[linux-elitists] gnome, trial by fire

Aaron Lehmann aaronl@vitelus.com
Tue Jan 6 03:10:57 PST 2004

The first thing I got when GNOME started up was a segmentation fault
from the Mixer applet. It offered to remove the applet for me and I

Gnome is pretty responsive these days. At least on modern hardware...
My dad runs it on his 500mhz K6-2 and it never felt nearly this smooth

Gnome runs a lot of daemons on my box. Two are specific to evolution
and stay running after evolution exits. By the way, I tried Evolution
briefly and didn't like it. The interface seems like a clone of
Outlook's, and the techies and non-geeks alike that I know despise
that program for it's horrid user interface.

I don't like the way Gnome changed the GTK theme from under me. On the
other hand, it lauched my usual window manager (presumably seeing the
right dotfiles). I appreciated that gesture.

I'm not sure I grok Nautilus. The "Bookmarks" menu and "Location" bar
made me suspect that it was also designed to browse the web, but when
I tried loading web pages I just got their HTML code displayed. I'm
not saying that I think that loading web pages from a file manager is
a desired feature (I hate that mixed metaphor). As a file manager it
seems okay, although clearly influenced by the windows desktop. It's
faster than I would have expected.

gconf truly scares me. Looking through it, I can't see how it differs
significantly from the Windows Registry. I know someone will yell at
me for saying that, but I'm not attempting to troll. I really disagree
that such a system is a sane way to keep track of configurations, and
I think that gconf will ultimately be detrimental to users.

Gnumeric is probably my favorite gnome app. It's come a long way since
I last used it. It's too bad I'm not a spreadsheet guy or it might
have motivated me to to keep its many dependencies installed.

It's nice to see that Bonobo and the like are being phased out. There
are several prominent GTK2 apps that fit very well into a Gnome
desktop without any special integration. GIMP 1.3, Pan, Gaim, etc.

On the whole it seems like a pretty decent environment for beginners,
albeit not a light one. Personally I don't think I'll be switching.

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