While it's been nearly one year since this survey that pulled in nearly 10,000 responses, the comments continue to be analyzed. Felipe Contreras, the original GNOME enthusiast that conceived the GNOME user survey idea and approached the GNOME Foundation before bringing it to Phoronix after the official GNOME developers weren't interested, is still going through the data.
He already provided his analysis of the 2011 GNOME user survey results last week finally. Most viewed the results as being critical of GNOME, but he's now come up with a list of Top 10 suggestions from the 2011 GNOME user survey. "I’ve taken the time to read one by one the suggestions from the 2011 GNOME user survey, I’ve only managed to read 20% of them so far, but I don’t think they will shift that much."
The top ten suggestions for GNOME come down to:
1. Better customization support is needed.
2. Bring back the GNOME 2 love, mainly in the form of offering a secondary GNOME3 interface that brings back the GNOME2-style panel and task-bar.
3. Improve the performance and memory foot-print with GNOME becoming "too bloated", using too much of the CPU and system memory.
4. The Nautilus file manager is too slow and lacks key functionality, some want to see an alternative adopted.
5. Improve the GNOME notifications.
6. Add the shutdown/restart/suspend options back.
7. Improve the GNOME theming support.
8. Better multi-monitor support is needed for the GNOME Shell.
9. Evolution needs improvements, if it's not killed off completely.
10. Listen to users rather than ignoring users.
Felipe Contreras additionally wrote:
As #10 shows, the problem is that GNOME developers don’t listen to the users, or at least that’s the perception from a lot of users, and since the community rejected the idea of running and/or blessing this survey, it would be safe to assume that they would ignore the results. The story of this survey is rather interesting, and explains a lot, but you can read about it through Bruce Byfield’s mouth instead of mine in his article ‘The Survey That GNOME Would Rather Ignore‘.He is also working on a 2012 GNOME User Survey. Assuming the GNOME Foundation and developers don't change their mind and want to officially endorse this survey and host it themselves, Phoronix will again be happy to host this survey to show what real Linux desktop users really think of GNOME.
Even before the survey was run, GNOME developers said the results would be worthless, however, the only valid criticism was the possibility of non-response bias, which fortunately didn’t happen, and I explained why in my analysis of the survey results. I still haven’t received any comments from GNOME developers after I publicized the analysis of the results, so if there’s any valid criticism remaining, I still haven’t heard of it.
I wish they would look at these results critically, not outright reject them, and if there’s any problem with the survey, tackle the problems for the 2012 survey, and even more: run the survey themselves. Wouldn’t that be great?
Other suggestions from last year's survey include removing dependencies like PulseAudio, improve GNOME's reliability and stability, improved tiling support, fixing ATI Catalyst driver issues, integration of Zeitgeist, rendering KDE applications seamlessly, and Compiz compatibility.