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Thread: Why is there so much broken in the desktop world lately? (my little rant)

  1. #1
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    Default Why is there so much broken in the desktop world lately? (my little rant)

    Seriously, it almost feels as if there was somebody actively sabotaging things.

    Disclaimer: I am on archlinux and therefore the packages are mostly "as is" from upstream without distribution patches to make it "nice". This is the raw experience I got from those packages.

    1. Recently kdeinit4 would crash for me as soon as I start krunner.
    2. KDM doesn't display the cinnamon session for whatever reason. Has really nobody tested this combination until now and seen that it doesn't work?
    3. cinnamon-settings from cinnamon git doesn't work with gnome 3.4. "dbus.exceptions.DBusException: org.freedesktop.DBus.Error.ServiceUnknown: The name org.gnome.SettingsDaemon.DateTimeMechanism was not provided by any .service files". If you fork, either do it right and fork every necessary component OR keep up with upstream.
    4. gnome3 cannot set hotkeys with the windows ("super") key because it's apparently not a modifier key. But still it can set hotkey combinations with the super key to actions in the "system" tab i.e. the run dialog. In gnome2 the exact same bug report has been open for YEARS until someone actually fixed it to the behaviour every single other desktop environment and windowmanager I ever tested. Now in gnome3 it's apparently broken again and even the workaround to map "hyper" or "meta" to the windows key doesn't help.
    4.1 It's extremely easy to crash the gnome background settings in gnome 3.4.1. Just open the dialog to add a wallpaper when the list is empty, but then cancel. With some luck the "-" button gets clickable. Click it. Crash it. If it was only a small project, sure, bugs can happen. In such a big project with such a big community - I don't want to know how many usability bugs I would be able to find if I was actually trying instead of just thinking "I wonder what will happen if I cancel this operation".
    5. lightdm bzr doesn't set an appropriate environment by itself automatically as does every other display manager I have ever used. PATH is almost useless and the locale of the started session is of course not the system locale.
    6. When logging out of a session started from gdm it just sits on a black screen and wastes 100% cpu time.

    Today I encountered 1 and couldn't make it go away so I thought I'd try some alternatives. I was not even trying to find a bug, I was just trying to get the most basic usage out of it.

    I sometimes wish xfce was ported to gtk3 and had its usability upgraded a little. And I sometimes wish we still had the equivalent of the desktop experience from Ubuntu 5.04.

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    KDE, Cinammon, Gnome-Shell, LightDM. It quite complicated set of software.
    I think the problem lies in Arch's KISS philosophy which forbids any additional configuration. If you sacrificed some of your time to polish the configuration, you probably wouldn't have this kind of problems. On Fedora I also have some bugs (about 5 of them), but all of them are small fries. Do you really want to work on Arch? I think you would be better off with a distribution which is less "do-it-yourself". The thing is, with added complexity of modern software much more combinations of configuration are possible, which leads to many more conflicts and the defaults are less likely to be the right settings.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hirager View Post
    KDE, Cinammon, Gnome-Shell, LightDM. It quite complicated set of software.
    Yes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hirager View Post
    I think the problem lies in Arch's KISS philosophy which forbids any additional configuration. If you sacrificed some of your time to polish the configuration, you probably wouldn't have this kind of problems.
    With lightdm, surely. But I believe a display manager should set the environment to something reasonable without a need to source /etc/profile manually somewhere. And I believe upstream should actually put some basic working default configuration. For example, compiz starts with every single plugin disabled (window decoration, move windows, resize windows) which is not a good default for my taste.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hirager View Post
    On Fedora I also have some bugs (about 5 of them), but all of them are small fries. Do you really want to work on Arch? I think you would be better off with a distribution which is less "do-it-yourself".
    Yes, I do want and like Archlinux. But I don't like to do things myself for which there already is a mechanism that just doesn't work. KDM should display the cinnamon session without me trying to find out what is actually different about that session file and "fix" it.
    I wouldn't like debugging gdm why it isn't displaying the greeter after logging out since that is one of its main tasks that should actually work...

    Quote Originally Posted by Hirager View Post
    The thing is, with added complexity of modern software much more combinations of configuration are possible, which leads to many more conflicts and the defaults are less likely to be the right settings.
    I cannot really imagine a situation where setting a useless environment on login would be the right setting for a significant number of users...
    The gnome3 super hotkey problem is especially bad since you can set the hotkey just fine and it displays everything as it should be, except that pressing the hotkey does nothing...

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisXY View Post
    Yes, I do want and like Archlinux.
    I lik Arch too. And love Gentoo. But I couldn't do my work on those distros, so I settled with Fedora. Sometimes things you like just are not good enough. I wasted years looking for distribution which would fulfil my expectations the best. If Arch doesn't work, just ditch it or it will impact your work abilities negatively.

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    Sorry, to me it seems like you ask for it - recent Gnome and KDE, and especially LightDM which only gets tested under Ubuntu in very limited configurations, aren't exactly the bastions of stable software.


    For the record, Slim doesn't set up a proper env either

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    Why is there so much broken in the desktop world lately? (my little rant)
    Maybe it's because people spend more time ranting than reporting/fixing bugs...

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    Quote Originally Posted by curaga View Post
    Sorry, to me it seems like you ask for it - recent Gnome and KDE, and especially LightDM which only gets tested under Ubuntu in very limited configurations, aren't exactly the bastions of stable software.


    For the record, Slim doesn't set up a proper env either
    I would like to rectify. KDE 4 is long past its infancy. It is rock solid already.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DanL View Post
    Maybe it's because people spend more time ranting than reporting/fixing bugs...
    So on how many bugtrackers do I need to register and how much time should I spend for each bug to get enaugh information for just trying the most basic functionality

    kdeinit4/krunner is of course already reported by the way.
    https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=298131

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    Welcome to the bleeing edge?

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    I'm running KDE (4.7, if I recall right) on Kubuntu, and haven't had quite that degree of problem. I won't say it's perfect, but overall, it's pretty usable. A few of the apps under it have significant issues, such as KDevelop, or KMail (which is all but unusable), but a bunch of others seem quite solid, and I've had no crashes of plasma or other core desktop functionality.

    I wonder if some of those issues you encountered are distro specific.

    Xfce is of course a far simpler environment than KDE, so it'll tend to be more stable. KDE seems like one of the world's very few remaining power-user desktops.

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