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"Speaking of GNOME, be sure to participate in the 2011 GNOME user survey"
Seriously, don't bother. It's one of the most ill-conceived surveys I've ever seen.
Only in the sense that the output isn't the easiest to parse, and, even then, you can fairly easily filter the noise (bring back gnome2, switch to qt, blah, blah, blah).
Aside from that, some kind of survey is probably a good idea. One would have to be completely oblivious (I'm not saying you are, BTW) to not see the extreme emotions GS has brought about, and it seems like that would be easier to deal with if there were SOME kind of actual data. A few users here or there just isn't enough.
Now, one could make the argument that the users don't know what's best (and I understand that) but if a large data set comes back that says that certain UI choices aren't working for a large percentage of users, then that seems that the developers don't always know what is best either.
BTW, I use GS. I've been using it for almost two years now (well, when it wasn't broken). I really like the original design doc and some of the ideas in GS.
You know I too. I also like some features of GS. If it were developed by normal people that actually consider user opinions, it could have being awesome.
I don't really care about the type of people who are working on it, only that it does what I want. Mostly, it does. My biggest disappointment with it has been that not enough change was instituted. We got a significant change in how things look but not enough in how it behaves. I am hopeful some thing will be resolved b/c I think the JS idea was a really smart choice, and that makes widespread experimentation so much easier. I just hope some of it makes it upstream b/c the desktop just isn't as efficient as I'd like, and it has nothing to do with lack of panels, window lists, menus, or anything that was in previously in gnome/kde/E17.
The good is that the community around GS is extremely vibrant.