Fedora Workstation Desktop Environment Concept

Kevin Kofler kevin.kofler at chello.at
Tue Nov 26 10:59:46 UTC 2013

Alex GS wrote:
> I'm a computer science major interested in Linux software engineering and
> just beginning to learn programming so I'm use-case #1 and #2.  Currently
> out of all my peers I'm the only one using Linux as far as I know.  Most
> students and developers even those working on Linux oriented projects
> either use Mac OS out of personal preference or Windows because it's the
> default in most organizations and institutions of learning.  If users
> cannot naturally and effortlessly migrate to the Fedora Workstation from
> Mac or Windows and find a "normal" environment they're used to, the
> product will fail.

So far, I follow you…

> The problem is that the vast majority of Linux desktops don't meet the
> design standards set by the established commercial leaders.
> Currently my favorite desktop environment is Gnome Shell and my second
> favorite is Mate.  Gnome Shell is "almost" there, nearly meets the modern
> Mac OS level of quality end-users expect, and has an excellent technical
> foundation, it just needs some simple layout modifications and changes to
> menu behavior.

… but here, I just cannot disagree more. Maybe as a curious student, you are 
more open than average to trying out new design paradigms, but what most 
users of other operating systems expect is the same type of interface they 
have been using all this time. And GNOME Shell does not resemble ANY of the 
proprietary desktop operating systems, except maybe Window$ 8 (which will 
take a few years to get into people's mindshare, assuming they can get used 
to it at all).

As for MATE, while it might make sense from an interface point of view, I 
don't see why it would be more professional than other alternatives such as 
KDE Plasma Desktop, Xfce etc. It is, after all, an understaffed fork of an 
unmaintained old version of GNOME. Still, even MATE would be a better 
default than GNOME Shell!

> I've put together a *.pdf document outlining my suggestions and ideas
> outlining my suggestions in this regard, see the attached link. Hopefully
> this can be useful to the working group and a provide a starting point for
> a discussion about the default graphical user interface for the
> Workstation product.
> Document Link: http://goo.gl/0IzNgK
> *this is a Google Documents link

Working with a proprietary office suite in a Free Software community is not 
that great an idea. (Though at least you didn't write it directly in Google 
Documents, and thus it lets me download the original PDF through 
File/Download.) Don't you have some webspace you can upload files to 
directly? Or I guess you could even have attached it to the mail, though 
large attachments on mailing lists are generally frowned upon. Also note 
that we are all using Free Software and so we can all open ODT files, you 
don't have to export them to hard-to-edit PDFs. (The PDF's properties say it 
has been generated with LibreOffice 4.1.)

As for the contents of the document, your 2 suggestions start from the 
premise that GNOME Shell is to be used, so I'm the wrong person to comment 
on those.

        Kevin Kofler

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