Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 27th Jul 2012 12:41 UTC
Gnome Honest question. Do you think the GNOME project is as healthy today as it was, say, 4 years ago? Benjamin Otte explains that no, it isn't. GNOME lacks developers, goals, mindshare and users. The situation as he describes it, is a lot more dire than I personally thought.
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Comment by dexter11
by dexter11 on Sat 28th Jul 2012 21:58 UTC
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Instead, and the GNOME team should be commended for this, they decided to more or less start from scratch (UI-wise) and try and come up with something new and fresh.

No they shouldn't. This is the reason the used-to-be No. 1 Linux desktop is in a downward spiral.
If anyone read a UI design book here then he\she knows that one of the basic principles of UI design is familiarity. They should have only changed to an entirely new concept if it brings obvious advantages and the whole new overall experience is better despite that new concept (IMHO the ribbon in the MS Office is good example of that).
Instead they made the basic tasks of the DE, e.g. launching apps and switching between them, more difficult.

Obviously implementing a totally new UI concept requires a lot of UX tests which is something the OSS world doesn't excel.

One more thing. A desktop UI is not there to chase away your boredom as the article seems to suggest. It's there to make your everyday tasks as easy as possible. And those old desktops with their 20 year old principles are good enough for that.
Just because something is new that doesn't mean it's better than the old one, or the old things shouldn't be redesigned just because they're old.
To tell you one example I happily use the old pear shaped light bubbles which are almost the same as Thomas Edison designed them. They do their job and I don't need more.

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