[rescue] Never thought I'd ask this

Jonathan C. Patschke jp at celestrion.net
Mon Oct 22 14:49:49 CDT 2007

On Mon, 22 Oct 2007, Mike Hebel wrote:

>> It lists the 320MB requirement for the "Desktop CD", likely due to
>> the truckload of GNOME garbage it includes.
> Grrr!....bloat....grrrr!....unalterable screen saver
> settings...grrr!...Gnome Knows Best...grrrr!

When I last used FreeBSD as my desktop at work (that was, right up until
I got tired of the whine of that Dell's fan and brought a Mac from
home), I had a window manager that whose source was less than 16
kilobytes.  The developer[0] has a goal of getting it down to 10k.

That 16k got me infinite[1] virtual desktops, window placement and
management, and a lot of speed.  I don't understand how metacity can be
nearly five hundred times as large (not counting the fleet of libraries
it requires), and give me a lot less in functionality, but a lot more in
pointless eye candy.

Furthermore, I don't understand how the entire desktop[2] environment
can follow the same design principle (do less, look arguably prettier)
and gain real traction.  It's not like the file manager is as good as
Explorer, or even the brain-damaged Finder.  It's not like the widgets
are very efficient--GNOME makes everything feel like a cramped 14" CRT.
It's not like the apps are -fast-.  All that XPM skinning and CORBA and
desktop-announcement-bus crap makes even KDE and XFCE (for all their C++
baggage) sprint ahead.

I was forced to deal with it whenever I logged into one of $ork's Linux
systems or when I helped a user deal with some difficulty, and the
environment just grated on me.  It's not that I never had time to get
acquainted with it, but that I've never seen a GNOME installation (even
Sun's JDE) that made me say anything more flattering than "people dump
Windows for -this-?"

Is it really all about the gloss and the shine?  The cheesy plastic body
mouldings?  I mean, yes, the Mac has some degree of that, but it also
doesn't run slowly, or sputter and tear when you drag windows around,
and the Mac gives developers tools to -reduce- spurious redraws, rather
than causing them in the widget kit, like GTK/GNOME do.  It's also not
nearly as gaudy.

I mean -come on-, even Microsoft does themes better!  How does this
GNOME crap hold onto a userbase?

[0] A rather brilliant coworker.
[1] Yes, really.  They're arranged in a long strip.  The "first" 0 are
     accessible via the "attention" key + the 0-9 keys, but you can
     select the next or previous with attention + right/left arrow.
[2] How big is GNOME now, anyway?  >500MB?
Jonathan Patschke     )  "So far, 99% of illegal activity has been caused
Elgin, TX            (    by criminals."
USA                   )                                    --David Willis

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