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View Full Version : Gnome Devs are lost? removing features now



pt123
June 29th, 2012, 02:01 AM
Are Gnome developers so bored that now they have to remove features in this case Nautilus version 3.52 which will be in 12.10.
They have removed Nautilus-->Go-->Computer, so if you don't use the sidebar you can't navigate to your Filesystem.

They have removed compact layout view, which was useful for folders with many files.

They have also removed the tree view, which although I don't use is useful for new users coming from Windows.

There is also an awful choice to use ellipsis formatting haphazardly. But in the alpha 2 I can't see it coming into play.

The scary part is thinking what more features they plan on removing?
Hopefully Marlin file manager can get more developer support and users for it to become stable.

More info
http://iloveubuntu.net/nautilus-352-landed-ubuntu-1210-new-features-and-removals

whatthefunk
June 29th, 2012, 02:30 AM
I dont understand this current trend, not just in Gnome, but in computing in general. For some reason, developers think that by removing features it becomes simpler. They forget that these features were added to make it simpler. A much better option in my opinion is to keep existing features, but make them optional. This way, the applications can ship in the simple format the devs want, but can be customized by the user to suit their needs. This is why I love KDE:)

Copper Bezel
June 29th, 2012, 02:37 AM
Removing features makes the applications simpler to test exhaustively, which makes them more reliable, which is certainly a kind of simplicity. Unused features do also take up space in the UI; and why bother the user with making decisions about these things?

Gnome's been very aggressive about this for quite some time, so pt123, if you liked the previous version of Nautilus, you were appreciating a product of exactly this process.

And I'm actually using Marlin as my default fm right now - and it complicates my life with its oversimplification. There really is no happy middle ground - it's an unpleasant compromise coming from both sides.

pt123
June 29th, 2012, 02:39 AM
Yes I agree, but the KDE's file manager Dolphin lead developer quit a few days ago.

pt123
June 29th, 2012, 02:46 AM
Removing features makes the applications simpler to test exhaustively
But it should not be placed above functionality. This is what happens when developer is more concerned about themself than the user. You wouldn't see this in commercial applications.

which makes them more reliable
I don't buy this is as Nautilus has been reliable for many releases now.


Unused features do also take up space in the UI; and why bother the user
They are not unused features, they help getting around key problems. New users come from Windows (tree view), the clunkiness of Gnome (compact layout).

frup
June 29th, 2012, 03:21 AM
I used Gnome Shell on Fedora for 6 months. I really liked it. (I've reverted to ubuntu because I just couldn't get bumblebee to function properly under f16 or f17)

The upcoming changes I have read about do not sound good to me. I liked the app categories in gnome and thought they were very well laid out (compared to unity).

Personally I feel that nautilus is properly one of the most noticeable weak points in both Gnome and Unity. I think dolphin is a much better file manager (And from what I've seen, windows explorer too). While I'm used to it now after several years, the directory layouts in nautilus suck, taking away any of the limited options there are is stupid.


That shortening of folder names looks damn ugly too. The new folder with selection option is cool!

rai4shu2
June 29th, 2012, 09:53 AM
It seems to be the law of the UI, lately on all OSes:

Seldom used = Never used = Unnecessary

It's the same mentality as 2 + 2 = 5.

MadmanRB
June 29th, 2012, 11:01 AM
Marlin just became far better now, but its still unstable and needs a search function.

not found
June 29th, 2012, 11:47 AM
sadly negative discussions are destined for "recurring hell".

No. Recurring discussions tend to end up there... so we will see how this discussion goes.


404

BrokenKingpin
June 29th, 2012, 02:00 PM
I dont understand this current trend, not just in Gnome, but in computing in general.
I don't get it either. The old desktop environments were not hard to use (even for younger kids)... we really don't need stripped down interfaces for the desktop.


This is why I love KDE:)
KDE is where it is at these days. I love the flexibility of it, which can even provide a streamlined interface without sacrificing features.

forrestcupp
June 29th, 2012, 02:20 PM
If I understand things correctly, I don't think they actually removed anything. When everything switched to Gnome 3, it broke a lot, and they had to start developing things from the ground up. So they didn't actually remove anything; they're just in the process of adding things back.

If you'll remember when KDE4 first came out, it took them quite a while to get all the functionality back into it. It's the same with Gnome 3. After a while, you'll start to see some of the old options coming back, and probably some new ones, too. I actually think the launch of Gnome 3 was a lot better than the launch of KDE 4. The extension system helped that a lot.

CarpKing
June 29th, 2012, 05:51 PM
The extension system is the only reason I use Gnome-shell, but it does have its flaws. The lack of centralization means the Gnome devs don't control what's available, but it also leads to a lot of redundancy. There's a separate extension (sometimes more than one) to move or remove each little thing, like turning off the accessibility icon or moving the clock to the right.

It would make much more sense to have a single extension to allow the moving and toggling of at least the default interface elements. It would be nice to be able to do the same for other extensions that add elements to the interface, such as the weather one. Basically I want something that approximates (or maybe improves upon) the way the old Gnome-panel was configured. I'm not sure it would be technically possible without deeper changes to the Shell, but I've seen extensions that come with their own configuration dialogs, and even something rudimentary could simplify things greatly.

rai4shu2
June 29th, 2012, 06:04 PM
I actually think the launch of Gnome 3 was a lot better than the launch of KDE 4. The extension system helped that a lot.

Gnome 3 was aided by the fact that GTK didn't change much between 2 and 3. The thing they take a lot of abuse over is Gnome Shell. GS is easily replaced, so no big deal. KDE, on the other hand, only recently has seen an alternative like Razor.

Speaking of KDE, I understand a lot of the microbugs/quirks are finally being noticed/addressed/maybe even fixed. I might actually have another look at that (once they're ready to start working on KDE 5.0).

BigSilly
June 29th, 2012, 06:27 PM
Well, all I can say is I moved to KDE (Kubuntu 12.04) the other day and it is really rocking my world right now. Amazing to see how far it's come on, and I don't know why it seems to exist ina bubble as far as Linux usage goes. It's always Gnome this and that, yet KDE seems to stock everything you could ever need, all wrapped up in a gorgeous Plasma bubble.

I love it!

Tombradyhasamachinehead
June 29th, 2012, 06:46 PM
i used to use gnome a lot but gnome 3 has killed it for me. I gave unity a shot that was a disaster for me. I switched to Kubuntu/ KDE in 2011, and havent looked back since. I know Kubuntu is not the best KDE distro out there, but i am comfortable with the ubuntu/Debian environment.

Morbius1
June 29th, 2012, 06:52 PM
If I understand things correctly, I don't think they actually removed anything. When everything switched to Gnome 3, it broke a lot, and they had to start developing things from the ground up. So they didn't actually remove anything; they're just in the process of adding things back.
I think that's probably the right insight. Either that or all these changes makes it fit better on a Tablet. I also think that this is the difference between Gnome and product development in the real world. If they are still in the process of development then don't ship it. If they choose to call it "stable" and ship it anyway then don't use it in a distro.

VTPoet
June 29th, 2012, 07:15 PM
The extension system is the only reason I use Gnome-shell, but it does have its flaws.

My impression (according to various articles I've read - and comments by Torvalds) is that the Gnome Devs haven't exactly "endorsed" the extension system. Whenever there's a "step-wise" Gnome update, many, if not most, of the extensions break and unadorned Gnome becomes its original, unusable self. There doesn't seem to be any coordination or interest in coordination.

Andrew_P
June 29th, 2012, 07:31 PM
Although I like GNOME and prefer it over KDE, I can see a day approaching soon where I'll abandon it in favor of a fork of GNOME that maintains the attitude of continuous improvement and enriching the feature set instead of mindless simplification. It's with good reason that Linus Torvalds declared GNOME a mess. He was quoted at ZDNet in August 2011 (http://www.zdnet.com/blog/open-source/linus-torvalds-would-like-to-see-a-gnome-fork/9347) that he would like to see a GNOME fork.

BigSilly
June 29th, 2012, 08:13 PM
...I know Kubuntu is not the best KDE distro out there, but i am comfortable with the ubuntu/Debian environment.

I'm never really sure quite why people feel like this. I used both openSUSE 12.1 KDE and Kubuntu 11.10 a while ago, and very much preferred Kubuntu. I can't quite put my finger on it, but I think the Muon/Debian package management and a slightly glossier look and feel are why I prefer Kubuntu. But I digress...

forrestcupp
June 29th, 2012, 08:38 PM
My impression (according to various articles I've read - and comments by Torvalds) is that the Gnome Devs haven't exactly "endorsed" the extension system. Whenever there's a "step-wise" Gnome update, many, if not most, of the extensions break and unadorned Gnome becomes its original, unusable self. There doesn't seem to be any coordination or interest in coordination.

Usually, all it takes is adding the new Gnome version number in a text file, and it works again.

kurt18947
June 29th, 2012, 09:40 PM
Usually, all it takes is adding the new Gnome version number in a text file, and it works again.

My experience 3.2 -> 3.4 was about 50-50 with editing the json file.

pt123
June 29th, 2012, 10:01 PM
If I understand things correctly, I don't think they actually removed anything. When everything switched to Gnome 3, it broke a lot, and they had to start developing things from the ground up. So they didn't actually remove anything; they're just in the process of adding things back.

No you have not understood this correctly. Those features I have listed are available in the current version of Nautilus in 12.04, version 3.4.2 which is also Gnome 3. So they are not in the process of adding things back.


For the others stop dragging this into the usual KDE Vs Gnome debate.

forrestcupp
June 29th, 2012, 10:49 PM
No you have not understood this correctly. Those features I have listed are available in the current version of Nautilus in 12.04, version 3.4.2 which is also Gnome 3. So they are not in the process of adding things back.

Well, that is a load of crap, then. But I do know that there are some Gnome 2 features that they haven't gotten around to reimplementing yet. One of the biggest ones is the ability to add a custom command for setting a filetype's Open With property.

Copper Bezel
June 29th, 2012, 10:54 PM
Yeah, that doesn't jive. Nautilus was extensively changed for 3.0. They didn't remove the up button because it wasn't compatible with Gnome 3. (Not to say that there weren't hiccups of that kind. God, I'm still just glad the typehead functionality was eventually restored.)

Edit: Could you cite a source on the "custom command" bit? My impression is that that feature was another one removed for simplicity. (And I'm admittedly getting tired of manually creating .desktop files to work around it, so I'd love to hear that's not the case.)


My experience 3.2 -> 3.4 was about 50-50 with editing the json file.
I'm using very few extensions now, largely because the ones I liked were the ones that broke. Editing metadata.json allows you to activate the extension, but that doesn't mean it'll actually function with Gnome 3.4. If the extension incompatibilities don't settle down in any way, then the extension base is going to become useless, because everyone is making extensions and no one is maintaining them. It simply takes less effort to write them than to maintain them, so stir in human nature and the results are inevitable.

The only ones I'm using now that aren't just designed to remove a redundant UI feature are one for keyboard workspace navigation in the overview and one of the sixteen variations on an extension to unbreak Alt+Tab.

forrestcupp
June 30th, 2012, 02:17 PM
Edit: Could you cite a source on the "custom command" bit? My impression is that that feature was another one removed for simplicity. (And I'm admittedly getting tired of manually creating .desktop files to work around it, so I'd love to hear that's not the case.)

No. I guess it was just wishful thinking. I hope you're not right about that. That's a pretty stupid thing to remove. It sure doesn't make things simpler for the user.

Morbius1
June 30th, 2012, 05:08 PM
No. I guess it was just wishful thinking. I hope you're not right about that. That's a pretty stupid thing to remove. It sure doesn't make things simpler for the user.
Here's a bug report issued to Gnome about "Custom Command" : https://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=650284

for the past 7 years, all major Linux environments (KDE, GNOME, and virtually everyone else) have adopted (machine-readable) desktop files to define applications and allow them to be identified, launched, associated to other pieces of the stack like the shell and the MIME type system. well-behaved applications should conform to the desktop entry specification, as hosted on freedesktop.org:That reaction reveals 3 things in my mind:

(1) It's not a Gnome bug or omission it's everyone else's fault. The problem of course is that means the the development of all the other applications must also have adult supervision and I see no evidence of that.

(2) "Custom Command" can mean associate to a specific program but it can also mean well ... a custom command - one that I specify ... perhaps my own script which is left out of this discussion.

(3) They have no intention fixing something that isn't broke.

If you want this functionality install Thunar.

rai4shu2
June 30th, 2012, 08:09 PM
I think sometimes developers don't really understand that a file truly is a concept that they need to respect, and that the world isn't ready to confuse files and applications.

In reality, people need multiple applications for one file type. There's also the problem of applications that have multiple file types. How do you handle the overlap between applications and their file types if not with the ability to allow the user to customize which app handles which file type. This is something the developers apparently haven't considered.

Artemis3
July 1st, 2012, 09:01 PM
Actually i noticed even back in gnome2, that is why i decided to move to Xfce. Gnome makes no sense from any point of view: it is bloated, unfriendly, restricted and buggy.

Simian Man
July 1st, 2012, 09:14 PM
A much better option in my opinion is to keep existing features, but make them optional. This way, the applications can ship in the simple format the devs want, but can be customized by the user to suit their needs. This is why I love KDE:)

Exactly. KDE has done a brilliant job of shipping their stuff with sane, non-overwhelming default configurations, but having many more options available when you need or want them. I would hate having to use Linux if I were forced to use Gnome :).

Wild Man
July 1st, 2012, 09:23 PM
Thread moved to Recurring Discussions.