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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Attitude and politics
by ndrw on Tue 31st Jul 2012 03:33 UTC
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Gnome 3 (still) has all technical and organizational means to become a great desktop environment. I like their use of extensions and high level languages. I even like the integrated design, even though it aggravates the project problems. It is the politics and attitude that made Gnome3 fail. Sorry, guys, you cannot reasonably expect that after pissing off 80% of your users, Gnome will continue to keep its position. Others (Xfce) haven't even thought of making such mistakes, or (Mate, Cinnamon) are trying to reverse yours.

Honestly, admit the mistake, rethink your politics and design it produced. Look at what others (Cinnamon, Xfce, Kde, Unity, Gnome3 fallback) have done meanwhile, and make the desktop people (not you) want. It isn't a lost case yet and it isn't hard at all (just look at resources others have).

Why is it important? Because in a short period between Gnome 2 maturing and dying, Linux was making strides in users' adoption. Having a "standard" and "good enough" DE matters. I may be more happy with Xfce than with Gnome 2 or 3, but ultimately we all use the same platform, and we need users flocking in, not out. Unity may or may not be able to replace Gnome in that role but it also has problems and it shouldn't be difficult for Gnome to recover its former position.

Things I consider key antifeatures of Gnome 3:
- modal behavior - it is bad for several reasons: it slows down the user, adds complexity, hides important information from the user (windows, workspaces, main menu, launchers). What's worse, Gnome 3 already has a panel, why don't you use it?
- lack of configurability - more is always better. Not everything has to be shown in the setting dialogs but restricting options is idiotic. Instead options you get forks.
- lack of features - users should decide what they need. Sure, there is a lot of noise, so feel free to come up with some scoring+karma mechanism. But never decide what goes in (and especially out) arbitrarily.

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