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май 25, 2013

What's wrong with Linux desktop

It is going to be a rant!

A few weeks back I was surprised to learn that Google has decided to stop supporting older versions of libc on Linux and thus the binaries you can download are incompatible with older Linux distro versions.

I still run Fedora 13 on my personal laptop and this was a clear signal that I am way behind end of life of the OS product. On the other hand I already know that I hate unity, mostly because task switching is awful hard and unintuitive. Basically they copy the OSX way of doing things: if you want to use Alt+Tab you end up switching applications and if an application has multiple windows you have to wait and perform a different set of instructions in order to be able to select a particular window. Well that's bad if you use multiple applications when working but some of them have multiple windows.

Let's make an example:

Google chrome for browsing and reading documentation/examples on the Internet.
Google chrome with different user for testing (without plugins)
Chome's debug tool as a separate window (or several of them)
Sublime text 2

Now, the problem is that I can no longer just use Alt+Tab, I have to construct a special mental model of how the environment is handling the windows and then perform some acrobatics with my fingers just to get to the window I need. This is waste of time and I installed gnome 2. It was still possible on ubuntu 12.04

Today I installed Fedora 18 (how many years later is that?).

You can imagine my surprise when I realised that Mutter is doing exactly the same stupid window selection thing as Unity!!!

Okay open source (shitheads) developers: I can understand that you LOOOOVVVEEE OSX and your child dream is to make a free UI that is better than mac's UI, but my question is this: of all the beautiful and awesome things OSX does (packaged apps anyone??!?!) how could you copy the worse EVER feature??

You might find it surprising bit this is the truth: Microsoft got it right! OSX is wring! Users want to change windows with Alt+Tab and tabs with Alt+1-9, no one wants to change "context" or "application" with ANYTHING, this is the most useless feature EVER!

The other most distasteful thing done in Gnome is the hard binding of the Windows key to whatever the stupid panorama view functionality is called. I want to change my keyboard layouts with the left windows key - the way I was doing it forever (I started using Linux in 1999 and ever since then I was using the freaking windows key to switch kbd layouts). Is it so hard to just make a key binding optional? It seems it is, if I need a whole application just to tell the freak show that gnome 3 is to use special keys for layout switching, because guess what, by default you need a real key to do it, just like an action trigger in an applications does, so basically Gnome3 is swallowing your applications' shortcuts!

Thanks a lot developers. You have ruined a perfectly well working desktop environment, and turned into mix of the worse decisions made in each and every OS out there.

On the bright side of things Xfce is working well enough. But there is still no support for remote servers (a la Nautilus) and this makes it impossible to use Thunar if you work in a networked environment and you need the remote files to look for all possible applications as local files.

Anyway, I think Gnome3 should die and all the developers that are working on it should be restricted from contributing to any software that has na UI for the rest of teir lifes.

There, I said it. I feel much better now.

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