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LinuxPlanet: Ximian GNOME 1.4: The Monkey Has Landed: The Ximian Desktop Experience

May 04, 2001, 02:50 (10 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Michael Hall)

"...We won't spend a lot of time with Nautilus, having reviewed it shortly after its release. The version in included, 1.0.2, felt more responsive than where we left it, and a few bugs that crashed components now and then seem to have been resolved. The built-in HTML-rendered access to man and info pages seemed to be a little speedier as well. Though we still ended up turning off a lot of the eye-candy features (such as anti-aliased text and image thumbnailing), we were left feeling much better about its inclusion after a little use. We do, however, think it was a good move on Ximian's part to include access to GNOME Midnight Commander (gmc) for those who are comfortable with it or want something demonstrably faster and more capable in some areas (such as virtual filesystem browsing)."

"We also noticed some change in performance depending on the distribution we ran it on (our Debian install seemed a little more sluggish) and kernel (with the 2.4 kernel it seemed slower, too.)"

"A major change to the way Ximian has GNOME set up is in the file saving interface. Though GTK+'s default setup is usable, it's reflective of the designers' familiarity with the filesystem structure and it doesn't allow for users who will tend to think of their computer differently. To that end, Ximian has added some touches to the file saving dialog (and the user directories) that includes direct links to the user's home directory, a "Documents" folder (located in the home directory) and the Desktop itself. Some will say it's a "Microsoftian" arrangement, but we think it's probably a good example of salvaging something useful from Redmond. Moreover, it doesn't bury the folders under several levels: they're all sitting in the user's home directory. Saving files becomes a proposition much less fraught with peril for end users (who will often accept a default save location they later forget, if they ever realized it was different from where they expected at all), and support personnel who have to go looking for said lost files."

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