[Oneiric] Poor man's control center

Bug #858888 reported by Swâmi Petaramesh
This bug affects 4 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
gnome-control-center (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

Upgrading from Natty to Oneiric, and furthermore, comparing Natty and Oneiric's machines, it's really impressive to notice how many features have been lost in Gnome's Control Center, making Oneiric's one truly a "Poor man's control center".

For example :

- No Screen Saver config in Oneiric (this one misses SO MUCH !)
- No Connection Window DM (GDM/LightDM...) config in Oneiric
- No Remote Desktop config icon...
- No "personal network shares" icon...
- No CompizConfig integration...
- No HD utility icon...
- No Gparted icon...
- No Synaptic / Package manager icon...
- No system monitor icon...
- No Computer janitor icon...
- No Network tools icon...
- No logs viewer icon...
- No password and keys management icon...

Many icons lead to poor or incomplete panels (energy / screen are very poor...)

So WTF is left ? Is this the new iPad control panel or whatever ?

- The default applications are set in a completely stupid place ("System Information")

- 2 different "Keyboard" and "Keyboard layout" icons in 2 different sections of Oneiric's CC: Makes no sense
- 2 "Ubuntu One" icons in Oneiric's CC: why not three ?

- "Displays" and "Startup Applications" have migrated into the User Menu, where they have nothing to do (and will be very rarely used for most people except executives using videoprojectors for presentations, most of which don't use Linux anyway...) so we congest and clutter a menu with useless stuff for no reason.

What a mess !

ProblemType: Bug
DistroRelease: Ubuntu 11.10
Package: gnome-control-center 1:3.1.92-0ubuntu6
ProcVersionSignature: Ubuntu 3.0.0-11.18-generic 3.0.4
Uname: Linux 3.0.0-11-generic i686
ApportVersion: 1.23-0ubuntu1
Architecture: i386
CheckboxSubmission: 1ea6109db29b53f721a523a77b7f3abf
CheckboxSystem: d00f84de8a555815fa1c4660280da308
Date: Sun Sep 25 15:01:09 2011
EcryptfsInUse: Yes
InstallationMedia: Ubuntu 10.04 LTS "Lucid Lynx" - Release i386 (20100429)
 PATH=(custom, user)
SourcePackage: gnome-control-center
UpgradeStatus: Upgraded to oneiric on 2011-09-04 (20 days ago)
 deja-dup 19.92-0ubuntu2
 gnome-bluetooth 3.1.92-0ubuntu1
 indicator-datetime 0.2.95-0ubuntu1

Revision history for this message
Swâmi Petaramesh (swami-petaramesh) wrote :
Revision history for this message
Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

Status changed to 'Confirmed' because the bug affects multiple users.

Changed in gnome-control-center (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
Revision history for this message
Dylan McCall (dylanmccall) wrote :

Most of the changes you mention were explicit decisions; they are not things we can just bring up and fix in a bug without discussion. If you are interested, feel free to chat with people on IRC or the mailing list.

Also, if you have a specific issue with some aspect of the control center (for example, “System Info panel is always checking for updates”), a bug report would be most welcome.

Thank you for your interest in making the next Ubuntu better!

Changed in gnome-control-center (Ubuntu):
status: Confirmed → Opinion
Revision history for this message
Swâmi Petaramesh (swami-petaramesh) wrote :

No "opinion". All _facts_ are described in detail and can be easily checked. It's not an "opinion" that this is a regresssion. The opinion is that this is a MAJOR regression.

Changed in gnome-control-center (Ubuntu):
status: Opinion → Confirmed
Revision history for this message
Dylan McCall (dylanmccall) wrote :
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Swâmi, if you want to file these as separate issues, then, please do. The bug tracker is not a web forum, and it is not effective to track sixteen different bullet points in a single bug report. It's already apparent why that is; I marked your entire bug report as an opinion, but in fact the multiple Ubuntu One icons is a real bug. (Bug #838778). Besides, you'll find that lots of people are quite happy with this shell (and this is where things are being actively developed), so it isn't going to be reverted because you filed a bug report that dismisses months of work without so much as a hint that you have looked into why it is the way it is. Or, more important, much explanation of why things are bad except that they are in different places. What we _can_ do is work together to improve this, but we need to use the right tools and it'll really help if you look a little deeper.

Unfortunately I don't have time to find the links to discussions on this stuff (though they do exist), but I'm going to point out a few things you might want to know about why this is the way it is.

The goal for System Settings is to offer, specifically, settings that one would think of as core to the system; not to specific applications, and not for things that can be removed. So, it doesn't have System Monitor, Synaptic, Software Center, Update Manager, Disk Utility, Network Tools, Logs Viewer, etc. because those are more system-level tools. These can be found as ordinary applications under the System Tools category.

Computer Janitor and Synaptic are no longer installed by default this cycle, for various reasons you can find on the wiki. You can find them in Software Centre.

Gparted was never installed by default; it should only be on the live CD. If you're seeing it in a fresh install, it would be really great if you file a bug report using ubuntu-bug gparted.

Gnome Screensaver has been on its way out for a while, really. If you want a screensaver, I suggest you check out xscreensaver. There will probably be some more action once Oneiric is out there.

We have never had a config panel to choose which login screen you use. This is an option that will be interesting to someone who knows what a display manager is and can handle a web search and a config file or two. Debian handles this fairly well when you install or remove the various DM packages, where it will offer to change for you and switch back automatically when you remove the current one.

I think you have a good point about the personal network shares, and if you have the time it would be worth bringing up in a unique bug report. This is definitely in development (and there is lots to come), so it is possible that feature just didn't make it for this cycle. Don't lose hope!

I think for the remote desktop server, the argument would be that it is a pretty distinct service so it doesn't fit under system settings. There's a bit of a fuzzy line between what we think of as system and what we think of as application level settings. You can find it, and Disk Utility, in the the Dash or the Applications menu.

I'm not saying your opinions are invalid, and I am not trying to argue with you. (Except on the point that...


Revision history for this message
Swâmi Petaramesh (swami-petaramesh) wrote :

Thanks for your time and explanations Dylan.

Obviously we disagree on some aspects, I'm not going to answer in too long here because you're right on one point : a bug reporting tool is not a web forum, so this is surely not the right place for arguing for pages.

So I'm first being more specific just on a short technical point : About the DM. Previous Ubuntu releases did not have a config tool for choosing WHICH DM to use (you're right) but they DID have a config tool to configure HOW the default DM (which was GDM) behaved, i.e.:

- Should we list the existing users and let the user click, or have the user type the username ?
- Should we have autologin for a given user name ?
- After some timeout or immediately ?
- Etc.

This DID exist in Natty Control Panel and previously. This has disappeared in Oneiric.

About the fact of having to file several separate bug reports for all this, OTOH, I strongly disagree with you. IMHO the "Control Panel" is ONE thing, seing it having lost 80% of its contents is ONE issue. Thus ONE bug report - even though every single lost icon could be considered separately, seing an almost empty control panel where it used to be pretty full and complete is ONE issue from a user (not a developper) standpoint.

Developpers can ask users to cooperate and file bug reports. Users like myself do spend much time beta-testing stuff and filing bug reports (which doesn't always receive wife-approval ;-) - for the good of all the Ubuntu community.

But once a bug report is filed, it's extremely demotivating, as the bug reporter, to be told "so instead of one bug report about this, please file 3 others about this, that, and there".

As a (stupid) user, I find an issue, I report the issue. If I'm asked for more precisions, logs, screenshots, I'll give them happily. But it's definitely not the user's business to sort things out further. It's a developper's issue, it's a distro maintainer's issue, etc, to dispatch a given existing bug report into pieces if needed. The user has no clue - and doesn't need to have any - in the way the engine is built.

So IMHO an almost empty Control Panel is ONE issue. Please feel free to dispatch it into several sub-issues if you feel so, but don't tell me this report is invalid in itself.

Kind regards.

Revision history for this message
Swâmi Petaramesh (swami-petaramesh) wrote :

About having to find the different setup tools in the applications menu or system settings panel, I can share a couple thoughts :

1/ In the past it seems that a number of optional applications (i.e. gparted) found their way into the config panel if installed, and not if not installed. It worked 6 months ago, why couldn't it still work ?

2/ About the remote desktop server, that's the kind of thing a newbie user may need to activate easily to get remote support (I do give benevolent support myself to a number of newbie users). A newbie user may have no clue that this feature even exists, where to find it etc. Making it obvious in the system Control Panel is a good way to help the newcomer find things she may need.

3/ Same rationale would apply for easily configuring personal network shares, or checking the hard disk health, etc.

Shouldn't this be the case, the very existence of a Control Panel would be of little interest. After all each and every tool could be found separately from the apps menu, isn't it ?

Kind regards.

Revision history for this message
Swâmi Petaramesh (swami-petaramesh) wrote :

About discussing all these issues in the Wiki or elsewhere, all of these are mostly developpers tool, to decide things in advance. But the very purpose of beta versions is to get early user feedback, which will come as bug reports and feature requests rather that on developer's forums, mailing-lists, wikis...

Don't ask users to use developper tools, but anyway let user give feedback and express their concerns and findings... Bug trackers are a nice tools for that.

Revision history for this message
Sebastien Bacher (seb128) wrote :

Thank you for your interest but each issue you list should have its own bug and be tracked in its own discussion, quite some of those have already been reported...

Changed in gnome-control-center (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → Wishlist
status: Confirmed → Opinion
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