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    I may sound like a broken record, but, again, Linux graphical shells have been just fine (give or take) for decades, and it simply doesn’t deserve all the fixation on them that they get. It’s the apps (or absence thereof) that usually suck!

    Although I have to admit that with the advent of Electron at least they now suck on other OSes in the same way :-) Which is they don’t adhere to any platform UI rules. Like, right now Enpass is the only app on my desktop that doesn’t close its window by Alt+F4. In fact, it goes to great lengths to achieve that: you can literally see how it immediately reopens a momentarily closed window.

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      Although I have to admit that with the advent of Electron at least they now suck on other OSes in the same way :-)

      I didn’t think about it that way. Maybe we should encourage it for Windows developers while encouraging lean, native stuff for Linux. Perceptions might shift a bit over time. ;)

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        I’ve found both Windows and OS X’s shells to be nearly unusable since shortly after switching to KDE in early 2008, and the usability gap only widened away from the commercial shells’ favor when I switched to a tiling window manager a year or so later. There are massive bucketloads of inconsistencies within Windows and Mac OS, and they’re missing tons of quality-of-life features that most X11 desktops have offered forever (workspaces, convenient keyboard shortcuts for window manager actions, nearly all customization options, among others).

        So—yeah, I don’t get it. I never have. The reason we haven’t had “the year of the Linux desktop” (which, again, for me, was over a decade ago) has nothing to do with the quality or polish of that desktop, and everything to do with inertia, network effects and marketing. Maybe GNOME, which I have no recent experience with, is just that bad…? But personally, I doubt it.

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          This doesn’t say much about what the nice tweaks System76 made to Ubuntu–this link low in the post is more informative about that. (Here are the shortcuts mentioned–many work for me on Ubuntu+GNOME, so they aren’t added by System76 as the post suggests.)

          I did at some point get Linux tweak fatigue and so I have pretty stock Ubuntu + GNOME 3 on a NUC, with other devices running less tweakable stuff like Chrome OS. So I’m always curious about the various lazy options for folks like me, though not sure this is the one for me (unless I buy a System76 box, maybe).

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            So I’m always curious about the various lazy options for folks like me, though not sure this is the one for me (unless I buy a System76 box, maybe).

            There’s always stock KDE Plasma. The Neon distribution is more or less stock Ubuntu LTS with KDE Plasma instead of Gnome.

            I’ve also enjoyed using ElementaryOS for long stretches of time. Reasonably stable, reasonable UX, reasonably fast and some really good ideas.

            I wont discuss taste, but I personally find especially KDE Neon very user-/developer-friendly. (But I’m boring: I identify as backender even while doing frontend for months, personally prefer Windows over Macs and a well designed Linux distro over both. Enjoy driving a Ford family car with a diesel engine, I don’t base jump, - you get the general idea.)

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              I feel the same way although I’ve been pretty satisfied with Kubuntu (You get less cutting edge Plasma versions).

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            Sounds like something I should try.

            Fixing shortcuts generally is something I have wished someone would do for a long time. Especially trying to get a system where one can expect one modifier to mean global shortcuts and another for local shortcuts.

            e.g.. if ctrl couldn’t be bound to global shortcuts every ctrl shortcut would be available for applications. Super could be for global shortcuts (window management, launch, etc). Alt and shift could be used as modifiers with both of these.

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              What do these gain? One app’s global is the window manager’s (an app in it’s own mind) local, and users rarely think in terms of layers.

              It may be elegant for the nerds, but regular users will not gain anything.

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              This article is content-free. It says “pop is the first good one” with no examples or screenshots or meaningful discussion on what was bad or why this is good.

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                Desktop-focused Linux distros such as Linux Mint and ElementaryOS don’t do this.

                Genuinely curious why the author thinks teams like Elementary don’t focus on UX? I see elementary as extremely similar to Pop!_OS, just with a different shell. I’d actually argue that elementary puts more time into consistency and UX that Pop.

                Granted, personally I prefer Pop to elementary (and am writing this from a Pop machine). However, my reasons stem from elementary having that layer of polish that is ultra wide, but only a mm deep. The cracks start to show after a few weeks of use. This might be due to Pantheon, or (IMO only) spreading themselves thin across Pantheon (and all it’s components), AppCenter, maintaining Vala, or all the “custom” apps (Code, Mail, Browser, etc.) for such a small team. Pantheon and the AppCenter I get, but all the custom apps (minus maybe Files) I feel are bit time sink when there are so many other bugs I would prefer get tacked. But these are my observations. I’d be curious why the author feels as they do.