Gnome 2.8

Some screenshots of Gnome 2.8. Looks nice. Like any true geek, I’m more interested in the nice shadows on everything than the actual improvements. Are the shadows stock? πŸ˜‰ I keep going back and forth on my Linux desktop. I’ll use Gnome for a while because it seems cleaner and then I’ll switch to KDE because I seem to get more done and I like things like being able to press Win + M to minimize all the windows. Hat tip: Wes.

12 replies on “Gnome 2.8”

  1. Without support for transparency there won’t be any shadows – at least not those that you can see on the screenshots. However Freedesktop’s X-Server can (more or less) handle transparency – if the window manager supports it. There has been a hacked version of Gnome by Freedesktops, quite interesting to read: http://www.freedesktop.org/Software/xserver
    It is also very interesting to see how Gnome is developing Human Interface Guidelines. I wish programmers would stick to them.

  2. Not to start a flamewar in your comments, but I’ve had about the opposite experience; when forced to use a “desktop environment” (by choice I stick to a heavily-customized Enlightenment setup), I find I’m much more productive in GNOME, while KDE is little more than eye candy. Granted, most of my actual “work” is done in Emacs and I don’t use Nautilus for file management (I go with ROX-Filer when I need a GUI’s way of doing things, command-line otherwise), but I keep trying KDE every so often and finding its application suite lacking in features and interoperability. My verdict has always been that it’s very pretty, I just can’t *do* anything with it πŸ˜‰

    And I believe the shadows are not part of the applications, but rather a dramatic effect added to the images afterward.

  3. For me Gnome was just unresponsive for regular things, like opening folders. This isn’t something I’ve sat with a stopwatch for though, just a general impression that (at least for me) things are faster in KDE. I can get around the filesystem faster, browse the network and windows shares easier, stuff that almost quite didn’t work in Gnome.

  4. As I said, I don’t spend a lot of time in GUI file managers so I can’t speak for Nautilus. ROX-Filer is pretty snappy, though. As far as speed goes, I think GNOME can use some work (seems to be improving a lot with 2.6 and hopefully even more with 2.8), but at the same time KDE’s overhead of shared libraries and components makes the applications almost unusably slow with a standalone window manager. And when I first gave it a try, way back when, it was nice but sorely lacking on features (for example, MS Office import/export for the office suite wasn’t functional, and the IM and IRC clients were lousy).

    They’ve made a lot of progress since then, but so have the corresponding GTK applications which I became accustomed to in the meantime. About the only KDE (well, Qt) app I use these days is LyX… all the other niches have been filled, at least for me.

  5. Hey Matt, could you fix the URL on my last comment? I seem to have typed my email address in the wrong field…

    /me kicks self and decides that’s a sign that it’s bedtime.

  6. In Gnome, Ctl + Alt + d shows the desktop, minimizing all windows. Pressing it again restores those windows. The key binding can be changed, of course.

  7. With each release of GNOME, I think it pulls further ahead of KDE. I’ve been using GNU/Linux for 5 years now, and I have seen GNOME destroy KDE in terms of usability, and now (finally) in terms of speed as well. I love the things you can configure with GNOME when you know what youre doing. Using GConf, you can go to “apps–>metacity–>global_keybindings” and edit the keybindings to whatever you want. Change “show_desktop” to “M” and you’re set (Mod4 is the Winblows key). You can further your Windows-esque interface by setting “panel_run_dialog” to “R” and making one of the run_commands “F” and editting the corresponding command to be “gnome-search-tool”. T is nice to run an xterm, and I like to set B and Z to be “xmms -f” and “-r” to control xmms skipping while its still minimized. I am excited for 2.8! One question, my mouse cursor has a shadow with transparency, why can’t my windows have shadows?

  8. I used to be a GNOME user. Well, first I was a KDE user, because it felt faster. Then I switched to GNOME because it looked cooler, and seem to work better. Now, however, I’m a XFCE user. I recommend it to anyone who is not tied to desktop specific tools. I didn’t really use and of the GNOME or KDE specific features. I’m more interested into using other tools. It’s for work, after all. If you run something cool, like gentoo, you can install it easily beside your current desktop, and try it. Other platforms can probably do the same. Don’t know. Or care, really. πŸ˜‰

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  10. Gnome 2.8 does not have the transparency or shadows. This can not be properly implemented anywhere but in the X Server itself. Xorg 6.8 and higher and the freedesktop.org Xserver (based on kdrive) both have the proper extensions, however, these extensions allow for much more than just pretty shadows! Everything OS X does can be emulated 100%, although that in itself is hardly a worthy goal, its just an example.

    As for XServers, if you need a binary driver from Nvidia or ATI, stick with Xorg 6.7. You can also choose Xfree86, however, due to licensing issues and lack of innovation, XFree86 is now frowned upon.

    Xorg 6.8 and above don’t work with ATI binary drivers (9200 and below are supported by the open-source drivers) and the nvidia one works well, but was a bit unstable in previous releases. The latest releases of the binary drivers are much better (and very fast).

    Any version of Gnome or any other desktop can have drop-shadows (configurable with xcompmgr settings), and translucent windows (true transparency – you can see icons and other windows through a window). Gnome 2.8 brings quite a few improvements. Look for more in the next release, like hardware integration and better support for pluggable media.

    As for speed. Gentoo with decent CFLAGS, add LDFLAGS to optimize load speed, and use prelink. If you use a very old machine and want faster X, ask me for updated ebuilds (based on CVS snapshots taken in Oct, and a couple fixed of my own) for the freedesktop.org Xserver based on Kdrive. Its much faster. For everyone else, good luck!

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