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Old 05-21-2013, 11:17 PM   #1
m_yates
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Debian desktop environment choices stink in Wheezy


This isn't a linux question, just a mini-rant. Earlier today I wiped squeeze and did a fresh install of wheezy on my main desktop. I have to say that the desktop environment choices in Wheezy are awful. The worst in my 10 years of using Debian. Gnome 3 and KDE 4 both seem like they tried to fix what wasn't broken. XFCE is OK, but looks long in the tooth. LXDE seems to be the best of the lot, but it doesn't have nearly the features as good old Gnome 2 or KDE 3.5 did.

I gave up and installed MATE for Wheezy to give me an environment that works. On my laptop, I wiped squeeze and installed Linux Mint instead of Wheezy. Mint seems to be the only distribution bucking the trend of awful desktop environments.
 
Old 05-21-2013, 11:27 PM   #2
evo2
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Hi,

so you're complaining because you don't like the current versions of KDE and Gnome, and because a fork of the old generation of Gnome is not packaged in Debian? Please, I enjoy reading a decent rant, but was thoroughly disappointed by this one. I think I'll have to remove linunxquestions.org from my browser and go somewhere where there is a better selection of rant to choose from.

Evo2.
 
Old 05-21-2013, 11:44 PM   #3
m.a.l.'s pa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m_yates View Post
good old Gnome 2 or KDE 3.5
May they rest in peace. I don't miss them at all.
 
Old 05-21-2013, 11:46 PM   #4
m.a.l.'s pa
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I actually have Wheezy GNOME, Wheezy Xfce, and Wheezy KDE, all installed on different computers. They all seem great to me.
 
Old 05-22-2013, 12:22 AM   #5
Randicus Draco Albus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m_yates View Post
I have to say that the desktop environment choices in Wheezy are awful.
That is very interesting, considering any GUI can be installed on a Debian system.

Quote:
Gnome 3 and KDE 4 ... XFCE ... LXDE ...
1) How is Debian to blame for the quality of GUIs others develop (and are the same GUIs used on every other system)?
2) If you do not like any of the DEs, why not try a WM? Especially since WMs are better than DEs.

This is the kind of rant I would expect from an Ubuntu user, not a Debian user.

Edit
I did not notice Ubuntu in the user profile before posting. Carry on.

Last edited by Randicus Draco Albus; 05-22-2013 at 12:24 AM.
 
Old 05-22-2013, 12:49 AM   #6
Soapm
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Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by evo2 View Post
Hi,

so you're complaining because you don't like the current versions of KDE and Gnome, and because a fork of the old generation of Gnome is not packaged in Debian? Please, I enjoy reading a decent rant, but was thoroughly disappointed by this one. I think I'll have to remove linunxquestions.org from my browser and go somewhere where there is a better selection of rant to choose from.

Evo2.
Now, now.. You remember being a rookie ranter. They'll get better with time. What we really need is a practice section.

My first rant I forgot to breathe and ended up passing out before I got to my climax...

Last edited by Soapm; 05-22-2013 at 12:53 AM.
 
1 members found this post helpful.
Old 05-22-2013, 04:56 AM   #7
cynwulf
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Yes no DE is perfect... but XFCE is not as bad as you're making it out to be. The good thing about XFCE is that it's very customisable and you can freely move panels around, create extra ones and have full control over what's on them, you can have desktop icons or not and just theme it how you want... In my humble opinion XFCE offers everything a desktop user could want, but I expect many would disagree with that.

gnome-shell on the other hand forces the "vision" down your throat and the user is kept on a short leash ensuring that they use it how the developers envisage and that it has a distinct identity. That's not my anti gnome-shell rant, that's just what the gnome devs have said in so many words. At the end of the day they can do as they please and you have the choice to use it or not.

As I see it you found a solution in installing mate from a 3rd party, so I don't see the problem.

I have never been fully content with any DE and pretty much abandoned them about a year ago and stuck to window managers - my preference is for fluxbox.
 
Old 05-22-2013, 05:03 AM   #8
widget
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cynwulf View Post
Yes no DE is perfect... but XFCE is not as bad as you're making it out to be. The good thing about XFCE is that it's very customisable and you can freely move panels around, create extra ones and have full control over what's on them, you can have desktop icons or not and just theme it how you want... In my humble opinion XFCE offers everything a desktop user could want, but I expect many would disagree with that.

gnome-shell on the other hand forces the "vision" down your throat and the user is kept on a short leash ensuring that they use it how the developers envisage and that it has a distinct identity. That's not my anti gnome-shell rant, that's just what the gnome devs have said in so many words. At the end of the day they can do as they please and you have the choice to use it or not.

As I see it you found a solution in installing mate from a 3rd party, so I don't see the problem.

I have never been fully content with any DE and pretty much abandoned them about a year ago and stuck to window managers - my preference is for fluxbox.
That makes 2 strong statements in favor of WMs. Maybe we could change this from a rather sorry rant to a first rate flame war about the best WhateverBox.

I really like OpenBox.
 
Old 05-22-2013, 05:10 AM   #9
cynwulf
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openbox is nice, I used to use it with the tint2 panel, but once I discovered fluxbox I haven't looked back. Every bit of userpace configuration in fluxbox is easier and it comes with a panel.
 
Old 05-22-2013, 06:15 AM   #10
Randicus Draco Albus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by widget View Post
That makes 2 strong statements in favor of WMs. Maybe we could change this from a rather sorry rant to a first rate flame war about the best WhateverBox.
I made my suggestion to try WMs, because the OP does not like any of the four DEs. 1) WMs are different, so the OP may find them more attractive. 2) They can be customised well beyond the level of a DE. I mention Openbox because it is the one I am most familiar with, can be customised any way one wants to customise it. The OP would then be able to create the perfect GUI, instead of being disappointed while waiting for someone else to do it. (Take matters into his/her own hands.)

Last edited by Randicus Draco Albus; 05-22-2013 at 06:16 AM.
 
1 members found this post helpful.
Old 05-22-2013, 06:29 AM   #11
JWJones
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cynwulf View Post
Yes no DE is perfect... but XFCE is not as bad as you're making it out to be. The good thing about XFCE is that it's very customisable and you can freely move panels around, create extra ones and have full control over what's on them, you can have desktop icons or not and just theme it how you want... In my humble opinion XFCE offers everything a desktop user could want, but I expect many would disagree with that.
You beat me to it. Yeah, the default configuration that comes with Xfce is pretty bland and uninspired, but it is highly configurable and can be made beautiful, without the RAM-hogging that comes with Gnome and KDE. In my experience (but maybe I haven't tried hard enough), it's more configurable than MATE.

But whatever. Yeah, weak rant. Debian gives you a solid, plain base to build on. Every damn DE or WM you could ever want is in the repos, or close at hand.
 
Old 01-08-2014, 03:25 AM   #12
lquserv
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so where should he take his rant?

Quote:
Originally Posted by evo2 View Post
Hi,

so you're complaining because you don't like the current versions of KDE and Gnome, and because a fork of the old generation of Gnome is not packaged in Debian? Please, I enjoy reading a decent rant, but was thoroughly disappointed by this one. I think I'll have to remove linunxquestions.org from my browser and go somewhere where there is a better selection of rant to choose from.

Evo2.
I've just done a dist-upgrade to wheezy and once again another desktop environment has been trashed. I also have a box running Ubuntu (unity) and had
to access a backup which was pre-unity and was amazed at how good (and fast) desktops used to be. I've recently taken to using the squeeze based machine more ... I'm coming to the conclusion I'd be better of with raw "X" + xterm and the right click (root context) menu. Every time a desktop changes folks spend months of effort to recover 80% of what they had before , after 80% of 80% of ... it's getting ridiculous . Is there
no movement to stop this decent into totally the unusable ?

FYI. I found this thread while searching for how to recover my right-click menu in wheezy. Perhaps a redirect some kind of campaign for real desktops might be best?
 
Old 01-08-2014, 04:26 AM   #13
Randicus Draco Albus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lquserv View Post
Is there no movement to stop this decent into totally the unusable ?
The movement is called voting with one's feet. Gnome, KDE and Canonical put what they consider beauty ahead of functionality. At the moment, enough people use those GUIs to sustain the trend. So those who do not like them must go elsewhere.
Quote:
Perhaps a redirect some kind of campaign for real desktops might be best?
A campaign is not needed. XFCE, LXDE and the "Boxes" have all reaped new harvests of users, because of the development direction of the big guys. That trend will continue.
 
Old 01-08-2014, 06:31 AM   #14
gnudude
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m_yates View Post
This isn't a linux question, just a mini-rant. Earlier today I wiped squeeze and did a fresh install of wheezy on my main desktop. I have to say that the desktop environment choices in Wheezy are awful. The worst in my 10 years of using Debian. Gnome 3 and KDE 4 both seem like they tried to fix what wasn't broken. XFCE is OK, but looks long in the tooth. LXDE seems to be the best of the lot, but it doesn't have nearly the features as good old Gnome 2 or KDE 3.5 did.

I gave up and installed MATE for Wheezy to give me an environment that works. On my laptop, I wiped squeeze and installed Linux Mint instead of Wheezy. Mint seems to be the only distribution bucking the trend of awful desktop environments.
Maybe you should elaborate on what is missing in lxde? I don't find much missing but I don't need much to make me happy. That being said I usually do not use lxde.

I don't understand why you complain that xfce is 'long in the tooth' but then complain about both gnome and kde leaving behind the traditional look and trying to fix what wasn't broken. It seems 'long in the tooth' was what they were trying to fix.

I have never found mate to do anything that xfce or lxde did not do for me but my needs are fairly simple. The thing I hate about using mate (or any gtk2 desktop) on a newer distro is that I invariably end up installing some apps that use gtk3 so then I have two toolkits to deal with. Of course I could use mate with a older distro but if I am going to do that I may as well use old gnome from the repos. That is what I am currently using until I decide on something newer.

Of course regardless of what you use for the desktop you have to install a browser which means dragging in some big ass toolkit and its tag-alongs. It is sad to think that I will decide on a browser and that will dictate the toolkit I will accept for my user environment. Even sadder is that it seems if you want flash to work well then the current solution is Google Chrome which is still using gtk2 I believe. So it seems almost certain that to use a newer distro means dealing with gtk2 and gtk3...so maybe sticking with Debian Squeeze is the answer...except I haven't been able to get a new version of chrome working on it...

So my rant in a nutshell is all new distros suck because they all have the gtk2/gtk3 insanity...

now...who is next up for the rant box
 
Old 01-08-2014, 08:58 AM   #15
m_yates
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After I posted this, I ended up choosing XFCE which I have been using for the past several months. My desktop looks like I am running Windows 2000, but it works well enough for me. I like having a weather applet, and having a few programs like Banshee minimize to the system tray and run in the background without keeping a window open. I like having a file manager that allows opening multiple windows and dragging/dropping between them. The menus are easily editable. I do have a few quirks due to the already mentioned gtk3/gtk3 insanity. Otherwise, it works and I have not thought of switching to something else.

As for what is wrong with LXDE, modifying the menus is not intuitive, and I never used it long enough to figure out how to install and use tray applets or minimize anything to the system tray.
 
  


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