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Thread: Starting Development Of GNOME Shell, Mutter 3.10

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by wargames View Post
    Lots of features, but the essential one is still lacking: usability. I gave gnome 3.8 a try because of the new "Classic" mode and let me tell you it really sucks. I'm really dissapointed by the fact that I'm much more productive with Windows XP (which is a 10+ years old OS) than with that crap. Thanks god we have XFCE, or I probably wouldn't be using Linux anymore.
    This is a really sad thing. The Gnome people really don't test their stuff. They fiat their ideas and that's that (unless their is enough complaint), but they just don't do enough testing.
    We really miss the work of Sun from early on in the gnome 2 cycle that actually performed tests and from that creating a HIG.
    The problem isn't one of money but of interest and expertise.
    User testing is a really tricky thing, but it can be invaluable, especially when you are doing things like gnome has been doing, but I don't think the project leads would be happy with the idea of the fate of their vision being in the hands of the dirty, dirty common man

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by liam View Post
    This is a really sad thing. The Gnome people really don't test their stuff. They fiat their ideas and that's that (unless their is enough complaint), but they just don't do enough testing.
    We really miss the work of Sun from early on in the gnome 2 cycle that actually performed tests and from that creating a HIG.
    The problem isn't one of money but of interest and expertise.
    So... which of the other Linux DE's regularly perform usability testing (which I assume is what you meant by the slighlty ambiguous "user testing")?

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by kigurai View Post
    So... which of the other Linux DE's regularly perform usability testing (which I assume is what you meant by the slighlty ambiguous "user testing")?
    None to my knowledge, but KDE has at least one prominent HCI person, so she may do things I'm not aware of (I don't follow KDE that closely).
    The difference is that there are/were people who wanted to do this testing on gnome.

  4. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by liam View Post
    None to my knowledge, but KDE has at least one prominent HCI person, so she may do things I'm not aware of (I don't follow KDE that closely).
    The difference is that there are/were people who wanted to do this testing on gnome.
    It was mostly Sun that wanted to do it but they are not there anymore and Oracle has pulled off funding. Novell has stopped funding Evolution and UI studies as well. Red Hat is shouldering most of the cost of GNOME development along with the rest of the volunteer community and I don't think the broader community is focused on usability studies.

    Canonical did some studies with Unity but I am not sure it has helped with adoption.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by RahulSundaram View Post
    It was mostly Sun that wanted to do it but they are not there anymore and Oracle has pulled off funding. Novell has stopped funding Evolution and UI studies as well. Red Hat is shouldering most of the cost of GNOME development along with the rest of the volunteer community and I don't think the broader community is focused on usability studies.

    Canonical did some studies with Unity but I am not sure it has helped with adoption.
    Calum seemed to limit his involvement with Gnome some time after 3.0. I don't know what, if anything, happened, but he seems to point people to the designers when it comes to usability (http://list-archives.org/2012/12/01/...n/f/5351379188).
    However, he is not who I was speaking of, and I won't mention who it was. I don't think it was something that was "top secret" (i.e., you can google for it), but the gnome community has the grim tendency to form cliques.
    Usability isn't about adoption, but about ease of use. Gnome had its 2.0 hig backed by research and experts (i.e., not simply coders who read a few books and decided they were experts), and it was, I think, quite successful. Whether it was b/c of the hig I can't say.
    BTW, I think you realise that your final comment is a red herring, but I decided to respond to it regardless

    Quote Originally Posted by Honton View Post
    That is true. I never understood the idea of bad mouthing the few enterprises left doing desktop development. Im sure there is an explanation though. Any effort by Gnome or Red Hat is usually disliked by quite a few people. I dont get it.
    I've noticed that as well. While I'm not certain, I think it is at least partly due to the strong anti-corporation sentiment that folks like Stallman seem to have. They don't seem to understand that corporations are made of people, and that just b/c profit is their raison d'etre that doesn't mean that the people in the company can't steer things in directions that benefit others as well. RH understands that communities are a hugely important source of not just testing, but also source improvements, boosters, and future employees.
    Last edited by liam; 05-04-2013 at 05:45 AM.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Honton View Post
    Red Hat might very well be the only corporation being profitable and behave favorable in a push for desktop linux. It is really sad to see this effort being put down.
    IMHO its great that Red Hat can make a profit with Linux as it just goes to show how viable the platform is. However I dread to think what their customers' reaction will be when GNOME 3 is included by default in RHEL.

    I'm a demonstrator for a System Administration module at the University I study and the machines run Fedora with a CentOS VM for the students to use for their coursework. Over the few months the module has ran, nearly all of the students have had problems with using GNOME 3 and many have given up using it and access their VMs through their own laptops.

    I wouldn't say GNOME 2 was the best thing since slice bread but I am completely baffled by the GNOME devs decision to essentially throw a decent DE just for their horribly misguided idea of what a "simple and easy to use" DE should be. It really does seem that the lunatics now run the asylum and I'm surprised there has been no intervention from Red Hat to try to address it.

  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by liam View Post
    Usability isn't about adoption, but about ease of use. Gnome had its 2.0 hig backed by research and experts (i.e., not simply coders who read a few books and decided they were experts), and it was, I think, quite successful. Whether it was b/c of the hig I can't say.
    BTW, I think you realise that your final comment is a red herring, but I decided to respond to it regardless
    It wasn't a red herring at all. Adoption just naturally follows ease of use typically and when organizations fund usability studies, adoption is precisely the end goal of the move but since Linux users tend to be more technical and have adopted the UI for a specific workflow, they tend to be resistent towards any sort of new UI even if usability studies shows that it works better in general.

    In the case of GNOME 2.x, there was massive amount of flameworks and forks before things settled down with incremental improvemens in subsequent versions. I expect some of that pattern will repeat itself for GNOME 3.x which does have several professional UI experts involved.

  8. #18
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    but since Linux users tend to be more technical and have adopted the UI for a specific workflow, they tend to be resistent towards any sort of new UI even if usability studies shows that it works better in general.
    It doesn't matter what the Usability Studies (tm) say, if the new workflow is worse for Me (tm).

    It's not resistance of change, it's resistance of change to a worse situation.

  9. #19
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    Depending on how studies are set up (number of participants, participant selection etc.), they can be a useful as a chocolate teapot, especially if its set up to get the answers you want to hear, not what you ought to hear.

    At least the classic mode brings back some sanity but given the other issues with GNOME/GTK such as the theming and their apparent pathological need to remove useful functionality, I fear there has been a lot of damage done to the Linux ecosystem.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by scionicspectre View Post
    I'd say the audience of Phoronix is far different from the audience for GNOME. People who do very technical work with their computers probably have very specific requirements of their desktop environment.
    Or they might not. For many people, Doing Serious Things With Linux = using the shell. I use Gnome 3 on my laptop, and (with some extensions and customizations) I find it completely suitable for day to day tasks. But when I'm doing some work, I open the terminal and full screen it. I'm pretty sure that's what I'd do for any desktop environment I might use.

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