Re: GNOME and Ubuntu GNOME

On Sat, 2014-09-27 at 20:24 +1000, Tim wrote:
Some of the panels in 3.6 were actual separate applications from memory.

No, none of the panels in 3.6 were separate applications upstream; that
functionality was removed a long time ago (in 3.2?). You have some
downstream patches to add external applications like Deja Dup into the
control panel, but that's not what I'm talking about: you have EVERY
panel appearing as an application in the overview, making it
unnecessarily difficult to find real applications on the system and
diluting the effectiveness of the overview, after a behavior change in
some component (gnome-shell?) necessitated the addition of
NoDisplay=true; to the panel desktop files, and your
gnome-control-center does not have that change to the desktop files
because it is so old.

That is a pretty minor issue, and its certainly not by our choice that gnome-settings-daemon is outdated.

If the gnome-desktop version is your problem, I bet the Unity developers
would fork off a unity-desktop package for you. Otherwise, there wasn't
much point in unity-control-center and unity-settings-daemon, was there?

Anyway, that was just one more (admittedly minor) example to show the
trouble you can run into: you have a bug that you never noticed because
you mixed major versions of GNOME software. Whereas the versions of your
applications can probably vary without TOO much trouble, you should only
ever update core components like gnome-shell, gnome-settings-daemon, and
gnome-control-center at the same time. gnome-tweak-tool is another one
where something is likely to break if not upgraded in lockstep. These
communicate over unstable D-Bus interfaces and assume they're
communicating with the corresponding version of the other components.
Most things will work correctly, but something is likely to break.

It's also sad that Ubuntu GNOME users lack settings that are available
in other distros, such as control over notifications, search providers,
and all the privacy settings.

It's not really wise to vary applications' versions either, although
less risky. GTK+ has a few behavior changes each cycle that are
publicized in the release notes, and newer GNOME applications are
adapted to these behavior changes, but if your version of GTK+ is newer
than an application it will not have been changed yet. GTK+ 3.10 was
particularly problematic here. This can lead to interesting bugs that
are fixed in other distros but linger in Ubuntu GNOME, like dialogs that
are too wide, or boxes that aren't expanded so the UI is hidden (a
problem you seem to have in your downstream software updater, for

It seems that Ubuntu GNOME has no control over the software versions
that it ships. That's a shame. Maybe your distro would be more
successful outside the Ubuntu project. If infrastructure is a concern, I
think the Tanglu developers would love to have more people working on
their GNOME product. Regardless, good luck.


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