Note: you are currently viewing my old website. My new website is here.

GNOME 3 — Just the beginning, maybe

Over a year ago, I wrote a post entitled “GNOME 3 — This is the end, maybe”. My post was a response to a post on Dedoimedo entitled “Gnome 3 — This is the end, it seems”, where I basically agreed with the Dedoimedo summary:

Totally counterintuitive, inefficient, not really productive, the lack of panels and right-click functionality is a sore, annoying loss. Power users will find the polished, rounded looks nothing more than a costly distraction to their work.

Now, as a self-confessed flip-flopper, I am executing my right to change my mind (feel free to read as an admission to being totally wrong).

I now believe that GNOME 3 is the complete opposite of “counterintuitive, inefficient, not really productive” and I am finally beginning to see that it has huge potential. I have been playing around with it on Debian Sid for the past week and I have really enjoyed the experience. In fact, I have enjoyed it so much, I now have it running on a couple of machines.

Sometimes, it feels good when you realise you were wrong, very wrong.

Tagged with: debian, gnome, gnome-shell, linux

10 responses to “GNOME 3 — Just the beginning, maybe”

  • Juanjo Juanjo on,
    Sep 12, 2012 (about 1 year ago)

    Wait and see. I had the same feeling, after thinking that Gnome 3 wasn’t for me, I found it was not that bad.

    To be honest… it is as bad as it seems. I mean, you can get used to some new things, but other things are absolutely broken (funnily some of the stuff they said it wasn’t broken now is being fixed, there’s hope after all).

    I understand that it’s difficult to innovate and at the same time maintain all the stuff you’ve been developing for a long time, but it’s very frustrating when you NEED to do something that you’ve done several times with Gnome 2 and… suddenly you can’t do it any more. And better you don’t look for the motivation behind that change because it can be the most unexpected BS ever.

    The fun part is that each new version means you must start playing the same game again, because someone though that your work flow is wrong and now a tiny part of your desktop needs to work in a slightly different way and when you don’t understand the change… you’re a “Gnome hater” :(

    Sorry about that!

  • x1101 x1101 on,
    Sep 12, 2012 (about 1 year ago)

    Phil, I’ve been using Gnome3 on both my work computer (running Fedora) and my home desktop (Arch) and I find it wonderful. There was certainly a learning curve, but now I’ve found how to do almost all the things I did before, and some of them in much simpler ways. The real power of Gnome3 is its css/js interface. This means, anything that isn’t how you like it, can be changed very simply.

    Just my feelings.

  • corenominal corenominal on,
    Sep 12, 2012 (about 1 year ago)

    @Juanjo, I guess a lot of people (including myself) can be slightly wary of change, even more so when the reasons for said change are not fully explained. Anyhow, personally, I have found that I can sometimes be a little slow on the uptake, especially when it comes to adopting new desktop paradigms. Funny thing is, I take to new phone interfaces without hesitation.

    @x1101, I’m interested to know at what point in the development of GNOME 3 you made the switch. Was it very early, or did it happen later with 3.2 or 3.4?

  • VastOne VastOne on,
    Sep 12, 2012 (about 1 year ago)

    Hmmm… a SID, GNOME3 and debian mix … Sounds like a really good reason for an iso build .. :)

    Seriously, what compels someone to rebuild everything and learn something totally knew just to do the same things? I can see this if there was a benefit of less resources used, but the overhead to build GNOME3 in dependencies, MiB and CPU usage makes that switch a painful one.

    x1101 spoke of the power of the css/js interface but what does that bring to me, the average joe user?

  • corenominal corenominal on,
    Sep 12, 2012 (about 1 year ago)

    @VastOne, interestingly, or not, I was concerned about how resource intensive a GNOME environment might be, especially after using Openbox, but to be honest, I think my concerns were unwarranted. So far, it has been flying on both the systems I have installed it on. I am now thinking about trying on my Eee PC 1000, just to see how well it performs. If I do, I will report back with my findings.

  • VastOne VastOne on,
    Sep 12, 2012 (about 1 year ago)


    What is the basic build you are using for gnome3? The meta package only?

    I will load it up on one of my builds and take a look at it as well.


  • corenominal corenominal on,
    Sep 12, 2012 (about 1 year ago)

    @VastOne, I started by performing a netinstall of Squeeze, but when tasksel prompts for packages, I deselect everything apart from ‘Standard system’. Once installed, upgrade to Sid in the usual fashion. Then I installed the following:

    gdm3 gnome-shell gnome-disk-utility gnome-activity-journal zeitgeist gnome-screensaver gnome-shell-extensions gedit gedit-plugins nautilus-open-terminal gnome-terminal openssh-server seahorse gnome-tweak-tool network-manager network-manager-gnome xdg-utils xdg-user-dirs gvfs-bin avahi-daemon avahi-ui-utils file-roller

    The above gives me pretty much what I need to get started. I normally try to avoid meta packages, if I can.

  • jotapesse jotapesse on,
    Sep 12, 2012 (about 1 year ago)

    “I normally try to avoid meta packages, if I can.” Why may I ask, corenominal?

    Regarding Gnome3, on the small test I made I really didn’t appreciate the functional way of doing things, although the aesthetics were gorgeous. But I’m not up to par with the current updates/changes.

    I would very much like to know the performance you get from an Intel Atom machine (like your EeePC 1000) as I work with 2 of them (EeePC 1000H and an EeeBoxPC 1501P) with Xfce 4.10 (with window composition enabled) wonderfully. I don’t expect Gnome3 to work satisfactorily… am I wrong?

  • corenominal corenominal on,
    Sep 13, 2012 (about 1 year ago)

    @jotapesse, to be honest, I am not too sure where my aversion to (other people’s) meta packages comes from. I guess I look on meta packages as a personal thing, to be used like a list of favourite applications etc. I should probably work at getting over this.

    When I get time, I will definitely attempt an install on my Eee PC.

  • istok istok on,
    Sep 14, 2012 (about 1 year ago)

    i think you’re wonderful. i think we all do this, miserable flip-flopping that is, only the rest of us are too embarrassed to admit it. i, for instance, was a vocal critic of KDE having only used it for a very short amount of time. however: some months back i discovered KDE properly, in all its glory, and i’m one of those “fan” things now :) it’s a hugely incredible and equally embarrassing metamorphosis :) it would help if you’d say what changed your mind about the shell, though. and i hope you will readily post about it when you start hating GS again :p

Add your comment

Use the form below to add your comment. Markdown syntax is available. Note, all comments are moderated.