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What's Left for 3.0 (Owen)

Owen started the session by showing off what recent changes have landed and are about to land: the Shell UI integrated system status icons (audio volume slider, a11y feature enabler), the new window theme, the rewrite the shadow engine (with support of shaped window shadows).

From GNOME Summit 2010

Returning to the theme of the system tray and notifications, he discussed the designers' philosophy of only having hardware related icons in the upper-right and not--for example--system update notifications.

Florian's overlay re-layout branch which reflects the work of the design team is "hopefully landing extremely soon." He built this branch and showed it separately as he was talking. This includes a new stream-lined left-hand bar for your favorite apps, file manager and mounted file-systems.

I asked where the Documents view has moved in the new design. Owen said that it will go in the re-layout but may not make it in time for 3.0. If that's the case, Nautilus will be in the default favorite apps list.

Ryan asked that we go over the change from the current design to one that doesn't zoom out as much. Jon McCann took that topic and said that the original design was too cluttered and the effect of zooming out was too jarring. In the new design, the windows still do the Exposé-style effect.

From GNOME Summit 2010

Owen presented a list of major items remaining for 3.0 and those that are not achievable in time for the release:


  • Tracker integration
  • Network manager Shell UI
  • App menu
  • Jump lists
  • Keyboard indicator applet
  • Fallback
  • Multi-monitor (polish)


  • Contacts integration
  • Extensions ecosystem
  • Accessibility
  • On-screen keyboard
  • Screen-reading
  • End user testing

Canonical offered to do user testing of Shell at the same time that they were testing Unity. That offer was neither rejected nor accepted.

Owen was adamant that we all dog-food GNOME 3 as much as possible.

Someone asked about the new control center. Dan showed it off and there was a lot of discussion about the jarring resize of the window. Animated window resize turns out to be a very difficult problem to solve in X11 but a couple of ideas were floated including using an XSync communication with the window manager to animate the window and the contents resizing or waiting until client side windows are ready.


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 6th, 2010 07:48 pm (UTC)
"Canonical offered to do user testing of Shell at the same time that they were testing Unity. That offer was neither rejected nor accepted."
Which meens that there was no support for this inside Shell team. Lets speak clearly
Nov. 6th, 2010 08:00 pm (UTC)
Re: eh
Sure, if you want to divide the world in to simplistic black and white. The reality is that there was some worry that it's way too late in the process to go dramatically changing things and the Shell team was also concerned that Canonical would turn this in to a Unity versus Shell study. But I was trying to be diplomatic.
Nov. 6th, 2010 08:10 pm (UTC)
Re: eh
IMVHO it is always better to get user-generated feedback. It is not common to have UX studies in FLOSS world...
Nov. 6th, 2010 09:22 pm (UTC)
Re: eh
It's an UX study, not a comparison. I think is a very interesting thing for gnome-shell project.
Nov. 6th, 2010 08:54 pm (UTC)
I can understand the Shell team's concerns, but it seems to me like not getting any user testing (either now or earlier) is quite a big thing to overlook, especially when they're setting out to create such a new kind of desktop. If they haven't got it already, postponing user testing until after release of 3.0 is probably just going to mean that the pain will be worse when it comes to analysing the results.

Nov. 17th, 2010 01:56 pm (UTC)
Re: Testing
Yep. All the bluster about "doing it right this time" with gnome-shell has come to zero, I'm afraid. It's just turned out to be another project cooked up and driven by developers, with users a distant secondary concern. The fact that they haven't even built in fallback modes (and, apparently, now just really can't, due to the architecture) for users without supported 3D graphics cards is a big fail in itself... every other major desktop managed to do this while they were transitioning to using glitzy effects as a core part of the desktop experience.
Nov. 7th, 2010 05:59 am (UTC)
status notifier items
speaking of the system tray, it would absolutely terrific if GNOME Shell could adopt and use the DBUS based status notifier items that both upstream KDE software and Ubuntu are using. they are far superior to the old xembed mechanism, and having GNOME support it would allow us to start moving the whole free software desktop ecosystem forward in sync on this matter.

cheers, Aaron Seigo.
Nov. 7th, 2010 03:01 pm (UTC)
Re: status notifier items
I'm not a Gnome developer, but I thought it was rejected in the past because it is not superior enough.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )


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