First, two videos to share to get the idea of Loki if you haven’t seen it, yet!
This is from WOGUE channel, and it totally sucks, like all their videos –wait is this us?! :p
And this is from Linux Scoop channel which is cool to watch!
Okay, here we go! elementary + Panteon & Antergos + GNOME are my favorite systems, the ones I totally reckon to the people around me ..that is none (I’m so lonely & poor!), but if there were some people around me, those two would be my recommendations!
The first thing you should know about e (elementary), is that is based on the (rest Linux communities hated) Ubuntu 16.04 LTS and GNOME 3.18. A week ago GNOME released version 3.22 and in a month from now Ubuntu will release 16.10. And this is exactly the first thing I dont like on e!
The Release Cycle
I’m not quite familiar, but e has a two years major release schedule with some updates between. It is powered by Ubuntu LTS and that has serious issues of apps and libs updates. This is totally not how a home system should work, and on the top of that, it give us old GNOME versions too.
Open source is moving fast, and so GNOME. The current GTK 3.22 release has lots of improvements, from visuals to performance and backend libraries than 3.18 (that e ships), and that doesn’t just decrease the quality of e, but it also makes impossible to run some of the best apps. For example, I just learned that Feed Reader, stopped supporting GTK 3.18 and thus Pantheon desktop, when it originally was made for Pantheon. Not to mention that none of the newest GNOME apps will work on e, because they all require frameworks 3.22.
As far as I know e team is looking forward to move away from Ubuntu and to build their own software channels. But till today they use Ubuntu channels, together with theirs. Apart the modifications Ubuntu does on upstream software, a simple but wrong “apt install” can destroy the whole e installation. I have a fair knowledge of Fedora, Arch and Ubuntu, and Ubuntu has the worst repos by far. Ubuntu is the easiest system to accidentally break. Fedora is by far the most solid! Arch is like, you break it, you fix it, but in general they lack behind Fedora rockNESS!
To me this is the worst mistake of e. They’re trying to build an application ecosystem that is different than GNOME. That means two things.
A. The apps
e doesn’t yet have such a large team to create a full suite for applications. For example they got a file manager and a terminal app, but they don’t have a disks app. So they need to use some of GNOME utilities, that don’t work quite good under Pantheon.
Meanwhile GNOME and e design guidelines are about the same. The differences cannot justify the diversion. Yeap, GNOME doesn’t do great on application development, but at this point I think it would be a smarter move from e to focus on desktop (Pantheon) parts and OS (the distro) development, rather on apps. Like Solus for example does.
B. The apps 2
The other problem for e, is that GTK app developers, are mostly prefer building apps for GNOME. While we can run GNOME apps on e (remember the issue with old GTK here), the apps give issues with menus, theming and icons.
Another thing is the upstream case. If e was using upstream GNOME (latest versions), it would make the community stronger and it would help on feedback and bug fixing. It would benefit both. A stronger GNOME means a better e.
This is an area that e receives lots of complains. Personally I dont have something bad to talk about, but I dont like it either. What I dont like here is that e smells a bit like Apple. For example their sites, or the advertising of beauty instead of hacking. Thats the power of Linux! Promote Linux fun! It will pay you off! Mint for example does that!
To me, GNOME without extensions is the second worse desktop behind Unity 7. Pantheon on the other side is by far the best desktop in ergonomics, and perhaps even on look. But GNOME with extensions, simply owns everything! Apart the performance that deeply sucks. And GNOME Shell graphics that suck too. Basically GNOME Shell UI libs are dead, and GNOME Shell at some point it will be re-written on GSK (the scene graph of GTK)
While e doesn’t provide plugins for extending desktop, Pantheon has gone to a whole new point that we cant even change the fonts of the terminal!?! Guys, this ain’t serious stuff for Linux. It is not even serious for Windows! Speaking of which, Windows AppStore apps today sell two things. Removing ads (LOL), and buy themes, and some extra options. And elementary doesn’t either support theming and has limited to none options.
So, I would like to see e to follow the 6-months release schedule of Ubuntu, together with an upstream GNOME (like Ubuntu GNOME Staging does) and GNOME Apps, with same guidelines, so people can use all the their favorites apps both on GNOME and Pantheon!
Finally, I would give my $10 to support Patheon rather any other desktop (including GNOME) today. And you guys, if you use elementary you really should start donating on monthly base! It is important!