The problem of GNOME3 is not the GNOME Shell


Please don't take the following explanation as attack on you or your
work. What I want is helping you and GNOME!

The problem of GNOME3 is not the GNOME Shell, it is the constant removal
of features. To make this even more worse, the developers don't
communicate their plans and didn't react on well meant critic. Instead
the developers believe that the bloggers, the press or the users just
hate new things like the GNOME Shell[1].

GNOME 3.0 introduced a complete new user-interface and also some things
did't get ported from GNOME2. This is usual for major change and it is
also ususal that some users have problems with the new user-interface,
while others appreciated it.
The problem is that everyone expected that during the subsequent release
of 3.2, 3.4 and so on the missing parts get added. This happend for
GNOME2 and this happend with KDE4. But it didn't happend for GNOME3!

During the last releases important and loved features and options get
removed from GNOME, instead of added. And GNOME doesn't offer a big number
both, following it's own tradition. And this is still the case with
latest release of GNOME.

I thought about writing "this kind of mail" to mailing-list about a long
time now. The final reason was the removal of transparency from
gnome-terminal. Moreover the reaction of the developer itself[2]. Every
terminal offers nowadays real transparency, thanks to AIGLX and much of
hard work during the last decaded. Transparency is nice and also usefull.

I don't want attack this developer. I can just apologize that it hits him
(there are others)! I will send, in addition to this mail, a second mail
with a bunch of examples of what went wrong with GNOME3 and can made be
better. I decided to split this up, to focus on only on the general
problem and
possible solutions within this mail.
The second mail, with the examples, is build up on my personl opinions. In
the past other users thought in the same way, so I assume not to be alone.

Thank you for your patience and reading this. I want share my insights
with you and not tell you what you have to do. You have more time?
Please read on.

* GNOME3 doesn't offer sane, well-known and loved features or removed
* Sometimes GNOME3 offers the desired feature, but it is hidden in dconf
and not much tested
* GNOME doesn't offer the users a clear plan what is considered for the
next release. There are mostly some blog posts about added, changed or
removed feature shortly before a final release. If this blog posts
launch a discussion, the developers can't or wouldn't accept others
ideas (it is natural do defend your work, especially after you put much
time in it).
* It is hard, nearly impossible, to change the mind of a developer via
* GNOME3 doesn't offer a stable environment for users and other

Solutions (Possible?):
* Every missing feature or option distract users, add important features
and make options easily available. Some people argue that "options" can
be overwhelming. That is valid, especially at the first contact.
Options, which are needed by advanced-users, should be placed under the
"Advanced-Menu". And a nice "Default-Button" can clean up even the worst
* Communicate clearly what you want to change and ask your users what
they want. Do this early in development and regulary! Clean up your wiki
and make the information publicy available. Provide an official forum
(not unofficial) where users can get in touch (mailing-lists, irc or
bugzilla are not the place). Start your own surveys instead of letting
do this others! Use for showing your current ideas and work.
* Hear on your users! They want help you and most of them are
power-users with experience! Yep, power-users! This people regulary tell
the broad audience what is good or bad and support them.
* Instead of radically change existing things, why not fork the current
and offer it as alternative? Your alternative can become more mature and
may replace the old thing. It is better than split developers over
oppossing forks which doesn't work together, because everyone feels
* Stability:
From the view-point of end-users addiditons or even sane changes are
okay, but removal of featueres is a not okay. In chase of companies and
public authorities this is a nogo criteria.

From the view-point of developers it is necessary to give them the
reason to trust in the environment of GNOME and GTK. They put much time,
work, and even money, in writing applications! This requires up to date
documentation and a stable API. The gtkmm-book is still at version
3.4[3] and the APIs for extensions[4] and theming[5] are not stable.

Define terse and clearly what direction GNOME takes: Laptop, Desktop,
Tablets and so on.


The End:

The dash, the overview, the efficient keyboard usage and the clean
notification-area with the seperation from the message-tray are just a
great approach. GTK3 looks awesome within GNOME3! It was brave to give
up the old concept of an "Desktop" and replace it. And it was the right



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