GNOME Shell at my university

Seems the Informatics Department of my university (the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, a.k.a. PUC-Rio) is now running GNOME Shell! The workstations in our graduate and undergraduate laboratories, before powered with Fedora 11/GNOME 2, were very recently updated to Fedora 17 with GNOME 3.4 (dual boot with Windows 7 Professional). PUC-Rio have one of the top Computer Science graduate programs in Brazil and, so, it feels good to have GNOME trusted as a tool for us, students, to work and keep the high standards of the department.

I’m not sure how many of my colleagues indeed use Fedora when working (actually, from what I’ve seen at the graduate lab so far, not many), but I’ll try my best to spot those guys in the future and ask them about their thoughts on GNOME. As a matter of fact, today I got the chance to give a quick Shell tour to a friend and to listen to some thoughts from him as a first-time user, such as:

  • Understanding the concepts around the Shell and discovering how to interact with it (without having me to explain) was sort of a problem for him.
  • He thought the interaction with the Shell to be very “keyboard-oriented”, which was kinda of bad for him as a strong mouse user – as opposed to keyboard interaction, he thought mouse interaction to take a lot of time/steps for performing actions he’d like to do quickly.
  • He was impressed by the message tray and the notifications (even though, unfortunately, I couldn’t show him integrated messaging, since we don’t have Empathy installed in the stations).

This was a very quick conversation, but, as promised, I’ll try to keep chasing colleagues to see how they feel about the Shell. Hopefully, I’ll have the chance to hear both from first-time users and from more experienced guys, like the ones that (almost literally) live in the lab. We’ll see :)

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5 thoughts on “GNOME Shell at my university

    1. Care to provide some details and bug reports about what is wrong/should be improved? A random complain without any “X should behave Y” or “Z must be removed because A, B and C” does not do any good for GNOME and gnome-shell whatsoever.

    2. Hey Svempa, there has been some user testing, fwiw. We haven’t done big studies, but me and the other designers have all conducted our own ad hoc tests, as have some other contributors.

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