Sunday, February 5, 2012

A first impression of gnome-shell

Recently, I picked up a spare 8GB USB thumb drive so that I could test out various distributions.  I spent yesterday running Fedora 16 that way, to give gnome-shell a shake or two, since it was resisting my efforts to get it to run under 3D acceleration in VirtualBox.

It turns out that there's one detail I can't stand, and I'd especially not be able to stand if I were switching between gnome3 at home and MS Windows at work: they broke Alt+Tab by introducing Alt+Grave.  With two browser windows and Rhythmbox open, I kept getting Rhythmbox instead of "the last used window".  Also, the Alt+Tab switcher considers all workspaces, which defeats the point of them.

So the race for "what to do when Ubuntu 12.04 comes out" is down to Unity vs. KDE for me.  (I've been sticking to LTS versions since I no longer particularly like fixing things and adapting to gratuitous changes every six months.)


Brian Rowe said...

I don't wanna disappoint, but the Alt-tabbing in unity is borked too. In very much the same way... therefor I seem to have purchased a mac.

Brian Rowe said...

Thinking about your last parenthetical: I'm in the same boat (again hence the mac).

What do you think it is about time that causes us to be less tolerant of minor breakage and being forced to tweak crap to get it to work?

I can recall, when you and I were both running gentoo for heaven's sake!

sapphirepaw said...

Well, apparently it's not actually a deal breaker: there's gnome-shell-extension-alternate-tab for gnome3, and you can exchange the unity switcher for a compiz plugin using ccsm. Still, if KDE does it nicely out of the box, it might be worth supporting.

Re lower tolerances for brokenness, I think it just gets less fun to debug over time. Surprise breakage becomes an obstacle to the current task, instead of a fascinating exploration of the system.

That, and with Ubuntu in particular, it tended to break samba printer sharing and then Julie would pester me until I got it fixed. Even "working", if my computer was off, Windows would freeze up for a minute whenever it tried to enumerate printers for any reason. So I bought a print server, put the printer directly on the Ethernets, and uninstalled Samba.