Fedora 23 (GNOME) Review: Well, it’s Little Complicated

Fedora 23 arrived a week later than originally planned, just like Fedora 22. While there are couple of Fedora spins, featuring popular desktop environments, for the past couple of days, I’ve been using the main release which is based on GNOME Shell (3.18).

It’s true that GNOME 3.18 comes with many subtle refinements and features, but one of these features (a major one unfortunately) looked confusing to me, just like I find it difficult to cope with the default desktop layout of GNOME3, which is why I only use the ‘Classic Desktop Session’ as it resembles the old GNOME2 desktop (well, to a certain degree). Fedora 22 also had let go of one majorly useful utility (systemd’s ‘readahead’ component) and unfortunately, Fedora 23 too comes without it.

However, due to my history with GNU/Linux, I’ve formed certain viewpoints about GNOME and Fedora etc, thus I was not surprised to find myself in this kind of a situation. In simple terms, I know what I should and what I should not expect. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves here, I’ll explain them as the article progress.

Fedora 23 GNOME 3.18 Classic Desktop Session

For this review I downloaded 64-bit version of Fedora 23 GNOME Shell Workstation disc image (1.5 GB) and as mentioned in the beginning, it includes the GNOME 3.18 release, Kernel 4.2.0, X.org 1.17.99.901, Firefox 40, LibreOffice 5.0 and Thunderbird 38 and features the set of applications included in GNOME Shell as well.

I’ve also compared the performance of Fedora 23 with Fedora 22, 21 & Ubuntu 15.10. And below is my hardware setup (this is the same setup I’ve used to test all these distributions):

Intel Core i3-2330M CPU, Intel HD 3000 GPU, 4GB RAM (DDR3), Toshiba 7200 RPM (320GB) SATA HDD, Intel N-1030 Wireless adapter, Realtek network adapter ('RTL8168'), LED display with 1366x768 resolution (60Hz/60FPS). It's a Dell Vostro V-131 notebook.

I usually start off the review by describing the new features of the Installer, GRUB & boot-up logo. But except for the GRUB screen, the other two looked exactly the same. The newly added feature to GRUB is that now it shows which edition you’re using (Workstation, Server or the Cloud). I find it to be a subtle but a nice addition.

GRUB menu in Fedora 23

That said, I think the menu titles should be more simple. I mean I’m using the Workstation edition and who cares about the Kernel version or if it’s the 32-bit or the 64-bit version of the operating system!. A clean title that displays the name, release number and the edition should suffice. Seriously, look how ugly it is. This is not just a criticism of Fedora, this is how most GNU/Linux distributions are anyway (well, except for Ubuntu I guess).

P.S: I actually failed to mention that Fedora 23 was unable to add an entry to Fedora 22 (my main operating system) in GRUB. However, once logged into the desktop I was able to fix it by running the below command:

sudo grub2-mkconfig -o /boot/grub2/grub.cfg

The Desktop…

Fedora 23 GNOME 3.18 Classic Desktop Session

Except for the new wallpaper, there are no apparent new changes on the GNOME classic desktop session. However, as soon as I started to open applications, I noticed that due to the colors used in the default theme, it’s quite difficult to read the application window titles on the bottom panel (shown below):

Issue with the default theme in GNOME 3.18 on Fedora 23

On other occasions however I can read (still a little bit difficult) their names, except the one that’s selected.

Cannot read the window title of the selected application on GNOME 3.18 Classic desktop (Fedora 23)

There shouldn’t exist such issue in the original GNOME Shell since the concept of minimizing an application is absent. And since the ‘Classic Desktop Session’ is rendered using Shell Extensions, this is probably due to a malfunctioning extension. Still, it’s quite frustrating, though I can’t exactly blame the GNOME developers since their focus has been on the original GNOME Shell layout, not the ‘Classic Session’. And maintaining two desktop shells, especially if they’re based on two fundamentally different design guidelines (or perspectives shall I say), is a difficult task.

Anyhow, speaking of changes, most of the new changes have been focused around individual applications, not the desktop itself. And one of the applications that has received a lot of subtle new changes is the file manager, a major component of any serious desktop environment. I’ll list a few that I noticed.

When entering to an empty folder, ‘Files’ (file manager) now displays a nice ‘Folder is Empty’ template. I don’t think it’s that important, but it’s a subtle enhancement.

Empty folder template in GNOME 3.18 (Fedora 23)

The files places section of the Sidebar is now replaced by the single ‘+ Other Locations’ entry. Once clicked, it displays all the found networks, locally available mount-points etc. While this change has simplified the file manager’s look-n-feel, I prefer the old one due to its ability to give easy access to these locations.

'+ Other Locations' entry on 'Files' (Fedora 23)

Folder & file creation (and renaming) dialog boxes are also improved with this release. I like this one very much, I think it makes the desktop look more nifty.

New folder creation dialog box of GNOME 3.18 (Fedora 23)

File and folder copy dialog box has also received a major revamp. Now by default, they’re embedded into the file manager’s application window, represented by a small circle which displays the progress as well.

'Files' new file & folder copy integration (Fedora 23, GNOME 3.18)

It all looks good now, but unless you have the file manager opened, there is no way to know anything about it. You must first open the file manager to see what the current state of the file or folder copying is. I find it very frustrating and this is a major issue for me.

In turn, I quite prefer what Ubuntu’s Unity & KDE (it displays it on the bottom-taskbar) have done actually because you can just glance at the desktop and get a sense of the current state of the file or folder copy progress. Very intuitive.

Unity deskop displaying the progress of a file copy (Ubuntu 15.10)
This is how Ubuntu does it and you be the judge…

This is again just a fraction of new features of the GNOME 3.18 and I’ve no desire to go over all that. But if you have about three minutes to spare, the below video should give you an excellent introduction to what’s new in this release:

Now please allow me to share with you the performance related details. Please know that it was these details that I measured first, even though they’re discussed late into the article. And as always, to keep their readings accurate, I made sure to let the OS boot a couple of times (letting things such application first-time setups to execute etc) and then started to measure them.

For each test I took five samples, except while measuring the power since I actually use a software tool for that and it takes care of the accuracy automatically, so running it once is quite enough.

Boot-Up Speed…

Everyone loves a fast booting operating system, bun unfortunately, Fedora 23, just like its predecessor, is not going to impress anyone. Fedora 23 was 56.5% slower to boot compared to Fedora 21 and 49% slower compared to Ubuntu 15.10.

Fedora 21 vs 22 vs 23 vs Ubuntu 15.10 - Boot up times graph

I don’t want to repeat myself because I’ve already explained why this is in my Fedora 22 review. The main reason behind this lag in performance compared to Fedora 21 is because Fedora 21 (and some of the recent older versions) used to come with a tool called ‘readahead‘ which significantly improved the boot-up times. In my tests, in Fedora 21, it was able to improve the boot-up time by around 39%!.

But starting with Fedora 22 it has been let go of because its developers don’t use rotational disks anymore (well that’s one great reason!). Ubuntu too used to come with a similar tool (called ‘ureadahead’) and when Ubuntu 15.04 adapted ‘systemd’, those developers were however, nice enough to take the extra trouble of migrating their tool to ‘systemd’. No wonder why Ubuntu ranks far better than Fedora as far as popularity is concerned.

Ignorant people you see, always aim big, trying to come up with the ‘next big thing’, but it’s the small things that matter and there’s only little what you and I as end-users can do about these things anyway.

Memory Usage Upon Desktop Loading…

Fedora 21 vs 22 vs 23 vs Ubuntu 15.10 - Memory usage graph

As you can see, due to unknowns reasons, Fedora 23 consumed a lot more memory compared to its predecessors (23.8% compared to Fedora 21 and 24.6% compared to Fedora 22) and Ubuntu (15.10).

Again, I don’t have the least idea of what’s behind this increase, but if you have an insight into the matter, I’m all ears.

CPU Usage at Idle…

CPU Usage at Idle (Fedora 23)

When let to idle, I’ve never seen zero CPU usages on GNOME (it always consumes about 2-3% of my CPU time), though KDE does that!. Still, 2-3% CPU usage is pretty much nothing too. So all in all, except for the system monitor process itself, all the other process did not interact with the CPU for longer periods when let to idle.

Power Usage at Idle…

When measuring power, I turn ON the Wi-Fi adapter and let it be connected to my wireless router. I turn OFF Bluetooth and anything that can affect the accuracy of the readings (such as screen dimming, screensavers etc). Then I let the OS to idle and the only program that’s running is the one that measures the power usage.

Power usage at idle (Fedora 23)

Fedora 21 vs 22 vs 23 vs Ubuntu 15.10 - Power usage graph

Here however, both Fedora 23 & 22 were identical, Ubuntu 15.10 consumed the most energy and Fedora 21 was the most efficient. These days I try installing a power usage optimizer (I prefer ‘TLP’) to see if things can be improved. I did this with all these operating systems and below is the result after installing ‘TLP’:

Power usage at idle with TLP running (Fedora 23)

Fedora 21 vs 22 vs 23 vs Ubuntu 15.10 - Power usage graph with TLP running

Except for Fedora 21, all the other three rated similarly. Fedora 21 consumed 0.5 Watts more compared to Fedora 23 which might not sound much, but unlike boot-up speeds or memory usages, power consumption is a iterative process and when spanned over a couple of hours (depending on the capacity of your battery of course), 0.5 Watts does make a difference as far as the battery life is concerned.

Hardware Recognition and ACPI…

Just like its predecessor, Fedora 23 was able to properly configure nearly all my hardware devices. I reported that Fedora 22 was even able to recognize my proprietary fingerprint reader, but I couldn’t really use it because it failed to recognize the finger print. Well, in Fedora 23 I was never able to log into the desktop by swiping my finger (maybe giving the middle finger would’ve worked! 😛 ). But, once on the desktop, I was able to perform some administrative tasks such as unlocking user management utility by swiping my finger. But it too doesn’t always work.

Fingerprint reader failling recognize my fingerprint in user management application (Fedora 23)

The terminal emulator however, was able to easily read the fingerprint, on all occasions, in the first attempt. Interesting…

Terminal emulator working with fingerprint based authentication flawlessly (Fedora 23)

Other than that, the rest of the hardware were properly configured and worked without any issues.

System Responsiveness…

Despite all the newer, faster and more powerful hardware, the hard disk drive is still by far the bottleneck of computing, because it’s the slowest (relatively speaking). So stressing it and then testing how the operating system behaves, makes sense.

How I achieve that or what I do is very simple. I copy a file (about 1.5 GB, though there isn’t a limit to its size) within two locations of my ‘Home’ folder and as soon as it starts, I try to open a multimedia file (here I installed VLC manually) and then try to open a couple of programs through the start-menu (if one is available) and also by searching, because the idea is to put the hard disk under pressure.

When this is all happening I notice if the multimedia playback gets interrupted, how many programs get opened and I also observe the sensitivity of the cursor. Then based on that experience I make a judgement (yikes! 😀 ). That’s it.

So how did it go under Fedora 23?

System Responsiveness test (Fedora 23)
Don’t take anything here seriously, it’s all a mere illustration 🙂 …

Well, LibreOffice Write was only fully opened after the file finished copying, but pretty much all the other programs were opened. Multimedia playback was interrupted couple of times, but they all were very short lived. The cursor too lost its sensitivity three or four times. It was not exactly excellent because I’ve seen better ones, still, I’m more than happy with Fedora 23’s responsiveness. I’ll rate it as being ‘good’.

Shutdown Delay…

Fedora 21 vs 22 vs 23 vs Ubuntu 15.10 - Shutdown delay graph

As you can see, Fedora 23 did take its time when shutting down and was the slowest of the bunch (about 134.5% compared to Fedora 21, 100% compared to Fedora 22 and 88.9% compared to Ubuntu 15.10).

Final Words…

First of all, please remember that this review, just like the previous Fedora reviews, is based on the GNOME Shell’s Classic Desktop layout, not the GNOME Shell, so all my judgments revolve around it.

Performance-wise, its true that Fedora 23 is degraded, more or less, though, depending on what performance aspect we’re considering. But that’s not what troubles me. Because if it’s technical, then it can be fixed. What troubles me is their attitude, and unfortunately attitudes are not that easy to fix.

For instance, as mentioned earlier, they let go of a wonderful tool that could’ve been so beneficial for thousands of Fedora users who I’m sure still use rotational disks. But they seem to care less. Again, I’m not surprised at this because in my experience, this is not the first time they’ve done something like this. I also don’t like the fact that someone forgot to check the basic features (at least) of the desktop are working (yes, I’m pointing towards the theme related issue I mentioned). So emotionally, I feel like being disrespected and ignored.

I also don’t especially like the new file copy dialog box feature in GNOME, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me. So all in all, this has forced me to look for an alternative. Right now I’m thinking about Ubuntu, but Unity has never been exceptionally stable compared to GNOME Shell (GNOME developers are outstanding technical gurus, I give them that). So at the end, what I have to say is this, ‘disappointed!’.

But that’s just me. If you’re interested, you can download Fedora 23 from here. Good luck and thank you for reading.

35 thoughts on “Fedora 23 (GNOME) Review: Well, it’s Little Complicated

  1. Think first before you write such reviews! At this writing Fedora 23 has been released seven days ago. So, please give the developers some time to fix bugs. I’m sure that the upcoming release of GNOME 3.18.2 will eliminate a lot of outstanding bugs. Also, my experience with older releases of Fedora tells me that Fedora 23 will be a fantastic distribution in about three month from now.

    As of this writing, I’m sure there is no better distribution available as Fedora! Believe it or not!

  2. At the end the worst issue with Fedora is Gnome. They bought the silly idea of “post-PC era” so that everybody would have dumped PCs with mouse and keyboard and moved to tablets and touch screen devices. It is not going to happen because those devices may be good for sales people and spending time on the sofa but they aren’t good for any actual work. It is funny because I am not aware of anybody using Fedora on a tablet while they are advertising Fedora “workstation” as it was “ideal” for developers because Gnome is “less distracting” and “more productive” while it is just annoying and not suited for the task. The “Classic Mode” was forced over Fedora because Redhat customers don’t want or need Gnome-shell, at some point Rdhat was shipping KDE instead of Gnome. In their wisdom, Gnome guys decided to go for they “new” design against everybody else, people who rely on GTK for other DEs and applications, common users, maintainers of Fedora spins. Good job in disrupting “Linux for the desktop” and wasting another ton of opportunities.

    • Hi LorenzoC,

      Quoting: 'The “Classic Mode” was forced over Fedora because Redhat customers don’t want or need Gnome-shell, at some point Rdhat was shipping KDE instead of Gnome.'

      I agree with you completely, this has been my one of my observations as well, and I’ve said pretty much the same thing in a previous Fedora review.

    • I can’t agree. Despite I’m keyboard guy (vim-like), Gnome3 is my favorite DE. Well, unfortunately gnome-shell is not so keyboard centric like i3wm or xmonad,but is still quite pleasent to use without touchscreen. At least gnome UX is far better on desktop or notebook than win8 which UX is disaster outside mobile devices.

  3. A solid & interesting review. While I agree with the assessments of Gnome, I thought I’d point out that there are a least a couple of reasonably popular distros that meet the boot menu criteria mentioned: “A clean title that displays the name, release number and the edition should suffice.” I actually think PCLinuxOS went too simple by just putting ‘Linux’ as their default entry & Mageia isn’t much more descriptive, though they do put in the distro name. I actually modified both to be a bit more detailed, so I guess it a fairly subjective thing (big props to both distros for including grub customizer in the repos though).

    On the topic of Fedora I’ve actually been running version 22 in a VM for a while now & had 3 basic things I didn’t like about it. The first one was Gnome 3 generally, second was a seemingly excessive need to reboot after updates, and third was that an attempt to upgrade to version 23 has failed. I suppose the reboots may be reasonable given how fresh the kernels generally were & there were some things to like about Fedora, though it still wouldn’t be my first choice for a desktop distro.

    • Hi,

      I agree with you on the GRUB menu situation because there really is no sense in making things too simple up to the point they become senseless. So, a clean and a sensible title, is what makes sense to me too 🙂 . Thank you for the input M.Z.

  4. Thanks for the honest review with quantitative numbers to back it up. You sound like an ideal candidate for the Cinnamon desktop environment, which I have found to be stable, flexible, and above all, sensitive to users’ needs and preferences.

  5. Hey man, I would really love to read this article, but the grey on white text is just too straining on the eye. Just my $0.02, but consider using a higher contrast text color. Thanks, and have a lovely day.

  6. Kernel updates have a slight (or not so slight, depending on your hardware) chance of breaking your system. That’s why Fedora, and most other distros, display the full kernel version on the menu. Oh, the newest kernel seems to have broken things for me, let’s roll back to the old one and see if it boots successfully.

    Fedora being a solipsistic distro (spinning disks eww) is a perfect match for a solipsistic desktop environment like GNOME, but I came to realize that the Churchill quote about democracy (it being the worst form of government except for all the others) is very fitting for Fedora if you replace democracy with Fedora, and government with Linux distro. Everything else is either primitive, overly buggy or have some other off-putting oddity.

    • Thank you Scott. The tool I use is called powerstat, in Ubuntu/Debian systems, you can install it by using the below command:

      sudo apt-get install powerstat

      Other distributions might ship it as well, if they don’t, then you can always simply copy the ‘powerstat’ program (from /usr/bin/powerstat) to /usr/bin folder of your distribution (which is what I did in Fedora) and it should run fine.

      You can learn more from the below link:

      http://kernel.ubuntu.com/~cking/powerstat/

  7. Gnome 3 is very fast and easy to use. It is just different from 2. So it is just a personal preference. You can use Gnome Classic with Fedora, just choose it when you log in. I prefer 3 as it is convenient, fast and lets me use the entire screen for a window. As for the boot menu, your complaint does not stand, that is merely aesthetic of very little importance. As for readahead, developers have had their reasons in removing it as now ssd’s will become more common. Fedora does not have an as large as Ubuntu support and developer base so it is harder for them to keep up with everything. Either way a slightly slower boot does not make a huge difference. People who are not used or who simply do not like gnome 3 tend to bash it. Well keep your start menus if you can’t live without them. I instead want desktop development to go further even changing established paradigms. I will say that your review was not objective and neutral, and overly critical on certain not so significant areas.

    • Hi Ervin,

      I respect your opinion, however, I cannot agree with everything that you’ve said. In plain simple words, I wasn’t necessarily criticizing the user interface, I was actually pointing out to a certain element in their attitude, one that has been there for a long time.

      For instance, about 9 – 10 years ago, Fedora introduced a new package manager GUI. And when it was first introduced it was not fully developed, in the sense that it was not able to let users install packages from CDs (back then high-speed internet was not as popular as it is now, so using CDs to install an operating system was pretty normal). And the only way to add packages afterward was to use an internet connection. Fedora took, if my memory is accurate, well over a year to fix it (2 or 3 releases). They did not think that it was a problem at all, because I reckon most of the Fedora developers had high speed internet access back then, and they probably had thought so does the rest of the world. If they didn’t then that’s their (rest of the world’s) problem. What we see with the abandonment of readahead is no different.

      In other words, I do not think that they have the necessary ambition to create an operating system for everybody. They’re selfish and ignorant, and are more than happy to have built an eco-system that only serves their needs. There’s nothing wrong with that actually, but they should be clear about that then at least. And this is one of the main reasons why Fedora doesn’t have a large user base. This is also one of the reasons why Ubuntu surpassed it. And I do not think as end-users, we should accept that type of disrespect. That’s my two cents.

      • Selfish and ignorant : So don’t tell me then your review is not biased, it was biased right from the start. What about Ubuntu’s shopping lens? I use Fedora and developers are very friendly and very quick to pick on any bugs that I post. In addition to that the ethics of Fedora is superb. It has never tried to collect money from people in any way. The majority also uses Microsoft, so is Microsoft more ethical than Ubuntu? So the majority opinion does not count. All the examples that you mentioned are just the cd issue and the readahead. Not enough to declare them selfish and what is more, even ignorant. This is very rude to Fedora’s developers.

  8. Fedora has become crap, Gnome more so, both together are useless, Becoming the next windows.
    the majority of users, the normal regular users of computers, those who do office work, business apps, home users, etc, once learn something do not like constant change with a need to relearn, is a loss of productivity, time waster. Like when Microsoft introduced the Ribbon in office, doing away with the start menu in win8, Most people do not like these changes is not what they are use to. Linux was going to be the Savior, Ubuntu was well on its way playing that role until they went with Unity, and Gnome 3 went down that rabbit hole. This is why Linux was never favored by the masses for desktop, too much change, some change is good, better performance, fix issues, make user experience better but slight improvements not drastic and over whelming changes, that not only does nothing to improve but seems requiring faster hardware to perform decently, Oh yeah, we already have that with windows. Just when I had many convinced to move toward running Linux, all now have switched back to using windows on their desktops/laptops. I myself have switched to different special spins to run every-time some major change takes away a feature, performance goes down the tube, something mo longer supported, etc.

    • First Mr M watch your languages. You are rude. Second, they are not going to stop changing every thing just because people can’t adapt to some simple changes. And that includes Microsoft and Gnome too. Popularity with the masses is not the main goal. Operating systems are not looking for political gains.
      You are getting all those operating systems without you even moving your fingers to contribute in something. So if you are not paying them, do they owe you anything? I am grateful and so should you be for the all that goodness we get today for free and by doing nothing. Of course it’s not perfect, and certainly it is not a Savior. Only God can be a savior.

      • Hi Mervin,

        I feel like you’re wasting your time and energy here, because you don’t seem have at least a reasonable understanding of what you’re defending (I’m not trying to that I’m an expert, but I carefully choose my words). I respect your passion toward Fedora (though I think it’s rendered from elsewhere, it doesn’t matter anyway), but you should first get a basic understanding of the bigger picture. This was one of the reasons why I didn’t reply to you before (because there’s no point of preaching to a hungry man). But let me try that again and I’ll be as simple as I can.

        ___________________________

        Let’s forget about ‘freedom’ for a moment, I’m not a huge believer of the Western idea of ‘freedom’ anyway. But if we keep our mouths shut, don’t ask questions or don’t reflect upon our experiences, and accept things just as they are, then what would happen to our liberty? Hmm?

        Because the GNU philosophy as a whole, revolves around this idea of defending our liberty. And for defending it, we should have great communication within the ecosystem. May that be in the form of forming new ideas, criticism, opinions etc. And even by just being a member of this ecosystem (by embracing its idealistic values, at least to a certain degree), one owns the his/her ‘right’ to contribute to it. Therefore, you don’t necessarily have to be a programmer to earn your ‘right’ to say what you think or feel. Because through the very act of embracing the idealistic values is the very price that you pay and you owe nobody anything. Because that’s how the whole system evolve & survive, through the greater acceptance of its members. And in a much deeper sense, this is not about programming or computers at all. It’s about defending our liberty in an ecosystem in which everything is connected. That’s the first point I would like to make.

        Secondly, remember that making money is totally acceptable according to the GNU philosophy, as long as one doesn’t break the basic idealistic values in the process, that is. After all, we have to be practical. Not everybody pins values in financial means, but a value is a value, and everyone has their own conceptualization of it.

        You don’t have to take my word for it. You can get a great understanding by reading the original GNU articles from the below link. I think you will greatly benefit once you have a good grasp of the bigger picture:

        http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/philosophy.en.html

        P.S: I also think that you maybe were right (to a certain degree) to say that Ubuntu did break the original agreement of GNU’s idea of liberty by adding those ‘Shopping lenses’, and that Fedora on the other hand, has always been extremely careful in its approach by putting its ideals first (I’ve actually praised it many times) and other worldly values second. But in my defense, I had to make a choice as a frustrated end-user. And yes, it was a personal choice as much at it was a moral one. But I think my personal frustration as an end-user was a rational one.

        P.P.S: I was not defending what ‘M’ said by the way. His words and opinions are his, and his only.

        • My dear Gayan, of course you are free to express your opinion. What I am against to come with conclusions like – They are selfish and ignorant, uncaring etc. – Simply because an operating system does not work the exact way we want. And for guys like M to say it is c.. p just because he does not like it.. come on do you guys even consider the huge work that is given to us for free? For me Fedora is not bad, and Ubuntu is not that bad either. The same goes for openSUSE and others. Of course one should complain and criticize but not by remarks like it is c… p and it is useless and they don’t care about us, they are selfish and ignorant etc. That is my point. Yes I love Fedora, it is my favorite, but it also has it’s mistakes and bugs. Is there such a thing as a perfect man made computer operating system? Or one that can be free as in beer and free as in freedom and satisfy everybody? Impossible. And people are often like babies, they can’t get used to something new and they shut it down. So much complaining over graphical interfaces, which only take a little bit of familiarization to see how nice they can be. Including Windows metro. I like open source but I am not anti-Microsoft or anti-anybody. To each his own.

          • If that’s only as far as you can see, that’s fine. It’s alright. But let’s please stop arguing here, there’s no point.

  9. This seems to be totally biased review to me! The author seems to be Ubuntu fan boy, if you really wanted something you should have raised your voice, rather than crying over spilled milk and calling others Selfish.

    And you being a Ubuntu Fan boy don’t talk about others being selfish and freedom. Gnome and Fedora are completely community driven, if you really want something please raise a voice.

  10. In fact you it is you Gayan who has a lot to learn. Your article is clearly based on your personal bias, and preference, and it does not really bring anything new or useful. Just because you get to write an article on the internet, does not mean that your opinions should now become everybody’s standards. You are self centered. And your article was also self centered.

    • Yes, I have much to learn, and I’m learning a lot every day. But other than that, I don’t know what you’re talking about. What is this ‘unbiased’ review that you speak of? Show me a single person who isn’t biased. As the roman emperor, Marcus Aurelius, quite adequately put:

      'Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth'

      All one can ever give, is the sum of his or her experience which we call an opinion. And an opinion is always biased. So please, before you criticize someone, at least take your time to get to know the person (in this case, read some of the other reviews I’ve written).

      I didn’t just go ahead and criticized Fedora or GNOME. What I have said in the article I’ve said from my long years of experience of using Fedora, although I’m not trying to say that I have all the facts correct (who does?). But I chose my words carefully, and I’m sticking with my judgement. If my criticism have hurt Fedora developers or its community, I apologize. That’s all I say.

      Do you know what your problem is? My criticism of Fedora has nothing to do with any of this, even though you don’t see it. You feel uneasy not because I criticized Fedora, but by doing so, indirectly, I criticized your way of life, which is deeply entrenched in spiritual energy that you don’t know how to deal with. The intense flow of spiritual energy to an untrained mind is a very dangerous thing. It puts people inside a self rendered prison cell, the type of which the most difficult to get out.

      And thus, that in effect has trained your mind to accept a higher power without mental clarity or upon clear reflection on your experiences, as long as it provides you with a false sense of security. I refuse to live like that.

      My criticism of Fedora or about certain aspects of GNU is far more subtle than I expressed in the review. I’m more than happy to have a discussing, but an argument is a pointless thing. It’s a waste of time and effort. It’s like an argument about color between two individuals who’ve put on two differently colored glasses. They both miss the point, they’re both ignorant.

      Anyhow, I sincerely apologize if my words seem unkind, or even harsh. But I’m a reasonable man. Therefore, I’ll give you one opportunity to comment and you can be as wild as you like, and I wouldn’t mind. But remember this, whatever you come up with, I am not going to answer it, and it will also be the last time I will ever accept your comment on my website, unless they carry some value, period.

      • ‘Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth’

        Then it follows that what Markus Aurelius said is also just an opinion, since we can never hear facts (Which is not true). Well if everything is a perspective, you might as well jump from a 16 story building, just change your perspective about it. Just speaking.

        “You feel uneasy not because I criticized Fedora, but by doing so, indirectly, I criticized your way of life, which is deeply entrenched in spiritual energy that you don’t know how to deal with. The intense flow of spiritual energy to an untrained mind is a very dangerous thing. It puts people inside a self rendered prison cell, the type of which the most difficult to get out.”

        We are talking about operating systems not about yoga. You speak to us if you are our guru, and we are your students. So it is us who have the untrained mind and not you who can’t bear to listen to a criticism of your post and who call developers ignorant and selfish, like the guy before said, over spilled milk.

        Now to your review, in many things you give factual information which is good. In some things no. That’s all.
        Best,

        • That’s a good comment, thus I’ll respond. I’ll skip the first point because as you said, an opinion is an opinion, it’s not an abstract thought. So what Marcus Aurelius said is also was his perspective. No arguments there.

          However, I can’t agree with the second conclusion (I won’t touch the third one, it might get personal and damaging. I don’t want to do that to a person). You said:

          Well if everything is a perspective, you might as well jump from a 16 story building, just change your perspective about it. Just speaking.

          How can ‘Falling down from a 16 story building will kill you’ is a fact? For instance,

          *. If I had a parachute would then falling down from a 16 story building would kill me?

          *. If fall down to a huge cushioned mattress on Earth that’s capable of absorbing all the downward energy of my fall without hurting my body, can then falling down from a 16 story building kill me?

          *. If I fall down from a 16 story building that’s located on an another planet where the gravitational pull is 40 times lower compared to Earth’s puss (for instance) would that kill me?

          *. If I fall down from a 16 story building that’s located in outer space where the gravitational pull is near zero would that kill me?

          I could go on all day long, but the point is this. ‘Falling down from a 16 story building will kill you’ is not a fact, but only a condition that is only true when certain other conditions are met. Just like many other laws in science, this too is only ‘true’ under certain conditions. Gravity (or space-time bend as Sir Einstein called it) is not an abstract law, although that’s how many people understand science to be, even some scientists (that’s my opinion).

          It’s pretty much like a personal opinion which is only valid under certain (personal) experiences. And that opinion will easily be an invalid judgment for someone from a different background who have had different experiences on the matter that’s being discussed.

          Therefore, the only way to resolve such a conflict is to look at things from the perspective of all the parties involved, and then evaluate the situation and come up with a solution that serves the interests of most people involved in it. Otherwise, it’s going to be chaotic. We’ll have an endless argument and reach nowhere. It’s all useless.

          So since we’re talking about software, let’s forget about all the other issues and philosophical nonsense, and concentrate on my criticism of the removal of the systemd-readahead service which is what’s important here.

          Yes SSDs and Hybrid Drives are the future. They’re quite fast and reliable, and thus having especial techniques (such as systemd-readahead) for improving the boot performance on both these types of storage devices is becoming obsolete due to the nature of an SSD. But my criticism is not exactly about its removal, it’s rather about the timing of that decision. That’s all. I simply pointed out that in my experience this is not the first time Fedora has made such decisions, and what they’re doing is counterproductive to the greater goal of GNU, and it’s not even fair for its users either (well, at least some users such as us who come from ‘poor’ countries).

          Why do I say the timing of the decision is terrible? Well, the vast majority of computers still use rotational disk drives. That is the truth. And even though the ‘Linux’ desktop market share is a fraction compared to Microsoft (for instance), it’s reasonable to assume that most of ‘Linux’ users too still use rotational disk drives. Therefore, before pulling the plug of the systemd-readahead service, they should’ve thought about its broad consequences and should’ve at least researched a bit more (such as carrying out a user poll to see how many still use rotational disk drives) because so many people still use the ‘old’ rotational disks. And the removal of systemd-readahead negatively affect them. After all, everybody love a fast booting OS. Isn’t it? But they didn’t do any of that. And did you know that the initial talk of its removal was first came into the surface as far as in 2014? I mean come on!.

          Furthermore, this not only affects the Fedora users, but because most GNU/Linux distributions now use systemd (Debian, Ubuntu, Arch etc) that negatively affect all the users of those distributions as well.

          And also, what about the users who use lightweight distributions primarily to run their old computers which most definitely use the old rotational disks and are already bloody slow to boot? Shouldn’t they are also negatively affected by such a change?

          So as core systemd developers (who also happened to be Fedora contributors, and some are RedHat employees I presume) they should’ve had thought about the broad reach of such decisions because it affects lots of users outside Fedora. One can also argue here that if they need systemd-readahead, then the contributors of that distribution should patch it into the system, after all this is open-source software (Arch is doing that if I’m not mistaken). That’s true to a certain degree.

          However, I still think that being core systemd developers, making such decisions that fast shows lack of clarity on the consequences of their actions, and the level of respect they have for their users. In my opinion, it’s unacceptable.

          And as I mentioned in the article, what was their reason for the removal of the systemd-readahead? Well, they said most of systemd developers don’t use computers with rotational hard disk drives anymore. That’s it!. So they were going to remove something that’s still useful to most GNU/Linux users, just because they no longer use it. How can you call that’s not self centered thinking and one that greatly lacks clarity about their responsibilities as developers? Just because you do something for free (some are paid RedHat people) doesn’t mean you can be such irresponsible or headless. You for instance, seem to believe in a God that created you and the ‘external’ world. But just because someone else then hold the responsibility for your existence, is it allowed in your religion to live your life heedlessly?

          So coming back to the point, yes GNU developers have done great many things for which I’m very grateful and I might get highly criticized for what I’m about to say. But that’s fine. I’ll just say it. GNU/Linux was created by hackers (technical guys) for hackers. Not necessarily for the end-users. You or many people might not agree with me here, but that’s my observation in my reasonable exposure to ‘Linux’. That’s precisely why ‘Linux’ has been so successful in computer servers, because that where the nerd magic happens, and not on the computer people use at home. And that’s fine you know? If they want to create an operating system for themselves that’s fine. But if they want to reach the end-users and create a much bigger eco-system, they they should change some of their attitudes. Otherwise, it’s going to be counterproductive and painful for some end-users. But unfortunately, the trace of this mentality is still there in the ‘Linux’ community especially with some developers, more or less. For instance, think about how core developers such as Linus himself shout at other developers. That’s not professional or mature behavior. But he gets away with it easily. When Steve Jobs did things like that look how vigorously people criticized him. But when Linus (or some other person) does it, it’s no big deal for the community.

          This is what I’m trying to point out. If they truly have the ambition to physically render the ideal by which they dwell in a much much broader sense, then they have to get out of this hacker mentality, at least a little bit. They should be more strategic in their approach and have a clear common objective. And in my humble opinion, they have neither of these characteristics. And it’s such a shame, because they’re extremely talented people. This again, as pointed out before, is one of the reasons why ‘Linux’ has not made it into the desktop computer market that much, but it’s also precisely why it has been so dominant in the server section which shows the pure technical talent of the ‘Linux’ hacker community. They’re very insightful people technically, but to be successful politically or socially (take your pick), technical talent alone is not enough.

          So as a start, I think individuals who are more insightful socially should be in charge of the core decision making process. Only then they can they make the correct adjustments. Pure technical people such as developers shouldn’t have power to make such decisions. Because again, they only make these decisions based on their experiences. That works great individually, but when your actions affect so many people, making such decisions is unprofessional. And I think without the correct attitude and leadership, they will find it exceedingly difficult to approach the desktop computer market and dominate it. And even a slight change in their attitude can make a huge difference. You can criticize them as much as you desire, but the best example is Ubuntu. That’s my humble opinion.

          P.S: And Marvin, you said that I can’t take a criticism, that’s not true. I listen to reason. I got a little upset when the other commentor called me an Ubuntu fan-boy. Seriously, what does he know of me or my perspective or the kind of respect I carry to Fedora or RedHat in general? (I have a very personal and colorful history that’s rich with all sorts of emotions that’s especially bind with the GNOME desktop). If you have had read even some of my recent articles, then you’ll know that starting with Fedora 21, I used it as my main operating system replacing Ubuntu without thinking twice for more than a year. And I might still come back to it, especially when I can afford a laptop with an SSD (what can I say, I am an unemployed RHCE. A poor bugger). But sometimes you have to take a stand and say enough is enough. But for someone with a different perspective, that might be offensive. And to them I say I’m sorry, that’s it.

          • Hello Gayan, don’t worry, I think we are on the path to get a better understanding of each other. Thanks for the reply. Developers often make the wrong decisions, but that does not involve only Fedora. For example Ubuntu persists in keeping the search all online resources button in the same place as search your local content button. Now it has disabled it. But after how many years? Many people were saying, you can put at least a separate button for online search, which might come in handy, if you for example want to search ebay, amazon and maybe alibaba all at once for things that you want to buy. This is more serious then a slow booting speed. I agree with you on readahead, it should not have been removed so fast, but I also think that developers of Fedora which does not have as high a following as Ubuntu could as well be overburdened therefore they are trying maybe to drop some things to focus on the more important things. Do you have any idea how many bugs are there? How many features and things need maintenance? Those people, both of Ubuntu and Fedora do this work for free, Arch, openSUSE and others as well, and I am grateful for that. But people only tend to look at the missing things, not at the good things they already have.
            It is also a good idea to make your voice heard in the gnome community or systemd developers to ask about what the features that you want to add, keep, or remove.

          • Hi Marvin,

            Yes many there are other thing that are also important, I agree. Such as the one that you mentioned concerning Ubuntu which is involved in user privacy, mostly. But there in lies my point. Everybody notice these issues. They’re easily visible to the outside world. Although, not always easy to resolve, being aware of their existence is half the battle. But it is the subtle ones that go unnoticed that do the most damage.

  11. Dear author, and users, and fedora peoples, I used Fedora for ..ten years, and now I’m tired.

    People that works on the distribution are not really interested to their user base, not the real user base. This is one of the several reason why linux sucks as a desktop environment.

    My position is very simple, we have very fast computers nowadays, but the developers are I think..not able to use them in a proper way, at least the quality of code that is written is really bad compared to “kernel code”. If you do not agree, please, go to linuxfromscratch, and compile a base linux environment with more ore less old console-based apps and then compare how it is fast with respect to just..open a login prompt on fedora. WAY faster.

    Why I need to execute tons of daemons for virtual environments,? why I have to execute the evolution-daemons if I do not care to use evolution as an email or contact apps, ? Why people stopped to write manpages? and “”pretend** that you must be connected to read a manual, and so, please..explain, why people stopped to use simple, efficient configuration ascii based configuration files.

    Overall, I mean, there was a time when Desktop environment in an unix environment, means: ok, please read the fucking manual and then..be happy.
    Now, I do not even understand how to change the default printer from command line. and, no, my complain is not about GUI, is about SLOW, MEMORY HOG, BUGGED, and with damaged brain design GUI.
    Sorry, but I bought a mac, at least, I can open a terminal in a very fast gui, an be happy.

  12. Bwahahahaha preach it Antonio, Ervin, get a clue. If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, looks like a duck, it’s not a dog, I agree with Gayan that developers are sometimes out of touch. If a software company like oh I don’t know let’s say Microsoft doesn’t listen to the majority of what it’s users are saying what do you think is gonna happen? They’ll look for a better solution elsewhere. Metro is crap and so is unity there I said it, you can’t fundamentally change the entire way you interact with a computer with the GUI and just expect everyone to hold hands and sing kum bah ya and go on with life like its abed of roses. NO, they will resist it because as creatures of habit once we get used to something and it becomes engrained in us WE DONT WANT IT TO CHANGE. Not major changes anyway, small improvements along the way yes. If you like unity and metro that’s great but you’re in the minority, how do I know? I used to work for a cable provider installing Internet and TV and I talked to a lot of people, after windows 8 came out and people started getting computers with it preinstalled you know what I heard? THEY HATED IT!!!!! Not everyone granted but 98 out of 100 and that I would call a majority, why do you think they brought but the start menu in windows 10 and made it easier to get to the desktop in 8.1? Because they like to backpedal? No because that’s what the majority of the people wanted, like the saying goes: the squeaky wheel always gets the grease.

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