Raped by Gnome 3

SneWs's picture

Well, yes. It's a sensational headline, but I can't find another way of putting it. Me and a colleague was pair programing, he's running Fedora witch is a great distro, but, it suffers from Gnome 3 and I had to suffer through two days of Gnome 3.

Gnome 3 in short, is a monstrosity that gets in your way all the time, really all the time, and to whomever is in charge for usability and design, please make a career change, cause you're a bad bad designer / interaction designer / usability expert or whatever you call yourself.

Let's start with something that we can all compare to, Gnome 2.x always had sensible defaults, you could use it out of the box without it getting too much in your way. Gnome 3, well, noooo. Just no. It got a UI that pads the padding, wastes important screen real estate for no good reason whatsoever.

It has a new task switcher, the one via ALT+TAB now groups stuff forcing you to use optional commands such as arrows of mouse to toggle between app windows. This just gets in my way, and probably yours as well. It also has some fancy animations or transitions? Or whatever, that takes time and hides information that you need to make an informed decision.

Well, it doesn't stop there, there is a lot of minor stuff that's just forced in there with no good reason. It's like it was with KDE 4 in the early releases, but much much, much, much worse. I just can't see any big goal that they try to get to, as I did with KDE 4. So, good luck with that Gnome 3.

To all of you from me, and me only. If you're going to try out Gnome 3, be prepared for the worst and you might feel a bit better about using it then I do. I will wait for a couple of iterations before I try it out again, and hopefully, they have put someone in charge of steering it out of this horrible mess.

Meanwhile, go with KDE 4 if you're in to fancy UI's, just want the good old fashion productivity? Go with LXDE or XFCE or even Gnome 2.

To anyone that might take offense by this post, you're entitled in doing so, but no matter how much you bitch and moan about it, it wont change my experience. And if you're a Gnome 3 developer, please try to remove whom ever in charge of UI and interaction design.

11 comments

by daithi on Thu, 08/04/2011 - 11:42

Seems like the only specific criticism you've mentioned is that you don't like the Alt+Tab behaviour. You don't need the mouse or arrows to switch between windows. Alt+Tab switches between applications, and Alt+` (directly above the Tab key) switches between windows of the same application.

In any event, if you don't like that, there's an extension you can install to get the behaviour you're used to.

PS: Your CAPTCHAs are really difficult to read!

SneWs's picture

by SneWs on Thu, 08/04/2011 - 21:29

That was the first major deal breaker, but it's more than that, it's the entire "feel" of it. And that they dummy'fied the UI to the extent where it just doesn't make sense or rather feel broken by design. It just feels off, so to say. And it got painful enough so quick that for me spending more time with it won't happen and it won't make it onto any of my machines.

Yes, the CAPTCHA's are really hard to read due to the amount of spam I receive, sorry about that, but on the other hand, only the people that really want to comment seems to endure the difficult CAPTCHA's =)

by gnome_fucker on Mon, 08/22/2011 - 23:44

Fuck Gnome 3. Damn nazis

by Anon187 on Thu, 10/06/2011 - 17:02

Gnome 3 is terribad. Luckily we stopped using Fedora for our servers and desktop distributions last year and moved to CentOS. It's not an issue of change, as we changed distros, it's the fact that trying to make Gnome LOOK like something Apple would come up with doesn't actually make it look, feel, or act that way. The intentions were good, but the execution, not so much...

btw, your captcha is horrible too. The answer you entered for the CAPTCHA was not correct. The answer you entered for the CAPTCHA was not correct. The answer you entered for the CAPTCHA was not correct.

by Sean Lynch on Fri, 11/04/2011 - 21:20

In a more traditional desktop (like gnome 2, xfce, LXDE or even Windows) If I am working on a task I do not have to leave the desktop analogy in order to check something small or start a new application or task. There is usually a small button that will give me a hierarchical view of available tasks (think windows or gnome 2 menu), or a dock of applications like AWN or docky.

With gnome 3 I have to leave the desktop analogy and go into the activities window. The Activities window is kind of a dashboard of ongoing things and entries back to the desktop or to other non-desktop analogies like a workspace switcher or an applications selection list.

These two latter UI's used to be small little functions embedded into the desktop. They have now been promoted to fully windowed applications that have a different mindset and flow that the desktop does. It’s this constant change in workflow and mindset that gnome 3 forces on its users that is causing your feeling of it being somehow 'off' and being disruptive. It seems to be disruptive by intentional design.

Maybe the physical analogy of an actual desktop in an office setting would explain this better...

In gnome 2, if you were working on your desktop and needed a new tool (ie application) you could reach into a desk drawer and pull that tool out and use it. If you needed some more information you could open your file drawer and pull that information out. These activities would be functions of your current desktop and would fit in the 'paradigm' of your desktop. The disruption caused by these functions is minimized by their tight integration. You do not have to shift mental or physical gears to get to them.

In gnome 3, you are working on your desktop and you need a tool. It is not available on your desk. You have to physically leave your desktop and go to the receptionist’s area (Activities). Here in activities you can go to the 'Applications' room and activate the tool you need. You then find yourself whisked back to your desktop and have to get your mind back in the desktop mode. Moving things around workspaces also requires a trip through the activities room to the workspace listing as well.

The constant change in workflow and mental analogy that gnome 3 forces on the user is the cause of your distress and results in the loss of efficiency you experienced.

Getting rid of the 'Activities' screen, bringing back a hierarchical menu accessible from a corner of the desktop (or a dock like interface), and including a workspace switcher as a small desktop add-on would actually go a long way to improving the gnome 3 UI. But the idea of leaving the room to go to the ‘Activities’ world from the ‘desktop’ world is the main destroyer of sanity in gnome 3.

That and returning to more sensible behavior (or at least configurable behavior) for key combos like alt + tab and others.

Thanks for the write up.

by uggs on Tue, 11/22/2011 - 21:30

Proper assignment! It is nice to know this. Thanks for the time and effort. It is well appreciated. More to come.

by Beowulf on Tue, 11/29/2011 - 15:02

Gnome 3 pushes users to switch to Windows.
What a hell was the reason to abandon the perfect Gnome 2 ?

by TaC RoT on Mon, 02/06/2012 - 12:29

god i hate gnome3... Ion McCann wtf? is this an act of linux terrorism?

gnomesu nautilus.... what is that? japanese crossed latin?

by Martin on Wed, 02/08/2012 - 00:35

I for one love using Gnome 3 and I find it to be very innovative, in the whole way you're supposed to use your computer. I use it daily at my university when I take notes on my tablet PC and I even changed my default DE on my desktop to Gnome 3 as well to get a consistent workflow.
I don't think Gnome 3 deserves to be hated against just because somebody doesn't like a new approach to daily use of a computer.
People should shut up about it and accept changes or keep an old version of Fedora or Ubuntu if they have no other way of getting their old Gnome 2 working.
I think it should be accepted that software moves on especially in the world of linux, and this movement can't be stopped because individuals wants it to be "just like it used to be".
Think about it, Gnome 2 was released 2002 for gods sake. For this matter it should be comparable to Windows XP from 2001 and in so very many aspects Gnome 2 is a Windows XP clone, which whether you like it or not, just ain't the case with Gnome 3.
I think Gnome 3 is something unique that has many years of development ahead of it, while Gnome 2 will end like KDE 3, which is the way software works.
Nuff said.

by Dustin on Sat, 02/11/2012 - 18:47

Martin.

You and GNOME can go fuck yourselves.
GNOME3 is a steaming pile of shit.

Enough said.

by alxarch on Sun, 06/03/2012 - 01:21

GNOME 3 is the worst thing that has happened to the "linux desktop" in the last decade. The only user scenario it covers is that of a "casual user". If i wanted a tablet i would go and buy one to play with. It makes any recent distro unusable forcing you to hang on to 3-4yr old versions of software just to have a usable desktop. As someone pointed above it strives to be something Apple would have come up with. Well guess what: it doesn't, and if it did it would again be the unusable crap that Apple products are (without a crap load of customization) for any reasonably demanding user.

Let's just hope the new www bubble bursts soon enough so we exit the dumbing-down mentality of "ribbons", "apps", "clouds", "metros", "iCrap" etc that GNOME was so willing to embrace.

ps1: Unfortunately someone at Canonical thought it was a good idea to follow on GNOME 3 footsteps and rendered ubuntu unusable out of the box by implementing a similar monstrosity.
Thanks for that Mark!

ps2: XFCE unfortunately while trying hard to be a viable alternative to gnome 2 just doesn't cut it in terms of functionality, software integration and robustness.

ps3: I am not against innovation. I don't like it being shoved down my throat in a completely immature state without taking consideration that i as a user actually use the software to do stuff(tm)

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