Latif Anshori Kurniawan

A Journey to GNOME World (1)

Diterbitkan pada dalam Blog.

Previously, I am a KDE addict. On a daily basis, I mostly use KDE on open-source operating-systems (BSD Unix derivatives, Linux-based kernel distributions) for more than a decade. I had been a KDE user since Mandrake Linux had further released around 90’s. KDE and Qt are integrated very well.

Indeed, KDE is based on Qt, I am one of enthusiasts of Qt software. On KDE, Qt apps are awesome. Because Qt is cross-platform, KDE provides the availability for wide platform, from GNU/Linux, macOS, to Windows. Even, for mobile needs, KDE have Plasma Mobile. When I facing Plasma Mobile, I read EndlessOS.

EndlessOS came from GNOME family. And yes, I am not a GNOME user before, so I need a time to handle the habitation for many of EndlessOS’ features and user-interface (UI). Then, this time, I migrate to a new world that I never touch before: GNOME.

Although I use BSD/Linux and ever tried other desktop environments (DEs), GNOME is really “new” for me. Born from Slackware family, I prolong with XFCE beside KDE, sometime enjoy the modestly of MATE or Cinnamon, but not GNOME. Yeah I know MATE is old-school style of GNOME and several things of Cinnamon needs GTK+ of GNOME.

I still wonder why a lot of BSD/Linux users used GNOME. And even, Linus Torvalds, use GNOME on his Fedora Linux—may be it seems like me, I wonder why I still do not use Ubuntu. So, I need one system that can cover my GNOME-ing experience, then I choose Fedora.

The reason is not what distribution that Torvalds uses on his daily basis, but I just like the appearance of Fedora-GNOME video reviews on YouTube. Bring back memory after I had have an experience with Mandrake, I had ever use Red Hat (and SuSE)—but both had been polished with KDE. By means, Fedora bring me back then, and completely with GNOME as a new journey.

GNOME is not macOS-like
Some people said GNOME seems like the desktop appearance of macOS. I do not agree about. Everything has its own unique, every DE has its own style. May be, you will find several simply GNOME features inspired by macOS’ interface features, but both are different. May be, you will see GNOME-like style on your iOS for iPad, but both have different purpose, spirit, and/or philosophy.

First thing first, as an ordinary open-source BSD/Linux user, I do not do hardcore activities on the machine. Please do not ask me about software development or deployment, I am just an open-source enthusiast, sure not a programmer. Mostly I use my BSD & Linux boxes for office materials (reading, writing, cite references, printing, etc.) and teaching in my educational Linguistics class. As a lecturer, I use my machine for “light-weight” jobs.

In my honest opinion, KDE and GNOME are not rivals, both have their own fanatical users & developers. I could not talk about the “war”, no war there. Everyone has his/her own rights to use any kinds of DE. But, it is—may be—a brave journey. Many years with KDE and other non-GNOME DEs, then I dive into GNOME ocean. Here, I start to discuss about one of GNOME simply-tiny apps: Tomboy (a note-taking app).

When you use KDE, you will find many note-taking apps, i.e.: Kwrite, Kate, and more. Tomboy is not only note-taking app on GNOME; likes on KDE, you will find the similar apps.

I just feel like no different between the note apps. But, Tomboy is simply and light.

At the first time, I was “awkward”, several features placed differently, seems like a baby who learn to stand up at the beginning of his/her life. I need to use it on a daily basis. The journey should not end here, but what will you talking about when you use note-taking app?

KDE and GNOME are fantastic DE. May be I can not leave KDE, but I see the future with GNOME too. But, as usual, I do not like use KDE-base and GNOME-base apps on one BSD/Linux. By means, I would not mix both Qt and GTK+ engines on a same system. Let us take a look ahead what will I do on GNOME at the next episode—in shaa’ Allah.