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[Discuss] Ubuntu 17.10 / Gnome first impressions

Ubuntu has been treating the non-LTS versions as betas for a while
now. Sounds like this one is no exception. I expect some of the rough
edges you saw (like the inability to run Synaptic as root) will be
smoothed out for 18.04. But the orientation toward non-power users
will remain because that's where Ubuntu has been targeted for a long
time, at least since the original introduction of Unity.

On Wed, Dec 20, 2017 at 3:55 AM, David Kramer <david at> wrote:
> My main Linux computer (tracer), was running an old version of Kubuntu,
> because I really didn't like what either Gnome or Unity became.  But that
> decision was years ago. My main objections to both were a removal of choice
> and control, and a move away from having multiple fixed desktop ( I usually
> have 4 distinct desktops for 4 different purposes and different apps running
> on them).  And the overall attitude of the project, which was a very clear
> dismissal of anyone who wanted to work differently than their vision.
> When Ubuntu went back to Gnome/Wayland, I thought I would give it a try
> again.  I planned on reformatting and installing from scratch anyway.  A
> personal goal was to be a big boy and separate out things that objectively
> don't meet my needs, from things that I was just not used to or didn't like
> subjectively, but could get used to.  This list is only about the former,
> because the rest is my problem.
>  * There has been an increasing trend of shoving components into
>    distributions well before they are ready, "because clearly we need
>    them, and we can't wait for them to be perfected".  First one I
>    remember is pulseaudio. I know many in our group feel the same way
>    about systemd.  I feel Wayland might fall into this category.  It
>    appears to work well for the most part, but I ran into serious
>    problems, like applications like Synaptic can't run as root.  I
>    ended up switching to Xorg.
>  * There still seems to be the same "We know what's right" attitude and
>    a dismissal of any objections.  All of my googling found results
>    like "Just run this command before you launch apps like synaptic.
>    No official documentation, no response to the bug reports, and no
>    solutions that solve the problem so you don't have to run a command
>    before running the command each time.  Much of the other basic
>    functionality I was looking for required third party software and
>    GnomeTweaks.
>  * In KDE, all sorts of gadgets appeared on the panel, and more can be
>    added.  In particular, apps running in the background had indicators
>    in the panel to they can be brought up (eg: SimpleScreenRecorder,
>    Sococo, VPN, Mega, etc).  By default, you get nothing and like it.
>    You have to install gnome shell extensions to get some of them
>    showing up, and some never showed up.  I have to run Sococo from the
>    command line in my terminal, otherwise there's no way to exit the
>    application.
>  * Another related problem I had is suspend.  I set up a keyboard
>    shortcut for suspending my computer, which I do several times a
>    day.  Not only is there not an event to map to a keyboard shortcut,
>    but if you click on the power thing in the upper right corner,
>    there's no suspend option. You actually have to hold down the Alt
>    key while pulling down that menu then there will be a suspend
>    option.  Totally ridiculous gymnastics.  There is another Gnome
>    Shell Extension that will add a suspend button, but when I installed
>    that, clicking on the suspend button did nothing.  I eventually
>    found a setting to suspend when the power button was pressed once,
>    but that's ergonomically more difficult than a keyboard press for me.
>  * About those Gnome Shell Extensions... You have to install a back end
>    program, and then install a browser plugin in order to install them.
>    There is a perfectly fine package manager in Debian, and there are
>    several other popular ones that don't involve such nonsense.
>    Amazingly, they don't appear to be categorized at all.  There's
>    almost 100 pages of extensions and no categories or groups.  Yes
>    there's search, which helps if you know what's available
>  * Multiple desktops, as I mentioned, are much harder to set up, and
>    require extra software.  Desktops can only be arranged vertically in
>    one column, and there doesn't appear to be a way of going directly
>    to a desktop with a keystroke.   That's not a deal-breaker, that's
>    more into the "not what I'm used to" level.  However, with KDE, I
>    can bind specific apps to specific desktops and even specific
>    monitors.  When I start up, all my apps start where they belong.
>    That doesn't seem possible under Gnome.  And I run many apps at
>    startup, across the 4 desktops.
> I'm not saying Ubuntu/Gnome/Wayland is bad. I'm saying it's less likely to
> appeal to power users who like things the way they like them, and use lots
> of applications at once.  And that I'm going to install the latest Kubuntu.
> While it was way better than years ago, I don't see Gnome moving in a
> direction that works for me anytime soon.
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