[conspire] Future of GNOME

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Thu Dec 6 14:13:14 PST 2012

I wrote: (reply to Jeff Hodges):

> By the way, you might be happier with Linux Mint with the 'Cinnamon'
> UI, which emulates the GNOME2 desktop metaphor that was based on
> now-unmaintained GNOME Shell.  'Cinnamon' uses a fork of the window
> manager on which GNOME Shell was based, one called Mutter, and provides
> a GNOME2-style desktop metaphor within a GNOME3 software framework 
> (that includes the leading-edge gtk+3 graphics toolkit)

As I said in one of my fair-disclosure bits, I've just never been much
of a GNOME fan.  _However_, I'm a long-time observer, and have noticed 
that the long-term development path of GNOME and related projects has 
within the last couple of years created major controversy among GNOME's
existing users.

It's not just been Canonical's Unity (a plug-in for the Compiz
compositing 3D window manager), though Unity's gotten the worst of the
bad press and most of the hating.  It's also GNOME3 generally.

And what's wrong with GNOME3?  Maybe nothing.  It depends on your point
of view.  It all comes down to whether you are fine with the
GNOME/Freedesktop.org guys deciding (I generalise, here) to throw out
everything and start over on a frequent basis -- and not give a damn
about what their existing users like.  

At the November SVLUG meeting, speaker Dan Mashal made some remark about
systemd (another fabulous Freedesktop.org thing), leading me to deadpan
from the audience something about Freedesktop.org having a policy that
all their subsystems will be EOLed and rewritten from scratch at no
later than three-month intervals.  And Dan _believed_ me.  I had to say, 
'No, I was just kidding.'  The point is, it was close enough to the

Anyway, since very early days, the GNOME developers have had a
consistent attitude:  If you express dissatisfaction with choices they
make, that proves you were not part of the 'target audience'.  If you
don't, you might be -- and they know what's good for you without
consulting you.  Fair enough; nobody is forced to run what they write.
Just be aware that you get what's written on the tin, which is whatever
trendy objective the latest from-scratch rewrite aims at.  (This month,
it's pretending that all desktops need to have smartphone/tablet user

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