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GNOME (et al): Rotting In Threes

Since SpaceFM is entering the GTK3 realm (SpaceFM can now be built on anything from GTK 2.18 “I won’t give up my lenny!” thru GTK 3.6.x), I’m starting to hear more feedback about GTK3 and experiencing a few things for myself. While SpaceFM’s GTK3 port has been running very well with the few non-broken themes I could find, there are some intrinsic problems with any GTK3 app due to GTK’s poor maintenance, as well as a growing culture of enforced conformity from GNOME devs. Some of the things you’re about to read should make your hair curl and your blood boil.

On the surface of it, it seems that with every minor update to GTK3, themes get broken. I experienced this myself trying find a GTK3 theme that worked well with SpaceFM – most of the themes are broken in GTK 3.4 thru 3.6 (you can see the warnings when running SpaceFM in a terminal, and functions will be broken in the app). Thus the better-maintained themes (such as Clearlooks-Phenix and DarkMint) will have different versions for every minor version of GTK. The less well-maintained ones will simply remain broken.

Theme development is a tedious and difficult task, and for the GTK devs to be so careless in breaking their API at every turn disrespects the many hours people put into making themes for it. Yet as I read some of the GNOME developer comments below, I was given to believe that this breakage stems from a Microsoft-like climate of preventing users from customizing their systems, and deliberately breaking the work of others so that your ‘brand’ is the best. Anytime I hear the word ‘brand’ being used in Linux, I know something valuable is being poisoned. Just as a sample of what is to come, GNOME dev Allan Day writes:

I’m particularly surprised by the inclusion of themes. It seems bizarre…

Oh it’s bizarre alright!

I have never gotten into the KDE vs GNOME debates, so this is not GNOME bashing, nor, as you’ll soon see, are these systemic development problems limited to GNOME. Yet what I’m hearing is that with GNOME v3 the goal is to promote their “brand” and make it dominant, in part by greatly limiting what users can change on their own systems, and partly by breaking or simply removing whatever support they’re no longer promoting as ‘The Way’. The reach of this selfish and narrow-sighted development goes beyond GNOME and affects GTK apps in general.

In the rush for Linux to become ‘popular’ and ‘make it into the desktop market’, maybe there is an unintended consequence. Not only are Windows users moving to Linux, but Windows devs seem to be arriving as well, bringing their diseases with them – corporate ‘kill off the competition’ mentalities that don’t serve Linux, merely exploit it.

What follows is a sampling of quotes from various places and assorted devs which paint a picture of a growing culture of anti-user, conformist philosophies. There’s a bit of text to review here, but I think it’s worth it to hear what GNOME devs have to say about their intentions and goals, in their own words, and what others are saying about that!

Editor’s Note: All emphases below are added.

To start us off, Clem, a member of the Linux Mint dev team, writes:

I’ll apologize in advance for the sarcasm here.. I need to take another cheap shot at the GTKGnome developers here. GTK3 isn’t a reliable API. Maybe it should be called libgnome instead. GTK3.4 came with Gnome3.4, and wasn’t compatible with previous GTK3 themes. This means all GTK3 applications looked really ugly not only with all the GTK2 themes which don’t support GTK3 (almost all of them), but also the few which did. With this in mind we had three options:

  • Give you a desktop with poor integration and applications which look different based on the API they use (which is completely unacceptable)
  • Ditch all GTK3 applications from Mint and replace them with earlier GTK2 versions, or GTK2 or QT applications (this includes Gnome apps, but also Gdebi, Transmission and a few others)
  • Rant like mad, remove all themes, and waste countless hours in giving Mint-X and Mint-Z proper GTK “3.4″ support even though it’s likely to break again in 3.6…

We went for option 3 “this time”. I hope this little example was enough to convince 3rd party developers not to use GTK3. I couldn’t find any release notes or documentation explaining the regression or how to solve the issue.. I genuinely get the feeling that GTK 3.4 is developed for Gnome 3.4, that it doesn’t really matter if it breaks things and that we’re not supposed to use it outside of Gnome.

Received via my email, a long-time SpaceFM user and contributor writes:

SpaceFM Dialog features will allow me to get rid of zenity. I’m no longer interested in zenity because with Gnome 3 updates, it lost some features, and I had scripts not working as they should. I didn’t understand why. Even the zenity docs were not updated about removed features. I had to search in bug reports to find that developers removed some features that were no longer considered useful with the new Gnome Shell paradigms. Wow. So devs think that zenity is Gnome Shell only? It can’t be used in other environments? I was very frustrated.

This situation was very common during Gnome 3 updates. Lots of removed features, no dev communication, no consideration for users, etc. I was using Gnome for years, but with Gnome 3, devs have gone too far and I didn’t want to be treated this way as a user and an active bug reporter. It was clear to me that I would never use Gnome again.

I really don’t like the turn that takes the development of free software. When I discovered free software about 2004, GNU/Linux was a way to use our computers ethically, the way we wanted and on the hardware we wanted. Now, there’s clearly an adoption of a very closed-source way of functioning, more and more disconnected from users and obsessed with brand control.

Received via my email, the developer of a popular GTK3 theme writes:

I have a lot of messages from users saying that my [REDACTED] theme makes Gnome more usable again. But it’s such a pain to develop a GTK 3 theme. It’s always broken. I have a version of my theme for GTK 3.2, one for GTK 3.4, one for GTK 3.6. I’m so tired of that. For GTK 3.4, it was so broken that I had to code it again from the beginning. Days and days of wasted time and frustration. And almost no documentation. A lot of trial and error. Developing a GTK 3 theme is not fun at all, it’s just very frustrating. This morning, I received a message from a user that tested my theme with GTK 3.6.1 (I developed the GTK 3.6 branch of my theme on GTK 3.6.0) and I can see a lot of bug rendering in his screenshot. Is it really just because of a minor version difference (3.6.0/3.6.1)? Sometimes I wonder why I’m still using GTK.

There are many such comments. For example, GTK3 theme developer half-left writes:

I’m sorry to say this but I am abandoning any GTK3 theme making from now on. Upstream is impossible to work with and GNOME 3 has become a complete mess in regard to third party theme making. As if GNOME Shell isn’t bad enough sometimes with every version being broken, GTK3 is even worse. For those of you who wish to make GTK3 in the future, good luck, you’ll need it.

Honestly, Windows and OS X actually look more attractive to me right now.

I’m not leaving dA, just pondering what customisation to do next.

The developer of the popular Swar themes writes:

The problem therein is why should we as supporters of Gnome who gave our time for free get slapped in the face with new theme requirements and our work broken and failing to do more work at out own time to support something where the requirements could change again in another 6 months or less and again break our new work? It’s a real pickle no doubts there!

This would be a continuing ‘rat-race’ to keep up and for myself I am running my own business and am also a step-in manager of a business for the full-time managers so I can not devote months on months to develop themes.

How can anyone remain interested in a system developed by devs who don’t care about their users? Do you know what GNOME devs think about themes and extensions?

In the following discussion, someone suggested creating a website for Gnome Shell extensions and themes. Someone else said that he was already working on such a project. Below are some tasty answers from Gnome Shell devs, considering users only as walking billboards. From Gnome 3 Extensions/Themes Website?:

Allan Day wrote:

I knew this was on the cards but I have to say that I am surprised that it is actually being pursued in this form.

Facilitating the unrestricted use of extensions and themes by end users seems contrary to the central tenets of the GNOME 3 design. We’ve fought long and hard to give GNOME 3 a consistent visual appearance, to make it synonymous with a single user experience and to ensure that that experience is of a consistently high quality. A general purpose extensions and themes distribution system seems to threaten much of that.

I’m particularly surprised by the inclusion of themes. It seems bizarre that we specifically designed the GNOME 3 control center not to include theme installation/selection and then to reintroduce that very same functionality via extensions.

So, I would very much like to hear about how this web site will relate to our core design goals.

Allan Day wrote:

One particular issue is the ability for users to modify the top bar via extensions. This part of the UI is vital for giving GNOME 3 a distinctive visual appearance. If we do have extensions, I would very much like to see the top bar made out of bounds for extension writers, therefore. We have to have at least *something* that remains consistent.

Allan Day wrote:

> Milan Bouchet-Valat wrote:
> I think the main reference here is the way Firefox manages
> extensions. Many people use stock Firefox, and it works very well,
> but many others like to play with appearance (personas, equivalent to
> our themes), or need a specific feature (extensions, in both
> terminologies). This example is quite positive. The fact that people
> can easily extend their desktop encourages them to support it and
> hack on it. IMHO, the available stock of extensions is one of the
> reasons why many GNOME fans use Firefox rather than Epiphany.

Firefox has indeed profited from extensions and there are lessons that we can learn from that. GNOME Shell isn’t a browser, though. We need to be mindful not to adopt the Firefox model without considering the ways in which our needs might differ. The visual appearance of a desktop/OS might be far more important to its marketing than a browser might be, for example.

> At the end of the day, people who use them know that they aren’t
> stock GNOME, and how to disable them if they want to get the default
> experience.

The point is that it decreases our brand presence. That particular user might understand what it is that they are running, but the person who sees them using their machine or even sees their screenshots on the web will not. The question we have to ask ourselves is: how do we make sure that people recognise a GNOME install when they see one?

> Finally, extensions makes it easier to enforce a common design that
> works for 95% of users, while allowing the remaining 5% to do what
> they like. This is a good way for designers to turn down complaints
> and keep hackers happy.

We’ve always argued that if it is anything, GNOME is a UX. There might be a case for letting people tweak things here and there, but I really think that every GNOME install should have the same core look and feel. Otherwise, what is it that we are doing in the first place?

William Jon McCann wrote:

I agree with Allan. I am really concerned about this effort to encourage and sanction themes and extensions.

In addition to the things Allan mentioned in the preceding mails, I think there are a few other issues to consider.

1. We rely on enthusiasts for testing
2. We rely on enthusiasts for building our brand

I think it is clearly detrimental to both to have more fragmentation and reshaping, recoloring, and replacing the user experience – especially in this critically important group of early adopters.

The issue is not whether extensions may be useful. The issue is whether they will be harmful to our larger goals.

If we aren’t careful they will be. I agree with Allan that, if we insist on going through with this idea, we at least have a few places in the design that remain unchanged. I think that themes should notbe included, that the top bar should not be changed, and that the overview should not be fundamentally altered.

Nothing Like Competing With Yourself
Even some of GNOME’s own software is seen as a competitor, like Gnome fallback mode vs Gnome Shell:

“the presence of fallback mode is having a negative impact on the quality of the primary GNOME 3 user experience” – link

See also this report: (fallback) [meta] Remove fallback support code

We could also suppose that non-default options are seen as competitors (of default options), as suggested by the following report:

tekstr1der wrote on 2012-03-22 15:04:34 UTC:

Still experiencing this bug (7 years old now) of desktop icons stacking/overlapping on the latest daily build of Ubuntu Precise 12.04.

Is the nautilus desktop abandoned?

André Klapper [developer] wrote on 2012-03-22 15:29:14 UTC (In reply to
comment #25):

> Is the nautilus desktop abandoned?

Sure [it is], as gnome-shell has been the default GNOME desktop interface for a year now and having Nautilus render the desktop is disabled by default.

Getting in deeper, not only are GNOME devs content to break their own desktop, but they want features removed from apps simply because GNOME no longer supports them!

For example, Gnome Shell doesn’t support status icons, so GNOME dev ‘mccann’ filed a bug report to a Transmission (BitTorrent client) dev to say that this option should be removed. Why should it be removed? Because Gnome Shell doesn’t support it anymore! Apparently in GNOMEland there are no other desktop environments (remind anyone of Microsoft?) From Don’t use a notification area icon in GNOME 3:

mccann writes:

In the upcoming GNOME 3 we won’t be supporting notification area icons (status icons)…

Transmission has an option in the Desktop tab of the preferences to “Show Transmission icon in the notification area”. This should probably be removed.

charles (developer of Transmission) writes:

So now we can have three builds of Transmission that decide at compile time whether to use AppIndicator, GtkStatusIcon, or nothing at all, over such a stupid feature?

Removing it altogether, as you suggest, will hurt XFCE users.

I wish GNOME, Canonical, and everyone else involved would settle on one consistent API for this and stop fucking the app developers over.

In order for this ticket to move forward, I’d like you to tell me what change should be made to Transmission that will make it work properly, out of the box, on GNOME Shell, Unity, and XFCE.

mccann replies:

I guess you have to decide if you are a GNOME app, an Ubuntu app, or an XFCE app unfortunately. I’m sorry that this is the case but it wasn’t GNOME’s fault that Ubuntu has started this fork. And I have no idea what XFCE is or does sorry.

It is my hope that you are a GNOME app

We must choose our side. Is this a war? And can we really and seriously believe that one of the main GNOME devs doesn’t know what XFCE is?

Also, we see an indication of how decisions are made on GNOME:

mccann writes:

FWIW, I don’t think Transmission is at all impaired by removing all of above – app indicator and status icon. I have never used it with the status icon myself.

Mr. GNOME Developer doesn’t use this feature, so it must be the case for all the world. So why keep it? It’s unneeded by GNOME!

As for those creative little panel applets…

William Jon McCann wrote:

I think one of the most important cases against applets (as they are currently defined in GNOME) is that they are extremely detrimental to the Identity of the product or platform. Today, our entire desktop identity is defined by a configurable number of horizontal or vertical bars filled with any number (even duplicates) of random Things that may launch stuff, open menus, open dialogs, operate on windows, switch workspaces, and more! Boxes-o-crap as I lovingly (in the eulogistic sense) refer to them. Each time I see “Remove from panel” when I right click on the notification area or the menu system I weep and my mascara runs and god is it awful.

Let’s say that we are trying to define either a product or a product platform. I don’t think it is possible to do this without some “brand” coherence. And it is arguably impossible to do this effectively with such an ad-hoc/individually-customized design identity.

Even those of us in the developer community would have a difficult time identifying a GNOME desktop in 3-5 steps. Let’s try this with Windows: “Start” or Windows symbol menu, (usually) bar at the bottom. This works from Windows Server products all the way to embedded Windows on smartphones.

With OS X: Apple logo menu, menu bar at the top, (usually) a dock. Even though the iPhone doesn’t have the same software identification experience it retains the platform design branding on the hardware and uses familiar themes in the software visual design. There is usually no doubt that it is an Apple platform.

With Android: who knows…

So, one of the many very exciting things about GNOME Shell is that for the first time we may have ability to really shape the user experience and form an identity for the GNOME platform.

That’s what excites him, but likely not what excites users.

Apparently in the view of these devs, users are merely walking billboards for their ‘brand presence’, to hell with what the users actually want. You’re expected to change your way of working every 6 months just because these devs want to impose their way of working on all their users. Developers decide what is Good (with a big G), without any possible customization by the user.

The screensaver was removed from Gnome 3 “by design”: What is the status of the screensaver in GNOME3?

The request for the ability to customize the Nautilus menu bar was closed as WONTFIX, with this beautiful explanation:

Cosimo Cecchi wrote:

We decided to streamline the nautilus design for 3.0, and we finally decided there’s no use for an editable toolbar in Nautilus.

Meanwhile, a user request: please add a way to customize the toolbar

The report asking to reintroduce the location/path toggle button was closed as WONTFIX. The sacrosanct Nautilus interface is more important than users’ needs:

André Klapper wrote:

There are currently no plans to reintroduce the location bar by default or to provide a toggle button as the cluttered interface has been simplified for 3.0.

Meanwhile, a user request: Reintroduce location/path bar toggle button

Same for gnome-power-manager…

Richard Hughes wrote:

Sorry, but the whole point of gnome-power-manager is to save power without getting in the way of what the user wants to do. It’s not going to let you set the “performance” governor any more than it lets you increase the brightness on battery.

Meanwhile: brightness_dim_battery missing from gnome-power-preferences

The Power Off option was removed from the Gnome Shell menu. Devs know what users want to do, more than users themselves:

Owen Taylor wrote:

The Power Off option is hidden because we don’t believe it’s necessary in that menu […]. The primary way that a user would shut down (if they, say, need to disconnect power) would be to log out and shut down through GDM.

Meanwhile: Removal of the power button is inconvenient for desktop use and wastes energy

Features you ask? Let’s remove some:

Remove “Create Launcher” entry from desktop nautilus

A really nice quote, Bastien Nocera writes:

we’re not designing a desktop for people who like to choose their own terminal emulators

And in the last version of Nautilus (3.6), features are really a has-been concept. From TechRepublic:

The latest bit of crazy to come from the GNOME camp is the list of features being removed from the Nautilus file manager (as of 3.6). This short list looks like:

– Compact View gone
– ‘Type Ahead Find’ gone
– ‘New file’ templates gone
– Application Menu gone
– ‘Go’ menu gone
– F3 split screen gone
– ‘Tree’ view gone
– Bookmark menu items gone
– Backspace shortcut to return to parent folder gone

Nor is this pattern limited to GNOME. With Ubuntu, it’s all the same. There is a request for the ability to move the Unity dashboard, which is to the left of the screen. Mark Shuttleworth himself came to close (WONTFIX) this report the next day with this beautiful explanation:

Mark Shuttleworth wrote:

I’m afraid that won’t work with our broader design goals, so we won’t implement that. We want the launcher always close to the Ubuntu button.

status wontfix

And notify configuration? Mark doesn’t want settings (and neither do you):

Mark Shuttleworth wrote:

The design of Notify-OSD is specifically not clickable, and we would NOT accept patches to change that.

Another prime example of this behavior in Ubuntu devs is the Launchpad example. After years of criticism because it was closed source, Ubuntu eventually released the code, but just for its own benefit. It’s so complicated that no other webforge uses it. It is coded only with the website Launchpad.net in mind. They really don’t want ‘competition’.

Even Launchpad icons are not free:

The images/icons are still copyrighted traditionally, to protect Launchpad’s visual identity. […] From our point of view, we have open-sourced Launchpad to improve our hosted service.

And were you thinking of actually USING it?!

Building and running Launchpad requires a computer running Ubuntu.… Running a stable production instance would be much harder than running a single-developer test instance, and we don’t recommend it. Unlike many open source projects, we’re not seeking to maximize the number of installations; our goal is to improve the instance we’re already running at Launchpad.net. Note: the changes introduced by the install script may break your current web development setup, so it is advisable to try Launchpad in a virtual machine or an LXC container, as described above.

The following bug report is instructive: Launchpad wiki contains zero information regarding running launchpad on your own domain

The reply? WONTFIX, with this explanation:

Launchpad’s code was opened to permit the Launchpad community to contributor [sic] to the project. The information provided is the same information used by Launchpad developers. Artwork in the project may only be used for development, so instructions to run a public instance of would put the contributor in violation of the license. The launchpad team dos [sic] not maintain the production configurations of Launchpad, they do not know exactly how to setup an other instance.

Does this sound like Linux to you? It’s surreal, like this FAQ entry, Can I run Launchpad on my own server:

Yes, you can, but keep the following things in mind:

As per https://dev.launchpad.net/LaunchpadLicense, please replace the images and icons with your own.

Also, Launchpad’s production configuration information and some configuration-specific admin scripts are not part of the Launchpad code base; you’d have to reinvent those in a way appropriate for your setup.

Finally, keep in mind that Launchpad’s code is under very active development, with hundreds of changes released each month. Syncing your private instance with the upstream code base may be risky because your private instance won’t necessarily get the same data migration treatment that the main instance gets. Essentially, there’s a risk of a private instance becoming an unintentional fork, where its code cannot be safely updated due to the data in the local instance being incompatible with the latest database schema or code assumptions.


So the answer is “Yes, you can run your own instance”… but please be aware of the risks and the lack of support before doing so. We don’t recommend it; we’d much rather have you using this Launchpad instance and contributing to its improvement.

Some comments from people trying to actually use Launchpad:

I wanted to have my own instance a while ago, mostly for the bugs and maybe the answers and blueprints parts, but in its current form, installing and maintaining up-to-date such a beast is a nightmare. The install guide is oriented toward lp.net developers and contributors, not toward sysadmins wanting their own instance. The code is nowhere near a packageable state (at least it wasn’t last time i looked). I guess the latter has been made on purpose – or should i say, no effort has been made in that direction… – link

You might be saddened to know that the guys working on launchpad in #launchpad on freenode officially suggested I _not_ setup another launchpad instance. Some of these people were Canonical employees.

I wanted to play with mirroring the gnome bugzilla in a dev launchpad instance just to see how the software worked. I was primarily told that launchpad (as software) is unable to sync with another launchpad instance and would be strongly discouraged from doing what I’d envisioned. I was also told that while they were very interested in any improvements that I might make, they did not want another big launchpad instance. They promote launchpad.net as a service vs launchpad as an open source bugtracker.

So… my official opinion on this is that Launchpad is dumped code that is not really a community effort. Canonical is against any competing big launchpad installs and is very uninterested in splitting parts of it off such as Malone so that someone can use it as a stand alone bugtracker… – link

I highly doubt it. I’ve been trying to set it up in a VM at work for a few weeks now, and it is very much impossible. The lack of / incomplete / incorrect documentation, bizarre deployment process, and hidden / unavailable components makes for way too high of a secret sauce to normalcy ratio for any human to figure out. We’d *like* to use it for a group of projects (both FLOSS and proprietary, both public and internal), but so far my attempts to give it a trial run have been an utter failure. – link

Brand, brand, and brand. Even such a simple and basic question like the following becomes “complex” and can’t be answered by Launchpad devs because of their brand obsession. From What license is used for bug icon in Launchpad?:

Asked by Andrey Cherepanov on 2009-04-20:

I like nice bugs icon in Launchpad. On what license I can use they in my project?

Karl Fogel (kfogel) said on 2009-04-28:

We’re discussing internally; more soon! It’s a complex question, because some images, like the logo, identify strongly with Launchpad.net, whereas other images might not identify so strongly (not sure if the bug icon is in that category, we have to figure that out). Because of the “recognizeability” issue, this is not just about copyright license but also about trademark policy. So, we’ll get back to you as soon as we can. Thanks for asking.

No answers followed – apparently the decision was made to traditionally copyright all icons and images.

A user writes in email:

I was very happy when I knew that [Launchpad] was open sourced in 2009, but I quickly disenchanted. And Launchpad is not even translated after almost 9 years of existence. Wow. You know that the community is not really involved when a software is not translated after 9 years, including last 3 years as open source software.

Look also at Ubuntu One: Server-side is closed source.

Then there are the Amazon-affiliated advertisements in the recent Ubuntu 12.10. Now, when you search something on your local computer (applications, files, etc.) with the Unity dash board, your search for local files is also sent online to display Amazon-affiliated advertisements. The Electronic Frontier Foundation wrote an article about this,
Privacy in Ubuntu 12.10: Amazon Ads and Data Leaks:

Technically, when you search for something in Dash, your computer makes a secure HTTPS connection to productsearch.ubuntu.com, sending along your search query and your IP address. If it returns Amazon products to display, your computer then insecurely loads the product images from Amazon’s server over HTTP. This means that a passive eavesdropper, such as someone sharing a wireless network with you, will be able to get a good idea of what you’re searching for on your own computer based on Amazon product images.


It’s Not Just Amazon

The new version of Dash that comes with Ubuntu 12.10 introduces more than just Amazon ads. It includes a new legal notice that you can see by clicking the “i” in the corner of Dash that states that by using Dash, you automatically agree to send your search term and IP address to a number of third parties:

> Unless you have opted out, we will also send your keystrokes as a
> search term to productsearch.ubuntu.com and selected third parties so
> that we may complement your search results with online search results
> from such third parties including: Facebook, Twitter, BBC and Amazon.
> Canonical and these selected third parties will collect your search
> terms and use them to provide you with search results while using
> Ubuntu.

Ubuntu’s Third Party Privacy Policies page lists all of the third parties that they may send your search term and IP address to, and states: “For information on how our selected third parties may use your information, please see their privacy policies.” In other words, once they give your data away, it’s no longer their problem.

So Ubuntu doesn’t even care about what third-parties will do with their users’ data. Microsoft, anyone?

You feel that something is changing when your local searches are accompanied by corporate advertisements.

Time to use KDE 4? It has the same trends. A user writes:

When Gnome 3 was released, I tried KDE 4.x, but some easy and basic settings with KDE 3 were no longer possible, for example just changing the bottom panel color. Now it’s so complicated. You must create a theme with special SVG format files…

Also, the order of windows in the windows list was changed, without any possibility to customize it or to set it the way it was with previous versions. Now it’s so unergonomic, because when you open a new window, instead of putting it in the end of the list, it moves all already opened windows in the windows list of the panel, so the order is always changing. See this report: Task Manager setting “Force row settings” changes button sort order from row-major to column-major

It was opened in 2009 and closed as WONTFIX, even if there are proposed patches, a lot of user activity, 120 votes and even a user proposing a package rebuilt with patches.

KDE3 was an immense field of options, but I suppose that now, KDE 4 adopts this kind of reasoning. See rekonq: rekonq should show a menubar / make menubar switchable

This report asks to add in rekonq, the default KDE web browser, an option to have a real main menu bar (like most software) instead of an icon that we must click to display a drop-down list menu. Very good dev’s answer, Andrea Diamantini wrote “We decided this way, sorry. And we really like it. No plans to reintroduce it.”

OK, so devs don’t care anymore about users, even in KDE.

I could write about Firefox, removing features, like the “named separators” feature, just because devs don’t use it, and even if a lot of users complain about data loss because they were relying a lot on named separators to classify their bookmarks and they lost all that during Firefox updates.

What’s the problem? Is free software now just a market for devs working for very big tech enterprises and wanting to feel power and fame as if they were a big boss?


I think the lesson here is that as long as users put up with such nonsense, perhaps for the sake of the latest (non-configurable) bells and whistles, this is what they’ll get – dwindling options in Linux.

What is or isn’t done in GNOME is up to its devs, but nothing says you have to use it, or continue to use it as it devolves into Microsoft Windows.

And reading those dev comments, it’s so clear that most of their thought and energy is devoted to their marketing and ‘brand presence’, and so very little to making quality, innovative software. By some strange coincidence, that’s just what has been largely lacking in the field of Linux apps.

I hope you’ll pass this article along to help raise awareness of what these devs have planned for Linux and YOU.

Many thanks to additional unnamed (by request) contributors to this report!

UPDATE: A print article based on the above article and covering wider impacts in Linux will be appearing in Issue #122 on January 17, 2012 in Linux User & Developer magazine – be sure to pick up a copy:
Issue #122 January 17, 2012 Linux User & Developer magazine

Related reading:

November 5, 2012 - Posted by | News, reviews | , , , ,


  1. Very fine article. And though I wouldn’t imagine them to be so vocal and open, it was obvious from the imposition of the new Gnome (3) that they’re a bunch of fascistic morons. It simply is disgusting. That’s why I’ve made a decision to never touch anything Gnome by then, even the forks.

    By the same token I tend to avoid GTK as well; only if there were a Qt file manager like SpaceFM! I know that you’re not very fond of Qt, but I would appreciate if you elaborate a bit on that too.

    As for KDE, I see it a much more better of two evils (in fact they’re not in the same camp since Gnome is not really a DE anymore), but again forums are filled with frustration because of that Akonadi+Nepomuk etc. imbecility. I’ve never read a barely convincing argument as to their usefulness, even by their developers, but have read even in their forums that they’re harmful for SSDs! At least they can (now) be disabled, but who cares? Why should I invest in such stupidity?

    It seems those big projects are prone to deterioration as they can’t be bothered to sit quiet and improve incrementally what’s already a fine system. No, they have to break it. That’s why I don’t trust them and in fact don’t need them either, prefer modular approach and rather small projects like SpaceFM and Openbox which has really all the basics one can need in the first place.

    Linux community would do much better if, instead of breaking what’s working, it had concentrated on creating/improving great apps which is really the ultimate point of using a computer. There are already some fine examples: VLC, LibreOffice, Goldendict, Luckybackup, LyX, Zim, SpaceFM ect.

    One would think open source communities to be more liberal minded instead of those Hitlers quoted above. It’s sad too to see Debian (seemingly strictly principled about FLOSS) reverting back to include such fascistic tablet environment as default again (according to Distrowatch Weekly).

    Had to vomit; sorry!

    Comment by tablethater | November 5, 2012

    • > It seems those big projects are prone to deterioration as they can’t be bothered to sit quiet and improve incrementally what’s already a fine system.

      That’s an excellent observation. Incremental changes are the way to allow software to mature and grow. These guys continuously destroy older work (through API changes, etc and simply discarding it), starting from scratch with untested, immature, bug-ridden code over and over. I think they primarily do this to break everyone else’s work (the competitors to their ‘brand’), and to provide a moving ‘latest greatest’ feature set, but they end up robbing their own software of its roots for growth.

      Further, user feedback is gold for developing an app that really works – you can thank many people for some of the best parts of spacefm. To just ignore and dismiss it as they do is a good way to make narrowly applicable, inflexible garbage. I can’t imagine ignoring repeated input like they do. But again, one is reminded more of the Microsoft model than anything from an open development process.

      Comment by IgnorantGuru | November 5, 2012

      • > These guys continuously destroy older work (through API changes, etc and simply discarding it), starting from scratch with untested, immature,
        > bug-ridden code over and over.

        I think this is one of the consequences of a mindset shift in a portion of the open source community. The early-days “I code because people need free-as-in-freedom software” has become “I code because it’s fun”.

        Gnome, for instance, after reaching its goal of providing a free, usable DE, has (in part) abandoned it. Now the project aims more at creating something slick-looking. Why? Because the RMS fire has extinguished, and now the developers code for fun. Coding *must* be fun, hence the frequent rewriting from scratch. Nobody likes bug-fixing. Stable equals boring.
        Mind you, I’m not blaming anyone. I am *still* grateful to these developers because what they do is *still* admirable and I *still* benefit daily from their work.

        The problem arises when people rely on developers who code for fun, because, well, they aren’t reliable. They keep changing things and they create a mess. Maybe this could be solved by changing how we approach to new versions. Until Gnome4 is out, everybody sticks with Gnome2. When Gnome5 arrives, we can switch to Gnome4 and so forth. But this isn’t going to happen. Developers want people to use their software, and people want the latest and greatest.

        Comment by Theories and stuff | November 6, 2012

        • This is happening right now :) Using Gnome2 and loving it!

          Comment by psionski | November 8, 2012

        • > Maybe this could be solved by changing how we approach to new versions. Until Gnome4 is out, everybody sticks with Gnome2.

          We couldnt, because every single popular distribution out there removed it from their repositories.

          Even now, 1-2 years after the removal, the only way to use “Gnome2” is in the form of MATE, which while being based on Gnome2, actually isnt Gnome2, so you cannot simpüly “stick with it”.

          Gnome2 was intentionally and effectively killed off.

          Comment by dfsadfgsfgdfag | November 9, 2012

        • IMO, not really. Unskilled developers know no other way to fix borked code than by rewriting it – and they usually rewrite it borked again. The right way to fix bad code is to refactor it, not to rewrite it. Somebody tell this to the Gnome gang …

          However, IMO the Gnome gang’s problem isn’t one of technical skills, it’s one of attitude. They no longer want to contribute for the good of the community, they want to contribute for recognition – they seem like they couldn’t care less about whether everybody is happy, as long as they get their DE installed on more desktops.

          Which is why I never use Gnome. That, and because it’s disgustingly ugly. And painfully awkward to use. Given these facts, I really don’t see why they insist on branding – these things taken together are IMO already branding enough.

          Comment by Anonymous Coward | November 12, 2012

    • Bitching about optional features is retarded. Akonadi and Nepomuk are optional and removing them would be exactly the thing this blog post is against: Limitation of options.
      I, for one, like both features and I wouldn’t want to switch to a platform that does not have something like them.

      Comment by Markus S. | November 10, 2012

      • No. Just that, I’d like to be able to remove them. Yet I’ve read in a KDE blog/page that they’re going to be still more integral part of KDE.

        I’ve tried them just to see what’s all about and ironically I couldn’t manage to find a simple text file in my home folder!

        Now I’d like to have a contact app, but no, if you want it, you have to enable all those harmful bloat I hate.

        I like modularity.

        Comment by tablethater | November 11, 2012

        • > No. Just that, I’d like to be able to remove them.

          You are able to do just that. Nepomuk and Akonadi are also a compile-time options (and has always been that way).
          If your distributor does not offer packages without Nepomuk and Akonadi integration, it’s the fault of your distributor.
          Gentoo should do the trick.

          Aside from that, I don’t understand why disabling them is not enough for you. Is you PC really that old that you absolutely the 3MB or so that these libraries use on your HDD?

          Personally, I don’t use PulseAudio but my KDE packages have been compiled to make use of PA if it’s present. As a result libpulseaudio must be installed. So what? PA is not used nonetheless.

          > Yet I’ve read in a KDE blog/page that they’re going to be still more
          > integral part of KDE.

          Still optional. Pre-defined Nepomuk searches are displayed in Dolphin 2.1’s side panel if Nepomuk is present and more than just a handful of files are present in ~. It’s more integrated and still optional – as always.
          Non-indexed search works just fine in the current version of Dolphin. It just takes longer.

          The calendar applet only displays events saved in Akonadi if Akonadi is present. All’s optional. As always.

          Comment by Markus S. | November 11, 2012

          • All right, eat (at least some of) my words! (Though Gentoo is out of reach of ordinary mortals like me! Maybe some day.)

            > I don’t understand why disabling them is not enough for you.
            You’re right again, but it was not so easy previously (at least for me). There’s a (maybe a few) blog(s) illustrating just that: remove/disable Akonadi/Nepomuk.

            Some other things are bugging me though. Adding an icon to the panel and adjusting its place requires too many clicks for example. It’s impossible to have a legible date and time on the panel of the richest, most configurable DE, all such things only tolerable in a minimalist WM with few devs, but not in something wasting its energies on jumping icons and SSD killing (mostly) useless bloat.

            Comment by tablethater | November 11, 2012

            • Could you please stop being such a nazi? Stop trying to force your views on usability and usefulness on other people! I like my jumping cursor, I have absolutely no problem configuring panels, I can read the time and date on my panel, and I like the features I gain from Akonadi and Nepomuk. If you don’t like those, disabling them is just a handful of mouse clicks away. If you are incapable to find the Desktop Search icon in System Settings and the Akonadi option window, it’s your and only your fault and a dumbed-down DE like GNOME Shell may be exactly what you need. Plasma Desktop is an advanced DE for advanced users and some options (like completely removing Akonadi and Nepomuk) require a level of advanced knowledge to compile SC4 yourself. But the option is still there. Nothing is mandatory.

              Adding an icon to the panel and adjusting its place requires too many clicks for example.

              Grabbing an icon and dropping it on the panel is too complicated for you? Then use something else. The option to configure panels is there. Anything about its workflow

              SSD killing

              Give proof or stop claiming that.

              Comment by Markus S. | November 11, 2012

              • Accidentally hit Post too early. What I wanted to write was:
                The option to configure panels is there. Anything about its workflow is a matter of taste. Your opinion is not an objective fact.

                Comment by Markus S. | November 11, 2012

    • Akonadi/Nepomuk cause problems – but those are of a rather different nature than what is described above about GNOME. The problems these systems cause are simply due to technical problems, not because the developers do not listen to users. If you look closely, you see the developers are focusing all their efforts on making these two stable and do their jobs properly.

      The description concludes with a short part saying KDE goes in the same direction as GNOME and Ubuntu and that is simply NOT true. Yes, there were big changes but the goal has ALWAYS been to get back to feature parity (AND create new functionality). Not remove things from the users.

      And KDE is fully flexible. You can adjust the desktop any way you want, the window manager has powerful javascript API’s for controlling windows, writing effects, window switchers etcetera. Qt is clearly the most mature and powerful toolkit available on Linux.

      Sorry to say it so bluntly but if you have all these issues on GTK, well, buhu. You can only blame yourself: there are much better choices out there. Time to move on.

      Comment by jospoortvliet | November 11, 2012

      • Yes, my criticsm about KDE was different and I use mostly Qt apps!

        Comment by tablethater | November 11, 2012

  2. While I have initially sympathized with various Gnome fork efforts, what is badly needed is boycotting it all together I guess. It’s like cancer.

    Comment by tablethater | November 5, 2012

  3. Because of Gnome 3 “remodeling” , Linux Mint was forced to fork nautilus, gnome shell and mutter. Ubuntu also built unity (with compiz) instead of gnome shell/mutter. It is evident that they will eventually fork the entire gnome program “stack” to suit their needs. I see no problem with that as long the user and developer base is getting bigger and gnu/linux is expanding. With only 1% of linux users and we already have hundrends of distros. Image what will happen with 10%. Eventually new distros will form with more of a community spirit that “brand” attitute.

    Comment by Σταύρος Δαλιακόπουλος | November 5, 2012

    • 1% is a myth from the early 90’s. These days it’s more like 15-20%.

      Comment by Mike Frett | November 8, 2012

      • 15-20% ? What good herb are you smoking ?

        Comment by Question | November 9, 2012

    • It has begun already, see Mageia.

      We have to look for community-driven Free software projects now. Free software alone doesn’t ensure true freedom.

      Comment by Anonymous | November 10, 2012

    • When you remove Android, desktop linux is about 0.5%

      Comment by Anonymous | November 12, 2012

  4. While I normally seem allergic to agreeing with your blog posts, (especially considering that I got into contributing to SpaceFM by reaching out to you while disagreeing with you :P) this post hits a little too close to home for me. I’m the kind of masochist who runs Gtk3 from git, and the only reason why I see less issues than most people when I’m running it is because I wrote my theme. It was originally based on an old version of lassekongo83’s Zukitwo, but I run it with approximately Gtk3 3.6 (a snapshot from Oct 16th to be more precise). I updated Gtk3 yesterday and was horrified that it was already broken, and I’m pretty sure that the theming changes alone was the reason that gnome-mplayer crashed at startup, not even a real bug in current git. Needless to say, I reverted and I’ll fix my theme when I have the time.

    This is the complete opposite direction from your posts on things like systemd because I can at least say that with whatever lock-in that the move to systemd imposes, you _gain_ features. Now we’re talking about universally losing features. I cut Gnome3 a lot of slack when it came out because it was new. Now I’m losing reason to do so. It is sad when you can look at what Ubuntu has done with Unity and commend them on how they’ve made Gnome3 more free, patched it and exposed more options. And that’s without me cutting Unity some extra slack for being a Canonical-developed Ubuntu-specific desktop environment. They didn’t even cripple my favorite window manager, Compiz, when making Unity – so props to them! I try my best to be an optimist in a lot of things, but I’ve really given up on Gnome as a platform. The applications themselves (at least beyond the mess that Nautilus has gone through) are still quality applications and it is all still good code. I’m still excited about evolution 3.8 when they should finally get rid of gtkhtml for good and use webkit for everything. I was wary at 3.0 when they announced that they would stop being a platform and try to be an operating system. I have no more gconf on my system, only gsettings. My system is not fundamentally tied to Gnome, just using a few components here and there. I run systemd as my session manager instead of gnome-session, and they don’t even recommend that upstream yet.

    KDE never meshed well with me, but part of that is probably how KWin never meshed well with my old Radeon X300 graphics card, which I’ve since retired. I also never got into Qt theming and avoid Qt applications as much as I can because they always look out of place in my near pure Gtk3 install (the gtk theme engine for qt still uses gtk2).

    I’ll try to upload my Gtk3 theme soon, considering that 3.6 is out and in Ubuntu 12.10 and there are very few themes that actually work with it.

    Comment by BwackNinja | November 5, 2012

    • I think we did a great job with spacefm-gtk3 – we (mostly you) corrected for GNOME’s GTK breakage, making spacefm bujildable for both gtk2 and gtk3. Thus we’re giving users and distros more options and the support that GTK devs failed to deliver, and spacefm can run in many environments. So as long as SpaceFM remains on GTK, I think this is great support.

      But as I said in a comment below in more detail, I’m also very uncomfortable using a library maintained by these clowns. They are now a corporate entity that views users of their APIs as competition, and they deliberately try to disrupt and break our work. As strange as that sounds, that’s what I really believe is happening, and not by accident. As for expecting support from them, forget it – they don’t want to support their ‘enemies’ (users of their libraries). I think any use of GTK outside of GNOME is now considered hostile by them, and you have to behave more like a hacker stealing their work. IOW we have to fend for ourselves as gtk and theme devs, and actually work against the damage that GNOME/RH continuously tries to inflict on independent projects. Some great dev environment. The ever shrinking Linux.

      SpaceFM inherited GTK, but if I ever rewrite the UI (which would be a large project in itself), I will definitely shop for alternatives, even less-known but innovative ones. Until then, if users choose their theme very carefully, GTK is still doing the job for now. But it has become a hostile environment to work in (not just GTK, but udev and other components as well). Adapting to that reality as gracefully as possible is now necessary.

      Comment by IgnorantGuru | November 7, 2012

    • >KDE never meshed well with me, but part of that is probably how KWin never
      > meshed well with my old Radeon X300 graphics card, which I’ve since retired.

      Unlike GNOME Shell and Unity, KDE Plasma Desktop does not depend on KWin. Plasma Desktop runs just fine with any other window manager.

      Comment by Markus S. | November 11, 2012

      • I’m well aware that you can use other window managers, but KWin was the biggest reason I tried KDE anyway. I still follow its development. To simply say “it didn’t mesh well with me” is as good of a reason as any (if not better) because it isn’t just a bug to be fixed, I just happen not to be the target audience.

        Comment by BwackNinja | November 11, 2012

  5. I can only say that all such efforts (of trying to standardize linux, make it less configurable, etc.), will still not lure too many windows users to linux, but will surely drive away long time linux users.

    Also while focusing too much on the desktop aspect of linux and ignoring the servers, people will eventually migrate their servers to bsd.

    Comment by anonymous_coward | November 6, 2012

    • It has already done it. I used Linux exclusively from 1999 to 2009 on my desktop. Now I use Win7 50% of the time. I never liked Gnome and detest it now. I was always a KDE user, but the Akonadi/Nepomuk nonsense drove me away. XFCE just feels too much like going back to Windows 95 to have any appeal!

      Comment by Anonymous | November 8, 2012

      • At least KDE lets you switch that stuff off.

        Comment by the Madman | November 9, 2012

      • “I used Linux exclusively from 1999 to 2009 on my desktop. Now I use Win7 50% of the time. I never liked Gnome and detest it now. I was always a KDE user, but the Akonadi/Nepomuk nonsense drove me away.”

        Nice trolling but no one with a bit of clue will believe you because Win7 has features that match Akonadi and Nepomuk. The equivalent of Akonadi under Windows is MAPI. And when you open Windows Explorer and look at the panel where you can tag and rate files: That what Napomuk also does. Windows also has indexed search.
        The only difference is that KDE allows for complete configurability.

        Comment by Markus S. | November 10, 2012

        • Well I’m in the same boat as the supposed troll except I don’t even have Linux installed anymore. Was it Akonadi/Nopomuk or Plasma or just removal of all the features I found useful as the reason I left KDE? I guess I don’t know, but I couldn’t stand KDE 4. And I tried. I tried for over two years and 5 or 6 releases.

          Comment by Eric Fitton | March 9, 2013

    • ACK. I was unaware that these KDE and GNOME folks are actually such lunatics that they do this insane thing to force “brand awareness” down the user’s throat, but have found many programs to become more and more unusable, and even more so, if you are not a KDE or GNOME user.

      Comment by Anonymous | November 13, 2012

    • If you like KDE3, maybe consider giving TDE (Trinity Desktop Environment) a go. It’s a fork of KDE3, and it doesn’t have Akonadi/Nepomuk.

      Comment by Anonymous | November 13, 2012

  6. Linux and open source lost to OS X long ago, so all of this is just pointless complaining by a small handful of people who for some reason refuse to acknowledge that Apple won.

    Comment by wayne smith | November 6, 2012

    • Mac OS and Apple lost to Windows long ago, so all of this is just pointless complaining by a small handful of people who for some reason refuse to acknowledge that Microsoft won.

      Comment by geohams | November 8, 2012

      • Brilliant rebuttal!

        Comment by tablethater | November 8, 2012

        • +1 for geohams

          Comment by bigjay | November 8, 2012

      • Actually I’d go so far as to say that there is no better GUI desktop environment than Windows today, and it has been such since XP,7 (forget vista, it didn’t happen…) – it’s still a piece of shit in many ways, but by far the best, most robust and full-featured of all the desktop environments (mac osX has like zero features in comparison, and the linux DMs are really far behind from driver support to GUI stability).

        Comment by Ludovic Urbain | November 8, 2012

        • LMAO…. love the trolling: “Most feature rich” yes…. for those who can’t use a perosnal computer. For those who can, windows has nothing and nowhere near the utilities easily available to linux and the scientific, mathematical and programmatical community :)

          Hell, windows can’t even on an open specification, manage to open a ext 2 partition? Seriously… be a bit real here.

          Comment by mollasqa | February 20, 2013

  7. I neither refuse and nor care who won. Survival of Linux even for a minority is all I care about.

    As a side note, Apple has lost me with Lion after 20 years of usage and I don’t miss it.

    Comment by tablethater | November 6, 2012

    • > As a side note, Apple has lost me with Lion after 20 years of usage and I don’t miss it.

      I coulnd’t agree more. I’ve got lion installed the first time: uninstalled it after a few hours. After a few months, installed it again, then uninstalled it after a few hours. I couldn’t live with it for the sake of sanity.

      I think Desktop Environments are going backwards instead of going forward.

      Right now I’m stuck with Snow Leopard, but eventually programs will not release versions for SL, which in some way may press you to install Lion.

      And now, there’s the Linux Desktops situation. Crap…

      Comment by Ernesto Méndez | November 8, 2012

      • Apple’ve lost a lot of their old-time users. Though I don’t expect they actually care that much – they’re going for a mass market which isn’t compatible with serving the needs of their old-time users.

        It’s part of a broader trend in computing. The window manager was originally a tool that’d help you get stuff done more efficiently by letting you view several tasks and documents simultaneously, much as you would on a real desktop, and the best window managers aspired to be like posh British butlers – doing their job efficiently while fading so completely into the background that you could almost forget they were there. Today’s DE designers, in contrast, focus on spiffy effects, product identity, and branding because they see themselves as making consumer products. Just like any other maker of consumer products, they want you to make their part of your identity and structure your workflow around it, rather than tiptoeing quietly out of the way so you can get on with your work. Windows 8’s new environment epitomises this, but Mac OS is going in the same direction, as is Gnome – with users constrained to work in ways predetermined for us by the wise DE designer, and with the DE becoming increasingly intolerant of any third party app that has the temerity to give users the ability to work in other ways. So, yeah, Gnome’s focus isn’t on writing simple but great tools for general usage – it’s to create and attract followers to The Gnome Way(TM). If a program they produce ends up being able to be used otherwise than in accordance with The Gnome Way, that’s a threat to the Way and must be snuffed out. Much like Apple, which doesn’t really seem to care about the people who want OS X to confine itself to sorting out things in the background while they get things done with their Macs – the people they’re interested in are those who’re going to be loyal followers of The Apple Way, not those to whom Macs are simply tools. Ditto Red Hat. As you’ve rightly pointed out in the past, whatever added features and functionality things like systemd may bring, the resultant lock-in – to say nothing of the effect they have on the ability of other distributions to do things differently – is antithetical to the spirit of free software. It’s all well to say “Write your own init daemon”, but the point to free software was most certainly not to force users would to write their own implementations of fundamental processes just to preserve the ability to configure their system as they want.

        One doesn’t really expect better from big businesses like Microsoft or Apple, but it’s sad seeing this attitude infecting the open source world and Linux. I’ve abandoned desktop environments entirely in favour of a good, old-fashioned window manager – which doesn’t try to do any more than manage my windows quietly and efficiently, and leaves me to manage my system and sort my workflow however I want, using whatever tools I choose – and I use Linux distros which treat simplicity, stability, flexibility and user configurability as fundamental principles (systemd is there if users want it, but they’ll never be forced to use it). Still, I have in recent months been looking more closely at BSD and wondering if that’s where we’re going to have to seek refuge eventually.

        Comment by oskeladden | November 8, 2012

  8. @ wayne smith,

    I know you are trying to troll, but FYI many longtime apple users are leaving it due to their anticompetitive policies (patent wars anyone?), and poor old stevie has already gone to hell. Apple can only go down from where it stands now.

    Comment by banana_ftw | November 6, 2012

  9. Raising a little dust on this, I see that the gnome dev who responded says that “the themeing classes, which are not currently under any stability promise, change while we fix bugs”. Theme developers and others might want to consider participating on the mailing list mentioned and making some noise.

    As BwackNinja said and I agree, gtk3 actually does work well if the theme is non-broken. It surprises me that they would cripple their api with these theme breakages. I still wonder to what extent this is done or ignored deliberately for ‘gnome brand presence’ – seemingly the greatest focus their devs have. If so it will not be feasible to even use gtk3 in general, as they have the ability to break every app at will.

    Comment by IgnorantGuru | November 6, 2012

  10. I found your blog post very interesting, and agree with most of the sentiments. I too find the attitude of GNOME 3 developers infuriating – their rationale seems to be based upon one particular persons opinion! If they were quoting usability studies or actual research when removing features that would make some sense at least, but their present attitude sucks.

    I was a long time (happy) user of GNOME 1 and 2, but have since left desktop Linux and gone back to Windows, which believe it or not, I found more configurable to my tastes than GNOME allowed.

    Comment by Stuart | November 6, 2012

    • I don’t that going to the dark side is the right thing to do because of theming issues.. Linux has alot alternatives. You don’t seem to grasp what FOSS is.

      Comment by Σταύρος Δαλιακόπουλος | November 6, 2012

      • The dark side ? Is that a religious war ?

        Comment by Question | November 9, 2012

        • I s’ppose that UEFI Restricted Boot thing ain’t quite a coffee table plus ice cream weekend chatter, right?

          Comment by HellYeahYouBet | June 22, 2013

  11. Allan Day talks about visual and functional “consistency” and they can’t even get the Nautilus and Gedit interfaces to be consistent! To name just two… The menubar is removed from one, but sits happily in the other. And the whole UI is riddled with inconsistencies, which is, btw, what I dislike the most. The only reason I even care is because yes, I would run GS, and I’m probably one of the rare ones who would not require any extensions (although themes and fonts, surely yes, sorry, Gnome designer pros XD). But it has to be said the behavior of some of these people involved in Gnome, at least the manner in which they communicate online, is half way between laughable and pitiful.

    Comment by istok | November 6, 2012

  12. I must say IG, great post. I wasn’t aware of all this going on, but I do have a close friend who uses Ubuntu and was telling me about the problems she’s been having finding alternatives to GNOME, since she doesn’t like what they’ve done with things. It seems trendy or hip for some developers to use FOSS to create their own brand or market presence, focusing solely on the “it’s open source, fix it if you don’t like it” attitude and feeling free to break whatever they happen to break. These people with lofty goals and ideas are better off starting their own projects instead of crippling software that was once pretty damn good (e.g. GNOME, KDE).

    Thankfully none of this affects me (for now), since I use Fluxbox. But as more developers try to create “the one true system”, they’ll be breaking things along the way. It’s more important than ever, in my opinion, to start looking for small, simple alternatives to things that may be gobbled up by the grandiose developers. If only there was some way to better inform the general FOSS public about the political issues that are going on regarding the software ecosystem and encourage them to “vote” — by way of distro usage — _for_ choice instead of monolithic and rigid.

    Comment by sporkbox | November 6, 2012

    • I don’t think “the one true system” is a bad idea, I however believe that gnome is far too much of a piece of shit to ever be it, as all desktop managers that use >100MB RAM for no reason.

      Comment by Ludovic Urbain | November 8, 2012

      • “One true system” would limit user choice by design, and choice is the biggest asset that FOSS has. Without choice and the freedoms granted by the licenses, GNU/Linux would be a carbon copy of OS X or Windows, at least as far as the culture is concerned. If GNU/Linux goes in that direction, I fear that I’ll be forced to use something more underground, or a BSD variant.

        Comment by sporkbox | November 8, 2012

        • I respectfully disagree. There is but one proper kernel, and while in practice we may stray from the perfect implementation, the goal still remains “one true kernel”.

          Choice is not the biggest asset of FOSS, since most of the choice consists in crappy or dead projects – if you wanna cite OS benefits, say that “at least, you can fix it when it’s broken, and it doesn’t make you pay to fix it”.

          The biggest asset is a model that expects people to give something back to the community, and that’s failing right now with all the companies using linux kernels to make tons of cash and share nothing back.

          Comment by Ludovic Urbain | November 12, 2012

          • There are other kernels in the FOSS ecosystem.

            Comment by Anonymous | November 13, 2012

          • In case you didn’t notice, the Linux kernel is not the only FOSS project. In fact, it’s the GNU license that makes it FOSS and it’s only one component of a GNU/Linux system. It’s certainly the missing puzzle piece that GNU still hasn’t delivered on in over 20 years, but that’s all the better. GNU and Linux work extremely well together. The vast majority of FOSS depend on both the Linux kernel and the GNU userland to produce the “base system” from which all our fancy, current day software comes from.

            Editability is certainly an asset of FOSS, but who wants to switch to a supposed “free” model that only offers one kernel, one userland, one webserver, one this, one that? If you want a single, cohesive entity, then perhaps GNOME 3, systemd, PulseAudio, and other parts of Red Hat’s attack on free software are for you. They could call it Red Gnome OS, and leave the rest of the world out of their silly marketing schemes.

            Free software is great because if you find that one particular tool sucks, you can either write one of your own (scratch your own itch) or find another project that has goals or values closer to your own. This goes as far down as the kernel itself. You don’t get that level of choice anywhere else besides the BSDs, which are also free software. If we were to use “one true system”, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. We’d be just as limited and as clueless as your garden variety Windows or OS X user.

            Comment by sporkbox | January 3, 2013

  13. Allan Day – UX Designer Red Hat, Cosimo Cecchi – Software Engineer at Red Hat, William Jon McCann – Senior Software Engineer at Red Hat, Richard Hughes – I’m now working for Red Hat in the desktop group,
    Bastien Nocera – Red Hat.

    They are trying to have as much control and a platform as close as possible with that damn thorn in their side called software released under copyleft licenses.

    Embrace (hire opensource developers), Extend (make them influential/gain control of estabilished foss project) and then Extinguish (make it HARD for people who want to avoid your code or maintain competing components)
    It’s Embrace, extend and extinguish folks: now in opensource variant! :)

    Comment by Sc | November 6, 2012

    • Other than what’s going on well reflected in this blog, I don’t have concrete facts, but this pretty well coincides with my intuition as well.

      Comment by lionhater | November 6, 2012

    • I think you’ve hit it. I used to think I was just being paranoid, that they couldn’t possibly be having Evil meetings on this, but I’ve just seen too many patterns of this from the GNOME/RH camp. And since they now virtually control core components like udev, systemd, udisks, etc., they are simply poisoning Linux with directed breakage.

      My little bug report is an example of what it’s like trying to get them to look at the true scope of the problem, not that I had high hopes – just wanted to see how their lower level devs responded. I really have concluded that they held an Evil meeting on this and decided that if they keep breaking their interfaces in arbitrary ways, no one but them will be able to use them effectively for anything. So as you say, open source but unusable. To me, it’s clearly deliberate.

      My spacefm project inherited GTK dependency, so I deal with it for now, but I’m very uncomfortable using a library maintained by these clowns. It’s a continuous job to adjust for their attacks on their own API users – it’s exactly as if (and the case) that they see users of their APIs as competitors to be disrupted – waste our time, break our work, compete with us. Getting any kind of support from them is impossible. So if I ever rewrite spacefm’s UI, I will almost certainly select something else, but the choices are very limited.

      This is also a good time for some team to fork GTK3 and actually maintain it as a real community project. I think GNOME will only continue to destroy GTK.

      You have to laugh at these clowns – they’re like cartoon villians trying to take over the world. By alienating the Linux community as they are, they doom themselves. But on the way they’re doing a lot of damage to Linux and valuable open-source libraries.

      The fox is guarding the Linux hen house.

      Comment by IgnorantGuru | November 7, 2012

      • Out of curiosity, why don’t you just make a documentation patch for GTK+ instead of resorting to (ab)using their bug tracker for rants and using non-productive (and quite rude) name calling here?

        Comment by Matt | November 8, 2012

        • If you mean ‘clowns’, it wasn’t the best choice of words, but I didn’t mean it as name-calling per se. Just that I think it’s important to laugh at the situation, which can be seen as comically evil. I’m not a fan of personal attacks, and that’s not my intention here, but I do hold people responsible for what they do.

          You’re quick to defend these people, but I’ve been putting up with them for awhile, and I use every opportunity to let them hear about the problems they’re causing. I don’t think that’s abusing a bug tracker at all – you only think that because you’ve been whipped into thinking like them, that any problem with a broad scope doesn’t exist. If someone reported on my bug tracker that my software was breaking their configuration with every release, you can bet I’d take it very seriously, and wouldn’t just mark it RESOLVED. By some strange coincidence, I don’t have that problem because I make a real effort to not break shit.

          As for documentation, before patching it (if it exists), it would be nice to see them answer whether they have documented these statements they’re making at all. They never seem to answer that.

          I’m glad I persisted with the bug report, because now the lead dev has emailed me and we’re having a reasonably polite little conversation about it. Make some noise, don’t be so whipped by these people.

          Comment by IgnorantGuru | November 8, 2012

          • I’m not really defending them, I’m mostly in complete agreement with you, I just know how their bug tracker works. You need a “actionable” item with a well-defined scope that someone can actually work on, not some huge-scoped systematic problem, they use the mailing list (and IRC) for that type of stuff, from my observations.

            I actually started making a GTK3 theme and when I asked on IRC about something that didn’t seem right I was told what’s in the bug tracker (and *not* in the documentation, hence my suggestion), that themes are being intentionally broken for the “greater good”. It was at that point I chose to abandon the idea of creating a theme for GTK3.

            My suggestion was simply that you could take the GTK-DOC for GtkCssProvider, patch it to add a warning/notice for theme developers that says something to the effect of “warning: themes are unstable, don’t write one unless you’re prepared to stay current with GTK+ versions” or something. If you opened a bug report with that patch attached, it’s a nice small “actionable” thing that might get more love.

            Comment by Matt | November 11, 2012

      • Just port it to pure Qt without any additional GNOME or KDE dependencies and you should be fine – less work than forking GTK.

        Comment by Markus S. | November 11, 2012

      • Because you’re all clowns and farts! And this comment comes from somebody who has supported and preached for Linux since 1998!! I am among the first few IT professionals who tried to introduce Liux into corporate environs.
        I am really ashamed for yoy all at GNOME. I have been using GNOME and modified Unity for a few years now, but I think I am going back to KDE, OpenBox and whatever else still remains OPEN!

        Comment by kaneis | September 2, 2013

  14. (Sorry for the language, but I’m quite furious now about the obviously unlimited arrogance RH-employed developers are showing and “we know better”- attitude they have)

    So basically RedHat is paying to these assholes to make Gnome a RedHat owned brand and fucking the users on the way. And they are so proud of themselves when they can do it.

    Where did these people come to RH? Microsoft or Apple?

    Doesn’t really matter, they should be shot for treason, every basic principle of open source is broken by these guys.

    They want us to use desktop as 24″ mobile phone and no, not a single deviation from _their_ vision of what is Right()TM) is not allowed. Eventually on closed source systems, of course, because that’s the only way to maintain control over users and ignore what they want.

    No wonder there’s already a fork of Gnome, because these guys have totally lost their mind and replaced it with arrogance, pure madness.

    Similar trend is very obvious in Firefox which is more a Google advertisement than a browser now and it’s quickly detoriating at the IE level in unusability.

    It’s an competitor for Chrome so Google is paying a lot of money to Mozilla to kill Firefox. In a subtle way of making it useless, of course.
    Arrogance on Mozilla side is at least on same level than these Gnome-guys: “We do know better than you what you want!”

    Not a problem if they really did, but they don’t. And haven’t, since FF3. Coincidentally or not, after that Google started to pay them and users became unnecessary.

    They don’t even know what they want themselves, thus totally random changes (making thing worse than earlier, disappearing options and disabled extensions) which have no direction at all: “Corporates release every 3 months so we have to do the same” -stupidity.

    Comment by Thomas | November 7, 2012

    • It is also my hunch that Google money is behind a lot of this recent disruption. It is very well-organized and planned, and you can tell big money is driving something somewhere. Google just doesn’t want their name on it – many users still seem oblivious to the fact of what Google really is, and what their intentions in Linux are. Google makes Microsoft look tame, helpful, and cash-strapped. Add to this the known and well-documented relationships between Google and other large corporations, media companies, govt spy agencies, etc., and it paints a dark picture of what is happening in Linux.

      I can tell you that the devs who are doing this are trained in the practices of harming the ‘competition’ and in very devious methods of corporate infiltration and disruption, now being applied to open-source projects. I see textbook examples, again and again, especially from RH. Just making something useful and good is not even on their minds – it’s all about ‘brand presence’ and other such methods of force and control. And they are pushed to do what they are doing, based on being paid $$$ to do it, and are receiving orders directly from ‘corporate headquarters’, whoever that really represents. They don’t have any experience working with a community based project, eg Linux, which is why they speak as they do, and they have no interest in such values. They can rebrand themselves, but their true colors are showing very well.

      Comment by IgnorantGuru | November 7, 2012

      • Eh, firefox has spent the last year or so reducing memory usage and speeding things up. If anything, I’m happier with it than I’ve ever been. (If it keeps crashing for you, it might be a local thing.)

        Comment by Daniel Nebdal | November 9, 2012

        • I agree, I had that feeling while writing it.
          But honestly, until version a dozen or something, firefox really was worse than at the beginning.

          Indeed the latest versions are really great.

          But that’s still very far from chrome in terms of features (or speed here). It’s too little too late too.

          Comment by Ludovic Urbain | November 12, 2012

      • Oops, that was meant to be in reply to Ludovic. (I guess I’ve spent too long with names-over-posts – styled discussions.)

        Comment by Daniel Nebdal | November 9, 2012

    • I had a feeling somebody paid mozilla to crash firefox, it’s like it’s only gotten slower and shittier after version 1 — somehow chrome is the only valid browser today and noone wants to compete.

      Comment by Ludovic Urbain | November 8, 2012

    • Oh for god’s sake…I understand your vitriol but seriously…RedHat has been doing this for a LONG FUCKING TIME. The second RedHat got involved with GNOME it was in order to kill KDE (which they failed to do). That’s when Gnome went from 0.33 to 0.99, literally overnight…because RedHat needed people to believe the half-baked pile of shit called Gnome 1.0 was somehow comparable to the more mature KDE 1.1. RedHat has been interfering for a LONG time and I find it amusing people are only just starting to notice NOW.

      Comment by Chickenhead | November 9, 2012

    • You’re overreacting. As long as GNOME is just one out of several options, there is no problem. Just install a different DE and go on with your life.

      Comment by Markus S. | November 11, 2012

      • You’re right, but apathy is the surest path to mediocrity. If developers and users alike don’t call out the things that they believe to be hurting the software ecosystem, then other projects will take on the de facto “standards” put forth by such projects and everybody loses out on something as a result. In GNOME 3’s case, theming. From what I can tell, IgnorantGuru is targeting the changing culture in a lot of FOSS projects. If these attitudes are “the future” for FOSS, then the future is grim. It’s important to tackle it _now_ — when it’s still a somewhat small problem — before it becomes large and FOSS (at least for typical desktop users) dies a slow death.

        Comment by sporkbox | November 18, 2012

        • +3

          Comment by tablethater | November 18, 2012

        • Not every FOSS project is the same.
          Either the devs want to have lots of users then they’ll change when users leave. Or they don’t care for users at all, then they won’t listen anyway – no matter how much an aptly named Ignorant (!) guy writes about 2 years old Transmission bug entries or outdated hearsay about KDE.

          Comment by Markus S. | November 19, 2012

      • Markus,

        What you’re missing is that red hat devs are also virtually in charge of core system components like udev, udisks, systemd, gvfs, and others, and they bring these same dev practices (rapid breakage, no support, missing docs, etc) to those projects. Thus no matter what DE or distro you’re using, these issues will likely affect you now and into the future as this continues. Read some of the other blog articles at the end of this article for more background. If you think you can ignore all this and be safe using KDE, guess again. I realize you’re defending everything KDE here, so I can’t interpret you as anything more than a fanboy, but it’s clear to me that KDE has many of these same development problems.

        Basically, Red Hat, Google, the KDE camps, Canonical, etc. are all trying to take over Linux for their own purposes and break it for everyone else with closed development methods of attack. The result for most of us is simply breakage, lack of support, and deterioration of valuable codebases.

        Comment by IgnorantGuru | November 18, 2012

        • As for KDE-related things: I’m not a fanboy, you just don’t have a clue. You even admitted that you didn’t even use it in years. Yet you are flaming against it.
          I’m solely focusing on KDE because that’s what I use and know. I don’t know Gnome that well and that’s why I don’t talk about it much.

          systemd is working just fine here. I don’t experience any breakage.

          Comment by Markus S. | November 19, 2012

          • Now this is plain ignorance. Anyway, others see it comming:

            Comment by Anonymous | November 19, 2012

            • It’s not ignorance when I don’t comment on software I don’t use (unlike other people here I don’t have that habit).
              My distribution ships with systemd 44 and udev 182. These work fine for me.

              Current systemd version is 195. I don’t have that and therefore I can’t claim that this one works well or bad.

              Comment by Markus S. | November 19, 2012

  15. http://lwn.net/Articles/518945/

    Comment by tablethater | November 7, 2012

    • Good to see LWN picking up on some of this – related to what I posted in Gentoo On systemd, Torvalds On Bullshit, udev Forked. Definitely a pattern here.

      Thanks to all the Reddit activity, this Rotting In Threes article has been getting some good traffic – good to see people evaluating this info and integrating it into their decision making (even if they don’t agree with my theories on it). Submitting comments on this story to LWN may be helpful too – when they’ve picked up some of my previous topics it has definitely increased exposure and discussion of the issues. I sent them a note, but they appreciate hearing from readers.

      Comment by IgnorantGuru | November 7, 2012

  16. Excuse me if this sounds dumb: is it possible to do what these udevs do by some scripts? I mean, are they needed only to automatise some things and to avoid a click or a hotkey?

    Comment by tablethater | November 7, 2012

    • I’m not sure just what you’re referring to. udev is a common system component. From Wikipedia: “Udev is the device manager for the Linux kernel. Primarily, it manages device nodes in /dev. It is the successor of devfs and hotplug, which means that it handles the /dev directory and all user space actions when adding/removing devices, including firmware load.”

      Avoiding that is tough, unless you revert to the deprecated HAL, etc. But udisks, a bloated daemon made by RedHat to handle user mounting and other things, is the source of many problems, and there are now ways to avoid it. I wrote udevil to replace the need for udisks in SpaceFM and anything else that cares to use it (udevil is designed with a reliable command line interface for easy use with scripts, such as devmon). So now SpaceFM only depends on libudev, not udisks, gvfs, etc (although you can still use udisks with it too if you want). And I can tell you that making this change has made my life (and users lives) much easier. Basically the more GNOME-maintained components I remove from the loop, the easier development and support becomes (hugely).

      Comment by IgnorantGuru | November 7, 2012

  17. Yes, I knew it was a foolish question:) Thanks.

    Comment by tablethater | November 7, 2012

  18. I’m apparently the only visitor here that really likes GNOME 3. I’ve used Linux for15 years now and have used every DE and WM out there. I followed GNOME development since they started 3 pretty closely and I’ve seen a ton of missteps. However they’ve always produced an increasingly polished product that I’ve been thrilled to use. They were clear when starting this version that they were pushing hard for visual consistency and to break backwards compatibility. If they can’t do that then they’d be slaves to end users and unable to move the product they want to develop forward. It’s oss. There are people maintaining forks of GNOME2. What’s the big deal?

    Comment by Josh Adams | November 8, 2012

    • The issue isn’t whether GNOME 3 is likeable or not, that is entirely subjective. Issues arise because of extensive control and manipulation of libraries that are used by more than just the GNOME Project. The biggest example here is gtk3. I’m behind the initial break in compatibility that gtk3 introduced. It has been 1.5 years which equates to 3 development cycles after the initial GNOME 3 launch, and the only DE that isn’t Gnome-Shell that relies on gtk3 is still based on GNOME 3: Ubuntu’s Unity (there is also Cinnamon, but that’s Gnome-Shell based). Xfce4 has shown little interest in actually switching, LXDE has shown initiative and may actually go gtk3 soon. Elementary OS is gtk3-based but Luna still needs to get out the door (and their window manager, Gala, is mutter-based – I assume they are using gnome-session, etc). A lot of the reason to program to gtk3 rather than gtk2 is thoughts of gtk2 no longer being maintained and gtk3 being the “new thing”. Also, Elementary OS leverages vala for a lot of their projects, and gtk3 is necessary to really feel integrated in a pure gtk3, GNOME 3 world.

      In part, migration to gtk3 is a migration to a moving target. With udisks2, the original udisks falls into disuse and eventually disappears, leaving non-GNOME projects like SpaceFM that don’t agree with the general direction of GNOME to fend for themselves. Innovation and polish are one thing, but gtk3 shouldn’t have to be a choice between being a GNOME app or being miserable. A set of libraries should form a platform to pick and choose from to build things to your own visions, not a binding agreement to build to someone else’s. Continual modification of the theming api and the burden it places on theme creators falls a little too much in line with the notion of branding that they’ve emphasized, where the only theme expected to work is Adwaita. The ability to theme isn’t a core thing anymore, it is hidden, it is an add-on and in part seems to only continue to exist to keep gtk and Adwaita (as well as the accessibility themes) separately maintained. Downloading a theme no longer makes sense because it is guaranteed to break the next time you upgrade and that’s something you won’t immediately realize.

      The big deal is that you either become subservient to GNOME or fight harder than ever to stay free and independent. Projects will be stamped out if their developers are unwilling to put forth that effort, and it will be seen as little more than an unfortunate accident.

      Comment by BwackNinja | November 8, 2012

      • > With udisks2, the original udisks falls into disuse and eventually disappears, leaving non-GNOME projects like SpaceFM that don’t agree with the general direction of GNOME to fend for themselves.

        What obligation do the Gnome developers have to support, on an ongoing basis, people who don’t agree with its “general direction”?

        Comment by gregorycollins | November 8, 2012

        • These projects are bigger than Gnome, gtk+ isn’t just an internal library used by Gnome, and udisks is a general solution to a problem, not a “Gnome-specific” one. To create something that brings convenience to others and encourage them to use your solution should imply that solution is either supported or something that can be migrated from when deprecated. The udisks -> udisks2 situation involved a situation where there was no pathway to migrate to once the command line interface was mostly discarded. I’ll admit that the dbus api is always a possibility, but such a drastic change in usage might as well be an entirely different beast justifying the existence of udevil. When you aren’t supported, you must support yourself. There is power, and then there is the abuse of it, especially on smaller projects. Xfce or Lxde could not hope to exist if Gtk was not supported in the non-Gnome use case. The point of creating and releasing powerful tools is to lower the bar for entry and increase the number and quality of applications – many of which on your own platform and many not on that platform. A Gtk application is a far more general classification than a Gnome application, and that should stay that way.

          Comment by BwackNinja | November 8, 2012

      • Neither GNOME Shell nor Unity are based on GTK3. GNOME Shell (and its forks) is written using a toolkit called ST (Shell Toolkit) which in turn is a fork of Clutter’s own toolkit Nbtk (later renamed Mx): http://blog.fishsoup.net/2009/10/07/gnome-shell-2-28-0-a-preview/
        Unity is written in a toolkit called Nux: http://inalogic.com/nux-and-unity/

        Comment by Markus S. | November 11, 2012

        • Cool, but you’re missing the point. A desktop environment is far more than a window manager or even the combination of a window manager and shell. Unity is more than a shell and depends on gtk3 regardless, especially considering that most of the components are pieces of Gnome anyway.

          Comment by BwackNinja | November 11, 2012

  19. No big deal; just that some (or many) of us dislike very much what they’re doing and don’t want to be their slaves and articulate this. That’s all. So what’s the big deal really.

    Comment by tablethater | November 8, 2012

  20. They have finally arrived.

    Whenever something good starts, it’s the forward-thinking open minded types of people who are involved. Then the good thing becomes popular. Then the legion of imbeciles come and start to ruin everything. Well, they are finally here. These people are not hackers, or programmers, or designers – they are idiots set out to make our society just that little bit dumber. Simplify everything, get rid of choice, follow the line and do not stray from it – this is their philosophy. It’s the same idiots who buy Macs and actively support a sociopathic business model because they like shiny things so much. It’s the stupid fucks who do non-work like “marketing”, “HR” and “management”.

    I don’t like them. I don’t like them at all and I want them to get the hell out of my Linux. Hell, I want them to get off my damn planet.

    I say we sandbox the fuckers, let them work on their little projects and actively push them away if they try to put their grubby hands on anything of value. We have the upper hand since we were here first.

    Comment by A disgruntled developer | November 8, 2012

    • I think that all GUI tools are bound to be like that because they’re idiot friendly.
      If you don’t like idiots, drop touch, drop mouse, drop GUI, keep only powerful programmable stuff around and watch them learn or drown.

      Comment by Ludovic Urbain | November 8, 2012

  21. Allan Day is NOT a developer. He’s a designer. That makes a really big difference. Why quote him on GTK+ while he’s not a developer/maintainer of GTK+?

    Try asking a GTK+ maintainer/developer about themes.

    Comment by Olav Vitters | November 8, 2012

    • This is probably the most sensible and true comment I’ve read here so far.

      The original post mixes up the GNOME fiasco and GTK+’s lack of documenting/communicating that the theming API as being unstable.

      Comment by Matt | November 8, 2012

  22. I think the problem is that many people have strong connections between “linux” and “open”, “free”, “extensible”, “customizable” (in the appropriate senses) in their heads. This used to be mostly true but ever since linux has become more popular it is less and less so. What we need is a better vocabulary to distinguish individual pieces of software depending on their degree of “foss-spirit”.

    And a little anecdote that I just remembered: A Debian dev once told me that after some conference he found himself sitting in the sauna with Mark Shuttleworth. (This was about 7 years ago, Ubuntu was pretty new.)
    “So? What did talk about?”
    “I told him that I think Ubuntu is a capitalistic crap project.”


    Comment by Simon | November 8, 2012

  23. “How do we make sure that people recognise a GNOME install when they see one?”

    Easy ! You can recognise a GNOME install when the user thinks “hey, where it that feature ? removed ? but… I could do that in the previous version !”

    Comment by Sebastien | November 8, 2012

  24. GNOME 3 keeps growing into a bigger and bigger disaster every day. It was one thing when it was ruining itself, but now it’s ruining many other, unrelated applications. That is completely unacceptable.

    Comment by JIMMIE | November 8, 2012

  25. Great article, sobering read.

    I have to point out that the comments re:KDE aren’t really fair though. Rekonq isn’t the KDE default browser at all, it is just one of the more popular browsers developed on the KDE platform. It’s unsurprising that the guy who developed it is going to develop it in a way that he sees fit. Regarding the tasks applet, it is true that the KDE guys are a little nazi about it – but that’s with the default one maintained in the core. There are a lot of similar third-party developed applets that do things differently from the default and developing and spreading these are encouraged, some even included in extragear. There is in fact a mechanism integrated into the very desktop to allow you to directly browse, download and install third party applets. I can vouch that user freedom is consistently one of the most sacred things in the KDE community, as reflected in the recently penned KDE manifesto (http://manifesto.kde.org/ ).

    Comment by Jason moofang | November 8, 2012

    • Yeah, I had pretty much the same thoughts. Konqueror is the default browser, not rekonq.
      And getting different Plasma themes is just a handful of mouse clicks away.

      Comment by Markus S. | November 10, 2012

    • That’s right! Konqueror is there for anyone who wants the traditional menu bar, rekonq’s developer is entirely justified to make whatever he wants. This blog post has a lot of valuable work compiled into it it should be edited to eliminate any spurious claims so that it’s value is not diminished.

      Comment by laoguy | November 11, 2012

  26. What about BSDs? Freer?

    Comment by lionhater | November 8, 2012

    • Kind of irrelevant, given that you’ll be running the same desktop on top of them anyway. :)
      (Practically speaking, the FreeBSD port of Gnome 3 is not quite there yet, while KDE4 is fine. )

      Comment by Daniel Nebdal | November 9, 2012

      • Thanks. No, I use Openbox with almost all Qt apps.

        Comment by tablethater | November 9, 2012

  27. My 2c, this isn’t started because of Windows devs flowing over into linux, it’s caused by what is actually a rather monumental shift in the open source and the computing market in general. For a decade, Linux chased Windows. I say this as an avid Linux user who has run over a dozen distros as his main computing device since the late 90s. Gnome 1.x & 2.x along with KDE took their queues from Windows. But things have changed today. The thought leadership comes from the OSX camp, which is why you see all this deep arrogance over UX design, and the idea that the developers know the user’s problems better then the user. In short, our community has been infected by Jobsian brand Arrogance.

    Comment by devondjones | November 8, 2012

  28. Not to inflame a war here, and I mean this in a seriousness: Part of this is the Steve Jobs effect in action. Teh Steve showed people “Teh Way”: Be cool. Control everything. Other people are screwing up your stuff. Users can’t be trusted to do things right, so take away their options. Computers are being turned into toasters, where’s there’s just one button, and Steve got to decide where the button was. Even open source software / companies are using him as their model. Why wouldn’t they? Doesn’t Apple have the highest market cap in the world?
    Yet what I’m hearing is that with GNOME v3 the goal is to promote their “brand” and make it dominant, in part by greatly limiting what users can change on their own systems, and partly by breaking or simply removing whatever support they’re no longer promoting as ‘The Way’.
    This is 100% out of the Apple playbook, and we’re all losing for it.

    Comment by xen1xen2 | November 8, 2012

    • Jobs was was pretty much a one-of-a-kind, Gnome can’t just decide to emulate him unless they have someone with equal, and equally unique, talent and luck. I see no evidence of that. In Gnome, or anything else in FOSS. Torvalds, to stretch a point, might be akin to Woz. But, with respect, what’s Woz done for you lately?

      Comment by JonCCrawford | November 8, 2012

  29. While I agree that API churn is the devil, the OP gets wrong (a) the ethics of removing features, especially to protect what is disingenuously referred to as a ‘brand’, and (b) the real reason why Gnome 3 is now a pariah project.

    First, the easy pickings. (a) There is nothing wrong with removing features. It’s a wise decision when you have finite development hours. Removing features can even make something stronger — my music collection, for instance, was made much better when I chucked Lady Gaga (what _was_ 2009?) So, prioritize.

    Now onto the more interesting (b). Devs are trained to generalize their code — to make it as flexible and self-effacing as possible. Any rigidity in the resulting product therefore reads to us as damage.

    UX developers are trained to make some aspects of the UI rigid, so that users have a chance to build muscle memory and other forms of expertise with the system. Empirical testing says this happens faster for some of us than others (not necessarily who you’d think.)

    Which takes us back to the REAL sin committed by Gnome 3, which is API churn. For what is a UX but an API to your brain? As much as I love its risk-taking, Gnome 3 should have been a fork of Gnome, for the very reason disdained by the OP: it is contrary to the Gnome ‘brand’. Which is just the corporate way of saying, it fails to follow the Law of Least Surprise, at least for those of us who have been using Gnome for a dozen-plus years.

    All the bitching I remember about the duplication of effort inherent in having multiple desktops certainly seems funny now. Gnome is now busted, because it is not trusted, and thus Linux is nearly without a living desktop. The day was saved by KDE and XFCE (and now LDXE and even a grown-up Enlightenment.)

    In the longer term, though, we have Wayland to (somehow) integrate with the Javascript/HTML5/CSS3 juggernaut, and risk taking will definitely be a requirement. That’s the sort of new space in which what is called Gnome 3 should have been nurtured.

    Comment by Undoware (@undoware) | November 8, 2012

  30. If you read all the way down here, you may also like Oh I’d rather dual boot Windows than use Macs.

    There are three problems:

    1) developers undervaluing backwards compatibility of interfaces
    2) commercial and similar pressures trying to control the things which interoperate with their products
    3) too much value being placed on simple designs which only allow one way to do things. This is what people want for their iPod, but not for their Emacs. You can gain rep by producing popular designs even if you’re not a good coder

    To be fair to Lennart Poettering, he only suffers from vice 1). Vice 2) is the real problem. I can live without the flash bells and whistles – indeed I still run olvwm with a config file last updated in 1996 and I am happy, but *everyone* remarks on my weird retro desktop. I do this *only* because I simply have no need or desire to spend any time learning a new system, and my defunct window manager has no maintainer, therefore there are no new features which might break my setup.

    Comment by Martin Keegan | November 8, 2012

  31. “Our APIs are a constantly shifting target, and application distribution is slow and fragmented.

    We want to change all of this. During the GNOME OS BoF we discussed how we can make it easier for application developers to create software for GNOME, and how we can make guarantees about API stability for application developers.”



    “- ‘New file’ templates gone”

    Weird, I’m using templates daily (Nautilus/Files 3.6).

    Comment by name | November 8, 2012

    • Well.. here is discussing the current situation, not the possible future.

      As a FOSS dev, when gnome 3 is out, it nearly ruined my application experience on gnome. The only feel that gnome gives me is, if you don’t want to use gnome stuff to develop things, then go away. So I was nearly forced to develop a gs extension to fix up my application experience under gnome.

      The things ought to be , “we want to imporve my application under gnome, thus I implement some extension, but not “I must implement some because gnome breaks it!”.

      And gs break the API again and again… (I thought it’s more easy to fix than theme though).

      Comment by csslayer | November 8, 2012

  32. As Qt gets more open, I’m sure KDE will get much more modular (like the way Gnome 2 was) and leaner. Though, it’s sad to see GTK’s develpment get less open (since it’s a major open toolkit), but remember that the main reason why Gnome was built on GTK was beacuse Qt was closed at the time. I also hear that Gnome devs want to create their own OS, and move towards supporting only what they want to and alientating any part of the traditional Unix stack that they don’t like (such as the BSDs). I hope that’s only a rumor and not fact. Though I have to admit that it is kind of funny to see someone say that KDE doesn’t have enough features (not that I don’t respect your opnion).

    Anyway, the way KDE seems to work is if a third-party extension or widget gets popular enough, it will be installed default by distro makers or even get into the next KDE release. Like the way the once third-party task manager, “Icon Tasks”, is included in every KDE distro. In a way, users do get to choose KDE features. Also, KDE users are very active when it comes to blogs on PlanetKDE (especially on the blog of KWin’s main developer, Martin Grasslin).

    Also, rekonq does have a menubar, it’s just not enabled by default. It’s especially obvious if one is using some form of appmenu (there is a Plasma widget that can be built against Qt 4.8 for appmenu support). However, I can’t seem to enable a menubar in rekonq 1.7 (which is an alpha release of rekonq 2.0), so you may have a point there.

    Comment by CTown | November 8, 2012

  33. Can agree with your criticism over GNOME, since it affects dozens of downstream distributions.

    But I don’t agree with your criticism on Ubuntu/Canonical.
    It’s legitimate for a distribution to brand itself. For example, almost every distribution changes backgrounds, icons.
    You can ridicule Unity’s design, but it’s a distribution specific DE, rather than a common upstream. They have freedom to do something stupid and take care of themselves.
    For close nature of LP, what about Github and Google Code?
    Ubuntu One server-side is closed source, you ever see the source of Dropbox, Facebook, Google, Twitter?
    Amazon part not read.
    Canonical is a for-profit company, rather than a charity.
    I like FOSS, I contribute to it. But I don’t like RMS mind set. Some closed software do have positive impact.

    Comment by Ma Xiaojun (@damage3025) | November 8, 2012

    • It’s not so much a matter of their doing something that’s not ‘legitimate’ or that they don’t have the freedom to do so, it’s more a matter of what kind of Linux citizens they’re being, and what these actions tell us about their motivations.

      Linux itself, as well as many projects under it, have a long history of community development. Many people (and companies) over the years have contributed much of their time and effort to build these projects. When others come along and merely take, without giving anything back to the community, or being hostile to others using their work, they’re not being citizens so much as parasites. Pure profit is their motive. Further, sometimes these open projects get effectively taken over by these businesses, and effectively destroyed by selfish motives, poor support, careless breakage, etc.

      They’re allowed to do what they’re doing in Gnome, Ubuntu, etc. No one is really arguing that. The point is, do you want to lend your energies to such entities, and use products which are ultimately robbing Linux of its vibrancy and health? Do you want to participate with thieves, or would you rather support people and companies that give back to the community for real? You too have a choice. You’re allowed to use whatever you want, but what kind of Linux citizen are YOU being with your choices?

      > Amazon part not read.

      I highly recommend it.

      Comment by IgnorantGuru | November 9, 2012

  34. The comparison to KDE is unfair.

    The KDE developers switched the Plasma theming method to SVG for two reasons: to make it easier for theme developers to write themes; and to make it easier for users to install them. That is in complete contradiction with what you’ve just said about Gnome. You know how you wrote a theme for KDE 3? C++. You had to be a programmer to write a theme. That’s crazy.

    KWin now also supports SVG decorations AND downloading new window decorations, from the settings panel, for the same reasons.

    Rekonq isn’t the default web browser, Konqueror is. I dare you to say Konqueror isn’t flexible.

    Other than those (and the bug report, which is the only thing I CAN sympathise with), everything in KDE has become more flexible. Sure, maybe your pet feature isn’t there, but I guarantee I can name 3 things that replaced it.

    Comment by the Madman | November 9, 2012

  35. I got tired of Gnome not working. Jumped to Mint for awhile but Mate and Cinnamon also broke a lot. Recently switched over to CrunchBang and OpenBox. As a developer, stable APIs are important. My sense is Gnome is trying to be top dog in a simple minded consumer world of pads/phone/notepads. That’s not my world.

    Comment by Heitzso | November 9, 2012

  36. This is the best article on the subject I read so far. At this moment, GNOME is a RedHat project. As any other 1 billion dollar company, RedHat is very interested in branding. As a result, branding become number one activity for the development team – of course you are not allowed to theme your desktop!

    The only problem they have is GNOME itself. I would say the project is in a pre-alpha stage, with lots of crushes, bugs and inconsistencies, no documentation and big functionality missing. It is a dysfunctional desktop, it will take years to stabilize and become usable.

    Using GTK3 library is not an option if you are developing desktop software, unless you are not perceived as a competitor by the GNOME team. Branding always means exclusion. There is no difference between GTK3 library and an obscure library in an Apple product – unless you are working for us, you are not allowed to use it; we’ll make sure we’ll brake the interface every other release!

    systemd is another branding attempt by RedHat. It might end bad, or it might work…

    Comment by netblue30 | November 9, 2012

  37. I read the whole article and I agree with it completely. Things are very sad in the Linux desktop arena.

    That being said, I would like to point to things:

    1) Even with Microsoft introducing the whole different Metro interface, the traditional desktop is just a Win+D shortcut away. You just have to install a 3rd-party Start menu, if you really want it, and you’re done with your Win7-like experience.

    2) Open source projects were perfectly happy with the amount of users and volunteers they had in the past. Now all of sudden they all want to chase Apple and/or the mobile market and want us to think there is a moral impedment for them not to do so. Add utter arrogance to greed, remove some openess, and there you go: Gnome3, Unity, etc.

    Good thing the MATE folks are saving the day.

    Comment by gtirloni (@gtirloni) | November 9, 2012

  38. Good article – it pretty much mirrors my own views on these matters.

    I quite accurately predicted how canonical would turn out, years ago, but gnome-shell and the change of direction/attitude of the gnome project to this more corporate approach was a shock…

    I’ve never really been a gnome fan and thus pretty much avoided it, but since gnome 3 I’ve not recommended it to, or installed it for, anyone and certainly never would again.

    KDE, nepomuk/akonadi aside, is nowhere near as bad and at least tries to provide decent configuration options to the user. A classic (file manager driven) desktop would have been better than the plasmoid nonsense, but all in all it’s a much better option than gnome-shell – but not what it could/should have been.

    Personally I think the malign and corrupting influence of canonical and especially google, is the beginning of the end for GNU/Linux – every forum, blog and tech press article is chock full of these parroting pretenders who piss on and tear up the people, licensing and ideology that made all of this – Free Software – possible. Gullible users are being guided by these companies who are only seeking to fill the void which will inevitably appear in the future when MS is sucked down.

    There was a time when these mega-corps would not touch GNU/Linux with a ten foot poll, but now that they have their poison tendrils firmly in place, it’s being hailed by many as a victory or progress for the fabled “Linux desktop”. Tin foil hat stuff? It’s a fact that MS contributed more to the Linux kernel than canonical since 2.6.32.

    google and canonical are similar in wanting a “platform” for pushing their services and products – it’s this bandwagon that the gnome project are so eager to jump on – to create an identity, or brand which can be marketed – not to geeks, but to the masses – who won’t even know they’re running a (bastardised) GNU/Linux system. The future of GNU/Linux is not part of their agenda, it simply serves as the “vehicle” for their corporate ambitions. GNU/Linux is not marketable, the FSF is not marketable, which is why you no longer see references to that on the ubuntu front page.

    Comment by el chapulín | November 9, 2012

    • I couldn’t agree with you more. Seriously. I want to say something intelligent in response but all I can manage is “you hit the nail on the head”.

      Comment by sporkbox | November 10, 2012

    • A classic (file manager driven) desktop would have been better than the plasmoid nonsense

      Plasmoid is just a non-official name for plugins. A traditional file-based desktop is perfectly possible with Plamsa Desktop. Whether that paradigm is default or not, is for the distributor to decide. IIRC it is default for Mandriva and Mageia.

      Comment by Markus S. | November 12, 2012

    • Very well said. They should fork Linux to do what they’re doing to it, but they want to steal the name and the users. But those of us who know what makes Linux great (power and precision) won’t be fooled. Even their buggy code reveals them to be from the other side. Sort of the way gnome3 stole the gnome name with their fork, leaving MATE to use a new name for what has always been gnome. We almost need to recreate Linux with a new name as if we’re doing something new. But all we’re doing is keeping the original spirit of it alive.

      To me it comes down to the differences between the kind of users who just treat the computer as a fixed object to be used (gadget users), and all they can do is what (mostly mainstream) software devs allow them to do. The other is computer use where you control your system (the power user), customize it, automate tasks, and make it do unique things with scripting and light programming. There have always been both kinds of users (personal and corporate), and both kinds of hardware/software, with good and not so good examples on each side. For example Apple might be seen as a gnome3 that works well for some people – it ‘just works’. But don’t try to make it do what you want – you’ll be swimming upstream. And don’t try to modify it and share your work! They’ll have you arrested.

      The confusing part is when they steal the name and momentum of something that used to be a power user product and turn it into a gadget user product. Plus, power users gets lazy and like the way the gadget products do everything for them (I know I do sometimes). They’ll complain about the limitations, but it requires time and effort to be a power user, so as they start to slip, that’s the tendency. Finally, the way the products are shifted from power to gadget is in a creeping, misrepresented kind of way, and it’s easy to miss when something has gone to the other side.

      I think there’s also a tendency to turn consumers into mindless idiots – the motive isn’t exactly to empower people and trigger their freedom and creativity, if you know what I mean. Xyz Corp will do the creating FOR you – you just use it and do as you’re told in the documentation, developer(‘s boss(‘s boss)) knows best. Sometimes it’s hard to explain why they see Linux as such a threat, but it sure seems to be the target of a lot of shenanigans. (But personally I’ve always thought that Linux could save the world.)

      I’m disappointed how many Linux users fell right into Google’s trap with Chrome, and I think that’s all it is. I’m amazed how Google has been able to maintain an image anything less than very ugly in mainstream Linux, or elsewhere. Just take a look at who they sleep with. I don’t see a whole lot of good intention there.

      Having figured this stuff out (at least to my own satisfaction), I’m just making it a point to use, support, and develop the really free and empowering Linux stuff, which is out there and is always evolving. Just as the gadget products are evolving, and I do enjoy some of that, just not much on the computer. My computer is not a cell phone, thanks. It’s more like clay. And what good is clay if it’s already been baked?

      Comment by IgnorantGuru | November 12, 2012

      • Your blog needs +1 buttons, Guru. I’d have broken it on your comment. :)

        Comment by sporkbox | November 18, 2012

  39. Wow…in the Linux desktop department, KDE was my first love until version 4 came out in early 2008. I then switched to GNOME and thought it was OK. But I saw a little preview of what was ahead for GNOME 3 in 2010, and I did not like what I saw, which drove me to Xfce, which is what I currently use today, and I gotta say that I love Xfce. Oh, and as for Unity and Cinnamon, I’ve never used them, and after reading this article, I never will. One thing that I have always loved about any Linux desktop was the ability to theme it to your heart’s content. And now that GNOME is breaking this and doesn’t care, it means I will never use GNOME again and never will use Unity or Cinnamon.

    Despite what someone said about Xfce not showing interest in switching from GTK2, there has been some discussion among Xfce developers as to whether or not Xfce 4.12 (due out next spring) will be based on GTK3 or will stay with GTK2 as its base. Thankfully, Xfce has always been one to focus on sticking exclusively with incremental changes, and that’s one thing I’ve always liked about Xfce. Yet, I fear for Xfce’s future if they should switch to a GTK3 base, which would absolutely wreck their reputation of keeping changes incremental and inconspicuous. And as for LXDE mulling possibly switching, I think they’re making a very foolish move, too. If that should happen…heck, I might do the unthinkable and return to KDE or possibly switch to Enlightenment, Openbox, Fluxbox, or IceWM.

    Comment by Fred | November 9, 2012

  40. Gnome Fallback Mode will be removed in Gnome 3.8:

    The fallback mode, also known as the classic GNOME session, will no longer be included starting with GNOME 3.8, the next stable GNOME release.


    Dropping the follback mode doesn’t just mean there will be no more classic GNOME session. With it, some GNOME modules might go away, like Metacity, GNOME Panel, GNOME Applets, notification-daemon, GNOME Screensaver, polkit-gnome and nm-applet. Further more, this decision affects Unity, LXDE or Xfce too because they make use of some fallback components like tray icons of GNOME Settings Daemon.


    Comment by IgnorantGuru | November 9, 2012

    • IMO, that’s a good thing. They will no longer be twisted to try to mimic gnome-shell poorly and go back to being their own separate entities. They were never meant to be like gnome-shell. They will stop being core gnome modules that ship with the gnome desktop, but won’t stop being maintained. I read through the mailing list discussion, and they brought up concerns of their future and the impact of making this decision before actually making it.

      Comment by BwackNinja | November 9, 2012

      • But isn’t the lesson here that it’s dangerous to depend on anything gnome maintains, because they act unilaterally and without any regard for the community, or what else they’re breaking.

        And yes of course, these apps didn’t have to grow around these gnome components, but that’s the nature of community development.

        RedHat seems to have taken a community-developed project here (gnome) and turned it into something which only serves them, if that.

        Comment by IgnorantGuru | November 9, 2012

  41. On the subject of KDE, I used KDE3 when I first came to Linux, and overall I appreciated it. When KDE4 came out, they lost me completely and I ditched it. Actually I think what’s being done to GNOME was done to KDE with v4, not exactly, but the same level of destruction. I’ve heard that recently KDE has gotten a bit better, but seeing bug reports I filed 3 or 4 years ago showing up in my email just now with the first reply from a dev doesn’t lead me to believe this.

    At any rate, I think all the large projects are now affected by these dynamics. Mainstream Linux is going rotten, at least from my perspective as a power user. I want to control my computer and make it do cool things, automate stuff, script stuff, etc. That’s what’s awesome about Linux. GNOME’s recent habit of closing things off from easy scripting and command line access is right in line with the closed Linux that they and others are actively and aggressively building.

    The good news is there are options – they can’t eliminate innovation, and there are lots of people who like their Linux liquor strong. I found that out developing spacefm and similar projects – there’s a ‘market’ for it if you will, people of like mind. It has become a small minority in the full Linux spectrum, when once it ruled. But we’re still here. And people are still making very cool stuff. But it won’t be dropped in your lap by most distros, you have to go seek it out.

    I think it’s good to get away from DEs. Just choose a WM (Openbox), a DM (spacefm – if you even want a desktop, as it’s not necessary), a panel bar and such things (lxpanel or xfce), and some good apps (claws-mail, geany, mplayer, vlc, etc). It’s handy to start with a xfce or lxde distro, add some things, and remove some things. But it’s not a lot of work to roll your own, and you find some cool stuff in the process. You don’t need a fancy desktop and certainly don’t need a DE. Or if that’s too much for you, there’s XFCE and LXDE (although these have been poisoned by gvfs, as their devs will tell you).

    As a dev, my concern is what reliable GUI toolkit can I use? It’s a big investment of time to develop a GUI app and then have the support run out on you. And the idea that these guys are maintaining a critical component in spacefm (gtk) makes me nervous. That’s why we kept it gtk2 compatible, so there are options. I think that gtk2 support (as a fallback if nothing else) at least will last as long as spacefm, and until I do any major rewrite.

    Comment by IgnorantGuru | November 9, 2012

    • What’s funny about this comment is that KDE is actually easier to script than ever.

      Comment by the Madman | November 9, 2012

    • “I think it’s good to get away from DEs.”

      Exactly, and there are so many WMs to choose from thanks to devs/programmers out there that refuse to conform to the ‘new bloat is great hype’.

      Comment by anticapitalista | November 13, 2012

  42. this is from a gnome fansite

    source: http://worldofgnome.org/linus-torvalds-is-actually-back-on-gnome-3/

    yea! i got censored!

    alex285: Too bad we are not journalists and we don’t get paid :)

    we know that you aren’t journalists, you don’t even know english but this site is full of shitty ads

    you epically failed one more time! you have nothing to say! you are hypocrite and liar like your gnome friends.

    do you think that we, people are stupids?

    this is dedicated to you and all gnomes https://igurublog.wordpress.com/2012/11/05/gnome-et-al-rotting-in-threes/

    Comment by bob | November 9, 2012

  43. As for me I’ve gone XFCE. I can’t get Gnome 3 working in the ways I want to. So f…k you, gnome. I absolutely hate your approach fixing one thing and breaking three new at the same time.

    Comment by Jsmith404 | November 9, 2012

  44. And yes, I wish gnome devs to use slow gallium3D LLVM crap on some weak ARM CPU on tablet without working 3D drivers. Forever. This is a proper form of eternal torture such a devs deserve.

    Comment by OhIForgot | November 9, 2012

  45. This is a fantastic article. From my point of view, GNOME 3 and GTK3 have been awful. I was a GNOME 2 user, and I switched to XFCE as soon as GNOME 3 came out, and I haven’t looked back. Then later on I started encountering GTK3 programs and decided to write my own GTK3 theme so that GTK2 and GTK3 programs would have a consistent look.

    Writing a GTK3 theme is indeed a pain, it took me many hours of guesswork and trial/error to get my theme looking good. I had it looking perfect around GTK3.4 or something, then a new version broke it and still haven’t got it looking as good.

    Some of the changes they’re making to GTK3 are bad, too. The colour chooser in GTK2 was pretty good and gave you a good amount of control. The one in GTK3 is overly simple and seriously lacking in functionality.

    Comment by Benis Brothers | November 9, 2012

  46. “but they want features removed from apps simply because GNOME no longer supports them!”
    Your conclusion is rather wrong. I never stated in my comment on Bugzilla that I want anything removed. I just pointed out that basically no developer tests fallback mode (like Nautilus drawing the desktop), hence such bug reports don’t get much attention, and as there are no developers working on fallback mode we are going to remove it for 3.8.

    Comment by Andre Klapper | November 10, 2012

  47. I guess I’m numb already to all this what seems to be the attitude norm of the developers but at this point my jaw literally dropped:

    mccann replies:

    I guess you have to decide if you are a GNOME app, an Ubuntu app, or an XFCE app unfortunately. I’m sorry that this is the case but it wasn’t GNOME’s fault that Ubuntu has started this fork. And I have no idea what XFCE is or does sorry.

    No words, this is so absurd…

    Comment by Anonymous | November 10, 2012

  48. mccann is a design he shouldn’t and for his doesn’t need to know what XFCE is, anyone who thinks he does has know idea about design or GUI design. He’s there to make design the interface – and anyone who thinks this just means what it looks like shouldn’t even by moaning about mccann not knowing what xfce is.

    Comment by Coxy | November 11, 2012

    • If he’s a Linux UI/UX designer, he *absolutely* should know what XFCE is. It’s like saying Windows designers shouldn’t know what MacOS is. You need to know what your target users are using and what your competition is doing, otherwise you’re just swinging wildly in the dark. Best practices and user expectations are an important part of UI and UX design.

      Comment by Matt | November 11, 2012

  49. mccann is a designer. he shouldn’t, and for his job, doesn’t need to know what XFCE is, anyone who thinks he does has know idea about design or GUI design. He’s there to make design the interface – and anyone who thinks this just means what it looks like shouldn’t even by moaning about mccann not knowing what xfce is.

    Comment by Coxy | November 11, 2012

    • The comment is 2 years old…

      Comment by Markus S. | November 12, 2012

  50. I recently started using linux becuase of gnome shell it looks great and functions really well. much better than kde. I can’t see why people are so worried about themes. I have never used them, neither on windows. And moaning about screensaver? Those are old anachronisms that serve no purpose. I never care about them either. Why is it so important to have a screensaver? You haven’t hadto worry about phosphor burn.in for decades. And most modern displays blank the screen after a period of inactivity.

    Comment by Coxy | November 11, 2012

    • So, if you don’t need theme support or screensaver means that no one needs or wants them? That’s quite an assumption.

      Comment by Kaszak | November 11, 2012

      • You assume I think no one else wnats them or needs them? That’s quite an assumption.

        Comment by Coxy | November 11, 2012

        • “I can’t see why people are so worried about themes.”
          “Those are old anachronisms that serve no purpose.”

          Comment by Kaszak | November 11, 2012

    • Default gnome-shell theme is so ugly I can’t stand it. Cantarell (?) font renders cyrillic letters as shit and you can’t change it to another one. Yep, tell me it looks great. XFCE, LXDE and even Unity have better look’n’feel then gnome-shell.

      Comment by Maxim Kim | November 11, 2012

      • I find Gnome shell looks better than Unity and kde. The others I have never tried so can’t comment. If a font was chosrn that doesn’t work with russian characters than that is the fault of the design team for chosing it. Obviously they should chose a font that works with all scripts. Maybe though the designers don’t see the problems you do, which could be the case. That doesn’t make it a bad interface. Personally I hate mac os and their font but it doesn’t mean that the interface is crap or badly designed.

        Comment by Coxy | November 11, 2012

      • There is a “cantarell-fonts” product in GNOME Bugzilla for specific issues with Cyrillic fonts. Feel free to explain technical issues and the developers will take a look

        Comment by Andre Klapper | November 11, 2012

    • Much better than Kde? Are you kidding? Gnome-shell is an unusable desktop environment if you’re doing some serious work… It’s a joke!!

      Comment by jander | November 11, 2012

      • I do do serious work and gnome shell works just fine. I imagine people told henry ford the same,

        “If your doing serious work you need a horse to pull your cart”… we all know what the masses thought about that ;)

        Comment by Coxy | November 11, 2012

    • The Gnome shell is completely unusable for me. The screen saver is meant to also lock your screen when you leave your screen unattended – every system has them.

      Comment by Anonymous | November 13, 2012

  51. It was already said before but I’d like to repeat it: your comments that KDE is going this very same direction is VERY unfair. It is simply NOT true. Yes, KDE went through a big redesign for 4.0 – this was needed to improve the technical foundations it was build on. But it was NEVER the plan to take away features and patches are by and large accepted. Yes, a few exceptions exist, but they are VERY few – nothing compared to what you describe in GNOME and Ubuntu. Try an recent KDE release and find 3 features that were present in KDE 3.x but not in 4.x – you’ll fail. Everything is scriptable – the desktop itself is completely flexible (everything consists of ‘plasmoids’ which can be written in 4 different languages, from python to C++), the window manager’s effects, window placement and even window switcher all have javascript API’s. Qt, especially the upcoming Qt5 (95% backwards compatible to Qt4, btw) is completely flexible and a proper, enterprise toolkit, not a toy like GTK. You’re just hurting yourself by staying on a dying platform of GTK based technologies…

    Comment by jospoortvliet | November 11, 2012

    • While KDE was seriously damaged with its analogous corporate conversion, it’s a different story than with gnome. It’s not so much that features were removed (as much, although there was a definite dumbing down and breaking of interfaces), or that they’re moving away from scripting, etc. Those problems are more gnome-specific, and KDE has always been more configurable. This article dealt mostly with gnome issues. For KDE, the changes involved bloated and non-secure components like akonadi, pulse, nepomuk, and many other highly troublesome and undesirable changes. It is also bug-ridden – I still receive initial replies to bugs I filed years ago. It’s been a few years since I’ve used KDE, so I can’t comment on the current state of things in detail (and frankly I don’t care what KDE is doing anymore), but I did use KDE4 and I know what I saw in it, and what drove me away from it. Many Windows users may feel right at home in KDE4, but it alienated many prior KDE users.

      As with gtk going to windows, so did KDE’s use of qt bring it into windows, and that brings windows-related problems and ‘fixes’ (breakage) back into Linux, just as is happening with gtk3’s theming. As with gnome, the KDE devs were all talking about brand and Windows issues when KDE4 was being developed. Although some of the particular symptoms differ, KDE4 did as much damage to a significant Linux desktop as gnome 3 is doing.

      Obviously some people will like KDE4 and feel like it suits them, just as there are happy Windows users (somewhere). But KDE4 drove many users away from KDE, myself included. I clearly felt it had been ruined for my purposes.

      Comment by IgnorantGuru | November 11, 2012

      • ” It’s been a few years since I’ve used KDE, so I can’t comment on the current state of things in detail (and frankly I don’t care what KDE is doing anymore)”
        So why did you bother. Did your rant have so much momentum you couldn’t stop. You should go back and clean it up. This admission qualifies everything you have written, for the worst.

        Comment by laoguy | November 11, 2012

        • You KDE guys sure are sensitive – usually that means an undesirable truth is being spoken. At any rate, there is only one paragraph on KDE, so obviously this wasn’t an in-depth study of KDE’s problems. Read more carefully – it says “A user writes:”. Not my words – that section was quoting a KDE user. Quoting a user doesn’t require me to know everything about the latest KDE. That comment reflected what I often hear about KDE4 from former KDE users, including myself.

          Comment by IgnorantGuru | November 12, 2012

        • I’ve tried KDE 4.4 a few months (3? 4?) ago, and it *is* too bug ridden for me to use.

          Comment by Anonymous | November 13, 2012

          • FWIW, the current version is 4.9, and 4.10 is about to be beta-tagged, so that puts 4.4 a good few *years* ago. I recall that the first KDE workspaces (v4) versions that started receiving praise for stability and speed was around 4.6-4.7. So if you’d really like to try the current state of KDE’s desktop, you should at least be using 4.8, which almost any major distro should ship with today.

            Comment by Jason moofang | November 15, 2012

      • Your unhappiness with the v4 overhaul of KDE software is something I’ve heard a lot before, and to some extent I think it’s fair. Even if KDE eventually brought over most of the capabilities from KDE3, it is clear that the direction it is developing towards has changed, and that is bound not to sit well with many people.

        However, while it’s okay to dislike KDE and to disagree with their ideologies regarding innovation, this is different. It’s one thing to think that a free software project is mislead, stubborn or even stupid regarding how they build their software, it’s another to imply that they don’t care about freedom – an idea that should be sacred in any important free software project – and/or are serving corporate goals. And at least to me, that is what your article has done.

        It’s true that Akonadi and Nepomuk etc are controversial, but they are free software technologies unassociated in any direct way to any corporate interest, to the best of my knowledge. The developers simply believe the potential of these technologies to be worth it, but in the meantime, acknowledging that there are people who don’t agree, always strove to provide a backdoor to opt out. The key point here is that KDE by and large makes user freedom a priority and works hard to respect it. KDE has in fact also struggled with the issue of branding before – it is something one eventually comes to when thinking about competing with proprietary desktops – but they came no where close to the kind of things you mentioned in the article for Gnome.

        Regarding KDE’s use of Qt bringing it to windows, I understand and I think it’s fair that you’re unhappy about breakage coming in from the effort. However, bringing KDE to windows really _extends_ rather than limits possibilites and choices, so while it may be iffy, you can’t really say this is the KDE folks being selfish or losing sight of greater goals. Interoperate as much as possible and support as many things as possible is a very free software philosophy, and it runs counter to the “support only my platform and alienate competitors” attitude typical of proprietary vendors – as it should.

        Don’t get me wrong, it was a great article with a lot of eye-opening information, but I’m evidently not the only one who thought you really got the KDE part wrong. If you do in fact think that the KDE guys do not care about freedom, then the evidence you gave is at least insufficient, as noted in a number of comments before now.

        Comment by Jason moofang | November 11, 2012

        • I don’t know what the situation is with KDE development wrt keeping the projects free for real and not breaking interfaces, etc. The KDE comment was not my words, just a quote, nor does it say much about this. In general I find these corporate-driven takeovers of projects always impacts this. I definitely saw SUSE (a big KDE distro) getting into bed with Microsoft on things, which is why I left that years ago. In general I don’t view KDE as supporting or moving with the best interests of FOSS, but that’s more of a general impression – it seems to be Windows-ized now, and their dependencies makes for a very monolithic dev environment, which usually spells control issues (as in forcing users to install a bunch of unrelated crap to get one app working). I don’t think such monolithic DEs serve users well, nor the open, interdependent quality of Linux. And all of that got much worse with KDE4.

          But most of this is ancient history for me – I don’t follow KDE news much – dropped it and moved on. I really like the lighter apps and desktop components I found to replace it, so I have no interest in such a heavy DE now. I don’t use any DE, just assorted components. You can read some ancient history from when I left KDE. Some of those recommendations have changed (eg SpaceFM replaces PCManFM, and SpaceFM Dialog replaces zenity), but that’s the basic idea of where I went from KDE. I run a pretty simple system and like it that way.

          You seem to be making a lot of excuses for corporate dev practices. It’s easy to argue endlessly on minor points, but overall I just don’t appreciate the direction KDE took, and I don’t think it was done for the benefit of the users. As with gnome, they disregarded most of their users’ input.

          Comment by IgnorantGuru | November 12, 2012

          • KDE made a lot of changes in KDE 4 specifically in response to user’s complaints, even in cases where the developers disagreed because it “felt like a tacky hack”, for example.

            Comment by the Madman | November 14, 2012

          • I’m really not sure what are you referring to as “corporate dev practices” :( It feels like bad decisions (in your opinion anyway) are automatically linked to bending to corporate manipulation. SUSE is as you say only a downstream distro, and really, if they have any bigger than normal say in KDE’s governance at all, then it is well hidden from me, and I follow planetkde and a few dev mailing lists.

            As you say, we can argue endlessly about many things, and this is probably not the place to do it. I just wanted to try and point out that your accusations do not really imply at all that KDE is going corporate or being fascist and that KDE really does try to respect choice and freedom. I know that the quote about KDE in the article isn’t yours, but when you put it at the end of a list of otherwise well-substantiated arguments, it ends up sounding like a strong accusation, so you’ll forgive us for feeling a need to chime in and protest.

            Comment by Jason moofang | November 15, 2012

    • “Try an recent KDE release and find 3 features that were present in KDE 3.x but not in 4.x – you’ll fail.”

      1) Focus model “focus follows mouse” is broken.
      2) kmail does not work on local mails
      3) Change a simple color of the UI, let’s say the background of the taskbar.
      4) …

      Should I continue? BTW, is the infamouse mad nut in the top right corner still defended down to the bones by the developers?

      Comment by samhain | November 13, 2012

      • “Focus Follows Mouse” works fine here, as does local mail checking.
        The Aya plasma theme, among others, adapts the foreground/background colours to those of the rest of the UI.

        Comment by the Madman | November 14, 2012

        • “focus follows mouse” does not work on plasmoids.
          Adapting colors automaticly is not what I asked for.

          Comment by Anonymous | November 14, 2012

          • So it’s an incomplete implementation, clearly a bug. How does this make the KDE developers facist dictators?
            And like I said in another post, the primary reason you can’t get that specific feature is because the KDE developers wanted to make it easier for theme writers to write themes. In the past, you had to be a C++ developer to write a new theme. Again, “my pet feature is missing” != “the developers are facist dictators of their will”.

            Comment by the Madman | November 14, 2012

            • I would agree, but the bug on focus-follows-mouse was closed as “wontfix” because it’s intended that way. Same thing happened with all bugreports (and even patches) according to the most hated nut in the universe. Well, the list goes on and on … basicly it cleared the user base :-)

              Comment by Anonymous | November 14, 2012

  52. This article and most of the comments are absolutely ridiculous. For starters, the ticket between transmission and GNOME 3 devs/designers is 2 years old. It has been resolved, and is a non-issue, but now this article has freaks going over there to post their opinions on a ticket thread which rightfully discussed the nature of the change and a solution was determined. Furthermore, the final resolution to the issue of the status icons was solved with this comment (see last sentence):

    “I think it is still desirable from a GNOME perspective to disable the status icon completely. A patch implementing the behavior outlined in comment:22 is now awaiting moderation. There should be no change in behavior for non-GNOME platforms.”

    Are there changes being made which perhaps are happening at inappropriate times and/or are not being properly document? No doubt. This is a very common problem in all software development, but particular in open source projects. Does this make life more difficult for application, theme, etc, developers… no doubt.

    But there is no conspiracy here. You all sound like nutcases and with further comments like this: “Google is paying a lot of money to Mozilla to kill Firefox,” I’d say there is strong evidence that many of you are.

    Comment by Matthew J. Sahagian | November 11, 2012

  53. @IgnorantGuru
    amen to everything you said. It makes insanely good sense to me (a random Gnome user). One thing though. Allan Day is not a developper.
    He is a designer, contributing to Gnome in UX design and marketing.

    This may explain that. Thanks for the refreshing read, in particular the part about GTK3 theme developpers.

    Comment by Kim | November 13, 2012

  54. KDE3 always suited me well. KDE4 drove me away to try other things. TDE (Trinity) brought me back home – the KDE3 environment resurrected through incremental improvement. Nothing Gnomish here.

    Comment by Robert Peters | November 13, 2012

    • Trinity could be great. It’s a shame they let their bias get in the way of their work.

      Comment by the Madman | November 14, 2012

  55. “Sometimes a nice appearance is more important than having things practical.” By alex diavatis (gnome fanboy, creator of http://worldofgnome.org/ and poor english speaker)

    source: http://worldofgnome.org/gnome-files-3-5-4-first-sights/

    Comment by bob | November 15, 2012

  56. > It has been resolved, and is a non-issue
    The real issue is how gnome guys are dealing with issues. In gnome3 these nuts have gone so far that now I can’t set DPI that I can read via GUI. And if I’m about to edit countless configs, gnome 3 is clearly useless resource hog. Then I can’t select the right way to put my notebook to sleep. Gnome pretends it knows better what I want. Oh crap. Now what? They removed “unneeded” window buttons. And made window close [X] button such a huge thing that I can hit it with my fist. Maybe it has been attempt to adapt to tablets or so. The “only” problem is that I don’t want my PC or laptop to get downgraded to stupid tablet. So I’m forced to abandon gnome in favor of XFCE. And then some gnome guy appears and starts ranting that everyone should go gnome or must die. Should I admit I utterly hate this approach? If you doing it wrong it’s unlikely that a bit extra of dictatorship will help. But it cleanly adds one extra reason to hate gnome guys and gnome, sure.

    Comment by AngryUser | November 18, 2012

  57. Thank you for this very nice article. I am one of those who have given up from maintenance old GTK3 themes and making new ones because of breaking themes with every new version of gtk3. I have many ideas for new gtk themes,but I give up.I hardly find free time every couple of months to make one theme,but now I have to rewrite all my old themes every six months without any documentation. When I came into the world of open source one thing I was most impressed was the customization. Now we are witnessing that Linux becomes as Windows and Mac, difficult to customize.

    Comment by nale12 | November 19, 2012

    • Now we are witnessing that Linux becomes as Windows and Mac, difficult to customize.

      Only if you think that the Linux world revolves around GTK…

      Comment by Markus S. | November 19, 2012

  58. so what exactly is the silly power behind all that “decisions” i wonder? what if all promise to have gnome-shell wallpaper for exchange to some actual documentation and end-user configurability, would that help?

    Comment by brontosaurusrex | November 20, 2012

  59. more fun from wogue (gnome fan site)


    just read the comments!!!

    Comment by gnome | November 21, 2012

  60. Comment by gnome | November 21, 2012

    • Neat. So that’s how I deserve to be portrayed for working for years to try to get all parties to agree on a single notification API? It is truly unfortunate that we have this fragmentation and that we have made things so damn hard for our application developers. Fixing this is and has been one of my highest priorities. If you read my words honestly you should see that. I am proud of the work we are doing and I think in time we will be able to demonstrate that it will make life easier for you. It is pretty shameful the way that our community behaves sometimes.

      Since we’re all offering unsolicited advice…

      * Assume the best of others. People do not work on free software to do harm.

      * Don’t overreact. This entire rant is because a private theme interface changed. For serious.

      * Stop demanding things from other people without offering anything in return.

      * Become influential, in the community you wish to be a part of, by doing good work. You may even find your perspectives change.

      * Understand the difference between listening to people and doing exactly what they say.

      * Act the way you would like other people to think about the open source community. You are an example to the world.

      * Look into issues before you form an opinion on them. Study things. Don’t believe everything you read. Use those much admired critical thinking skills.

      * Don’t emulate Linus Torvalds. He is one of a kind and we don’t need more. You only get to act like that if you maintain the kernel.

      * Do something to help. Anything. Don’t know what to do? Ask. Good at writing blog posts? Write about something you love. Want to learn to code? Read some code – it is all there. There no are excuses to sit there and blame the “devs” or the “designers”. Get off your ass and get started.

      * Don’t like what we’re doing? That’s cool. It is only one choice in a world full of possibility. Show us what you got!

      * Watch http://www.ted.com/talks/peter_diamandis_abundance_is_our_future.html

      If those things sound ok to you please do get in touch. We need your help and would love to have you.

      Jon McCann

      Comment by Jon McCann | November 24, 2012

      • Comment by gnome | November 25, 2012

      • http://gnomememes.tumblr.com/

        Comment by faildora shitty miracle | November 25, 2012

      • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betrayal

        Comment by faildora | November 26, 2012

      • piss

        Comment by gnome | November 26, 2012

      • John, I think you’re misunderstanding the reason why you’re receiving so much heat about that particular set of comments. It’s less about the diverging notification APIs beyond your control, and more about the assumptions that seem to be behind your comments. Your initial “enhancement” request asked that a feature be completely removed because GNOME 3 doesn’t support it. You didn’t seem to take into account that Transmission is used on non-GNOME platforms, and the developer had to explain this to you. Later, you then assert that simply removing the feature wouldn’t hurt Transmission, because you, personally, never use it. Charles had to continue to explain to you that the users of his application do use that feature, and don’t want it removed.

        Yes, it was two years ago, and yes, the issue was resolved. It’s just that, to me, this exchange is emblematic of what the GNOME project as a whole has been doing for the past few years. So many capabilities that I used have been removed from GNOME, and I can’t understand why. I went from being a happy GNOME user to deep frustration to abandoning it completely. XFCE is not a perfect system for me, but at least I don’t feel like I’m being actively sabotaged.

        With that said, please understand that I don’t believe that anyone in the GNOME project is actually trying to sabotage anything. I really do try to assume the best of people. It’s just that the vision of the developers and designers for what GNOME should be has diverged so far from how I want and need to work that I simply can’t use it any more. I honestly have no idea what your target user base is, but I do know that I’m not a part of it. So, I moved on to something else. I’m glad you’re cool with that, but it makes me sad, honestly. I had been using GNOME since version 1.4. I loved the new 2.0. But, small problems kept building up for me. Then GNOME 3 just brushed me aside.

        I truly wish you and the rest of the GNOME project well. I do, however, believe that the project has lost its way, and has alienated many long-time users and supporters.

        Comment by Stephen Gilbert | November 26, 2012

        • Thank you for being polite. That is really refreshing.

          Regarding Transmission. The bug report was a, two years in advance, heads up for the deprecation of the GtkStatusIcon API. It is not a good API and it is going to be replaced with a standardized notifications API in the toolkit.

          This change won’t hurt Transmission. It will make life considerably easier for app developers to be able to rely on a standard and stable interface, and make the experience better for their users.

          The fragmentation that existed before we started trying to fix this problem was dire. The notification “spec” had been forked three different ways, there were multiple incompatible implementations, status icons were not universally well supported (and had some nasty problems of their own), KDE has a completely different way of doing things. It was a mess. And yes an app developer had to make some choices about which to support – or to suck it up and try to support all of them and use an adaptive design. Those are just the facts of the situation.

          The difficulty faced by the Transmission team is something I care about very much. And we should all be concerned about the fragmentation in our community and our app developer story. What doesn’t help is pointing fingers at some of the only people trying to address the problem and find a solution.

          It pains us to hear people refer to that as sabotage.

          Please consider that there are hundreds or thousands of people volunteering their free time to help advance free software by working on GNOME. Because they love what it is and what it stands for. Even if you don’t agree with the project goals and are happy using something else maybe we can all be a little more appreciative of the people doing something for the greater good. Fighting over which whether GNOME/XFCE/Unity/KDE is best can be interesting to some degree but that isn’t how we’re going to succeed in making an impact on the world and getting more than the 1% to use a free software client operating system.

          I don’t know the nature of your particular needs so I can’t address them. But if you are well served by whatever you are using now and believe it is a cause worth supporting then that is wonderful – and a win for free software. It would still be worthwhile for us to hear in specific detail what you found to be objectionable. The vast majority of the issues I see people raise are simply bugs that should just be reported and fixed. For some reason it has become commonplace for everything to be assumed to be a design decision.

          Believe it or not there are quite a few things that I don’t like about GNOME 3. It is open source, it is messy and takes time to polish. Sometimes the developers don’t implement what the designers expected. Shocking, I know! Sometimes this is for the better and sometimes not.

          GNOME is not pushing anyone away. The project has invested very heavily in supporting a wider range of use cases than any other. No other operating system interface has extensions like we do. They are so powerful that there are now another two completely different user experiences built using almost nothing but extensions.

          I’ve been quoted to make it seem like I’m completely against this. I am not. The quotes are from an internal project discussion on some very subtle issues and are mostly about priority. I disagreed with prioritizing the creation of a powerful extensions story at the expense of moving forward with a better application developer story, and a better application installation and deployment story. I disagreed with not taking into account the potential harm that extensions could have on the quality/stability of the user’s experience and the expectations of application developers.

          This is what was meant by “brand”. Brand is the reputation and perception of the thing you are using. (I use the term more or less in the sense described in: http://www.slideshare.net/coolstuff/the-brand-gap) For example, if an untested and buggy extension (or combination of extensions) crashes your system then who gets blamed? There was evidence from the Mozilla project to suggest this might be a problem and guess what? It was. People complain all the time about buggy, broken, and incompatible extensions. Even Linus has ranted about this several times. But the fact that isn’t often acknowledged is that this isn’t that different from what we had with GNOME 2. The huge number of possible variations means that very few of them were tested well. What was worse about GNOME 2 is that you didn’t really know which combination was the best quality one. But if you like the GNOME 2 approach and were happy enough with the quality then I see no reason why you wouldn’t be well served by GNOME 3 + extensions.

          Ideally, having an extensions story and app story would not be zero-sum. That we’d have enough resources to do both at the same time. We did not. As a result we still have a really messy and confusing app story.

          This is our next challenge. It is a difficult and important one. And as we work on a solution perhaps we’ll find that we’re all in this together after all.


          Comment by Jon McCann | November 26, 2012

          • Thank you for your thoughtful response, Jon. I fear there’s just too big a gulf between what you want and what I want in a computing environment.

            I’m not worried about Transmission. I’m running it right now on XFCE, and it is fully functional. How it runs on GNOME is not something I have to worry about anymore.

            This isn’t the place to go into detail about my personal issues with GNOME. I’ve tried to discuss my problems in the appropriate GNOME channels, but I felt like I was swimming upstream, and eventually that gets tiring. I will say that many of my issues are most assuredly design decisions, confirmed over and over with that term I came to dread so much: WONTFIX.

            I have no interest in trying to fix GNOME 3 for my own use with extensions that seem to break after each release. I need a reliable system that doesn’t require a collection of third-party extensions to be usable, And now that most of the basic GNOME programs have such generic names as “Files” and “Web”, I have trouble even googling for possible solutions to basic issues. Should I file bug reports to change the names back to something searchable? :)

            I realize that it is not the project’s intention to push people away, but that has been the end result in my case. I don’t know what the stats say, but I keep hearing similar stories of people leaving GNOME that I just didn’t hear before 3. I know that most people working on GNOME have the best of intentions. I just find it extremely difficult to be appreciative when software I’ve loved for years has been re-envisioned, re-designed and re-developed into something I have to fight with to do basic computing comfortably.

            Comment by Stephen Gilbert | November 26, 2012

          • What I’d like to suggest is that all Linux platform developers seriously consider going the opposite way and providing real “computers” to those holdouts, like me, who still need to get real work done and know how to navigate a real file system and even [gasp] a command line.

            I hope a gnome dev reads this.

            Some of the gnome developers came and visited us onsite earlier this year. They did it to “study real users” and get feedback on the gnome3 UI.

            Some background: we were representing ~500+ Real Paying Gnome Users, not some nebulous fantasy persona that gnome hopes to get as a user in the future. We are the real customers. We are high-end computer graphics researchers, software developers, and some of the most talented CG artists in the world.

            We are content creators, not content consumers.

            My gut feeling after the meeting was that they were so stuck in their decisions that they really didn’t care about the feedback we had for them. They spent their time defending their positions with platitudes like, “well, you have to try it first. Maybe it’s not that bad”.

            No one liked the magic hot-corner activities window. That’s not how we work. The gnome3 philosophy seems to be centered around single applications that consume the entire window, and no configuration. Our workflow is having lots of separate terminals, windows, and a mix of applications running at once. Our world views are drastically different.

            My simple question, “if you move the menu bar to the top, and we all use sloppy-focus, doesn’t that mean that if there’s a window in-between the active window and the top of the screen that we’ll lose focus as we try to move the mouse up to the top menubar?”, was met with, “well, we didn’t think that through. Yes, there might be problems with sloppy focus. “. Uggh.

            It’s gotten to the point where we are afraid of what’s going to happen when RHEL7 comes around and gnome3 is the default. We are paying customers and we don’t want gnome3.

            I love everything redhat does for the community, but I can’t help but get a sense that they are cannibalizing their current users in hope of gaining some nebulous lowest-common-denominator user in exchange.

            I really don’t know what’s going to happen, but XFCE looks like a serious alternative now. What if redhat won’t support us if we use XFCE on the desktop? Well, we might have to search for a competitor. Who’s the competition? Who’s target customer is the high-end Linux desktop user? If that’s you, I’d like to talk to you.

            source: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4825961


            Comment by gnome | November 27, 2012

          • Comment by ss | November 27, 2012

            • lol That’s pretty funny.

              It’s good to keep perspective – hopefully no one is literally dying on this, etc., so the comparison is unfair in that sense. (Although the ever-weakened security in Linux which is also part of this pattern of development practices can have deadly and dangerous consequences for individuals in some parts of the world.) And these developers are really just examples of a set – it’s less personal than it is the corporate culture which spawns them. But it does highlight how seeds of greed and control can start to grow and become fashionable. I think Linux and the tradition of free and open software is worth taking semi-seriously, and these trends (corporate influences, etc) do have social and cultural parallels that they remind us of.

              Are parts of the Linux ecosystem is being overrun by invasive weeds?

              Comment by IgnorantGuru | November 27, 2012

          • Amidst your long reply, I found one minor thing that, if we expand on, may make things clearer for many people, even people who don’t use GNOME.

            You said, “Because they love what it is and what it [GNOME] stands for.”

            So, what _does_ GNOME stand for? Among all of these design decisions (among which breakage and feature removal is a part of) and the intertwining flamewars or arguments, we finally see mention of something we all can work with and discuss: GNOME’s mission statement. Its new one. This is of great importance to the community. It will help users and outsiders both understand what GNOME is about, what’s in the future, what things the project will and will not represent, the target audience, and more.

            I will likely never used GNOME 3 due to Red Hat’s systematic poisoning of the FOSS ecosystem, but I’m willing to believe that there is some sort of value set that is being pursued, regardless of how much I disagree with it. So please, elaborate on what GNOME really stands for. This will give everyone a concrete idea of what GNOME is as a technical and a social project.

            Comment by sporkbox | January 3, 2013

      • Jon McCann,

        Despite your wall of bullshit, the uncensored, unprepared quotes in the article make you quite transparent. You come from that crowd of elitist corporate developers who would control users, not empower them. As an analogy, if you were a doctor, you would be prescribing toxic drugs and using your professional associations to undermine alternative healthcare. If you were a food designer, you would be making processed foods loaded with toxic chemicals and GMOs, and putting your corporate insiders in charge of regulatory agencies. In your elitist ‘high priest developer’ crowd, the user is just a resource to be exploited at all costs, talked down to, and controlled.

        It is abundantly clear to me that Red Hat, a billion dollar corporation with ties to the nuclear energy industry and other corporate nests of corruption and exploitation, has an agenda to damage, control, and exploit Linux. I have seen the same methods and denials from too many Red Hat employees, in many areas of Linux dev (GNOME, GTK, udev, udisks, systemd, gvfs, etc), for it to be mere coincidence. I recognize something which has been engineered when I see it, including patterns of breakage and project discontinuity. Whether you are merely a witless pawn hired because you possessed the qualities Red Hat was seeking for the hatchet job, or whether you are in on the planning, I can’t say. I suspect your only motivation is money and ego, and Red Hat merely tells you what to damage next.

        In GNOME3, you have not designed a real interface that empowers computer users, and that’s why GNOME 3 is an unqualified failure among real Linux users. By “real”, I mean users who know they’re using Linux and why. It’s ironic that you call it a ‘UX’, as clearly the user experience is the last thing on your mind. Your focus is on the corporate experience – whether what you produce satisifies your employer’s goals. What the users want or experience is clearly irrelevent to you, except where it impacts your employer. So call it a ‘CX’.

        As for the GNOME volunteers, we’ve heard from many of them about how they were “fooled into participating” in GNOME 3’s development, based on their prior experience of GNOME being a genuinely community-developed project. In fact, GNOME 3 is simply a very poorly done GNOME 2 fork, engineered to be as closed and inflexible as possible, which alienates the GNOME community. Yet due to Red Hat’s money-based influence in Linux, it was able to steal the name and project ‘GNOME’ for its fork, thereby sabotaging and erasing the real GNOME (MATE not withstanding – they had to give it a new name to simply continue what was always ‘GNOME’). Even if GNOME 3 makes millions for Red Hat on tablets where the users don’t even know what OS they’re using, it is already recorded as merely a botched fork in the annals of real Linux. This article and much other commentary like it are its obituaries. It may still be your obsession (at least as long as you’re being paid), but as you can see in many of the comments above and all over the internet, most people have simply moved on and written it off as a waste of their time and effort.

        Like almost all corporate influences on Linux, Red Hat is simply a parasite, and you are part of that, regardless of your long-winded denials. This is not a personal attack on you – I don’t know you personally. This is an impersonal assessment of your design-by-committee bullshit that has never produced anything worthwhile, and never will, because of a lack of any genuine spirit of contribution or ingenuity. You have contributed nothing to the real Linux; rather you have derailed a popular project from where it could have gone, and what it could have evolved into naturally from its roots, user input, and actual ‘user experience’.

        Believe me, I know these words will have no impact on you so you can spare me your further denials. It’s clear that, even with all of the commentary on GNOME 3 here and elsewhere, we the lowly Linux users and developers have failed to reach you in the slightest. So you can rest easy in your delusions of your ‘fine work’ if you prefer. Rather, I want to remind readers of the importance of supporting and using ‘real Linux’, not the watered-down, dumbed-down version you are helping corporate parasites to create. Real Linux may be shrinking while corporate Linux is growing (like only cancer can), but it’s where the real fun and power is.

        As you said, peace – I hope you find a genuinely productive outlet for your creative abilities, even if it means becoming a starving artist instead of a fat corporate whore (figuratively speaking).

        Comment by IgnorantGuru | November 27, 2012

        • Your name fits you well.

          Comment by MarcBoisvert | November 27, 2012

        • “As for the GNOME volunteers, we’ve heard from many of them about how they were “fooled into participating” in GNOME 3′s development”

          Would you provide some sources to back up this claim?

          Comment by Penis Expert | November 29, 2012

          • That quote is uncredited because it was part of a private email, but it stuck in my head as reflecting many of the views I’ve seen expressed on this.

            There was no lack of material for this article – there is tremendous backlash on GNOME 3 from users and developers alike. Just do some searching if the above doesn’t satisfy you. Just this morning I was surprised to come across this entry on Benjamin Otte’s blog of all places (he’s the guy who breaks everyone’s themes daily). Yet he doesn’t seem to make any connection with the mass exodus of developers and users from GNOME and his breaking themes with every release. It’s a mystery to him why people wouldn’t want to contribute their time to a virtually closed, controlled project.

            I also think it’s important to remember that there are many ways people contribute and volunteer in a project like GNOME, even if they’re not developers, or are not making commits to the source tree. For example, some users invest significant time and effort making and adding to bug reports (without which software cannot properly mature). I have heard from several who are simply giving up on GNOME bug reports in this regard. Further, theme developers (who we heard from above extensively) also volunteer much time, and their work makes the GNOME project much more broad, for both aesthetic and ergonomic reasons. That’s what community means. Anytime you do something which helps the software, you contribute to the Linux community.

            There are also ways that leaders of technically-open-yet-virtually-closed projects like GNOME 3 discourage and refuse contributions, maintaining them territorially.

            Interestingly, several contributors to the above article didn’t want their names included. It’s interesting that Red Hat is fostering that kind of environment in the GNOME project. I’m sure lead developers would retaliate, refuse their contributions, marginalize them, etc. It is common in such projects – if you want to be a part of them, you have to tow the line, talk the talking points, and not discuss things freely.

            I wrote this article because I’m a lone developer and I don’t really care about their politics. In fact if you had asked me awhile back about GNOME and Red Hat, I wouldn’t have had much of an opinion. I didn’t come to this with prejudice. I was only led into this by following bugs to their origins – part of app development, and in this case, blogging. So in that sense I have no agenda, aside from a healthy Linux.

            Comment by IgnorantGuru | November 29, 2012

            • OH SHIT, I see. Yeah man, I agree with you. I was really just interested in knowing who said it and why. Thanks for your reply.

              Comment by Penis Expert | November 29, 2012

    • Unable to view this – just shows an empty window.

      Comment by IgnorantGuru | December 14, 2012

  61. Is there no screenshot? Please give screenshot so it is clearer ;)

    Comment by Ade Malsasa Akbar | December 24, 2012

  62. Tin foil hats everywhere. More than a hundred posts from them! Should I trust them. No! But they are fucking funny! I love you!! I love the stinking smell from your sweaty heads.

    Comment by TinnePinne | December 29, 2012

    • Typical words from people who do not pay attention to their surroundings. Were this prehistoric times, you’d have been eaten by a jaguar or something because “herr derr you guys are just paranoid. There’s no jaguar in the grass!”

      Comment by sporkbox | January 3, 2013

      • lol Denial and ridicule create the darkness which allows corruption and conspiracy to thrive – two sides of the same coin, and you won’t find one without the other. Be aware and question everything, especially when an oil/nuclear energy company is editing our Linux.

        Comment by IgnorantGuru | January 4, 2013

  63. Themes are not making anything ‘usable,’ they just help users without any artistic taste to make their desktop as gaudy as possible. KDE has next to none usable themes beside Oxygen, so with Adwaita Gnome 3 will do fine.
    On the other hand, I wholly agree some Gnome developers should be brought down to peg due to their long-developed diva syndrome.

    Comment by Catyrpellius | January 27, 2013

  64. I do consider all of the concepts you have offered for your post.
    They’re really convincing and will certainly work. Nonetheless, the posts are too short for newbies. Could you please prolong them a little from next time? Thanks for the post.

    Comment by secundaris | February 6, 2013

  65. The only correct way to deal with the GNOME people is by following this strategy. It’s a management strategy, that mid level managers learn, to get rid of unwanted workers.

    1) Isolate your target from the crowd
    2) Make sure you don’t leave any traces
    3) Demoralize your target
    4) Optionally spread false facts in the public
    5) Use other people for realizing this
    6) Followed up with another level of agressivity
    7) Demoralize your target even more until your target resigns
    8) Continue with your next target

    The key message is, demoralize the GNOME developers one by one. Make sure you act agressive. We removed a bunch of employees that way, while we ran out of projects.

    The only language these assholes understand.

    Comment by Mr. X | February 8, 2013

  66. Those GNOME loons achieved that GNOME D-Bus becomes part of the mainstream Linux Kernel. This was decided at Fosdem 2013 besides the Sandboxing and Jaca Scripting. CoreOS to come. Begone the old Linux days.


    Comment by Anonymous | February 8, 2013

    • Oooh, nice. Also, _Gnome_ D-Bus? There are D-Bus bindings for glib-based applications (dbus-glib which is deprecated in favor of gdbus), but D-Bus isn’t desktop specific. Nice try. At worst, the only situation where it might make sense not to have D-Bus by default is on a server, and as part of the kernel, it can be disabled from the config, as a module it could be blacklisted if you felt like it. No change in interface for applications. IPC is a core OS concept, and a robust form of this (handling all the cases that D-Bus does) is necessary. There is no competing standard, nor even a semblance of such that tries to be D-Bus. Sockets, you say? Useful. Very useful in fact, but they miss the multicasting and decentralization, and the mechanism to start processes as they are needed that D-Bus provides. What exactly are you complaining sarcastically about? A dependency that you can’t avoid anyway, but implemented better?

      Comment by BwackNinja | February 8, 2013

      • You bring up some good points from a technical perspective. My concern here is that GNOME’s, Red Hat’s, Google’s, etc. interest in such a robust and deeply embedded dbus is to transform Linux into a Windows or Apple style of ‘product’, lacking the openness and interoperability of the UNIX philosophy. It is being used as a closing down of Linux, creating obfuscated interfaces where command lines and text files once served, and is creating rigid monolithic daemon dependencies where independent processes once served. This is an engineered climate shift in Linux toward, ironically from what you were saying, a greater level of centralized control in critical components.

        These are demonstrably the “we’ll shove it down your throat” kind of people – that’s what you’ll get from them, consistently. But what does that have to do with Linux?

        So I think complaining sarcastically about this is well-deserved – it’s ugly.

        Comment by IgnorantGuru | February 8, 2013

      • Look, I was participating to Gnome for several years. I dealt with the people there. Their agressive attitude is well known. Their ignorance and asshole mentality too.

        Nearly everyone here dealt with that problem already. Look how that GS design loon responded here. I initially thought “what type of gras did that guy smoke ? Uhm maybe a fag !”.

        But anyhow. Those people try turning Linux into a joke show. Sure, their ideas are nice. And maybe for the better. But the way its being thrown into our throath is inaceptable.

        They act like landlords or controller of the whole situation. They decide and speak for millions of users. They talk a lot and use other people for their goals.

        Please have a look at “boxes” and “documents” apps, that they provide with Gnome. They lack the manpower to deal with all that.

        No one of us is going out screaming where we go have a dump next. But Gnome of course do. They infect abd rethorically convince everything to depend on their shit. There isn’t even the possibility these days to have a clean room linux installation withour being enforced to install some Gnome crap (gtk / glib included).

        Look, you Gnomes have clearly an issue with the way Linux and Unix works. If not, then you wouldn’t introduce all these changes (agressive). So why dont’t you people pack your crap and simply fuck the hell off ? You want Mac ? Go use it ! And please stop infecting Linux like an cancer. If you want GnomeOS then be our guest. We gladly help you here. But please do your show in your own area. There is no need to pull everything over the clip.

        What’s after that ? Gnome App Store ? Where you can buy apps and extensions (oh you have that). Or Gnome Cloud where Red Hat offers the first 50mb for free because you can’t access your harddrive anymore ? Why not browse the personalized Amazon offers, while Gnome loons check your App before placing it in the Store ? Canonical is there Red Hat tastes the same blood now.

        I know business is business as soon as there is cash flowing, no one gives a flying fuck about all the kids outside wearing the pink sunglasses, who still believe in Freedom. Sent over more of those cracksmoking loons doing design and marketing. I bett they sell us our own writren software and as a thankyou we may report bugs too.

        Thanks (2am here)

        Comment by Anonymous | February 8, 2013

        • You may disagree with them, heck – we can even call them wrong if you like. Regardless, they don’t owe you anything, this isn’t a democracy and it never was. Things don’t get done because “the people” deem it necessary, but rather because those with power (development skills in this case) do. FLOSS doesn’t stand for “the people” having the power, but rather for “the people” not being restricted from having power.

          If they do a poor job, no one has to use what they make. People can either use an old version, or they can write their own. Look at MATE, look at Trinity. Despite the complaints that they shouldn’t exist, they do. The only time the politics of the situation [i]can[/i] even matter is if you’re sitting passively and complaining that they’re not following your directions as you’re trying to be a backseat driver.

          Linux sucks, it’s terrible and broken in several places and several different ways – just like any other set of software. The difference is that it can be fixed by anyone with the know-how, and you have the ability to do more than just disagree with developer’s decisions, you can do things differently than everyone else. You want the desktop to be just how you’d like it, but you aren’t putting work in the right place to get there.

          You don’t know me. I run a 32-bit/64-bit multilib Linux From Scratch install. My desktop shell is the one I wrote for myself because I didn’t like the changes that were occuring. Some of my applications have patches on top of them that I haven’t even tried to upstream. I ported SpaceFM to GTK3 because I personally wanted it to be a GTK3 application and I’m glad IgnorantGuru accepted it so it’s a clean part of the codebase instead of a hacky patchset I’d have to maintain separately. The applications and libraries most important to me are ones I run from git/hg/svn/bzr/whatever. My next goal is to ditch X and run Wayland instead. I decided to stop blaming everyone else for the problems on my desktop and start taking responsibility for them myself, even if they aren’t my fault.

          The only two possibilities with regards to your freedom are that you were never free, or that you decided that your freedom wasn’t worth the effort of maintaining it. IgnorantGuru will complain about these same changes, but the difference is that you see him posting workarounds and solutions. You see SpaceFM as a grand example of this because it is perhaps the only modern graphical file manager of note that works properly in a polkit-free, gvfs-free, udisks-free environment – all of which he has complained about in previous posts. You say that you were participating in Gnome for several years. Unless you don’t have the free time, (which is just a way of saying that this isn’t how you’d want to spend your free time) be the change that you’re looking for and not just an ignored voice in the crowd. You don’t have to fix everything (though it would be nice if you did), but fix SOMETHING and through that make not only your desktop and your life better, but make other disgruntled individuals happy as well and motivated to follow that example.

          Comment by BwackNinja | February 9, 2013

          • Everything is right what you say. But soon you need to fix and patch even more because of “their” influence in other projects.

            Think about it.

            Comment by Anonymous | February 9, 2013

  67. GNOME: “It’s the users who don’t get it”.

    A GNOME official at FOSDEM 2013 complains about the “haters”. He clearly sees no problem with GNOME and shifts everything to the users.

    [video src="http://video.fosdem.org/2013/maintracks/Janson/Has_the_GNOME_community_gone_crazy_.webm" /]

    Comment by Anonymous | February 9, 2013

    • At least you can (sometimes) file a bug report with Gnome without getting flamed by the developers. Try doing that with FireFox.

      Comment by Leon (@Lehjr1) | February 17, 2013

  68. GNOME official gone nuts because consort forked the gnome-panel. Read his frustration between the lines.


    Include the three dots in the link!

    Comment by Anonymous | February 10, 2013

  69. GNOME official ‘bkor’ has shown up in a thread with rigtfully frustrated users. Started the usual ‘provide facts’ crap an later on calls people to ‘fuck off’.


    Comment by Anonymous | February 10, 2013

  70. Father of the GNOME desktop wrote a lenghty blog entry about the fall of the Linux Desktop. In his blog he clearly states that the current developers around GNOME amongst other issues are responsible for that.


    Comment by Anonymous | February 10, 2013

  71. GNOME official shreds contributor to nautilus filemanager into pieces. Treating the contributor with disrespect, ignorance and arrogance.


    Comment by Anonymous | February 10, 2013

  72. The reason for the agressive UX change of GNOME 3 and the control of major system components like systemd, is to turn Linux into MacOSX.

    By reading some articles on the net, it’s being said in August 2012 that the GNOME OS (could be Fedora) is to come within 18 months (6-7 months passed).

    So that’s a big political crusade that happens explains their agressive pushing, convincing and recommending of things.

    The user should wake up one day and presented (forced) with what’s being thrown infront our feed.

    Be warned people, they don’t care for other Unix like operating systems (no teamplayers). Why should we dare to care for them.



    Comment by Anonymous | February 10, 2013

  73. Critics page about GNOME 3


    Conversation about GNOME 3 on their official ML


    Comment by X | February 20, 2013

  74. To the defense of some devs, maybe even Mr. Shuttleworth, let’s face that those overly numerous settings in the desktops can quicky wrap a gordic knot in the developer’s head. To reduce these means less chances of erratic software behaviour, and thus less bugs to fix, thus more time to develop new things.

    By no means I want to say that the general direction GNOME3 or Ubuntu has taken is right. But the argument above can declare some decisions made, incl. those that were critizised on KDE4.

    Comment by N.N. | March 10, 2013

    • I doubt anyone in this thread will take issue with the idea of decisions being made. The problem arises when a developer sticks to a decision without sufficient reasoning. “You don’t need it anyway” in the face of evidence to the contrary is a prime example of what NOT to do.

      The key to features and settings, IMO, is just offer users sane defaults. If you give them more options, do them slowly and make sure they’re well thought-out and can be used to solve multiple possible problems. SpaceFM’s “New Command” feature is a good example. It allows a user to add to the interface (complete with a shortcut) and tie in the behavior of an unrelated application to get something done. SpaceFM could’ve been designed to accomodate tons of different usage scenarios and mini-features to create the Gordian knot you speak of. Instead, it hands control over to the user and trusts them to know what they want to do.

      *That* is program design that is forward thinking and easier on developers. It’s easier on users, too, if they take the time to learn a little bit about how their system works.

      Comment by sporkbox | March 25, 2013

  75. And unfortunately, they have done the same shit in the 3.8 version : Themes get broken… AGAIN.
    I find it offensive for who does themes for GTK3… REALLY offensive.

    It’s sick. They think only for themselves and i have an hard time to call “Gnome” a community project anymore.

    Tbh, i’m sad, really sad.
    I really hope that someday a person would code a little thing that can convert GTK2 themes to GTK3, or that it get forked.
    I know that GTK2 isn’t compatible wayland, so we can’t just fork GTK2 apps before the disaster.
    I really hope GTK3 got forked and GTK3 project stop. (not Gnome 3, but gtk3 here).

    But anyway, I boycott Gnome 3 now, that is said.
    If they somewhat “consider” theme makers, i will be happy to change my position. But right now, it’s just sad and disgusting.

    That’s all.
    In hope someone competent will read it.

    Comment by Topao | April 20, 2013

  76. LXDE will eventually switch to Qt (and there’s already a PCManFM-qt and LXDE and Razor-qt consider merging or collaborating).



    Comment by lionhater | April 26, 2013

  77. I love hearing such things:

    “GNOME3 is no longer supported, as CLDG now features GNOME 2. We’ll not be supporting Gnome in next versions.” http://www.calculate-linux.org/blogs/en/439/show

    Comment by lionhater | April 26, 2013

    • This is indeed good to hear – good for them. They don’t seem to go into reasons, but we can guess. I hope this means GNOME2/MATE will take off as its own fork, especially for GTK2 to continue. Really GNOME3/GTK3 should have been the fork – they killed a good project by stealing its name.

      Comment by IgnorantGuru | April 26, 2013

  78. What I really like to know is how that one-sided, dictatorial and irrational attitude started to grow among the Gnome devs in the first place. Was a person behind it? Or a company that benefits from it? Was it taken deliberately or rather like a contagious disease?

    Comment by Tsu Jan | August 6, 2013

  79. Reblogged this on The Linux Cauldron and commented:
    Interesting diatribe about Gnome development. These are not my opinions.

    Comment by professorkaos64 | August 26, 2013

  80. I’ve just seen this, so apologies for the tardy reply. It expresses my frustration perfectly. What I wanted to know was why GTK3 apps don’t recognise display dpi and font settings. I have spent months trying to get a consistent look & feel across the apps I used to use. For instance, a theme I like is greybird. I get it set up @ 150 dpi with nice bold fonts – easy for me to see. Every GTK2 app works fine. Launch a GTK3 app, ROXTerm or Gedit say, and guess what happens: fonts rendered at 96 dpi with no bold or hinting! They don’t even pick up settings from the GTK3 ini file or from xorg.conf, where I explicity set DPI to 150 x 150 (I use the Nvidia drivers). WTF is that about? Now I know why. The devs are too worried about “corporate image” to care! You took a half-decent desktop in GNOME2 and you completely screwed it up! Get it into your heads: GNOME3 is unusable. It is a half-assed, Android-inspired POS. Unless that changes, I will never use GNOME again.

    Comment by James Bannon | October 3, 2013

  81. It is not unintended. It is *highly intended*. They are cally iTards. And they’re at least partiall mentally ill.

    They *want* to make Linux into another OS X, Firefox into attoher Chrome, and LibreOffice into another MS Office. They even introduced a *Clippy*, for fuck’s sake!! And flat panel design! KDE is not better by the way. I’m writing this from KDE 4.11.7 and the *utterly and completely 100% pointless* Plasma is still so buggy, it *still* can only be called an early beta! Half the time when you drag a “plasmid” in this uttely shitty way, it gets “stuck” and randomly jumps back or all over the place forever!
    But I still use KDE, because it still got *FEATURES*!

    P.S.: I’m writing my own graphical shell. Which will NOT be a “desktop”, NOT be tablet/touch-compatible (in fact it will be openly hostile to tablets), will NOT have all the usual crap, and most of all will NOT have a search tool! But it *will* be fully themable, coloful, animated, beautiful! And *while* being the most powerful computer interface out there, it will still be so reasonable and clean your grandma will prefer it and throw away her iPad!

    Comment by Evi1M4chine | March 22, 2014

  82. I’ve used Linux for 30+ years, used KDE, GNOME, and then came GNOME3…. YUCK!!!! I’ve grown so frustrated with all of ’em, that I’m now using XFCE, and guess what, it works, and I’m please with it… so for now, that’s the desktop that I use….

    Comment by Hubert Samm | April 15, 2014

    • Linux for 30+ years… of course.
      The first version was published in 1991…

      Comment by Reynald | April 7, 2015

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