Future 193

TRNick writes "Jeremy Allison talks Ubuntu, why he loves Gnome, and the trials and tribulations of open source development in a wide-ranging interview on TechRadar."
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Samba's Jeremy Allison On Linux's Future

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 15, 2008 @10:01AM (#26119355)

    I don't know why, but whenever I try out KDE (every few years or so) there's something about it which drives me back to GNOME again. I'm trying out KDE4, which I really like but the real problem is program integration. The majority of useful utilities on Linux are written with GTK widgets rather than Qt, and while the Gnome-Qt bridge thingy which replaces GTK objects works for the most part, the different File Open/Save dialogue boxes grate on me.

  • by cwAllenPoole ( 1228672 ) on Monday December 15, 2008 @10:20AM (#26119477) Homepage
    I find GNOME to be a better reflection of big-brand windows managers "feel". KDE strikes me as having a clunky interface akin to (God forbid) the early Win32 designs. But, for my money (or lack thereof), I'll go with XFCE.
  • by Andr T. ( 1006215 ) <andretaff@gmai l . c om> on Monday December 15, 2008 @10:30AM (#26119567)

    I bought a laptop for my wife some time ago. It came with a extremely bad distro that tried to resemble Windows XP in every way - and, of course, it failed.

    So, I asked her if she wanted to try Ubuntu, and installed it in the laptop. I had some problems with drivers for the webcam (which still doesn't work) and the wireless driver (which works using ndiswrapper).

    She never typed a single 'apt-get' in the command line (in fact, I think she doesn't even know there is one) but, after the initial setup, I didn't have to help her at all. And now, even being an average computer user, she is trying to spread Linux to her friends and colleagues.

  • by MBGMorden ( 803437 ) on Monday December 15, 2008 @10:40AM (#26119655)

    I have the same reaction. Back when they were in their 1.0 versions I was actually a KDE user (for as much as I "used" Linux back then - mostly I just played around in it because Windows had become boring at the time). Back then I remember hearing about some Linux standards group (I think related to Red Hat, and I think now irrelevant) deciding to officially back Gnome instead of KDE as the "official Linux desktop", due to licensing issues at the time with QT, and I was very sad at the news since at the time Gnome seemed almost like a toy to me.

    Somewhere along the way though (largely after the release of GTK2), Gnome started feeling more "professional". The interface became streamlined, and attractive, but not really flash. KDE on the other hand took the turn towards flash, cluttered interfaces IMHO. KDE4 reminds me a lot of Vista. Flashy and pretty in screenshots, but it doesn't flow well or feel good (to me; naturally this is an opinion issue) when you actually sit down to use it. It's style over substance IMHO.

    Both have their problems though. I'd really, really love for Linux get enough polish to approach Mac OS X. It's functionally a perfect desktop Unix system but the proprietary nature keeps on running on a limited subset of machines, with the source closed so the things that *ARE* wrong can only be fixed by Apple.

    I've been hoping for "the year of Linux on the desktop" since 1998. We're getting closer every year for sure, but it remains to be seen whether or not we'll actually make it one day :).

  • by LWATCDR ( 28044 ) on Monday December 15, 2008 @10:40AM (#26119657) Homepage Journal

    Okay next to nothing about Samba 4, AD, or how about the potental for better integration with and possible replacing of Exchange now that the protocol have been documented and released?

  • by lineymo ( 539729 ) on Monday December 15, 2008 @10:48AM (#26119753)

    If only GNOME had drawers for the panels which included text. I have RDesktop links to 15 Windows servers, I can see the name of the server next to the text when I add the custom menu on the panel in KDE. I can't do that in GNOME.

    So, in this case, KDE gives me flexibility that GNOME does not.

  • by ByOhTek ( 1181381 ) on Monday December 15, 2008 @10:51AM (#26119795) Journal

    > The usual arguments against GNOME are that it
    > hides too much configuration, and that it is too
    > slow compared to KDE. However, I find that GNOME
    > usually has things configured correctly first
    > time

    The problem is, that's subjective to the users. i I've yet to find any WM that looks decent the first time. That, sadly, only works if the WM you are looking at has most of what you want/need.

    > and most of the options I do need are
    > merely cosmetic (mouse focus etc), and these can
    > be set in the preferences. Yes it hides things,
    > but it makes the correct default options so most
    > people probably never really need to find them.

    KDE doesn't need to hide them since it organizes them fairly well.

    Last time I tried gnome, it took forever to get to auto-hiding panels, increasing font sizes, and getting colors set so my eyes didn't hurt.

    But some of that is probably odd for most users.

    > KDE on the other hand, I find clunky, it's
    > difficult to find where change the settings
    > (which rarely default to the way I'd want them),

    They are kept in /one/ application that lets you change them (and you can right click on various UI elements to change settings specifically to those elements, at least in KDE4. The control application, kcontrol or something like that, has a tree structure rather than a static list. Maybe I just find different things intuitive, but I found it much easier to find whatever I wanted to change, in that as opposed to gnome.

    Performance wise, I've found KDE to be rather responsive in terms of UI and Apps, however, I usually use machines with a decent/large amount of memory. KDE seems to use more memory than gnome, so I suspect if I cut the memory down, I would see KDE taking a significantly higher performance hit.

    > and there are a host of little things which put
    > me off, and I think GTK looks much better than
    > QT.

    Really aesthetics vary. For the most part, I find QT looks a bit more polished than GTK. As far as aesthetics go, the panels on Gnome look like Pre-OSX mac, which always seem like it didn't bother advancing out of the 80s with everyone else. (OSX Looks nice however).

    That being said, if I could find the setting to change the font on the desktop icons (I've gotten every other font to a readable size), I'd probably switch to XFCE...

  • by WiglyWorm ( 1139035 ) on Monday December 15, 2008 @11:00AM (#26119861) Homepage
    You call it "simple", I will call it "simpler". Yes, it is easier than apt-get, but it is still by no means user friendly. It feels (at least the last version I used) like selecting drivers manually in windows XP. Not exactly a pain, but not as easy as it should be. It should feel more (IMHO) like finding add-ons for Firefox.
  • by Spacelem ( 189863 ) on Monday December 15, 2008 @11:02AM (#26119871)

    Since I started using GNU/Linux exclusively back in 2002, I'd say that was the "Year of the Linux Desktop" for me. Every passing year I feel more sure I made the correct decision. I feel that Windows continues to get more difficult to use, and more intrusive, while Linux gets more applications and more choice, centralised installation programs and package management, everything gets easier to use, things look better. Yes, I have to trawl forums to makes things work sometimes, but the same is true for Windows. It's been the YotLD over and over again for me. And no, I don't run Ubuntu.

    With regards to KDE, I know you can change the look to make things appear as professional or flashy or geeky as you want, but GNOME usually looks like something I'd want to use, whereas KDE doesn't. Both have totally configurable panels and menus (something I feel Windows desperately needs), but again I feel it is easier to achieve something usable with GNOME than with KDE. GNOME feels considerably better polished than Windows, although I'd rate Windows slightly higher or about the same as KDE.

    Once wine does a better job of running Half-Life 2, then I'll be able to get rid of Windows completely. Wine already runs older games like Thief better with fewer crashes (although a little forum searching was required to make it work). I suppose that would be the true YotLD for other people.

    P.S. I've only used Mac OS X once or twice, but it didn't impress me much, and I don't know of anything it offers that really make me switch.

  • by AndGodSed ( 968378 ) on Monday December 15, 2008 @11:07AM (#26119931) Homepage Journal

    Like most linux geeks I have run a variety of Window Managers. My favourites (with reasons) are:

    1. Gnome.

    The only good reason I give here is that I am very familiar with it. I like the feel, and I enjoy the lack of fuss it allows me to do my housekeeping. I run it without Compiz these days, and the built in compositing does enough for me (basically "true" transparency and some nice shadow/launch effects) I like that I can make window borders and panels (toolbars to you Windows folk) as small as possible to maximise my screen real estate.

    2. XFCE

    I like the clean feel and quick response. It has theme customization options second to none, and is compatible with most gnome and KDE applications. Takes a while to get used to, but you don't even really need a panel, you can work the whole computer from your right-click menu.

    3. KDE3

    I used it extensively in the past, but it feels cluttered. It has some nice customization options. I especially like the unique desktop background for every workspace, and the cycling of desktop backgrounds is awesome. It is good for people moving on from windows, the problem with it though is that it is too complicated.

    4. Metisse.

    At first glance it looks identical to gnome. The real treat is when you start fooling around with windows. Rotation and 3d really gets new meaning. It is a bit useless for office drones though, who would read documents upside down or in reverse? The positive on this is that it has many possibilities for implementation in future computer interfaces such as table-top computers and so on.

    5. Enlightenment.

    I really enjoyed my time spent using enlightenment, but it was a bit buggy and still needed some work. It has some novel ideas, such as the desktops stacked on top of each other like a stack of papers. With a little work this will become an awesome desktop environment to work in.

    6. KDE4.

    Yep, bottom of my list.

    I used it, and tried to like it, but just couldn't feel at home. The lates releases are awesome, and I believe that this is a real desktop for the future. A few gripes I had included buggy plasmoid implementation, and the huge and chunky panel (taskbar.) I am fond of tiny taskbars, and why in KDE4 I cannot make it slimmer as in gnome, kde3 and xfce I do not know. The built-in compositing effects (transparency is cool...) is nice, but I generally do without. In fact, KDE4 and Vista Aero feels TOO similar to me, as if the two teams had a bet among each other who could create the best interface when measured along some very strict guidelines.

    So there you have it, my list of favourite desktop environments.

  • Gnome is a problem. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Poppa_Chubby ( 263725 ) on Monday December 15, 2008 @11:49AM (#26120359)

    Gnome is a problem because it doesn't encourage desktop use of linux in the sense that users use applications that are written to work and play well together. Gnome does nothing to encourage that.

    This is the reason why OSX (and even windows) is beating the crap out of linux on the desktop and why it always will.

    The average Gnome user (according to /.'s own roblimo) patches together a bunch of applications that are pretty much desktop agnostic.
    The other two cases are the "optimizer" that worries about the terminal program they're using taking up another half kilobyte of memory when they recompile their kernel, or a developer that doesn't care about the desktop because all they really do is development.
    All of these type of users would be just as well using Windowmaker or FVWM or any other window manager that we used to fight over last decade.

    KDE has its issues, but at the very least it attempts to encourage users to utilize the K* applications and those K* applications actually work together very well. Further, the environment is a fairly consistent development target for applications.

    At the moment, KDE is really the only coherent desktop environment that the free unix world has (with a possible nod to Xfce). Enlightenment development stalls out on a regular basis and as it stands now is years behind even Gnome for the most basic stuff. GNUstep was a great idea, but its in the same boat as E, too little, too late.

    Finally, let's remember why Gnome was initially developed -- as a political response to some issues with QT that no longer exist -- and more often than not Gnome is still chosen over KDE in distros due to politics.

  • Re:NFS does suck... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Burz ( 138833 ) on Monday December 15, 2008 @01:26PM (#26121403) Homepage Journal

    Samba isn't perfect but it works better for dynamic IP, has reasonable performance and generally doesn't get into locking hell.

    Its also slow, is a beast to configure, and chokes on multi-gigabyte transfers... actually truncating and mangling files.

    I don't think is necessarily Samba-specific. I've had much the same experiences with the genuine Windows stuff too.

    In general, I've learned that tools like scp and secure rsync are more reliable.

No extensible language will be universal. -- T. Cheatham