I’m a fan of esthetically beautiful technological things and my desktop makes no exception. As you know, I’ve been using Gnome Shell for years, I like it, it’s beautiful, minimal and coherent, in the sense that all the on-purpose designed application looks all the same.

I’m also a fan of Mozilla’s softwares and I’ve been using Firefox to surf the web and Thunderbird/Icedove to read my email since ever. The “problem” with them, if you really want to call it a problem, is that they don’t fully support gtk3, so, unless your theme is Adwaita, they look out of context. Not ugly, for god’s sake, but not well integrated from a visual point of view.

Starting two weeks ago I decided to give a try to the gnome softwares to replace them, at least temporarily. Thus, Evolution is my new default email client and Web (the browser formerly known as Epiphany) is my new default browser.

I already knew Evolution, I randomly used it, but I always came back to Icedove. This time I decided that I had to use it at least for one month. I opened it, I didn’t have to configure anything thanks to gnome online account, all my email accounts were already there. I was pleasantly surprised that it supports Exchange without the need of an external add-on. All I did was just importing my RSS feed.

I like Evolution, even though it has several little nasty flaws.

  • It’s much slower than Icedove when syncing the accounts.
  • I hate the default email sorting, where the latest are on the bottom of the list, but I think it’s a matter of habits. What’s annoying is that there’s not an option in the settings menu to re-sort them, you have to do it manually for each email folder.
  • It doesn’t have a tray icon, so you can’t minimize it. I’ve tried evolution-tray but I couldn’t build it, don’t know why.

About Web, I’ve never taken it in consideration. Well, it’s been a very nice surprise. I feel it very minimal, light, not resources eater. It has few customization options, it’s true, but it has the essentials, the adblock on top of them. What I don’t like about Web:

  • it doesn’t have a setting to tell it to delete your browsing data on close, you have to do it manually from the menu, there’s not even a shortcut.
  • Up to version 3.22.3 I had problems with HTML5 videos: the audio was ok, but the video didn’t play. Thankfully they solved it with version 3.22.5, good job, really.

I like both of them, they are much more integrated in the Gnome environment than Mozilla’s counterparts and they have all the basics.

Furthermore, the latest iteration of Wayland seems to have solved the temporary freezes, making your Gnome on Wayland experience much smoother and nice.


2 thoughts on “Improving Gnome experience

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