Re: fed 15 + gnome 3 works nice, but ...

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On Tue, 2011-04-26 at 10:15 +0200, Alexander Volovics wrote:
> I have been reading some posts here and see that I am
> pouring oil on the fire so it might be foolish to continue.
> But "Who are a little wise, the best fooles be".
> Exploring Gnome 3 under Fedora 15 beta.
> So far: very nice to work with, great usability, but it could do
> with some more configurability options and then it would also
> be pleasing to LOOK at. Not unimportant eh.
> (I am making the following remarks under the proviso that
>  I do not know if the standard (upstream) Gnome 3 is
>  included in Fedora 15 beta and wat Fedora has contributed
>  to the mix).
> Are there any plans to increase desktop configurability in Gnome 3.

No official configuration tools will be forthcoming for some time (if at
all). With a little tinkering, however, it is possible to change the
appearance. See
for a good overview. You can also install gnome-tweak-tool and
gnome-shell-extensions-user-theme and change the entire theme. A good
source for alternative themes is

Gnome-tweak-tool will also allow you to change the icon theme.

Most indications are that there is a good chance that the way things
work internally may change in 3.2, so developers are warning that
extensions that work now may not work with 3.2. Whether they plan to
stabilize things and at least make gnome-shell more friendly for
customization (if not officially supporting it) remains to be seen.

> For example:
> - I would like to be able to change the color of the top bar
>   The lid of my laptop is a shiny black and the addition of the
>   black colored top bar gives the desktop an even more funereal
>   appearance (and makes the bar hard to see/read).
> - I would like to be able to REMOVE icons from applications
>   overviews under 'Applications' in the 'Activities overview'.

For hiding app icons, the alacarte menu editor should still work with
gnome-shell. However, there is no way to change the current behavior of
defaulting to "all" applications in the overlay, and short of someone
writing an extension, not something that will change any time soon.

>    First I would like to remove ALL icons from the 'All' category.
>    * This overview is not really necessary because the same
>      icons are included under the other categories 'System Tools',
>      'Accessories', 'Graphics', etc.
>    * Furthermore given the stupid and unhandy 16:9 laptop screens you
>      have to scroll to see them all so having all icons available does
>      not really save time/work.
>    * Finding a particular icon among this plethora of icons is hardly
>      easy.
>    * Given the large size and the sometimes brash colors and
>      non-uniform design of the icons makes this desktop full of
>      large blobs not very aesthetically pleasing.
>    Second I would like to 'prune' the icons listed under the categories
>    retaining only the icons of the apps I use regularly (possibly
>    putting some of these 'pruned' icons in some 'Other' category).
> - I would like to change the 'top bar' to an 'under bar' and have the
>   notifications pop up at the top (and why do pop ups and notifications
>   need to have a black background).
> Personally I find these 'wishes' very reasonable and not detracting
> from the design and usability of Gnome 3.
> I could even understand the need to concentrate on other issues
> at the moment but I do think that tools to make these kinds of
> changes are necessary, even for beginning and inexperienced users!
> PS  Who designs/creates the icons/icon themes.
>     I find the icons (too) big, brash, glaring and sometimes downright
>     ugly with no consideration for the overall effect. (for example the
>     'Games' icons).
>     It would be much nicer if they were created with an overall effect
>     in mind using compatible colors and forms (say a sleek blue/silver
>     theme, uniformly applied).

Even though you may not be a coder, if you have strong opinions about
the default icon set, and can present a reasonable argument for and
examples of alternatives, you may want to look at getting involved with
the gnome design team.

> PS  If configuration options as specified above or comparable are
>     planned for updates or Gnome 3.2 then I would be even more
>     happy with Gnome 3. If not, is it possible to put forward things
>     like the above as 'suggestions' for the design team and what is
>     the best possible place for this.
> NB  I can not and do not code myself.
> Alexander

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