It's Easy To Guess What Angers GNOME Users

Written by Michael Larabel in GNOME on 18 October 2011 at 07:36 AM EDT. 199 Comments
The 2011 GNOME User Survey, an end-user survey that was assembled by independent GNOME users and hosted on Phoronix, began less than 24 hours ago and we're already approaching 2,000 submissions. There's still one month to go, and from these submission so far when simply dumping the comments it amounts to about 148 pages. However, it's not hard to guess what most of these comments are about when it comes to the GNOME desktop.

When scanning through the comments submitted thus far, dominating the feedback are complaints regarding GNOME 3 (primarily the GNOME Shell), the lack of easy configurability for the GNOME desktop, and the mentality of the GNOME developers in terms of "being stuck up assholes" and "treating users like idiots." There's also some jabs at PulseAudio and Mono. A vast number of GNOME users seem to want greater customization abilities and elements of the GNOME2 desktop to reappear in GNOME3.

Below is a small sample of the comments that were submitted with the surveys on Monday.

"Kill gnome-shell with fire! I don't know whether it's pretty or not, but it gets in my way any time I try to do something."

"I'd only change one thing: Stop assuming that users are retarded. Nobody needs three different indicators to tell whether an option is toggled on or off, for example (text, color, switch position -> TOO MUCH). This assumption generally ends up costing the user screen space and resources. Less is more."

"Gnome devs have previously been accused of not giving a shit about their userbase. Gnome3 is proof. Ya I'm bitching, but I was a gnome user for 4 years up till the 'switch'...Seriously, Vista was less horrible than Gnome3. Thanks a bunch for 'removing a choice' from the linux ecosystem... Oh, & Nautilus? Do you guys not see the Elementary project? Seriously? Oo! & cheers for the abysmal documentation! Don't know how many hours/days/weeks I spent researching GTK crap to alter the butt ugly default theme shipped with Gnome. It's not 1995 anymore! um....what else? Mono? Thanks, really useful having .NET in *nix. Off to qt & KDE I guess. Cheers for making the decision easy! "

"What happened to Gnome 3? I have been a loyal gnome fan for a long time. I am currently transitioning to awesome wm. Gnome3 is designed for someone other than me."

"If you keep fucking up, I'll switch to KDE."

"Under Debian 6.0 (Squeeze) Evolution ist crashing almost EVERY DAY. (just while doing normal tasks like writing or downloading E-Mails, planning an meeting, changing an contact, ...) My first, second and third thing would be to stabilize Evolution!!!"

"Cooperate with KDE, we need to pull the rope in (about) one direction. We need working free desktop environment(s). Have a good alternative to Windows. Speed up Gnome (and KDE), both need quick reactions, sometimes they feel sluggish (and that's probably not the hardware). And these experiments... people. 2 things: a) Not everything is a stupid touchpad. There ARE still more normal Desktop machines with a sensible I/O (keyboard, mouse, big, readable screen). And we intend to WORK on them. b) don't hide all elements from the user. Users are not stupid. We feel mistreated like fools. You can always opt in a "n00b" mode, so a beginner can hide confusing options but leave the configuarbility for advanced users please."

"dump gnome, it's slightly lighter than kde but worse"

"These all relate to GNOME 3.x 1. Bring back the old GNOME layout or at least have it as an option. 2. Make options easier to change, I don't want to edit gconf 3. Listen more to what users want"

"I cannot understand how, on the one hand, you could pretend to interest total beginners in computer when, on the other hand, you make so non-simplistic choices (e.g. alt key for shutdown)."

"The new version (3.x) I think it sucks. Yes...Please make the new GNOME (3.x) like the old one (2.x)."

"Do not treat your users as guinea pig!"

"Stop pandering to Windohs tards."

"Stop development of GNOME Shell, and instead make GNOME 3 an improved version of GNOME 2. Or at the very least, continue developing and supporting GNOME 2 concurrently."

"Sorry, but I cannot stand gnome-shell, it makes me a lot less productive, so I'm headed to KDE. Do not take users for dumbasses. Users like to have options. Hide them if you want to, but give them to us."

"Remove PulseAudio requirements. It is such a pain in the ass that I moved to KDE4."

"Revert back to the tried-and-true desktop model (GNOME 2.x), bring back options and preferences that were removed, and stop acting like Apple with "we know what's best for you" mentality."

"Stop being stuck up assholes and actually listed to what your users want instead of dumping useless crap on us."

"Drop Gnome3 Drop Gnome3 Drop Gnome3"

"Burn gnome shell in H*** (alongside unity...)"


"Fix that shit, please."

The GNOME3 fallout continues at a time when many Ubuntu users still hate the Unity desktop interface. The full results of the 2011 GNOME User Survey will be available in November after the survey has ended.
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Michael Larabel

Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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