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Bugs I've hit in GNOME 3, in the last 5 minutes:

  • gnome-shell's "run" pop-up lost focus and I couldn't get rid of it. Nor could I launch another "run" dialogue, which is my normal route for starting software.

  • I tried to coax my web browser into launching a terminal by browsing to file:///usr/bin/gnome-terminal. Instead, it downloaded a copy to ~/Downloads. Fine, no problem, because after another click it launches nautilus to handle the file. (This is not a bug).

  • nautilus doesn't know what to do with the file. Apparently I haven't installed a handler for viewing executable files. I'm guessing the copy of gnome-shell isn't +x. nautilus does sensible things when another file (such as a picture) is marked +x, so why doesn't it do so for the opposite case?

  • This is such a bizarre error message I try to take a screenshot of it. I take one, then take another (cropped). I try to save the second picture over the first one, but gnome-screenshot complains that it cannot find a file somewhere in /tmp.

  • The flash plugin crashed in the middle of streaming an album. I'm almost not allowed to complain about the flash plugin crashing.

  • After and around and inbetween all that, I downloaded an .amz file (an Amazon MP3 download file, in fact, of the album I'm failing to stream) which I hoped to run through clamz (a command-line, open source tool that can interpret AMZ files). nautilus offers clamz as a launch option in the right-click menu, but it's not the default handler. If I select "properties" to set the default handler, clamz is not in the list of available handlers.

  • After sending the HUP signal to gnome-shell, I've got rid of the "run" pop-up, but now something has happened to it's $PATH and future "run" pop-ups can't find anything in the standard locations, like /usr/bin.

  • since the flash plugin died, nothing else seems to be able to make any sound, so I can't play the album I downloaded anyway.

I didn't set out to bug-hunt this morning, I'm actually trying to get some work done.

Whilst this is a particularly bad case of stacked-bugs, it's unfortunately, pretty representative of what it's like to try and use a Linux desktop at the moment. Every day I go through a similar experience.

I've just had to give up and log out and back in again. The shell path bug above has re-surfaced in a new session. Great.

I'm waiting on a delayed laptop at work. I'm very tempted to cancel the order and just use a Mac Air instead (we have one spare). It seems I'm walking the inevitable path of F/OSS desktop frustration and the end for many people seems to be the Mac… perhaps I should spare myself the pain of the journey. In the mean time, It's bye-bye to GNOME and off to Xfce for me.


Comments

comment 1

not acting on a missing +x is a security feature, and i dare to say one of the most important ones in unix at all. unless something is explicitly marked for execution, the os just doesn't execute it. it is sensible to ask when opening a shell script that is +x, because both running it and editing it would be meaningful actions, and it has been declared safe for execution on file system level.

what could be improved is the error message, it says "There is no application installed for executable files" on my system. it could say "There is no application installed for ELF(?) program files. Not running the program due to missing 'executable' file option."

Comment by Anonymous
comment 1
Are you using Debian stable?
Comment by Anonymous
comment 1
For what is worth, the forthcoming upload of glib2.0 will revert a patch that has caused some problems in GNOME sessions.
Comment by Anonymous
comment 1

Gnome 3 isn't in Debian stable. It's not even backported. Nor even in testing.

So you must be using Debian unstable.

They aren't kidding when they say "unstable". It's a myth that it only means "changes fast". It also means precisely this, what you're experiencing, the mentally unbalanced kid who breaks toys. And of course you know this.

I run Debian stable on my laptops. If I feel like "omg I need all the latest softwares!!" then I either convince myself that I'd rather have a stable computer xor I want to handle development with all its associated joys and woes. You seem to have wanted to get non-development work on a development machine.

A McIntosh computer doesn't have constantly rolling updates for the whole OS. Just like Debian stable, it releases new updates relatively infrequently and conservatively. It's the only way to get a system in a usable state with high probability.

I hope you don't run to McIntosh. I'm not saying it's your fault you're facing the bugs you're facing, but I am only saying that although Debian is doing the best it can, you're not using the best Debian can do.

Comment by Anonymous
comment 6

Gnome 3 isn't in Debian stable. It's not even backported. Nor even in testing.

So you must be using Debian unstable.

On this machine I'm using a mixture of bits, mostly testing, and gnome3 is in testing at the moment.

although Debian is doing the best it can, you're not using the best Debian can do

I appreciate your point. I'm a happy user of GNOME 2 on my stable work laptop. However, with the GNOME desktop, we're in a bit of a difficult place in terms of stability and supportability. The upstream maintainers have moved on from GNOME 2, so there's no upstream support or interest for it anymore. The Debian GNOME maintainers are overworked and have a lot to do; their focus is largely on getting GNOME 3 into unstable and testing and sorting out the stability problems there. So whilst G2 on stable provides a much more reliable working environment, it's a 'dead' environment: nobody is going to care about the problems you experience there, unless it's sufficiently critical that it would justify a stable update.

Up until today, I found that with GNOME3, at least when I hit a problem I know that I can report it, and have a go at fixing it, and that somebody, somewhere might care: With G2, the little niggling bugs are all the more infuriating for me because I know that it's futile to try and resolve them any more.

Comment by Jon
comment 6

not acting on a missing +x is a security feature, and i dare to say one of the most important ones in unix at all. unless something is explicitly marked for execution, the os just doesn't execute it.

Perhaps I wasn't clear: I don't expect nautilus to automatically execute binaries, effectively ignoring the x bit entirely. I agree, that would be a very bad thing to do.

But, its behaviour should be a lot more friendly here. IMHO, it should ask you whether to execute it, and also offer a check box "mark this file as executable from now on", I'm open as to whether the tick-box defaults to ticked or not. That would be a UX more in keeping with how it behaves when you double-click on a text file marked +x.

Comment by Jon
comment 7

Concerning Alt+F2:

Bug Commit #1 Commit #2

Interesting reading, thanks, but it appears that transition (and the faulty workaround) occur in versions of gjs and gnome-shell newer than I am running, so I've hit something else.

Comment by Jon
comment 9
@Jon
I think this is is indeed the bug you are facing:
This seems to be the change in GJS, this is the upstream release and this is the upload to Debian.
Comment by Anonymous
comment 10
You're right, thanks (must have misread earlier links)
Jon
comment 11

Now guess why I am still using IceWM. Because when I test other things, I run away crying because of the buggy state of the competition.

However, LXDE was almost usable, and XFCE is something I might accept when they fix a couple of obvious issues.

Comment by Muahaha
comment 11

Have you tried MATE desktop yet? http://mate-desktop.org/

As much as some people would like you to believe the GNOME2 code still works just as well today as it did before GNOME3 came out (you just need to change some names, because the Gnome devs made everything clash between 2 and 3). So why not keep using it.

Comment by ssam