@aral I'll certainly agree with you that the new version is much, much worse. 😅

I don't think it's about the consistency of icons though, it's much more about how that lizard with a transparent background is an awful idea in the first place.

@aral Never heard of Pop!_OS before. Makes me think there are too many distributions with merely minor differences in styling – which could have been contributed to major distributions as packages instead, thus being available for a much larger crowd, that could also build on those and maintain it as a community.
A somewhat related HN thread: news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1

@david Pop!_OS does go far beyond aesthetic differences. Also: the greatest advantage is that System76 makes the whole widget.

@aral The downside of them changing policy and adopting the Gnome style guidelines and the guideline especially to not change applications' icons.

I'll try not to be too smug as a KDE guy ;)

@keithzg @aral can't hear you over the sound of how awesome xfce is ;)

seriously though, icon packs are a good thing. maybe you want a standard for upstream, but downstrream can and should be able to do whatever they want. i'm quite partial to using the Materia theme with Faenza Darkest icons. I do wish Token had more app coverage, though.

@trwnh @keithzg I want a standard for sidestream. People who buy Macs really love sidestream. I mean, they also love quantumstream iconophagic reconnaissance droidery but mostly they’re into sidesteam quadrophonics. I guess that explains why people use Macs and not Linux on desktop. 🤷‍♂️

@trwnh @keithzg My point exactly. No one who uses an OS gives a crap about upstream or downstream. They don’t care about who’s to blame. They only care about whether it is easy to use, beautiful, and consistent. Otherwise, you might as well be talking gobbledegook ;)

@aral @keithzg I mean, communication is also important, right? I tried searching for "sidestream" and "quantumstream" because I thought they were codenames for something. No results.

Really, all I'm here to say is "let people use whatever icons they want", yknow. The only thing I mean by "downstream" is "everyone who isn't the maker of the app". That includes both distros and end users. End users can, of course, put in the work to theme everything, but distros should be doing that too.

@trwnh hey, he's just trolling

(reg "quantumstream" etc.)

Just laugh, no offense… 😆

@aral This and the poor touchpad support were the main reasons I switched to Mac after 8 or 9 years as a staunch GNU/Linux person. I’m so much happier with my OS and my computer than I have ever been before.

@albin hu, maybe in the past this was bad, but my touchpad works…

even _touch screen_ actually… no idea, what issues you had 🤷

@rugk Problems with multi-touch and gestures (which is sort of OK), even basic ones like scrolling (which isn't great), and severe problems with palm rejection, which I have never gotten to work anywhere (which basically makes the computer unusable).

@albin @rugk Admittedly, multitouch is a bit wonky still depending on which touch handlers you have (or don't have). But things have improved greatly thanks to libinput (vs. all the old mess of drivers). Installing Arch on my UX301 (Elantech touchpad, Atmel touchscreen), I get working touchpad, working palm rejection, and working two-finger-scroll. No pinch-to-zoom except in certain programs that are touch-aware -- unless you install/configure a daemon like Fusuma or Touchegg.

@albin @rugk (fwiw: the touch-aware programs tend to be GNOME native apps like the Epiphany Web Browser. Pinch-to-zoom works there without installing anything.)

@trwnh ...that's exactly what I'm talking about. How many years before all of those things are there by default do you think? Because my experience is that everything is always "almost working with some tinkering" and then never actually gets there.

@albin my comment was targeted at rugk moreso than you. but to answer your question, it's generally "when someone cares". and sadly, a lot of companies still don't care, so it's up to people with free time and access to that hardware to reverse-engineer what they need to use.

but again, it's generally progressed from "everything needs tinkering" to "mostly everything works except for edge cases". more and more stuff is working "out-of-the-box" than years ago.

@albin used to be that you couldn't rely on anything except ethernet. now, you can also generally rely on wifi; intel graphics are solid; touchpads will work with two-finger scroll; etc.

but on the other hand... nvidia continues to be painful due to their hostility; laptop fn-keys are hit-or-miss; etc.

so we're above 90% there already. and another 9% can be handled by distros. that leaves 1% that really depends on external support (niche/uncommon hardware, or outright hostility).

@albin @aral Okay, but GNU/Linux gives me the freedom to tinker, modify, use, and redistribute. I can protect my privacy and I have a secure and reliable OS. And I can install my Distro of choice on used hardware to save money and to protect the environment. 🤔

@datenteiler My Mac is way more reliable than any of my previous machines were (wifi always works, no crashes), and I can tinker with most things I care about.

It's not that I don't care about software freedom; I do. About eight years or so I more or less flunked university in part because I refused to use things like Matlab and Java (which was non-free at the time).

I also bought my machine used, it's six years old and still not slowing down.


@datenteiler I have spent probably entire days of my life I will never get back recompiling Linux kernels. I have run Debian, Gentoo, BSDs, GNU/Hurd, Ubuntu, and Arch. I have tinkered with virtually every tiling WM and DE. And you know what? They still all looked like shit.

@albin @datenteiler That's not my focus. In my eyes all Desktops looks the same and that's including Windows and MacOS. They look all good and I can work with them, but I like them more when they're free software. I've no problems with Bluetooth or with the touchpad on my Linux desktop and I don't have to recompile a Kernel for years now. But I only use business notebooks from Fujitsu, Dell, Lenovo etc. They usually have an excellent Linux support.

@datenteiler All my previous machines were Thinkpads. WiFi was still wonky, and the touchpad still didn’t work. Also I held my breath every time I resumed from suspend, because sometimes it never woke up.

It took me years to trust things like resume/suspend, Bluetooth audio and WiFi fully, and now they just work and I don’t have to think about it.

Last time I installed Ubuntu on my desktop machine, it crashed on shutdown before powering off, every time.

@albin @datenteiler Sorry to hear that. I have a Thinkpad X201 and a Fujitsu S762 and everything works out of the box. Anyway, they are good times ahead: We have never had so many options to buy a computer preinstalled with a full working Linux distribution.

@datenteiler @albin @aral I like tinkering as much as anyone, but you know what? I have stuff to do other than getting my computer set up. I could be tinkering with _useful_ stuff, instead.

@datenteiler @albin @aral There's a difference between "right/ability to tinker" and "requires tinkering to work".


@datenteiler @albin @aral
Therese are quite some Linux distros which work out of the box today. Manjaro is one of these. They are pretty easy to use and Manjaro even has multiple images for the same version with different desktop enviorments. Linux doesn't has to be be hard to use these days.

I heard good things about pop OS as well, but I also heard from different people that they got problems with it and I didn't tried it myself.


I agree there are many good examples for easy to use Linux distributions but I wouldn't put Manjaro there in first place. Not because it's hard to install, but because it's hard to maintain over years. Especially when you decide to take off a few weeks, updates become hard.

My regular "Can you help me with this" experience taught me that Manjaro tends to pile up regression problems over months you are using it. Especially when updates aren't applied every day.

@albin @aral
Thats OK then perhaps you should use a Mac, go for it, no judgement. Or install Windows if thats your jam. Also OK. Or a Chromebook?

@albin @aral
Personally Mac and Windows isnt good for my work and have too many issues to be used and demand too much work by me to set them up for it, but the idea that FOSS people demand or want you to use Linux (for example) is simply not true. Use what you need, as long as you made an active choice thats fine

@keithzg @aral gnome is still 1000x better than KDE by virtue of not breaking in some catastrophic way every 5 minutes

@animeirl That has very much been the opposite of my experience, heh. Literally had Gnome outright fail to log in last time I tried to on a *buntu 18.04 system recently, and once I finally got it to I discovered the Gnome side of things doesn't surface the "automatically connect" option for VPN configs so I immediately had to choose to use another DE or the CLI instead anyways :P

@animeirl Sure, if you want nearly zero interface choice and hilariously underpowered hardware with keyboards that break if a single speck of dust gets in!

@animeirl See, that's why Linux is good, if you find an environment unusable because of personal reasons (or failings) you can choose another!

@aral Ha ha, I switched to Pop!_OS largely based on your glowing reviews ;p Don't worry, I'm a distro-hopper.

Where are we hopping next then?

@aral ugh. You are reinforcing my decision to stay on 18.04

@aral Installing a custom icon pack is not much harder than downloading a few files to a special folder. Or typing a one line command to the terminal.

@jlelse Indeed. And changing the theme is similarly easy. It’s not much work at all to install a different display environment and quite painless these days to add a new kernel. People on macOS do all these things all the time so I’m sure Linux folks can also manage it.

@aral Seems like you never tried to install another icon theme otherwise you would know how easy it is. Mac users probably can't do this at all because it isn't possible in Apple's OS.

@jlelse Nope, I never tried it. I don’t run a hugely customised GNOME environment as my daily driver because I haven’t been developing for ~ 35 years. Oh, no, wait… all those things *and* I know that this isn’t about me. Right, that’s it!

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