Reverting to GNOME for jessie's default desktop

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Reverting to GNOME for jessie's default desktop

Jordi Mallach
Hi Debian,

It's been around 9 months since tasksel changed (for real) the default
desktop for new installs. At the time of the change, it was mentioned
the issue would be revisited before the freeze, around debconf time.

Well, it's roughly that time. :) So I'd like to plainly request GNOME is
reinstated as the default desktop environment for a number of reasons.

Accessibility: GNOME continues to be the only free desktop environment that
provides full accessibility coverage, right from login screen. While it’s true
GNOME 3.0 was lacking in many areas, and GNOME 3.4 (which we shipped in wheezy)
was just barely acceptable thanks to some last minute GDM fixes, GNOME 3.12
should have ironed out all of the issues and our non-expert understanding is
that a11y support is now on par with what GNOME 2.30 from squeeze offered.

Downstream health: The number of active members in the team taking care of
GNOME in Debian is around 5-10 persons, while it is 1-2 in the case of Xfce.
Being the default desktop draws a lot of attention (and bug reports) that only
a bigger team might have the resources to handle.

Upstream health: While GNOME is still committed to its time-based release
schedule and ships new versions every 6 months, Xfce upstream is,
unfortunately, struggling a bit more to keep up with new plumbing technology.
Only very recently it has regained support to suspend/hibernate via logind, or
support for Bluez 5.x, for example.

Community: GNOME is one of the biggest free software projects, and is lucky to
have created an ecosystem of developers, documenters, translators and users
that interact regularly in a live social community. Users and developers gather
in hackfests and big, annual conferences like GUADEC, the Boston Summit, or
GNOME.Asia. Only KDE has a comparable community, the rest of the free desktop
projects don’t have the userbase or manpower to sustain communities like this.

Localization: Localization is more extensive and complete in GNOME.  Xfce has
18 languages above 95% of coverage, and 2 at 100% (excluding English), GNOME
has 28 languages above 95%, 9 of them being complete (excluding English).

Documentation: Documentation coverage is extensive in GNOME, with most of the
core applications providing localized, up to date and complete manuals,
available in an accessible format via the Help reader.

Hardware: GNOME 3.12 will be one of the few desktop environments to support
HiDPI displays, now very common on some laptop models. Lack of support for
HiDPI means non-technical users will get an unreadable desktop by default, and
no hints on how to fix that.

Security: GNOME is more secure. There are no processes launched with root
permissions on the user’s session. All everyday operations (package management,
disk partitioning and formatting, date/time configuration…) are accomplished
through PolicyKit wrappers.

Privacy: One of the latest focuses of GNOME development is improving privacy,
and work is being done to make it easy to run GNOME applications in isolated
containers, integrate Tor seamlessly in the desktop experience, better disk
encryption support and other features that should make GNOME a more secure
desktop environment for end users.

Popularity: One of the metrics discussed by the tasksel change proponents
mentioned popcon numbers. 8 months after the desktop change, Xfce does not seem
to have made a dent on install numbers.  The Debian GNOME team doesn’t feel
popcon’s data is any better than a random online poll though, as it’s an opt-in
service which the vast majority of users don’t enable.

systemd embracing: One of the reasons to switch to Xfce was that it didn’t
depend on systemd. But now that systemd is the default, that shouldn’t be a
problem. Also given ConsoleKit is deprecated and dead upstream, KDE and Xfce
are switching or are planning to switch to systemd/logind.

In addition to this, moving to Xfce now would mean yet another transition to
a new desktop (if we consider GNOME 2.x → 3.x a transition, which it is),
which would mean a new round of adapation for users installing Debian from
scratch, and only after two years after getting used to the GNOME 3 workflow.
jessie's GNOME 3.x release should be a lot more polished than what we shipped
with wheezy, which means many of the rough edges and annoyances people may
have found when upgrading from squeeze are probably now ironed out.

Many members of the Debian GNOME team feel shipping Xfce by default would
mean regressing in a few key areas like, as mentioned before, accessibility,
localisation and documentation of the default set of applications. We are wary
about the state of some features of the current default with respect
to power management and bluetooth, for example. These features are driven by,
and working since day 1, by GNOME 3.12.

Jordi
--
Jordi Mallach Pérez  --  Debian developer     http://www.debian.org/
[hidden email]     [hidden email]     http://www.sindominio.net/
GnuPG public key information available at http://oskuro.net/

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Re: Reverting to GNOME for jessie's default desktop

Cyril Brulebois-4
Hi dd@.

(M-F-T was set so respecting it; but adding -boot@ anyway.)

Jordi Mallach <[hidden email]> (2014-08-07):
> It's been around 9 months since tasksel changed (for real) the default
> desktop for new installs. At the time of the change, it was mentioned
> the issue would be revisited before the freeze, around debconf time.
>
> Well, it's roughly that time. :) So I'd like to plainly request GNOME is
> reinstated as the default desktop environment for a number of reasons.
>
> […]

Many thanks for your thorough input.

For the record I concur with your analysis (be it with my casual DD hat
or with my d-i release guy hat).

On a related note: I've meant to investigate maybe making it easier to
install an alternative desktop (having to think about it at the syslinux
prompt is quite suboptimal to say the least), but I haven't been able to
work on that yet. If such an improvement would come to existence, that
would probably be another obstacle removed from the path of people who
want to install a non-default desktop.

(Right now I have to concentrate on getting regressions fixed to release
a beta 1.)

Mraw,
KiBi.

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Re: Reverting to GNOME for jessie's default desktop

Don Armstrong
In reply to this post by Jordi Mallach
On Thu, 07 Aug 2014, Jordi Mallach wrote:
> Well, it's roughly that time. :) So I'd like to plainly request GNOME
> is reinstated as the default desktop environment for a number of
> reasons.

One of the reasons put forward for switching to Xfce was size on the
installation images; could you (and/or debian-cd) address this?

Specifically: 1) Would you want the default CD/DVD image to use a GNOME
even if GNOME was unable to fit on a single image? 2) Would the GNOME
team consider a less-complete DE for cases where image size is a
restriction?

--
Don Armstrong                      http://www.donarmstrong.com

First you take a drink,
then the drink takes a drink,
then the drink takes you.
 -- F. Scott Fitzgerald


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Re: Reverting to GNOME for jessie's default desktop

Gunnar Wolf
I cannot make a full, fair comparison between desktop environments, as
I use none. I saw several people bark at GNOME 3, but most of them are
happy adopters nowadays, so, I don't believe that factor should carry
much weigh nowadays. Besides, as Jordi says, making end users re-learn
everything *again* would be somewhat a disservice.

> > Well, it's roughly that time. :) So I'd like to plainly request GNOME
> > is reinstated as the default desktop environment for a number of
> > reasons.
>
> One of the reasons put forward for switching to Xfce was size on the
> installation images; could you (and/or debian-cd) address this?
>
> Specifically: 1) Would you want the default CD/DVD image to use a GNOME
> even if GNOME was unable to fit on a single image? 2) Would the GNOME
> team consider a less-complete DE for cases where image size is a
> restriction?

...And I'd like us to consider this point as well: How important are
CD images nowadays? Who has a CD that cannot read a DVD? Will they be
able to use on said machine a modern desktop environment as
resource-demanding as, say, i3 or fvwm?

Of course, I don't have the numbers for the uploads (maybe Steve
McIntyre can fill us in here... Steve, do you have download statistics
for the different media?), but I'd bet the majority gets either
minimal USB images or full DVD ones (and I cannot imagine why somebody
would download the BluRay — But that's a different discussion). I
don't think the "max 650MB" should limit Debian's defaults in 2014.


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Re: Reverting to GNOME for jessie's default desktop

Joey Hess
In reply to this post by Jordi Mallach
Jordi Mallach wrote:
> Accessibility

> Hardware: GNOME 3.12 will be one of the few desktop environments to support
> HiDPI displays, now very common on some laptop models. Lack of support for
> HiDPI means non-technical users will get an unreadable desktop by default, and
> no hints on how to fix that.

I think the above are fairly big points.

It would be helpful to see a pointer to a bug report about how xfce
fails when the DPI is higher than usual. (Also, perhaps worth noting
that 3.12 is quite a few versions ahead of the gnome currently in
unstable..)

Another one I've become aware of, but not investigated is that xfce's
compositor may not do as good a job at eliminating tearing (with eg,
Intel graphics) as gnome's does. (Also, I think xfce doesn't enable
compositing by default.) Further investigation of this would be appreciated.

> Popularity: One of the metrics discussed by the tasksel change proponents
> mentioned popcon numbers. 8 months after the desktop change, Xfce does not seem
> to have made a dent on install numbers.

fwiw https://qa.debian.org/popcon-graph.php?packages=task-gnome-desktop+task-xfce-desktop+gnome+xfce4&show_installed=on&want_legend=on&want_ticks=on&from_date=&to_date=&hlght_date=2014-01-25&date_fmt=%25Y-%25m&beenhere=1

> systemd embracing: One of the reasons to switch to Xfce was that it didn’t
> depend on systemd. But now that systemd is the default, that shouldn’t be a
> problem. Also given ConsoleKit is deprecated and dead upstream, KDE and Xfce
> are switching or are planning to switch to systemd/logind.

systemd did not much affect the switch to xfce.

OTOH, double-suspend bugs still being open is a problem. #727605

> Downstream health
>
> Upstream health
>
> Community
>
> Security
>
> Privacy
>
> Documentation
I don't think these are very useful criteria, unless they lead to
actual technical issues/benefits. Which can then be discussed on
technical and/or quantified grounds rather than advocacy grounds.

> Localization

I'm wary of comparing translation percentages since that hides a lot of
relevant details. It's better to look at how well a given translation
performs in regular usage.

Another thing that makes comparing localization numbers work better is
to scale them by native speaker populations.

Perhaps bubulle could do a more detailed analysis?

--
see shy jo

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Re: Reverting to GNOME for jessie's default desktop

Michael Gilbert
On Fri, Aug 8, 2014 at 12:41 AM, Joey Hess wrote:

>> Hardware: GNOME 3.12 will be one of the few desktop environments to support
>> HiDPI displays, now very common on some laptop models. Lack of support for
>> HiDPI means non-technical users will get an unreadable desktop by default, and
>> no hints on how to fix that.
>
> I think the above are fairly big points.
>
> It would be helpful to see a pointer to a bug report about how xfce
> fails when the DPI is higher than usual. (Also, perhaps worth noting
> that 3.12 is quite a few versions ahead of the gnome currently in
> unstable..)

This is a pretty common misconception and also pretty easy to
workaround. xsettings->Xft can be set to a large value like 180 in
xfce4-settings-editor (xfce's gconf).  That's a usability issue and
could definitely be improved with a widget in one of the more
user-oriented xfce settings tools.

> Another one I've become aware of, but not investigated is that xfce's
> compositor may not do as good a job at eliminating tearing (with eg,
> Intel graphics) as gnome's does. (Also, I think xfce doesn't enable
> compositing by default.) Further investigation of this would be appreciated.
>
>> Popularity: One of the metrics discussed by the tasksel change proponents
>> mentioned popcon numbers. 8 months after the desktop change, Xfce does not seem
>> to have made a dent on install numbers.
>
> fwiw https://qa.debian.org/popcon-graph.php?packages=task-gnome-desktop+task-xfce-desktop+gnome+xfce4&show_installed=on&want_legend=on&want_ticks=on&from_date=&to_date=&hlght_date=2014-01-25&date_fmt=%25Y-%25m&beenhere=1

Popcon data is actually very useful when interpreted relatively.
Those curves pretty clearly show user desktop selections going toward
whatever the default is, and growth in desktop installs continuing to
increase overall at a pretty similar rate to the historical trend.  It
would be reasonable to conclude that the default actually doesn't
matter much, and the majority of users will just adapt to whatever it
is (and those that don't are capable of installing
task-gnome-desktop).

The better question is whether the xfce switch had or has any
influence on slowing the general debian growth rate [0]?  Is the
slight downtick over the last few months due to the default desktop,
or some other change that users aren't liking (maybe systemd), or just
a random fluctuation?

Best wishes,
Mike

[0] https://qa.debian.org/popcon.php?package=base-files


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Re: Reverting to GNOME for jessie's default desktop

Michael Gilbert-6
On Fri, Aug 8, 2014 at 1:52 AM, Michael Gilbert wrote:
> The better question is whether the xfce switch had or has any
> influence on slowing the general debian growth rate [0]?  Is the
> slight downtick over the last few months due to the default desktop,
> or some other change that users aren't liking (maybe systemd), or just
> a random fluctuation?

Here's a really interesting view showing the downward trend starting
somewhere in April [0].  Note that the xfce trend was consistently
growing prior to and past January (when the default was changed), but
slowed a lot in April.  At the same time, gnome and base-files started
losing users.

I've chosen to highlight April 26th, which is the date systemd 204-9
was uploaded to unstable [1].  It was around that time that the
systemd packages introduced dependency changes that casual users were
forced to think about.  Anyway, nothing conclusive since correlation
!= causation, but something definitely worth pondering about systemd's
potential cause and effect.

Best wishes,
Mike

[0] https://qa.debian.org/popcon-graph.php?packages=base-files+task-gnome-desktop+task-xfce-desktop+gnome+xfce4&show_installed=on&want_legend=on&want_ticks=on&from_date=&to_date=&hlght_date=2014-04-26&date_fmt=%25Y-%25m&beenhere=1
[1] https://packages.qa.debian.org/s/systemd/news/20140426T230007Z.html


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Re: Reverting to GNOME for jessie's default desktop

Kees de Jong-2
In reply to this post by Gunnar Wolf
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Re: Reverting to GNOME for jessie's default desktop

Jens Schüßler-2
In reply to this post by Gunnar Wolf
* Gunnar Wolf <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> ...And I'd like us to consider this point as well: How important are
> CD images nowadays? Who has a CD that cannot read a DVD?

You may visit some poorer people in the world.
But hey, if they want CD-bread, why don't they just eat DVD-cake.....


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Re: Reverting to GNOME for jessie's default desktop

Jonas Smedegaard
In reply to this post by Gunnar Wolf
Quoting Gunnar Wolf (2014-08-08 05:34:29)

>> One of the reasons put forward for switching to Xfce was size on the
>> installation images; could you (and/or debian-cd) address this?
>>
>> Specifically: 1) Would you want the default CD/DVD image to use a
>> GNOME even if GNOME was unable to fit on a single image? 2) Would the
>> GNOME team consider a less-complete DE for cases where image size is
>> a restriction?
>
> ...And I'd like us to consider this point as well: How important are
> CD images nowadays? Who has a CD that cannot read a DVD? Will they be
> able to use on said machine a modern desktop environment as
> resource-demanding as, say, i3 or fvwm?
The issue here really is "how big is it?" rather than "hos many disks
[of which kind] does it fit onto?".

"unable to fit on a single image" is not only about use of said storage
devices for installation, but also an indication more generally of how
much data needs to be transfered on average for a usable installation.

Quite a few places in the World have poor and/or expensive internet
access.  Larger default desktop will hurt the most in developing
countries: non-techies gets discourages to use Debian at all, or when
using it may apply security fixes less often.


 - Jonas

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Re: Reverting to GNOME for jessie's default desktop

Emilio Pozuelo Monfort-4
In reply to this post by Don Armstrong
On 08/08/14 00:29, Don Armstrong wrote:
> On Thu, 07 Aug 2014, Jordi Mallach wrote:
>> Well, it's roughly that time. :) So I'd like to plainly request GNOME
>> is reinstated as the default desktop environment for a number of
>> reasons.
>
> One of the reasons put forward for switching to Xfce was size on the
> installation images; could you (and/or debian-cd) address this?
>
> Specifically:

> 1) Would you want the default CD/DVD image to use a GNOME
> even if GNOME was unable to fit on a single image?

I think the first CD/DVD should have whatever we choose as the default.

> 2) Would the GNOME
> team consider a less-complete DE for cases where image size is a
> restriction?

Yes. If there wasn't enough space, we could drop some not very important modules
(e.g. a few games), try a stronger compression ratio, symlink /usr/share/doc
directories... We'd need some numbers here but we could work something out.

Cheers,
Emilio


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Re: [Pkg-xfce-devel] Reverting to GNOME for jessie's default desktop

Yves-Alexis Perez-2
In reply to this post by Jordi Mallach
On jeu., 2014-08-07 at 23:57 +0200, Jordi Mallach wrote:
> Hi Debian,

About the decision itself, as Debian Xfce main maintainer, I honestly
don't really care. I don't think the default desktop matters that much
on Debian (while I guess it means a lot for Ubuntu, for example). I
actually think having no default desktop would be just fine, instead
having the current 3-4 desktop installation media. Then anyone can pick
the DE she likes.

Now, about specific items:

> Downstream health: The number of active members in the team taking care of
> GNOME in Debian is around 5-10 persons, while it is 1-2 in the case of Xfce.
> Being the default desktop draws a lot of attention (and bug reports) that only
> a bigger team might have the resources to handle.

Indeed. I somehow hoped that the attention brought on the initial switch
would bring more developpers to the pkg-xfce team, but that failed. But
I'm unsure how much people actually saw the switch, since it's only for
the current beta installers for Jessie…
>
> Upstream health: While GNOME is still committed to its time-based release
> schedule and ships new versions every 6 months, Xfce upstream is,
> unfortunately, struggling a bit more to keep up with new plumbing technology.
> Only very recently it has regained support to suspend/hibernate via logind, or
> support for Bluez 5.x, for example.

Same as above.

> Hardware: GNOME 3.12 will be one of the few desktop environments to support
> HiDPI displays, now very common on some laptop models. Lack of support for
> HiDPI means non-technical users will get an unreadable desktop by default, and
> no hints on how to fix that.

Well, considering Xorg harcodes DPI to 96, what's the problem anyway?
Also, with DPI correctly set to 140 on my Thinkpad (not really HiDPI but
still more than 96), the only problems I've seen is chromium since it
dropped GTK (#749239 where the URL bar font is oversized and the menu
fonts are unreadable).
>
> Security: GNOME is more secure. There are no processes launched with root
> permissions on the user’s session. All everyday operations (package management,
> disk partitioning and formatting, date/time configuration…) are accomplished
> through PolicyKit wrappers.

That doesn't make much sense to me. It seems you're considering GNOME as
a distribution more than a desktop environment. That's not how Xfce sees
it. It relies on stuff like PolicyKit for interactions with hardware,
for example, but it doesn't really ship anything which should be run as
root. The user is free to do anything she wants, though.
>
> Privacy: One of the latest focuses of GNOME development is improving privacy,
> and work is being done to make it easy to run GNOME applications in isolated
> containers, integrate Tor seamlessly in the desktop experience, better disk
> encryption support and other features that should make GNOME a more secure
> desktop environment for end users.

Again, for me that's somehow unrelated to the DE, but my vision is less
about having a DE which does everything and more about having it only
handle things like session, window management, file management (each
component appart). It's perfectly possible to use GNOME components in
Xfce, and actually a lot of people do that.

> systemd embracing: One of the reasons to switch to Xfce was that it didn’t
> depend on systemd. But now that systemd is the default, that shouldn’t be a
> problem. Also given ConsoleKit is deprecated and dead upstream, KDE and Xfce
> are switching or are planning to switch to systemd/logind.

Not really. We relie on PolicyKit and used to use ConsoleKit because
that was somehow enforced on about everyone. Now ConsoleKit has been
deprecated, and the same people now enforce libpam-systemd and logind.
I'm fine with that, but the goal would be to support both systemd and
sysvrc/systemd-shim systems.

> Many members of the Debian GNOME team feel shipping Xfce by default would
> mean regressing in a few key areas like, as mentioned before, accessibility,
> localisation and documentation of the default set of applications. We are wary
> about the state of some features of the current default with respect
> to power management and bluetooth, for example. These features are driven by,
> and working since day 1, by GNOME 3.12.

Put it another way, Xfce (and other DEs) have been hurt by the various
enforced transitions (ConsoleKit,
hal/devicekit-power/upower/upower-0.99), yes. Combined with the lack of
resources, that means it lays behind the people who decided those
transitions.

Regards,
--
Yves-Alexis

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Re: Reverting to GNOME for jessie's default desktop

Olav Vitters
In reply to this post by Joey Hess
On Fri, Aug 08, 2014 at 12:41:09AM -0400, Joey Hess wrote:

> Jordi Mallach wrote:
> > Downstream health
> >
> > Upstream health
> >
> > Community
> >
> > Security
> >
> > Privacy
> >
> > Documentation
>
> I don't think these are very useful criteria, unless they lead to
> actual technical issues/benefits. Which can then be discussed on
> technical and/or quantified grounds rather than advocacy grounds.

Why wouldn't these be useful criteria? Why limit something purely to
technical choice? Debian has a social contract for instance. Debian is
more than just pure technical choices. Further, several items above can
be quantified and do have an effect on distribution stability. Think of
e.g. upstream health. If upstream is not very active, it'll have an
impact on how much effort you'll have to spend on it. When deciding on a
dependency it is more than just something technical, you'll have to take
into account the entire impact of the decision.

Summarizing this as "advocacy" is short sighted, IMO. What impact would
e.g. upstream have on QA? I think that e.g. Privacy is pretty important
bit, why dismiss so easily?

(I noticed only now you gave multiple replies)
--
Regards,
Olav


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Re: Reverting to GNOME for jessie's default desktop

David Goodenough-2
In reply to this post by Jordi Mallach
On Friday 08 August 2014 15:15:17 [hidden email] wrote:

> Hi,
>
> I'm not a Debian developer, just a Debian user, and I want to say that I
> was happy to see XFCE being the default DE. Just because it's small,
> classic and neutral DE - which GNOME 3 definitely isn't. I think XFCE is
> a better default... because I think it's not that uncommon for people to
> really dislike GNOME 3.
>
> But, generally speaking, I think that the whole debian-installer's
> "tasksel" is implemented inconveniently. You don't even know what you'll
> get after installing these very broadly defined "desktop environment",
> "web server", "database server", "mail server" tasks...
>
> It installs exim for mail server, but I never use exim, I use postfix;
> it installs postgresql, but I need mysql more often; same for gnome3 - I
> never use gnome3, I use either XFCE or KDE... So I have to either purge
> it after installation or check nothing in the installer, and install
> everything by hand from the console.
>
> Not a big deal of course, but for me it makes tasksel useless. Why
> debian-installer couldn't provide you with some choice? Of course if
> you're just using a CD/DVD image and have limited or no internet access
> you can't choose the DE that's not on your CD/DVD; but now there is no
> choice even when you use the netinstall image...
I am also a user not a DD, and long ago (I have been a Debian user for all
my systems since 2001) I stopped using tasksel to install things like the
desktop/database/mail server.  I install a basic system and then install
what I actually want (usually KDE/Postgresql/Exim4/Apache).

I do see that not having something like the current tasksel questions leads
to questions like "I install Debian and all I have is a command line, where
is the graphical interface?" which appear periodically even with the tasksel
question.
 
I would have thought it better to have a two level structure, where you are
asked for instance if you want a database, and if you select it you are
then asked which one (which can have a default for newbies).  Similarly for
desktop you would be asked XFCE/Gnome/KDE.

David


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Re: Reverting to GNOME for jessie's default desktop

Cesare Leonardi-4
In reply to this post by Michael Gilbert-6
On 08/08/2014 08:31, Michael Gilbert wrote:
> Here's a really interesting view showing the downward trend starting
> somewhere in April [0].  Note that the xfce trend was consistently
> growing prior to and past January (when the default was changed), but
> slowed a lot in April.  At the same time, gnome and base-files started
> losing users.

Around the same period, Mate desktop started to become quite complete in
Debian and easier to install by users.

Cesare.


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Re: Reverting to GNOME for jessie's default desktop

Gunnar Wolf
In reply to this post by Jens Schüßler-2
Jens Schüßler dijo [Fri, Aug 08, 2014 at 10:37:33AM +0200]:
> > ...And I'd like us to consider this point as well: How important are
> > CD images nowadays? Who has a CD that cannot read a DVD?
>
> You may visit some poorer people in the world.
> But hey, if they want CD-bread, why don't they just eat DVD-cake.....

Both Jens and Jonas answer with this assertion. Yes, I don't know most
of the developing world — But I do live in a developing country
(Mexico), and know quite well several countries in Latin America
(including, say, Bolivia, Ecuador and Central America, where I have
been to several times, and follow their communities' work).

Yes, we do have quite a bit of outdated computers. But again, I said,
half-jokingly, that computers with CD readers and without a DVD reader
will not have enough power for a full desktop environment, such as i3
or fvwm. The last computer I had with a CD-but-not-DVD unit was in
the 2003-2005 period.

And yes, many such computers are currently in use. And it would be a
disservice not to provide CDs anymore. But that criteria should not be
what guides our default for installation; a CD might not be able to
have the full GNOME environment, but the computer using the CD would
not be able to use it anyway.


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Re: Reverting to GNOME for jessie's default desktop

Jonas Smedegaard
Quoting Gunnar Wolf (2014-08-08 15:00:35)

> Jens Schüßler dijo [Fri, Aug 08, 2014 at 10:37:33AM +0200]:
>>> ...And I'd like us to consider this point as well: How important are
>>> CD images nowadays? Who has a CD that cannot read a DVD?
>>
>> You may visit some poorer people in the world.
>> But hey, if they want CD-bread, why don't they just eat DVD-cake.....
>
> Both Jens and Jonas answer with this assertion. Yes, I don't know most
> of the developing world — But I do live in a developing country
> (Mexico), and know quite well several countries in Latin America
> (including, say, Bolivia, Ecuador and Central America, where I have
> been to several times, and follow their communities' work).
>
> Yes, we do have quite a bit of outdated computers. But again, I said,
> half-jokingly, that computers with CD readers and without a DVD reader
> will not have enough power for a full desktop environment, such as i3
> or fvwm. The last computer I had with a CD-but-not-DVD unit was in the
> 2003-2005 period.
>
> And yes, many such computers are currently in use. And it would be a
> disservice not to provide CDs anymore. But that criteria should not be
> what guides our default for installation; a CD might not be able to
> have the full GNOME environment, but the computer using the CD would
> not be able to use it anyway.
I wonder if you still missed my point: Concern is not if computers are
capable of reading DVDs, but the *bandwith* burden of installing and
maintaining a larger desktop versus a smaller one.

We can ship only netinst images - completely drop CD and DVD and
Blueray, and I still find it problematic to favor GNOME over Xfce - due
to its size - which just happens to be expressed in discussions as "can
it fit on a single CD?".

The _default_ Debian desktop is what we implicitly recommend for our
non-technical users, no matter the wealth of alternative offers we have.


 - Jonas

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Re: Reverting to GNOME for jessie's default desktop

Jonas Smedegaard
Quoting Olav Vitters (2014-08-08 15:51:13)

> On Fri, Aug 08, 2014 at 03:26:20PM +0200, Jonas Smedegaard wrote:
>> I wonder if you still missed my point: Concern is not if computers
>> are capable of reading DVDs, but the *bandwith* burden of installing
>> and maintaining a larger desktop versus a smaller one.
>
> This feels like shifting goalposts. The initial change to XFCE
> mentioned the install size and that for some countries. A reply was
> given specifically on this matter from someone with knowledge on
> various affected countries. It was mentioned that install size is not
> so much of a concern.
>
> Now suddenly it is about bandwidth usage? That is not what was said
> initially.
Seems you are talking about other posts than mine.

What I said initially I still stand by.  Did you read that?


> Further, I'd like to see you provide more details on the higher
> bandwidth usage that GNOME apparently has vs XFCE and how much it
> impacts these countries.

The following is on a wheezy chroot:

root@bastian:/# aptitude install task-gnome-desktop
The following NEW packages will be installed:
[...]
Need to get 370 MB of archives. After unpacking 1099 MB will be used.

root@bastian:/# aptitude install task-xfce-desktop
The following NEW packages will be installed:
[...]
Need to get 115 MB of archives. After unpacking 348 MB will be used.


Desktop needing 370MB versus 115MB seems pretty significant to me.

 - Jonas

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Re: Reverting to GNOME for jessie's default desktop

Samuel Thibault-8
Jonas Smedegaard, le Fri 08 Aug 2014 16:11:58 +0200, a écrit :

> The following is on a wheezy chroot:
>
> root@bastian:/# aptitude install task-gnome-desktop
> The following NEW packages will be installed:
> [...]
> Need to get 370 MB of archives. After unpacking 1099 MB will be used.
>
> root@bastian:/# aptitude install task-xfce-desktop
> The following NEW packages will be installed:
> [...]
> Need to get 115 MB of archives. After unpacking 348 MB will be used.
>
> Desktop needing 370MB versus 115MB seems pretty significant to me.

Actually it's 1.1GiB versus 348MiB. But that is barring the rest of the
desktop.

More precise measurements can be found in the installation manual, for
which we also install task-desktop etc. which ends up with 3.2GiB for
Gnome & KDE, 2.3GiB for XFCE, 2GiB for LXDE.

Samuel


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Re: Reverting to GNOME for jessie's default desktop

Ian Jackson-2
In reply to this post by Jens Schüßler-2
Gunnar Wolf writes ("Re: Reverting to GNOME for jessie's default desktop"):
> And yes, many such computers are currently in use. And it would be a
> disservice not to provide CDs anymore. But that criteria should not be
> what guides our default for installation; a CD might not be able to
> have the full GNOME environment, but the computer using the CD would
> not be able to use it anyway.

Wouldn't such a computer be able to use xfce ?  I have a computer from
2003-2005 that seems to be running xfce perfectly happily (and I have
reinstalled it recently).

Ian.


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