Gnome 3.0 backlash


Yikes !!

I read Planet Fedora each day, and the disgruntled voice of early Gnome 3.0 adopters is getting louder by the day. The feelings are epitomized by this graphic (source here):

I dabble between fluxbox and KDE 4.5 on my main PC, depending on my intention to be productive against my desire to have some eye candy. But… can I say that I *love* the state the the KDE Desktop Environment is now in, at 4.5! It is super stable, kwin is now more efficient than ever, and the DE really does feel polished and carefully considered in every corner of its design.

How did the KDE project achieve this? I remember back when KDE 4.0 was released. The backlash from the faithful KDE community was a lot louder than the Gnome 3.0 complaints. This link shows the state of the DE when it was released. Sure, version 4.0 was feature incomplete, but KDE 4.5 wouldn’t be so brilliant if it wasn’t for the fundamental rewrite in the KDE4 libraries. It is people like Aaron Seigo, of the KDE team, who had a vision. and wasn’t deterred during the KDE 4.0 transition, and can now see the fruits of his labour present throughout the KDE DE. Check out his blog.

So, KDE 4.0 was ultimately good for the KDE project. Why can’t Gnome 3.0 be great for the Gnome project? And for those people who are disappointed that their distro of choice is planning to move to Gnome 3.0, there is an answer. It was the approach that was taken by many KDE 3.5.* fans. And that is – stick with your current distro version release. Take Fedora – Fedora 14 came with Gnome 2.32 by default. A lot of Fedora users want new software as soon as it lands, to test, explore, and provide early feedback upstream. Failing that, when Fedora 15 is released with Gnome 3.0, don’t upgrade. It’s quite simple. What about your favourite software packages? Many of them will be packaged for Fedora 14. This page makes is clear that Fedora 14 will actively maintained until 1 month after Fedora 16 is released. By then, Gnome 3.* may have some of the features you’d have missed in 3.0.


  1. juankprada Said,

    I think its not an issue about missing functionallity or something like that. At least in my case I’m really annoyed with Gnome not because missing features but because the development was done ignoring people requests and was just a “we will do it this way, we will change how you work with a computer no matter what you say”… and so Developers hide options, make defaults somehow “unchangeable” by new users and just ignored any comment that, even with good arguments, was made against their decitions…

    So it’s not a matter of just missing features… It’s about community

  2. Anonymous Said,

    “By then, Gnome 3.* may have some of the features you’d have missed in 3.0.”

    That’s unlikely as many of the features in Gnome 3.* were intentionally removed, not to make other changes easier, as was the case in KDE 4, but because they didn’t want those features to exist any more, period.

  3. Let’s kick (Gnome) Shell! - K3RNEL Said,

    [...] apparently today is troll-a-Gnome-dev-day, and given how much I looooooooooooove the fact that Gnome Shell is broken by [...]

  4. nicu Said,

    There is a difference: KDE 4.0 was incomplete and the developers warned against using it as default, wanting more time to polish, after that they added the wanted features. GNOME 3.0 is different: it goes the opposite way, developers are removing features and making clear they have no intention of adding them later. And is pushed as a default.

    Why people don’t complain louder? I am not very sure, but I suspect we are accustomed with the GNOME developers just don’t listening.

  5. Ada Said,

    “GNOME 3.0 is different: it goes the opposite way, developers are removing features and making clear they have no intention of adding them later. And is pushed as a default.”

    That’s not actually true, though I realize by now you have no intention of telling any truths about GNOME 3 which don’t serve your agenda. Quite a lot of discussions have noted that GNOME 3′s plugin framework is the intended system to allow the implementation of some things that are ‘missing’ from GNOME 3, but it’s not yet complete. There’s also a generally accepted concept of a ‘Tweak UI’ for GNOME 3 which all concerned would be perfectly happy with but which simply hasn’t been written yet. You could do a lot more good by writing it (or by helping to get it written) than by writing unfunny troll posts about GNOME 3 all day long.

  6. Korbé Said,

    « they have no intention of adding them later »
    This is a lie.

    « Please give GNOME Shell a try, don’t be afraid of changes. If it’s a bad decision, we’ll notice in time and fix it. It’s not the end of the world. Not yet »

    Another proof:

  7. Paul W. Frields Said,

    Or, alternately, many people are planning to embrace the change, even if it means adapting a little. There are things I will miss in the new setup, but also new things that give me delight. Thankfully free software gives one plenty of choices. I don’t see what’s accomplished by browbeating people or putting down their work. I’d rather spend time doing the things I enjoy in free software and making it better.

  8. Jef Spaleta Said,

    I blieve your depiction of what happened around the KDE 4 injection into Fedora is somewhat revisionist. I believe if you discuss the history of the KDE 4.0 transition in Fedora with the KDE SIG and look over the discussion you’ll hear a different opinion about the timing of the upstream devs warning about the release KDE SIG spent two releases laying the groundwork for 4.0 and the warning came very very late in the game.

    And correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t the intent by GNOME to provide a fallback mode for the classic panel inside GNOME 3? Is the fallback classic panel mode unsuitable? The availability of the fallback mode is a stark contrast to how KDE handled it with the qt3 to qt4 transition underlying KDE 4.0.


  9. bochecha Said,

    > “Why people don’t complain louder?”

    For once, I agree with you. Let me be louder then:

    Was that loud enough? :)

    > “I am not very sure, but I suspect we are accustomed with the GNOME developers just don’t listening”

    They are actually listening to their users. I know, I’m one of them, and so far all my bug reports have either been fixed or will be, none has been denied as “we don’t care about you and want to do it our own way” as you seem to imply.

    Note that “their users” is defined as “the people who share their vision and want to use a product that implements this vision”.

    This might be a different set of persons from “the people currently using Gnome 2″, and that is perfectly fine.

    Now, how about you use another desktop whose vision you share? And if that desktop is “Gnome 2″, how about you put your money where your mouth is and fork it to go on maintaining it?

    Right, that’s what I thought…

  10. Chris Kerr Said,

    Having previously upgraded from F14 – F15 and suffered kernel panics, I took against Gnome 3, and reverted to F14. Steadfastly refused to take the Unity plunge on Ubuntu laptop retaining Gnome 2 on 11.04). Added new desktop to my network recently and installed F16 to give Gnome 3 another whirl. No kernel panics, no need to apply ‘classic’ tweaks. I really like it! This dinosaur has turned!

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By Rob