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A lengthy, detailed meta-analysis of studies of GNOME Do

November 23rd, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

GNOME Do is a fantastic little program that makes Linux Mint a very comfortable experience. At first glance, GNOME Do just looks like a collection of launchers that can be docked to your window, with a search function attached for completeness. What stands out about Do, though, is that the search function offers a lot of versatility. Through Do, I can launch programs, mount and unmount drives, bring up folders, and execute a variety of actions through the plug-ins. I’ve found that it saves me a lot of mouse movement (yes, I’m that lazy) when I’m working on assignments. In less than two seconds, I can call up Kate to start up my data entry, start up R in terminal, open the folder containing all of my data, and start a conversation in Pidgin. Best of all, since the search function can be called up with the Super+Space key combination, I can do all of this without ever having to switch windows.

I also find that Do helps to clean up the clutter on my desktop. I’ve got it set up as the Docky theme on the bottom of my screen. Since I have no need for the panel, I’ve got it set up to autohide at the top of my monitor. This means when I have something maximized, it legitimately takes up the entire monitor.

What a beautifully clean desktop.

What a beautifully clean desktop.

Adding or removing programs to or from Do is a cinch too – it’s as simple as dragging and dropping.

Unfortunately, it’s not all great

Like every other Linux program, Do saves time and effort. Like every other Linux program, Do also costs time and effort in the bugs that it has. The most frustrating bug I’ve had so far is that Do simply disappears on a restart. It runs and in a manner it “exists” since I can resize it on my desktop, but I can’t actually see or use it. Apparently this is a known bug, and I haven’t been able to find a decent solution to it. It’s especially unfortunate because Do provides so much convenience that when it doesn’t work properly, I feel like I’m reverting to some primitive age where I’m dependent on my mouse (the horror!)

Notice how the cursor is cut off? In reality, it's a resizing cursor, used to resize an invisible panel. It technically does work since after I reboot I find that GNOME Do inadvertently takes up half my screen.

Notice how the cursor is cut off? In reality, it's a resizing cursor, used to resize an invisible panel. It technically does function, since after I reboot I find that GNOME Do inadvertently takes up half my screen.

Regardless, I’d recommend Do for anyone who can install it. When it works, it’s great for saving you some time and effort; when it doesn’t, well, ’tis better to have loved and lost….

  1. Phil D
    November 23rd, 2009 at 23:55 | #1

    Hooray, another convert.

    GNOME Do is great, and is the only reason using KDE makes me yearn for GNOME – though it can be made to work under KDE with some luck.

    In related news, Docky has branched off into its own application. I don’t know if it has GNOME Do support or not, nor have I tried the app yet. Here’s the link.

  2. Tyler B
    November 24th, 2009 at 01:23 | #2

    From what I read it was so they each could focus on their strengths without worrying about messing each other’s schedules up. Docky is also re-writing their plugin framework with the intent of fostering a much larger plugin community.

  3. 6205
    November 24th, 2009 at 16:03 | #3

    I like it. It’s better than buggy, unstable Cairo Dock or AWN, but needs little functionality to fully replace everything in both panels, including notification area.

  4. ADRIEN
    November 24th, 2009 at 18:31 | #4

    Do you know small app dmenu?
    It s also great

  5. Lea
    November 24th, 2009 at 19:54 | #5

    I wouldn’t call this a “review” of GNOME Do so much as a mention of it.

  6. Sasha
    November 24th, 2009 at 21:13 | #6

    Lea :
    I wouldn’t call this a “review” of GNOME Do so much as a mention of it.

    Fair enough. I’ve changed the title.

  7. November 25th, 2009 at 00:20 | #7

    Yeah, I love Gnome Do… always handy…

  8. November 26th, 2009 at 15:50 | #8

    I am a lover of Do also. I have started using Docky and so far it has worked perfectly.

  9. Jon F
    November 27th, 2009 at 17:49 | #9

    Lea :
    I wouldn’t call this a “review” of GNOME Do so much as a mention of it.

    Why not? The entire thing is about Gnome-Do. He discusses his likes, dislikes, etc. That’s a review, no?

  10. Robert Dyer
    December 5th, 2009 at 22:31 | #10

    As Phil said, we are splitting off Docky into its own application. Docky 2 (the stand-alone Docky) is currently ‘alpha’ but quite stable and usable. We do not (yet) have integration with GNOME Do, but plan to at some point.

    I recommend giving it a try. There is a PPA for Ubuntu Karmic, I am unsure how that works with Mint. There are also instructions for installing from source.

  11. SteveB
    February 2nd, 2010 at 07:19 | #11

    @Phil D
    I have used gnome do with kde, but in pclinux, I’m having a problem. The activation key combination of the “windows”key and spacebar don’t work because the “windows” key is dedicated to bringing up the menu.

    Does anyone know how to set up another activation combo for gnome do?

  1. November 26th, 2009 at 10:54 | #1
  2. December 5th, 2009 at 14:25 | #2