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GNOME GUI Upgrades Linux

Linux Mint 12 Released Today 396

An anonymous reader writes "Linux Mint 12 was released today. It includes the new 'MGSE' (Mint Gnome Shell Extensions), a desktop layer on top of Gnome 3 that makes it possible for you to use Gnome 3 in a traditional way. MGSE's Gnome-2-Like experience includes features such as the bottom panel, the application menu, the window list, a task-centric desktop and visible system tray icons. MGSE is a 180-degree turn from the desktop experience the Gnome Team is developing with Gnome-Shell. At the heart of the Gnome-Shell is a feature called 'the Overview': 'The Shell is designed in order to minimize distraction and interruption and to enable users to focus on the task at hand. A persistent window list or dock would interfere with this goal, serving as a constant temptation to switch focus. The separation of window switching functionality into the overview means that an effective solution to switching is provided when it is desired by the user, but that it is hidden from view when it is not necessary.' The popularity of Mint 12 with MGSE may be an excellent barometer as to whether users prefer a task-centric or application-centric desktop."
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Linux Mint 12 Released Today

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  • Re:Interesting, but (Score:5, Informative)

    by mysidia ( 191772 ) * on Saturday November 26, 2011 @09:16PM (#38178066)

    will it offer any benefit over just using GNOME 2?

    GNOME 3's other improvements [gnome.org], performance, desktop search, themes, enhanced user interface layout engine ?

    GNOME 3 is not just GNOME 2 with a few panels removed and window switching changed around.

  • It's the apps (Score:4, Informative)

    by MrEricSir ( 398214 ) on Saturday November 26, 2011 @09:23PM (#38178094) Homepage

    Many Gtk2 apps have been ported to Gtk3 -- Gedit, Shotwell, etc. Getting Gtk3 to run on a Gnome 2 desktop isn't as easy as it could have been.

  • Re:Interesting, but (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 26, 2011 @09:24PM (#38178100)

    It's an option in Mint 12, actually.

  • Re:Interesting, but (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 26, 2011 @09:41PM (#38178238)


  • Re:Interesting, but (Score:4, Informative)

    by w0mprat ( 1317953 ) on Saturday November 26, 2011 @09:58PM (#38178366)
    It performs better than Gnome 2 on my netbook (dual core atom, 1gb, GMA3150). It's not necessarily more lightweight but the rendering is faster and that's worth it for a similar footprint. Gnome 2 reveals it's lagginess on low end hardware.

    Aside from that it's a step back in usability on a laptop.
  • Re:Interesting, but (Score:5, Informative)

    by Clived ( 106409 ) on Saturday November 26, 2011 @10:18PM (#38178532)

    Same here. I loaded Mint 12 with Gnome 3 today. The option to use the Gnome 2 seemed like a waste of time. I like Gnome 3, use it on a Fedora 16 laptop. On Mint, everything worked right out of the box, including samba. Good stuff

    My two bits

  • Re:Why o why?! (Score:5, Informative)

    by steveha ( 103154 ) on Saturday November 26, 2011 @10:18PM (#38178540) Homepage

    Yeah, I could just 'apt-get install gnome-2' on the latest Ubuntu.

    Oh, no. I can't, can I?

    I believe the problem is that the GNOME 3 libraries don't co-exist well with the GNOME 2 libraries. Given the way Linux handles libraries with versioning, I don't actually understand why this should be such a problem. But in the Linux Mint blog, they said that MATE (the fork of GNOME 2 that is in Linux Mint 12) has renamed all the GNOME 2 libraries so they can install side-by-side with the GNOME 3 libraries with no problem.

    It's still early days with MATE. Once they get MATE really sorted out, then it will show up in Ubuntu (either officially or as PPA) .


  • Re:Interesting, but (Score:5, Informative)

    by drb226 ( 1938360 ) on Saturday November 26, 2011 @10:23PM (#38178578)
    I think "works right out of the box" is the main goal of Linux Mint. Definitely recommended for newbies, and for those of us who care enough to want Linux but don't really care enough to set up all of our own custom configs. Not that Mint isn't customizable.
  • Re:Interesting, but (Score:4, Informative)

    by Alex Belits ( 437 ) * on Saturday November 26, 2011 @10:52PM (#38178722) Homepage

    1. Font rendering in anything Gnome is all done by freetype regardless of the toolkit libraries.
    2. fvwm is a window manager.

  • Re:'FOCUS'?!? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Stormwatch ( 703920 ) <rodrigogirao@@@hotmail...com> on Saturday November 26, 2011 @10:54PM (#38178742) Homepage

    There's already a fork, it's called Mate and it's included with Mint 12.

  • Re:It's the apps (Score:4, Informative)

    by sarhjinian ( 94086 ) on Saturday November 26, 2011 @11:26PM (#38178916)

    Panel might be doable, but Compiz needs to be shot. Honestly, most of the problems I have with video and 3D playback on Linux are fixed by "turn off Compiz". I'm personally glad it's impossible to port it GNOME3, and I worry that Ubuntu is going to choke for basing so much of Unity on it.

    I don't think I've ever gotten tear-free playback on Compiz with nVidia or ATI drivers. On Mutter it worked, first go, no screwing around with two different sync-to-vblank options that don't work, no wrong refresh rates. Just video playback on par with Windows or MacOS.

  • by gnapster ( 1401889 ) on Sunday November 27, 2011 @12:15AM (#38179158)

    [...] the inability to start a new instance of an application without plugging in an external 3-button mouse [...]

    Sorry to latch on to only one part of your comment, but did you know that clicking both buttons on your mouse or touchpad will emulate button 3?

  • by dbIII ( 701233 ) on Sunday November 27, 2011 @02:26AM (#38180004)
    A while back I was almost tempted to believe that Gnome was some effort from an MS fanboy to damage the reputation of linux based systems and to kill the gimp stone dead. Things like the above quote are bringing back that paranoid fantasy.
    If I didn't want to switch focus between tasks I wouldn't even bother a window manager on X at all (eg. can start with firefox only from knoppix).
  • by shutdown -p now ( 807394 ) on Sunday November 27, 2011 @04:40AM (#38180348) Journal

    t's also a royal pain in the ass to develop for, although this has always been the case for GNOME. GObject is a pathetic hack. If you want object-oriented C, then just use C++ or Objective-C.

    The nice thing about using vanilla C is that you can then easily wrap it for use in other languages, which you cannot easily do with Obj-C or C++ (Obj-C selector names are too idiosyncratic for most other languages, and full C++ object model is too complicated). My take on GObject is that it's not there to be used directly - it's more like an API and ABI for higher-level bindings. If you want a "native" language, with matching object model and all concepts exposed directly - akin to what Obj-C is for Cocoa - then Vala [gnome.org] offers that for GObject. Otherwise, there's PyGtk, Gtk# etc.

  • Re:Discoverable? (Score:4, Informative)

    by gnapster ( 1401889 ) on Sunday November 27, 2011 @11:44AM (#38182088)
    I don't know. I learned it while reading the informative flash cards while installing Red Hat in 2000. Back then, it was an option you could select during installation. I have used it ever since. Primarily I use it for copy and paste operations: every time you select text in Xwindows, the text gets copied to a buffer (a seperate buffer from the one used by Ctrl+C and friends). Clicking with button 3 pastes it.
  • Re:Interesting, but (Score:4, Informative)

    by Artemis3 ( 85734 ) on Sunday November 27, 2011 @02:04PM (#38182858)

    Yes, and it's the only way to keep a similar experience across distros. Many people dislike gnome team's choice, and are implementing their own (different) solutions.

    Well, i suppose the KDE people are doing just fine... And we thought no one could surpass kde4 trauma; never underestimate the gnome team...

    I personally will remain away from gnome. Gnome2 had its own silliness and it was hard forgiving things like that horrible registry re-implementation. Well no more, this year i abandoned gnome for good.

    Kudos to the Mint people devoting efforts to revert user alienation; I'm sure they will gain a few more fans with this move.

    Actually XFCE can be made to look the same, including the "Places" menu, dual panels, etc. Some things are better in XFCE such as changing window button positions (drag n drop vs cryptic gconf). Desktop compositing is available, and can be turned off.

  • by jc79 ( 1683494 ) on Sunday November 27, 2011 @07:30PM (#38184978)

    Yes! I too keep hitting the windows key on windows desktops and getting annoyed that I can't see all my windows like I wanted. I've got the Gnome 3 key shortcuts solidly embedded in my muscle memory over the last 6 months, and trying to do things in other desktops just seems really clunky and inefficient now.

    For my use, Gnome 3 is faster and easier than any other DE I've seriously used. An investment of five minutes spent reading the Gnome 3 cheat sheet [gnome.org] pays off handsomely.

    And on my wee netbook (AA1 ZG5), Gnome 3 (Fedora 16) is faster and smoother than Gnome 2 (Fedora 14) was. Honest, it is. How much of that is due to Fedora getting better, and how much to Gnome 3, I don't know.

10.0 times 0.1 is hardly ever 1.0.