FoolControl, Gnome, Squeeze?

March 15, 2010 – 1:06 pm by Adnan Hodzic

Other day I read “Refreshing The Ubuntu Brand“, upcoming visual style changes for Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx and my only comment to this whole story was “Don’t tell me you’re moving window control elements to the left side of window in Lucid …” Side Frown

Either way if this is the “revolutionary” change for Ubuntu, then I have a visual style suggestion for Squeeze as well.

Since Gnome is default desktop environment in Debian and as it looks like right now 2.30 will be what’s going to be included into Squeeze; nothing much, or nothing really will visually change in Gnome by then. So … how about this Lamp

For some time now I’ve been troubled by some things in Gnome, and what’s bothering me the most is “System” menu. Why? Well because the list of utilities listed both under “Administration” and “Preferences” is so long that it’s almost useless. So without losing your precious seconds of your life and losing fair amount of nerves …  well this is what’s required to find what you were initially looking for. Interesting enough is the fact (please do stress) that Gnome consists of a fine thing called “gnome-control-center” which is not included in any of Gnome menus.  IDK

I really do enjoy Gnome vanilla flavor (overall am fan of vanilla flavored apps.) but what I’ve been doing for quite time now is “fixing” this ridicule by having my own “version” of Systems menu, which consists of “Add/Remove App.” (synaptic) and “Fool Control” (gnome-control-center)

Final result is that I get what I’m looking for in couple of seconds without any lost nerves Victory

Either way, after reading the redesigning Ubuntu article, this only encouraged me to go live with this suggestion. I know it’s a minor change, but how about we have this implemented into Squeeze? Of course change my silly button labels; if not, what are my options? Make package that will do this for you?  Rolls Eyes I’m really interested to hear your input on this topic.

Talking about redesigning stuff, is anyone up to do start doing this with Debian homepage? Yea? Count me in Wink

  • Simon

    Yes, work is in progress on redesigning Debian websites (and not only http://www.d.o), see old posts of Rhonda.

    See and

    Welcome to #debian-www chan and list Smile

  • Awesome, let’s do this Grin

  • kupus

    This would be a refreshing change to say at least and not only debian specific but gnome-wide. The system menu is dreadful and, perhaps once useful and handy, now just looks clustered and hard on the eyes. Sure you can edit it with alacarte and all that but something should be done nonetheless.

    My moral support is infinite Grin

  • In case Debian isn’t able to get some serious designer work, I believe it should be better to use some of existing efforts in this context. Two, very interesting ones:

  • Some time ago, there was the idea to switch to the control center; but this was reverted or never implemented. I saw this by default in an old Fedora pre-release; but I don’t remember in which one.

    If needed it can be enabled with a single click in Alacarte (check the checkbox under System->Control Center).

  • I have disabled several of the icons that appear on your screenshot in gnome-menus, so the menu should already look cleaner. Please don’t hesitate to file a bug report if you find other applications that shouldn’t be there by default.

    As for using the control center by hand, I don’t think it compares to a correctly cleaned-up menu in terms of efficiency. You need two clicks to open it, then wait for it to appear, then look for the capplet in a cluttered interface, then another double-click. Compare that to the three clicks of the current menu.

    Cleaning up the menus is harder, because it requires a lot of thought, to refactor some capplets and to make difficult decisions. But it is better than hiding the clutter in a crappy application.

  • Anonymous

    Personally, I’d like to see a hybrid approach, which integrates an interface that looks like gnome-control-center into a menu-like structure. I don’t think it makes sense that when you open a menu, it takes up a small fraction of the screen. I’d like to see a UI that looks like the control center hanging off of a menu item “Control Center”.

  • I couldn’t agree more.

    That’s what I was trying to say when I said I like vanilla but gnome really needs help of showings its “better side”. Again, I love vanilla but hybrid would really be way to go in this case.

    I’ll try to push this idea the further I can into Debian, but we really need more initiative if we want to see this in Squeeze …

  • coward

    looks great. make it happen