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
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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

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

Would that we had considered that when shipping wheezy...

> 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.

There's a hidden assumption there that the only people who are going to
be using a desktop in jessie have already been exposed to gnome 3.

It's also a big stretch to say that many people are going to be surprised
by the xfce interface, even if they have gotten used to gnome 3 recently.

> 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.

It's still basically fundamentally different from any other DE,
although broadly riffing on mobile UI's, right?

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Re: Reverting to GNOME for jessie's default desktop

Joey Hess
Incidentially, I don't much appreciate the counterproductive sniping
that Jordi added in his blog post about this. Perhaps you're not aware,
Jordi, but switching to xfce was discussed at last DebConf. It was not
done "announced in a git commit log".

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Re: Reverting to GNOME for jessie's default desktop

Michael Gilbert
In reply to this post by Joey Hess
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

Norbert Preining
In reply to this post by Jordi Mallach
Hi,

after having tried Gnome3 for about a year I have banished it from
all my computers, and switched to XFCE.

*BUT* there is a point that has to be considered: XFCE is currently
broken due to the irresponsible upload of upower, which completely
breaks XFCE Power Manager. See bug 755234 - patches are available,
but they are only half functional, and the next upstream release 4.12
will probably not be ready by release time.

That means, we would be shipping a broken default desktop:
* suspend control does not work
* battery display is not updated
just to name a few.

I think the best option would be to downgrade upower to a working
version that does not break other desktop environments, unless
they are ready, or patches are provided. ANother option would
be to switch back to G3, although that scares away again lots
of users.

But the current situation will *not* help to keep or increase
users of Debian. If I am a new user installing on a laptop,
and the default desktop has broken power management, then
my next step is removal.

Of course, this dire situation has come upon us due to the strong
interleaving of Gnome and Systemd and upower maintainers, uploading
without making sure not to break the rest of the infrastructure.

So in this situation, switching to Gnome, just for the sake of not
loosing even more users, is probably the best option.

Norbert

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PREINING, Norbert                               http://www.preining.info
JAIST, Japan                                 TeX Live & Debian Developer
GPG: 0x860CDC13   fp: F7D8 A928 26E3 16A1 9FA0  ACF0 6CAC A448 860C DC13
------------------------------------------------------------------------


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Re: Reverting to GNOME for jessie's default desktop

Jason White-14
In reply to this post by Jordi Mallach
Jordi Mallach <[hidden email]> wrote:
 
> 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.

Most of the upstream development in ATK, AT-SPI 2 and Orca is directed toward
GNOME. (All of the above are, after all, part of the GNOME project, even
though they strive to support QT and to cooperate with accessibility efforts
in other desktop environments.)


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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

Ansgar Burchardt-8
In reply to this post by Joey Hess
Joey Hess <[hidden email]> writes:
> Jordi Mallach wrote:
>> 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.
>
> It's still basically fundamentally different from any other DE,
> although broadly riffing on mobile UI's, right?

As just a user who switched some time ago from KDE4 to GNOME3[1], it
doesn't feel fundamentally different from other desktop environments
like KDE, Windows, or what I have seen from Unity. I'm also not sure
what parts of GNOME should be 'riffing on mobile UIs'?

There are some differences like window title bars having only the
"Close" button and the different menu[2], though I have to admit I don't
use the menu much. Oh, and there is no longer a Windows95-style task
bar, but I mostly use Alt+Tab.

I had to change a few settings around virtual desktops to feel
comfortable, but defaults never fit everybody.

Altogether I find GNOME3 quite pleasant to use, some parts a bit nicer
and others a bit worse than KDE4 (no surprise here).

Ansgar

  [1] Triggered by one of the We-hate-GNOME-threads on -devel@ :)
  [2] Though Unity has a similar menu.


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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 01:48:55AM -0400, Joey Hess wrote:
> Incidentially, I don't much appreciate the counterproductive sniping
> that Jordi added in his blog post about this. Perhaps you're not aware,
> Jordi, but switching to xfce was discussed at last DebConf. It was not
> done "announced in a git commit log".

You say this while not addressing the many points that were made in the
initial request. I'd appreciate more focus on that, not finding things
to dislike.

--
Regards,
Olav


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Re: Reverting to GNOME for jessie's default desktop

Olav Vitters
In reply to this post by Norbert Preining
On Fri, Aug 08, 2014 at 03:39:44PM +0900, Norbert Preining wrote:
> Of course, this dire situation has come upon us due to the strong
> interleaving of Gnome and Systemd and upower maintainers, uploading
> without making sure not to break the rest of the infrastructure.

In the original email it was mentioned that KDE is also moving in this
direction. GNOME is hardly unique. The upower change was announced by
the maintainer well in advance, that announcement has been
re-distributed by me/GNOME on October 2013:
https://mail.gnome.org/archives/distributor-list/2013-October/msg00002.html

Eventually UPower released a new version.

For such a change, 6-9 months of pre-warning should be enough. It would
be way better if projects held back until all affected software changed
(or maybe ensure affected software makes the changes). However, not very
realistic (only so much time plus your adjusting the speed of other
projects to the slowest one).

Aside from above, I thought XFCE basically copied what UPower used to do
in their code, but could be that I'm mistaken on that.

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Olav


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Re: Reverting to GNOME for jessie's default desktop

vitalif
In reply to this post by Jordi Mallach
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...

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With best regards,
   Vitaliy Filippov


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