USER report

Is the GNOME team ready yet to accept user-level reports as opposed
to developer-level reports? I'm under the impression that GNOME is
to to make it into general distribution within 6 months, or so. If
so, it's probably getting time to hear from non-developers.

It would also be a good idea to have a separate user mailing list,
for  both users and developers. I know there are things I need to
report that have been mentioned here, I just couldn't find the
answers. This is, after all, a rather high-volume list.

After all, at some point the Linux community does appear to want to
reach out to non developers, and GUI desktops are an essential part
of that outreach. I've been a Linux user for nearly 2 years moving
from dabbling to primary home OS. I'm also an OS/2 user, and prefer
GNOME to KDE because it seems to have more 'plumbing' to it, and
can hopefully evolve into something as good as or better than the
WorkPlace Shell. I can code my way out of a paper bag, though I
don't have the time (two kids, chip design WAY behind schedule at
work) or the right employer (restrictive conditions) to be a
developer. I can at least provide decent/concise feedback. (If
what I have below is inadequate, please tell my what you want.)
I consider myself to be a 'prime target for the next wave of Linux
users'. (folks like me, since I'm a user, already)

I'm running 0.99.2, the last version with RPMs, on RedHat 5.2, with
icewm as my window manager. I tried running a hybrid of 0.99.0 and
0.99.1 after 0.99.1 came out, but the installation turned out too
messy, and pretty well inoperable.

1) The packaging needs to be simpler. I elected not to get the
   development packages, but it still amounts to 35 RPMs. During
   my foray into 0.99.0/1 I also found that 0.99.1 could not -Uvh
   0.99.0, I had to --force -ivh it. Hopefully anything past 0.99.2
   (within reason, I understand) will upgrade 0.99.2 instead of
   rip out/reinstall.

2) I use two ISPs, and connect to one ISP in both 'online' and
   automated 'flash session' modes. Since the ppp dialer isn't
   configurable, I decided to use the modem lights applet. The
   panel definitely does not like having three of those buggers
   on it, each with different customizations.

3) I used the shutdown/reboot applet, and my desktop was completely
   hosed on the next login. I normally keep an auto-hide bottom
   edge panel and an upper-right corner panel. After using the
   shutdown/reboot applet, I had all sorts of excess small blank
   panels in a diagonal line from the upper-left corner of my
   screen. I also had a half-dozen or so upper-right corner panels
   overlaid on each other. There may have also been several extra
   (nonfunctional) bottom edge panels. I rm -Rf'ed the gnome
   directories from my $HOME and started configuring over.

   Besides, wouldn't it be logical to have shutdown/reboot/logout
   functions all in one applet, perhaps in addition to a logout

4) 'mcserv' would not install, needing 'portmapper'. I'm a bit
   surprised I don't have this, standard, but this IS a ppp
   connected workstation. I get the impression that this would
   let me open gmc panels against directories on my system at
   work, when connected. Useful - what is the simplest/smallest
   way to get portmapper.

5) gmc tended to be fragile, and didn't get a lot of use. As a
   suggestion, when gmc is opened to my home directory, that
   should be the 'root' of the left panel instead of the real
   root. The left panel tends to have too much information, and
   gets to be a navigation problem. There would need to be a way
   to 'reposition' the root of the left panel, in that case.

6) Every startup, GNOME leaves a core dropping in my $HOME. It
   doesn't seem to impair function, oddly enough. For a while
   I was getting 'critical GTK assert' errors in my stderr
   output from the panel, but those have stopped.

7) Several of the games don't work, at least one mentions missing
   a plugin. I wasn't able to used saved scores at all.

8) I wasn't able to glean how to get session management working
   from the documentation. It looked to me as if I should be
   able to start gnome-session from .Xclients, and start the
   window manager and esd from the session manager. That didn't

9) When I logged on to type this feedback note, GNOME pretty
   much completely lost my configuration. For the moment, I'm
   back to non-GNOME. I hope to see new RPMs soon.

Dale Pontius

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