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Debian Wheezy has just switched to Gnome 3

Posted 11-19-2011 at 11:03 AM by andywebsdale
Updated 11-19-2011 at 11:27 AM by andywebsdale
Tags gnome3

Wow - I ran Update on synaptic and apt-listbugs tells me that metacity segfaults after restart. I decide to risk it, as it won't stop me booting. The update finishes & I closed it & did Ctrl-Alt-BkSp to restart all the GUI stuff, X, Gnome, etc.
GDM looked slightly different, I logged in & Bam! Big surprise - no desktop. Gnome 3 had arrived.
I love it. There's a learning curve, & probably I need to do some manual cleanup after apt has "converted" my Gnome 2 settings & so on to the new paradigm( it is a 'paradigm shift' - the desktop style that has ruled since the 80's is gone or changed). I tried getting the "Tweaks" package to change the config to "Allow file manager to control desktop" but I fond that I didn't really need the old Desktop.
All the apps are in /usr/share/applications or ~/.local as .desktop files. I've created launchers (e.g I've got Firefox Nightly in my home dir that's my usual browser) just by authoring a .desktop file, which is very straightforward, & there are tons of examples of course. I love how they've designated the "Windows" key to do just that Press it & the current window recedes & all the 'windows' on that workspace can be seen, the 'dock' on the left & the workspace list on the right. There's a very useful search box top right which quickly displays icons of apps that fit the pattern (type 'ge' then gedit & anything else with 'ge' in the name pops up. I expected it to be searching "starts with 'ge' ", but its doing "contains 'ge' "). Press the Windows key again & your app comes back.
There's a lot of stuff I don't yet know about Gnome 3 & how to config it, but I love it on first use, it's just the change that I craved, it feels so "modern" somehow & sort of exciting as well. Don't know what Windows 8 will be like to use, but I'll bet it won't be as clear a design philosophy as Gnome 3, & I'll wager it'll be a bodge, as Windows always is.
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