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Looking for some GNOME desktop help - Sun Solaris

Currently I am learning the Solaris and Linux Red Hat 9 GNOME environments with the goal to transition a group of users from OpenWindows to GNOME. Metacity in the Solaris and Linux environments is currently not meeting some user requirements, and so I am seeking what alternative GNOME applications might be added or used in replacement to achieve these requirements. Issue 1: the user has a wide variety of tools, both graphical and text based. None of these applications are GTk+ based, and there are not resources available to modify the applications to make them GTk+ based. The users also ...

  1. #1

    Default Looking for some GNOME desktop help



    Currently I am learning the Solaris and Linux Red Hat 9 GNOME
    environments with the goal to transition a group of users from OpenWindows
    to GNOME. Metacity in the Solaris and Linux environments is currently not
    meeting some user requirements, and so I am seeking what alternative GNOME
    applications might be added or used in replacement to achieve these
    requirements.

    Issue 1: the user has a wide variety of tools, both graphical and text based.
    None of these applications are GTk+ based, and there are not resources
    available to modify the applications to make them GTk+ based. The users
    also have 2 monitors attached to their workstations.

    1. When the user places a variety of applications in a variety of
    virtual desktops across their two monitor/headed systems, then indicates
    at logout they wish to save their sessions, the next login on SPARC Solaris
    does not place the applications in the correct virtual desktops. In fact,
    all applications are opened in one desktop. While some of these can be
    moved, other applications have to be shut down and restarted on the
    second monitor.

    2. A significant portion of the applications are not recognized by the
    session saving mechanism in GNOME. The gconf preference for handling
    such sessions appears to provide no support for specifying workspace
    or monitor location for the manually started applications.


    Issue 2: the user has various applications with more data
    than will fit on one window, and scrolling the graphical
    application windows takes too long. The users are currently using
    OpenWindows and the open windows virtual window manager, which
    provides them these two abilities, which they have felt is acceptable.

    1. Ability to create GUI windows that can be placed across virtual
    desktops. That is to say, a user might have one large application that
    sits across 4 different virtual desktops and then switch desktops
    to see relevant portions.

    2. Ability to switch virtual desktops as close to instantly as possible.
    Metacity does not provide a fast transition - one sits and watches each
    window drawn and contents refilled. Even after specifying minimal
    themes, turning off animations, etc., the time taken to switch
    virtual desktops is longer than the users require.

    Issue 3: assisting staff with problem resolution is difficult.

    1. It is not clear where one can find error logging to identify GNOME
    application problems. On Solaris, there are a couple of files in $HOME/.dt/
    which appear to contain error information during login - it's not yet clear
    whether these will contain all errors.

    Issue 4: differences in environment that frustrate users.

    1. Under OpenWindows, the users had the ability to move applications
    from the desktop into the workspace switcher, reposition items within
    the workspace switcher, etc. They would prefer to find a window manager
    or switcher which continued to provide them this ability.

    2. Replacing xterm with gnome-terminal might fix some of the positioning
    issues, but we have been unable to identify how to modify the gnome-terminal
    behavior so that function keys generate the sequences we need generated.
    Also, gnome-terminal doesn't support all of xterm's functionality - such
    as the ability to resize the window via escape sequences, etc.

    3. Users have reported that they see, occasionally and without being able
    to duplicate, cases where desktop menu panels disappear.

    4. Users see on a regular basis applications start up which are so large
    that the top (and sometimes bottom) are off the top and bottom of the
    virtual desktop. They are unable to find a way to cause the applications
    to resize to fit the virtual desktop.


    As you can see, there's quite a daunting task ahead. Telling users to
    just forget about previous functionality doesn't work very well when their
    work environment needs the functionality. So I'd like to find some
    methods of meeting as many of the needs as possible.
    --
    <URL: http://wiki.tcl.tk/ > In God we trust.
    Even if explicitly stated to the contrary, nothing in this posting
    should be construed as representing my employer's opinions.
    <URL: mailto:com > <URL: http://www.purl.org/NET/lvirden/ >
    lvirden@yahoo.com Guest

  2. #2

    Default Re: Looking for some GNOME desktop help

    com writes in comp.unix.solaris:
    |Currently I am learning the Solaris and Linux Red Hat 9 GNOME
    |environments with the goal to transition a group of users from OpenWindows
    |to GNOME. Metacity in the Solaris and Linux environments is currently not
    |meeting some user requirements, and so I am seeking what alternative GNOME
    |applications might be added or used in replacement to achieve these
    |requirements.

    You might try mailing this list to com and see if
    they have any suggestions - your issues are beyond my knowledge of GNOME.

    --
    __________________________________________________ ______________________
    Alan Coopersmith calberkeley.org
    http://www.CSUA.Berkeley.EDU/~alanc/ aka: COM
    Working for, but definitely not speaking for, Sun Microsystems, Inc.
    Alan Guest

  3. #3

    Default Re: Looking for some GNOME desktop help

    >You might try mailing this list to com and see if 

    BTW, is Gnome 2.4 for Solaris in the works?

    Uwe


    --
    anti-spam: Remove "dummy." from address above to obtain correct one
    Uwe Guest

  4. #4

    Default Re: Looking for some GNOME desktop help


    According to Uwe Wolfram <freenet.de>:
    :>You might try mailing this list to com and see if
    :>they have any suggestions - your issues are beyond my knowledge of GNOME.
    :
    :BTW, is Gnome 2.4 for Solaris in the works?

    http://wwws.sun.com/software/javadesktopsystem/faq.html states that
    the Sun Java Desktop System (aka Mad Hatter) comes with the GNOME 2.2
    desktop with some 2.4 based modifications as one of its components.
    However, the other SJDS pages read as if this package will only run on
    Linux...
    --
    <URL: http://wiki.tcl.tk/ > In God we trust.
    Even if explicitly stated to the contrary, nothing in this posting
    should be construed as representing my employer's opinions.
    <URL: mailto:com > <URL: http://www.purl.org/NET/lvirden/ >
    lvirden@yahoo.com Guest

  5. #5

    Default Re: Looking for some GNOME desktop help

    Uwe Wolfram <freenet.de> writes in comp.unix.solaris:
    |BTW, is Gnome 2.4 for Solaris in the works?

    Yes, but schedules/release plans are not yet finalized.

    --
    __________________________________________________ ______________________
    Alan Coopersmith calberkeley.org
    http://www.CSUA.Berkeley.EDU/~alanc/ aka: COM
    Working for, but definitely not speaking for, Sun Microsystems, Inc.
    Alan Guest

  6. #6

    Default Re: Looking for some GNOME desktop help

    com writes in comp.unix.solaris:
    |http://wwws.sun.com/software/javadesktopsystem/faq.html states that
    |the Sun Java Desktop System (aka Mad Hatter) comes with the GNOME 2.2
    |desktop with some 2.4 based modifications as one of its components.
    |However, the other SJDS pages read as if this package will only run on
    |Linux...

    The initial release this year is only the Linux version (and it only
    runs as a complete replacement Linux distro, not a product layered on
    top of other Linux distros). The Solaris version is planned for
    sometime next year.

    --
    __________________________________________________ ______________________
    Alan Coopersmith calberkeley.org
    http://www.CSUA.Berkeley.EDU/~alanc/ aka: COM
    Working for, but definitely not speaking for, Sun Microsystems, Inc.
    Alan Guest

  7. #7

    Default Re: Looking for some GNOME desktop help

    I forwarded your message to some of our GNOME people in Sun, and got a
    couple answers, along with a suggestion to file bugs & RFE's in
    bugzilla.gnome.org. Hopefully this helps a little bit.

    com writes in comp.unix.solaris:
    |2. Ability to switch virtual desktops as close to instantly as possible.
    |Metacity does not provide a fast transition - one sits and watches each
    |window drawn and contents refilled. Even after specifying minimal
    |themes, turning off animations, etc., the time taken to switch
    |virtual desktops is longer than the users require.

    On Solaris/sparc, using mediaLib should speed this up a little, but
    it may not be enough. Links to mediaLib and other performance tips
    can be found at:
    http://docs.sun.com/db/doc/817-1740/6mhev3brn?a=view

    (I actually find it's not too bad, but I don't run Nautilus, so don't
    have to wait for it to redo the background, and have a fair amount of
    RAM in the machines I use regularly.)

    |Issue 3: assisting staff with problem resolution is difficult.
    |
    |1. It is not clear where one can find error logging to identify GNOME
    |application problems. On Solaris, there are a couple of files in $HOME/.dt/
    |which appear to contain error information during login - it's not yet clear
    |whether these will contain all errors.

    "Yes, error messages that are sent to the stdout/stderr are still sent
    to the $HOME/.dt/startlog. However, most programs launched from the
    menu have their stdout/stderr sent to /dev/null. So it is useful to run
    programs from a terminal if you want to catch any interesting
    error/warning messages."

    |4. Users see on a regular basis applications start up which are so large
    |that the top (and sometimes bottom) are off the top and bottom of the
    |virtual desktop. They are unable to find a way to cause the applications
    |to resize to fit the virtual desktop.

    Apparently the GNOME answer is to rewrite all applications:

    "The applications might need to be enhanced to support _NET_WORKAREA.
    Refer to the FreeDesktop specification here:
    http://pdx.freedesktop.org/Standards/wm-spec/wm-spec-1.3.html"

    --
    __________________________________________________ ______________________
    Alan Coopersmith calberkeley.org
    http://www.CSUA.Berkeley.EDU/~alanc/ aka: COM
    Working for, but definitely not speaking for, Sun Microsystems, Inc.
    Alan Guest

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