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A new design for Epiphany: Web

gnome 3 web epiphany browser

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#1 +Frank B.

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Posted 05 December 2011 - 10:22

A new design for Epiphany: Web

As you might have heard in many other places a bunch of GNOME and WebKit hackers have met in rainy Coruña for the 3rd WebKitGTK+ hackfest. Many things have been discussed, but today I’m going to give a sneak preview of the new design for Epiphany and its rebirth as the core GNOME Web application.

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The design is still very much a work in progress, but I can try to briefly talk about some of the highlights of the refreshed concept:

Focus on the current page content. This means, in general, that we’ll get rid of as much chrome as we can (a trend that we started some time ago already), and in particular and more visibly that we won’t have a visible tab bar by default.
The tab bar might be gone, but we’ll still offer a convenient, and we think improved, way of switching between pages. All the currently and recently opened pages are visible in the overview (the new start page), and we’ll provide a way of switching between them with the mouse or keyboard shortcuts. You can see an early animated mockup of this in this video of the gnome design youtube channel (link to the video):




We have tried to identify and make easier other tasks that have been historically solved with tabs. One of the most common ones is “I want to read this web later, I’ll save it in a tab”. Epiphany will now provide a specialized mechanism for this, called Queues. The design team is working on the details of its implementation, but we have already some interesting ideas; for instance, when you open links in a Google Search results page with middle click a new queue could be automatically created with the results page as the parent and all the links you open as items in the queue.


There’s many more ideas that are either refinements of already existing features, like Web Application integration, or nailing down the last details of long-term developments, like improved stability and performance thanks to the upcoming WebKit2 support. Make sure to follow the GNOME Design team or Epiphany channels to keep in touch with things as they evolve.

The mighty Igalians (namely Claudio and myself) are already busy at work implementing the new design. For now we are focusing on a series of incremental patches that will move us closer to the end goal, that way we’ll have something usable even if the design or the full implementation of the Web application are not ready in time for 3.4. You can check the current Roadmap, and as always if you want to help us just drop by #epiphany @ GimpNet or send an email to the epiphany-devel mailing list.

Until the next time, thanks to all the attendants to this year’s WebKitGTK+ hackfest, and to all the sponsors for their support. Happy hacking!


Source: Xan Lopez' blog on gnome.org via Planet GNOME


#2 Syanide

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Posted 05 December 2011 - 11:35

iPhone evny much, GNOME?

Here are also some Nautilus mockups:

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And some other application mockups:

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Shoot me now. Seriously, Unity's starting to look really appealing compared to this mess.

#3 cork1958

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Posted 05 December 2011 - 12:20

Man!

I'd use Epiphany is a heartbeat.............. if it worked!!

On any of my 8 machines, it crashes quite frequently (uploading attachments to Yahoo mail). Importing bookmarks is a total pain when you have as many as I do (it usually hangs the browser) It is worse than Opera when it comes to signing in at secure websites, not to mention it crashes every time I try to login to my Rapidshare account or bank account.

Otherwise,
Epiphany is killer fast, simple, and slick!!

#4 articuno1au

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Posted 05 December 2011 - 12:21

I was going to say it looked like a huge improvement on older iterations..

I don't understand why people think it's a mess :\

Looks good.

#5 Syanide

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Posted 05 December 2011 - 12:38

Looks good for a 3,5-7" device and resolutions up to 1024x600.

That's some horrible UI right there in terms of anything other than "it's prettier than it was before." Look at Nautilus, how retarded do you have to be to hide the places column? Seriously? Imagine the music player on a 24" screen and tell me how that would look like? Why do I have to switch views to get to the library? Why is it hidden? Why doesn't the browser have an address bar? Why is everything so huge? And so on, and so on..

EDIT:

I just realized neither Epiphany, Music player nor Nautilus have a search bar. WTF?

#6 +AJerman

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Posted 05 December 2011 - 17:25

I'm not a huge fan of what GNOME3 is turning into either. I think it's starting to look more like KDE (which is by far the worst looking computer UI I've seen), and that's not good. Too much wasted space everywhere and not very good separation between different UI elements. I'm sticking to Unity over GNOME3 for now until they figure their look out and get it cleaned up. I actually don't see anything wrong with Unity in 11.10.

#7 KomaWeiß

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Posted 05 December 2011 - 17:27

I'm not a huge fan of what GNOME3 is turning into either. I think it's starting to look more like KDE (which is by far the worst looking computer UI I've seen), and that's not good. Too much wasted space everywhere and not very good separation between different UI elements. I'm sticking to Unity over GNOME3 for now until they figure their look out and get it cleaned up. I actually don't see anything wrong with Unity in 11.10.


GNOME has always been terrible, but KDE ugly? LULZ. Have you even looked at Oxygen? Far from ugly.

#8 BilliShere

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Posted 05 December 2011 - 17:32

looks kinda unnecessarily complicated to me. I prefer gnome's old design. Where things were more easily accessible, faster to maneuver through, and ergo more efficient.

#9 .Neo

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Posted 05 December 2011 - 21:39

Does the GNOME team think they're developing for a tablet or something? They're getting rid of essential interface elements that don't take up that much place to begin with. Getting rid of the minimize and maximize buttons isn't achieving anything at all. I have no idea where they're going with this.

#10 Syanide

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Posted 05 December 2011 - 21:49

Does the GNOME team think they're developing for a tablet or something?

Same question I'd really like to ask them. Where is this craze for GNOME on a tablet? Where exactly do they see the demand? Seriously?

People find Ubuntu's goals hilarious, but Canonical is backed up by a gazillionaire and a successful businessman, so when he says some pretty crazy stuff like wanting to see Ubuntu on phones, tablets and TV's in the next two years, at least it's plausible to some extent, and at least it's his vision so Ubuntu will probably change to fit that. I'm not sure whose vision GNOME is exactly catering to.

#11 nw2001

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Posted 05 December 2011 - 22:06

Guys, about the missing search bar. If I remember right Search is built directly into gnome3, it can probably just use that instead. (What was the hotkey, Super+Space = full view with a search bar?) so that's not a huge issue. The missing nav bar is kind of weird. probably some hotkey to pull it up.

#12 ViperAFK

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Posted 05 December 2011 - 22:06

Does the GNOME team think they're developing for a tablet or something? They're getting rid of essential interface elements that don't take up that much place to begin with. Getting rid of the minimize and maximize buttons isn't achieving anything at all. I have no idea where they're going with this.

removing minimize and maximize makes sense with gnome-shells workflow though, since its heavily based on dynamic workspaces. I haven't bothered re-enabling min/max buttons in gnome-shell because I don't feel a need to use them.

I wouldn't use this browser (nor would I use the current epiphany), but I don't get all the hate for this. epiphany is a highly redundant browser these days, the vast majority of users will use firefox/chrome/opera, and if they want tighter GTK integration midori. They are trying to differentiate epiphany as a super minimalist touchscreen/netbook type browser. More power to them, how many people bitching about this mockup actually use epiphany?

I think their other similar mockups look interesting too, I like the minimalist approach (of course they would need some tweaking for desktop usage, the music mockup seems to be missing a search bar for example. Same with the nautilus one, and the folder icons are way too big)

#13 .Neo

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Posted 08 December 2011 - 13:52

removing minimize and maximize makes sense with gnome-shells workflow though, since its heavily based on dynamic workspaces. I haven't bothered re-enabling min/max buttons in gnome-shell because I don't feel a need to use them.

I hardly ever use the minimize and maximize buttons on my Mac either and since the GNOME team pretty much copied its workflow I can imagine its pretty much the same there too. Doesn't change the fact that getting rid of those buttons won't get you anywhere in terms of saving screen estate. In fact they made so many other changes in the exact opposite direction it actually wastes more. Everything looks so big and gaudy.

The above screen shots look like they just took the iOS iPad design (down to the rounded corners) and slapped it on top of their desktop OS. It just doesn't make much sense.

Mind you this isn't directed at GNOME alone. The same goes for Windows 8's Metro UI. Those types of UIs just don't have a place on a desktop machine operated by keyboard and mouse. I'm just hoping Apple won't go overboard as well and will keep a good middle ground like we see today in OS X Lion (minus Launchpad).



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