A little over 3 weeks ago I started using GNOME 42 as my only desktop environment. As a fan of Plasma and tiling window managers, what has been my experience so far? Well, I'll tell you about it.
TL;DR: My experience has been… good, pretty good. I understand the appeal that GNOME and its workflow have, and the Activities view is quite useful and intuitive, whether you're using a mouse or have your hands on the keyboard.
Clickbait title, I know. I decided to try GNOME 42 after several months of using Plasma and a few weeks playing with Sway. In all this time I have criticized several of the GNOME team’s decisions (as the nobody whose opinion doesn’t count that I am, but I like to complain) and for me GNOME 42 is a somewhat controversial release, to say the least.
GNOME, from my perspective, has gone through several stages since GNOME 3 came out: first its initial stage as GNOME 3 which was refined until GNOME 3.
Last week I wrote about how I decided to accept Xah Lee's challenge on Tiling Window Managers. After using his workflow for a week I admit it: he won. But let me first explain why.
The problem I've been using Tiling Window Managers for about 3 years now. In that time I have visited floating window managers but always gave up and went back to BSPWM or DWM.
There's a very popular blog entry by Xah Lee called "Why Tiling Window Manager Sucks". In this post he explains why he hates Tiling Window Managers offering some arguments like "unusable", "esoteric set of keys", "combo keys=RSI" and my favorite "idiotic".
Though I don't agree with all his statements, he put some very valid points on the table: graphical applications and a lot of terminal applications are unusable after you have more than 3 windows open, also he does a very valid question "Do you really need to look at ALL the windows at once?
For a few weeks now I've been itching to try out KDE Plasma on my laptop. It's not that Plasma is a new experience for me, I've used it countless times in the past at least for a couple of days, but I've always abandoned it because it created strange problems for me, like constant plasmashell crashes or a relatively slow system. After seeing how Plasma 5.21 was a major upgrade, I decided to give it a try and am now writing this from Plasma 5.
When the online classes started 8 months ago, I used to greet my students with… nothing. Yes, nothing, just the Zoom boxes indicating that I had my camera off until the class start time, but as the weeks went by I started to feel that I had to change something about that. It's true that only about 7 students were waiting before 8am, the rest were arriving at 8am or later, but for those who are punctual, seeing my camera off must not be the warmest welcome.
After a long time of using tools like GitHub pages and looking for someone to host my little virtual home, I've decided to go the way of the selfhost…. well almost, a VPS which is pretty much the same thing. My motivation was mainly to have much more control over the tools I use in the virtual world, like git servers, mail servers and more, and in the process learn how a web server works.