GNOME3 customization is ..frustrating. But, oh how I love GNOME3!
I have not used the latest and greatest
GNOME for some time. My primary laptop has been RHEL6 for a very long time. Super reliable, works with every attached peripheral I throw at it, a presentation blessing and just ... works.
So, I got a new laptop at work and installed Fedora 21 beta on it. I have used it now as my primary work machine for a couple weeks and ... I love it! But GNOME3... GNOME3, I love you, but customizing you is so very ...odd.
I am a computer savvy guy, but I like defaults. I LOVE defaults. I use most things in their mostly default configuration. But I do customize a few things. And as savvy add I am... GNOME3 has been a challenge.
GNOME3 is designed as a "use the defaults" desktop. Really, 90% of the options are add they should be. But on the edges... some customization is needed. It is difficult to customize... namely because the ui to do so is non-obvious, but installed by default, and docs are sparse. And in some cases I run into the "we know better than you" folks that ... are simply wrong. :) Well, they are right and they are wrong.
They are right in that sensible defaults need to be selected and alternatives should be discouraged. But GNOME3 takes this discouragement a bit far.
So... GNOME3 is still too difficult for normal folks to customize. It just shouldn't be this difficult. Here are a few thoughts.
1. See attached link. It is a great overview on how to customize things.http://www.linuxveda.com/2014/10/16/customize-gnome-shell
2. Global settings can be adjusted in a global "/usr/share/gnome-shell/theme/gnome-shell.css" file. CSS! How cool and clean is that!?! Alas, one should never (or rarely) adjust something at the root level. But... 99% of the articles you run across immediately advice folks to edit that file. Boo! Alas, the CSS doesn't seem overrideable at the local user level. It seems the overriding settings are stored in dconf (this is confusing and poorly documented from what I can tell). So, to edit using this next tool if you need to...
3. Install gnome-tweak-tools:
Go to the overview search and type in "Tweak Tools" and install the app. BAM! That is what I needed, though it is doesn't allow you to get too dirty if you need to (that's good and bad). And it should be called... "Advanced Settings"
4. Simple things are maddeningly hard to configure. I don't want the laptop to suspend when closed. So, you have to install +Bastien Nocera
's awesome "Office Runner" app to run from office to office... but I just don't want it to suspend... PERIOD. I want to be explicit about when I want it to suspend. Why? Cuz. 99.999% of the time, I just want the laptop to lock when shut. And there are loads of us that like this workflow. On this Lenovo laptop, there is no way to get around this... even with that tweak tool. UI fail, IMHO. Design bug. Fix it!
5. The "Applications Menu" extension should be enabled by default. Maybe. I am torn on this. If it were trivially easy to discover that you could config this with the
"GNOME Tweak Tool" then... sure have it off. But you have to know that this option exists. And where top find it. Dunno. Torn. If the "Show applications" widget had some categorization, maybe this need would go away. For now that overview application navigator (Show applications) is nice looking but not really functional.
6. The Hibernate extension should just be on. Duh.
7. Still getting used to having no desktop. A desktop is a useful place to temporarily toss stuff that you are working on for the day and then clean it up later... or for drag-and-drop stuff... but... the Desktop is kinda like the suburban garage of computing. You always intend to put cars in there, but in the end, it just fills with junk.
8. Custom apps. I figured out how to create a launcher for something and now I can't even figure out how I did that. I should be able to create a launcher fairly trivially. This is where Chromebooks and Apple fall down as well, by the way. But the old GNOME? The old GNOME made this simple. This is an area that needs significant improvement, IMHO. I have a custom script I want to be able to poke, or a link that is more than just a bookmark, etc. Whatever. It needs to be improved.
9. I needed to install "Pulse Audio Volume Control" to be able to force the headphones to work. I am sure this is a Lenovo interaction issue, but ... it's just something I have experienced. I have to leave the darn app open, plug in my headphones, and then explicitly say "No, use those headphones that you think are not there even though you turned off the speakers" ~~ yes, there is already a bug filed on this. FIXED with latest PulseAudio update.
All that bitching aside (PM hat off now)... I really like where GNOME3 is going. It's pretty. It's modern. It's productive... and ... I just really really like it. It's what Chrome OS should
have been, though I like that as well.
Good stuff folks...
[whew, this was meant to be a one paragraph posting... you get a bonus today... heh]http://www.gnome.org/http://www.linuxveda.com/2014/10/16/customize-gnome-shellhttp://www.hadess.net/search/label/office-runner
#GNOME #GNOME3 #Fedora #Fedora21 #F21