I was merely sharing my opinion. You don't have to agree with me. If you do, great. If not that's fine too. My whole point (and the title of this thread) is schism. In my humble opinion, the fragmented nature of the Linux desktop is it's greatest weakness. Under the hood, everyone seems to be on the same page, and right now is the best time ever for Linux in that regard. Hardware support is better than it's ever been and the kernel is fast, stable and robust, supporting a mass amount of technology with minimal overhead. But all the good vibrations end once you fire up the X server. The freedom to do with the software as you please is both Linux' greatest strength as well as it's greatest hurdle, and is illustrated ever so abundantly clearly by the sheer number of ways you can choose to paint applications on the screen. Where does one start?
I am a Gnome fan, and have been since I was first introduced to Linux and Ubuntu in 2007. In my opinion -- and it is just that; mine and just an opinion -- that the Gnome community would benefit far more from a singular cohesive development front instead of the mass dissemination of redundant or conflicting design paradigms that we have today.
All I really want out of Gnome is a fallback session that is fully modern and GTK3 compliant, but not lacking in features and customizability that was previously a part of Gnome 2. I want it to come from upstream Gnome so that I don't have to worry about the devs behind the particular offshoot I'm using this week deciding to abandon the project, or new updates from upstream conflicting with what I have, as can often be the case with MATE, Cinnamon, and Consort. I understand that no one should have expected Gnome 3 to be feature complete upon release. And it certainly has improved vastly since it was released, but I feel that the rate of improvement in terms of bug-squashing, improving system stability and performance and reintroduction of previously available features (like being able to EASILY change GTK, Metacity, Icon and Cursor themes without the aid of third party software) would be exponentially accelerated if developers who are currently off on tangents would instead contribute their efforts to Gnome upstream.
Obviously, it's free software and the devs are for the most part volunteers so they can program when, how and what they like. And that's fine.
I guess what I am really trying to say is that Gnome 2 wasn't broken, so why did they fix it? Ever since the removal of Gnome 2, I've spent every day fighting with my computer trying to get back the efficiency of the work flow I already had. And I know I'm not the only one.
However, Linux's fragmentation is also, ironically, its strongest point —- people are fitting Linux into everything from wristwatches to cars to 3D printers to the Raspberry Pi to space rockets. Try doing that with Windows! The fragmentation allowed Android and Chrome OS to arise.
The multiple distributions are also a strong point, because they allow people to have such fun (follow any of the monthly screenshots — February's one — for a tiny sample). But, agreeing with you, they are also a weak point wherever effort is duplicated.
So, yes and no.
I am still very hopeful and looking forward to the future of Gnome 3. When KDE4 came out, everyone universally hated it! KDE now is great! The only reason I don't use it is because Kwin runs terribly on the open source Radeon drivers for the x1250 graphics card on my laptop. Kubuntu FTW on my desktop w/ a GeForce graphics card though!
Eventually Gnome 3 will be every bit as awesome as Gnome 2 was, hopefully even more awesome in new and innovative ways. But as for now, Gnome 3 is going through some growing pains with the lack of customizability and stability issues. And all the forks of Gnome 3 hopefully will contribute back upstream and we'll all benefit from them in the end.
Sadly we are no longer in an age where utility defines the lifespan of a product or tool.Innovation is not just a possibility, these days. It's an obligation.
I have Scientific on a partition, which of course still uses Gnome 2, and it's great but it also feels old and makes me think of Volvos and Jeremy Clarkson.
However, I don't think Linux is really that fragmented. Most users are on a form of Ubuntu or a form of Debian. If your work involves enterprise servers or mainframes, then Fedora, CentOS, OpenSUSE are worth a look. But that's it, really. Arch, Gentoo and Slackware are for people who want to get their hands dirty and tinker and that's fine but they're niche interests. Everything else is just a variant and most people are running Xfce, KDE or Gnome (or variant).
Personally, I think Xubuntu should have ambiance and radiance themes so users who prefer the classic look and/or have older hardware can still feel like they're running Ubuntu. Like Mint does with its Xfce edition.
Last edited by iamkuriouspurpleoranj; February 1st, 2013 at 11:16 PM. Reason: Formatting was lost before
I think I've made it clear in the past that I agree with you in the main about concentrating effort. I don't personally care for Gnome 2, but it is no bad thing to have a continuation of it. Five or six versions is entirely another matter, to my mind.
I would say, however, that I am a little less definite about some of your points. Saying "Period" to elements you don't like will probably just upset someone else.
Finally, isn't this sort of standardisation something that Gnome 3 (and perhaps Unity) is trying to achieve/impose (delete as per your opinion)? ie. by saying this is the standard, we don't want the "brand" to be diluted by allowing too much deviation? Granted, not in the direction you are looking for, but definitely aiming in one direction.
The lesson of that story for me is the "one size fits all" approach doesn't always make sense. Once it was decided 10.04 was going to be an LTS release, it put a lot of pressure on developers of other Ubuntu flavors to release a distro that would be supportable into the future. If we let the developers of the various alternative flavors decide on their own which releases should be LTS for them, given the pace of development of their DE, we might have avoided the problems that Kubuntu 10.04 created. Then we might have seen Ubuntu 10.04 LTS but Kubuntu 10.10 LTS.
I don't want to see Gnome 3 diluted by being forked into countless side projects without any real direction. I also don't want to see Gnome pigeon-holed into a way of doing things that doesn't work for me (Shell or Unity for example). Gnome 2 was massively flexible and could be configured practically any way you wanted it. Instead of having to choose one offshoot of Gnome over another in order to take advantage of some particular feature that one has that others don't, I'd rather see all of the development concentrated on improving the singular gnome desktop.
I suppose what you're saying is that rather than Gnome 3, Cinnamon, Unity etc. we should have a highly configurable Gnome 3 that could be any of those three or something else entirely.
However, there's a reason why Macs are more popular than PCs running Arch with KDE. The average person in the street wants quality not choice.
If you went up to a man or woman and the woman in the street and gave him or her the possibly to be married to Penelope Cruz/Sophie Marceau or George Clooney/Harrison Ford on the sole condition that they'd have to do exactly what they were told, they'd most likely jump at the chance.
The Debian installer is confusing to new users, not because it's particularly difficult but because it asks questions to which they don't yet have answers.