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Tom's Hardware Tests and Reviews Fedora 16 and Gnome 3 101

New submitter LordDCLXVI writes with a review at Tom's Hardware that starts out with some loaded questions about GNOME 3, as included in the newest version of Red Hat's Fedora: "While most other distros are passing up or postponing GNOME Shell, Fedora is full steam ahead. Does Red Hat know something the rest of us don't? Or is GNOME 3 really as bad as everyone says?" Writes LordDCLVXI: "This massive article amounts to a full-blown guide to Fedora 16 'Verne' and complete dissection of GNOME Shell. It begins with an installation guide, with instructions for enabling third-party repos, proprietary graphics drivers, Wi-Fi, Flash, Java, multimedia codecs, and 32-bit libs. Next up is a GNOME Shell tear-down, including customization options and methods to 'fix' the Shell or mimic GNOME 2. Finally, Fedora is benchmarked against Ubuntu 11.10 and Windows 7. [While the author] adds to the voices criticizing GNOME Shell, he also points out that the extensions can empower distributors to create unique, yet compatible layouts. One of the most fair and constructive critiques of GNOME 3 — definitely worth the read, and even makes GNOME 3 worth a second look."
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Tom's Hardware Tests and Reviews Fedora 16 and Gnome 3

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  • Re:I went with XFCE (Score:5, Informative)

    by nschubach ( 922175 ) on Tuesday March 20, 2012 @01:30PM (#39415583) Journal

    I've been debating moving back (xfce, or KDE) for a while now. I've given Gnome3 a good 4-5 months of good attempts to use, but I find that multitasking is not the forefront of the interface. Yeah, you can "snap" windows to the edges and see more than one, but it's just not the same somehow. Maybe it's because the windows mostly open full screen? Maybe it's the added complexity of having to hit Shift + click to open a new instance of something instead of bringing up the old one (that still bugs me the most...) Maybe it's not being able to "pin" (or favorite) an application to the launcher if it doesn't have a .desktop file associated with it. Why can't I run a Java app from the prompt and make that pin-able? Maybe it's the annoying bottom bar notification? (I prefer mine up top... been trying to get used to it, didn't put much effort into seeing if I could move them back up to the clock...) It mostly pops up when I don't want it to (when I have to click on the scroll down button.) Maybe it's all that combined. I just use the machine as a web browser anymore because that's usually full-screened anyway. I tried developing on it, but it feels clunky to do so.

  • Not stable enough (Score:5, Informative)

    by fluffythedestroyer ( 2586259 ) on Tuesday March 20, 2012 @01:36PM (#39415679) Homepage
    here is a list of things on gnome in Gentoo before they can make it stable and unmask it.

    http://wiki.gentoo.org/wiki/GNOME/GNOME3_Stable [gentoo.org]

    In other words, its not stable enough on Gentoo

  • by Dakiraun ( 1633747 ) <dakiraun@@@yahoo...com> on Tuesday March 20, 2012 @01:49PM (#39415851) Homepage

    Even though it's barely out of the gates, I tried out Cinnamon, a fork of Gnome3 by the folks that brought us Mint Linux. MUCH better than the base Gnome3.

    To keep things short, one could say the biggest point of contention with Gnome3 was how radically different it was from Gnome2, moving from a task-centric way of managing the shell to an application centric method. While great for a novice, this tended to frustrate a lot of power users. Cinnamon allows more flexibility in the shell's method of focus on tasks and applications, essentially letting the user pick whatever point on the scale they prefer. It's a good approach - perhaps the best approach.

    I don't know if it's offered for Fedora or Red Hat based Linux's in package form, but you could build it from source if need be.

  • by 0123456 ( 636235 ) on Tuesday March 20, 2012 @01:53PM (#39415931)

    Can someone please explain to me the whole GNOME Shell/Unity is a tablet interface meme?

    Single-tasking full-screen apps with no application menus, and masses of enforced mouse movement to get anything done? Clicking in the corner of the screen to switch windows doesn't cause RSI when using a table, but it's horrendously bad design when using a mouse.

    Unity is fine on my netbook when I just want to check email or look at some web pages, but it's a total cluster-fsck when I try to get any real work done; I'm continually having to move the mouse all over the screen to switch windows, and the stupid task bar is continually blocking the left side of the screen when I move the mouse over there and don't quite stop before the edge (e.g. to use the 'back' button in Firefox).

  • by DrgnDancer ( 137700 ) on Tuesday March 20, 2012 @02:58PM (#39416915) Homepage

    I was very favorably impressed with the review. I actually tried to use Gnome3 for a while and gave it up as a bad job, after reading this I've got a good idea of how I could fix a lot of the annoyances I found. I'm not sure I'd want to (as the reviewer says, he had to go through a pretty insane amount of effort to make the desktop usable), but still this guy went to some serious effort and found several tips and tricks I didn't know about. Combined with a really good explanation of the pluses and minuses for a pure FOSS distro on the first several pages and a clear effort to really use and abuse the system being reviewed, this may be one of the most useful and informative reviews I've seen in a while. Whether for a new Linux user or a Linux veteran that hasn't really played with Gnome3.

  • Re:Gnome 3 (Score:5, Informative)

    by Dcnjoe60 ( 682885 ) on Tuesday March 20, 2012 @03:12PM (#39417143)

    Totally agree. Leave the tablet interface to the tables and the desktop interface to the desktop! When Fedora releases a Tablet Spin, they should go with the tablet interface. I don't understand why Fedora wouldn't just go with KDE as the default since it's still a desktop interface (assuming we are limited to the big two managers, Gnome and KDE). KDE (finally) runs great.

    I agree with this sentiment. That's why I went with KDE. On my desktop, I have a desktop interface, on my netbook/ultrabook, I can use the netbook interface and on a tablet, the new plasma active. Three different UIs for three different purposes, but underneath it all, one desktop environment to learn.

  • by dslbrian ( 318993 ) on Tuesday March 20, 2012 @05:32PM (#39419423)

    I agreed with his review as well. Frankly I found his tolerance far exceeding my own when it comes to GNOME3. Pretty much everything he said on the "Why it Failed" [tomshardware.com] page is spot on. I thought this was insightful regarding their target demographic:

    So, when the power users are leaving, GNOME doesn't really seem to care. After all, GNOME 3 isn't designed for them. But what the GNOME Project leaders don't seem to understand is that new Linux users are like vampires, or werewolves, or zombies. Stick with me here.

    New Linux users don't just spontaneously pop into existence, they have to be "bitten" by someone who is already involved. Average Joe, who needs to use his computer and doesn't care how it works, doesn't wake up one day and, out of the clear blue sky exclaim, "You know what? I think I'm gonna screw around with Linux today.” New users are typically converted by a friend or family member who gets them set up and interested.

    By gutting GNOME of every power user-oriented feature (a functional desktop, virtual desktops, on-screen task management, applets, hibernation, and so on) it's losing that intermediate-to-advanced crowd that's responsible for bringing users on-board. The power user demographic isn't going to recommend and support GNOME 3-based systems if they've already jumped ship.

    Just how does GNOME intend to put the GNOME Shell into the hands of new users? By chasing away its current base with a brand new interface designed to be "easy," and with no clear strategy for acquiring an easy-seeking audience, GNOME simultaneously shoots itself in the head and foot.

    And finally:

    Using GNOME Shell is an exercise in supreme frustration. After spending the first month with this interface, I wanted to crawl into a corner and die.

    Just the reaction the GNOME devs were hoping for, no? I kind of wonder how long Fedora will stick with it given that.

  • Re:I went with XFCE (Score:4, Informative)

    by ArcherB ( 796902 ) on Tuesday March 20, 2012 @09:53PM (#39422259) Journal

    Ah, I see. Well, I have very little interest in using Linux on my main machine, but I do like it in principle. (I am, unfortunately, a very heavy gamer and far too lazy to dual boot or fool around with stuff like WINE).

    Nevertheless, you've been very helpful and enlightening. Thank you!

    If you are a serious gamer, you probably don't want to use Linux, unfortunately. But, for the average user, Linux is great. My neighbor across the street was constantly bringing his notebook over for "repair". I put the XFCE version of Ubuntu on it and rarely see him at my door with notebook in hand. He still comes by, just not with his computer anymore. The only question he had after I showed him how to get to his stuff was, "What was the password again?" I asked him what street he lived on. He told me and I said, "THAT is your password." He's not a gamer though. He checks his mail, browses the web (weather channel mostly), and plays the occasional card game. I showed him the other cool stuff to like sky maps, Google Earth and so on. He really seems to dig it. He really likes the fact that he has not seen a virus since installing it.

    So, if you have that person who you are constantly fixing their machine who doesn't use their PC for gaming, I'd highly recommend Linux. Dual boot setup is extremely easy with the hardest part being the partitioning setup. Once that is done, it will repartitions your drive, installs the boot manager, copies your Windows files and settings over and leaves your windows partition intact, if a bit smaller.

I am more bored than you could ever possibly be. Go back to work.