16 Apr 2004 emk   » (Master)

I just installed Gnome 2.6 out of Debian experimental, and I'm pleased by several things.

It's faster. GTK seems to be faster--menu redraws are quick, and the whole interface feels pretty good. Most impressive, though, is Nautilus, which has gone from dog slow to downright snappy.

It reminds me of the Mac. I'm an old Mac user, so I'm delighted by the "spatial" version of Nautilus. Essentially, there's a one-to-one mapping between directories and folder windows, and folder windows have persistent properties, including location. This was a really robust UI design, and I'm glad to see Nautilus borrowing it. I just wish they'd simplify the screen even further, and add support for those nice Finder triangles.

It has good blogging tools. I'm writing this post using a panel applet. It only takes me two clicks to post to Advogato. I've also set up the Straw news aggregator, which is thoroughly reasonable.

All in all, the UI situation is very good in Gnome 2.6. I'm impressed at how quickly the Linux desktop is becoming truly usable.

(On an unrelated note, Blender, MakeHuman, and Wings3D make a darn sweet 3D modelling setup. You can get better, but not without getting well into the 4-figure range.)

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