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GNOME Dev Schaller Assures Ubuntu Users the Move To Step Away From Unity Will Bring Consistency Across Linux Distros (gnome.org) 104

Earlier this week, Canonical announced that Ubuntu will be ditching Unity as the default user interface on desktops to go back to GNOME next year. The company also said that it will be ending development of Ubuntu software for phones and tablets, in what is a push to focus on cloud. In a blog post, Christian Schaller, a developer on Fedora and GNOME (and Senior Software Engineering Manager at Red Hat), offered some assurance to the community that this is the right move in the grand scheme of things. He writes on an official blog post: We look forward to keep working with great Canonical and Ubuntu people like Allison Lortie and Robert Ancell on projects of shared interest around GNOME, Wayland and hopefully Flatpak. It is worth mentioning that even as we [have] been competing with Unity and Ubuntu, we have also been collaborating with them, most recently on [the] integration of features they wanted from GNOME Software such as user reviews. Of course now sharing a bigger set of technologies collaboration will be even easier. I am personally happy to see this convergence of efforts happening because I have -- for a long time -- felt that the general level of investment in the Linux desktop has not been great enough to justify the plethora of Linux desktops out there. Now having reached a position where Canonical, Endless, Red Hat and Suse again share one desktop technology stack and along with consulting companies such as Centricular, CodeThink, Collabora and Igalia helping push parts of the stack forward, we are at least all pulling in the same direction. This change should also make life easier for ISV who now have a more clear target if they want to try to integrate their UI with the Linux desktop as 'the linux desktop' becomes a more meaningful term with this change.
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GNOME Dev Schaller Assures Ubuntu Users the Move To Step Away From Unity Will Bring Consistency Across Linux Distros

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  • by fluffernutter ( 1411889 ) on Friday April 07, 2017 @03:02PM (#54194057)
    Unity is ok, I'm not a big fan. Can't say I'm a big fan of modern gnome either. The whole full screen slide-out thing seems bloated, but I haven't had much chance to try to modify the functionality.
    • I run the Xfce spin of Fedora. I like Xfce.
  • by Luthair ( 847766 )
    would have been the right move. GNOME is a lateral one.
    • GNOME is a lateral one.

      Compared to... what? Even from Metro the direction is slightly slanted down.

    • KDE missed its chance, and it's never felt to me like the designers really had much of a vision which means it's always been more of a kludge than GNOME - albeit right now, that makes it better than GNOME 3. Meanwhile whether you're using Unity, GNOME 3, or Cinnamon, the same underlying libraries are powering everything, which makes sense.

      What I hope is that Canonical has noted that most of its users have been fleeing to Mint, and that if it adopts GNOME 3, it doesn't just adopt GNOME Shell and call it a

      • by Luthair ( 847766 )
        In my estimation Gnome has adopted a lot of poor UX design and has a generally dumbed things down. KDE has made more appropriate choices but lacks polish whichhttps://linux.slashdot.org/story/17/04/07/1918225/gnome-dev-schaller-assures-ubuntu-users-the-move-to-step-away-from-unity-will-bring-consistency-across-linux-distros# could be solved by a large distro choosing it as their primary desktop.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        KDE never had a chance, it's been consistently sabotaged and undermined by various fanatics within Debian and Redhat since all the way back from the start. GNOME is all about ideology, and not being KDE. That's why it sucks, and that's why it's attracted the current breed of "my way or the highway" developers, which makes it suck even more.

        • You said it right, people who know me know I hate GNOME for that very reason "my way or the highway". Fedora only adopted GNOME because of the historical reasons mainly the core GNOME developers were from Red Hat. That said, there are some Red Hat KDE people, while KDE can block a Fedora release it's still a second class citizen within the bigger scale of things sadly.
      • KDE seemed to me to be the industrial choice and Gnome was the usability choice. While Gnome got some better more industrial features over time, KDE just stayed industrial.
  • And just to make sure we over all the bases in flames, SH is better than CSH and VI is better than EMACS.

    BURN IT DOWN!

  • Just when I'd finally got used to the damn thing, after years of complaining about its early versions...

    • by iris-n ( 1276146 )

      I feel your pain. If there is something that I dislike more than a bad user interface, it is when it is changed to a different bad user interface.

  • Another great blog post on the subject: https://slashdot.org/submissio... [slashdot.org]
  • by Anonymous Coward

    LOL. Trust Schaller to be an asshole. Symptomatic he couldn't stop himself from lying about suse - which pretty much is a bastion of KDE, just to stroke his own ego.

  • No thanks... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Still not going back to Ubuntu after Unity. Gnome 3 isn't the right direction either for me. Maybe if they put their eggs in the Mate or Cinnamon basket I'd give them a whirl again but that isn't the case. Would have been really nice if they went with Mate instead, that'd draw me back.

    • Linux MINT == Ubuntu minus the suck desktop plus your choice of MATE or Cinnamon

      • Linux MINT == Ubuntu minus the suck desktop plus your choice of MATE or Cinnamon

        Or just use the Ubuntu MATE flavor.

        Note: I do like Mint, but don't like being yet another step removed from Debian (or Ubuntu ...).

        • MINT teams listens to end users though for design; Ubuntu regularly tries to cram some random brainfart up the end user's ass

  • Shocking. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SeaFox ( 739806 ) on Friday April 07, 2017 @03:36PM (#54194335)

    A developer of GNOME thinks that one of the largest Linux distros giving up on their own DE and going back to GNOME is a great thing.

    This is like that article a few days back where GE said that more robots in the factory was nothing to worry about.

    Dear Slashdot: I'd be far more interested in commentary by people who don't have a conflict of interest with the topic.

    • by c ( 8461 )

      Dear Slashdot: I'd be far more interested in commentary by people who don't have a conflict of interest with the topic.

      That's kinda what the comments section is for, don't you think?

      I mean, we know that most tech articles on Slashdot are bullshit. The comments are where the bullshit gets composted.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Gnome 3 is just too different, no minimize/maximize buttons out of the box, I cant have a single taskbar with a list of open applications and the notification center. I dont understand how enterprise users would want such a jarring change, but I'm no UI developer.

  • by BrendaEM ( 871664 ) on Friday April 07, 2017 @04:14PM (#54194597) Homepage
    Gnome still sufferers from the same stupidity that Unity did, that people don't need to do useful things with their computers.
    • and also there is MATE for for those that liked GNOME before it went off on a weird tangent of being mental masturbation for developers rather than doing what users wanted or needed.

  • The only thing consistent about the Linux desktop is that it will remain a roundoff error for the foreseeable future, thanks to those who insist in pushing Gnome. Not such a bad thing though - people will remain on Windows, and crooks will carry on attacking Windows mostly. In the meantime, my Linux desktop (sans Gnome) does all that I need and want. So, thank you very much, Canonical, Red Hat and others. Keep up you good work to make sure that Linux on the desktop will never take off.
  • Consistency (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Lirodon ( 2847623 ) on Friday April 07, 2017 @05:01PM (#54194965)
    Systemd. GNOME. Absolutely no originality besides mid-tier under the hood differences. I remember when distributions had personality and originality. Now it's just the same junk with a different default wallpaper.
    • Re:Consistency (Score:4, Informative)

      by e r ( 2847683 ) on Friday April 07, 2017 @06:22PM (#54195481)
      sudo apt-get install kde cinnamon xfce i3 awesome fluxbox mate

      Try them all out then

      sudo apt-get remove $THE_ONES_YOU_DONT_WANT

      Nobody's forcing anything on you.
    • I remember when distributions had personality and originality.

      Major distributions never had personality and originality beyond their package manager. They all converged on the same default formula very early on. Funny enough they were based around the largest and most feature rich packages available for the platform. About the only differences that survived were two package management schemes.

    • You don't remembers shit. Honestly right now there is a lot of diversity in Linux distros. Take the classical ones like Debian and Red Hat - completely the same right? I bet you haven't even touched RHEL since you need to pay for it.... OK take Debian and CentOS. Quite similar - OK. Then take Gentoo and Arch Linux. Same yep? OK. Maybe try CoreOS? Alpine Linux maybe? Same shit eh?

  • Consistency.. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Junta ( 36770 ) on Friday April 07, 2017 @05:30PM (#54195191)

    Consistency should not be the one and only goal. If that's all we wanted, we could have just rolled with whatever Microsoft felt like handing down.

    I'm unhappy that pretty much all the major linux distros are the same nowadays, with RedHat pretty much calling the shots for everyone. Particularly since I disagree with them on much of their recent vision. Nowadays whether I choose Ubuntu, Debian, Mint, Fedora, or OpenSuSE, it's all substantially the same thing: whatever RedHat thinks it should be. Sure there's this big divide in deb versus rpm, but that's far less relevant day to day than the software stack that gets installed.

    Of course, Mir and Unity weren't exactly the things I really would have favored.

    Gnome is interesting, in that I think in terms of relaibilty/quality, it does quite well. However UI wise it's frustrating and a bit too high and mighty. Customize your desktop? Only if you are a programmer, otherwise you are stuck with what they give you. They think a tray is 'evil' and endeavor to punish apps trying to do tray things by making them massively annoying by default (requiring 'topicons plus' for remotely sane behavior). They finally have some semblance of window search, but the UI is atrocious, making their expose rip off of limited utility.

    KDE tends to have a more compatibile UI vision with me, but too many glitchy behaviors crop up every time I go to use it, and not-quite fully executed concepts.

    I'm encouraged by MATE's recent porting to GTK3, though the time it took was a worrying sign of how well they will do at keeping currency moving forward.

    What really disappoints me is that GNUstep/Windowmaker has not gotten more care and feeding. I still enjoy the experience, but without compositing and particularly scaling windows with some sort of search, I just can't bring myself to use it.

    • by erko ( 806441 )
      Interesting you mention you like GNUstep/Windowmaker. I used it years ago, and ever since have made my desktop act like it where possible.

      I use a minimal interface such as gnome 2 - (gnome-session-flashback on ubuntu these days).
      Bind alt-1 through alt-9 to go to desktops 1 through 9
      Bind alt-m to minimize window

      Maybe I'm missing more parts of GNUstep/windowmaker, but it's quick enough to switch between workspaces that all other desktops have bothered me since using it.
      • by Junta ( 36770 )

        The robust support for managing applications versus application windows (e.g. alt-h would quickly mask all windows of an application). Interestingly, Gnome shell at least has alt-tab, alt-above tab to facilitate switching between applications versus windows, it's one of the things they actually do right for me (though it's jarring for those who just do windows alt-tab). The shared menubar would have been preferable to the general gnome approach of generally ditching menubars alltogether.

    • by dbIII ( 701233 )

      Consistency should not be the one and only goal. If that's all we wanted, we could have just rolled with whatever Microsoft felt like handing down.

      I agree with the point but not with the example.
      Using a few things in "Control Panel" shows how inconsistent the MS bucket of assorted GUIs is. Not even Microsoft stick to whatever Microsoft felt like handing down.

  • by BrendaEM ( 871664 ) on Friday April 07, 2017 @06:05PM (#54195399) Homepage
    Cinnamon is so much a better desktop experience than Gnome 3.

    I have called for the removal of the Gnome leaders, for abandoning people who need to get work done.

    Activities menu? You have to be kidding me!
  • There was a Common Desktop Environment for *nix years ago (CDE) but mostly just the company pushing it (Sun Microsytems) liked it and nearly everyone else used something else. Even Sun gave up on it.
    I can't see the current version of Gnome as being a better choice than Unity or even the previous (deliberately incompatible to the point of breakage if it's on the same system) version of Gnome.
    Trying to converge everyone to that is IMHO doomed to failure even if RedHat push it as hard as they have pushed tryi
    • If something better comes along (like, systemd for desktop environments), then yes, GNOME might get pushed sideways, however, GNOME is already the default on Feodra, Debian and SuSE. Add Ubuntu to that and only Mint and Arch Linux are left. Are there any reasonably good recent statistics on install base on desktops for these distributions. Mint an Arch are getting a lot of noise in /. comments, but are they actually widely used?
      • by dbIII ( 701233 )

        If something better comes along (like, systemd for desktop environments)

        Are you being serious or is that some sort of attempt at a trolling suggestion about continued systemd creep into yet another area?
        Gnome is the desktop that RedHat is paying developers to work on so it effectively IS the desktop environment equivalent of systemd (it's just far better administered so there are far less complaints than there are about systemd).

        • Gnome is the desktop that RedHat is paying developers to work on so it effectively IS the desktop environment equivalent of systemd (it's just far better administered so there are far less complaints than there are about systemd).

          I mean that systemd essentially took linux distribution world by storm, and not because RH was behind it. Init system had flaws and while other init systems did try to fix those problems, systemd swept away both the competition and the SystemV because distribution maintainers preferred it. We might argue about what makes software objectively good, but as far as adoption is concerned, if there will pop up a desktop environment that will be far superior than GNOME, it will be adopted and GNOME will be pushed

          • by dbIII ( 701233 )

            and not because RH was behind it.

            I think you will find that is the sole reason. Nobody else was paying for as many developers so all the other distros are repackaging RedHat's work.
            Lennart's traveling roadshow trying to push systemd hard what must be nearly a decade ago didn't get any takers so it's almost a 100% RedHat product, others didn't want to work on it.
            The only problem it is a solution to is that the init system (and all the other bits the octopus got into) was not under the control of Lennart.

            I'm

            • Nobody else was paying for as many developers so all the other distros are repackaging RedHat's work.

              I agree that RedHat investment helped to develop systemd and that RedHat can force systemd on RHEL and Fedora, leaving it's forks with little choice. But I don't believe that Debian, or Arch or openSUSE adopted it just because Red Hat did. If it was the case, rpm based package management would be on all Linux distributions.

              There's still a design of binary logging, and not much of it, with a race condition that would earn a fail in a school project. There's been a stupid move to disable background tasks when a user logs off.

              Let me guess, you have read countless discussions on slashdot and elsewhere about how binary logging is awful, then someone points out that plain-text logging is still there live and well

              • by dbIII ( 701233 )
                Fair enough, but instead of a shallow interpretation perhaps you should look at Lennert's blog to get an idea of what I'm writing about. He's trying a very different approach to the earlier init systems and it shows. My only real gripe is that like early PulseAudio it's being pushed on us while it's still in rapid development with stability and documentation as an afterthought.

                Software as such is prone to such bugs

                An init system should not be, especially one developed with an aim to run some parts in para

                • He's trying a very different approach to the earlier init systems and it shows

                  Indeed it is true. Lennert sees chaos and systemd as a cure. You might see a beautiful diversity and modularity, which the systemd stomps on with the one true way. And both of these views have merit, and both have tradeoffs. Take Linux kernel. It is a monolith and you can't easily swap one subsystem for another and be sure that next version won't brake it. It sucks for some, but the community thinks it is better for Linux. I don't know which is the right call here.

                  An init system should not be, especially one developed with an aim to run some parts in parallel (obviously not all since it still hangs in some situations where the earlier init (correclty) gave up, reported an error and let the next task run).

                  At least in theory systemd should kill hung

                  • by dbIII ( 701233 )

                    Lennert sees chaos and systemd as a cure.

                    Ummmm no.
                    Why are you taking this simpering symcophanitic line that is wildly divergent from reality? The guy is no genius and hasn't even been coding for as long as this site has been up. While that would not normally be a problem he's not learning from what has come before so keeps repeating the mistakes others made (and worked around) long ago.

                    At least in theory systemd should kill hung process

                    No, and it doesn't. It has a few design flaws that will probably be

                    • Why are you taking this simpering symcophanitic line that is wildly divergent from reality?

                      It seems that we are in a misunderstanding. I am not trying to suck up to you. I have no idea who you are and I'm sure this relation is mutual. And I'm pretty sure Lennart isn't reading any of this either.

                      The guy is no genius and hasn't even been coding for as long as this site has been up.

                      I never said he is genius or that he is any good at what he does. But apparently he does not share the same vision as you or the loudest /. community members. Please note that having “vision” is not a sign of any kind intellect either.

                      Seriously, read his blog.

                      I did read his blog when systemd was the new kid in town. Bu

                    • by dbIII ( 701233 )

                      It seems that we are in a misunderstanding

                      Please stop wasting your time and just go read Lennart's blog so that you can get on the ground floor on this issue.

                      I am not trying to suck up to you

                      No, you are bestowing virtual sainthood on a software developer having trouble (much of it his own making) with a difficult project.

                      But I don't see how it has to do with my speculations about how people here on /. perceive systemd.

                      That's very "meta" of you but ultimately pointless because the perception comes from real

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