Is GNOME “Staring into a abyss?”

GNOME 3.4
GNOME 3.x is losing supporters and developers.

Benjamin Otte, a heading GNOME developer thinks GNOME, once a renouned Linux/Unix desktop yet now some-more mostly used as a substructure for other desktop interfaces, is “staring into a abyss.

I can’t disagree with him. we consider GNOME mislaid a approach when it motionless to pierce from a glorious 2.x recover array to a hardly serviceable GNOME 3.x line in 2009. Like many Linux users, I desired GNOME 2.x and hated GNOME 3.x. I’m distant from a usually one who disliked GNOME 3.x that strongly. Linus Torvalds, Linux’s father, would like to see GNOME forked and a stream GNOME 3.x buried.

It’s not like this was tough to predict. When GNOME initial announced that it was going to take a really opposite instruction with GNOME 3, many GNOME supporters doubted this path’s wisdom. By Oct 2010, Mark Shuttleworth, owner of Canonical, Ubuntu‘s  primogenitor association motionless to create another Linux desktop, Unity, instead of regulating a GNOME 3.x shell. While Ubuntu Unity has it critics, GNOME 3.x has mislaid many, indeed substantially most, of a users.

By Jul 2012, of all a vital Linux distributors usually Fedora stays a indifferent GNOME 3.x supporter. There’s a reason for that: Otte states that GNOME is a Red Hat project.

GNOME 3.4 with Fedora 17 Picture Gallery

“If we demeanour during a Ohloh statistics again and omit a 3 people operative roughly exclusively on Gstreamer [an open-source multimedia framework] and a 2 operative on translations, we get 10 Red Hat employees and 5 others. (The 2nd page looks like 6 Red Hat employees contra 8 others with 6 translators/documenters.) This gives a GNOME plan radically a train cause of 1.”

Bus factor? It’s engineering/developer jargon for how many people would need to be strike by a train before a plan would be dead. The reduce a number, a some-more expected it is that a plan is too frail and could simply die. In other words, if Red Hat ever motionless that GNOME wasn’t value investing in, a plan would be passed in a water. You can see because Otte thinks this when he also celebrated that core developers are withdrawal and that GNOME is understaffed.

What’s some-more critical yet is that “GNOME has no goals. we initial beheld this in 2005 when Jeff Waugh gave his 10×10 talk. Back then, a GNOME plan had radically achieved what it set out to do: a operative Free desktop environment. Since then, nobody has managed to set new goals for a project. In fact, these days GNOME describes itself as a “community that creates good software”, that is as prosy as we can get for program development.” He’s right. That’s not accurately inspiring.

Otte is also painfully wakeful that:

  • Distros are dropping GNOME for other environments instead of operative with GNOME.
  • Previous supporters of GNOME are scaling behind their impasse or have already forsaken GNOME completely.
  • Most critical desktop applications have not finished a switch to GNOME 3. From articulate to them, it’s not a priority for many of them.
  • The claimed aim users for GNOME are withdrawal desktop computers behind for forms of inclination GNOME doesn’t work on.

And, that even people inside a GNOME village feel like they’re not even being given a possibility to contend anything about GNOME changes, never mind being heard.

Still, as joyless as Otte’s take is, others indicate out that “GNOME is also about most some-more than a desktop sourroundings program that constitutes a project’s hallmark product. The group creates an array of associated applications, like a Evolution email customer and Banshee media player, for that direct will expected sojourn consistent even if some-more users pierce divided from a GNOME bombard interface. Don’t pattern a plan to penetrate into obsolescence anytime soon.”

In addition, several of a desktop interfaces that have been replacing pristine GNOME, such as Ubuntu and Mint’s Cinnamon are formed on GNOME. Meanwhile, during a annual GNOME developer meeting, GNOME developers Xan López and Juan José Sánchez still have large dreams for GNOME. They introduce releasing GNOME 4.0 in Mar 2014 and have set a aim of 20% marketplace share for a desktop by 2020.

Sorry guys, that’s not going to happen.

While we wouldn’t call a GNOME programmer get-together, as Otte does, a “self-congratulating relate chamber,” we also can’t see GNOME in and of itself apropos critical to a Linux desktop again. GNOME is going to stay important, yet it’s no longer going to be heading a approach on a Linux desktop. GNOME’s day as a personality is done.

Related Stories:

Fedora 17 GNOME 3.4: Return to a useful Linux desktop (Review)

Linus Torvalds finds GNOME 3.4 to be a “total user knowledge pattern failure”

New Desktop Interface Flops

Linux Mint’s Cinnamon: A GNOME 3.x bombard fork

Linus Torvalds would like to see a GNOME fork

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