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Re: Gnome looks hideous

  • Subject: Re: Gnome looks hideous
  • From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 26 Apr 2006 08:16:51 +0100
  • Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.advocacy
  • Organization: schestowitz.com / MCC / Manchester University
  • References: <armdndot5ubMQ9PZnZ2dnUVZ_t-dnZ2d@comcast.com> <h9C3g.45881$Jk3.2807@bignews5.bellsouth.net> <8xD3g.8169$BO2.7068@trnddc02>
  • Reply-to: newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
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__/ [ Mathew P. ] on Wednesday 26 April 2006 06:27 \__

> On 2006-04-26, TheLetterK spake thusly:
>> Geico Caveman wrote:
>>> Ok, I take it back. I thought KDE looked much better than Gnome, at par
>>> with OS X. I tried out the latest Gnome packages with Debian testing last
>>> night. Well, there is no nice way of putting it - it looks positively
>>> hideous. Even windows has never looked this bad.
>> Looks fine to me, when I use it. What's the problem?

The OP goes for flash, judging by the word "hideous". No attempt was made to
brighten up GNOME although it's beyond "possible". It's all in

> I used to think Gnome looked retarded, and refused to use it even though
> it was the default GUI in fedora. I used KDE and liked the apps and
> look/feel.

GNOME was one of the first (if not /the/ first) DE that I used. There was
nothing wrong with it at the time (graphics were relatively coarse), but
using Enlightenment as the WM appealed far more to me. KDE was on the same
boat not so long ago...


>>> What has happened to people
>>> developing Gnome ?? 2-3 years ago, it was a serviceable product, feature
>>> equal of KDE. However, Gnome has actually gone backwards over the last 2
>>> years.
>> There was a shift of focus towards usability, rather than feature
>> stuffing.
> I would have to agree with that, as it seems to be the case. Having said
> that however, I have to say that the desktop is alot more sexy than it used
> to be.

After using KDE for several years, I find it rather hard to use GNOME
wholeheartedly. It lacks too many fundamental features, which only once you
get accustomed to/dependent upon, you are unwilling to live without.

By the way, in terms of usability, I don't find GNOME far superior. It just
provides less menu entries, which prevents clutter. If 'clutter' is what
gives the user extra functionality, I could live happily with that clutter,
or just learn to get along with that clutter, in due time making it more

>>> I understand it if Gnome cannot keep up with KDE or OS X, but to be worse
>>> off than it was 2 years ago is pathetic.
> I don't agree with this, but that's just my opinion.
>> Do you judge it only by the number of features it sports? GNOME is a
>> more usable desktop environment than KDE or OS X, IMO.
> KDE, IMO yes. OSX IMO no. Assuming Usability is meant to mean ease of
> use + functionality + candy.

Usability is primarily "ease of use", if not exclusively so. Under this
heading you have factors like arrival at items being rhetorical, consistent
terminology, and various cues. KDE has plenty of cues, but the terminology
and amount of technical verbage can be overwhelming.

In recent versions of KDE, you have more balloons than ever before, so you
can hit the secondary mouse button merely everywhere to get some instant
help. I admire that feature, which even myself, being an advanced user,
finds a necessity. Rather than experiment to see what widget X does when
ticked, I can get a whole sentence elaborating in one among many languages
(locales are still expanded quickly).

>>> Almost makes me think that Gnome
>>> development and its widescale acceptance by most big vendors/distros
>>> (Redhat, Novell, Ubuntu, etc.) is a Microsoft conspiracy :) Of all the
>>> desktops currently available for Linux, barring twm, icewm, and the like
>>> (no even fvwm looks and feels better), Gnome is absolutely the worst
>>> desktop available.
>> It's second on my list. First is Ion2/Ion3.
> Again, I disagree. It is not the worst by a very long shot IMHO.
> Ice and the like have specific goals. They are designed to be lightweight
> and simple. These are admirable goals but in many cases simply do not
> do the job at hand. Sometimes more is better.
> As I said, I used to use and really like KDE, primarily because I thought
> Gnome was so stone age lacking in eye candy. The interesting thing about
> KDE is that it's like fast food; open the bag and start eating. No matter
> whether it's good for you or not, its prefab and ready to go.
> Once I took the time to really give Gnome a chance I realized two things
> about it;
> 1) It's *faster* than KDE

I am not /entirely/ sure, but word of mouth says so. Memory consumption !=
speed, albeit it can be related.

> 2) It takes alot of time to setup and customize, but once you do, it is
> a very cool GUI with a great desktop.

Same goes for KDE.

>>> I mean, are these people on meth or something. Forget
>>> looks, how about usability ? Settings are hidden away in the most
>>> unintuitive corners possible (or maybe my imagination is limited and
>>> things could be worse still).
> Things can always get worse :-)
>> Eh? I've never had a problem changing settings.
> I have. And the Caveman is right about this. It is one of two things
> I really hate about Gnome * ;
> 1) The interfaces that control the look, feel and fuctioning of Gnome
> are scattered willy nilly and seemingly at random. This is really
> irritating because many of the menus that are used to alter settings are
> buried in other layers of settings or not initially available at all unless
> you really know what you are doing. A good example of this, and its a real
> hair remover unless you know what the hell is going on, is trying to change
> the wallpaper to the planets assortment. This is the cool one that has mars
> and earthrise and such. When you go to the set wallpaper screen which in
> itself isn't immediately apparent, it gives you a OSX like list of cats and
> dogs and flowers to choose from as the default, and a path box that dosen't
> give any hint that there are any other .JPG files to choose from for this
> purpose. I happen to have done a system wide file search for graphic
> files a week or so before, and remembered seeing the directories and
> the really wonderful files they had. These came as Gnome standard files,
> but didn't show up in the selection screen for wallpaper setup. If I
> hadn't done the search earlier, I would be looking at a bigonia on the
> screen as I type.

I can't say that I agree. Settings are well divided in a logical way. Perhaps
I have not tinkered with the more notorious windows.

> 2) There are some apps in KDE that I have been able to add to Gnome.
> A good example is XMMS. The fact that it wasn't in the Gnome default
> drop down, is unacceptable. I had to locate and add it through a launcher
> manually.

XMMS is an X application and is not dependent on KDE or QT (I am not
suggesting that you necessarily implied this). If you install it in
Ubuntu/GNOME, it appears in the launcher immediately, if I recall correctly.
I may be wrong. I can recall setting some shortcuts manually.

> I suppose that could be a distro specific issue, but it was a pain
> nonetheless and wasn't the case in KDE. Frankly, I was lucky to have
> successfully added it. Most KDE apps I have not found a way to add.
> Example: There is a cool applet which I have not found a Gnome equivalent
> for, Klipper. It makes using the clipboard really easy and adds goodies for
> manipulating it's contents. Can't get it into Gnome for love nor money. I'm
> sure someone will point out what obvious mistake I am making, or a Gnome
> app that's available to do the same thing either as good or better. Have at
> it. It's everybodies gain if so, but I shouldn't have to learn voodo to get
> it done. I do wish I could find a way to use KDE's superior office suite
> without having to use KDE. I mean, there is no reason the apps shouldn't be
> interchangable. Maybe they are and I just don't know about it?

I fully agree on the subject of Klipper. I assume that GNOME are trying to
keep everything simple, but they deter power users in the process and
prevent mediocre users from advancing, productivity-wise.

> * Lest the trolls have a field day with this, let me be very clear -
> I am being honest and objective about both GUI's, and I am not
> bashing either one. Just because there are some minor shortcomings of
> preferance dosen't mean they aren't incredible interfaces.

Trolls shouldn't be a factor in these discussions. The arguments extend
beyond operating systems and come to show the beauty of diversity in
GNU/Linux (and its relatives) -- a freedom that others can only envy because
there is one closed-source (thus hardcoded) choice elsewhere. If advocates
can discuss these issues among themselves, it makes the group more
appealing. Rude and inarticulate trolls makes the group more appalling.

Best wishes,


Roy S. Schestowitz      | HTML is for page layout, not for textual messages
http://Schestowitz.com  |    SuSE Linux     ¦     PGP-Key: 0x74572E8E
  7:50am  up 3 days 17:01,  10 users,  load average: 0.46, 0.58, 0.63
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