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View Full Version : Would have made a great Shell?



Xantheil
March 20th, 2011, 01:15 PM
This (http://cairoshell.github.com/) is what I'm talking about. Just look at those concept mockups. Its really amazing. Beautiful would be an understatement. I love the translucent blue theme of menus and the clean yet amazing white and gray dialog boxes. You could have launched applications with one click (took that from gnome-shell :P). I really loved what they did with the folders. Some things are pure eyecandy (like coverflow and the scrollbar highlighting letters of applications. It's too bad that it never made it. It was made opensource, but unfortunately, its spinoff with element software didn't last either. If something was amazing, that was. Perfect. Lemme drool over those!

So, what do you guys think? (Guess it'll be rubbished for being too fancy, but hey, it's very usable)

PS: Their old browser was great (concept art ofcourse). The one that ElementSoftware managed wasn't half as good looking. Wish something like that was done for Linux!

Jesus_Valdez
March 20th, 2011, 02:27 PM
I guess it all comes down to tastes because I don't see nothing extraordinary on the images.

del_diablo
March 20th, 2011, 02:42 PM
It is inferior to the Mac and Win7 shell(spesifically the taskbar revamp).
The only "advantage" is that it provides multiple virtual desktops.

Xantheil
March 20th, 2011, 03:17 PM
It is inferior to the Mac and Win7 shell(spesifically the taskbar revamp).
The only "advantage" is that it provides multiple virtual desktops.

Thats something I don't agree with. I'm typing this on Windows 7. The taskbar looks better (in Cairo), but that's not your point, I understand. However, my Win 7 doesn't group all open applications (minimized or otherwise) in categories, like in the screenshot: Explorer under System, Pidgin and Firefox under Internet and so on. Really helpful with multiple programs open. It doesn't feature the Win7 jump-lists, that's true, but of course would have if the mockups would have been updated after Win7 was released. The taskbar auto-expands (that's eye-candy
though). The iTunes progress bar (which wasn't possible in Windows) looks great, and doesn't have a Window substitute.

The top menu bar contains live searching, which I couldn't find in my Windows 7. It also allowed quick viewing of folders. The applications menu is neatly assorted in categories. That's something I read gnome/ubuntu did better than Windows (which sorts it by Developer). The applications could be clicked to provide list of recent documents opened with it.

Now, you wouldn't believe me if I told you I was a Die-hard Mac fan (It sounds like a lie), but I believe Windows 7 is better than my OSX (The shell mostly). And I clearly find Cairo better than Windows, so...

Oh, by the way, I messed up the verbs. It accomplished very little. I was talking about the concept.

I clearly was drunk when I posted this here. (No offense)

I remember seeing a thread here when Cairo was in development. Most liked it then. They agreed it was beautiful and Functional. They wanted it for Linux. (And it was after KDE 4, so well..). Not that it matters.

Guess I was wrong about what you guys would think. I though even KDE lovers would agree that this looked better and more usable. I was clearly wrong. It had nothing of what guys hated in the new Gnome3-Shell. And I definitely thought it looked better than default Windows 7, (or any desktop of gnome/KDE/E17 [and I am talking of real DeviantArt stuff, not XXX Month Screenshots]).
*Sigh*
Yeah, it sucks big time I guess. Forget I ever posted this thread.

I had forgotten about Linux users need to boot OS and every applications in 10^-10 seconds. And of course, need to have 5 Million ways to open up any application. And finding ugly desktops (with more information about your computer [conky] than your girl) pretty.

As the user after my OP correctly mentioned: It all comes down to taste!
PS: I sound like a troll! :lolflag:

del_diablo
March 20th, 2011, 04:12 PM
Thats something I don't agree with.

Quite the shame.
After using GNOME for some time, the thing I realized was that a LOT of the things you consider "good", such as grouping of applications from the menu launchers, is irrelevant to the desktop experience.
It is only "practical".
You will perhaps only use 10 applications in reality, meaning on Windows 7 you pin those applications.
I can't really stand the idea of launching applications anymore, I just move the mouse down to the taskbar, click, and then I have it opened.
The jumplist is more or less "irrelevant", it does not add to the desktop experience, because a lot of applications does not support it.

Of course, I am in one of the worst groups of computer users: The users being able to figure out what they want. There is NOTHING revolutionary over this new shell, nor would it work the way I wanted it too.

unknownPoster
March 20th, 2011, 07:48 PM
This type of thing is almost always purely subjective.

As for me, I've used Cairo and I absolutely hated it.

oldos2er
March 20th, 2011, 08:36 PM
I think zsh is a great shell. ;)

Johnsie
March 20th, 2011, 08:46 PM
I like the look of that. Looks alot better than Unity.

Chilli Bob
March 21st, 2011, 08:51 AM
Browse folders right from your desktop.



... it says on the link. Then provides no explanation of what or how this is supposed to work. I can't make any comment on the shell based on the website. It looks like nothing more than a slightly modified Gnome with Cairo Dock added.

Copper Bezel
March 21st, 2011, 10:04 AM
Other than the tab-style dock, I don't get it. The top bar is Gnome Panel with a few (necessary) applets removed and ribbons in place of menus.

The tabs for a dock remind me of a "Windows 8 Concept" piece some other company put together recently. I'm sold on big, friendly application-group icons, myself, especially after discovering Avant Window Navigator's Transparency mode, which I'm compelled to bring up in every thread I respond to. Of course 7 is the same concept.

My problem with the concept is that none of the menus being drawn by the Cairo taskbar are logically linked to any of the things they're connected to. It's not what I'd call intuitive.


I think zsh is a great shell.

Is there a link between the two uses of "shell", etymologically? I mean, they're both things that manage tasks, but it's a little abstract to link them. Still, the Taskbar was called a "shell" in the scripting in Windows XP. Technically, Gnome Panel is a shell, Cairo Dock is a shell, AWN is a shell, etc. It's only Gnome Shell that's making a big deal of the word now and it gets easily applied to Unity, but it's technically been accurate since there was a Gnome.


You will perhaps only use 10 applications in reality, meaning on Windows 7 [or in Unity, or in Classic Gnome with AWN or DBX] you pin those applications.

Sorry, had to sort of universalize that. I have all of six apps pinned right now (Opera, OOo, Gimp, Rhythmbox, Qalculate, Nautilus....)

GabrielYYZ
March 21st, 2011, 11:51 AM
Is there a link between the two uses of "shell", etymologically? I mean, they're both things that manage tasks, but it's a little abstract to link them.

a "shell" in computing terms, as i understand it, is a layer of software on top of something else that's low level. both the desktop environment and the command line are shells that provide an interface for an user to work with. so, in that sense, i think the link is valid...

Xantheil
March 21st, 2011, 05:19 PM
Haha, I had been to angry at the time of writing that. And I wasn't that right, I guess. A dock would have been better, AWN like, I love the fancy stuff. The menubar's grouping looks better than Gnome's, I still believe that. And the folder's view too seems nice, though, but it's more or less like stacks in Docks. It just looks better, which is of course a matter of opinion.

And about grouping of applications, I do use quite a few applications at a time. And believe me when I say quite a few. So that grouping is useful. Maybe not necessary for most people, but well so isn't having excessive information about your PC for me (conky).

I guess there should be a dream Shell thread (instead of this one). I've seen quite a few beautiful mockups on the internet.

Copper Bezel
March 21st, 2011, 09:52 PM
Yeah, I have to admit, I've seen some folks who use 20ish applications on a daily basis. A customizable dashboard-type application might make more sense for that, although there was a proposed idea for Unity to have application "groups" handled a bit like subdocks.

I do get the benefit, too, of using the tab-style taskbar in that it identifies running applications by name, but that only seems useful if you have multiple instances of the same program separated, which seems like a step backward to me. It's something that would come in handy when you have three documents and nothing else open, but rarely in any other case.


a "shell" in computing terms, as i understand it, is a layer of software on top of something else that's low level. both the desktop environment and the command line are shells that provide an interface for an user to work with. so, in that sense, i think the link is valid...

Yeah, but we don't use it to mean the DE. It literally means just the panel. That's the bit that confuses me. It would make sense if, say, Gnome, or Windows 3.1, were referred to as a "shell." Unity, Gnome Shell, Gnome Panel, the Windows taskbar, etc. make less sense in that usage.

uRock
March 21st, 2011, 09:59 PM
I think the four I have gives me enough selection already.
uRock@uRock-desktop:~$ ksh
$ csh
% tcsh
ronnie-desktop:~> bash
uRock@uRock-desktop:~$

oldos2er
March 21st, 2011, 11:51 PM
Is there a link between the two uses of "shell", etymologically?

It was just a joke. Personally, I subscribe to the *nix definition of "shell" as different types of CLI environments, but I'm open to the fact that others may define it differently; i.e., software that provides an interface to other "lower level" software.

Copper Bezel
March 22nd, 2011, 12:42 AM
As I said, I find it legitimately interesting, since there seem to have been "shells" in the sense we mean in this thread for almost as long as there have been GUIs.

GabrielYYZ
March 22nd, 2011, 01:38 AM
i've always thought of GUIs as graphical shells and terminals as command line shells... everyone uses it to refer to the windows GUI, since that one doesn't have an identifiable name like "gnome-shell" or "Plasma".

i think this wikipedia article about shells is nice: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shell_%28computing%29

it even suggests that a web browser is a shell for an HTML rendering engine. i think that's a bit too much, but i can see the logic in that, though.

carolinabranden
March 22nd, 2011, 02:39 AM
The shell looks very plain to me. I myself have experimented with different shells for Windows XP. Most of the time it had something missing or was a hardware hog over the default shell. For a Windows OS, it is pretty much a waste of time changing the shell. For everyday use I prefer Linux, but I still keep Windows 7 on my system in case I need it for something. (^_^)

arvevans
March 22nd, 2011, 02:52 AM
None of this seems to support having different icons and different top-bars on individual workspaces. Until we have that capability we are missing a lot of flexibility and functionality that should be there in our window managers. It would be very nice if we could customize a workspace for a particular function and have other workspaces customized for other functions.

Copper Bezel
March 22nd, 2011, 03:12 AM
Well, that's yet another paradigm that a DE might be designed around. It's less a feature that isn't included and more a theoretical basis for another "shell" that hasn't been designed yet. It would change all kinds of things about the DE to fully implement that line of thinking.


i've always thought of GUIs as graphical shells and terminals as command line shells... everyone uses it to refer to the windows GUI, since that one doesn't have an identifiable name like "gnome-shell" or "Plasma".

You're right and that makes sense, and I've certainly heard everything from Gnome to Windows 3 referred to as a "graphical shell", used the term in that sense myself, etc. I don't think it's going to stop anyone calling panels (or panel/WM fusions) "shells", though. And if the term is applied only to Gnome Shell and Unity, that implies a false distinction (because Gnome with Metacity or the Compiz/AWN/DBX interface I'm using now has all of the same components as the "shells." (For that matter, in my case, there's just as much interdependency, since both AWN and DBX require, and integrate with, Compiz.)