[linux-elitists] Re: Yet another mozilla atrocity

Adam Kessel adam@bostoncoop.net
Wed Oct 8 17:55:16 PDT 2003


On Wed, Oct 08, 2003 at 08:30:19PM -0400, Jesse Hutton wrote:
> All that is being asked for is *how* exactly is Gnome limiting the user
> too much? For example, are there any particular issues of configurability
> that you're dealing with? (uhhh...no, since you're _not_ a gnome user) Any
> particular programs? 

As a lurker on this thread, I wanted to say I'm glad it's occurring,
despite the (IMHO unnecessary) flames on both sides.  I've sure learned a
lot more about gconf, and have more respect for the design than I did
before.  

But I thought I'd give one very concrete example in response to Jesse's
claim that the complaints are too abstract.  Maybe no one else in the
world shares this issue, but I really miss the "avoid on maximize" panel
setting from gnome1.  No one was ever able to explain to me why this was
removed as "cruft" <http://shorl.com/hytidryhidrete>.  

Why do you want to be able to change "avoid on maximize"?  Because you
might want to have a panel that is "always on top" and doesn't prevent
maximized windows from expanding under it. (say, a transparent clock
panel).  

Now I would be totally content to have the "avoid on maximize" option be
buried somewhere where only elitists could find it--even if I had to
manually go into gconf-editor to set it, or whatever--but it's just gone.  

Maybe the feature had to go away for reasons having to do with the code,
but I suspect not.  I think what bugs some of us *nix fogies[0] is the
loss of "accumulation"--i.e., the fact that a standard GNU/Linux
installation still includes (bsdgames) "adventure", or that you can
always go around whatever handy GUI is installed and get a console window
with CTRL-ALT-F1 and do whatever it is you wanted to do with shell tools.
Maybe new things are built on top, but you can count on all your old
friends still being there.  When gnome features disappeared that we had
grown accustomed to, we feel like we've been robbed of something that
wasn't supposed to happen in the free software world.  

I understand that sometimes API's must break, and there's a reason we
have major version shared libraries, but it sometimes appears that a lot
of the changes in gnome were driven mainly by "less is better" and
relatedly "sane defaults" even when some configurability feature could be
left in at no real cost. 
-- 
Adam Kessel
http://bostoncoop.net/adam

[0] I've only been using *nix for 5 or 6 years, so I'm only a
metaphorical fogy.
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