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>When I tried Gnome Shell the most recent time, the System Monitor applet showed up at the bottom and only if you moved your mouse to the bottom of the screen. That is beyond spectacularly useless - it needs to be always visible.

But the System Monitor is an external extension to the shell; the problem you have with it is not gnome-shell's fault at all.

That makes things worse! Am I supposed to not use the System Monitor at all and count that as an improvement? I believe the System Monitor applet is somewhat part of the official extensions - ie it is in the gnome-shell-extensions package.

This is one of many little niggles that add up to an unpleasant experience. Another example is whether additional workspaces go horizontally or vertically.

AFAIK, there are no official extensions. The gnome-shell-extensions package is just a collection of extensions which grew together in a development repo before the extensions website (http://extensions.gnome.org) existed.

From the website:

> Since extensions are created outside of the normal GNOME design and development process, they are supported by their authors, rather than by the GNOME community. Some features first implemented as extensions might find their way into future versions of GNOME.

For another system monitor (this one attaches to the panel, so it's always visible, and is plenty configurable), check https://extensions.gnome.org/extension/120/system-monitor/

EDIT: GNOME's stance on extensions might be changing, see https://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=685744

I don't actually want a choice! When I use Gnome 2 or Gnome 3 fallback mode, there is exactly one system monitor and it works. The extensions site lists 3 named system monitor and 3 pages of search results with similar descriptions. And my prior experience has been every extension breaks on Gnome version change. And usually they don't end updated so I have to go find another set of extensions.

I am one of those (apparently few) people who actually agree with the Gnome approach of less configurability and options. (Right up until one I use is removed of course!) As standard I do not need a large choice of system monitors, workspace managers, window switchers, volume menus etc. I need one good official one, that works out of the box and is still present as Gnome does its biannual update.

This shifting blame in a lazy fashion, I see this a lot with open source projects.

If you want to provide a good desktop experience, go the distance. Make sure I have a usable system, be accountable for everything that is installed by default and/or I need to actually use the system you are offering.

I don't care if Apple uses a subcontractor to make their Activity Monitor app. If it doesn't work, it's Apple's fault.

> Make sure I have a usable system, be accountable for everything that is installed by default and/or I need to actually use the system you are offering.

Agreed. But how does that apply here, really? The system monitor is not installed by default and is not needed to use the system GNOME is offering. The case here is more alike if Ubuntu bundled some vim plugin into their default installation and people throwed shit at vim because the plugin doesn't work.

And I'm sure that's exactly what people would do. It isn't fair, but we're ever going to have the year of the linux desktop, somebody needs to start owning these little mistakes and quirks.

Raymond Chen from Microsoft on maintaining backward compatibility from Windows 95 to Windows XP:

Look at the scenario from the customer's standpoint. You bought programs X, Y and Z. You then upgraded to Windows XP. Your computer now crashes randomly, and program Z doesn't work at all. You're going to tell your friends, "Don't upgrade to Windows XP. It crashes randomly, and it's not compatible with program Z." Are you going to debug your system to determine that program X is causing the crashes, and that program Z doesn't work because it is using undocumented window messages? Of course not. You're going to return the Windows XP box for a refund. (You bought programs X, Y, and Z some months ago. The 30-day return policy no longer applies to them. The only thing you can return is Windows XP.)


This is just the tip of the iceberg with respect to application compatibility. I could probably write for months solely about bad things apps do and what we had to do to get them to work again (often in spite of themselves). Which is why I get particularly furious when people accuse Microsoft of maliciously breaking applications during OS upgrades. If any application failed to run on Windows 95, I took it as a personal failure. I spent many sleepless nights fixing bugs in third-party programs just so they could keep running on Windows 95. (Games were the worst. Often the game vendor didn't even care that their program didn't run on Windows 95!)

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