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

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

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

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. ^_^