Features/AlternativeFallbackDE

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There are many people whose hardware can't run Gnome Shell, which is Gnome 3's defining user interface. While Gnome 3 contains a fallback interface, it has clearly been stated that it won't be developed further and isn't intended to provide any good user experience. These users are many and however they can solve their problem by manually installing an alternative desktop environment, in order to help these users and provide a good default user experience to them, we should make this automatic.
 
There are many people whose hardware can't run Gnome Shell, which is Gnome 3's defining user interface. While Gnome 3 contains a fallback interface, it has clearly been stated that it won't be developed further and isn't intended to provide any good user experience. These users are many and however they can solve their problem by manually installing an alternative desktop environment, in order to help these users and provide a good default user experience to them, we should make this automatic.
  
The preferred way to do this is to detect the lack of 3D capability and present the user the option to switch to Xfce on first boot and/or installation time. See below for details.
+
There are two possible approaches to do this (whether we should go with the first or the second needs discussion)
 +
* Detect the lack of 3D capability on first boot and present the user the option to switch to Xfce on first boot and/or installation time. See below for details.
 +
* Modify the Gnome session to launch Xfce instead its own fallback interface
  
 
Assuming that non 3D accelerated / Otherwise not capable of running gnome-shell hardware is either old hardware that would work better with a lighter DE, or has a too low amount of RAM for running gnome-shell properly (fallback mode also require a big amount of available ram as GNOME 2.32 did).
 
Assuming that non 3D accelerated / Otherwise not capable of running gnome-shell hardware is either old hardware that would work better with a lighter DE, or has a too low amount of RAM for running gnome-shell properly (fallback mode also require a big amount of available ram as GNOME 2.32 did).
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<!-- Include you email address that you can be reached should people want to contact you about helping with your feature, status is requested, or  technical issues need to be resolved-->
 
<!-- Include you email address that you can be reached should people want to contact you about helping with your feature, status is requested, or  technical issues need to be resolved-->
* Email: venemo (at) msn.com
+
* Email: venemo (at) fedoraproject.org
 
+
 
== Current status ==
 
== Current status ==
 
* Targeted release: [[Releases/16 | Fedora 16 ]]  
 
* Targeted release: [[Releases/16 | Fedora 16 ]]  
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== Detailed Description ==
 
== Detailed Description ==
* DVD installation
+
* DVD and netinst installation
 
** Anaconda could detect the 3D capabilities and offer the option to default to Xfce if Gnome 3's requirements are not met.
 
** Anaconda could detect the 3D capabilities and offer the option to default to Xfce if Gnome 3's requirements are not met.
* Live CD
+
* Live CD (needs investigation whether we can have the necessary free space or not)
 
** Only install Xfce basic components, use Gnome utilities (eg. gedit) which are already shipped on the installation media, instead of Xfce utilities (to save space)
 
** Only install Xfce basic components, use Gnome utilities (eg. gedit) which are already shipped on the installation media, instead of Xfce utilities (to save space)
 
* At the first boot
 
* At the first boot
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**** When 3D acceleration is available, gnome-shell will be selected by default
 
**** When 3D acceleration is available, gnome-shell will be selected by default
 
**** When 3D acceleration is not available, or when the system doesn't have large amount of RAM, Xfce will be selected
 
**** When 3D acceleration is not available, or when the system doesn't have large amount of RAM, Xfce will be selected
 +
***** If Xfce is not installed, it will present the option to install it
 
**** If the user selects gnome-shell, and 3D acceleration is not available, display a warning (not in a message box, but in the window itself) that gnome will start in fallback mode unless 3D acceleration is available
 
**** If the user selects gnome-shell, and 3D acceleration is not available, display a warning (not in a message box, but in the window itself) that gnome will start in fallback mode unless 3D acceleration is available
 
    
 
    
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== Scope ==
 
== Scope ==
 +
Changes to the first boot user interface and Anaconda are required.
 
<!-- What work do the developers have to accomplish to complete the feature in time for release?  Is it a large change affecting many parts of the distribution or is it a very isolated change? What are those changes?-->
 
<!-- What work do the developers have to accomplish to complete the feature in time for release?  Is it a large change affecting many parts of the distribution or is it a very isolated change? What are those changes?-->
  
 
== How To Test ==
 
== How To Test ==
 +
* ...?
 
<!-- This does not need to be a full-fledged document.  Describe the dimensions of tests that this feature is expected to pass when it is done.  If it needs to be tested with different hardware or software configurations, indicate them.  The more specific you can be, the better the community testing can be.  
 
<!-- This does not need to be a full-fledged document.  Describe the dimensions of tests that this feature is expected to pass when it is done.  If it needs to be tested with different hardware or software configurations, indicate them.  The more specific you can be, the better the community testing can be.  
  
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== User Experience ==
 
== User Experience ==
* Users with low-end hardware will be able to enjoy a light-wight, relatively modern, actively developed desktop environment
+
* Users with low-end hardware will
 +
** Enjoy a light-wight, relatively modern, actively developed desktop environment
 +
** Can have this without the need of any manual configuration or installation
 
<!-- If this feature is noticeable by its target audience, how will their experiences change as a result?  Describe what they will see or notice. -->
 
<!-- If this feature is noticeable by its target audience, how will their experiences change as a result?  Describe what they will see or notice. -->
  
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* gnome-shell
 
* gnome-shell
 
* @xfce
 
* @xfce
 +
* ...?
 
<!-- What other packages (RPMs) depend on this package?  Are there changes outside the developers' control on which completion of this feature depends?  In other words, completion of another feature owned by someone else and might cause you to not be able to finish on time or that you would need to coordinate?  Other upstream projects like the kernel (if this is not a kernel feature)? -->
 
<!-- What other packages (RPMs) depend on this package?  Are there changes outside the developers' control on which completion of this feature depends?  In other words, completion of another feature owned by someone else and might cause you to not be able to finish on time or that you would need to coordinate?  Other upstream projects like the kernel (if this is not a kernel feature)? -->
  
 
== Contingency Plan ==
 
== Contingency Plan ==
 
<!-- If you cannot complete your feature by the final development freeze, what is the backup plan?  This might be as simple as "None necessary, revert to previous release behaviour."  Or it might not.  If you feature is not completed in time we want to assure others that other parts of Fedora will not be in jeopardy.  -->
 
<!-- If you cannot complete your feature by the final development freeze, what is the backup plan?  This might be as simple as "None necessary, revert to previous release behaviour."  Or it might not.  If you feature is not completed in time we want to assure others that other parts of Fedora will not be in jeopardy.  -->
Revert any changes made to firstboot, continue using gnome fallback mode.
+
Revert any changes made to firstboot and Anaconda, continue using gnome fallback mode. (default in Fedora 15)
 +
 
 
== Documentation ==
 
== Documentation ==
 
<!-- Is there upstream documentation on this feature, or notes you have written yourself?  Link to that material here so other interested developers can get involved. -->
 
<!-- Is there upstream documentation on this feature, or notes you have written yourself?  Link to that material here so other interested developers can get involved. -->
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== Comments and Discussion ==
 
== Comments and Discussion ==
* See [[Talk:Features/YourFeatureName]] <!-- This adds a link to the "discussion" tab associated with your page.  This provides the ability to have ongoing comments or conversation without bogging down the main feature page -->
+
* See [[Talk:Features/AlternativeFallbackDE]]
 
+
  
 
[[Category:FeaturePageIncomplete]]
 
[[Category:FeaturePageIncomplete]]

Latest revision as of 17:48, 13 April 2011

Contents

[edit] Alternative desktop environments as fallback for Gnome 3

[edit] Summary

There are many people whose hardware can't run Gnome Shell, which is Gnome 3's defining user interface. While Gnome 3 contains a fallback interface, it has clearly been stated that it won't be developed further and isn't intended to provide any good user experience. These users are many and however they can solve their problem by manually installing an alternative desktop environment, in order to help these users and provide a good default user experience to them, we should make this automatic.

There are two possible approaches to do this (whether we should go with the first or the second needs discussion)

  • Detect the lack of 3D capability on first boot and present the user the option to switch to Xfce on first boot and/or installation time. See below for details.
  • Modify the Gnome session to launch Xfce instead its own fallback interface

Assuming that non 3D accelerated / Otherwise not capable of running gnome-shell hardware is either old hardware that would work better with a lighter DE, or has a too low amount of RAM for running gnome-shell properly (fallback mode also require a big amount of available ram as GNOME 2.32 did).

[edit] Owner

  • Email: venemo (at) fedoraproject.org

[edit] Current status

  • Targeted release: Fedora 16
  • Last updated: 10th April 2011
  • Percentage of completion: 0%

[edit] Detailed Description

  • DVD and netinst installation
    • Anaconda could detect the 3D capabilities and offer the option to default to Xfce if Gnome 3's requirements are not met.
  • Live CD (needs investigation whether we can have the necessary free space or not)
    • Only install Xfce basic components, use Gnome utilities (eg. gedit) which are already shipped on the installation media, instead of Xfce utilities (to save space)
  • At the first boot
    • Display a dialog that explains the experience of Gnome's fallback mode, Gnome Shell, and Xfce
      • The dialog will select the best option for the specific hardware, but will allow the user to change the selection
        • When 3D acceleration is available, gnome-shell will be selected by default
        • When 3D acceleration is not available, or when the system doesn't have large amount of RAM, Xfce will be selected
          • If Xfce is not installed, it will present the option to install it
        • If the user selects gnome-shell, and 3D acceleration is not available, display a warning (not in a message box, but in the window itself) that gnome will start in fallback mode unless 3D acceleration is available

[edit] Benefit to Fedora

  • Better user experience for users with low-end hardware
  • Fedora could lower its minimal hardware requirements to the requirements of Xfce

[edit] Scope

Changes to the first boot user interface and Anaconda are required.

[edit] How To Test

  • ...?

[edit] User Experience

  • Users with low-end hardware will
    • Enjoy a light-wight, relatively modern, actively developed desktop environment
    • Can have this without the need of any manual configuration or installation

[edit] Dependencies

  • gnome-shell
  • @xfce
  • ...?

[edit] Contingency Plan

Revert any changes made to firstboot and Anaconda, continue using gnome fallback mode. (default in Fedora 15)

[edit] Documentation

[edit] Release Notes

[edit] Comments and Discussion