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roelof
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 3:18 pm    Post subject: gnome desktop questions Reply with quote

Hello,

I worked a while with KDE but it's not my thing.
Im more a Gnome Man.
But I see that there a more flavors today like Gnome 3, META desktop, Cinnamon and Unity.

Anyone who can experience with one of the three and what's your oponion ?

Roelof
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paulj
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 9:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am sure you will get as many opinions as you get answers! I have unity desktop on a virtualbox Ubuntu installation. It is clean and works. I installed gnome 3 on my main system, as well as having a virtualbox Fedora installation. Again it is clean and looks good. I disliked the fact gnome3 wanted me to changeover to pulseAudio, so ultimately I removed it and it's dependancies from my main system. The Fedora virtualbox is still there, but I don't get it out much. I have a Debian Virtualbox installation with gnome2. That's good, even if it appears a little dated now.

I can't comment on Cinnamon, as I haven't used it. Lately I have been playing around with awesome. Now that's another story :D
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LoTeK
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 9:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have used Cinnamon for a half year with linux mint and I really liked it. One bad thing is that you can't configure much. For example you must use either a bottom, top or bottem and top panel, you can't create a side panel. Another thing is that cinnamon doesn't have good multi-monitor support at the moment.
But otherwise it's a very elegant and stable desktop. If you want a desktop "that just works" and if you are a gnome-user that doesn't like GNOME 3 then it's a very good choice.
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Leio
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 10:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MATE is essentially a fork of GNOME-2.32 (all components forked that they needed to use that don't continue in the same form in gnome3 versions) continued on, and as such does not require OpenGL.
Cinnamon is essentially a fork of some gnome3 gnome-shell things, implementing a more traditional desktop approach in the OpenGL world.

I'm probably wrong in those claims technically, but for a user standpoint it should give a good overview.

Should give a try to GNOME3 too though, like for a week, and as new stable version as you can get. Initially it goes against your habits (humans are a slave of habits), but once being used to, it may very well be something you want to use over the traditional desktop approaches. Or you may not, but just an initial very quick try doesn't give a good personal view on that due to the habits.

Also avoiding things purely based on dependencies like PulseAudio is getting really old now. GNOME wants sound that just works for all desktop use cases, and PA is the only thing in existence that actually provides that (in its current versions - yes, in the past it was problematic and got bad PR from some distros adopting it too early).
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paulj
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 2:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My comments weren't intended to be overly critical of pulseaudio. I did install gnome3 to give it a run and see how it is. In fact I was in the process of learning C++ GUI programming, and wanted to go with gtkmm, so it seemed appropriate to try the whole thing out. I had some trouble getting pulseaudio to work, although I succeeded in the end. An improvement in their documentation would have made the process simpler! As far as I have found though, I don't have any issues with ALSA. If there are use cases where ALSA is not appropriate, I haven't yet come across them!

If Gnome 3 had drawn me away from kde, I would have happlily left PA on my system and continued with Gnome. All credit to you Leio for the work you and the Gnome team do in providing Gnome for Gentoo users.
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Leio
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Joined: 27 Feb 2003
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 3:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

paulj wrote:
My comments weren't intended to be overly critical of pulseaudio. I did install gnome3 to give it a run and see how it is. In fact I was in the process of learning C++ GUI programming, and wanted to go with gtkmm, so it seemed appropriate to try the whole thing out.

I don't really consider gtkmm as a good way to do C++ GUI programming. I think Qt/KDE is much more appropriate if you want C++ specifically and don't care what toolkit, as it's pretty much C++ (without much STL) itself, while GTK+ is primarily object-oriented C via GObject (whereas glib and gobject are what make C tolerable and good for this purpose). For GTK+ another option would be using vala to get something similar to C++, of course there's also python, java and others possible.

paulj wrote:
I had some trouble getting pulseaudio to work, although I succeeded in the end. An improvement in their documentation would have made the process simpler! As far as I have found though, I don't have any issues with ALSA. If there are use cases where ALSA is not appropriate, I haven't yet come across them!

I think the idea is to not need any documentation for it to simply work without making use of less used features that require some sort of configuration (which should all be something that ALSA wouldn't provide in any way), so it would be good to know what didn't "just work" and get that stuff fixed.
Of course PA also uses ALSA underneath, but the lower-level of it and its kernel drivers.
Probably the most notable and visible thing to get from PA is support for per-application volumes, so you can also adjust each applications volume separately to get a better experience in situations you listen to multiple things (e.g, lowering the volume of background music). But also cancellation support for voip application like empathy, and also automatic gain control for it (other side doesn't need to turn your sound louder or quieter, which could be complicated with more than two people, and you don't need to fiddle with mic boost levels for that); jack detection, seamless bluetooth headset or USB speakers (which have their own soundcard in them) support (seamless transition of sound to them); passthrough support (send AC-3 sound directly to your Dolby Digital surround sound system over S/PDIF or HDMI without decoding it when it isn't technically necessary); less power usage when possible by better and smarter handling of hardware ring buffer; better sound mixing latency than ALSA dmix; and much much more.

paulj wrote:
All credit to you Leio for the work you and the Gnome team do in providing Gnome for Gentoo users.

I deserve the least credit as of late, as my last really noticeable activity was in the GNOME-2.24 era really; hopefully I'm getting back in the game slowly, but meanwhile everyone else in the team have done what they can and deserve the credit. Note that we do need more manpower indeed.
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paulj
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 9:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Leio wrote:
paulj wrote:
I was in the process of learning C++ GUI programming, and wanted to go with gtkmm, so it seemed appropriate to try the whole thing out.

I don't really consider gtkmm as a good way to do C++ GUI programming. I think Qt/KDE is much more appropriate if you want C++ specifically and don't care what toolkit, as it's pretty much C++ (without much STL) itself, while GTK+ is primarily object-oriented C via GObject (whereas glib and gobject are what make C tolerable and good for this purpose). For GTK+ another option would be using vala to get something similar to C++, of course there's also python, java and others possible.

I am now working with Qt/KDE, and finding it fun! I suppose I am old fashioned in wanting to use autotools and the more GNU oriented approach which is why I wanted to give gtkmm a go.
Leio wrote:
Note that we do need more manpower indeed.


I have considered whether I should try and become a developer, but I have a job which requires 60+ hours a week, so I am not sure if I can commit. I do try to help people in the forums, and where I come across issues I post bugs. I have even put a couple of ebuilds up with enhancement requests. I also recently registered on the wiki to help improve the documentation there. I will at some point in the future probably apply to become a developer, but it will be when I have a track record in supporting which justifies the application!
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