making the jump to gnome 3

Clearly I’m not quite as bleeding edge as AdamW is!

Well the pros, well really the wants, finally won out over the cons and I upgraded my primary laptop that I use for work and just about everything else to Fedora 15 and gnome 3. What finally pushed me over the edge? Evolution 3 and Firefox 5.

I’d been running evo 3 in a VM on my laptop for quite some time. At work our corporate mail system is MS Exchange and the only access we have to it is via MAPI so Evolution is my life saver and I generally find it quite good. Over the last couple of release cycles Matthew Barnes, Milan Crha and others have been making MASSIVE improvements so I often end up compiling the latest dev release for the current stable Fedora release for the latest evolution bling. GTK3 sort of put a halt to that for F-14 -> F15. One thing I couldn’t work out for this upgrade is why evolution-NetworkManager wasn’t installed by default (maybe its my setup).

I mostly like gnome 3, I have been using it on a number of non primary devices for months. I’m really not interested in any of the politics of it. As a primary device I’ve only been using it for an hour or so. That said there’s a few weird discrepancies.

Language: I live in the UK and use UK language and keyboard settings. On upgrading and logging back in it was back to the US. Hmm. Going into my account there’s a spot to set the language. Cool! Why do I need to put the root password in to change this setting? I can understand having to re-enter my password (we have jokers in the office that change things like this) but not the root password. And why do I also then have to set it in “Region and Language” in the System Settings as well? Oh, and why isn’t the “Colour” system icon localised?

Printing: I have a networked copier configured on this. It seems I can now print colour to it. Awesome! Why when I click “Options” do I get nothing? I happen to like the minimisation of options (I’m lazy so tend to stick with defaults anyway) but printing tends to be one of the horribly complex things. EG I don’t want to print to US paper and I do want to print duplex and turn off colour printing as default options.

Active window: The new gnome theme with its nearly the same colour for all windows makes it hard to tell which is the active window. While with all maximised windows on a single screen this doesn’t really make much difference. On multi monitor it does!

While we’re on the topic of multiple monitors, I’ve yet to test dock/undock and suspend/resume monitor detection. It was sorely broken the last I tested it and it was the primary reason I had delayed my upgrade so long. I usually go 2-3 weeks without a reboot and will undock/redock 100s of times in that time. Having it remember my screen and windows layout is important. Its very time consuming to have to reconfigure and position every time I change configs.

Instant Messaging: I’ll need the pidgin extension. I have around 6 years of pidgin logs that I reference regularly. There’s been a bug open for this since F-10 and until that’s closed pidgin and I are wed.

Rhythmbox: Wasn’t there suppose audio controls somewhere? Or am I plain blind. I would like to get rid of the main box and just be able to control play/pause/skip etc from within the shell like the icon use to. I thought I saw somewhere that the shell had media controls in there.

I’m looking forward to gnome 3.2 especially getting multiple time zones back in the clock, the online account integration and of course Evolution 3.2 and all its new features and improvements!

10 thoughts on “making the jump to gnome 3”

  1. “Rhythmbox: Wasn’t there suppose audio controls somewhere? Or am I plain blind. I would like to get rid of the main box and just be able to control play/pause/skip etc from within the shell like the icon use to. I thought I saw somewhere that the shell had media controls in there.”

    It’s not part of regular Shell, but there are a couple of extensions that do this.

  2. Sure, we are all waiting for GNOME’s fixes and improvements. Well, it was refreshing to read an article about G3 that was not biased. I use both G3 and Xfce – not because of problems with G3, simply because one of my computers can’t handle the pressure of GNOME 3.

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