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raymac46

Pop!_OS

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raymac46

One of the reasons cited in the past for why the Linux desktop hasn't reached a tipping point was that OEMs didn't preinstall it on their hardware. Lately that has changed a fair bit. Lenovo and Dell are shipping Linux models, and the traditional Linux system integrators like ZaReason and System 76 are going stronger than ever.

System 76 comes with its own custom distro called Pop!_OS which you can download and install if you want to. I had a look at it on a Live USB.

One one hand it is the most pure vanilla GNOME desktop I've seen. No icons or docks, just an Activities button that launches the Dashboard. It looks great as it has custom fonts and icons. It is fast and very slick.

I don't see a lot of advantages over Debian's GNOME or Ubuntu's version though. POP!_OS is based on Ubuntu. I'd want to tweak it a bit to suit my needs, although probably a first time user of System 76 hardware wouldn't know the drill. It would be a fair learning curve if you were migrating from Windows, since GNOME 3 is quite different. Maybe it'd be easier for OSX users, I don't know.

It looks great, but right now Pop!_OS is a solution to a problem I don't have.

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saturnian

The recent review at DistroWatch (https://distrowatch.com/weekly.php?issue=20200525#popos) mentions the keyboard shortcuts as one of the key features of Pop!_OS. I'm glad more computers are shipping with Linux. I wouldn't be too concerned about the desktop; most people these days have had to learn to get used to a GUI setup they weren't used to before, seems to me.

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raymac46

I suppose any new Linux user will have a learning curve if they want to use the new O/S properly. That said, you can get desktops like Cinnamon or LXQt that are similar in look to classic Windows (taskbar at bottom, start button on left.)

I like GNOME 3 don't get me wrong. But it took me a while to appreciate it, and I still tweak it to give a more traditional GNOME 2 look with a dock for icons.

Here's my usual GNOME 3 Debian desktop.

screen-e1574350405257.png

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Hedon James

I've never liked icons on the desktop, yet that is exactly what most users do....especially Win users.  It just looks cluttered to me.  So when I first discovered Linux, the Gnome2 desktop was a strange bird that made SO MUCH sense.  I took to that new desktop like a duck to water.  I think Gnome3 would be well advised to adopt some Gnome2 features.  What Gnome3 devs did should probably be a UX design case study of what NOT to do, or how not to do it, to your user base.

 

Gnome had a significant advantage in user base, with a majority of users.  And somehow alienated that majority, running them to other desktops.  On the flip side, this was the impetus for some new desktop development, such as:  Cinnamon, Mate, Unity, Pantheon.  While there were others available, these were newer projects that scratched the itches of dissatisfied Gnome users.

 

While Gnome3 seems to have settled and matured, perhaps the devs feel vindicated.  But surely they didn't need to run off such a significant chunk of their user base to accomplish that?  JMO...

 

P.S.  Gnome3 looks like an EXCELLENT interface for tablets.  But approximately 10 years after their introduction, we still don't have a viable Linux tablet offering, nor ecosystem.  But if it ever happens, Gnome3 looks like the best choice, IMO.  FWIW...

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raymac46

I don't like cluttering up the desktop with a bunch of icons either, but that said I don't want to drill down through menus just to launch a browser. Nor am I much of a keyboard guy - aside from typing. So a dock or taskbar with launcher icons works for me.

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raymac46

Here's my Windows 10 desktop - not too many icons on it.

 

win10-june-2020.jpg

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Bookmem
2 hours ago, Hedon James said:

I've never liked icons on the desktop, yet that is exactly what most users do....especially Win users.  It just looks cluttered to me.  So when I first discovered Linux, the Gnome2 desktop was a strange bird that made SO MUCH sense.  I took to that new desktop like a duck to water.  I think Gnome3 would be well advised to adopt some Gnome2 features.  What Gnome3 devs did should probably be a UX design case study of what NOT to do, or how not to do it, to your user base.

 

Gnome had a significant advantage in user base, with a majority of users.  And somehow alienated that majority, running them to other desktops.  On the flip side, this was the impetus for some new desktop development, such as:  Cinnamon, Mate, Unity, Pantheon.  While there were others available, these were newer projects that scratched the itches of dissatisfied Gnome users.

 

While Gnome3 seems to have settled and matured, perhaps the devs feel vindicated.  But surely they didn't need to run off such a significant chunk of their user base to accomplish that?  JMO...

 

P.S.  Gnome3 looks like an EXCELLENT interface for tablets.  But approximately 10 years after their introduction, we still don't have a viable Linux tablet offering, nor ecosystem.  But if it ever happens, Gnome3 looks like the best choice, IMO.  FWIW...

I think the problem with Gnome3 vs 2 is simply human nature.  If you have a "satisfied user base", making changes will ALWAYS "alienate that majority".  People simply do not like CHANGE.  I've learned to live with my "mouse", but it still annoys me how much of my computer's resources are wasted "making pretty pictures".  But I'm from the era where Bill Gates' remark, "no one will ever need more than one megabyte of RAM", made sense.

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Hedon James
Posted (edited)
55 minutes ago, Bookmem said:

I think the problem with Gnome3 vs 2 is simply human nature.  If you have a "satisfied user base", making changes will ALWAYS "alienate that majority".  People simply do not like CHANGE.  I've learned to live with my "mouse", but it still annoys me how much of my computer's resources are wasted "making pretty pictures".  But I'm from the era where Bill Gates' remark, "no one will ever need more than one megabyte of RAM", made sense.

 

While I agree with your overall statement that people do not like change, I'll respectfully disagree with the bolded part.  Many changes are incremental in nature; and most probably represent improvements, even if it's not improved for YOU.  I'm okay with change, especially if its an improvement.  And I'll agree that changes always alienate SOME users.

 

What Gnome did wasn't incremental changes to the desktop to improve the user experience.  It didn't alienate SOME users, it alienated a significant portion if not the majority of their users.  It was a wholesale change of the entire desktop paradigm.  And if you alienate the majority of your users, you're essentially telling them you don't care and they're no longer wanted as users.  If that message is communicated to enough users, you'll essentially be developing your own custom desktop for yourself and the other folks working on it with you.  That's not a sustainable strategy for long-term project success.

 

With that said, I'm a fan of choice, and enough folks liked Gnome3 (or were willing to tolerate it?) enough to retain it.  So it worked out for them.  But I think they succeeded in SPITE of themselves, not because of themselves.  JMO...

Edited by Hedon James

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raymac46

We are all told to "embrace change" and "shift paradigms" but it can be painful. I remember how much trouble people in my lab had when the company changed from Windows 3.11 to NT4 back in the 90s. "Where's my Program Manager window? What is this Start button anyway?"

Fast forward to Windows 8 and everybody is flummoxed when the Start button goes away. Fortunately I was retired by then.

Maybe the problem isn't so much with developers making change, but in the attitude that we know better than you what you'll want/need. Witness the reaction to Flatpaks, systemd, Pulse Audio.

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sunrat
7 hours ago, Bookmem said:

Bill Gates' remark, "no one will ever need more than one megabyte of RAM

 

The quote was 640K of RAM and he was alleged to have said it in 1981. Gates vehemently denies it.

 

Did Gates Really Say 640K is Enough For Anyone?

 

Quote

Maybe the problem isn't so much with developers making change, but in the attitude that we know better than you what you'll want/need. Witness the reaction to Flatpaks, systemd, Pulse Audio.

 

Systemd and PulseAudio turned out OK IMHO although there are still some who like to be outraged and pretend they haven't matured over the years. Certainly PA was a dog's breakfast when it first was introduced to mainstream distros. Sometimes the loudest complaints are from people who just don't like the change and can't be bothered adjusting to a new way of doing things even if it's a major improvement.

Containerised applications though are a virus on the whole Linux ecosystem. If I wanted software like that, I'd use Windows.

  • Agree 1

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