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View Full Version : One week with Fedora. A test against Unity.



Starks
May 25th, 2011, 06:44 AM
Up until a few hours ago, I was running Oneiric pre-alpha, now I am running Fedora Rawhide.

I saved my browser settings, /home partition, and all essential apps; then made the switch.

I'll give Fedora at least a few days to impress me, but the onus is on me to figure out yum and rpms.

I will pose 2 questions to myself during this test.

1. Is the GNOME-Shell viable on its own?
2. How does it compare to Unity?

Let's do this.

JDShu
May 25th, 2011, 07:00 AM
Why Rawhide and Oneiric? o.O

Starks
May 25th, 2011, 07:05 AM
Nothing special.

Just primary-machine masochism on my laptop.

wolfen69
May 25th, 2011, 07:10 AM
Well, it's not Rawhide anymore, as it went stable. I love Gnome 3/Shell. I had it briefly in ubuntu until an update killed it. But I'm real happy using G3 in fedora 15.

1. is gnome-shell viable on its own? Of course it is. It's just a matter of personal preferences.

2. "I don't have a real opinion about Unity vs. Gnome 3." all I know is I love gnome 3. It fits my personality. I did try Unity for a little while, but it wasn't for me. But I'm not going to talk bad about anything just because it's not my thing.

Starks
May 25th, 2011, 07:28 AM
I'm using Rawhide, which is well ahead of FC15. It took 20 minutes to update.

The premise behind this experience is that several Unity window management quirks ruin the entire experience and I want to see if GNOME-Shell handles things any better.

My preliminary conclusion is 'yes'. GNOME 3 as a whole is not just polished in its current form, it's well ahead of Unity from a developmental standpoint. There's a lot of bugs and glaring issues to address between now and Oneiric. All the while, GNOME3 will be moving forward.

el_koraco
May 25th, 2011, 09:28 AM
My preliminary conclusion is 'yes'.

Seems to be everybody's at the very start. Then, after a few days of zooming in and out and alt-tabbing, people get bored. It's more like you get used to the thing rather than you appreciate the change. It's not as buggy, though, and it seems like Mutter is going the Kwin way, whereas it's gonna remain a serious question of whether Compiz can be made into an acceptable window manager.

Starks
May 25th, 2011, 09:50 AM
Don't get me wrong, as polished as the Shell is, it's still a pain in the *** in its own right.

The workflow is smoother when dealing with multiple windows of the same app, but such windows pile up like in Unity.

Plus, Shell takes up way too much vertical space. A global menu implementation that doesn't make the same mistakes as Ubuntu's would be nice.

satanselbow
May 25th, 2011, 09:53 AM
1. Is the GNOME-Shell viable on its own?


Far more viable than Unity



2. How does it compare to Unity?


More viable, increasingly tweakable and (IMHO) faster, more stable, more ergonomic, usable and productive than Unity out of the box.

I'm kinda over the Unity v Gnome3 Shell already and have my feet firmly in the G3 camp. The most annoying thing for me is that the differences between the 2 are generally quite slight - but, to me, it is G3 that got it right and Unity that got it wrong. It's a shame that the whole Un v G3 thing has overshadowed the whole Natty release (which has made some great steps forward under the hood) and will possibly be remembered for all the wrong reasons.

It just leaves me with a Question 3:

Unity... why?

donato roque
May 25th, 2011, 09:54 AM
@Starks I'm really interested in how your little 'experiment' turns out. Post your concerns and comments here on this thread.

I like Gnome3 and I also like Unity. I am not a fan of rpm that's why I'm using ubuntu 11.04 as an everyday computer.

el_koraco
May 25th, 2011, 10:16 AM
Don't get me wrong, as polished as the Shell is, it's still a pain in the *** in its own right.


Seems to me like Unity's general design is better, but the implementation sucks. Another stark (see what I did there) difference is that the Shell seems more flexible with its design ideas - the Javascript/CSS theming, whereas Unity is increasingly going in a locked down direction. The only thing left for outside developers is to make lenses and indicators. Shell is also much better suited for touch devices. Not to mention that the application choosing management is not really thought out - seems like they wanted to change the drop down menu system, but haven't really come up with a much better alternative.

They're both going increasingly in the direction of a one application at any given time workflow management, no idea why. Personally, the only thing keeping me in the Gnome camp is waiting for the elementary Pantheon implementation, which shows some kind of promise. If it tends to suck, xfce it is. I'm even considering learning how to use a tiling VM, so I can be free of the quirks.

boydrice
May 25th, 2011, 01:21 PM
Nothing special.

Just primary-machine masochism on my laptop.

You are quite brave. I have found Rawhide to be the most volatile development branch around. Rawhide makes Debian Sid look like CentOS in comparison.

boydrice
May 25th, 2011, 01:28 PM
Well, it's not Rawhide anymore, as it went stable..

I thought they stopped freezing Rawhide? I was pretty sure for the F14 release they just branched F14 when it went Alpha and then kept Rawhide churning constantly. I could be wrong though.

el_koraco
May 25th, 2011, 01:31 PM
I thought they stopped freezing Rawhide? I was pretty sure for the F14 release they just branched F14 when it went Alpha and then kept Rawhide churning constantly. I could be wrong though.

you're right

JDShu
May 25th, 2011, 05:17 PM
Seems to be everybody's at the very start. Then, after a few days of zooming in and out and alt-tabbing, people get bored. It's more like you get used to the thing rather than you appreciate the change. It's not as buggy, though, and it seems like Mutter is going the Kwin way, whereas it's gonna remain a serious question of whether Compiz can be made into an acceptable window manager.

As somebody who always has a ton of windows open, I really appreciate the change. I used Unity for about a month and it was bad (http://jdshu.wordpress.com/2011/05/16/unity-sucks-right-now/). Now I've used Shell as my main DE for a month and it is great.

el_koraco
May 25th, 2011, 08:11 PM
As somebody who always has a ton of windows open, I really appreciate the change.

I've always kept my open windows to the minimum, and even with that, both Unity and Gnome Shell are horrendous. Either waiting for the Unity launcher to make its appearance, or zooming in and out with Shell drives me crazy.

JDShu
May 25th, 2011, 08:30 PM
I've always kept my open windows to the minimum, and even with that, both Unity and Gnome Shell are horrendous. Either waiting for the Unity launcher to make its appearance, or zooming in and out with Shell drives me crazy.

Well we're both entitled to our own opinions. Point is, there are a lot of us out here who really like the new interface and the efficiency that Shell brings. No need to imply that everybody dislikes it after extended use.

Starks
May 25th, 2011, 10:50 PM
I'm still trying to figure out all of Fedora's idiosyncrasies.

It's kind fun.

Ric_NYC
May 26th, 2011, 12:07 AM
I see no need for Gnome Shell or Unity.

Starks
May 26th, 2011, 01:35 AM
I see no need for Gnome Shell or Unity.

I say that to myself in certain situations, but then I think about the loss of Zeitgeist-based searching that I've come to love. Want a terminal? Super>"te">Enter. Done.

If I'm switching between multiple documents (pdf, doc, etc), a bottom panel is most helpful.

Shell handles such workflows in a good-enough manner. Unity does not and boils down to the lack of the following:

1. Closing windows while in expo mode.
2. Window names in expo mode.

3rdalbum
May 26th, 2011, 05:32 AM
I see no need for Gnome Shell or Unity.

I see no need for anything made after 1980.

screaminj3sus
May 27th, 2011, 04:03 AM
Seems to me like Unity's general design is better, but the implementation sucks. Another stark (see what I did there) difference is that the Shell seems more flexible with its design ideas - the Javascript/CSS theming, whereas Unity is increasingly going in a locked down direction. The only thing left for outside developers is to make lenses and indicators. Shell is also much better suited for touch devices. Not to mention that the application choosing management is not really thought out - seems like they wanted to change the drop down menu system, but haven't really come up with a much better alternative.

They're both going increasingly in the direction of a one application at any given time workflow management, no idea why. Personally, the only thing keeping me in the Gnome camp is waiting for the elementary Pantheon implementation, which shows some kind of promise. If it tends to suck, xfce it is. I'm even considering learning how to use a tiling VM, so I can be free of the quirks.
I agree here. Unity has some great, but poorly implemented design ideas.

I think gnome shell has some poorer design choices but its implemented much better, and is far more polished. Its very extensible and has a solid base.

Unity's design as a compiz plugin bolted onto gnome worries me.

I had a run with fedora 15 and was liking gnome 3 well enough, but fedoras quirks ended up getting to me again. Right now I think I am just gonna stick with ubuntu classic with kupfer and awn. The next elementary os does look interesting, I am really looking forward to trying their new panel and other new apps.

I almost ended up switching to kde, kwin actually runs nicely on my new intel laptop (ran horrible on my old ati machine), but I noticed kubuntu's battery life was absolutely atrocious compared to ubuntu with gnome for some reason. I'm talking an hour+ less battery life.

wolfen69
May 27th, 2011, 06:45 AM
Seems to be everybody's at the very start. Then, after a few days of zooming in and out and alt-tabbing, people get bored. It's more like you get used to the thing rather than you appreciate the change. It's not as buggy, though, and it seems like Mutter is going the Kwin way, whereas it's gonna remain a serious question of whether Compiz can be made into an acceptable window manager.

I actually kinda agree with you. But isn't all this change exciting?

Starks
May 27th, 2011, 08:00 AM
Nothing would ever bring me back to KDE. Believe me, I've given it far too many chances.

Knoppix. Kubuntu. openSUSE.

The interface is usable, but the framework is just maddening and I've never been able to use plasma in a workflow.

Even simple things like Firefox theming and package management become a pain the ***.

NormanFLinux
May 27th, 2011, 08:09 AM
I do understand GNOME won't support old hardware forever. But they can at least make a 2D version of their Shell.

satanselbow
May 27th, 2011, 08:27 AM
Once you get your head round typing "su -" and "yum" instead of "sudo su" and "apt-get" - both of which save on key strokes ;) You are pretty much converted.

It was "interesting" having to "manually" install a LAMP stack after all these years as well - how spoiled I have been :D

Apart from that... fedora is pretty cool... I was getting a bit fed up of the daily Gnome3 breakage on Natty so it is nice to have a stable desktop to work on. I will probably stay on Fed15 for a while until Ubuntu can provide a stable Gnome3 cos Unity is not a path I am interesting in treading :( I'll move my interest to Oneiric and running G3S "stable" (ish) on there - but I do need to get (paid) work done and that is just not happening on Natty.

The coolest thing is have encountered on Fedora 15 is when you are missing a command in the terminal by default - wget for example - it tells you how/where to grab it and offers to install there and then... very slick and helpfull :popcorn:

satanselbow
May 27th, 2011, 08:33 AM
I have found Rawhide to be the most volatile development branch around. Rawhide makes Debian Sid look like CentOS in comparison.

I totally agree - I had massive crash/performance issues on the Fed Betas. The final release is, however, lean, clean and (so far) solid. I'd rather have it all ironed out in the betas than after it's in the wild ;)

el_koraco
May 27th, 2011, 08:55 AM
I actually kinda agree with you. But isn't all this change exciting?

Of course. It wasn't like Gnome 2 was the best thing ever once it was introduced. You need a couple of years for people to hack the life out of a DE, with themes, extensions and whatnot. The same goes for Unity, although it seems that Unity is much more rigid in its design at the moment. No worries, though, as the wallpaper says, where there's a shell, there's a way.

@screamingman
Gnome Shell is also a plugin for Mutter, no great difference there. The most obvious point of contrast is that the Gnome guys have been working on Mutter as a WM for Shell for far longer than the Ubuntu guys have been working on Compiz. I mean, Compiz has been rewritten for this release, so I'm actually surprised it is functioning at all. You can see how fragile it is, you sneeze in its direction, and Unity crashes :D.

As for eOS, I get the feeling they took the best from both worlds, and are starting to make it come together pretty nicely. With some nice editions - before Postler, I hadn't used an email client in forever. Screens appended.

@Starks
KDE 4 has come a long way. From the workflow management standpoint, they just beat the crap out of both Unity and Gnome Shell with ease - with Plasma Activities, it's like you have two computers in one. Kwin is also the stablest and most featured compositing WM of the three now. So, for a guy who likes to live on the edgiest of edges, I suppose you'd find it the most secure environment.

Starks
May 29th, 2011, 03:17 AM
Went back to FC15 for the time being. There was a really nasty Adobe Flash bug that would make Firefox hang. I'll probably try Rawhide again though.

A few more things I've found:

* Fedora's bug reporter is awesome
* gnome-panel-3 is quite nice
* The Shell on a large 1080p screen: O________O