You may remember some months ago I had posted about the state of graphical interfaces for Linux, and my thoughts on Ubuntu 11.x and Gnome 3.
I had commented that I did not like the way Ubuntu was going with its Unity interface, nor was I happy at all with Gnome 3’s interface. In that post I had explained that I had ultimately decided to go with Xubuntu, which is the latest Ubuntu mixed with the XFCE desktop.
It would seem that Linus Torvalds has also decided to adopt XFCE, and has urged Gnome to fork itself to bring back the Gnome 2 interface, just as I had said in my previous post.
Apparently there’s a vigorous discussion going on about it, in which Linus is participating. Below are some excerpts from the original Google+ thread (linked here):
From one message Linus says: “While you are at it, could you also fork gnome, and support a gnome-2 environment? I want my sane interfaces back. I have yet to meet anybody who likes the unholy mess that is gnome-3.”
From another post Linus says: “it’s not that I have rendering problems with gnome3 (although I do have those too), it’s that the user experience of Gnome3 even without rendering problems is unacceptable.
Why can’t I have shortcuts on my desktop? Why can’t I have the expose functionality? Wobbly windows? Why does anybody sane think that it’s a good idea to have that “go to the crazy ‘activities’” menu mode?
I used to be upset when gnome developers decided it was “too complicated” for the user to remap some mouse buttons. In gnome3, the developers have apparently decided that it’s “too complicated” to actually do real work on your desktop, and have decided to make it really annoying to do.
Here’s an example of “the crazy”: you want a new terminal window. So you go to “activities” and press the “terminal” thing that you’ve made part of your normal desktop thing (but why can’t I just have it on the desktop, instead of in that insane “activities” mode?). What happens? Nothing. It brings your existing terminal to the forefront.
That’s just crazy crap. Now I need to use Shift-Control-N in an old terminal to bring up a new one. Yeah, that’s a real user experience improvement. Sure.
I’m sure there are other ways, but that’s just an example of the kind of “head up the arse” behavior of gnome3. Seriously. I have been asking other developers about gnome3, they all think it’s crazy.
I’m using Xfce. I think it’s a step down from gnome2, but it’s a huge step up from gnome3. Really.”
In my previous post about graphical interfaces I had also thought that XFCE was a step down from Gnome 2, but leaps & bounds better than Gnome 3 or Ubuntu’s Unity interface (which are remarkably similar). Apparently many others in the thread have adopted XFCE as well.
Here’s hoping the folks over at Gnome are listening (indeed, listening to Linus himself!) and give us back the Gnome 2 interface. If they love Gnome 3 so much, let them keep it — but at least offer the rest of us who don’t care for it the option to use the Gnome 2 interface again.