Is gnome 2 still available for v.12?

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user00

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Mate started off quite good, while it still shared almost 100% code with Gnome2, but then things went sideways. Now, Mate is bugged. I am dreading having to upgrade once my dated hardware fails and new OSs no longer support it.

I am a user. This is reflected in the nick. I do not write software. I use it. And because I have a lot of experience using it top to bottom, I am qualified to pass judgment on which DE is good and which is bad. KDE 4+ and Gnome3 are crap. They should have never been released. But some absolutely need something "smartphone-like" on their resume to get a job at Google or Apple, and we suffer as in having to put up with tons of unwanted crap being shoved down our throats.

Bad decisions made by distro maintainers immediately reflect in adoption. FreeBSD should not make bad decisions if it wants wider adoption. Not caring about multimedia, mutli-monitor support, auto-mounting of USB drives, and many other mundane things that mainstream user wants is a bad decision. Abandoning Gnome2 for Gnome3 is also a bad decision.
 

kpedersen

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And because I have a lot of experience using it top to bottom, I am qualified to pass judgment on which DE is good and which is bad.

I remember a few years back I replaced my dear sweet mothers laptop running Debian 4 (and Gnome 2) with Debian 7 (and Gnome 3). She was actually a big fan of Gnome 2 even though she had no idea what it was and most of her usage of it is web browsing for gardening supplies anyway.

She took one look at Gnome 3 and said "What is this bollocks?" which did make me chuckle. She has never been happy with it. If it wasn't for the fact that Windows 10 would take my mother for an absolute ride in terms of start-menu adverts and leaking personal info to 3rd parties, I would have just chucked a "patched" version of that on there.

So it seems you don't even need to be a power user to realize Gnome 3 is an absolute failure. As for FreeBSD adoption, yes Gnome 3 is a problem. But it is also a problem for Linux. It has set the open-source desktop community back a decade or more. It is also not suitable for a corporate environment. It has killed any chance of the NHS adopting Linux as work horse (and 5 years ago it was seriously close!).

But, when you *have* to rely on others to provide you with software (me too. I may be a developer but an entire DE is too time consuming. I tried with OpenCDE), you open yourself up for disappointment. So stick to small replaceable components to achieve some amount of damage control.

* I only mentioned my mother, but my father is alive and well. However I will never be able to get him away from MS-DOS 5 and TurboTax... so he is quite happy. I just leave him to it... XD
 

Sevendogsbsd

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Bad decisions made by distro maintainers immediately reflect in adoption. FreeBSD should not make bad decisions if it wants wider adoption. Not caring about multimedia, mutli-monitor support, auto-mounting of USB drives, and many other mundane things that mainstream user wants is a bad decision. Abandoning Gnome2 for Gnome3 is also a bad decision.

So FreeBSD is not a “distro”, that term only applies to Linux. Also, the team that created and maintains FreeBSD has nothing to do with any of the packages or ports available for the operating system; that is strictly a volunteer effort. Lastly, FreeBSD did not “abandon” Gnome 2. Gnome 2 was dropped by the Gnome development team in favor of Gnome 3. This is why the Mate’ project was created.
 
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user00

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It does not matter that a piece of software is abandoned by its developer. You simply keep it in the repo and let users download and install it. Instead you delete it.
 

Sevendogsbsd

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It does not matter that a piece of software is abandoned by its developer. You simply keep it in the repo and let users download and install it. Instead you delete it.
A complex desktop environment doesn’t work like that. Way too many back end libraries involved that are no longer available. A dev can probably explain it better. Don’t get me wrong, Gnome 2 was my all time favorite DE. FreeBSD didn’t “delete it” because the Gnome 2 packages and ports had nothing to do with the OS.
 

ekvz

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Desktop Environment Jam 2020 (Has a nice ring to it?)

If a number of us (preferably each of the 24,194 members on the forum XD) put our heads together and wrote a small DE component or utility each, we would have one fairly substantial FreeBSD desktop environment ;)

(it would likely turn into a cluster-fsck in terms of project management, but it would at least make a fun experiment!)

People (let's just assume enough members would sign up for this) would likely have to form teams anyways otherwise the result would end up using every toolkit, language and design approach under the sun with every 2nd person pushing in a different direction ;)

Mate started off quite good, while it still shared almost 100% code with Gnome2, but then things went sideways. Now, Mate is bugged.

I am not saying that there 100% was no option to handle things differently but don't you think there might be kind of a reason to this? Maybe simply maintaining Gnome2 proved to be not that easy after all? I am with kpedersen in that it might have been a better approach to try to reduce complexity but then i am not in their position so i can't make a definitive statement. I am sorry but to me it seems a bit like you almost instantly suspect malice or stupidity once someone makes a decision that doesn't suit you.

Not caring about multimedia, mutli-monitor support

I very much doubt this has anything to do with not caring but rather with resources not being infinite or free.

auto-mounting of USB drives, and many other mundane things

Auto mounting might seem mundane to you but it's actually something that (at the basic OS level) is pretty much impossible to realize in any sane way. There is simply to many variables to it to supply some generic one-size-fits-all solution. Deciding how to approach that is something that's up to the DE and the OS not making a lot of assumptions on how things will work in the end is actually advantageous there.

But, when you *have* to rely on others to provide you with software (me too. I may be a developer but an entire DE is too time consuming. I tried with OpenCDE), you open yourself up for disappointment. So stick to small replaceable components to achieve some amount of damage control.

Exactly. That's pretty much the downside to buying into some batteries included solution. Sure it might be convenient as long as he right batteries are included but once there isn't you better hope they are exchangeable and the more complex things are the less likely it is to be possible to just switch out random parts. The big DEs are pretty much a take it or leave it offer.

It does not matter that a piece of software is abandoned by its developer.

When you have something with the complexity of Gnome2 it DOES matter.

A complex desktop environment doesn’t work like that. Way too many back end libraries involved that are no longer available. A dev can probably explain it better. Don’t get me wrong, Gnome 2 was my all time favorite DE. FreeBSD didn’t “delete it” because the Gnome 2 packages and ports had nothing to do with the OS.

I've already tried to explain it to him but i don't think i managed to get the point across. He doesn't seem to understand the difference between some random tiny CLI utility that can just sit in a repository for 10 years collecting dust pretty much unaffected and a monster like Gnome2 which is so deeply integrated with almost everything that maintaining becomes mandatory if one wants it to continue to work. Even if FreeBSD was responsible for the ports keeping it would have meant to basically fork Gnome2 and take over development which obviously didn't happen so Gnome2 became non functional... I don't get what's so complicated about this.

I somewhat hoped he'd understand that when i linked him to the port. Restoring it is as simple as copying a couple of tiny files (very much replicating the "leave it be" state he seems to argue for). It just (with almost 100% certainty) does not produce a working Gnome2 environment anymore and that isn't because FreeBSD "dropped" it but because the world moved on and there was noone to keep Gnome2 from falling behind. I think what he expects FreeBSD should have done is basically what the Mate guys attempted and gave (likely for a reason...) up on. That's a tiny bit unrealistic in my opinion but maybe software development is really that hard to understand from a users perspective? I seriously don't know.
 
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user00

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A complex desktop environment doesn’t work like that. Way too many back end libraries involved that are no longer available.
This is where you say a firm "no" to those who blindly and bluntly introduce breaking upgrades.
Look at what gstreamer team has done. Their attitude is "f k all!". They obsolete deprecated calls in the same version that deprecates them, without any grace period. So far they have destroyed a number of consumers, kinodv and gajim among them, to mention a few. I tried to port kinodv to the next version of gstreamer and realized why the developer had to abandon the idea. The API had been completely butchered and required a lot of expensive R&D. This is where distro maintainers should have said "no" but the "f k all!" attitude is spreading across the world like plague. I can follow the money trail to Microsoft and Adobe, for whom the presence of free alternatives to their flagship products was unacceptable. Distro maintainers should be gatekeepers and weed out bad developers, not allow them to penetrate and pollute distributions. Instead we have systemd, polkitd, gnome3, gstreamer, and a bunch other horrible crap.
 

Sevendogsbsd

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None of this applies to FreeBSD at all and as mentioned previously, FreeBSD is not a "distro"; that is a Linux specific term only.

You have been given several answers to your questions but seem to be ignoring them for whatever reason.
 

ekvz

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This is where you say a firm "no" to those who blindly and bluntly introduce breaking upgrades.

Like how? Or what does it even matter? Attitude won't keep Gnome2 (or anything really) supported and yes you can ignore that as much as you want it needs support to keep working. A lot of support actually.

Look at what gstreamer team has done. Their attitude is "f k all!".

While that's obviously not a good thing they can do that. It's their project and they don't owe anyone anything.

The API had been completely butchered and required a lot of expensive R&D.

Seems like whoever had to do this "expensive R&D" might have been better off paying the original developers of the code they were using. Their personal requirements would likely have been a little more important then.

This is where distro maintainers should have said "no" but the "f k all!" attitude is spreading across the world like plague.

What exactly do you expect them to do? Stick to outdated versions with no upstream support and divert their own resources to make up for that? That simply is not going to work on a broader scale.

See, i share your dislike for most of the things mentioned but to be blunt i am kinda triggered by the entitlement i read between the lines. I mean seriously, what do YOU plan to do about those issues? Just sit back and aim big words at other people who invest their VALUABLE time into various projects they kindly allow others to use for free? That's not only pointless. That's a bit more than that... You are very much free to fork Gnome2, Gstreamer or whatever really and use your time/resources to form them according to your vision. Hell, you can start your own "distro" where you can be the "gatekeeper". If you can't do that yourself there is a lot of people you can pay to do it. Oh, yes, that won't be cheap. Software development isn't cheap. It just looks that way when you have tons of stuff you can use for free but that's simply because others (namely those people who used their time - time they could have likely also spend on well paying development jobs that is) have payed for it. Don't like it? Don't use it. There is no fundamental right to get free software.
 
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user00

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Entitlement? I've donated to FreeBSD org over the years more than it costs to buy Windows OS. I stopped, when I realized that it no longer maintains the original spirit of cautious conservatism but ploughs ahead just to keep up with the bleeding edge while doing nothing about bugs. When I see that bug reports are met with reluctance or hostility, I cut the line and bail out.

FreeBSD is not a "distro"
Berkley. Software. Distribution.
 

Sevendogsbsd

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I donate to the foundation as well. The term “distro” in the context you used it, applies only to Linux. Also, as I and others have said repeatedly: the FreeBSD foundation does not maintain and is not responsible for ANYTHING outside of base, in other words any port or any package. Those are solely maintained by volunteers. I do not understand your misguided anger at “FreeBSD “ when the OS has nothing to do with Gnome 2 and never had anything to do with Gnome 2, its existence, or its demise.
 

ekvz

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Entitlement? I've donated to FreeBSD org over the years more than it costs to buy Windows OS.

Yes, entitlement. It's nice to hear that you have actually contributed in a way but do you seriously think the cost of a copy of windows could fund an effort like supporting Gnome2? No offence but that's either insane or pretty entitled. Everything that ever existed in relation to FreeBSD and Gnome2 (it's those port files i've linked to) is still very much available. It's just not distributed as it does not work anymore and diverting resources to make it work again would easily blow through your "copy of windows" way before a developer even managed to get an overview what needs to be done. Let alone do any actual work. Do you even have a slight clue how massive of an effort that is what you are asking, how many hours it likely would amount to and what those hours cost?

Besides, you are donating to FreeBSD. That is the base system. The base system stops where ports start. FreeBSD is not responsible for what happens to Gnome or Gstreamer or ... That's pretty much the biggest problem here. You are directing your frustration at the entirely wrong entity. If you want to influence the Gnome project you need to address - drumroll... - the Gnome project. You could also write an angry email to the original port maintainer about how he dared to make that decision of not dedicating the rest of his life to keeping Gnome2 supported and you happy... At the very least that wouldn't be entirely misdirected.

I stopped, when I realized that it no longer maintains the original spirit of cautious conservatism but ploughs ahead just to keep up with the bleeding edge while doing nothing about bugs.

If that's your impression then that's perfectly fine of course but just to put that into perspective again: Depending on the complexity your copy of windows might not pay the developer hours of even a single bug. It would probably equal to a handful of easy ones at best and that's stretching it. Still, do as you please. As i said: Don't like it. Don't use it. Or in this case rather: Don't like it. Don't donate.

Personally i don't think that's accurate though. FreeBSD (the base system) is as far as i can tell perfectly conservative and i didn't run into a lot of bugs either. Missing/incomplete hardware support isn't a bug but rather a sign of scarce resources (do want to worsen that further? i am not sure but supporting Gnome2 seems like the perfect way to do it). You seem in part to be blaming FreeBSD for not making the world around it conservative too and that's just madness in my opinion.

When I see that bug reports are met with reluctance or hostility, I cut the line and bail out.

When you aren't payed to do what often times is rather boring and exhausting work not having the demeanor of a support line drone might come with the circumstances i guess. If you came up to me while i am playing mr. nice guy trying to fix bugs that might not affect me at all and put forward an all demanding why-aren't-you-working-faster? attitude there would be a good chance of me not being overly diplomatic either.

Berkley. Software. Distribution.

Yes, it's technically in the name... A name that was chosen before the term "distribution" got the generally accepted meaning it has today...
 

Beastie7

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Entitlement? I've donated to FreeBSD org over the years more than it costs to buy Windows OS. I stopped, when I realized that it no longer maintains the original spirit of cautious conservatism but ploughs ahead just to keep up with the bleeding edge while doing nothing about bugs. When I see that bug reports are met with reluctance or hostility, I cut the line and bail out.


Berkley. Software. Distribution.

Your frustrations are terribly misplaced. FreeBSD is not responsible for the development or direction of Gnome2. Port maintainers do not have commit rights to third party software. This is not hard to understand.
 

Mjölnir

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user00 You have to address your anger to the maintainers of Mate & Cinnamon? Maybe you're able to support them with manpower? Or maybe try Haiku? It's a desktop OS where the (one) GUI is tightly integrated into the the OS... In contrast, FreeBSD is
  • a complete UNIX-like BSD OS suitable for server & a good, reliable & robust base for a desktop running a variety of DEs (Mate/XfCE/KDE/Lumina/LxQt/GNUStep/minimal)
  • a set of building blocks suitable as a base to create specialized OS for appliance vendors from server to embedded
Looks like your expectation does not match reality?
 

sidetone

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If Gnome2 is unmaintained upstream, someone else would have to take it up outside of FreeBSD. Many of those older programs left gtk2 for gtk3. Those dual dependencies have dependencies that are more complicated than they need to be, (they often pull each other in) and that's a bunch of tangled knots in the ports tree: it's not as bad as it used to be.

Secondly, many FreeBSD users don't even use Gnome, and have a functional desktop/window manager. Those window managers/desktops are 1,000 times better than Gnome or Mate. Just use another window manager.

You're complaining about things that are brought from that environment, and they often mess things up. I don't know why you're complaining about FreeBSD not offering something in ports that's long not maintained upstream. Those programs and what comes with them bring bloat, and you identify there's bloat, but it comes from what's associated with those projects.

It does not matter that a piece of software is abandoned by its developer. You simply keep it in the repo and let users download and install it. Instead you delete it.
This itself would add tons of bloat to the ports tree, because of outdated (in other words irrelevant) and out of touch dependencies. The less bloat, the easier and quicker for them to troubleshoot and fix breakages, bugs and vulnerabilities.

There's a lot of things I want to see done, and I bring them up, but I understand, that it's up to them, or I need to do it, even if that is a challenge. If it's out of my capacity, it's a little frustrating. I say, this would be good, and research what's the easiest way to do it, and show how it can be done. Then I realize, that I need to do it. If I don't have the capacity to do it, then I just figure out a better and easier way to do it, or find something that wants to do it that fits what I have in mind, and support them.

I really wish that those projects would have their own separate portstree for FreeBSD, because their way of doing things is different, including their tendencies to introducing unnecessary and complicated dependencies. They don't want FreeBSD, they want LinuxBSD.
 
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user00

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You already keep tons of useless code in the ports tree that no one has used for decades.
 

kpedersen

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That code is generally self-contained. Whereas the "design" of Gnome means it cannot co-exist with later versions.

If "Gnome 3" was never released, or if it was released under the name of "Troll 3", you might have more of a chance that Gnome 2 would be in the packages (though possibly a little unmaintained).

So really the Gnome developers have done you a disservice by not only killing Gnome 2 but also by muddying the water by starting a new desktop environment with a familiar name. Presumably it is so they could benefit from the popularity and original user-base.
 

ekvz

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You already keep tons of useless code in the ports tree that no one has used for decades.

Useless is relative as long as something can even at least in theory work. To do that it needs to build but i can pretty much assure you Gnome2 would not build so keeping those files around would be 100% pointless. Worse than that they would waste peoples time because it gives them the impression they would be able to use it. Which they can't because IT DOES NOT WORK.

Let me ask you two simple questions: Did those portfiles i've linked to help you in any way towards getting a working Gnome2 environment? If the answer is no why on earth would want to ship them with the system? Is it so they can be of no use to other people too? That's ridiculous.
 

sidetone

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You already keep tons of useless code in the ports tree that no one has used for decades.
Most of it came from Linuxisms, the kind you want in ports.

When something hasn't had a port maintainer for a while, they delete it, that's how they keep outdated code out. You want something in, but you want excessive code out? Gnome 2 comes with bloat, that insists on having having intermingling dependencies of Gnome 3, through gtk2 and gtk3. It's Gnome bloat, not FreeBSD bloat.

Ports are a volunteer effort. It would be a lot better to use another WM, and style it like Gnome2. If you really want Gnome 2, create a Makefile to download the sources to build it on your computer. Its security problems aren't updated, however. Gnome 2 will tangle up with a lot of Gnome 3 dependencies, for use on the regular ports tree.

I have doubts that there's a Linux distribution currently with a functional and without security vulnerable Gnome 2.
 

ekvz

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I have doubts that there's a Linux distribution currently with a functional and without security vulnerable Gnome 2.

I agree that's unlikely to the point of almost impossible. I figure resurrecting Gnome2 would involve forking a ton of libraries at a state from 6-10 years ago and then moving on to backport each and every applicable security fix (and as far as possible/useful feature?) that came along in the meantime. When that's done the "only" thing that's left to do is support/audit/fix those libaries which at this point are pretty much a project of it's own and of course track the old upstream in case any new patches pop up that are still relevant to this kind of frankenzombie codebase (which after so much time has passed is somewhat doubtful but theoretically possible though...).

Ofcourse applications would have to be looked into also. I am unsure what to do here though. Fork old versions and try to backport new features or fork current versions trying to patch support for old technologies back in while chasing a moving target? Doesn't really matter anyways i guess. Both approaches seem pretty much equally horrible/annoying/massively work intensive.

Without any kind of serious funding (and who would even think about dumping money on something like this?) that's pretty much what i'd call a good joke... Especially considering (the already mentioned) fact that this seemingly was the original target of the Mate project and them giving up on it.
 

kpedersen

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I have doubts that there's a Linux distribution currently with a functional and without security vulnerable Gnome 2.

Yep, it doesn't look good. I think we have Red Hat Enterprise 6 for one more year and then that is the last before it goes into "extended support". Perhaps if Debian is run inside a chroot (for a recent web browser) on RHEL6 it could be an option for the OP?

Otherwise we have Solaris 11.3 in extended support as the last remaining Gnome 2 release of that.

Or the OP just chill out... use the crap that is available and then just hope the next generation of Gnome developers are a little more competent when it comes to usability ;)
 
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