The Folks at GNOME Have Me Annoyed (Warning, Long Post)
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Author Topic: The Folks at GNOME Have Me Annoyed (Warning, Long Post)  (Read 230 times)

Offline Vintalorian

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So let's talk about GNOME for a second. GNOME 3.32 was released pretty recently, and there is a lot of good to say about it. For starters, the default theme (while still pretty ugly, like most default themes) did get a bit of a facelift. It's better. The performance also seems to have dramatically improved. My Fedora 30 installation is way more responsive than my Fedora 29 installation. That's good. HOWEVER. Removing dynamic panel transparency (translucent or transparent when apps are windowed, but opaque when they are fullscreen) because "white text can be hard to read on transparent backgrounds" is the single dumbest thing I have ever heard of. Not only does this make the DE look a few years older, but it also REALLY messes with a lot of themes. One of the absolute best themes out there is the set of Adapta themes. I use it for every single Linux install I have because I like it so much. Here's the problem: when a theme is set to have its default transparency be 0.54 (54% opaque), the bar won't go opaque when a window is sent fullscreen. This really disrupts the whole aesthetic of a lot of themes. In order to fix it on my system, I had to edit the gnome-shell.css file in the Adapta-Nokto (my preferred variant of the Adapta theme) folder to make the default alpha on the top bar 1.0 (100 opaque), and I had to set the dash to be the same color as the top bar, because otherwise it ends up looking weird and white for some reason.

The reason I'm annoyed about this is because it seems like the reason the GNOME folks got rid of dynamic panel transparency is because somebody on the development team opened a ticket on the "hard to read text" issue, and then he/she got frustrated when nobody fixed it, so they just ditched the feature altogether. It seems very tantrum-ish to me, and it's extremely frustrating. Because of this decision, basically ALL modern GNOME Shell themes no longer work the way they were designed to. Honestly, I'm surprised more people haven't said anything about it.

TL;DR:
When GNOME developers removed dynamic panel transparency in 3.32, they broke a bunch of themes, and I'm annoyed that I had to fix my themes by editing .css files.
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Offline Crimson

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Re: The Folks at GNOME Have Me Annoyed (Warning, Long Post)
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2019, 09:51:46 PM »
I get your frustration, unfortunately not everyone can get what they want. It's a good thing we use Linux because we have the power to change we don't like.

My work around the transparency issue was to install dash to dock and dash to panel. The two shell extensions gave me control over that feature. So basically, the feature is still there, just dormant.

I get why they did that. It helps with older hardware and makes the GNOME experience smoother across the broad types of machines out there, but still, it does feel like a bit of a step back.

I think I want to do a GNOME setup tutorial, because I can get it to look and function like any other OS, Windows and Mac included. I just recently installed Fedora 30 on two laptops from the EARLY Vista era and made them look just like Windows 10 in under 10 minutes.
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Offline Vintalorian

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Re: The Folks at GNOME Have Me Annoyed (Warning, Long Post)
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2019, 10:40:53 PM »
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My work around the transparency issue was to install dash to dock and dash to panel. The two shell extensions gave me control over that feature. So basically, the feature is still there, just dormant.

I get why they did that. It helps with older hardware and makes the GNOME experience smoother across the broad types of machines out there, but still, it does feel like a bit of a step back.

I think I want to do a GNOME setup tutorial, because I can get it to look and function like any other OS, Windows and Mac included. I just recently installed Fedora 30 on two laptops from the EARLY Vista era and made them look just like Windows 10 in under 10 minutes.

I figure if they're going to force me to go lighter and sacrifice the looks, then Budgie looks better IMO. GNOME is pretty when I can get everything working and looking EXACTLY how I like it, but I'm used to the polish of macOS, and GNOME just doesn't have that for me right now. I could never get the extensions to cooperate without any tiny little hiccups for me here and there. Budgie on Solus is BY FAR the cleanest experience right now IMO. I install Fedora 30 to try it, but I had to go back to Solus. I realize I could have installed Budgie on Fedora, but I kinda dig eopkg and the way Solus does some other stuff, so that's where I'm at for now. At least until GNOME steps up its game! I expect dynamic transparency to return somewhat soon, so we'll see!
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Offline Crimson

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Re: The Folks at GNOME Have Me Annoyed (Warning, Long Post)
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2019, 11:26:41 PM »
There certainly are other options out there. Budgie seems to take the best parts of GNOME and implements them in a better way. I think the GNOME team's focus is more towards the code rather than the look. After all, everone's tastes are unique.

I have my gripes about default GNOME too. One is that weird thing they've got on the top right that drops down a menu. I just want to change the volume level not access a mini control panel. Or how about that dumb thing they do where a task bar should be, but instead just tell you what program is in focus. Like, dude, I know I'm using Firefox, I don't need that being the only thing taking up space on the panel. Show me everything that's open so that I can conveniently select what program I want to switch to. Instead GNOME thinks the better option is clicking the Activities button, flash a cool effect at me, THEN allow me to select what program I want to focus on. WHY? How is this the better way? Bottom line, GNOME is far from perfect and probably never will be.

The only reason I stick with GNOME is because I like to stay as close to the original work as possible. That typically also means support and maintenance is backed by a corporate entity, which in turn is worked on by paid professionals who care, at least on some level, about the quality of their work.

Too many forked distributions tend to come and go, relying solely on community development and support, which often becomes too great for a small team to handle. That's what scares me about community driven distro's, getting invested into and really enjoying a spin or flavor of something, then suddenly without warning losing support.

I can kinda see that happening with Linux Mint, once regarded as the best and most iconic Linux distro for years. I read somewhere recently that one of their main developers got disappointed in something, or feedback was harsh or whatever, and now they're basically downtrodden and lack motivation to keep going. Like, "Dang, I'm glad I'm not on Linux Mint right now."
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Offline Spatry

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Re: The Folks at GNOME Have Me Annoyed (Warning, Long Post)
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2019, 06:53:50 AM »
I hate to say this because someone is gonna throw a giant cinder-block at me but the FIX to Gnome shell problems is XFCE! I was one of the people who jumped ship to XFCE when Gnome 3 came out (before Mate) and decided to stick with it. XFCE has remained consistent over the years where updates with Gnome are unpredictable for the obvious reasons mentioned in this thread <sigh>.
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Offline Crimson

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Re: The Folks at GNOME Have Me Annoyed (Warning, Long Post)
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2019, 08:49:37 AM »


Very true though, the fix is a different DE. IDK, the problems I mentioned are minor and can be easily fixed with extensions. Sometimes you just gotta take the good in with the bad.
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Offline Spatry

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Re: The Folks at GNOME Have Me Annoyed (Warning, Long Post)
« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2019, 11:20:32 AM »
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Touché! (I am sure Helga is laughing her butt off!)
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Offline CwF

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Re: The Folks at GNOME Have Me Annoyed (Warning, Long Post)
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2019, 11:24:47 AM »
Where to start? Maybe with something about history, knowing it, doomed to repeat, etc... A forgotten concept now it seems is the age old 'horizontal' verses 'vertical' concept. Perhaps the perspective of pre and post 'dll' thinking, a very unix like idea, and how that played out. Few realize how vertical W2k and XP has gone in the hands of government and industry, ie the existence of 'forks' as the linux people would see it. Where Debian claims 58k packages as a huge base of functionality (it is), there are dozens of 'sectors' of never to be seen code for NT based systems that dwarf that number.

I lay that out for some perspective. Gnome has a vertical philosophy. Stick a 'g' in the package name and add yet another maintainer to the list, and another point of future failure. A recent issue between gnome/wayland and synaptic exemplifies the ignorance. DUA is a decent example, it breaks stuff if your distro is not sufficiently up the fork. There are many examples in gnome where their answer to breakage is to streamline your way into theirs, not fix their way to be more compatible, and 'horizontal'.

Make no mistake, 'vertical' fork is better, and long as it comes with the reality that a group of developers needs to go with it, forever.

Offline Dirty Helga

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Re: Re: The Folks at GNOME Have Me Annoyed (Warning, Long Post)
« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2019, 11:27:41 AM »
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Touché! (I am sure Helga is laughing her butt off!)
Nice brick, Crimson! Now we only need 500 more so that we can build Spatry a new sound-room! HAH!
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Offline Vintalorian

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Re: Re: The Folks at GNOME Have Me Annoyed (Warning, Long Post)
« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2019, 01:36:45 PM »
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I hate to say this because someone is gonna throw a giant cinder-block at me but the FIX to Gnome shell problems is XFCE! I was one of the people who jumped ship to XFCE when Gnome 3 came out (before Mate) and decided to stick with it. XFCE has remained consistent over the years where updates with Gnome are unpredictable for the obvious reasons mentioned in this thread <sigh>.

XFCE will ALWAYS have a special place in my heart. I've used it a LOT in the last ten years. Heck, even my Manjaro respins all used XFCE. It's very good. I do have a couple of problems with it, though. The default window compositor sucks. Like it's really bad. I remember the v-sync feature eliminating screen tearing maybe once or twice. MAYBE. And I'm a sucker for eye-candy! I was a hardcore Compiz guy back in the day. Since then, my tastes have grown up a bit, but I still like to be able to show off my desktop. Budgie, to me, is the most professional-looking DE available right now, with Cinnamon coming in at a close second. I want people to look at my machine and say, "Wow, that looks pretty good. Way better than my Windows 10 system." And I hate to say it, but I really don't think XFCE is as visually pleasing as Windows 10 or macOS no matter how you theme it. TO BE CLEAR, I'm talking about once you start clicking around, NOT just the desktop. Windows 10's static desktop doesn't look all that hot, but the animations make it. Everything SEEMS polished (even if we know better). Budgie does that for me, and having a distro made by the team who is developing it is even better. Now I do realize that it is possible to achieve almost the same thing with XFCE using Compton, Compiz, or Kwin (or whatever it is now), but I don't want the hassle. I'd rather just use a system that is sexy out of the box.
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Offline swarfendor437

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Re: The Folks at GNOME Have Me Annoyed (Warning, Long Post)
« Reply #10 on: May 03, 2019, 06:35:19 PM »
Hi guys,
I don't know if it is specific to the latest Gnome, but I am using Zorin that uses the Gnome Shell but it is designed to look like Windows 7 in respect of the Menu to aid noobs to the transition to GNU/Linux.
Now the Settings panel in Zorin 15 Beta appears to have been 'lifted' from Fedora 27 Workstation and one of my pet gripes is for example in Zorin you select 'Test Sound' - a new Window opens and gets stuck like a magnet to the window it sprouted from - you can't drag the new GUI that is opened to the side like you can in FerenOS for example - bearing in mind FerenOS uses Cinnamon and is based off the back of Linux Mint with Debian and Ubuntu thrown in - like Mint.
One of the great innovations to come out of the latest Gnome iteration deployed by Zorin is a new Android App - Zorin Connect - your phone becomes a remote for your PC so if you are doing a presentation you won't need an interactive board controller that's gone missing - just use your phone and add the add on to Firefox and you get it mirrored on your phone - useful if giving an html presentation so you don't have to turn round necessarily to see where you're at. (Apologies for unnecessary promotion of a distro I moderate for - Dirty Helga - feel free to remove parts of this post!)

Offline Crimson

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Re: Re: Re: The Folks at GNOME Have Me Annoyed (Warning, Long Post)
« Reply #11 on: May 03, 2019, 09:18:21 PM »
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Nice brick, Crimson! Now we only need 500 more so that we can build Spatry a new sound-room! HAH!
Gotcha covered Helga, Spatry's very own sound room...
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Offline Vintalorian

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Re: The Folks at GNOME Have Me Annoyed (Warning, Long Post)
« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2019, 11:24:23 AM »
UPDATE on this:

I don't actually know if this is connected to this issue or not, but my wife has been using ElementaryOS for a quite a while now, and she has been mostly happy with it. That's certainly a good thing. However, after doing a system upgrade, the top bar transparency is GONE! I suspect GNOME is to blame, but I can't be sure. Just another example of this BS hissy-fit solution from the GNOME team borking something downstream. I guess all I can do is hope that they bring it back in future releases. For now, I'm using Manjaro KDE. It's still a little Windows-ish for my taste, but I can live with it until GNOME fixes itself. Man, this new batch of GNOME desktops looks like crap to me. I'm picky, I know that, but still.
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Offline eronis

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Re: Re: The Folks at GNOME Have Me Annoyed (Warning, Long Post)
« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2019, 01:43:24 PM »
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UPDATE on this:

I don't actually know if this is connected to this issue or not, but my wife has been using ElementaryOS for a quite a while now, and she has been mostly happy with it. That's certainly a good thing. However, after doing a system upgrade, the top bar transparency is GONE! I suspect GNOME is to blame, but I can't be sure. Just another example of this BS hissy-fit solution from the GNOME team borking something downstream. I guess all I can do is hope that they bring it back in future releases. For now, I'm using Manjaro KDE. It's still a little Windows-ish for my taste, but I can live with it until GNOME fixes itself. Man, this new batch of GNOME desktops looks like crap to me. I'm picky, I know that, but still.
The thing I don't like about GNOME is the fact that they are trying to release a new version -no matter what-. They release the new version to say, "Hey, that's our new GNOME version. Check it out! :P" That's the main reason why you suffer. 

GNOME developers don't seem to know what they want or what they are working for. It's an issue about the organization of development. I don't know who is the main manager of GNOME, but I know that they are doing a half-assed job.

Same can't be said in cases of XFCE, MATE or KDE. Developers know what they want. They have a good planned schedule and ideas to realize. They don't step back just because a feature caused a problem. This goes especially for KDE. KDE is known for being unstable due to this attitude of its developers, but I believe that's a good thing. They don't give up and work on what they want their software to do. That's something I truly respect. I don't know about Cinnamon because I've never liked it. It was too heavy on my old laptop; thus I had bad memories with it, but I think I can add Cinnamon to this list inferring from what I see in reviews and Youtube videos.

However, FYI, I absolutely love GNOME 3. I loved it for 3.16 release and I still use it on my desktop computer. So, don't misunderstand me please. I actually love the work the developers do. But, I can't help but be frustrated by their wishy-washy behaviour on problems.
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Offline Ironclaw

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Re: The Folks at GNOME Have Me Annoyed (Warning, Long Post)
« Reply #14 on: May 18, 2019, 12:48:38 AM »
The thing that always annoyed me about GNOME is that every time they come out with a new version, everything that is not in their core seems to break.  It's like backwards compatibility is a dirty word or something.  I guess if you're perfectly happy in their vanilla environment than you're golden, but if you use extensions and themes, you're screwed.
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