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Your Opinions of Gnome 3 Today

#1
I’ve been wanting to dabble with Linux again on a couple of old computers laying around. I still use Debian for my development machine from time to time, but I wouldn’t call it my daily driver. I’ve also heavily customized Gnome with custom themes and am purposefully using Debian so that regular gnome shell updates don’t break the extensions that are installed. 

Gnome is great. It's an elegant desktop that has a wonderful workflow, but I must admit that it has also started to become frustrating. Not because it’s a flawed concept, but because they have increasingly adopted the mentality of discouraging any customization away from default behavior. Yes, extensions and themes exist, but both are somewhat hacked together and both break on new shell updates. And gnome has few intentions of doing anything about either problem and has actually started to speak against theming of the desktop. This is a bit odd because customization is a hallmark of the Linux experience, and the Gnome desktop has started to become, in recent years, wary of it. 

The devs are quite defensive about this, and it's sort of become an "our way or the highway" mentality. They recently started posting on their blog about the issue, and it is taken as a bit of an insult to suggest that the default theme or functionality might not suit everyone’s tastes. I’m not the hugest fan of Adwaita, for example, and it turns out that many Ubuntu users agree. It’s not that Adwaita is "bad" in any way (it’s certainly simple and clean). It’s just a style that not everyone will like, and that’s very normal with any design ever made. Not everyone likes MS’ default design either, and that’s why we have alternative themes.

Suggesting this to Gnome devs, however, is gonna get you slammed publicly in front of the open internet. Finna

Ubuntu did A LOT of work and made Gnome recognizable and easy to use for many of us who loved Gnome, but who weren’t fans of the defaults chosen by the Gnome team upstream. Ubuntu even had to hack together desktop icon functionality back into the desktop after Gnome removed it. (Yes, desktop icons). This has become very commonplace in the Gnome world, as the defaults are often a contentious issue. And people go through all the work of fighting a broken theme and extension system anyway because Gnome has a TON of potential once the loose ends are tied.

It’s been the general direction of Gnome for years, and it’s stood as a bit of an outlier in the Linux community. A similar mentality happened with SystemD when the developers were starkly defensive of their ideals and were not open to outside input (To be fair, Systemd did a lot of stuff right and did a lot of work towards improving Linux performance. But they also made a lot of highly controversial changes and the devs were very notorious for being completely closed off to any kind of criticism or input from the Linux community). The general direction has been disappointing because Gnome 3 was a brave project in many respects that has done a lot of things right - and they’ve made perhaps the most unique mainstream desktop ever made. But they are also ignoring a lot of glaring requests from users and are making it harder to work with on each release. They’re increasingly working against customizeability and are increasingly forcing defaults and removing features, which has left much of the Linux community feeling frustrated.

I still love the concept and workflow of Gnome 3 once I’ve extended it a bit. I’ll probably continue to use Debian/Ubuntu for the time being, but I do hope that they reverse course and start listening to their users again with regards to customization. If not, it will eventually force some of their user base to jump ship.

What are your thoughts?

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#2
I love it vanilla Gnome 40 and GNOME Shell. The only extension I absolutely need is the Hot Edge extension (https://extensions.gnome.org/extension/4222/hot-edge/). With this I can just move my mouse to the bottom of the screen to access the overlay, and therefore the dock. I use plan old Adwaita too :p
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#3
@Darth-Apple show us your desktop
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#4
Debian - Gnome theming/setup inspired by Ubuntu's Unity 8 designs that never made it to release.

   

   
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#5
(September 9th, 2021 at 1:48 AM)Darth-Apple Wrote: Debian - Gnome theming/setup inspired by Ubuntu's Unity 8 designs that never made it to release.

looks awesome
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