back to article Apple's poisonous Touch silently kills the GNOMEs of Linux Forest

If a major Linux desktop falls in the forest and no one is around to use it, does it make a sound? That's a question the GNOME project would do well to contemplate. The once mighty Linux desktop has stumbled and looks like it might be poised to come crashing down after the release of GNOME 3. Here's the problem: the radical …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I presume El Reg pays its hacks by the word? Or is there another explanation for whole sections of that article being repeated?

    1. Old Handle

      It's called a "pull quote". I'd grant you that this use of it did seem especially pointless though.

    2. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Old Handle is right; you're referring to the pull quote? They tend to work best in print, but if you're undecided on whether to read the whole article, the pull quote is there to highlight something intesting to convince you to stay on the page.


  2. Uwe Dippel

    Sad, and a huge loss of resources

    KDE was THE Linux-GUI in any case. GNOME only saw the light for some (some call it paranoid) licensing reasons: Qt (the basis for KDE) was on a non-free license. More than 10 years lost for the world (of Free and Open Source) by splitting resources, confusing potential users and naturally delaying development. KDE has an interface now that can work on mice and fingers, Plasma. It is not totally ready, but close.

    No, I am not a KDE developer, I used to run GNOME for quite some years. What makes me sad, is that we had a number of "year of Linux on the desktop"; and it still isn't there. It is for me, personally, using double-boot the MS-thingy just feels crufty and childish and I miss a multitude of desktops dearly; as well as the network-enabled-by-default., plus the full-screen Dashboard.

    1. h4rm0ny

      Re: Sad, and a huge loss of resources

      KDE is a fine piece of work. It's a more customizable than Gnome by the end user, too. The author writes that the transition from KDE3 to 4 was "bumpy". Well that wasn't the developer's fault. They brought out version 4 so that everyone could get started with it, learn it. It was a major overhaul so that was necessary. They explicitly stated that this was the reason to do so and that people should normally stay on three. And yet hundreds of angry people kept posting about how it didn't work for them or that it didn't have X or Y and that their system was broken. It made me angry at the time, and the idiotic whining of it still makes me annoyed today. KDE4 was a fantastic overhaul to KDE3 bringing in a really solid new foundation for a lot of future development. Gnome ducked facing that and continued with it's iterative approach. And as to Unity - a brave effort but it didn't manage the jump - ending up on neither side of the canyon but falling to its death in the middle.

      1. Chemist

        Re: Sad, and a huge loss of resources

        "KDE is a fine piece of work."

        I agree entirely - I've been using it since it first came out and indeed SUSE since v5.0 and never really had a problem, somethings I don't really like but I switch them off generally. Most people that seem to have a problem with desktops or indeed distros seem to chop and change and never actually become familiar with any one.

      2. Not That Andrew

        Re: Sad, and a huge loss of resources

        I agree that KDE4.0 was only meant as a developer preview, but for some reason all the big distro's (except RHEL and Debian stable) replaced KDE 3.5.9 with it as soon as it was released. THAT was the reason you had ordinary users bitching about it.

        Don't blame the users, blame the idiotic distro maintainers who had to have the latest shiny in their new release. Yes, they should have done their homework and stayed on the old version of their distro, but back then only Fedora users expected things to break that badly with upgrades.

        It was still pretty broken at KDE 4.2 when Slackware upgraded, and IMHO only approached equality to to KDE 3 with KDE 4.5 .

      3. Ruben Mannstaedt

        Re: Sad, and a huge loss of resources

        Agreed, and yes I also moved from Gnome - and indeed Unity - to KDE4. KDE is a beautiful, smooth, fast, efficient, customizable, and actually very easy-to-use desktop. It competes very favourably with Windows in ease-of-use, especially for those who are used to Windows XP already - except KDE is rather nicer to work with.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sad, and a huge loss of resources

      KDE was trying to be more like Windows but Gnome always seemed to be trying to be more like Mac OS.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Sad, and a huge loss of resources

        "...trying to be like..."

        Only if you are born and raised on commercial software. Anyone with a knack for remembering software release dates will know where copying *might* be happening, but I can assure you it is not as black and white as you paint it. You'll be amazed to find that many software companies will copy a public domain or open source program and proudly proclaim it their latest innovation.

        1. ArmanX

          Re: Sad, and a huge loss of resources

          Perhaps a better way to state that would be, "If you are familiar with Windows, KDE will seem more natural, while if you are familiar with Mac OS, Gnome will seem more familiar."

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Sad, and a huge loss of resources

        The funny thing is that Miguel de Icaza (one of the Gnome founders) is obviously a Microsoft fanboy

    3. xperroni

      Re: Sad, and a huge loss of resources

      To me the saddest thing is that Gnome, once properly plugged-in, is actually quite a likable desktop; it just so happens that it's released in quite a screwed up form. There have been movements to rectify this (Fedora 17 for example brought back "Power Off" as a plain menu item, no more Alt-Click required), but unfortunately it may be too little, too late.

  3. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    When will developers learn?

    It doesn't matter how sexy it is to the developer, if the user doesn't like it then the thing is doomed. The only way you can get away with an interface which is fundamentally different from the previous one (say, let's put the steering wheel on the roof!) is if it is immediately and intuitively better. It's not apparent that Gnome 3 meets this criteria...

    To someone coming to it cold, never having used a computer, I suspect there would be few serious issues. But from people who have been using previous desktops - whether Windows, Gnome 2, or KDE - then things that used to work no longer do. Things have been added which make no sense in any circumstance except full screen single applications and things have been removed because they're apparently not 'touch friendly' irrespective of their general utility. (See Linus' rant about opening a terminal window, and the changes to Nautilus).

    It's change for the sake of change, and in doing so, they've driven away their core fans. You know, the ones who prefer a Linux solution *because* it isn't MS or Apple; the ones who run with a dozen windows open on a large monitor; the ones who need to know that a program has actually stopped rather than simply been hidden; the ones who use their computers as tools, not playthings.

    The underlying technology is fine, if a little confusing at times, but what they've slapped on top of it? No thanks. I spent twenty-five years learning the (recent/current) WIMP model and I have no reason to change. I am so pleased that Mint delivered Cinnamon...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: When will developers learn?

      "You know, the ones who prefer a Linux solution *because* it isn't MS or Apple;"

      That's why Linux adoption is slower than it could be. When normal people encounter that attitude the people with it, and by extension what they're advocating, lose credibility. I know it's not really relevant to the topic at hand, but you gave me the best opportunity to point it out.

      1. M Gale

        Re: That's why Linux adoption is slower than it could be

        Not the only reason either.

        Someone recently had a problem with a bad website infecting their machine, possibly through some Java exploit. I suggested they use a VM for running uncertain websites in. They could use a friendly Linux in it like Mint or similar, or even a Windows if they could finagle it into working without paying Microsoft again.

        Then I got jumped on by a number of commentards (emphasis on tard) with stuff like "don't be stupid, why would you want to replace the whole OS with Linux just to run a VM", "Windows runs VMs as well you know", "Why would a normal user ever touch something as hard as Linux", and various other statements along the lines of me being a sweaty Microsoft-hating freetard who refuses to pay for anything.

        It's like they completely ignored what I actually said, and decided to hallucinate something that I completely didn't say.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          You don't have to replace the whole OS with Linux just to run a VM

          Thank goodness! The only way I can get any productive work done on my work-issued Win 7 laptop is to install Linux inside a VM and do all my work there, bouncing back to Windows only to use Outlook.

      2. Quxy
        Thumb Down

        What's wrong with wanting to keep Microsoft and Apple at arm's length?

        That sounds like a perfectly rational reason for choosing Linux -- even if Windows or OSX would do the tasks at hand.

        As a systems developer, I (along with the other developers in the company) use Linux because it's by far and away the most friendly, convenient, stable environment for designing, testing, and automating hardware and embedded software. But I stick with it for my personal computing as well, simply because I like the way that I can configure it to work the way *I* want it to work, on *my* hardware, something that both Apple and Microsoft are increasingly trying to prevent me from doing.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Why does "Linux adoption" matter so much?

        I drive a car made by a healthy, respected manufacturer who has less than 1% of the market share. Yet no one ridicules my choice or suggests that I should switch to a Ford or Opel, despite their market dominance.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: When will developers learn?

        "it isn't MS or Apple" is what it sounds like to you. Other people use the term "vendor-lockin" or "unusable software".

      5. JEDIDIAH

        Re: When will developers learn?

        Windows is crap and Macs are overpriced and inflexible.

        It's sad when "wanting something else" or wanting something better makes you some sort extremist or zealot.

    2. HooHah!

      Re: When will developers learn?

      Thank you, XFCE developers.

      I run XFCE on Debian stable. A bit behind the times, but *stable*. And if I need more recent, I have Xubuntu on a virtual machine.

  4. Caoilte

    Is it time to switch back to Enlightenment again?


    1. Not That Andrew

      Re: Is it time to switch back to Enlightenment again?

      Nah, E17 is still in development hell. I recommend Window Maker.

      1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge

        Re: Is it time to switch back to Enlightenment again?

        Bodhi shows off quite well what E17 can do in its current state.

        Also, E17 v1.0 is due out tomorrow...

  5. Big Al
    Thumb Up

    "If a major Linux desktop falls in the forest and no one is around to use it, does it make a sound?"

    That line just creased me up! :)

    1. Tom 7

      does it make a sound?

      only if you have the proprietary drivers.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Re: Tom

        Well said, sir.

        1. M Gale

          Re: Tom

          Would have been true 10 years ago.

    2. itzman

      with Liux sound

      alsa ogg pulse..blah..blah its odds on it wont make a sound whatever you do :-(

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Windows 8: desktop + mobile interface on same machine

    Which is what confuses people, they know there's a desktop there and some programs for it but can't see to get to it.

    But time will tell if they pick it up.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. NB

        Re: WOW!

        Dude... You never go full retard.

  7. Oddbin

    I really hope Linux can capture a decent slice of the market as it seems like this is going to be it's best shot with Steam going Linux, better support from manufacturers and with some being pissed with MS over Win8. The main hurdle I see though is the UI. Ubuntus has nice features but is initially confusing and Gnome looked to be going the way of the dodo. Linux needs a good solid and interesting UI that is built rationally. The distros I have used seem to have their settings in different places depending on what you're doing or what aspect you want to change. This type of thing needs stamped out IMHO as it will just piss off the standard user.

    So with GNOME going and Unity being a massive change and Cinnamon being very bland what's the best way to make new addoptees feel at home but also go "oooo"?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Thing is, I've never really wanted to go "oooo" over my windows manager... I just want it to provide a nice sensible way of managing my windows and a nice mouse driven interface for getting my programs and files. If I have to touch the keyboard I feel like I'm losing (in regards to the interface that is).

      I've never really sat down and gone "What I need is a whole new way of doing this stuff" I have thought "It'd be nice if I had another button on my mouse that brought up a nice list of programs I regularly use anywhere on the screen" It'd be even nicer if that was context sensitive, just copied a bunch of data, probably want a word processor, text editor or spreadsheet! Currently on youtube, probably want a video downloader, currently working on that document you need to finish tonight, probably want to play Europa Universalis!

    2. h4rm0ny

      I too would like to see more GNU/Linux presence. But I think the biggest rival to GNULinux adoptation on the Desktop, laptop and elsewhere, is actually going to be Android. Android has seized the territory that is the natural expansion area of GNU/Linux. There are even Android-specfic features now being back-ported into the Linux kernel.

      1. Gerhard Mack


        I love android but I would never want that interface on my desktop so I don't see the connection.

    3. Nigey


      Not so much "oooo" maybe but definitely at home. "oooo" should be reserved for play-devices, no need for it on work machines, nice and simple will do.

      1. hplasm

        Re: XFCE

        ok, just "ooo" then...

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Probably Never

      Linux will grab a decent share of the market as soon as people like me, who have expensive licensed Windows executables, can feel confident that they will be able to continue to run all of those executables without a problem. That is, probably never.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @AC 01:18GMT - Re: Probably Never

        Why do you believe Linux should be in the service of all those who licensed expensive Windows software ? Also it's the user that feels the need to go to Linux, not the other way around. Remember, Windows has never chased its users, they adopted it wholeheartedly. If you don't know what Linux is for, why would you adopt it ?

  8. Ramazan

    desktop environment?

    Who needs one, honestly? Window manager is enough IMHO, I do just fine with blackbox, while some prefer ion2-style WMs. twm is OK in some circumstances too.

    1. Neil Alexander

      Re: desktop environment?

      You are not the typical computer user, then.

      1. Adrian 4

        Re: desktop environment?

        What you mean is, he's not like you.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: desktop environment?

            You don't seem to be interested in Linux so why should we care about your opinion ? Who told you I want Linux to get past what ever percent of the installed desktops ? What exactly is this going to bring to me ?

        2. Neil Alexander

          Re: desktop environment?

          What I actually mean is - if you can refrain from twisting my words for a moment - the average computer user has existing expectations of how their should work and what it should do, for example, the starting point to entering a task should be visible on-screen. Views like "fuck desktops just use a window manager guys! LINUX UNITE!" are narrow-minded and non-inclusive. Linux has failed to become an everyday desktop operating system for this reason; for a large number of people because these expectations are not met, and all Linux people seem to do is sit back and say "well gee just use openbox!" instead of fixing the issues at hand.

          1. JEDIDIAH

            Re: desktop environment?

            > if you can refrain from twisting my words for a moment - the average computer user has existing expectations of how their should work and what it should do

            Two words: Ribbon and Metro.

            Microsoft have always screwed around the "average computer user". Their tendency to play "Where's Waldo" with seldom used but important admin screens is a pain point even for skilled power users.

      2. Ole Juul

        Re: desktop environment?

        You are not the typical computer user, then.

        The typical computer user just gets on with whatever is already in front of them. I personally tend to use Fluxbox on various *nix systems. What's interesting is that whenever a Windows user encounters my machine, all I have to say is "right click for a menu" and they're off and running. Despite being a confirmed *nix user, I honestly don't think that Windows users are stupid.

  9. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    This is in fact entirely in keeping with their modus operandi. They have never listened to their userbase. Anyone here tried making a suggestion? I know of a very practical one put to them years ago. First they ignored the submitter. Eventually, almost in as many words, they told him to go away and stop bothering them.

    The idea... Drag-and-drop file saving RISC OS style, with example code showing how it could be integrated into the exisiting file manager.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You don't want to do it like that!

      So a patch was offered and they should have fallen over backwards with gratitude?

      The website has a page for people who want to contribute with advice for how you can help.

      Volunteering to commit to a body of work probably gets more attention.

  10. Tim 64

    Happy Gnome user :-)

    I actually rather like the new Gnome, I've been using it on Ubuntu for some time now. I didn't like Unity much when it first came out so I gave the then new Gnome shell a try, it had it's flaws, especially in the early days, but its slick design and excellent workspace management won my heart and with the installation of a few Gnome extentions I find it a fast friendly usable environment that I enjoy working in,

    1. keithpeter Silver badge

      Moderately content Gnome user...

      So that is two of us.

      @chemist at 12:35 Sunday 4th says it well

      " Most people that seem to have a problem with desktops or indeed distros seem to chop and change and never actually become familiar with any one."

      I am reading and posting this on Gnome Ubuntu Remix that runs Gnome 3.6 (but with the earlier Nautilus). I'm even using Epiphany, the Gnome browser, which has the advantage of not having a flash plug-in! (no youtube time wasting, so I'm wasting time here instead). I'm using this for a month or so just to see how much it changes how I use the computers (laptop and desktop). I didn't like Gnome 3.0 or 3.2 at all, found Unity better. Gnome 3.4 was a step in the right direction, and 3.6 is better again. I'm looking forward to seeing what 3.8 brings.

      The Gnome Ubuntu Remix seems to have found some users, it will be interesting to see if the momentum continues.

      Debian Wheezy will have Gnome 3.4 available, but may use XFCE4 as the default desktop because of space constraints on a CD sized iso. Debian always try to release the first installer CD so that you can install a usable desktop and some applications from just that one image. There is some debate among the Debian packagers if that constraint is sensible any more, see

      The point I'm making is that Gnome won't just be the RHEL desktop. It is likely to be the corporate one given CentOS 7 and Scientific Linux/PUIAS will follow Red Hat. I believe that places that licence RHEL for servers often use CentOS on their desktops...

    2. Captain TickTock
      Thumb Up

      Re: Happy Gnome user :-)

      Me too. Although when Ubuntu first switched to Unity (in Natty) and went to Gnome 3 as an alternative, neither was really ready for prime time, and Ubuntu's Gnome 3 packages still had many graphics bugs which weren't present in the Fedora 15 live CD. I switched to Unity, because at least it didn't have the graphics bugs, but I wasn't really 100% happy with it.. Recently, after watching Karen Sandler's keynote on closed source software in implanted heart devices, I decided to try Gnome 3 again, and Ubuntu have finally got the graphics bugs sorted.

      Karen's main point is that easy to use desktop software is too important to leave to Apple or Microsoft to take a monopoly share. Even Android and Unity are potentially a risk, because they are controlled by a single commercial company (Self Appointed Benevolent Dictators are still dictators)

      Gnome 3 is still a work in progress of course, but I find it works for me (developing software). I'm looking forward to seeing it improve even more, and get back to the maturity of Gnome 2, while being up to date, and free of past kruft. I really hope they get through the painful transition, as KDE has.

      If you don't like it, you have the choice of KDE, or any of the lighter desktop window managers. It may be a dilution of effort, but choice is important.

    3. MDevonB

      Re: Happy Gnome user :-)

      Another one here. Most keyboard friendly WM I've used. Windows 7 and 8 both being relatively close, but falling somewhat short. Don't feel like I have to use the mouse for every little thing until I get down to an application level. The UI shuts up, gets out of the way, and doesn't look like it was from the 90's either.

      On top of that, it also lets me keep the same basic workflow between my Windows and Linux installs.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Alas Poor Gnome We Knew Him Well

    Then switched to KDE

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Alas Poor Gnome We Knew Him Well

      Likewise, but only after not being able to figure out, either through find/grep or searching Google, how to do what I had done not 15 minutes earlier. Now I'm using KDE on Fedora 17. I only boot Windows 7 once a month to keep it patched and I dropped my Ubuntu partition completely.

  12. Chris Thomas Alpha

    touch screen? on my desktop?

    I always wondered why they chased so avidly the touchscreen market whilst targetting desktop users.....

    does my desktop have a touch screen? no

    if it did have a touch screen, would it be comfortable to lift my arms for hours to touch it constantly? no

    so what is the point of a touch screen emphasised user interface on a computer which will never ever be used for that purpose.

    I would understand if gnome ran on some mobile devices, but like web development, you design two user interfaces and share whatever you can between the full sized desktop screen and the mobile screen.

    does gnome run on any touch screen devices? maybe

    are those devices in popular user? no (I suppose somebody will reply saying they use it, therefore this is wrong, however I would point out that a handful of people using it on a touch screen does not count as "popular"

    so what the hell happened....pride I suppose, they didnt want to admit they had failed and just kept ploughing on until the car ran out of juice...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: touch screen? on my desktop?

      Thing is, for a "touch screen" desktop you really need a nice touch tablet as an tertiary monitor which is as light as a keyboard. Then you can recline on your sofa and use all the touch on the touch tablet to control your desktop.

      However if you did have that where would you keep your mouse and keyboard... I already have 4 controllers for my pc (though 2 do spend most of their time sat on the tower on the other side of the room), those controllers being a nice keyboard that goes tap tap tap so I can type, a mouse so I can control stuff, a games controller for when I play playstation 2 games or really horrible console ports and, a graphics tablet.

      I like the idea of an additional tablet controller for somethings mainly gaming, I played a really awesome arcade game in Japan where you piloted a giant stompy robot on the main screen with a nice controller, then there was a map screen at the correct angle next to the controller for you to do things like call down artillery and mark strategic locations, while seeing lots of other useful data. As well I can see it being handy for managing things "off screen" while doing things in fullscreen (again games communication or organising/chatting/etc while watching a movie) or queuing up more songs while you play a visualization. Another use would be in rpgs where you could use the tablet as a way of managing inventory or stats. But then it comes onto the issue of number of hands...

      Thing is though once you need a keyboard or a mouse the whole additional control screen falls apart as I only have so many hands and so much lap space. I'd end up buried in controllers and in the end decide life is easier when I just shrink what I'm doing and use the mouse and keyboard for a few minutes.

  13. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

    I'm a gnome


    Running the last decent gnome desktop 2.32 on a Fedora 14 installation

    Why have I not 'upgraded'?

    Because gnome 3 (as displayed by Fedora 15/16/17 live CDs) is a piece of cack.

    For much the same reasons as my single play with windows 8

    Because I want to work with my PC, not have to relearn the ins and outs of a desktop every time the OS is upgraded.

    The object of a UI is simplicity and consistancy.

    All our robots and CNCs run the same interface, so that in the event of an emergency (broken tool/ blocked paintgun/skynet virus) anyone in the factory can shut down the errant machine without having to go "where the hell is the desktop widget for shutting this machine down hidden?"

    Then theres the retraining of staff and admins to consider

    So your bright sparkly alll singing all dancing wonderful desktop that you think works so well, maybe a big pile of cack to everyone else would'nt touch with a 20' stick

    1. keithpeter Silver badge

      Re: I'm a gnome

      ""Running the last decent gnome desktop 2.32 on a Fedora 14 installation"

      CentOS 6.x has support until 2017 and security updates until 2020 if you really want to keep the Gnome 2 style desktop and need security patches (perhaps you don't). RHEL 6 is based on Fedora 12 but there have been incremental updates.

      1. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

        Re: I'm a gnome

        CentOS 6 is where I'm heading, but the F14 installation does all I ask of it, since the box is mainly a file server/seti@home/IRC client.

        Maybe when steam for linux comes out then it will be time to change... but until then

    2. Uncle Slacky Silver badge

      Re: I'm a gnome

      Try Fuduntu - it was forked from Fedora at v14 but has up-to-date apps & kernel (& GNOME 2).

  14. banjomike
    Thumb Up

    GNOME decided to abandon the users it did have to chase users it didn't.

    Microsoft, are you listening?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: GNOME decided to abandon the users it did have to chase users it didn't.

      Nokia, are you listening?

      1. Captain TickTock

        Nokia, are you listening?

        There's no one left there to hear you. Only Rovio.

        1. ScissorHands

          Re: Nokia, are you listening?

          What did you say? I can't hear you with these Nokia N9s covering my ears!

    2. lsatenstein

      Gnome 3 is maligned. Gnome3 is a new interface that has great potential

      The Gnome2 interface is a keyboard mouse only interface. It was developed as a follow up from a Teletype interface. With the first few days of Gnome3, the menu interface was the one I did not want to abandon, because it was so familiar.

      If you are coming from a Microsoft environment W7 or before, you know all about start menus etc. Gnome 2 kept me happy that way.

      However, I have noted that some users collect several hundred applications on their desktop. And the things I hear out-loud are "Where did I save that xxxx application", or "what was that application name?"

      Unity and Gnome started out together. I guess some staffing problems, Q/A problems and delivery delays resulted in Unity going it's way. And when it did it started a "my interface is better than yours" arguments.

      Torvalds, like me, was so familiar with Gnome2 that to change and learn a new better paradigm became something he did not want to do.

      But gradually, I realized that I could have a favourites bar, with our most used applications, and use the facilities in Gnome3 or Unity to present a list of applications matching some partial phrase I enter on the keyboard. (More than likely, in a later release, we will be able to speak the phrase and get to our program.)

      So, the learning consists of a) With Gnome2, threaded a menu as my old standby How do I do it with Gnome 3.6?

      After about 3 months of Gnome3.x I returned to Gnome2 and was uncomfortable with it. It seemed so amateurish. I even tried the halfway distribution "Mint", so see if cinnamon or Mate would pull me to Mint.

      Gnome3.6 is very stable. It is as stable as Unity, or Unity is as stable as Gnome 3.x and between the two, I find one not better than the other.

      There is a Gnome 3.x website where you can find tweaks. These will allow you some most amazing additional functionality.

      What fails for me for both Gnome and Unity, is the ability for me to select an arbitrary folder, and have it's representation on the favourites bar. (A shortcut, in MS terms). With that shortcut, one click on the folder repeseenation should take me directly to that folder without all the extra keystrokes. I also started using the virtual desktop. (The tabs that are half out of view on the right side of the screen. The virtual tab is the alternative I use for that functionality right now.

      Let me wind up with this. Egos are very high in the IT world. Some people feel they have exclusivity on intelligence or design, and when they find out that they don't or they have to compromise, or no longer like the challenges, they leave for other opportunities. Many times it is money that causes a career change.

      With the staff losses, Gnome3 has to recruit and train replacements. This takes time, and a desire for the new people to gain a mindset. Gnome3 does have a development plan, which was posted several months ago. The author of this blog should do a search for it and confirm that Gnome has direction, is not floundering and that Gnome has a charter of where it wants to go in the next short while.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @lsatenstein - Re: Gnome 3 is maligned. Gnome3 is a new interface that has great potential

        Yes, some users collect several hundred applications on their desktop but they are a minority and GUI developers should not design the interfaces based on the needs of a small minority. What fails for me in Gnome 3 is the pain inflicted when you must switch between several open windows. Doing copy and paste efficiently between two simultaneously open applications was simply discarded in the name of tabletizing the GUI.

      2. Greg J Preece

        Re: Gnome 3 is maligned. Gnome3 is a new interface that has great potential

        But gradually, I realized that I could have a favourites bar, with our most used applications, and use the facilities in Gnome3 or Unity to present a list of applications matching some partial phrase I enter on the keyboard. (More than likely, in a later release, we will be able to speak the phrase and get to our program.)

        This is why I like KDE. It already has all that additional functionality, but can work either as a traditional menu-driven desktop, a widget-based searchy desktop, or a hybrid of the two. If you want to configure it to death, you can get rid of the taskbar and menu panels entirely. However you want to work, it can be set up that way.

      3. Pat 4

        Re: Gnome 3 is maligned. Gnome3 is a new interface that has great potential

        "that to change and learn a new better paradigm "

        THAT is your problem right there... and theirs too.


        Gnome 3 was/is a failed experiment.


        It was barely tolerable at BEST and a piece of unusable crap for most.

        You could claim to invent a better wheel.

        If the minute it comes out people call it crap and everybody hates it... maybe... JUST MAYBE... you should have to freaking HONESTY and HUMILITY to ADMIT that maybe YOU were WRONG!!!!

        You know what happens when developers refuse to admit they were wrong?

        People go away, the brains walk out, the money dries up and the software ends up as a dead end on an old Visio drawing in a history book somewhere... that's what...

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Linus has never liked Gnome and has submitted numerous patches to improve it knowing full well they would be rejected (and were).

    Is it any wonder Linux doesn't get used by business and home users when you can't really rely on your desktop being updated and usable long term?

    Microsoft has gone radical as well which just leaves OSX as a sane choice in these times of lunatic UI designers.

    1. DiBosco

      Wrong. KDE4 is a fantastic, easy to use, intuitive, good looking desktop.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        RE: DiBosco

        You forgot a few words:

        Wrong. KDE4 is a MOSTLY fantastic, KIND OF easy to use, SEMI-intuitive, good looking BUT POORLY COLORED desktop.

        1. Neil Alexander
          Thumb Down

          Re: RE: DiBosco

          Am I the only one that is IMMEDIATELY turned off by how awful the text rendering is in Qt/KDE?

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A natural fit

    > Torvalds may be prone to both outbursts and hyperbole

    Have you offered him a gig as a Reg columnist yet?

    1. Captain DaFt

      Re: A natural fit

      The scary thing is; if they did, he probably would, although I can't see it lasting mote than a couple of months.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A natural fit

      Is he full of righteous indignation about the state of the equipment provided to Her Majesty's armed forces too?

  17. toadwarrior

    I'm using gnome classic on ubuntu. I prefer gnome. I'm not sure how apple caused the problem. It's gnome's fault for wanting new and shiny when they shouldn't have went for it. Kde had complaints too but because distros wanted the new and shiny version.

    The problem is I think a lot of people in tech bore easily and will insist on living on the bleeding edge even if it makes no sense at all. Yes, that can be more fun if it goes well but if it doesn't, it will be no fun cleaning up after yourself.

    1. Dana W

      It didn't.

      Apple didn't take away right clicking on my desktop. Apple didn't decide my desktop should be a sterile wasteland without shortcuts, and without files. Then leave me with a stripe of tiles for things someone else thought belonged there.

      When I started with Linux, the desktop was infinitely malleable, with Gnome 3 and Unity I got a desktop locked down tighter that iOS with a desktop not much better than the average "non Android" smartphone.

      I was dual booting Ubuntu on my Macs till Gnome 3 and "unity" ruined the user experience. Over night Gnome 3 made Linux hostile to people not happy with its "new paradigm". I got tired of trying to find out what I had to change or install to get the freedom back I had before Gnome 3 made it miserable. Its my way or the highway attitude to interface sent me back to full time OS X desktop.

      Gnome, When your lock-down is bad enough to scare Mac users, seriously reconsider what you are doing.

      1. Captain TickTock

        Its my way or the highway attitude to interface sent me back to full time OS X desktop.

        Out of the frying pan...

        1. Dana W

          Re: Its my way or the highway attitude to interface sent me back to full time OS X desktop.

          Hey, OS X desktop is still WAY more open than Gnome 3.

      2. J 3

        Re: It didn't.

        Apple didn't decide my desktop should be a sterile wasteland without shortcuts, and without files.

        I don't believe people are still talking about that. I am running the latest Ubuntu with Unity, and I have a bunch of files on my desktop area. Have no clue whether Gnome 3 also allows it though.

        1. Captain TickTock

          Re: It didn't.

          I have file and folder shortcuts on my Gnome 3 desktop

          The folder is ~/Desktop

          Bang goes another Gnome 3 myth

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      >I'm not sure how apple caused the problem.

      They didn't, really. People have been using/developing UIs without Mice and Keyboards for ages... Palm being the first one that jumps to mind, and a myriad dumbphone interfaces that worked well for many tasks using just a handful of buttons.

      Where Apple come into it is that they popularised a device comparable in power to a traditional PC, but one that used several fingers instead of a single stylus. Microsoft jumped the gun really, and didn't wait until CPU and batteries developed enough to allow for a machine light enough to hold in one hand. XP Tablet edition... I only saw one used in anger (a surveyor stood on the street) though my mechanic has used a 'convertable' tablet/laptop for interrogating motor vehicles.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Linux has bypassed the desktop...

    ... and gone mobile.

    I first started using Linux in anger back in 1997. At the time, I used slackware and dabbled with RedHat.

    I remember days of configuring xwm - very frustrating, but ultimately rewarding, if rather limited.

    It did what it said on the tin though.

    From that time forward, I anxiously waited for the day when Desktop Linux would make major inroads.

    Over the years, I tried fluxbox, blackbox, enlightenment, KDE, GNOME.

    Eventually, when Ubuntu started becoming popular, I settled on that with a GNOME window manager.

    Life was good for a while - it served my Linux dev needs just fine. I ran windows along side, dabbled with MacOSX. I really thought, "now is the time for Linux on the Desktop!" and awaited with expectation to see the big software manufacturers jump on-board. They never did.

    Like any Linux Desktop user I *knew* the OS was streets ahead of windows in so many ways - and now it had several user friendly window managers.

    Whilst Gnome back then was rather demanding on hardware, it was either this or KDE for user simplicity. I'd long grown tired of spending too many hours just trying to get stuff working. I wanted to spend that time developing websites, but also wanted the Linux desktop not just a term.

    When Gnome 3 came out and Ubuntu went Unity, I jumped ship and embraced XFCE.

    During all this time, Linux failed to gain significant inroads into the desktop market. Ubuntu looked like it had a shot at the big time and is now certainly one of the few distributions non-geeks may have heard of.

    It was Android that truly bought Linux to the masses - and most of them are completely unaware of it.

    Linux may have failed to light up the desktop world, but that hardly matters anymore - it's *everywhere*

    Gnome will march into an obscurity that was already obscure - less than 1% of the people I know and have met have heard of it. It never was mighty and that forest was one hardly anyone had ever visited or even heard of.

    1. bailey86

      Re: Linux has bypassed the desktop...

      Similar path for me.

      Lemme rtry to remember - RH, Mandrake, Lindows, Debian, Slackware, Debian, Gentoo, Debian - so Debian for servers and desktop.

      Bought a laptop from Dell with Ubuntu pre-installed with the intention of installing Debian - but then carried on with Ubuntu and all was fine.

      Then - Unity. So, Unity, Gnome 3, XFCE and now Xubuntu.

      Xubuntu is brilliant - XFCE is what Gnome should be doing - and would be far easier for ordinary users. (I have to add - one of my programmer colleagues uses Unity and is fine with it).

      MS seem to have made the same mistake as Gnome and Ubuntu - the next few years are going to be interesting on the desktop.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Matt 89 - Re: Linux has bypassed the desktop...

      Android has nothing to do with Linux. It has brought nothing from Linux experience or philosophy to masses with the exception of a kernel shackled with DRM deep down inside where nobody can ever see it. They could very well use *BSD or iOS kernel and no one would have noticed.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Several issues

    I've said it before and I shall say it again: the Gnome development team needs an adult, somebody to say "You can't have any pudding if you don't eat your meat", or rather, "No, you cannot work on 'teh new shinee features' until you get the basic system working.", things like:

    * get ATSC working again. When they decided to create dvb-daemon (which, itself, is largely a reimplementation of much of what MythTV does, not that reimplementing MythTV in a cleaner fashion isn't a good idea), they ripped out all the code in the Gnome codebase that spoke ATSC. And they've never put it back. So Gnome now cannot do broadcast TV in the third most populous nation on the planet.

    * stop screwing around in C. I had evaluated both GTK and Qt professionally, and initially I was leaning to GTK because it was C, not C++. However, when you start looking at GTK, you see that it really is trying to implement an object oriented pattern, but because they are using C, it is error prone, requires a great deal of donkey work from the programmer, and difficult. If you want to do OO, use an OO language.

    * Stop screwing around in Vala. So, having noticed the issues with C, rather than moving to C++, the Gnome team decide to implement their own OO language. Of course, it won't be as widely supported as C++, won't have the libraries C++ has, won't have the experience base C++ has, but hey! It will be at least 20% cooler, right?

    * Stop conflating "user friendly" with "user stupid" - allow for some degree of customization, because not all users are the same. Not everybody needs 20 gears in their vehicle, but a tractor/trailer driver cannot use an automatic!

    * Stop using the Registry^W^W GConf as an excuse to not provide user interfaces for configuration. Again, when the Gnome developers are grudgingly forced to acknowledge that some users do need to configure advanced features, the standard response is "Go into Gconf-editor and tweak this key." That's just being lazy - stupid lazy.

    * Stop needlessly cross-linking things. OK, you want to allow Evolution to sync with PDAs, great! But don't FORCE me to install the Palm Pilot crap if I want to install Evolution - do your damn job as a software engineer and design a proper interface between Evo and ANY PDA, and allow the implementations of that interface to be installed, or not, and let Evo discover them at run time.

    * And while on the subject of Evolution - Either fix it so it doesn't lock up and have to be restarted on a regular basis, or kill it. And if you don't kill it, how about NOT slavishly aping the UI of Outlook, This idea of not being able to directly launch a mail window, or a calendar window, or a contacts window, but rather opening a new window that is a clone of the current window, THEN switching the role of that window SUCKS.

    * Stop reinventing CORBA badly. CORBA had strong checking of the interfaces, while I cannot count the number of times I have seen big parts of Gnome break because somebody changed a DBus message format without telling anybody. Plus with CORBA they really could start doing software as a service - you want to access the cloud, just access the name server for it, get your object instance, and rock on like it was local.

    * Building on that: network transparency is important, stop pretending it isn't. X, PulseAudio, and CORBA all allow any program to run on my local display, even if it is located halfway around the world. Microsoft ignored that, and had to restore it with things like RDP (and third parties like Citrix had to work on it as well). Being able to SSH to a server and run, well, damn near anything greatly simplifies things like VM appliances.

    If the Gnome team wants to work on "teh shinee", why not do things like a proper OO environment, where I can drag something to a printer icon to print it, or to an editor icon to edit it, or to a mail icon to forward it, or to an Stereo Litho icon to make it into plastic, and the "something" I am dragging can work out what the appropriate response it? How about using 3D on the desktop to meaningfully convey more information to me, rather than just making my windows look like they are gelatin.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: If you want to do OO, use an OO language.

      Absolutely. But then you mention C++ ...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: If you want to do OO, use an OO language.

        @AC: Ah, let me guess, you like Java. Go implement RAII in Java, and come back when you have done so. Go implement an object type that handles complex rational numbers, with error bar tracking and unit analysis, and make it possible to do a simple "a = b + c" without manually calling member functions, and come back.

        1. Christian Berger

          Re: If you want to do OO, use an OO language.

          @David: Seriously JAVA is not really a good example for OO languages. It combines all of the things you don't want to have. It starts with binary-only libraries, a weird bytecode, and that problematic C++ model of OOP.

          If you like JAVA, you might want to look into modern versions of OO-Pascal like Freepascal or Lazarus.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: If you want to do OO, use an OO language.

            @Christian Berger - *I* never said Java was a good example of OO - quite the contrary. I inferred the AC preferred Java over C++ due to his comment, and challenged him to perform 2 OO tasks in Java.

            Is C++ the ultimate OO language - NO. Due to it's C heritage, there are many things about C++ that are fugly. And while templates are very powerful, having yet a third programming paradigm (structured programming, OO, and then template metaprogramming) is IMHO not the way. Having to go to all the lengths to have templates work in the face of variant parameters (e.g. SFINAE) rather than having as simple "if typename has a member named Ptr that is convertable to/from T*, instantiate this function" makes templates far more difficult to deal with. (and while concepts would be nice, they still are a) not a part of the language standard and b) are still fugly to set up).

            However, I have yet to see anybody propose a better OO language that will run at any kind of speed (Smalltalk and Ruby get disqualified here).

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Ah, let me guess, you like Java

          No. I used ADA in the dim and distant. But Java being crap doesn't make C++ a good OO language.

    2. Christian Berger

      Re: Several issues

      C++ is not really suitable for OOP as such. It implements some strange idea of OOP where messages are implemented by indirect function calls, and there are object copies without garbage collection.

      So if you want to do OOP you won't need 99% of the features C++ has. That's why so many people write their own OOP system around C. Gnome did it, Microsoft did it, and probably a lot more people did it, too.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Several issues

      >they are using C, it is error prone, requires a great deal of donkey work from the programmer, and difficult.

      gobject works just fine.. while I don't Gnome myself and lots of other people use gobject and glib on a daily basis without any issues.

      1. pdxbrit

        Re: Several issues

        That's a bit of a non-sequitur. The fact that people are able to (eventually) produce working code with gobject/glib does not mean they have no issues. Seriously, implementing object-oriented paradigms in a non object-oriented language is ridiculously painful. It is indeed both tedious and error-prone. It's possible to produced working code in assembly language, but I don't think anybody is going to argue that it's easy/efficient. Horses for courses and all that.

        Personally, I loathe C++ for various reasons, but I'd take C++ and Qt over C and gtk* any day.

  20. Rambler88

    It's not over yet . . .

    " creating iOS for mobile devices Apple, well, created iOS for mobile devices. It did not rewrite the OS X desktop that runs on Macs, nor did it try to re-imagine the desktop computing paradigm."

    Still waiting for the other shoe to drop on that one.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I use to like the kde 3.5 and kde forced me to move from kde to the gnome 2. I was happy with gnome but now the gnome 3 and unity forced to me to adopted the cinnamon. why? they want to force users to change news interface. when they are happy with old interface.

  22. True Thug

    Unfortunately I have to agree with this article. I'm running Ubuntu Natty 11.04 because it is the latest to still support Gnome 2.

    1. Goat Jam

      Me too, on my work VM. Unfortunately updates ceased for 11.04 last week.

  23. JonCCrawford

    Will Developer Ego Keep Gnome From Changing?

    Despite the fears of some, Apple has not transformed OS X into iOS. It's now arguably the most conservative consumer OS.

    One obvious instance of iOS intruding into OS X -- Launchpad -- can be happily ignored, unlike Gnome 3's enforced use of the Application Overview, aka Big Stack of Big Icons.

    What has happened to Gnome reflects the disproportionate influence of developers in major Linux interface design decisions. That's to be expected, given the nature of the thing. But, the Gnome team's insistence that they have delivered the One True Way, that it is the users who should change, not the developers who are supposed to be fulfilling user wishes, smacks of the "If You Don't Like It Write Your Own Stuff" curse that afflicted so many people for so long. Linux and open source are not playgrounds for developers.

    I think making *TWO* change to Gnome 3 would improve its usefulness by an order of magnitude:

    One, Trigger the Overview display by moving the mouse cursor either to the right edge of the screen (the Workspace sidebar edge) or to the space on the left screen edge where the dock is hidden. The insistence that I need to push the cursor into one tiny spot in the upper left represents design failure.

    Two, allow a way to launch non-Favorited applications, i.e., apps that are not in the dock, that avoids the Application Overview. The App Overview is simply another kind of menu, one that becomes unwieldy very soon. OS X users have easy access to an alphabetized listing of the Applications folder. Gnome should just copy that, and it easily could. Don't replace the App Overview, just, gasp, give people a choice. Managing access to lots of apps via hierarchical menus sucks, but no one had a better idea, including Apple and the Gnome team.

    Whether it is those changes or others isn't important. What is important is that the Gnome team recognizes the need to make some changes. Gnome needs users, users don't need Gnome.

  24. Rogier


    I don't believe that people run away from Gnome in droves. Are there actual numbers to prove it? And no, counting Slashdot posts that whine about it is not good enough. I love Gnome 3 (I have 3.4, I accept it may have been less finished before). It stays out of the way and lets me focus on my work, until I need to switch tasks, and then it is very slick. My theory is that the criticism in Internet posts only comes from people who've got nothing better to do than configure their desktop environments all day.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This article seems to completely ignore that gnome 3 is not the desktop UI and refers to gnome shell as if were the entirety of gnome 3. It also states that ubuntu and mint have developed their own desktops to avoid gnome 3 but fails to point out that most of these alternatives still use gnome 3 underneath, it is only the UI that is different. In fact I believe it was part of the design brief of gnome 3 that the desktop UI was adaptable, and gnome shell was only offered as one possibility. Were Gnome as an organisation to founder, this would have effects far and beyond those distros using gnome shell.

  26. Anal Leakage

    It's getting rather comical how The Reg needs to put APPLE in every headline to encourage clickthrough.

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: Leakage

      I'd say it's rather comical taking criticism from a guy on the web calling himself "Anal Leakage" ;-)

      Seriously though, obviously not every headline has Apple in it - but it's now such a huge monster in the tech world that it can be hard to avoid.


  27. I swear I do have a life

    Once tweaked a little I love it

    I find the griping very silly, the desktop we choose is bound to bring its own pros and cons but it is how we increase the pros and eliminate the cons that matter. I was horrified by Ubuntu''s adaptation of Unity and didn't update from 10.10 till forced to with a recurring wifi issue. I tried other Linux distros both rpm and deb before coming back to Ubuntu because of the core values, ease of management, hardware support etc... I did try to get Unity to mould more to my preferences but found it very rigid and difficult to change and installed Gnome 3.

    I wouldn't suggest it worked perfectly out of the box but by going to gnome shell extensions on Firefox I was able to change the interface I was able to get everything as I want. The overall look and usability are amazing. Best Linux desktop I have used in 12 years (and I have also used KDE). Shame there is no touch screen

  28. Anonymous Coward

    No Unity or Gnome 3 for me...

    I've got a MATE that is helping me out --- and allowing me to continue to use the same basic desktop concepts that have worked well for over a decade.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Re: No Unity or Gnome 3 for me...

      +1 from me.

      Moved from Ubuntu to Mint with Mate and it works/looks exactly the same.

      I did install MATE desktop on top of our existing Ubuntu but it all ended up in a bit of a half and half mess.

      It really is pretty good.

  29. Irongut

    I like Gnome 3

    There I said it. I moved to Fedora when Ubuntu introduced Unity and started making stupid decisions like the recent one to search Amazon when the user is looking for a local file. It works very well on our netbooks and the missus likes it too.

    Admitedly on my desktop I run Win7. But since I don't like TIFKAM and with Steam moving to Linux I can see me switching to Fedora & Gnome 3 at some point in the future.

  30. Anonymous Coward

    Nobody should really care, but for the lock-in

    <old fart alert>

    My beef with all this stuff is that it breaks every rule of UNIX design. A window manager should handle windows on the screen. A file manager should handle files. I should be able to slot in whatever my favorite one of each is and have them work. Instead, with GNOME and KDE, I have a gazillion processes running even when my computer is doing sweet FA.

    Ladies and gentlemen, less is more. Small programs that do one thing well and use clean interfaces is the gold standard of design. In UI design it turns a religious war back into a personal aesthetic. Which is as it should be.

    The End.

    </old fart alert>

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apple did one thing *very* well..

    .. it didn't try to ram the iOS model down every OSX user.

    The principal problem with offering something new is that you disrupt people's productivity. As the tablet area was in principle greenfield, Apple could cook up a new UI for iOS and get away with it, but what it did better than all other desktops was that it left the old desktop in place when it tried to offer that same iOS approach on OSX.

    It became clear very quickly that the Launchpad idea (as it's called on OSX) did not work *at all*, but thanks to it being optional rather than rammed down people's gullet without a choice this experiment did not turn into the sort of embarrassment that GNOME, Unity or even Metro were. Don't get me wrong, there may very well be a better method of using a computer, but people need time to work that out and the time they are seeking where the %&ç/ this or that function has gone is time they do not get their work done - this is also what makes the MS Office ribbon crap (in addition to making each advanced function at least 3 commands removed from the user).

    The main reason I have been stubbornly working with KDE even when Ubuntu was trying to relegate that to second class citizenship by only offering it in another distro that never quite fully worked was because it allowed me Windows users to show an alternative that was *not* operable by aliens.

    But eventually you tire. And so I switched to OSX - it gives me a decent enough GUI to get work done with commercial programs, and enough Unix to keep power behind it, and to integrate with services based on Open Standards (something that is still much harder to do with Windows). I have CentOS on a VM because I have a project that uses it as base. I have Linux Mint in a VM to show people, and I may download a bit of Ubuntu again because I need to set up a box with enough of a working kernel to support a Bitnami installer, nothing more. For the rest I have lost interest..

  32. lsatenstein

    Gnome3 and KDE

    For a while after starting with Fedora 16 and Gnome 3 (I am currently testing Fedora 18), I got disillusioned with Gnome3. I started with KDE, and slowly got accustomed to it. KDE is very nice if you have a powerful system, as the underlying architecture is based on QT, the object oriented graphical interface.

    My reticence to standardize on KDE (I use Fedora 17), was that some software updates were better done via Gnome. I also felt that it took a lot of cpu cycles after a logon, before I could do some coding.

    I will return to KDE with Fedora 19, to spend two days per week with KDE, two days with Ubuntu and Unity, and three days per week with Gnome.

    I write software and do testing with 32 bit and 64 bit systems. The two that I use mainly are debian based and RedHat based, My software has to work with all distributions.

    I read today, that Torvalds has started to use KDE after some months with the xfce or other distribution.

    It does not mean that Gnome is not a winner, but it means that Torvalds tastes at this time are for KDE:

    Let me close with an analogy. I like to drive a Mercedes, and after the Mercedes, my other preference is a Nexus. Which do I like better?. It depends on the amount of gas in the tank. I enjoy riding in both.

    Equate your Gnome GUI interface with Mercedes, and KDE with the other. Both allow you to get to where you want to go.

  33. DrXym

    I like GNOME 3

    It's intuitive, attractive, simple and forgiving. I have no trouble using it in the slightest. That doesn't mean it's perfect and some of its simplicity is *too* simple, but it's still a solid desktop and most of the gripes seem to be around the fact that it's not GNOME 2.

    1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

      The trouble with "intuitive" ..

      .. is that that differs for everyone..

      1. DrXym

        Re: The trouble with "intuitive" ..

        Intuitive is obviously a subjective term and I don't need some banal truism to have that pointed out. I certainly think GNOME 3 is intuitive and I haven't seen many complaints that it isn't. Complaints are mostly gripes about missing functionality, not about what's there.

  34. NozeDive

    Linux Torvalds?

    It's Linus, not Linux. :-)

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    GNOME 3 is fine in "fallback mode"

    If you set that option you basically get the old Gnome 2.x. If it weren't for that I would have started looking at KDE or whatever else is available on Fedora. I know that won't be an option forever, but hopefully sanity will prevail at Redhat and they'll abandon the turd that is Gnome 3 before that day comes. There's no way I'll use Gnome 3, if push comes to shove I'll switch to KDE or even switch distros off Fedora if I have to.

    When I first saw Windows 8 earlier this year I thought it was rather ironic that Gnome got it's start by copying Windows, and now Microsoft is copying Gnome. Too bad Gnome didn't copy NeXTStep, and Microsoft surely picked the worst possible thing to target (I know, they probably didn't so much copy Gnome as followed the Gnome developers down the same stupid rathole)

  36. Herby

    The problem with Gnome is...

    That silly cashew they keep using for a stupid logo.

    I guess it goes downhill from there, but I'll leave it to others to decide.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The problem with Gnome is...

      "That silly cashew they keep using for a stupid logo."

      Thank you for your useful contribution !

  37. andro


    long time centos user for the servers, fedora user on the desktop here. gnome 3 was the end of gnome for myself and the other 3 colleagues who I work with (every linux user in this redhat business). We all run xfce now, and I am looking to move to cinamon next time I move to a newer OS where its going to with just a yum install (not like my current and close to EOL fedora 16).

    I agree with the point of this article, why is everyone trying to redesign the desktop? Some kid of 'start' menu, windows with min/max/close buttons and logically arranged drop down menus is dead simple and consistant. The biggest reson microsoft has been able to hold on to the desktop these years has been their lack of and slow (or non-existant) innovation. Win 8 is about to crash and burn along with gnome 3 for the same reasons. Please guys, keep it simple and consistant.

  38. Greg J Preece

    There is a potential upside to this. Perhaps now certain application developers - I am looking at YOU, Mozilla and Oracle - will stop developing their stuff primarily to work with Gnome. I like using Netbeans, but I don't like the lag that gets added when running it under KDE.

    I left Gnome behind years ago. The app suite was too immature, there were large chunks of functionality that were simply missing, and the apps that were there had a surprising number of bugs. I moved to KDE and got a much more feature-rich desktop. The widgets and apps that I needed were available, functional and highly customisable. Pick pretty much any task and compare the common Gnome app with the KDE one, and the KDE ones are usually far superior.

  39. gkroog

    This is the great thing about Linux...

    If you don't like a desktop...install another one :)

    Fedora can be had with KDE, XFCE, and LXDE, besides GNOME, all interchangeable at the click of the mouse :)

    I've personally been liking KDE for a while now, even before the changes in GNOME. Sure its been through a couple changes but nothing so drastic and disturbing as GNOME 3. I tried GNOME, and the changes look good I suppose, but it doesn't seem such a great actual IMPROVEMENT.

    So I hope the GNOME people can do something to rescue the situation. Maybe just work on the UI and focus on making it better to use until people love it again and flock back. But I will carry on using KDE and trying out others...

  40. squilookle

    The main issue I have with Gnome 3 is performance. My computer runs it without going into fallback mode, but it's laggy. The fallback mode isn't the same experience and, for the admittedly short chance I gave it, felt like an after thought hastily thrown together.

    I'd like to have more control over animations and effects (i.e. be able to turn them off). I understand compositing can't be turned off cause a lot of the basic concepts of the desktop require it, but other compositing window managers (Compiz, kwin and xfwm) run much better and smoother (although not always perfectly) than the gnome one on my hardware.

    I really like being able to add my Google account and automatically have the calendar show up, I like being able to click a button on the website and have add ons automatically added.

    It has potential, but it's just not the best option for me at the moment.

  41. mittfh

    As for me...

    I jumped to Xfce when rumours of Mandriva migrating to GNOME 3 came out and stuck with it when migrating to Mageia. However, while I really love the Xfce panel (particularly the Deskbar mode - a practical use for the extra horizontal pixels offered by the wide screens of today) I found Thunar and Xfdesktop a pain in the butt - give me Nautilus any day!

    I've now migrated to Arch (Mageia 2 had too many issues / niggles for my liking), currently with MATE but I'll probably install Xfce as well, and try to get some form of hybrid working.

  42. mean mean coffee bean

    I must admit I like Gnome 3 on my laptop (on Fedora) after getting used to it. I will stick with KDE 4.8 on my workstation for now.

    I'm always waiting for every desktop out there to get significantly better, though. That includes Apple, Windows, KDE, Gnome, etc.

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