Gnome 3 – Gnome Shell – Pros and Cons – Problems to be Solved

 

Gnome 3

Gnome 3 Released. I just downloaded from Gnome3.org for a test preview. I choosed the Fedora 15 version because I basically using Fedora. Downloaded the ISO and burnt to a USB Disk just booted from USB. No welcome screen the black screen with text. Booted pretty much faster than any conventional booting of LIVE CD looks great.

The desktop is clean. A Black bar on the top and striped blue wallpaper. A clock on the center and on the right side the system tray of gnome. No Icons on the desktop looks clean.

Pros of Gnome Shell

Great visual experiance. Effects are great . When move on the left top or press the window key in keyboard the overlay mode reveals. Left side there is a dock like AWN with some icons. On the right side the workspace indicator. on the main desktop it showing  windows which are open. When you switch to applicaiton tab the complete applicaiton list coming up . A search box on right side.

The search box is great. You can search applicaitons, files in your system and many more. You can even search on google or wikipedia. In future you can add more search like twitter,facebook, rss feed  etc…

The workspace creation is intelligent if you use more workspaces then more and more created automatically.

The window management is clean. When you move the window near to the black bar it goes maximize when you move the window down it restores. When you move window righside it will stick and resize on right.

Nautilus is much improved. Looks like nautilus elementary.Cntrl+T will give you tabs, F3 will give you a second window, just drag and drop will copy files great…

Very Nice visual experinece and focused on the work. Less intereptions.

Cons of Gnome Shell

There are lot of things to be fixed on Gnome Shell.

No Right clicks on desktop – This is a little bit problem . To change the desktop background you want to go to the system settings. Means Click on Activities > System settings . Nearly 3 Clicks for open the window [is much more]

On Calendar – My Weather is gone no weather info is a real problem. Also the global time is also gone. The nice world map with day and night indication gone. Means much information got lost. I am keep tracking of various time of various places because I am keeping in touch with people in various countries . This thing is essential to me.

Network Manager – This is the Biggest problem for me. I am using a custom network setting to browse the internet and to connect to my network. There is no option to configure the ip address of my wired network. When you turn on the wired network it says connecting… But I know it cannot connect because the network setting is wrong there is an option button but it is disabled so I cannot configure the network setting. There is no setting to connect the mobile broadband,DSL . This means I cannot connect my mobile for internet access also I cannot connect any mobile dongle for internet access. My mobile phone and internet dongles are working fine with Gnome2. The Only other setting is VPN. Also the connection information is gone – This helps me to retrive the ip address and DNS of my network, this information frequently need when connecting other external networks.

The Battery Info – It also gone. This helps me to view whether my battery cappacity is low or high ? Helped me in lot of laptops to identify battery problems.

Problems – When you working on a desktop – How to know currently you are in which Workspace ? no idea. How to know which applications are running now? no idea. For these you want to press Alt+Tab or go for Activities hotspot and Overlay mode – this is annoying. May be if you install AWN then that will solve the problem.

Places – The places in gnome2 gone. I need frequent access to my computer to know what devices[USB drives,scanners,internet dongles] are plugged and mounted. The connect to server dialogbox gone. Means my connection to ssh,ftp,local all are gone. I cannot find any solution to this in gnome 3.

System, Network Monitor applet – This is gone. Means I cannot keep a track of whether there any process dead and my system got overloaded. When Using flash in firefox a process called zombee will make problems. Also when downloading a file in firefox sometime the download breaks and the download dialog says it is still downloading… but you can track whether the network usage going or not?

Shortcuts – Cntrl+L gone from the desktop – so i cannot open locations quickly, A cntrl+L + Enter will open my home directory. But it is working on nautilus, so that is OK. Alt+F2 is still working but the automatic suggession gone may be the gnome do can fix this. Cntrl+Alt+Arrows are there to switch the workspaces and with some good visual effects.

TitleBar – The title bar of the window wasting much more space, The menu bar is a litte small, ok that is great but title bar. As per a google chorme approach we can avoid the title bar nothing happens.

Minimizing and maximizing –  This is the verdict of Dragging a window or clicking a button. I think clicking a button is easier than a drag. Switching between windows quickly, I say quickly, quickly, quickly  is a real problem in gnome shell. going activities finding the window click on that takes time ok Alt+Tab will save you but the surprize element is that you need to remember which windows are opened.

No Files on Desktop – For me and my friends this is equal good and bad. The desktop mess up after work and  cleaning desktop everytime, putting files in right place is an everyday task. But here there is no file on the desktop that means your work is done everytime nothing to do. A quick save of a file and accessing that is a problem. There is a folder called Desktop in the home. so using some tweak we can reactivate showing files on desktop.

No Poweroff – There is no poweroff button in gnome3. That means you cannot turnoff the computer ? This is not a problem for me because I power off using Alt+F2 and poweroff command.

Gnote– The Quickest not app. Saved me lot of situations . gone. This not shortcut approach is hard to digest.

Fixes after install Gnome Shell

So It is confirmed to tweak the gnome shell after an install of Fedora 15.

Add a Places tab in the overlaymode and put mycomputer,connect to server, recent documents there will be a great thing [find some tweak for this]

AWN – Avant Window Manger is a must utility at this time of gnome shell. You will get minized windows, running windows, facebook updates, twitter updates, rss updates, weather updates, cpu monitor, network monitor

Need Gnomedo badly

For Network manager – Just waiting for the Fedora people will do something to restore the functionality. or tweak on conventional editing of the configuration files [Tough but if force to do then go for that]

— Update – found a solution : Easy : go to terminal type ‘ nm-connection-editor‘ and you will get the network settings editor – can add the mobile connections — Nice

connect to server – make a shortcut somewhere. Update- Fixed. This is in the file menu of nautilus or just type nautilus-connect-server in the terminal or on Alt+F2

gnome-control-center will do the system settings in one place. It was long existed there.

The autocomplete of Alt+F2 is gone that is a bad thing.

 

Gnome 3 Fallback Desktop

This is the classic desktop included in Gnome 3.0 with No shell interface. The dropdown menus and the minimize maximize buttons , two bars. All everything. But it is a striped down version of the Gnome 2.0 Desktop. No right clicks, No Panel applets .

So it is burried under the line.

To activate the classic desktop Go System settings > system info >Graphics >Forece Fallbackmode ON . Then logout and login . You are now on classic Gnome 3.0

A last word. If any one knows how to over come the problems then kindly post.

Hope the future gnome . ie gnome 3.2 will solve all these problems. I like gnome 3.0 planning and preparing to switching to that. Try to solve the problems.

 

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8 comments

  1. hey I think you are clearly wrong there with power off, its there, press alt, then suspend will change to power off… . I do agree Gnome shell need more features, but now they have build a a splendid scaffolding for future work. And many of shortcoming you said seems to be deliberately done by designers. 🙂

  2. the title bar size and some more related issues (like being hard to resize a window) can be solved by editing the theme file. there is no graphical frontend for editing themes but there will be for sure.
    also I actually have a battery icon next to network manager icon, and I don’t know why there is no battery icon for you.
    and about the calendar, the only tweak currently available is adding date, and seconds to the bar via gsettings command.
    the power off button is also available if you press ‘Alt’ key while/after clicking on your user name on the bar.

    but all other things you mentioned are true, and some of the are really disaster for something as big as gnome.

  3. You can run “Tweak advanced settings” (win btn + start typing “gs”) then You can edit to show files on desktop and this also unblock right-click “change desktop background” option. Same thing with maximize/mini buttons. Active favourite programs are highlighted.

  4. Nice article! I completely agree with everything you’ve said. Thanks for the nm-connection-editor command! Now i can connect to my DSL connection 🙂

  5. little gem: Alt `
    lets you cycle through your windows of the current app. I.e. cycle through your terminal window.

    But I do agree, it’s going to be hard to be productive with Gnome 3!!!

  6. Gnome-Do isn’t necessary with Gnome Shell since it’s built in. Hit the window key by itself, then start typing the name of a command. It’s slightly slower than Gnome-Do right now, but it’s effective. Also, you don’t have to wait for it to show the application you want before you hit enter.

  7. To get your right clicks back:

    yum install gnome-tweak-tool

    “Tweak Advanced Settings” shows up in the “Accessories” menu

    Turn on “Have file manager handle the desktop”

    To make the title bars smaller, make their text smaller, again using “Tweak Advanced Settings”

  8. Everyone who is suggesting fixes for the missing features – you are missing the point. Extensions and tweaks do exist, but there is simply no justification for removing these features, and more importantly these being features that existing users of Fedora (14) are used to. It’s all fine to hark about making things “easier”, “less distracting” and “cool looking” for the user, but have any of the designers of GNOME 3 given any thought to the concept of a painless upgrade and not overwriting existing settings, while pushing something completely unfamiliar to users? Can you imagine the lost of time and productivity after an upgrade? And last but not the least, why violate the Principle of Least Astonishment (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Principle_of_least_astonishment) ?

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