Gnome 3 is not ready for me

I am going to stick with it a bit longer (mostly because I just set it up), but I’ve come to the conclusion that Gnome 3 isn’t mature enough for me. About once an hour I try to do something, and when I look it up I find an email archive, blog post or doc page that says that element of Gnome isn’t done yet. I just bought this monster of a machine, in part because I realized that I don’t live in a web browser. If I did, I would be happy with a Chromebook.

The problem this creates for me is that I like the Fedora Project, and that is their default flavor. I know there are alternative Fedora spins, but I am not interested in being a second-class citizen, and that is how using those feel to me. I don’t think it is a problem with Fedora, I just don’t think Gnome is in a state upstream that I can appreciate.

I am going to document all the problems I have, though. If there are obvious bugs, I will file them. But I am hitting a wall of the software just not being ready.

Making useful templates

I started using templates to quickly start up git writing projects.

Since starting NaNoWriMo this year I’ve realized that my preferred method of procrastination is writing something besides my novel. I like communicating through written language, it turns out. And even though I feel using flashbake has been kind of a bust for me (I can’t get it to automate for some reason), I still like writing in git. Since my personal brand of attention deficit is multitasking, I am going to start spinning up repositories for all my writing projects.

And because I think recursive humor is the most meta humor is the most recursive humor, I starting making templates to drop into new projects. Which brought me to that Templates directory I always ignore/delete.

In Gnome, when you right click and use the context menu to create a file, it will normally have this annoying secondary menu that has an empty item, and below it says Empty Document. When you have files in the Templates directory, it will list those files as, ahem, templates from which to create new files. In theory it is pretty useful: you could create a spreadsheet or code snippet file, something you use often, and it would be handy directly from the context menu.

I’ve never used it before. Whenever I install Gnome the first thing I do is delete a bunch of directories and rename others. I use the commandline way more than a file browser, so capital letters are annoying in file and directory names. I normally go without a templates directory, but since I am going to use it, my new config (at ~/.config/user-dirs.dirs) look like this:


This file is written by xdg-user-dirs-update

If you want to change or add directories, just edit the line you’re

interested in. All local changes will be retained on the next run

Format is XDG_xxx_DIR="$HOME/yyy", where yyy is a shell-escaped

homedir-relative path, or XDG_xxx_DIR="/yyy", where /yyy is an

absolute path. No other format is supported.


My backup policy for private stuff is to copy it at various places across the internet. My plan for non-private stuff is to publish it to public git repos. You can find the templates I am using at Right now it is just a few licenses and a readme, but I will be adding things I use. If you have any slick templates, drop them on me; I will add them if I use them (which means you office software nerds can take a pass). ^_^

Gnome, wtf?

I can’t turn off the accessibility icon in Gnome 3. Nor can I switch between language keyboard layouts. In both cases, I doubt anyone at the Gnome Foundation went out and asked anyone that uses either of those what they thought.

I am losing a desktop OS. My frustration is pushing me away.

Geary menu item

Geary is a lightweight email client for Gnome. Installing it didn’t add it to the menu, here is how.

I started using Geary as an e-mail client in Gnome. I wanted something lightweight, and I am also tired of configuring the way Thunderbird looks each time I update. I don’t really understand what those devs are doing, they are supposed to be just doing security updates, but they added a chat stack in it. I wouldn’t mind if my layouts would stay consistent between updates, but I feel like I am struggling against them, so I am done.

Anyhow, Geary is pretty okay, especially considering it is very early in development. One issue I had with the Ubuntu GNOME Remix is that installing it doesn’t also install a menu item. I don’t actually use the menu/dashboard view, but I do use my terminal, and I don’t like having Geary take it over to read mail.

It was as easy to fix using Alacarte, an odd layover from earlier versions of Gnome. I was skeptical it would work, but it did. If you don’t have it installed, it probably goes by the package name of alacarte.

In Alacarte you can just add a “New Item”. Mine is configured as such:

Some folks were saying it wouldn’t show up until they restarted their session, which is easiest to do by logging out and back in. I didn’t have to do that.

Ubuntu 12.10, Quantal Quetzal

Ubuntu 12.10 is released, and I am switching to Unity. Maybe.

The newest version of Ubuntu has dropped. I intend to upgrade and switch over to Unity. This has been in the works, since every version of Gnome 3 breaks all my extensions when I upgrade. Last time it happened I determined I would switch over on the next version of Ubuntu.

By the way, a quetzal is a colorful bird common in South America, and is worth 25 points in Scrabble.

I never recall why I dislike Unity, I just know that each time I get really irritated and switch back to Gnome. And if that weren’t enough, I am going to test out Ubuntu One, as well. If you don’t hear from me for a week, it is because I broke this computer and am replacing it. ^_^

Bookmarks in Nautilus

Nautilus is messing up, so I edited .gtk-bookmarks directly.

This method is superseded: ^_^

I use specific names for my home sub-directories, but changing them removes them from the sidebar in Nautilus, which is something I use often. The combo of Gnome 3 and Ubuntu 12.04 has made it so I can’t add bookmarks to the sidebar, despite having a menu item that says, “Add Bookmark”; selecting it does nothing.

I found a few ways to edit it, but the one that I prefer is to directly edit .gtk-bookmarks. Mine looks like this, now:


Editing it directly is the way to go! ^_^

Been up to

Just a bunch of stuff I am thinking about.

I am behind on journaling, but not because I am particularly lazy. I find myself staring at my monitor, often without touching the keyboard. The reason is because it is hard to type with a sleeping baby in your arms. That said, I get by.

Anyhow, here is some stuff on my mind.


Today Emma weighs 8 pounds 11.6 ounces. Everyday ey shows more awareness. Also, everyday I notice things in Emma that I love about Susan. So, that is fun. ^_^

I am working on a site that combines many different feeds, a kind of Planet Emma. No ETA on when it is done, but I have planned it out. It will be the one stop place for all your Emma news, photos and gossip!

Operating systems

I switched from Ubuntu to Fedora. I am still rocking Gnome 3, but for some reason it is a lot more responsive. I think it is less to do with switching, and more with just installing fresh. Of course, Ubuntu doesn’t make it easy to install.

There are some small differences between the distros, though by far the most difficult is the seemingly internet-wide consensus that I am running Ubuntu. I don’t know what kind of hype Ubuntu has generated, but Fedora is surprisingly strong in its repositories. It seems that a lot of interesting software is included in it, whereas Ubuntu required me to constantly add personal repositories to get what I wanted.

I am not going to call it until I’ve had more time to play, but I think I am done with Ubuntu for good. Besides the personal issue of this computer just not working very well in it (which is justification enough, of course), I keep getting this sense that Ubuntu, or really, Canonical, is getting more and more creepy everyday. I do not support such behavior, and I am tired of trying to change my computer and finding a constant deluge of drama surrounding whatever stupid design decision someone at Canonical made.

Drupal 7 migrations

I have three clients running Drupal 6 at the moment. None of them are particularly easy to upgrade. However, I’ve been doing extensive research into how to best do so.

Something that I will write more about is the Omega theme framework, as well as using Delta and Context to make some really agile and cool looking sites.

One thing that I’ve gotten used to is setting up a development environment where I’ve learned to use git and Features to speed up testing and deployment.

Nexia Tactics

I am participating in NaGa DeMon this month, and of course I have lots of ideas to dump onto the (digital) page. The goal is to get Nexia Tactics in playable form by the end of the month.

Having a goal has been really helpful, since it forces me to really choose what I feel strongly about. Turns out there is a lot, but when I research how other games are made I lose sight with what I want to build. Since working on it this month I’ve come to a decision on how I want the narrative to form, and what the in-game assumptions are; it isn’t exactly orthodox high-fantasy, but it is close. I like to think of it as if I got to create D&D 4e, but was unrestrained by the animation and video game influences I have.

I know that is going to push some people away, but I think that it will allow for a greater spectrum of gameplay than 4e. I have two weeks to show it off.

Moving along

I want to expand on each of these topics, and more… but Emma is waking up, and since it is 4:30 in the morning, I should start considering sleep myself. ^_^