Thursday, 23 August 2012

openSUSE 12.2 RC 2 GNOME 3.4 review

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 I realised that the last time I took a look at the upcoming GNOME / openSUSE release was When I wrote this post .Though MANTIS was supposed to be out in July 2012 according to original schedule it will bet out only in September 5th 2012 according to the roadmap page in openSUSE website. This is probably due to "A Series of Unfortunate Events"(1,2,3,4,5) akin to Lemony Snicket's. Any way we are finally at the threshold of another release.
 I downloaded the openSUSE 12.2 RC 2 GNOME live ISO which is available through development version download page. I burned / wrote it onto a flash drive using SUSE Studio Image writer. There is a hiccup here if you are using imagewriter in openSUSE 12.1 / GNOME 3.2. It will open from from GNOME Applications menu only if edit the menu using alacarte(Menu editor) and change the startup command to "gnomesu imagewriter %F". SUSE Studio Image Writer needs to be run in admin mode :-(.
 After writing the ISO onto the flash drive Changed my BIOS settings to make my flash drive the first boot device.The new GNOME desktop is minimalistic as usual.
Minimalistic Default Desktop
 The desktop is much sleeker and better looking.You will notice that the thick scrollbars in Nautilus and other applications have been transformed to nice looking ones which change colour to light blue when pressed with the mouse.
Thick and unappealing scrollbars in GNOME 3.2 / YaST
Sleeker scrollbars in GNOME 3.4 / YaST
 GNOME system monitor reveals that Mantis will ship kernel version 3.4.6. Current kernel on my system is 3.1.10 from "Main Update" repository.
GNOME System Monitor
 The quality of IOS is quite good.On the RC2 live ISO almost all applications work. I even tried browsing the internet and it works.
 openSUSE page in firefox
 It was a pleasant surprise that Nautilus in GNOME 3.4 has media previews enabled unlike GNOME 3.2 where we need sushi to preview various media like pdfs,audio,image etc:
Folder preview works on GNOME 3.4 / Nautilus
 LibreOffice in openSUSE 12.2 features a better looking splash screen. It is sleek and integrates well with default wallpaper.
Libreoffice splash in openSUSE12.1
Libreoffice splash in openSUSE12.2
 There is working version of accessibility switcher in GNOME 3.4. It Doesn't work in GNOME 3.2. The accessibility switcher is a cool tool. Once you press the windows key or super key and enter the GNOME Application switcher screen you can switch between the DASH toolbar on the left, the Top bar, Windows tab, Applications tab and search tool on the top right using the key combination "Ctrl+Alt+Tab"
Accessibility Switcher
 openSUSE 12.2 RC2 has a preliminary version of gnome-shell-extension-prefs.It doesn't work in RC2.The final version may have a working version. I guess this tool would probably be useful for manipulating the various settings of the GNOME shell extensions.
GNOME Shell Extension Preferences
 The gnome-tweak-tool or "Advanced Settings" tool has a lot of cool options in GNOME 3.4.
Enable Power Off by default
Show all the window manipulation buttons(maximize,minimize,close) in all the applications
Change the dynamic workspaces to 'n' number of static workspaces
Enable icons on desktop by making Nautilus as default desktop manager
Enable location bar or folder path  instead of the hierarchical menu in Nautilus
 There is much improved and better looking palimpsest or Disk Utility tool in 12.2. The one in 12.2 shows whether the disk is in use or not and clearly states where it is mounted.Th previous tool is good but the interface is not polished.
Disk Utility in 12.1
Disk Utility in 12.2
 When I opened the YaST software manger I realised that the 12.2 repositories are already up and ready to use :-)
YaST showing 12.2 repositories

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Reverting from DISQUS 2012 to older version

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 DISQUS 2012 can really damage your blogger stats.You can find below a way to revert back to older system. I am using DISQUS in my blog for quite a few months now. I like DISQUS commenting platform a lot for it offers many features like the "Like" page button, nested commenting, trackball URL, reactions etc. which are not present in the default  commenting system in blogger. A few days ago I jumped the gun and switched from older version of DISQUS to DISQUS 2012 when  saw  the link Activate Disqus 2012 for your site » in DISQUS's website. I did not think before acting  and without properly studying the consequences of going in for the new system had taken a bite at the carrot that dangled before my eyes. From that point onwards all hell broke loose. I could not  keep track of any stats in the blogger platform.
Below is the screenshot showing how badly the DISQUS 2012 comment system has damaged the Referring URLs stats.
 Although the above un intelligent stats rendered  my blogger stats next to useless, the DISQUS 2012 system spared me further agony  by not affecting my stats pages at statcounter. Since majority of the referral URLs appear to be redirects they have a potential to lower your sites reputation. I also learned from DISQUS's website that DISQUS 2012 now uses iframe. I am not an web wizard but I did notice that frames are bad for any website's health.
 Now I have turned off the new DISQUS 2012 system though it looked much cooler than older system. I don't know at this point of time whether my blogger stats will be back to normal from now onwards. Thankfully reverting to old system is quite simple. According to DISQUS's website "You can disable Disqus 2012 off at any time at the top of your admin's Settings > General page".
 All I needed to do was login into my account, navigate to this admin page after which I located the settings tab on top right hand side of the webpage.
 Then I had to un-check the Disqus 2012 Checkbox under "Basic Settings" label available in "General" tab as shown below. One needs to ensure that the "Save Changes" button at the bottom of the page is pressed after un-checking the check box in order to confirm the changes.
 I am hoping that my blogger stats will be back to normal. All that is left to do is to wait and watch and hope for the best. I keeping my fingers crossed too ...just in case :-)
Update(03Sep2012):- The problem of redirection ULRs in blogger stats has gone away after I reverted back to Older version of DISQUS

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