back to article Fedora's Lovelock Linux is beta ready

The Fedora Project has released the first and only beta for their next Linux distro, fully embracing the GNOME desktop that rival Ubuntu will shuffle away from later this month. The beta for Fedora 15, announced on Tuesday and codenamed Lovelock, becomes the first major Linux distro to include GNOME 3, which was released …


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"cleans up the interface and makes it easier to find and fire up applications through juicy new icons"

Euphemism for "employs a level of boneheaded stupidity not seen in the Linux community before".


Chase that zeitgeist

"cleans up the interface..." == makes it look like a giant iPhone

iPhones look like that for a reason. Stop dumbing down my desktop.

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Slightly garbled on the differences between Ubuntu 11.04 and Fedora 15

"Users of Ubuntu 11.04, due next week, will still get the GNOME shell, but it'll be available as a secondary boot option based on a user's own personal choice and whether their PC can deliver the necessary hardware acceleration that Unity needs."

This is a bit confused.

Here's the Cliff Notes version.

GNOME is a desktop, including a shell - roughly speaking, the code that renders some kind of interface to the desktop to let you launch applications and control windows - and lots of other bits.

GNOME 2's default 'shell' was provided by gnome-panel (a panel) and metacity (a window manager).

GNOME 3's official shell is GNOME Shell, incorporating the Mutter window manager. There is also a 'fallback mode' for hardware incapable of running GNOME Shell, which uses revised versions of gnome-panel and metacity. To re-emphasize, there's a whole lot of other stuff that's part of the GNOME desktop - the GTK+ widget library, various other convenience libraries, a ton of applications, the gdm login manager, etc etc - which are separate frm this whole shell thing.

Unity is an alternative desktop shell, an alternative to both GNOME Shell and gnome-panel+metacity.

Fedora 15 includes the entire official GNOME 3 platform: the GNOME Shell and the fallback mode, and all the other bits of GNOME 3.

Ubuntu 11.04's official repositories contain GNOME 2.32, and the Unity desktop shell to replace the default gnome-panel+metacity 'shell' of GNOME 2.

Ubuntu 11.04's official repositories do *not* contain GNOME Shell.

Ubuntu 11.04's official repositories do *not* contain any other GNOME 3 components: Ubuntu 11.04 uses GNOME 2, which is a point many outlets seem to be missing.

There is a semi-official PPA for Ubuntu 11.04 which contains a full set of GNOME 3 packages, including the GNOME Shell. If you use this PPA, you get a full GNOME 3 desktop including the Shell, not Unity. But this is not an official part of Ubuntu 11.04.

The Cliff's Notes of the Cliff's Notes:

Fedora 15 = full-fat GNOME 3.0.

Ubuntu 11.04 = GNOME 2.32 plus Unity.


Don't fix what isn't broken

"GNOME 3 is a major departure from the existing interface: it cleans up the interface and makes it easier to find and fire up applications through juicy new icons."

I'm not so sure about that myself... have been playing with it on archlinux since the release. The application menu is pretty terrible, it takes up the whole screen for crying out loud. Unless you're visually impaired i don't see how throwing 250x250px icons all over the desktop is ever going to increase productivity.


It's different...

...I grant you, but there are some nice features:

1) The doc on the left is very nice. Much better than other docs I have tried (and rejected)

2) The "expose" style overview of windows is good.

3) The lack of clutter on the screen is great.

Things I don't like:

1) The doc on the right for different desktops

2) It takes too many clicks to find an app and they are not grouped/categorised by function

3) The lack of clutter on the screen! One can't just go to an icon and do something any more.


All in all though, it's good to see some attempt an innovation. I just worry that (like Unity) it is too focused on the fondleslab and does not pay enough heed to the different work-function of the average desktop.


Ask Paul Fitts or Jason Spisak or Bruce Tognazzini or Jakob Neilson

Or any other HCI expert. They'll tell you how and why, big, simple, clear interfaces are good. Or you could just use it for a while, get over the "OMG some things are different" shock and then bask in the relaxing ease of use.

One thing the GNOME team did, long and hard and with much heated debate among many people, was actually *think* about usability. Big simple menus make sense for all but the most powerful of power users. Power users like yerself don't matter, because they're never going to browse menus and the shell has a good and fast Deskbar/Do-alike incremental search anyway.

I've also been using GNOME Shell since very early releases and I don't use the application menu because all the apps I need are a few - fast and easy - keystrokes away. I barely even *see* the shell interface any more, my stuff is just there. When I sat my decidedly non-techie housemate down in front of it recently, her reaction was "oh wow, I never knew I had all this stuff on my computer"

See also Ryan Quinn's awesome Mezzo desktop, which is surprisingly similar to GNOME Shell, and one of the most usable (imo) interfaces ever to grace a computer screen. Once you get over your ingrained feelings of how a computer "should" work because you're used to the bodged up over 20+ years gui we've had since the bad old days, not to mention get down to actually using it rather than just "having a play", you might just find you like it. Might. :)

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You call filling the screen with huge icons, "lack of clutter?" I call it a mess.

By the way: dock has a 'k' doesn't it? Even in the crazed world of Linux workspace designers, who also like to redefine the language (I recently got to know that "viewport" is a workspace, and I think Unity, despite not being a camera, has "lenses"?), doc is short for document. Always possible that you are simply more up to date on this than I am. Anyway, it confused me.

This business of redefining the language, by the way, is one of the tests for a cult. Seems very appropriate: all this user interface stuff is getting *very* cultish.

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So, big equals easy to use, does it?

I'm aware that those who design toys for babies think it does --- but if your gurus think that this applies to computer interfaces for adults, then better they look for vacancies at Fisher Price.

What nonsense. A Firefox icon is a firefox icon, big or small. Same thing.



And don't forget that eth0 is being renamed pee pee^H^Hp1p1 for no very good reason.

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No very good reason?


the point is for the naming to be consistent, predictable, and consistent with features of the hardware. It's an upstream kernel change and is backed by Dell, HIP and other major hardware manufacturers.

E 2

Gnome Shell

There is something to be said for Luddism.


Fedora/Red Hat; you are an absolute HOOT!

Red Hat, my hat (I just may start wearing a red one) is off to you. You have, hopefully not unwittingly (but it doesn't matter, the joke is still there, and a really great one), pulled off one of the better zingers of a competitor that the software world has seen in a long, long time.

We all know that--some--Linux Distribution organizations seem to place more effort and importance on generating snappy nicknames for their products rather than in generating a high-quality product which is an evolutionary improvement of their existing line.

You have a long history of producing outstanding product, and have not been one to put much emphasis on naming your products (someone has suggested Incontinent Ibex to a competitor; my suggestion would be Randy Rhinoceros), so why now, and why "Lovelock"?

Could this just possibly be a reference to the minions--that's spelled "millions"--for whom love has been lost for Ubuntu vis-a-vis their upcoming whatever-it-is?

Is "Lovelock" a play on the words "Love Lost"?

Canonical lost me at 9.04, when the results of their "improvements" to that fine piece of work resulted in a disaster called 9.10 (and no, Canonical, I don't remember their cutesy names. I have never cared, and seriously doubt that most do). I immediately "upgraded" back to the future to 9.04, started reading and hearing good things about Linux Mint which has--in the past--seemed to take a few months to do the latest release of Ubuntu correctly, and then release their own, high-quality distribution. I've been using Mint in one or the other of its many variations ever since.

You notice the use of the word "has". M. Clement LeFebvre, the low-key, high-class force behind Mint has been, in his inimitable fashion, slowly and quietly distancing himself from any dependence on Ubuntu. Check out what M. LeFebvre has to say about his upcoming Mint 11 release, AND note that Mint now has another card to play: they have developed a rolling-release version of Mint based on Debian.

I love humor mixed with great technical expertise. There is absolutely no doubt about the latter in your case, and the only reason for my not having tried Red Hat before now is inertia. I have two computers on which I've scheduled replacement of the operating system. Have no doubt that at least one will be "Lovelost" (sorry about that; everything about that name and what it implies has such a great ring to it!).

Warmest regards...


Will it suck?

It is a Design Requirement of all Fedora's that they have unfindable bugs, strange interoperability issues with common apps and protocols, and a jungle of homegrown libraries that provide nothing the reference versions don't.

I presume in the name of goodwill to all the Fans[tm] they will be adhering to these principles with this release?

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Er...what the hell are you talking about?

Unfindable bugs...if they're unfindable, how do you know about them? Hell, if they're unfindable, how are they a problem?

"strange interoperability issues with common apps and protocols"

I have no idea at all what you mean by this.

"and a jungle of homegrown libraries that provide nothing the reference versions don't"

ditto. Fedora has an entire policy about staying close to upstream: . It certainly doesn't have a 'jungle of homegrown libraries'.


Good grief!

For those of an age.


It's all good... and if it isn't,

Remember this is Linux, open source, you can tweak things.

It's relatively easy to restore minimise buttons and even a desktop full of clickable things for those who really miss them.

Search for gnome-tweak-tool

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