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frugal technology, simple living and guerrilla large-appliance repair
Sat, 11 Aug 2012

Did KDE get as much grief in the 4.x transition as GNOME is getting for 3.x?

It wasn't all that long ago that the KDE desktop environment made a major leap from version 3 to 4, leaving a lot of the old functionality behind without having the new polished enough to keep users happy.

And now GNOME has thrown out its own version 2 bathwater for a new GNOME 3/Shell desktop paradigm in which the window manager is radically different but the critical "furniture" of the environment in the form of applications such as Gedit, NetworkManager, GDM, etc., remain largely the same.

It's going to get worse before it gets better. GNOME is about to pour extra fuel on this particular fire as a very important piece of that furniture -- the Nautilus file manager -- is about to undergo a "dumbing down" to make it more touchscreen/mobile friendly, even though GNOME doesn't appear to run on any mobile or touchscreen devices at this particular point in time.

So do you think GNOME is taking an especially hard pounding for the changes in version 3? Do you think KDE was criticized as much, or more? Did KDE finally acquit itself with later versions in the 4.x series? (I know they never managed to get their office suite back on track.)

And will this all blow over for GNOME, or will the Linux community (and what's left of the BSD-running GNOME community) leave it for dead?

(There's irony; I'm writing this post directly to the web server over sftp entirely in GNOME 3 using Nautilus and Gedit. I've been running Xfce 4.8 quite a bit, but I'm getting more comfortable with GNOME Shell all the time.)