back to article DJANGO UNCHAINED: Don't let 'preview' apps put you off Fedora 20

If you're a fan of GNOME 3 and the GNOME Shell, Fedora 20 will be a welcome update. This release sees an upgrade for Fedora's default GNOME spin, bringing the desktop to GNOME 3.10. Fedora's live desktop CD has used GNOME by default for many years now. Once upon a time that was completely unremarkable. However, since Ubuntu …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    the header bar.

    Designed for use by people who only ever do one thing at a time, and whose eyes don't track very well.

    Oh, and no minimize because you'll never want to do more than one thing at a time.

    I'm guessing that the next version will be just like DOS 3.2.

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Re: the header bar.

      Sadly all GUI developers seem to be suffering the same syphilitic brain problem of removing anything and everything of use, and hiding the remaining features in stupid non-obvious places.

      Desktop morons abound (Gnome 3, to a large extent Unity, Win8 TIFKAM).

      Web browser morons abound (Firefox, Chrome, etc all removing menus and options that you might actually want to use).

      Cloud services buggering around the same way, like Google's docs, etc, having things make more Fisher-Price and hiding them behind icons that mean nothing (WTF is the matrix of squares that now pops up the other services supposed to represent?)

      A pox on them all :(

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: the header bar.

        I must agree with you about that. In fact they appear to be going back to the DOS command prompt.

        As I see it the GUI is becoming dumber over time as well as clunky in appearance. Maybe if they did something like making a clone of the OS/2 active desktop they would have something to boast about as well as a desktop that actually worked.

      2. i1ya

        Re: the header bar.

        Regarding randomly chosen icons that mean nothing: I owe you a bear! Sometimes I'm thinking that only option to teach people to _read_ is to replace all icons with text

    2. johnnytruant

      Re: the header bar.

      I don't miss minimise.

      If I need some screen space, I just hop to another desktop. It's faster and easier than fiddling about making windows bigger and smaller, and the keyboard shortcut is right under my fingers most of the time.

      Gnome Shell is the fastest, least-bothersome UI I've used for a long while. Once you've adjusted to the couple of things it does differently, it fades away to un-noticeability in no time. I really don't miss the bad old days.

      1. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Re: the header bar.

        Don't miss minimise? Just hop to another desktop? Been doing that for years with minimise. I've been on the machine about twenty minutes and I have four desktops with all sorts of bits and pieces. Any more and I wouldn't find what I need, so minimise comes in very handy.

        You should stay in more.

    3. DrXym Silver badge

      Re: the header bar.

      If you maximize a window in GNOME this is the current situation:

      1. Vertical space used for global menu / system bar

      2. Vertical space used for app title bar

      3. Vertical space used for app menu

      4. Vertical space used for app toolbar

      So an app might gobble up 15% of its vertical space just for the bars at the top. Unity is a better for space since it munges the menu with the system menu, and also the title bar when maximized. But what Unity gains in space it loses in intuitiveness - that global menu is just evil especially for added mouse travel.

      The GNOME header bar offers apps another way to present their info than as a title, menu and toolbar. They can combine them as they see fit and therefore use less space. Just like Firefox or Chrome does but in a more UI consistent way.

      I really don't see what's objectionable about that. Apps aren't forced to use them, and if they do, then presumably it's for a reason, e.g. because it means more space is available for the content area.

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge


        Tiling window manager revival when?

        1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          Re: So....

          Tiling window manager revival when?

          Not sure I want tiling WMs back, though I have a certain fondness for CWM, as I worked at IBM TCS in Cambridge, MA with the folks who wrote it. Not they way I want to manage my screen real estate, and I quit cluttering up my workspace with multiple monitors in '91 and never looked back.

          I do miss UWM, though. My UWM configuration: no window decorations (except a thin border, which changed color to indicate keyboard focus), no graphical icons ("minimized" windows became small windows with just their icon or title text in a small font, and remained wherever I put them on the screen), no menus (everything done with mouse buttons and modifier keys). No wasted real estate and no hand-holding. You remembered how to do things, or you opened the config file to remind yourself.

          Of course, I apparently don't miss it enough to take the time to recreate it. But I'll take the time to ramble on tiresomely on the subject.

  2. Tom 7 Silver badge

    Django Rheinhart

    just thought I'd mention an old colleague worthy of the name - he used to two finger type at close on 60wpm.

    Not tried the devassistant - but then there are IDE's that cover that already.

    Played with Gnome3.10 and Cinnamon.

    Still not convinced all the desktop developments are of any more than style over substance.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "a decent upgrade for Fedora fans"

    Which is good, as they don't have much choice in the matter - each Fedora release is orphaned 13-15 months after it comes out. Upgrade or die.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: "a decent upgrade for Fedora fans"

      Nah, surely it's supported for 12+ years, just like Windows XP, isn't it?

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

        Re: "a decent upgrade for Fedora fans"

        Nah, surely it's supported for 12+ years, just like Windows XP, isn't it?

        Of course not. Are you some kind of weird coelacanth?

    2. keithpeter Silver badge

      Re: "a decent upgrade for Fedora fans"

      "Which is good, as they don't have much choice in the matter - each Fedora release is orphaned 13-15 months after it comes out. Upgrade or die."

      Or move sideways to RHEL clones like CentOS/Scientific Linux/Springdale Linux/Oracle Linux?

      The RHEL 7 beta is out and is based I believe on Fedora 19. Support for 10 years after release (server people like that I gather) with deltas.

  4. ElReg!comments!Pierre

    "If you're a fan of GNOME 3 and the GNOME Shell"

    I stopped right there. It's probably a bit unfair, as Gnome probably evolved quite a bit since I used it and came to the conclusion that it is a steaming pile of shit, but there you have it. And I tried to like it, too. My conclusion was that it missed a lot of the integration, bells and whistles that KDE had, for roughly the same pharaonic ressource consumption. Gnome also had a bizarre fixation on using an arcane, not text-editor-friendly config system which made it a PITA to maintain. After a few years of trying, I switched all my graphical, luser-friendly machines to XFCE.

  5. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    KDE installed!

    Now if I only could get friendly with the mysterious DBus.

    1. phil dude

      my tip...

      kbuildsycoca4 && kquitapp plasma-desktop && kstart plasma-desktop

      very useful when something goes wrong and you *really* don't want to logout....

      I don't understand d-bus either....


    2. AdamWill

      Don't worry, future archaeologists will find your body in the vast cavern labelled KDE Control Center in a mere handful of thousands of years ;)

  6. handle

    You might save yet more space

    if you call it "space" rather than "real estate".

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I don't do much UI programming, all python servers for me at the moment, but if you write GUI applications for Linux, do you need to code around/for a selection of window managers and widget toolkits, or does the underlying x toolkit provide enough nowadays?

    (Of course the same question could fairly be asked of Windows: Winforms, xaml, silverlight, MFC, native user/gdi/dwm, TIFKAM, and the fact that every windows application ships with its own scrollbar style, etc...)

    1. DrXym Silver badge

      Unless you are a masochist, you would code apps using a modern toolkit like GTK, QT or possibly wxWidgets. These provide everything you need to produce a modern GUI and do so in a platform agnostic manner.

      You would never ever hit X directly if you can avoid it, and normally the middleware would mean you should not have to.

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

        Don't remind me

        Xlib and Xt Intrinsics ... it was regular torture porn back in the early 90s. Complete with the 5 kg manuals. I also remember a weirdish sorta/kinda "object-orientation in C" style. Then gcc crashed.

        Shit, I'm old.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I hope Fedora/Redhat pays attention to how many people use GNOME vs Cinnamon

    I hope anyone who installs Cinnamon makes sure to send in that installation report!

    When they see how few people want to use GNOME any more, they'll finally drop it as the default desktop and the GNOME project leadership might be replaced by people who aren't absolute drooling morons.

  9. FrankAlphaXII

    I wonder when (if actually) we'll get the Catalyst fglrx kmod or akmod for Fedora 20 from RPMfusion. AMD's binary doesn't work well without them. But yeah, I'm still stuck running the Fedora 19 kernel mods since the update to Fedora 20 shipped the same kernel as 19's as of last week, but dnf and yum wont allow me to update my kernel, and there's a new one waiting actually, unless and until there are new kernel mods, or I switch back to the radeon driver, which I really don't want to do as OpenGL really ran like shit the last time I used the FLOSS driver last year. I'm not switching distros, but Jesus Hotel Christ its really annoying to have to do this. Reminds me of fighting with Third Party drivers on Windows 2000 and XP prior to SP1, and how much I hated it.

    But hey, that's Fedora, make an upgrade and introduce 50 new bugs and a shitload of regressions while solving two. And no, that's not me hating on Fedora, its just how it is when you're a commercial product's disavowable guinea pig.

  10. i1ya

    Warning: large number of unformatted text below.

    Most of the commentards just react to keywords in the article. Oh, GNOME3 was mentioned - so let's discuss GNOME3 and its dumbed down GUI...

    I have an Arch install at home and Debian Wheezy at work. Arch works extremely fast - it's GUI reacts almost as fast as old Windows XP. Same GTK apps at my office, where I have Debian installed, work noticeably slow, probably due to buddy opensource radeon drivers in conjunction with GTK 3.4 - I physically feel how "lightweight" gedit redraws the text area. (I ended up using KDE software and Oracle-built Java - somehow it works faster). Why am I telling you this? Because I have tried different distros in search of better speed/simplicity ratio, I just don't want to spend another 20 hours to configure perfect Arch install.

    I have tried several ditstros, Fedora 20 among them. Fedora 20 works fast and responsive, has almost last kernel (3.11), works extremely snappy - I have installed Fedora 20 XFCE on my son's laptop which has SINGLE CORE cpu + AMD Gpu and it works *considerably faster* than Debian wheezy XFCE on my quad-core, 4 GB ram Debian at office!

    So the bottom line, for ones that made it here, is: try Fedora 20, it's modern, it has latest and _fastest_ version of FOSS packages, it installs in minutes and it feels really snappy.

    1. keithpeter Silver badge

      "I have installed Fedora 20 XFCE on my son's laptop which has SINGLE CORE cpu + AMD Gpu and it works *considerably faster* than Debian wheezy XFCE on my quad-core, 4 GB ram Debian at office!"

      Not seeing a *dramatic* speed boost with Fedora 20 XFCE vs Wheezy XFCE vs Xubuntu 13.10 on a Thinkpad X61s using Intel integrated graphics (does 3d but shonky). (I'm trying out a variety of XFCE4 implementations)

      Font rendering needs work, probably just a matter of config files. Abiword 3.0.0 has the 'crash when saving a document to PDF' bug same as Xubuntu 13.10, which is probably because they are both packaging Abiword 3.0.0.

      Happy Christmas all

  11. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    Liveblogging "At the Fedoras of Madness"

    Oh man. Clearly the FAT DEATH has moved from the Java Enterprise "Community" to the lowly sysconfig world.

    Not enough with DBus and NetworkManager, now I need to fight another bubbling servitor monstrosity from the nethermost abysses of integrated functionality, which should forever have been kept away from seeing the light of day:

    The systemd fallacy

    And this is the first thermos of coffee for today....

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: Liveblogging "At the Fedoras of Madness"

      "Avahi is another Lenart Poetteing idea - like Pulse audio and systemd. These aren't bad ideas at all, but the implementation of each one has been a big headache. So submitting a bugzilla report that Lenart must address is a good way to slow/prevent the next 'Poetteing invention' from causing havoc."

      Avahi... OUT!

    2. El Gokri'x

      Re: Liveblogging "At the Fedoras of Madness"

      This. Currently fighting an OpenSuSe 13.1 installation which has a 90 second hang in the middle of boot-up, reproducible about once in four boots. I was ambivalent about systemd before, but now I absolutely hate the fucker.

      1. Marshalltown

        Re: Liveblogging "At the Fedoras of Madness"

        OpenSuse 13.1 can be a problem. I actually forget what the problem was now - only a month - but that hang does have a fix, which, IIRC, has to do with the floppy driver. Unfortunately the fix is to manage the hardware BIOS settings at POST rather than a fix in the OS. It took me several days to track down the fix. The probelm is actually a zombie bug that has risen from older releases. Apparently the pain of discarding code once written can be so painful that the authors may fail to delete older versions with known bugs. They then resurrect the buggy code in "new" releases. The pathetic part of this is that this something Microsoft was notorious for, with particularly egregious examples repeated in the history of Excel's development over a span of nearly 10 years.

  12. Dexter
    Thumb Down

    I'm running a new-ish Fedora but I got fed up with Gnome a while back and just use xfce, which is nice and simple and doesn't get in the way at all. Just like Gnome used to be, in fact

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