Design/F18 Launcher Purge

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Fedora includes an extremely large number of application launchers by default. Many of these are confusing, unnecessary and irrelevant to the majority of users. Problems caused by these issues:

  • A high number of launchers makes launching applications inefficient and difficult - it takes a long time to find the launcher you are looking for, and is an unpleasant experience.
  • Introduces redundancy and disinterest - many of the launchers aren't relevant to the majority of users. This makes the application view an uninteresting place.
  • Undermines the mental model for an application - some of the launchers aren't actually for applications; this goes against the model for launchers and applications.
  • Undermines the model for system-level changes - System Settings is the central, primary place for system level configuration; the inclusion of additional system configuration utilities goes against the principle that systems settings live in System Settings.
  • Prevents personalisation. Installing apps is an important way in which people can change their system to make it suit them. If installed applications are lost within a sea of preinstalled launchers, the OS will never feel like it belongs to the user.
  • Makes people feel like the OS isn't designed for them. 'If it contains lots of launchers which I don't understand or don't care about, it obviously isn't for me.'

This page tracks the progress of an initiative to tackle these problems by reducing the number of application launchers included in a new Fedora install. It requires making improvements to upstream software as well as fixing distribution-specific issues.

Status

Some applications need to be removed from the default install, others just need to have their launchers hidden.

Name Command (package, if different) Bugs Action Notes Status
Authentication system-config-authentication (authconfig-gtk) Don't depend on it, then don't install by default Required by firstboot, but then first boot should be going away for F19. In progress
Desktop Sharing Preferences vino-preferences (vino) GNOME Bug 681150 Needs to be integrated into System Settings or spun out into a separate app Incomplete (needs design)
Eekboard eekboard Fedora Bug 847500 Don't install? Fixed
Firewall system-config-firewall Don't install? TBD
IBus Hangul Preferences ibus-setup-hangul iBus Bug 1495 Integrate into System Settings, then hide launcher iBus integration is being tracked in GNOME Bug 662489 In progress
Input Method Selector ibus-setup iBus Bug 1494 Integrate into System Settings iBus integration is being tracked in GNOME Bug 662489 Fixed
Messaging and VoIP Accounts empathy-accounts (empathy) GNOME Bug 662489 Remove the desktop file Fixed
Network Connections nm-connection-editor GNOME Bug 682456 Hide launcher? GNOME Control Center currently uses nm-connection-editor for settings dialogs Incomplete
Power Statistics gnome-power-statistics (gnome-power-manager) Fedora Bug 846287 Don't install Part of gnome-power-manager - this can be dropped from the desktop spin (nothing else depends on it right now) Fixed
Printing system-config-printer Fedora Bug 846290 Don't install Incomplete
Release Notes xdg-open file:///usr/share/doc/HTML/fedora-release-notes/index.html Fedora Bug 846316 Remove the launcher Add to the Firefox bookmarks (Fedora Bug 847459) and default homepage (Fedora Bug 847461) instead On Ice
Screenshot gnome-screenshot GNOME Bug 681844 Integrate screenshots into GNOME 3, then don't include the app by default Incomplete
Search for Files... gnome-search-tool Fedora Bug 846278 Don't install Might need some improvements to searching in Nautilus Fixed
SELinux Troubleshooter sealert Nothing for now Provides access to logs, which means that we can't hide the launcher; in the long run this needs replacing by a generic desktop logging/error reporting app On ice
Software Settings gpk-prefs (gnome-packagekit) GNOME Bug 676445 Remove launcher (can be accessed via Add/Remove Software (which needs a better name)) Fixed
Software Updates gpk-update-viewer (gnome-packagekit) GNOME Bug 676445 Remove launcher (needs to be accessible via Add/Remove Software (which needs a better name)) Fixed
System-Config-Date system-config-date Fedora Bug 803833 Don't depend on it, then don't install by default Required by anaconda, firstboot and system-config-kickstart. Incomplete
Users and Groups system-config-users Don't depend on it, then don't install by default Required by firstboot, but then first boot should be going away for F18. In progress
Games
Freecell Solitaire sol --freecell (aisleriot) GNOME Bug 681645 Remove the desktop file This is fixed upstream but is blocked by the old version of Guile - Fedora Bug 678238 Incomplete
Iagno iagno (gnome-games) Don't install Could be a nice game, but it needs a lot of polish Fixed
Mines gnomine (gnome-games) Don't install Feels very Windows 95; might be better not to include Fixed
It should be possible to individually add and remove games Fedora Bug 846274 Split games into subpackages Fixed

Additional Notes

Designs for a GNOME 'Usage' application would combine Disk Usage Analyzer, Power Statistics and System Monitor into a single launcher.