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Posts tagged as “GNOME”

Talos’s $18K Linux Workstation, KDE 1 on Modern Metal & More…

Also included: Red Hat opens Ansible Galaxy, Yakkety Yak ready for downloads, and KDE and GNOME both get minor point releases.

FOSS Week in Review

Like practically everybody else who resides in the U.S., I’ve just about had it up to here (I’m holding my hand high above the top of my head) with this election. At this point, I just want the whole mess to be over. After the winner has been decided and the dust has settled, I’ll decide whether I want to become an expat on another planet in another solar system. What kind of visa will I need for that, I wonder.

Meanwhile, I keep my mind occupied by following FOSS news…

Christine HallChristine Hall

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

Why GNOME 3.X Has Been Good for Linux and FOSS

If GNOME hadn’t irked many users when it redesigned its approach to the desktop with GNOME 3, there would be fewer popular desktop environments for Linux.

I recently took my first look at GNOME 3. I’d played around with GNOME 2 a couple of times back in 2002 and 2003, not caring for it very much. This was in small part due to the fact that on Mandrake 9.X, GNOME was unstable and prone to crashing, but mainly because I found it wasn’t configurable enough for my taste. I stuck with KDE, which even back in the dark ages of the early 21st century was uber configurable.

GNOME logoGNOME logoWhen the brouhaha exploded after the release of GNOME 3, I wasn’t much interested in having a look for myself. However, a few weeks back I finally got some hands-on experience when I wrote a review of Antergos, which I installed with GNOME, not so much because I wanted to give the DE a look but because it’s the distro’s default.

Christine HallChristine Hall

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

A Usability Study of GNOME

Gina Dobrescu and Jim Hall

“Thou shalt make thy program’s purpose and structure clear … for thy creativity is better used in solving problems than in creating beautiful new impediments to understanding.”
~ “The Ten Commandments for C Programmers” by Henry Spencer

How easily can you use your computer? Today, the graphical desktop is our primary way of doing things on our computers; we start there to run web browsers, music programs, video players, and even a command line terminal. If the desktop is too difficult to use, if it takes too many steps to do something, or if the cool functionality of the desktop is hidden so you can’t figure out how to use it, then the computer isn’t very useful to you. So it’s very important for the desktop to get it right. The desktop needs to be very easy for everyone to use.

Whenever we think of how easily you can use a program, we’re really talking about the usability of that program. Developers sometimes discount usability and think of usability as making things look nice instead of adding new, useful features. Other times, developers assume usability is too difficult, something that only experts can do. But usability is a very important part of software development.

SCALE 14X Saturday in Pictures

Scale 14x Saturday

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls — that covers most of you: From a press standpoint, to say that SCALE 14X was busy would be a clear understatement. While the event has pretty much ratcheted itself up to the next level, staying atop the show in my capacity as the publicity chair is somewhat daunting.

So rather than tell you what happened today, I’m just going to show you. You’ll thank me for it later, trust me.

Larry CafieroLarry Cafiero

Larry Cafiero, a.k.a. Larry the Free Software Guy, is a journalist and a Free/Open Source Software advocate. He is involved in several FOSS projects and serves as the publicity chair for the Southern California Linux Expo. Follow him on Twitter: @lcafiero

GNOME Is Old Enough To Vote

GNOME logoGNOME logoOn Saturday the popular desktop environment GNOME turned eighteen. Always looking for an excuse for chocolate cake and ice cream, this is a birthday I celebrated, even though I’m not a user.

It’s hard to believe that GNOME is only eighteen, since it seems as if it’s been around forever.

Christine HallChristine Hall

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

KDE Tops Poll

It didn’t take nearly as long to count the votes for our desktop poll as it did for last week’s distro poll, mainly due to the fact that not as many of you voted, but also because there aren’t nearly as many desktop environments and window managers as their are Linux distros. Also, unlike the distro poll, there was a clear cut winner instead of a virtual tie.

KDEKDEActually, of course, it’s not about winners and losers. It’s about what you like. It’s about preferences. After all, unless you’re a diehard command line person, the desktop is how you interact with your computer.

Again this year, KDE tops the list with a commanding lead, piling up over a quarter of the 617 votes cast. This is a huge drop from the 70 percent showing it made the last time we conducted a desktop poll, back in January and February of last year. In that poll, however, users were only given three desktop choices — KDE, GNOME 3 and Cinnamon. This year, voters were served up a menu that included eight popular desktops from which to choose. As in last year’s poll, voters could also opt to place write-in votes.

Why KDE? According to your comments, there were two major reasons: stability and configurability, with many of you saying, “It just works.” But there seemed to be some disagreement over whether KDE’s legendary configurability is as great as it once was.

Groupon & GNOME: Doing the Right Thing

First things first: I’m not heavily invested in GNOME. In fact, once GNOME 3 came out and — gasp! — no icons on the desktop, I said “vaya con dios” and made skid marks racing to Xfce, KDE and Openbox (on the CrunchBang box) on various machines in the lab. The reason is a matter of personal taste. For the most part, I like icons on my desktop, not in a tray on the side, and I like what they do when I click on them — like, you know, open programs.

But this is not to say I haven’t used GNOME lately. In a test drive on Sunday of Fedora 21 Workstation (that’s GNOME, for those of you keeping score at home), I was reminded why GNOME was not my personal favorite. Exhibit A: I have a tendency to amass large numbers of different copied material to which I often return from time to time — not a huge deal with Klipper in KDE or Clipman in Xfce. But in the current GNOME 3-point-whatever, the clipboard is being managed way behind the scenes, and that doesn’t work for me.

gnome-logognome-logoLet me be clear, for those GNOMEistas who might just have their proverbial knickers in a bunch: GNOME has been a remarkable FOSS citizen providing a better-than-adequate desktop environment for many FOSS users, perhaps even a majority of FOSS users. I just don’t happen to be one of them. Further, I will say this for GNOME: Unity should be more like GNOME. Compliment? You decide.

Larry CafieroLarry Cafiero

Larry Cafiero, a.k.a. Larry the Free Software Guy, is a journalist and a Free/Open Source Software advocate. He is involved in several FOSS projects and serves as the publicity chair for the Southern California Linux Expo. Follow him on Twitter: @lcafiero

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