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Ubuntu 9.10 and GNOME 2.28: Advancing Past Meh

Feb 08, 2010, 20:03 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Carla Schroder)

"Many eons ago, GNOME 1.4 still lived, and it was good. It was extremely configurable and hackable. You could use either Enlightenment or Sawfish as the window manager, and could customize it to your heart's content. It was even friendly to homegrown GTK+ hacks. And then tragedy struck: the GNOME maintainers decided that 1.4 needed a ground-up rewrite, and thus GNOME 2.0 was born.

"The only thing GNOME 2.0 had in common with 1.4 was the foot. The much-beloved flexibility of 1.4 was gone, gone with the wind, thrown into the bit-bucket without a backwards glance. The new and much simpler Metacity became the new window manager. Features were discarded wholesale in the name of "simplicity." Having no features is the ultimate in simplicity for sure. A number of humorous people created fake screenshots of the ultimate GNOME desktop, which was a blank screen with a single red button in the center labeled DO SOMETHING.

"The first release of GNOME 2.0 was in 2002. As a devoted GNOME 1.4 fan, I kept re-visiting it, hoping that some of that old GNOME 1.4 magic would reappear. Alas, it never did, so KDE became my primary desktop environment, with dashes of XFCE, IceWM, Fluxbox, and Ratpoison as needed.

"Eight Years Later

"Fast-forward to Ubuntu 9.10. This is the first *buntu and the first GNOME that have gotten past "meh" on my WowMeter."

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