[ALUG] Linux with Gnome-2?

Paul Tansom paul at aptanet.com
Wed Jun 28 16:34:10 BST 2017

** Phil Thane <phil at pthane.co.uk> [2017-06-28 10:25]:
> On Wednesday, 28 June 2017 09:59:39 BST Laurie Brown wrote:
> > On 27/06/17 23:48, steve-ALUG at hst.me.uk wrote:
> > > On 27/06/17 09:12, Chris Green wrote:
> > >> I've never really understood the apparently huge importance to poeple
> > >> of what 'desktop' they're using.
> > > 
> > > When you've spent 20 odd years working with a particular style of gui,
> > > you tend to get accustomed to it.  You get used to having multiple
> > > windows on a screen.  You get used to keyboard shortcuts. You get used
> > > to a scroll bar being there, and clicking below the "thumb" taking you
> > > down a page at a time.
> > > 
> > > But then along comes Gnome 3 which was redesigned because "the gui was
> > > getting in the way of efficient working" and decide that it's more
> > > efficient to have each window in its own desktop.  That scrollbars
> > > should have right-click do what left-click used to do, and left click
> > > take you to where you clicked, and have the scrollbar disappear when
> > > you're not over it...
> > > 
> > > I used Windows 3 up to Windows XP, and Gnome 2 and could easily switch
> > > between the two because the GUIs worked in the same way.  I tried Gnome
> > > 3 and Ubuntu's unity and basically hated both of them. Newer versions of
> > > Windows I also don't like.  Basically because they're very different to
> > > what I'm used to and what I find works. Also, their improvements don't
> > > (to me) seem to improve anything.
> > > 
> > > However... I know it's just personal taste, and some people like the new
> > > versions of Windows, and/or Gnome 3 and/or Unity.
> > 
> > Steve,
> > 
> > All of the above!
> > 
> > LMC is very like Windows 7, which is the last version of 'doze I used in
> > anger. Whatever else is wrong with Windows, the XP/W7 interface was
> > pretty good, and I've come to really like LMC, and find working with it
> > a doddle. Of course, it also does lots of extra things XP/W7 never
> > could, so that's all good too.
> > 
> > If I have one gripe, it's that I'd like to be able to set a delay on the
> > hot corners, but that's being addressed, I understand.
> > 
> > Cheers, Laurie.
> One of the many great things about Linux and free Software generally is 
> choice. 
> When I started experimenting with a Linux dektop I used Win 98 desktop and 
> 2000 server at work, and 95 at home. With very slow dial-up internet 
> downloading a distro would have taken days so I bought SuSE 8.0 on a set of 
> CDs. Default desktop was KDE2 which didn't seem much different to what I was 
> used to, and crucially it had Kmail/Kontact which was much like Outlook. 
> Once I'd gained a bit of confidence I tried other desktops and distros and 
> started writing about them for Micro Mart, but I kept coming back to KDE, on 
> RedHat/Fedora, Mandrake/Mandriva, and others I've forgotten. Ubuntu was 
> impressive when it arrived, and for me got even better when Kubuntu appeared.
> I wavered when KDE4 was released too early and ran LXDE on my main machine for 
> a year or more, but reverted to KDE when it became more stable. KDE5 is even 
> better. Kontact on Kubuntu got flaky though, frequently needing to be stopped, 
> have it's cache wiped and restarted. So I switched to the KDE version of Mint 
> which seems almost the same but more stable.
> That aside my wife has an old Kubuntu LTS version that works OK so will last a 
> bit longer. I have Bodhi on an old laptop I got FOC from a NWLUG member before 
> I left N Wales. Bodhi sems to use a custom version of Enlightenment,  I've 
> never enquired too deeply, it was just a stopgap while most of my kit was in 
> storage during the move. I've got an old Dell netbook too with Lubuntu and 
> Gcompris on it to amuse the eldest (6 year old) grand-daughter. And an old 
> desktop running LAMP (Lubuntu etc...) as a webserver, mostly used with 
> Nextcloud.
> They all do what the users need and the great thing is if KDE 6 or whatever 
> turns out like KDE 4 (or Windows ME) there's plenty of others to use instead.
** end quote [Phil Thane]

Choice is definately a win for techie types like us, although possibly not so
much for non-techies as it can be overwhelming and it seems many like to be
told which is best and then grumble!

I think I started similarly. The Windows 95 beta was easy to download at work,
save onto umpteen floppy disks and then take home to install, but with DOS,
Windows 3.x, 9x and NT and OS/2 2.x, 3.x and 4.x to deal with at work causing
an overspill into having to use them at home (as a challenge to my trusty Amiga
1500), the extra time to investigate, download and install Linux didn't happen
for a while.

Finding a copy of Caldera OpenLinux in PC World got me started with a nice
install CD and conincided with having some hardware to install it on. That was
the Looking Glass desktop and came with a Star Office CD as well (which I was
already using on Windows and OS/2). I quickly moved to Red Hat and hence Gnome,
but tried a load of different distros. I still have the stack of Cheap Bytes
CDs I bought from the Linux Emporium, which from memory included Mandrake,
SuSe, Slackware, Debian and Red Hat, I also had copies of Stormix, Progeny,
Corel Linux, Morphix, Knoppix, the Linux BBC and goodness knows how many I've
forgotten about!

Personally I didn't get on with KDE back in the 90s as it was trying too hard
to be like Windows, and that was what I was trying to get away from. In fact I
abandoned Gnome the first time because I didn't see it as adding anything to
Enlightenment that it was running on top of; I didn't really miss much when it
went and loved the middle mouse button to access the menu with all the apps,
from anywhere on the desktop. By this time I had settled on Debian having
abandoned Red Hat and left it in 'RPM Hell'.

I was pulled across to Ubuntu because of the better hardware support than
Debian at version 6.06 (yes, that is right, it was delayed), and have stuck
with it ever since as the best balance of current software, stability and
recognition (for customers). Ubuntu pulled me back to Gnome, and I abandoned it
when I decided to give Unity a go to stick to the default flavour. I am now
re-evaluating and think there's a good chance I'll end up on Ubuntu MATE. Gnome
is driving me up the wall - the frustration I get when using it is reminding me
of the bad mood I so often get in when trying to do something on Windows! I
probably should try KDE again, but when I have it hasn't had enough interest to
keep me there - and much like Gnome and Windows it is getting very chunky with
the default size of icons, etc.. (I know it can be customised).

My next question is going to be what to do about the family computers runing
Ubuntu (son, mum-in-law and soon dad). Preferably an in place upgrade, but
stick with the default of Gnome or switch? I'll put that off for a while!

 Paul Tansom  |  Aptanet Ltd.  |  https://www.aptanet.com/  |  023 9238 0001
 Vice Chair, FSB Portsmouth & SE Hampshire Branch  |  http://www.fsb.org.uk/
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