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Defending Gnome 3 is like an attempt to sell sand in the desert... only twice as futile. Of course, Unity is even worse but Gnome 3 is close, very close. How close? Well, for instance, I hate KDE. I despise KDE. But I were to choose between KDE and Gnome, I'd choose KDE any day.
If you find GNOME 3 uncomfortable, even after giving it a good shot for a couple days, you probably have an entrenched workflow that won't stand up to changing your environment any time soon. And that's fine, so long as you enjoy the environment you have and find it useful.
But for people who are new to computers, as well as people who are more focused on their apps than the chrome around them, GNOME 3 has a very low barrier of entry, I've found. GNOME 3 isn't for everyone, but that doesn't mean it doesn't work very well for a lot of people. And a lot of those people aren't the kind of people who read Phoronix. GNOME is focused on doing the right thing for a neutral observer, any human, not to carry a lot of illogical baggage from the past because it's what some power users expect.
If you don't agree with GNOME's design philosophy, or can't understand why they would want to make things easy and simple for basic computing tasks, leaving the detailed options for truly complex applications, it's time to give up the diatribe. It's nearing 3 years since GNOME 3 was released, and plenty of people love it. GNOME isn't doing anything to combat the use of other environments, so please just use what works for you and alleviate the stress of constantly whining. Or keep doing it, I guess, if you prefer the frustrations of hopeless situations.
Well, a lot of people who hate Gnome sHell do that not because of workflow, or ugly default icons, but simply because of mistakes that are marked as "won't fix" and the attitude of some of the devs. For example the close button in 3.10, it's a great idea that after all these years you will be finally able to use GS on a display smaller than 20" but the technical part of the thing is just horrible. Who will implement it? Very few apps will do that IMHO. Or the service menu in the upper right corner, why on earth would you combine all of these buttons into one menu? It will be a mess on <12" displays. And don't even get me started on the volume control.... And here we go to the "attitude" part. Even if I would be OK with all the "design" choices (it's always about free screen space when it comes to DE I would to use ) I can't possibly agree with their "Frak off, you don't need this, we are removing it." way of doing things (transparency in the terminal app) or the theme API policy, the new calendar etc. etc. Again, not even mentioning the Icaza moron on Planet Gnome...
It's just sad that such a nice organisation as Gnome can be so easily turned into an extremist dictatorship...
Saying no is a part of the game. Every open source project have limited resources. Including Gnome. Being explicit and up front about it is fine. You can't answer to every feature request and you can't keep maintaining every old feature. Design changes are there for a reason, but they are so hard to communicate about. Bugzilla entries, irc and mail is too low bandwidth.
Calling this attitude problems is just wrong. Getting more stuff into Gnome means you have to ask for things that is no maintenance burden to the developers, OR you show commitment to maintain new features for the next decade. One example could be a new theme. Nobody have taken the proper road of Gnome inclusion, but there are plenty of people ranting about "Gnome broke the themes".
Why can the others do it then? Are they magicians or something? Or is Gnome the "special" kid now?
For example the close button in 3.10, it's a great idea that after all these years you will be finally able to use GS on a display smaller than 20"
Can you be more specific? I've been running Shell for years on a crappy old 9" netbook, with no serious problems... it's as usable as anything else on that hardware. There are things that could be better, but most of them are issues with individuals applications, not Shell...
Again, not even mentioning the Icaza moron on Planet Gnome...
Seriously? You're bringing up ancient history like that? Miguel de Icaza has had nothing to do with the project for something like ten years...I know his blog still appears on Planet Gnome, but that's pretty much historic reasons, being one of the project founders and all...
I think Redi44's point is that others have been able to make working theming systems. KDE hasn't been able to make good themes in Gnome not because KDE devs aren't good enough, there are plenty of working KDE themes. The problem is that the Gnome theming system is too limited. So why can others make theming systems that work but Gnome can't?
I have tried many themes for recent Gnome releases. They are plentifull, diverse and some really pleasing to the eye. But there is a huge difference to having external themes loading from the tweak-tool to having them within Gnome.
The artistic workload is the same for a good quality theme no matter if it is included in Gnome or not. There is NO problem loading such themes in Gnome. However you add a boatfull of extra testing, and if no volunteers do this work, themes can keep living outside Gnome proper. Gnome devs should not waste time on broken themes like the ones in KDE.
That doesn't address what I wrote.
First, none of this explains why others can't have properly-integrated theming configuration and a stable theming API while others can. How is it possible that KDE does a better job at allowing users to configure GTK themes than Gnome does?
Second, as I explained, if the oxygen-gtk is "broken" by your standards, the only reason is because of GTK itself, not the KDE developers that need to make do with its limitations. Why is it KDE that has to waste time making themes work properly in GTK, while Gnome devs can't even be bothered to do so?
Third, Gnome devs don't have this this problem since Qt supports GTK themes out-of-the-box. They don't have to do anything to get their themes working in KDE because Qt has done all the work for them. Again, why can Qt handle this but GTK can't?
A stable theming API is not needed to offer stable theming. If you go look at Gnome the adaption to theme changes are easily dealt with. The burden is not on creating themes or updating the themes. The true burden is all the testing needed. I have said that several times now.
And how can you test themes properly if the API is constantly changing underneath theme developers? The burden of testing would be much less if the API was stable.
Further, testing themes is not the job of Gnome. That has nothing whatsoever to do with allowing users to change their theme. KDE also doesn't test random GTK themes but they still allow users to set whatever GTK theme they want.
I think that's kinda the point. Gnome is doing what they want despite losing the majority of their userbase. It's sad when the majority think the interface sucks ass, but they just ignore them and move along anyway.
EDIT: Gnome development may not be a democracy, but it's sad seeing it turn into a fascist dictatorship. That whole "everyone is retarded except us" crap. They say that they are trying to develop an interface that anybody can use (the retarded masses), except all they've done was develop an interface that the people who might use it hate. In the end the only ones who will be using it is them. There is a valid comparison to be made with fascism.