A bad idea gone bad

For as much as I bad-mouth Gnome, I should probably give it the benefit of the doubt. After all, I know for a fact that the Arch version of Gnome is quite speedy, as are some earlier versions of Debian’s Gnome desktop.

And if you put it together in pieces, rather than installing an entire preconfigured suite, it is possible to make one that does all the things you want, keep it simple, and avoid a lot of the extranous crud.

So while it’s not fair for me to direct 100 percent of my invective toward Gnome in particular, it does mean that occasionally, sometimes, it is possible to use Gnome without incurring a huge debt. It’s still vastly overweight when compared with the alternatives, but it’s not impossible to use.

And since I’ve never really given it the chance to perform under (what I consider to be) the best circumstances, I decided I’d try something completely bizarre, and compile the entire business from scratch.

Crazy, huh?

Well crazy is what it turned into. I don’t know if there are many people out there who install Gnome from source code, but in Crux, it proved ridiculous. Installing X wasn’t an issue, and the core system is of course, something I’ve done many times before.

But after the third or fourth sub-sub-subdependency spiraled out of control and exploded in a splatter of error messages, I decided it was a stupid idea. Chasing cryptic error codes and installing missing packages, all from source, in an effort to build a desktop I don’t even like … was a dumb idea from the start. :shock:

In the mean time if I know there’s something Gnomish I need to review, I’ll do it in Arch. It’ll be fast enough for my purposes.

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5 Responses to “A bad idea gone bad”

  1. 1 Dr Small 2009/04/02 at 10:36 AM

    Yeah, I agree with you; That’s a bad idea…
    Gnome’s sub(sub{sub(sub{sub(sub{sub})})})-dependencies are utterly ridiculous, and a total waste of my time.

  2. 2 thealphanerd 2009/04/02 at 6:07 PM

    And this is why I don’t like compiling from source: dependency heck.

  3. 3 An_dynas 2009/04/03 at 1:17 AM

    In response to a couple of recent posts: I actually kind of like dealing with Gnome — it’s easy and relatively intuitive for non-technical family member, so that’s what I normally leave running on the family machine with few complaints. My concern is with XFCE. Though this is a bit off topic, I would appreciate your thoughts. I acknowledge that Gnome is bloated and far bigger than it needs to be, but it’s trying to be all things to all people. XFCE claims that it’s aiming toward speed and responsiveness. I see very little difference in performance on my 1 Ghz CPU, both are painfully slow. This is particularly true in Ubuntu-based distros — virtually no difference exists any longer between Ubuntu and Xubuntu. I realize that you are a fan of thin, sleek implementations, but aren’t you more frustrated with XFCE than Gnome at the moment?

  4. 4 iandefor 2009/04/03 at 9:51 AM

    One of the many things I love about BSD: the ports tree makes compiling software like that from source a little less painful.

  5. 5 azzma 2009/07/06 at 4:37 AM

    I think it’s time you try gentoo. Lately you tried to compile some things from source wasting a lot of time for finding and resolving dependencies. This is something that gentoo’s ebuilds will manage for you, while compiling every package from source.
    Don’t need pulseaudio? Set the use-flag: -pulseaudio.
    Don’t need NetworkManager? Set the use-flag: -networkmanager
    That experiment will be much more fun than this one with gnome. Promised ;)

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Some recent desktops

May 6, 2011
Musca 0.9.24 on Crux Linux
150Mhz Pentium 96Mb 8Gb CF

May 14, 2011
IceWM 1.2.37 and Arch Linux
L2300 core duo 3Gb 320Gb

Some recent games

Apr. 21, 2011
Oolite on Xubuntu 11.04
L2300 core duo 3Gb 320Gb

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