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I like understanding why I am not a Gnome user

Erich: Most Linux users expect me to run Gnome, KDE or -at the very geeky extreme- xfce. I hate them all - I hate xfce and KDE much more than I hate Gnome, yes, but I cannot live in a Gnome-based world. It is just not comfortable. It is not fun. Some months ago, I tried them all. One week with Gnome, one sour week with KDE, three very sour days with xfce. The world makes you feel you should be using an integrated feature-bloated desktop, and that good ol’ beloved Windowmaker with {rxvt,emacs,firefox} is an anachronic no-go. I find it interesting to read other people explaining why they think as I do, and I also like reading the counter-arguments. Besides, if there happens to be an integrated desktop user who is dissatisfied with his current environment, why not tempt him to try something different (like my WMaker) or completely different (like their ion3)?


Antonio Ognio 2005-10-06 21:10:22

RE: I like understanding why I am not a Gnome user

Hi there Gunnar, I really appreciate you bloggin on this subject. It’s pretty clear from your post that your experiences with these 3 desktop choices was one of dislike but I’m curious to know if you found at least some small bits/features useful as to wish you had then in your everyday environment.

Another interesting question (possibly for me and some other people) would be this: which set/subset of features in GNOME/KDE/XFCE would make an acceptable environment if you were forced to stop using your current choice of everyday?

This days GNOME hackers are talking about their current research on how to speed up GNOME session startup and some bits are leading to show how a reduced/optimized subset of GNOME could deliver a better experience to users.

It’s not impossible to think this "big" desktops could in the future offer a much simpler setup for users with simpler needs. That would be an interesting turn in usability design.


Erich 2005-10-08 11:56:54

RE: I like understanding why I am not a Gnome user

Gunnar, I agree with you on that. What I was that they shouldn’t complain about software that was written for a different user type. While I stopped using windowmaker in gnome 1.0 days (and I don’t miss it), I won’t complain about it. On the other hand, windowmaker back then was very famous for its docklets… which are pretty much the same as gnomes applets. As for file managers - I have nautilus disabled, too. My file manager is zsh. So I’m annoyed about people complaining that galeon isn’t what they want it to be, but what is is and was meant to be. If they want something different, they should look for something different (or write it).

Erich 2005-10-08 12:02:19

RE: I like understanding why I am not a Gnome user

Hi, I’m running gnome, but I don’t have big icons (nautilus is disabled from doing any desktop, since my apps run fullscreen anyway) except some small quicklaunch buttons in my taskbar which are very unobtrusive. And I’m switching my apps with my keyboard, too. That wasn’t hard to configure either, by just putting all apps on different desktops and assigning keys to the desktops. That way I also have keys assigned for apps I rarely use. If I’d fire up openoffice (which I like have run once since my upgrade to ooo2) I’d have a shortcut for it, too, which I can see by looking at my desktop pager. As for antialiased fonts, I find them much easier to read, but this depends a lot on choosing fonts which do support proper hinting. I’ve seen people complain about AA fonts, and their screenshots were really bad. This has to be due to them having messed with their config. But it certainly depends on your screen and eyes. My screen has 135 dpi, so the "blurring" is really minimal for me. I guess on 800 or 600 resolutions with small fonts it can become really bad (that is why there is an option to disable it for small fonts).

gnomeuser 2005-10-07 07:27:10

RE: I like understanding why I am not a Gnome user

Glad for the freedom to choose what we want and not what other person want

As any open source project it will live as long there are users and developers

there’s no reason to be only windowmaker thank God

not all the car drivers need to know how change the oil or the computer users need to know how to make a memory chip

marcomaggi 2005-10-07 08:49:17

RE: I like understanding why I am not a Gnome user

I am an Fvwm2 user, and I use it, more or less, with the same look of Fvwm1 and some "muddy colors"; no icons on the desktop, just a little no-graphics clock on the corner.

I do almost everything from the bash prompt in two xterms (black background, gray foreground) and with GNU/Emacs (darkslategray background, bisque foreground: that’s relax, thank you to the guy that found it); I write with LaTeX and surf with Mozilla.

Graphics aggressive environments destroy my eyes and my mind, really: it is a serious problem for my eyes (I must turn off aliased fonts or I loose the ability to focus); icons and colors on the screen distract me, I cannot stand in front of them: they scream at me "Watch me! Watch me!", but I do not want to watch, I want to think to what I am doing. Don’t get me started on "animated" icons.

I do not like much to use the mouse: the killer feature of the Fvwm environment, for me, is the configuration of the keyboard: I switch windows by pressing function keys (F1 an xterm, F2 another xterm, F3 Emacs, F11 mozilla) and it is fast and efficent; especially if one places the windows in a way that a side of the underlying one is in view: I go on to write while LaTeX or GCC is compiling a version and I notice if an error occurs.

When I, occasionally, have to use the MS Windows task bar: it drives me crazy to stop thinking to what I am doing to move my hand to the mouse and find the right button.