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Ubuntu 18.04 - GNOME - Desktop icon conflict

Hi,

I was testing/using Ubuntu 18.04 when I noticed something odd. I had a few
files on the desktop. I plugged in a USB flash drive and an icon for the
drive appeared on the desktop, That is ok _except_ that the icon was placed
over some existing icons.

I've had a quick look on bugs.launchpad.net and not found anything. Has
this bug been reported before or shall I file a new bug report?

Thank :)

Ian

Comments

Re: Ubuntu 18.04 - GNOME - Desktop icon conflict

By Liam Proven at 05/14/2018 - 08:02

I've seen that on virtually all OSes with a graphical desktop at one time
or another.

Right-click the desktop and pick "arrange icons" (or words to that effect).

Re: Ubuntu 18.04 - GNOME - Desktop icon conflict

By Ian Bruntlett at 05/14/2018 - 08:39

Hi Liam,

BW,

Ian

Re: Ubuntu 18.04 - GNOME - Desktop icon conflict

By Liam Proven at 05/14/2018 - 08:51

Fair enough!

Sadly, desktop icons is a piece of functionality that is being removed from
GNOME. It's already gone from the upstream version; Ubuntu intentionally
includes an older version of Nautilus in order to retain support for the
LTS.

I fear it will disappear from 18.10 and subsequent versions. :-(

Re: Ubuntu 18.04 - GNOME - Desktop icon conflict

By Tony Arnold at 05/14/2018 - 10:25

Laim,

On Mon, 2018-05-14 at 14:51 +0200, Liam Proven wrote:
It's gone by default. There is an option (via Tweaks) to turn it on
again.

Personally, I prefer the Dash-to-Dock Gnome plugin as with so many
windows on my screens I can't see the desktop anyway!

Regards,
Tony.

Re: Ubuntu 18.04 - GNOME - Desktop icon conflict

By Ian Bruntlett at 05/14/2018 - 09:12

Hi Liam,

Thank you :)

Ian

Re: Ubuntu 18.04 - GNOME - Desktop icon conflict

By Liam Proven at 05/14/2018 - 09:23

I agree.

<a href="https://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2018/01/gnome-desktop-icons-removed-3-28" title="https://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2018/01/gnome-desktop-icons-removed-3-28">https://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2018/01/gnome-desktop-icons-removed-3-28</a>

I fear I am not popular with the GNOME development team, as I have
expressed my dislike clearly, asked awkward questions and been a nuisance.
:-(

Some people like it a lot, but compared to where it was 10 years ago, when
it was *the* dominant graphical desktop for free UNIX, what has happened is
a tragedy, IMHO.

Every free Unix OS offered GNOME 2 -- as well as all Linux distros, it was
on OpenSolaris, on FreeBSD, on Darwin, everything.

GNOME 3 ended that.

Now, it's true, there is more choice than ever -- but also more
fragmentation and less compatibility. And most of the current offerings are
just Windows clones. I think what has happened is very sad.

I have heard good things about Qt. I tried LXQt on openSUSE and it is not
really ready for use yet, IMHO. YMMV.

On my work desktop I have switched to Xfce. I find it a little more
configurable and customisable than LXDE. On my work laptop I am
experimenting with Cinnamon. My home machines still run Unity and I am not
sure what I will switch to next.

Thanks for bringing it to everyone's attention.

Re: Ubuntu 18.04 - GNOME - Desktop icon conflict

By Jim Byrnes at 05/14/2018 - 12:37

On 05/14/2018 08:23 AM, Liam Proven wrote:
That's certainly true. Since that time they seem to almost delight in
arbitrarily removing features and functionality. Removing the ability
to have two panes open in Nautilus seemed like the most user unfriendly
thing you could do to a file manager. I can't remember ever seeing any
reason of why it was done, other than that's what the developers
decided. I used Nemo for awhile but for some reason never felt that
comfortable with it. I've been using Double Commander for quite awhile
now and don't miss Nautilus at all anymore.

Regards, Jim

Re: Ubuntu 18.04 - GNOME - Desktop icon conflict

By Liam Proven at 05/14/2018 - 13:20

That in itself wasn't a deal-breaker for me, but the desktop icons thing
more or less is. I also dislike the desktop layout. GNOME 3 fans tell me
"it keeps out of my way" but that huge top panel, almost totally unused, is
an egregious waste of space. Along with desktop icons, notification icons
in the top panel are now deprecated. The username/network/volume/brightness
controls are all merged into 1, for no good reason I can see.

At least Unity put the menus in there -- a good big target to hit.

<a href="https://blog.codinghorror.com/fitts-law-and-infinite-width/" title="https://blog.codinghorror.com/fitts-law-and-infinite-width/">https://blog.codinghorror.com/fitts-law-and-infinite-width/</a>

This is the thing that irks me.

Many parts of older UIs, back in the 1980s when things were still
developing, were designed one the basis of solid academic research. So, for
example, Fitt's Law is behind the Mac's top menu bar.

Lots of people curse at it, but they don't realise there is science behind
it.

Microsoft, constrained by look-a

But once there was a difference, people started to form preferences, and
holy wars raged over it.

Apple's single mouse button. There are studies, with solid numbers. It
takes *thought* to pick what button to click. A lot for beginners, a
fraction of a second for experts, but thought, every time. So Apple reduced
it to one.

Microsoft, appealing to "power users", gave you 2. The original Unix
machines, and Acorn, 3.

3 is more powerful, but it takes decision-making time.

That, and having to aim at in-window menu bars, has wasted millions,
billions, of man-hours across the world over 3½ decades.

In System 7, Apple made the titles of aliases italic. You can't set
filenames in italics, so if the filename was in italics, it wasn't you. It
was the system telling you something -- that this wasn't the original file,
it was a pointer to it.

In Win95, Microsoft couldn't do that, because look-and-feel lawsuits, so it
put a little curvy arrow in the corner. Easier to miss, but perhaps more
logical. Later, Apple copied that back again. (!)

Lawsuits and holy war. Powerful reasons, but bogus ones. People don't
*like* Apple's choices, but they had *reasons*.

Now, that stuff is moot, because of touchscreens.

But the GNOME devs, in the admirable pursuit of simplicity and a desktop
that's as easy as a phone, are not doing the science. I suspect they don't
even *know* the research existed.

They're just identifying features they don't use, and removing them. No
consultation, no research, just "we can get rid of that".

But it is virtually an axiom: you cannot get to a simple design by starting
with a complicated design and removing bits.

Simplicity has to be the goal from the start.

You can't write a haiku by starting with a novel and removing words.

But that's what they are trying to do.
But once there was a difference, people started to form preferences, and
holy wars raged over it.

Apple's single mouse button. There are studies, with solid numbers. It
takes *thought* to pick what button to click. A lot for beginners, a
fraction of a second for experts, but thought, every time. So Apple reduced
it to one.

Microsoft, appealing to "power users", gave you 2. The original Unix
machines, and Acorn, 3.

3 is more powerful, but it takes decision-making time.

That, and having to aim at in-window menu bars, has wasted millions,
billions, of man-hours across the world over 3½ decades.

In System 7, Apple made the titles of aliases italic. You can't set
filenames in italics, so if the filename was in italics, it wasn't you. It
was the system telling you something -- that this wasn't the original file,
it was a pointer to it.

In Win95, Microsoft couldn't do that, because look-and-feel lawsuits, so it
put a little curvy arrow in the corner. Easier to miss, but perhaps more
logical. Later, Apple copied that back again. (!)

Lawsuits and holy war. Powerful reasons, but bogus ones. People don't
*like* Apple's choices, but they had *reasons*.

Now, that stuff is moot, because of touchscreens.

But the GNOME devs, in the admirable pursuit of simplicity and a desktop
that's as easy as a phone, are not doing the science. I suspect they don't
even *know* the research existed.

They're just identifying features they don't use, and removing them. No
consultation, no research, just "we can get rid of that".

But it is virtually an axiom: you cannot get to a simple design by starting
with a complicated design and removing bits.

Simplicity has to be the goal from the start.

You can't write a haiku by starting with a novel and removing words.

But that's what they are trying to do.

Re: Ubuntu 18.04 - GNOME - Desktop icon conflict

By Jim Byrnes at 05/14/2018 - 20:56

On 05/14/2018 12:20 PM, Liam Proven wrote:
I guess it all comes down to what you are comfortable with. Myself, I
don't care about desktop icons, as I never use them. I have always
preferred using a taskbar, panel or launcher or whatever you call it to
start apps.

Back in my OS/2 days I remember arranging icons and windows trying to
keep from covering icons so I could get at them easily. When I, think it
was Stardock, came out with that launcher that sat a the bottom of the
screen, can't even remember it's name, I starting using it and never
messed with desktop icons again. Everyone just needs to use what works
the best for them.

<smip>

Now here is a pet peeve of mine. Treating my large monitor desktop
system like it was a smartphone. Switching from a window that maybe
displayed a dozen items in a news feed or whatever to one that can only
get 3 items on the screen because of a logo or a ton of wasted space
around the item always irritates the hell out of me.

Regards, Jim

Re: Ubuntu 18.04 - GNOME - Desktop icon conflict

By Peter Flynn at 05/15/2018 - 11:38

On 15/05/18 01:56, Jim wrote:
Dolphin used to be able to do that and it was hugely useful. But then
someone screwed with the location of icons, and it broke, and I've never
managed to get it working since. But then I found Caja, which is like a
Nautilus/Thunar but lets you enlarge the icons so they can be used as
previews for images.

I have moved to Enlightenment for this reason (among others).

But my Windows-using colleagues are firmly welded at the hip to desktop
icons, especially since they started using W10.

///Peter

Re: Ubuntu 18.04 - GNOME - Desktop icon conflict

By Liam Proven at 05/15/2018 - 12:08

Caja is the Maté file manager. Maté is a fork of GNOME 2; as such Caja is a
fork of GNOME 2's version of Nautilus.

Fair enough. On Bodhi Linux or directly from the repos?

I feel I have to point out that virtually every vaguely modern-ish desktop
out there can do an auto-hiding dock on the side or bottom of the screen
plus a panel at the top: Maté, GNOME 3, Unity, Xfce, LXDE, KDE, you name it.

:-(

Re: Ubuntu 18.04 - GNOME - Desktop icon conflict

By Peter Flynn at 05/15/2018 - 17:31

Maté is a fork of GNOME 2; as such Caja is a
Thank you...always nice to know the origins. Main thing is, it seems to
work without annoyances.

At the moment, under Mint, because it was the only OS variant that would
install correctly on this laptop (Dell XPS 15). But Enlightenment and
Terminology are installed from additional repos from niko2040 because
the main once are seriously out of date.

That's good. I moved to Enlightenment quite a few years ago so I haven't
checked back to see what others offer. Perhaps it's because E has it as
the default, but on others it's a switchable option.

///Peter

Re: Ubuntu 18.04 - GNOME - Desktop icon conflict

By Liam Proven at 05/16/2018 - 05:20

If one were to read between the lines, I was passing sad and ironic comment
on how the file manager from v2 of GNOME works well whereas the one from v3
of GNOME is widely regarded as crippled in various ways.

Such is "progress".

Ah, yes. Mind you, Enlightenment is a fast-moving target.

You might find it interesting to look at Bodhi Linux, which is the only
Ubuntu variant I know of to be based on Enlightenment. However, because
Rasterman keeps releasing new versions without working all the wrinkles out
of the old ones, the Bodhi maintainers have found it necessary to fork E17
to create what they call Moksha. It does not attempt to track the latest
releases.

I would also point out that Rasterman pulled the same trick that the
maintainers of Solaris and Java did: drop the part of the version number
before the decimal point in order to make the product look much more mature
and fast moving.

Java went: 1.0, 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and coming soon 10.

SunOS 4.x was renamed Solaris. Then came Solaris v2, AKA SunOS 5.0, and
after that, it went 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 2.5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11... and then
it was axed.

Spot the jump in both.

Enlightenment went 0.01, 0.02, 0.03 etc. up to 0.17 -- when the version
number didn't move for 12 years. After that, it was renamed DR17 and was
followed by DR18, 19, 20, 21 and 22.

This rapid incrementation after a long period of stability has displeased a
lot of people so there are now maintained forks of E16, E17 *and* the
current version.

It'as the default on XFCE on some distros, e.g. Fedora. It is also the
default desktop style on Elementary OS, and one of the basic choices when
installing LXLE. This is not something new -- it's been the case for about
a decade.

Re: Ubuntu 18.04 - GNOME - Desktop icon conflict

By Peter Flynn at 05/16/2018 - 18:30

On 16/05/18 10:20, Liam Proven wrote:
I did :-) but restrained myself...

Yes, but so far I have managed to keep pace.

I did, but it too failed to install properly on the Dell XPS 15,
although it got further than everything else bar Mint, and I did
actually use it for a day or two before I realised that Moksha is even
more out of date than the E in the Ubuntu/Mint repos.

I'm prepared to put up with that by staying one or two versions behind.

Yep, saw that.

I was a devoted 4.1.3 user until the Millenium when I jumped with the
rats from the sinking ship and moved all production to Linux. My
SparcStation IPX (Ireland's first web server) is still sitting in my
office, awaiting the day which will now never come when I can find out
how to restore the battery-backed config to life and get it to boot.

Messy, but the decade of stagnation meant that it had a long way to
catch up.

I missed them, unfortunately. I ditched Fedora for Ubuntu many years ago.

I now have to start making a case to move all the work servers from
CentOS6/7 to Ubuntu server so that we can have up-to-date versions of
our LAMPS stack, against resistance from some people who value
"stability" over utility. But that's for next week...

///Peter

Re: Ubuntu 18.04 - GNOME - Desktop icon conflict

By Liam Proven at 05/17/2018 - 04:36

Well, yes, but intentionally so, AFAICT.

Fair enough.

Aha!

I gave away my IPX but the hack is well-documented, e.g.

<a href="http://www.obsolyte.com/sunFAQ/faq_nvram.html" title="http://www.obsolyte.com/sunFAQ/faq_nvram.html">http://www.obsolyte.com/sunFAQ/faq_nvram.html</a>

The ClassicCmp.org mailing list can also offer help, and maybe SunRescue.

Fair point.

Enlightenment is now the standard desktop on the Samsung Tizen
embedded/mobile Linux:

<a href="https://www.tizen.org/" title="https://www.tizen.org/">https://www.tizen.org/</a>

<a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tizen" title="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tizen">https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tizen</a>

... so I hope it will thrive.

Probably wise! :-)

Ah yes. Another common problem.

If you stay current, CentOS isn't so bad, I suspect.

Re: Ubuntu 18.04 - GNOME - Desktop icon conflict

By Peter Flynn at 05/17/2018 - 16:40

On 17/05/18 09:36, Liam Proven wrote:
[...]
Indeed it is, if you fancy sawing the shroud in half, prising the old
battery out, and effectively putting it back together with a new
battery, chewing-gum, and string :-)

We may go for one of those anyway.

But we *are* current...and CentOS7 still only provides PHP 5.6 which
most of our applications reject. Same with MySQL.

///Peter

Re: Ubuntu 18.04 - GNOME - Desktop icon conflict

By Liam Proven at 05/18/2018 - 06:18

Yes, I saw it and that's one reason I gave my IPX away.

It _might_ be possible to buy pre-modded clock chips now. Might be worth
asking. The machine sounds historic!

I'm beginning to get the feeling I'm attempting to teach advanced
egg-sucking to a grandparent. ;-)

EPEL and the like can fix that, not? I faced the same issue about 5-6y ago,
and I think that's how I got round it.

<a href="https://wiki.centos.org/AdditionalResources/Repositories" title="https://wiki.centos.org/AdditionalResources/Repositories">https://wiki.centos.org/AdditionalResources/Repositories</a>

Re: Ubuntu 18.04 - GNOME - Desktop icon conflict

By Peter Flynn at 05/18/2018 - 15:21

On 18/05/18 11:18, Liam Proven wrote:
[...]
The machine is certainly historic. I looked for replacement chips but
didn't find any, but that was a year or two ago. I should check again.

My first grandchild is due in October :-)

We found fixes, certainly, but our Systems people really don't like the
idea of hand-patching all the relevant servers and creating a forked
procedure for keeping those patches up to date. My task is to persuade
them that the bottom will not fall out of the universe if we use Ubuntu
Server instead of CentOS :-)

///Peter

Re: Ubuntu 18.04 - GNOME - Desktop icon conflict

By Colin Watson at 05/14/2018 - 13:13

On Mon, May 14, 2018 at 11:37:52AM -0500, Jim wrote:
Here you go:

<a href="https://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=676858" title="https://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=676858">https://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=676858</a>

(Don't shoot the messenger, and indeed please don't CC me on any replies
about how terrible this feature removal is. I'm not a Nautilus
developer and I really don't care personally how Nautilus behaves as I
do all my file management at the command line. But the top of that bug
log states the reasoning.)

Re: Ubuntu 18.04 - GNOME - Desktop icon conflict

By Jim Byrnes at 05/14/2018 - 20:20

On 05/14/2018 12:13 PM, Colin Watson wrote:
Colin,

Wouldn't think of shooting the messenger, I appreciate the information.
i don't agree with their reasoning, but no big deal, I just moved on and
found something that works the way i like.

Regards, Jim

Re: Ubuntu 18.04 - GNOME - Desktop icon conflict

By Bret Busby at 05/14/2018 - 10:12

On 14/05/2018, Liam Proven < ... at gmail dot com> wrote:
Which led me, upon being advised, to switch to the MATE interface,
which I have since been using, and found satisfactory.

Whilst I still use GNOME and KDE applications, on top of MATE, the
MATE interface, with the particular theme and configuration that I
use, itself, is satisfactory.

Hopefully, UbuntuMATE (I understand that the MATE interface is
avalable also on BSD's) will not change the interface, and, will stay
usable.

Ubuntu 18.04 - GNOME - Desktop icon conflict

By Rashkae at 05/18/2018 - 10:27

I like Mate and Xface both very much.. Unfortunately, they are both
suffering from more apps, (as well as desktop components) moving to GTK3
and GTK3 itself is just a full two step backwards for every step forward.

(A couple examples that come immediately to mind, the buggy overlay
scrollbars making the bottom list item in Synaptic very awkward to
select. The constant breaking of themes with each point release meaning
that favorite themes might not work from release to release, and the
modern fascination by theme creators for low contrast text (grey on
grey? I've past 40, I need readable text!) compounded by the no longer
working colour customization of gnome appearance... Well, to bring my
rant short, I'm thinking there will be a switch all QT in my near future.