MATE Desktop Environment and GNOME Controversy

Maybe I am late but I just find MATE 2 weeks ago. I think GNOME 2 buried forever but now I know GNOME 2 is still alive. You can say MATE = GNOME 2. MATE is a mod for GNOME 2 source code so it has persistant interface with GNOME 2. You user that misses GNOME 2, can give MATE a try. Oh yeah, MATE created by creative Linux Mint developers. They saved the GNOME 2 on new named MATE Desktop Environment. I can’t write too much now so I wanna continue this post later. Just an image and link I can give you now. Relax πŸ™‚

MATE is impressive for me. I know some factors make MATE impressive such as new arrangement of menu and GNOME 2 behavior legacy. Let me give comments for them.

Single Menu

When I start MATE on live disk, there is a menu on left bottom of screen. Yes same with Windows and KDE. The most impressive thing is the menu rebuilded. Open it. I can see all in one menu again like in Windows. And I get a search bar there. No menu like this in GNOME 2 before.

GNOME 2 Behavior

If somebody ask about MATE, I’ll answer MATE = GNOME 2. Yes MATE is GNOME 2 but some programs name has changed to others. You still find all our old application in MATE. You still find panel modification (such as adding applet, moving items, making toolbar, right click, so on). The most important is, you will find our old user experience in MATE. You harrashed with GNOME 3 or Unity, will get your freedom again with MATE.

to be continued…

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[1] http://mate-desktop.org/
[2] http://www.dedoimedo.com/computers/linux-mint-maya-mate.html

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Awesome GNOME 3 Theme Presentations!

Aaaargh, since September I collect GNOME 3 themes. Hey, the themes are usual, not too special. But it seems I can’t stop watching the presentation picture of each theme. The theme is usual, but the presentation is awesome! You can see pictures below. Wow, I will show you the keys of Lamborghini!


Aaargh, beautifuuuuul! Instead the presentation pictures (they call it preview) make me wonder, not the theme. I wonder the way theme creators arrange the sreenshot into elements of a picture. Pretty, beautiful. Look, simply beautiful. I love that. I am going to show you the cases.

My comment: look at deviantART theme. This type of presentation I name type 1. The creator makes some full screenshots of his desktop when using this theme. After that, he crops some parts. The parts are menu when opened, baloon when appeared, authentication dialog, and the OSK. He crops all in same dimensions. Then he arranges the small cropped pictures into a box of pictures. He keeps the space between them. He gives them drop shadow. And he emphasizes the presentation by putting single complete desktop screenshot at the top. Do you know? Actually the desktop is usual. It’s okay if nobody attends. But with this presentation (preview) picture, the desktop is interesting. So cool with the presentation. I think it’s art. Real art makes the unimportant thing become interesting and so beautiful.

My comment: look at Elementary theme. I call any theme presentation like this: type 2. Why? Because the creator takes single screenshot of theme and stacks another screenshots over that. Okay, see the presentation. It’s a simple screenshot of desktop. We can do it too. But the creator takes another screenshots such as menu, calendar, and user option. He crops those pictures into small pieces and put them over the first desktop screenshot. He gives them decoration with border, drop shadow, some lighting, and so on. He does arrangement and artistic coloring. He plays with font in the center. Those are something maybe we can’t do. It’s truly simple but effect on my eyes: wow beautiful! Look at the Elementary Luna Mod. Its wallpaper supports the presentation. Felt elegant πŸ™‚

For future: I don’t know what the name of this art. It is a digital art, focused on the desktop environment, theming, shell, aaargh. Maybe theme arrangement or theme presentation or theme preview art is the suitable name. This art, I think, is very important later for Linux promotion. Yes something producted need to be promoted. Let us grumble what GNOME 3 is wrong but let us too to see these theme presentations. Maybe it could cure our broken heart of GNOME 3 πŸ™‚

Look, before, I never see picture art like this. Theme can be presented elegantly. This happened only when GNOME 3 comes. Something bad for some users is not sure yet brings only badness. This art I think the good side of GNOME 3 arrival. Good ideas, good picture, and excellent arrangement into a presentation. Simply beautiful.

And maybe many users from Windows interested by these theme presentations so they give Linux a try. I believe it can be because my friend (truly Windows user), seems amazed with hot corner of GNOME 3. He get new user experience πŸ™‚ And another friend (Windowsian too) can say good for the presentation pictures I’ve showed. So, let this art lifes and grows.

Note: this article is my single reason to create this blog. I have so impressed with GNOME 3 themes.

GNOME 3 for Lazy User

I often lying on my bed while interact with Linux machine. Until someday I installed GNOME 3 on my machine. Some weeks I used, it seems I don’t understand yet. The last 3 days, inspiration comes to write GNOME 3 for Lazy Users. From where? From its on-screen keyboard. On-screen keyboard (OSK) is truly suit for me who rest down on bed frequently while opening applications. Let my left hand become motionless and use only mouse to type in OSK. Really suites lazy user πŸ™‚

Yes honestly I am glad when my WIN key usable. Woho, very glad! I’ve been waiting for so long. Actually Unity and this GNOME satisfy me. Only WIN key my first impression when try them. Now GNOME 3 really answer my super-dream (you know what I mean). Before, it seems nobody attend this key for users. Ex-windows certainly need this key! This special, usable, efficient super key. If you are open source developer, what you can do to change millions win logo in every keyboard in the world? You can not escape from Windows environment, Dude. So this GNOME 3 behaviour fits me. I love it. Even if many users hate the win key system (to open menu in GNOME), I don’t care. I need it as an ex-windows. At least, my win key usable now in my Linux machine. It is big point from me for GNOME. You will support this idea if you are Windowsian too πŸ™‚

Yes for years using Windows, OSK never be interesting. Really ugly and seems unusual for me. Even every Windows user I met before, never touch the OSK. I know OSK is very usable for avoiding keylogger. But hey, who has experience cheated by keylogger? I never experience it. So do my friends over there in Indonesia and globally all Windows users in Indonesia. In other words, OSK is unimportant. Second function is for helping user with body limitation. Nah, I can understand highly if the reason for them. Really OSK in Windows, never make me interested. But now in GNOME, I downloaded so many GNOME 3 themes only to try OSK! Imagine, crazy. I interested intensely when seeing GNOME Shell Themes preview in many sites such as Webupd8, Ubuntubuzz, Tahutek, and so on. Wow, crazy! GNOME never be unique like this. They are cool (the themes). I amazed with the OSK emphasized in every theme previews. Wow, I want to use it immediately. Now if you can see my Linux machine, you will see my GNOME 3 with various themes installed πŸ™‚ And you will see me beside πŸ™‚ Haha.

For ensuring you about how I interested in GNOME 3 themes, you can see this one theme presentation. I take it from deviantart. I am sure you will love it too πŸ™‚

This user experience maybe better for me. I like it. I like to see OSK in my GNOME system. Developer idea for this OSK is good. I think good for Linux future. But if this for another user otherwise, I am sorry. I enjoyed this new comer, Dude. How about you? πŸ™‚

Save Dialog Misses The Type Column

What do you think every save your works in Writer? Sort by type first so you can distinguish the doc among others? Yes me too. I usually click on the column bar to sort the files by type. But when saving from any application, I don’t find the columnn. Where is it? For information: I write this article based on GNOME.Β 

Wait a second. This is GNOME or Libreoffice mistake? Ah, it is really GNOME mistake. KDE has different saving dialog for Libreoffice. You can proof it in GIMP, Inkscape, any application can do saving. Maybe developers can make new patch for this. Or at least an extension for GNOME Shell. Or maybe just show steps and I’ll do it myself πŸ™‚

Anybody can submit this idea to developer? Or if existed, when this addition can be enjoyed? Ah, forget it a while. For Linux future, this little thing is important too. User experience πŸ™‚

New GNOME 3 is Okay For Me

For information, this GNOME evolution, doesn’t harrash me. I have done migration from Windows to Linux. I feel it is really easy. So an evolution of GNOME should be easier for me. And this should be easy too for us πŸ™‚ The reality, I am not disturbed by GNOME evolution. Even it has new user experience. Have fun for me. Haha.

So, I have some opinions. I will list them also.

  1. Make it configurable again.
  2. Bring back right click again.
  3. Make shut down option appear.
  4. Make those buttons appear again.
  5. Make ALT TAB usable again.
  6. So what?
  7. Change them.
  8. Adapt.

to be continued…

Controversy in GNOME 3

Wow. Linux users complain. Whereas, they are strong users. They give people new experience outside Windows, anywhere. They solve problems what the usual users can’t do. They often do anything by themself. They are usually autodidact. But when they complain to GNOME developer, what’s wrong? Certainly there is a mistake in GNOME. What is the problem? Whereas I don’t feel disturbed like people over there. But I try to list all problems I can here.

Ah, before continue, this is a sample of GNOME 3 desktop environment. You can compare with GNOME 2.

And this is my old GNOME 2 in low resolution:

Searching for Trouble

Before, actualy this is the main topic for me 7 days before creating this blog. I confused the way people feel confused. Why should be confused? I don’t feel confused with new GNOME. Why and why? After browsing some sites, I find the answer. People clash with user experience in new GNOME.

I will write it freely. So I list here the problems I can understand.

  1. Uncustomizable new GNOME.
  2. No right click.
  3. No shut down option in menu.
  4. No minimize and maximize buttons.
  5. ALT TAB items grouped.
  6. Different workspace concept.
  7. Developer do change for something don’t need to change.
  8. Truly different user interface with previous GNOME.

Actually there are more problems. You can see them in some sites[1][2]. I list only what I can understand. Okay, it seems a simple problem. About user experience. But it can be big if it faces users. Users hold anything.

It’s Like Vista Case

Do you remember Windows Vista? Yes it has awesome Aero User Interface. But it is complicated, has many problems, and users hate it. The main issue of Vista is slow. Slower than XP. Even some users ask to downgrade their Vista to XP (wow, cool). Because of what? I see this issue caused of different user experience. Completely all aspects which are user interact with the operating system. Users enjoy XP for years and they are really enjoyed! They know XP simplicity and its speed was wow. They never annoyed with UAC in XP or disturbed by too many dont send in XP. But Microsoft changed it. So users got angry. And I ask you, who uses Vista today?

I feel the new GNOME faces same problem with Vista. Do you feel the same? In my mind, appear a new box subtitutes old box. And the owner of the box doesn’t recognize it. The same case. Developers changes the user experience and boom.

GNOME 2 Apparently Beautiful

Maybe some user disagree if GNOME 2 is fast, pretty, configurable, and highly usable. In one word, beautiful. If you disagree with my statement, you can understand now with the reality of GNOME 3. Somebody abuses GNOME 3 with bad words. It is point us that something wrong with GNOME 3. So if we know something wrong with it, the GNOME 2 will tasted beautiful. Nah, you can see this screen image of GNOME 2:

Maybe some eyes will cheated like me. Whereas, there is clear text above the picture in the original post[2] describing this is a Macbuntu result. Macbuntu is magic for GNOME 2 in order to make it mimic Mac OS X. But I have cheated, I thought it is real Mac OS X. So, is GNOME 2 not beautiful?

But hey, GNOME 2 can mimic Vista above.

Unfortunately, it can mimic Seven too:

No ‘My Things Done’

Let me quote someone: β€œ… I want to get things done. I don’t really care what kernel I’m running or what flavor of code was used to weave the experience for me. I repeat, I want to get things done …” I got this from GNOME user gives me above Macbuntu picture. So, what do you think? With GNOME 2 you can do all your tasks fast. And all tasks get done. But with GNOME 3, many tasks get undone. My Things Done is absolute rule in mind for all users especially man like my father (he doesn’t know what is window, what is taskbar, what is bla, but please my job finished). Simply, don’t think heavy.

Taskbar was Gone

Both Windows and Linux users use taskbar for saving temporarily window(s) they open. They are working with one window and saving another windows that opened simultaneously. Simply if you open Writer for writing, Banshee for hearing, also Firefox for browsing, plus one Nautilus for managing, you will minimize all except Writer you are using now. If you want one appear, enough with one click to its bar with its icon in the taskbar. Nah, the problem is where is the taskbar? She’s gone. Users lost big facility they use everyday. They use this frequently to finish their job.

GNOME 2 Taskbar

KDE 4 Taskbar

No Compiz Dream

It is my own issue. I have dreamed Compiz for so long. Wanna use Compiz in my GNOME 2. But now GNOME changes, Dude. And GNOME 3 doesn’t receive Compiz even my Unity receive it. I’ve installed them in one Ubuntu. So, will you remember some of this screen pictures?

Pictures taken from a site[3].

For information, Indonesia has little number of users compared with Windows users. Seriously minority. And I was waiting a machine for promoting Compiz Fusion to them. Minimum, my friends at school. Now the machine is beside me but the Compiz blown away. I know myself, I interested to Linux because of Compiz. Now, people’s turn. They have chance to be interested in Linux over Compiz πŸ˜€ I still believe this. I don’t care with new technology. I know my way, my oldish way. Yes Compiz dream. You have same experience like me will understand easily.

I believe that most users beyond Linux will be amazed. They will be amazed yet until unpredictable time. Although I show them the old but deadly Compiz Fusion. I believe they don’t know Linux. I believe they don’t understand OS classification between kernel and desktop environment. But they know what awesome old Compiz Fusion is. Even Vista (expensive cost) can’t do what GNOME 2 do with Compiz.

Comments I’ve Collected

I tried to collect some good comments over the internet about GNOME 3. And yeah I found them. I’ll choose a little of them here.

4101:

1. Return configuration options to the user.
2. Return configuration options to the user.
3. Return configuration options to the user.

4141:

Go back to the 2.x interface.
Go back to the 2.x interface. Please.

to be continued…

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[1] http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=gnome_survey_part5&num=1

[2] http://www.dedoimedo.com/computers/gnome-3.html

[3] http://images.linuxidx.com/img.php?filter=off&page=1&q=compiz