In Defense of Gnome 3 | LAS s30e04

In Defense of Gnome 3 | LAS s30e04

Hating on Gnome is the popular thing to do, and it’s fantastic link bait. We’ll come to the defense of this bold shell, and why 2014 could be big year for Gnome.

Plus: We’ll breakdown the major security issues plaguing X, the UK “porn” filter that’s blocking Fedora downloads, a little Enlightenment 18 talk…

AND SO MUCH MORE!

All this week on, The Linux Action Show!

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— Show Notes: —

In Defense of Gnome 3:


System76

Brought to you by: System76


– Chris’ Full Disclosure –

  • The majority of my work week recently has been spent in KDE.
  • Chris’ desktop
  • The future for Qt looks bright, and like most geeks, I want to ride the wave and try to live in the future.
  • Gnome Extensions concern me in the long run. Some important functionality for me in Gnome 3 is provided via extensions. The long term viability of that is quesentonalbe.
  • Every time an extension works, it feels like a tiny and temporary merical.

– Summation of Common Gnome 3 Complaints –


– Gnome Developers Step Into the Spotlight –

William Jon McCann, Files developer:

Someone smart once said “Linux is just a kernel”. I couldn’t agree more. But in this age, it is going to take more than adding on a few tools to make a compelling operating system. It is going to take thinking seriously about the end result and making hard decisions to get there. A result that I believe the world needs more now than ever. A real choice for freedom. A choice for everyone. Time to step out of the dark ages. We, the technological elite, have been holding on to freedom too long. Effectively preventing others from enjoying it. Perpetuated by hostile dogma like the “unix way”. We need to be clear. Those days are over. And it is time to share.

Sri Ramkrishna, Tizen dev, long time Gnome Contributor:

Changes to Nautilus have been met with universal unhappiness – the changes that have been made have made a lot of people unhappy. There just hasn’t been anybody I’ve met both who are fans of GNOME 3 and critics alike who like what the current nautilus have become. People have either been silent or have encouraged the use of the 3.6 fork of Nautilus.

People have really been down on GNOME designers. While they have made some great community outreach, specifically Allen Day and Jakub Steiner have always been available to talk about their designs. Regardless, there is always this sense that whatever feedback is given will be ignored that everything is inevitable.

It’s very important that we are up front on regressions. The gnome-terminal incident is a good example of this. There is no doubt that transparency is a popular feature in terminals.

I will ask module maintainers to be upfront to the release team when there is a significant regression like this. In turn, release team needs to tell the engagement team as well so that we are also ready to talk about it when it comes up.

The conclusion is, we are creating a product. But we need to act like we are creating a product. That will require closer teamwork between the various teams that we have before. I’ll talk about this in another post. But we don’t have everything set up for that. We have gaps, and they should be addressed.


– New Generation of Desktop Apps Inspired by Gnome Design –


– Making Gnome Work for You –

The sexiest fish in the large sea of file managers, Marlin is well-designed with a focus on speed, simplicity, ease of use.


– Favorite Gnome Extensions –


– Community Reaction –


– Picks –

Runs Linux:

Desktop App Pick

Weekly Spotlight:

Best of Linux and more at 2014 International CES:

Git yours hands all over our STUFF:


— NEWS —

Ilja van Sprundel, Professional Pen Tester

  • Talk at 30th Chaos Communication Congress [30c3]

  • Spent a year researching X.org code and bugs.

  • Found trivial memory corruption bugs with many opportunities to insert random/malicious data.

  • Very awesome response from xsecuirty@xorg developer, 80 of the bugs fixed asap. He was very responsive and worked super hard.

  • Some of these bugs exist because hard drives were so tiny when X was created, they never thought about some of the interesting ways folks could load/inject data into memory.

  • LWN comment from OG X dev: http://youtu.be/2l7ixRE3OCw?t=11m29s – 12:41

  • X Client Summary: http://youtu.be/2l7ixRE3OCw?t=25m57s

  • One major issue on the X client side is so many X apps run with setuid to root. Making it trivial for a client side X application to abuse X flaws.

  • SUID (Set owner User ID up on execution) is a special type of file permissions given to a file.

  • Normally in Linux/Unix when a program runs, it inherits access permissions from the logged in user. SUID is defined as giving temporary permissions to a user to run a program/file with the permissions of the file owner rather that the user who runs it.

  • Users will get file owner’s permissions as well as owner UID and GID when executing a file/program/command.

  • X server is in good shape, and the X11 protocol.

  • GLX is broken “beyond repair”. (OpenGL Extension to the X Window System)

  • X extensions have quite a few bugs too, but not all systems have the same extensions. Trickier.

  • tl;dr: 80 bugs in xlib, most of them fixed. 120 bugs in the server, going to be fixed but not disclosed yet to avoid 0-day exploits. Tons of stinky code in extension modules, potentially full of bugs, but no investigations have been done, yet.

  • Aksed about Wayland: http://youtu.be/2l7ixRE3OCw?t=55m17s – 56:00

  • YaCyPi – Turnkey Raspberry Pi based Internet Search Engine by Obsidian Security Services — Kickstarter

– Feedback: –

— Chris’ Stash —

Minecraft Faux World Competition

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— What’s Matt Doin? —

  • Check out LINUX Unplugged

  • Join our virtual LUG on Mumble to debate: Does groupthink / management by consensus tamper open source innovation. Does backlash to aggressive and sometimes new or “risky” ideas inhibit bold invitations?

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13 Responses to “In Defense of Gnome 3 | LAS s30e04”

  1. per Says:

    Install a bare command promt only using the server installation disc. Then apt-get update, apt-get upgrade, reboot, apt-get install GNOME, reboot. Login and change /etc/interfaces/Networkmanager/…conf, change false to true. Reboot. Do a software update and reboot. You should now have pretty decent clean installation of GNOME on a ubuntu base.

  2. garegin Says:

    inside the head of gnome 3. it’s very simple. they think the average user prefers a dumbed down/for-idiots interface. This is a common fallacy. All users need some advanced functionality. The Gnome 3 desktop is a toy. Not only for 1337 hax0rs but also for average people. The Gnome guys have very wrong ideas about how a luser user their computer. They should observe real people sometimes, instead of focusing on the mythical “grandma” who only uses a web browser.
    “This “users are idiots, and are confused by functionality” mentality of
    Gnome is a disease. If you think your users are idiots, only idiots will
    use it. I don’t use Gnome, because in striving to be simple, it has
    long since reached the point where it simply doesn’t do what I need it
    to do.” Torvalds, Linus (2005-12-12

    “Unfortunately, it’s never the same 20%. Everybody uses a different set of features. In the last 10 years I have probably heard of dozens
    of companies who, determined not to learn from each other, tried to
    release “lite” word processors that only implement 20% of the features.
    This story is as old as the PC. Most of the time, what happens is that
    they give their program to a journalist to review, and the journalist
    reviews it by writing their review using the new word processor, and
    then the journalist tries to find the “word count” feature which they
    need because most journalists have precise word count requirements, and
    it’s not there, because it’s in the “80% that nobody uses,” and the
    journalist ends up writing a story
    that attempts to claim simultaneously that lite programs are good,
    bloat is bad, and I can’t use this damn thing ’cause it won’t count my
    words. If I had a dollar for every time this has happened I would be very happy.”

    http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/fog0000000020.html

  3. garegin Says:

    The X security issue has been known for years.

    http://theinvisiblethings.blogspot.com/2011/04/linux-security-circus-on-gui-isolation.html

  4. Mohan Says:

    May I a link to that wonderful wallpaper, thank you.

  5. sk Says:

    2014 may be a big year for Gnome 3? Well, to paraphrase a great American, 2014 may be the year that Gnome 3 starts to taste like pumpkin pie, but I’ll never know because I ain’t never gonna install it again.

  6. Steffen Says:

    I think the Gnome vision was to develop a IOS desktop. That’s why they oversimplified, but failed in reaching easy usage for new users. Also Gnome users base are power users. Power users now missing a lot of necessary features which one can bring back by using a lot of plugins.

    I switched a log time ago to Unity, which provides me all features I need simply out of the box.

    The sad thing is, that the continues re-developing the desktops consumes a lot of ressoucres which should better spend in applications.

  7. Rizzo Says:

    I agree with SK, Gnome has been such a mess I doubt many people will be willing to try it out again. I learned to love KDE. Maybe Gnome and Ubuntu will actually do something stellar in 2014. I’m not crossing my fingers though :/.

  8. kamilprusko Says:

    Matt: Benefit of not minimalizing windows (along with removing desktop icons) is that you don’t shovel windows inside one workspace to access things, instead you use workspaces and keep them organized. I hear that some first time Windows users strugle grasping the difference between closing a window and minimizing it… with more apps restoring last view / last state, nowadays user could as well just close them.

    Thanks for great show! :)

  9. Miquel Mayol i Tur Says:

    GNOME3 DO NOT WORK not with ATI no with Nvidia SLI because of MUTTER, and you cannot put Kwin or Compiz there

  10. jon_downfromthetrees Says:

    Confusing closing and minimizing: Yes, I’ve seen it and tried to explain the difference. Minimizing and restoring to and from a panel is just tradition, aka how Windows did it. It’s no more intuitive than anything else involved with using a computing device.

  11. jon_downfromthetrees Says:

    I’ve been trying KDE for years, up through 4.12. I just can’t find a reason to stay with it. I spend hours tweaking it, turning off all the glitter and the animations, search for good-looking themes that are not dark, and eventually I realize I don’t see what the pay off is. To me, it’s just another panel-based interface. When I finish my setup work, KDE looks and behaves like XFCE or MATE, etc. Why bother, then?

  12. a544jh Says:

    I think KDE 3 asked if you wanted to use Windows, OS X or KDE -style deafaults in the initial setup.

  13. BiggerManFish Says:

    In defense of GNOME 3 I have been liking it a lot. For me, for now, It looks georgeous and works great. I haven’t been having any issues with hardware keys like in KDE or sleep issues. I been absolutely loving simplicity of enabling the extensions. I give GNOME 3 two thumbs up!!

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