Sending this out again. We seem to be discussing everything other than
what the underlying DE should provide.
* Warning: lengthy e-mail *
I've read this thread quite carefully and hopefully haven't missed any
mails to it. While quite a few people have come forward and proposed
their DE of choice, I haven't really seen a mail which outlined what the
criteria for choosing this DE is. Would it not be more helpful to decide
on a set of criteria and then see what DE fits it best?
From the PRD, and the 4 use cases listed there, these are the
characteristics that I think the chosen DE should possess. I fall into
the university "student" + "independent developer" categories and
mentioned my preferences with each criteria. All of this is based on my
personal experience (and I am a happy GNOME3 user). Please feel free to
** Should be stable **
If we want students/devs to use the DE, they should be able to use it
without it crashing again and again. We will of course QA our packages,
but each upstream release should be stable in itself.
Students and developers do tend to have newer hardware. Such hardware
should be able to support all our DEs. I don't think our chosen audience
is one that only uses netbooks for example.
-> I think all the DEs Fedora provides currently are quite stable. I
don't know about E yet, but I don't think that's a contender at this
** Active upstream, well maintained **
IMO, it's a bad idea to use a DE that doesn't have all it's sub
components properly maintained. I'd prefer a DE, the upstream of which
is active towards bugs and user feedback. This might not be relevant to
the 4 use cases directly, but it is relevant to community members who'll
look to work on this product and help improve it. It's also important in
the long run that we work with an upstream that has plans and is moving
forward to keep with tech advances.
-> Again, most DEs that Fedora provides have active upstreams. From what
I read, I have the impression that MATE is sort of short on man power.
(I could be wrong.)
GNOME/KDE/XFCE/LXDE/Cinnamon seem to have active, organized communities
that make regular, scheduled, timely releases. The desktops aren't just
in maintenance mode, upstream continue to work on improving them. E had
a release after *quite* a while IIRC.
** Well integrated application suite that includes: **
- mail client
- chat client
- calendar with google calendar etc support
- task list
- social networking clients
- a photographic software that enables people to touch up their
photographs and upload to popular image websites.
- web browser (FF?)
- printing support
These are necessities. These applications shouldn't just be available,
they should go well with the rest of the environment.
Mail/chat/web/calendar clients are necessary for all our use cases. I
tend to rely heavily on a task manager too (I don't consider Gnotes a
task manager, I use gtg). University students and developers (more often
than not), tend to make heavy use of social networking clients and
camera software, even if just to give the photo a black/white
Backup/restore applications are good to have too, since more and more
people have begun to use external hard drives to keep copies of
-> From my experience, GNOME/KDE are best in this regard, and I lean
I think GOA is quite stable now, and setting up an account at one place
and letting evolution/empathy/docs/photos use it is really convenient. I
don't think there's a social networking client that uses GOA yet, but
there are a few that use GTK/GTK3 (corebird is one that is under active
development and quite stable now.) and look decent with the rest of the
desktop. Since I maintain GTG and Hamster, both of which are working to
integrate with EDS, I expect an even better experience in the short
future, personally. (They can already communicate with each other using
dbus). I also think the gnome search providers that provide results
from: docs, contacts, applications, bijiben, wikipedia (extension),
software (in 3.12 I think?), files, a browser (epiphany, not sure if
this can be done with FF yet, but that would be *awesome*), even boxes;
is pretty neat. Quite a few times, I can just type in the search box
instead of opening nautilus at all.
KDE does have apps too: Kontact provides mail/contacts/tasks etc. last I
checked. I don't know more details, unfortunately.
XFCE/MATE/LXDE/Cinnamon/E can all use apps from the repositories but
they aren't as well integrated with the DE. For example, I would prefer
to use either KDE or GNOME and their application suites rather than XFCE
with Kontact installed on top of it.
I'm not considering Libreoffice here since I think we'd ship it
irrespective of the DE.
** Easy to use configuration utilities **
- user setup
- input methods
We do have the system-config-* set of tools that would work with all DEs
but they're not properly integrated. They're also not very actively
maintained iirc with each desktop preferring to use their own tools.
KDE/GNOME has them: date/time/printer/input-methods/network.
Do XFCE/MATE/LXDE/Cinnamon/E have dedicated configuration tools?
-> GNOME/KDE here too for me.
** Easy to use software manager **
We don't want nor expect all these users to use yum/dnf from the command
line. For non IT related students, I think gnome-software is great.
Apper/yumex are good too, but I like the idea of *applications* over
*packages*, especially with people more used to such a UI owing to
android/apple stores and such.
Deviating a bit here: It'll be awesome if we did have a similar
webstore. We do have the packages app on Fedora infra, but again it's
*packages* based. It's still quite useful though, since it works like a
web frontend to `yum search`. But, you can't install a package quickly
from the interface. It takes you to a package details page and then
you'll probably have to go to Koji!? It's for the community and not
Even the tagger app doesn't seem to have an "install" button.
I think gnome-software is to be extended to include reviewing and
tagging capabilities, though?
-> I usually use dnf off the terminal, but I really think gnome-software
is a win. Sure, people do disagree with some of its policies, like the
"reboot to update" step, which I don't like too much myself, but people
are not really averse to rebooting their systems for updates. (Windows
set the tone. Mac doesn't always need a reboot I think, but it does on
for some updates.) The behaviour could be tweaked but that's upstream's
decision. It certainly isn't a blocker to me.
Apper/yumex aren't far behind so I wouldn't say I can't use them, but I
do like the idea of gnome-software. Of course, we could always use
gnome-software on top of KDE/LXDE/XFCE/Cinnamon/E. :) Will this pull in
** Simple to use virtual client **
I saw this requirement in cases 3 and 4. I don't know if the WG has
decided how to go about doing this yet.
-> I don't really have an app of choice here. virt-manager is great, but
I think the current policy needs one to be an administrator to create a
new vm. Gnome-boxes is quite nice and probably takes the cake from a
simple to use point of view. I'm not aware of clients that integrate
with the other DEs to a similar extent.
** Enterprise login **
I don't use this at all, so I'm not going to say anything about it.
(Required in case 4.)
** Dev tools **
There are enough text editors that work well with each DE. Are there any
dev tools specific to a certain DE? There are things like git viewers
(gitg?) but they'll probably go well with all DEs.
-> No choice. I think dev tools will go well with most DEs.
** Hardware support **
- Multi monitor support
I think most devs, either independent or in software companies tend to
use at leasat 2 screens. Even students here at the robotics labs have 2
monitors. It'll be good to have. University students do end up
presenting on a projector as part of courses at times too, so it'll be
good to have that working.
-> No clue about the various DEs on this one. I've filed a couple of
bugs against gnome-shell recently since I got my second monitor, though.
Nothing major, just some RFEs which I thought were worth filing.
** Suspend/resume support **
Is this a DE issue, or a kernel/systemd issue?
** Easy to use UI **
There's been a debate on this one since the Gnome-shell design came out.
A lot of people prefer the traditional desktop, customizable panel,
window markers. Here, it's quite GNOME vs the rest. I feel this is a
personal preference really. If we're looking at new users that are
moving from Windows8 or users of Android/Apple phones, I expect them to
get along quite well with GNOME. People who are used to their
traditional systems will always find it difficult to start with GNOME.
-> I use a mostly pristine GNOME and it works for me. This is limited to
me since I hardly use the mouse. (I navigate between all my windows
using keyboard shortcuts). It's not easy to generalize.
** Should look good? (flashy?) **
This isn't a major requirement but anyone that's used
mac/android/windows is sort of used to a shiny interface. University
students do like to have flashy systems. Devs, not so much?
** ?? (please add/refine this criteria) **
Add more here!
Would it be easier to do this on a matrix on the wiki? It's not meant to
be a popularity poll, but people who use different DEs could fill up how
well their DEs fulfill the requirements. It's quite difficult for one
user to know details about multiple DEs. Most of us stick to one that
works for us.
For me, it's between GNOME and KDE. Since I'm well versed with GNOME and
I really dig the integration I'd pick GNOME.
PS: If I've missed a DE, please do throw it into the mix.
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