Not even GNOME itself could ignore the GNOME 3 criticism for much longer. "As part of the planning for the DropOrFixFallbackMode feature, we've decided that we will compile a list of supported gnome-shell extensions. This will be a small list, focused on just bringing back some central 'classic' UX elements: classic alt tab, task bar, min/max buttons, main menu. To ensure that these extensions keep working, we will release them as a tarball, just like any other module."
"I'm writing to inform you that the release team discussed Drop or Fix Fallback Mode yesterday. We've come to the conclusion that we can't maintain fallback mode in reasonable quality, and are better off dropping it." Gnome-fallback has been my refuge, as I find both Unity and Gnome 3's shell unusable. Yes, we have been warned this would happen. I thought the cost of maintaining gnome-panel would be so low that it might never need to happen. But as it appears, it is deemed necessary. As for me, I'm bound for something Qt, as I am very angry at Gnome for abandoning its 'classic' users.
"Theme development is a tedious and difficult task, and for the GTK devs to be so careless in breaking their API at every turn disrespects the many hours people put into making themes for it. I was given to believe that this breakage stems from a Microsoft-like climate of preventing users from customizing their systems, and deliberately breaking the work of others so that your 'brand' is the best. Anytime I hear the word 'brand' being used in Linux, I know something valuable is being poisoned." I find the tone of this one a bit too harsh and overly negative at times, but his point still stands.
"Today, the GNOME Project celebrates the release of GNOME 3.6, the latest version of the popular free desktop, as well as the GNOME developer platform. GNOME 3.6 is the third major update of GNOME 3. It builds on the foundations that we have laid with the previous 3.x releases and offers a greatly enhanced experience. The exciting new features and improvements in this release include a new login experience, integrated input methods, a refresh of the message tray, support for more online accounts, improved accessibility, and many more."
"Gnome 3 has received a lot of disapproval of late, from the Gnome foundation being charged with not taking care of its users, or losing mindshare, to Gnome 3 itself being an unusable mess. I've been using Gnome 3 myself for a few months to sort the truth from the fiction, and to try and understand just how the Gnome foundation expects their newest shell to be used. I will end with some thoughts on how Gnome 3 can be improved. The review will require a fairly lengthy preface, however."
In a recent interview with the Austrian newssite derStandard.at, GNOME designer Jon McCann talks about GNOME OS, the consequences of Canonical leaving GNOME behind, the purported removal of features and the future role of Linux distributions. "I think there was a time when GNOME had kind of a crisis, we didn't know where we wanted to go, we were lacking goals and vision - that was the end of the GNOME2 cycle. So we pulled together and formed a vision where we want to go - and actually did something about it. And now we have been marching on that plan for quite some time."
The future of GNOME - an interesting subject. GNOME 3 has been out and about for a while, and it hasn't exactly been a smashing success. One of the efforts to take GNOME to the next level is what the team refers to as GNOME OS - but in reality, it's a set of improvements to GNOME that are just as interesting to GNOME-the-desktop-environment.
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.
"GNOME 3.4 introduces a range of new features. A new document search facility allows quick access to content stored both on your device and online. Smooth scrolling means that moving through content is slick and graceful. New application menus, which are located on the top bar, provide a useful way to access application options and actions." And a lot more.
"One of the things that the GNOME design crew have been focusing on recently is creating a new approach to application design for GNOME 3. We want GNOME applications to be thoroughly modern, and we want them to be attractive and a delight to use. That means that we have to do application design differently to how we've done it in the past."
"Clement Lefebvre, the Linux Mint founder, has started working on a GNOME Shell fork called Cinnamon, which tries to offer a layout similar to GNOME 2, with emphasis on 'making users feel at home and providing them with an easy to use and comfortable desktop experience'. Among the features that we'll probably see in Cinnamon are GNOME2-like notifications and systray icons, option to change the panel position and other panel options like autohide, etc. Some of these features are already available through Mint GNOME Shell Extensions (MGSE), but their functionality is pretty limited."
Antonio Ospite explores Gnome 3 in fall-back mode and tries to make it look and behave more like Gnome 2.32 again. This summer Linus Torvalds made it to the news for complaining about the gnome-shell design; Gnome fall-back mode is the solution for those like Linus who can't - or better, do not want to - use gnome-shell just yet.
GNOME 3.2 has been released. It's basically a collection of relatively small updates, improvements, and bug fixes. As whole, it's a pretty big upgrade, but there's nothing really that stands out to me - probably because I don't use GNOME3 myself so I really have no idea where it's lacking (if at all). Any GNOME3 users care to shine a light on this one?
In an extensive interview with the Austrian tech site derStandard.at/web GNOME3 designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 - and why it's all about the apps - why he is convinced that KDE and Ubuntu are actually different operating systems and also reacts to the outspoken criticism against GNOME 3 which has been making the rounds lately.
Linus Torvalds piped up in the comments of a Google+ posting by Linux kernel hacker Dave Jones to air his true feelings about Gnome 3: "it's not that I have rendering problems with gnome3 (although I do have those too), it's that the user experience of Gnome3 even without rendering problems is unacceptable." People care what Linus thinks, and when he ditched KDE for Gnome a couple of years ago, people took note. Now he's using Xfce.
Something's - once again - brewing within the GNOME project. While a mere suggestion for now, and by no means any form of official policy, influential voices within the GNOME project are arguing that GNOME should become a full-fledged Linux-based operating system, and that the desktop environment should drop support for other operating systems such as Solaris and the BSDs. I have a feeling this isn't going to go down well with many of our readers.
Ars has reviewed GNOME 3.0, and concludes: "The solid technical work that has been done under the hood really complements the new user experience features in GNOME 3.0. Despite some of the gaps in the feature set, I think that the environment and the new shell is a good starting point for building something even better. The GNOME contributors will be able to iterate on the design and move it forward in future updates."
The day is finally here, the day that the GNOME team releases GNOME 3.0, the first major revision of the GNOME project since 2002. Little of GNOME 2.x is left in GNOME 3.0, and as such, you could call it GNOME's KDE4. We're living in fortunate times, what, with two wildly divergent open source desktops.