Monday, June 17, 2013

classic mode

GNOME 3.8 was released back around the end of March, but I still haven't taken a look at it here.

For me, GNOME Shell in earlier GNOME 3 versions has been great; I don't miss the old GNOME 2, and I don't use GNOME Shell with a bunch of extensions to try to make it look more like GNOME 2. For example, in Debian Wheezy (with GNOME 3.4), I use exactly two GNOME Shell extensions:

- Alternative Status Menu, which replaces GNOME Shell Status Menu with one showing Suspend/Hibernate and Power Off as separate items. This extension is no longer needed as of GNOME 3.6, as there's now a "Power Off" menu item.

- Quit Button, which replaces the user name and status icon with a quit button.

GNOME 3.8 comes with "Classic Mode." Here's how it's described in the GNOME 3.8 Release Notes:

Classic mode is a new feature for those people who prefer a more traditional desktop experience. Built entirely from GNOME 3 technologies, it adds a number of features such as an application menu, a places menu and a window switcher along the bottom of the screen. Each of these features can be used individually or in combination with other GNOME extensions.

Here's the screen shot they include in the release notes:

I'm not sure if this Classic Mode will satisfy those folks whose lives were destroyed by the GNOME developers' decision to go in a completely different direction with GNOME Shell, but perhaps it'll help ease the pain. You can read more about it (and see more screen shots) at WebUpd8, here and here, and at Muktware, here.

According to one of the WebUpd8 articles, the new GNOME Classic session uses the following GNOME Shell extensions (I've included descriptions for each from the GNOME Shell Extensions site):

- Alternate Tab:  "A replacement for Alt-Tab, allows to cycle between windows and does not group by application."
- Places Status Indicator: "Add a systems status menu for quickly navigating places in the system."
- Applications Menu: "Add a gnome 2.x style menu for applications."
- Static workspaces: "Disable dynamic workspace management."
- Window List: "Display a window list at the bottom of the screen."
- Default Minimize and Maximize: "Adds minimize and maximize buttons to the titlebar by default."
- Launch New Instance: "Always launch a new instance." [That one's because in the current GNOME 3 set-up, clicking on the icon of a running app brings up the already-running instance, not a new one.]

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