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Sunday, January 06, 2008

GNOME sucks

one pissed off pussycat by John Carleton from flickr (CC-NC-SA)

My dead Macbook returned with a new disk. I normally use KDE, but this time I thought it would be a good idea to try the Ubuntu's default GNOME desktop. And it sucks.

The thing which sucks most is virtual desktops support. If I have programs opened on different virtual desktops I cannot switch between them using alt+tab. I cannot switch between them using taskbar. And I cannot take my mouse and simply move from one virtual desktop to another over screen edge. That makes the whole virtual desktop thing pretty much useless.

The second things which sucks is lack of single place with all configuration options. I don't think it even has configuration options I want, believing instead in "one size fits all". Wake up GNOME people - configurable Windows is way more popular than one-true-way Mac for a reason, and so is configurable KDE way more popular than one-true-way GNOME.

The third thing which sucks is GNOME trying too hard to be a Mac but failing. There's even a menubar at top of the screen, but it does not host current application's menus. Instead it takes one of the most valuable parts of screen (top edge) and completely wastes it. It's even worse on a computer with tiny screen like Macbook, where top bar and bottom bar together take large part of total screenspace, leaving much less for applications.

A few more things. Applications menu does not remember my recently used programs. The only reason I would ever use Applications menu instead of Alt+F2 is if it listed the few most frequently (or most recently) used programs for simple clicking. Without that it's completely useless. Places menu is completely useless, and System menu as I said should be replaced by a single place with all config it in. Like your beloved Mac. Or Windows. Or KDE. Or anything except for GNOME.


Anonymous said...

"configurable Windows is way more popular than one-true-way Mac for a reason"

Are you serious? Sure, I've heard plenty of people cite that, but that's just an excuse for hating the Mac, not an actual reason. I have *never* heard of someone who's actually switched and decided that they missed the "configurability" of Windows.

taw said...

People miss other things way more than configurability in case of Windows vs Mac (like - ability to play games, any games), but my point is GNOME shouldn't blindly follow Mac's lead as if Mac was some sort of "best UI design ever". It's neither objectively better nor even the most popular one.

In case of KDE vs GNOME on the other hand, configurability is a very strong reason people prefer KDE.

Anonymous said...

GNOME? KDE? Get real, use a real window manager. Like fwmi, or enlightenment ;)

taw said...

But I like KDE :-D

josh said...

I've used both KDE and Gnome and haven't really developed a particular infatuation with either. In ubuntu Gnome is nice because I think it gets a bit more polish from the community. I can say that Gnome suffers from bad configuration interfaces (controls are dumbed down too much or hard to find)

Anyway right now I am using Gnome and if you have desktop effects enabled you can do all the things you are talking about.
To switch between all open programs: If you have compiz effects enabled (system >preferences>appearance) then ctrl+alt+tab switches between all open applications (whereas alt+tab is just the applications in your current workspace)

To mouse between desktops: be sure compizconfig-settings-manager package is installed. Then go to advanced settings (system>preferences>advanced desktop effects settings). Enable cube rotate or if you don't want the cube rotate effect go to desktop wall and click edge flip pointer checkbox under edge flipping.

That advanced settings control gives you lots more config options for desktop behavior. Check it out.

Imexius said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...


I tried both GNOME and KDE and many more Unix GUIs.
The only one I found to be acceptable is GNOME. Strange, but how can you bear KDE? Some parts of it crashed for me literally twice an hour. Both 3.5.something and 4.
Also, most actually usable & essential Linux software, like Firefox (the only browser able to show most websites for Unix) or Flash Player, Vim, etc all use Gtk.

Moreover X as such is a joke. There's no hope in implementing a responsive GUI with bitmaps sent over sockets. And if everything uses XSHM, you end up with a swapping X server.

Michael said...

Actually, Gnome is more customizable than KDE. You can get rid of the top bar entirely. In fact, you can get rid of all the bars if you want. You can do just about anything you want with Gnome's interface. Just right click on the thing you want to change.

Anonymous said...

OK, so I add a "Custom" menubar, only to find that the Places menu is completely unconfigurable. Right clicking on the menubar gives me the option to edit the menus except that the Places menu mysteriously is not offered. Also, while the System menu is offered up for editing, some of the entries that appear in the menu are not shown in the menu editing window. I am not allowed to remove any of the menus entirely either; hardly "Custom".

I tend to find the top panel troublesome on fresh installs of gnome. I find that gnome will not let me remove some things from it, so I have to remove the panel entirely then rebuild it.

I think the gnome developers have wimped out on configurability in order to make gnome simpler to use, but I find it inconsistent and headachey.

I am not even able to remove any of the menus from the menubar and some of the entries in the System menu are Also, when I remove everything from

taw said...

Anonymous: I think GNOME is the second worst GUI for a modern computer. The only worse one I've ever seen was OLPC's Sugar, which was like taking ideas from GNOME and going with them even further.

KDE/OSX/XP GUIs are more usable than GNOME in just so many ways, starting with configurability.

Anonymous said...

What's you're opinion on KDE 4? Is the places menu from GNOME useless now? have you thought about new users that just switched from Windows? "Where is "My Computer"? Where are "My Documents" ? How can i see the content of my Hard-drives? :| ? "

Anonymous said...

you taw suck, gnome is a zillion times better in any way than you bullshit kde in any way possible in this dimension. So shut your ass looking mouth.

Anonymous said...

i hate to say it but hes right gnome does suck, when of the things that annoys me worst about it is that after what 7-8 years metacity still doesn't have drag and drop switching of apps in its virtual desktop pager.
it would be nice to be able to turn it on
but it seems like someone decided that wasn't necessary so it wasn't even
i know i'm free to use another wm/shell on gnome and it may actually have changed sometime in the last decade.
and worst off stock gnome looks like
unconfigured win9x running a bunch
motif apps and most distros doen't
even ship with a theme present
that makes it look any better.

Anonymous said...

It's 2012, and Gnome still sucks. ;)