Gnome controversy

Hey guys! So I’ve been hearing some controversy with gnome 40 and 41. I don’t fully know understand but it sounded like they are making it harder for distos to do what they want? I may be way off but curious what the community thinks? Will this effect Zorin enough to change DE?


I wonder how much longer Gnome will hang out. I hear that Wayland will replace it. But then again, that story has been in the rumor mills for well over a decade.

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Yes, @Aravisian was the one who brought that to our attention. And its possibly the very reason why the Zorin brother's didn't go with Gnome 40, as its certainly been out long enough if they wanted to use it.

According to Aravisian, Gnome it as it again, locking down more features in Gnome 40, more of that, we make the choice for you, Microsoft style kind of thing. And also according to Aravisian, Gnome is further breaking themes in Gnome 40.

Basically, it sounds like to me that Gnome 40 is just one giant mess in a stale bag of potato chips. You will have to wait for him to come in here and chime in with the dirty details. lol


Good to know. I know Ubuntu is on 40 now with the new release along with wayland. I just hope Zorin can maintain its layout and use and evolve more naturally. That’s why I picked it so I can easily change my work flow with a click as I have commit issues with that lol.

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Gnome has sought to break theming for many years. Initially, they did so by changing gtk with each and every point release breaking themes, which caused themers to have to correct their themes for every Gnome Point Release. This alone drove many themers out. Horst, KillHelloKittty and so many others vanished by the wayside, fed up at having to incessantly unbreak their themes for no valid reason. @StarTreker has personally experienced just how upsetting and damaging a broken theme can be and how it can scare you at first sight. This behavior by Gnome was massively damaging to many themers reputations; as users were misled by Gnomes breakage to think that the themers were at fault for the themes breaking between point releases each few months. Or worse, many thought themers were incorporating viruses (They Were NOT).
Eventually, the stakeholders for Gnome made Gnome sign a pledge to stop breaking themes, which took effect as of gtk 3.20 (and this is why gtk themes all work the same from gtk 3.20 and up). Gnome has hmmm... more or less honored that...

LibAdwaita is a new attempt by Gnome introduced in Gnome40 (GTK4) that goes about it in a different way. It locks in all system theming to be governed by LibAdwaita, defaulting only to Gnome Supplied Themes.
If you want to use a custom theme or any other theme that suits your needs, matches your appearance or deviates from Gnome, you must seek out Gnomes permission to use your theme and have Gnome sign an Exception for it in LibAdwaita in much the same manner as having packages signed for Secure Boot on Microsoft. All Gnome needs to do is set the request aside and be "too busy" to sign the exception, claim they never received the request or that ti did not qualify for an exception. This is unbounded and unspecified as to exactly how someone is granted an exception for Gnome to permit a different from Gnome theme to be used.

Does that sound like FOSS to you?
Does that sound like the Linux you know?
Even Microsoft has not gone to such extremes on Windows.

This is unsurprising as Gnome Developers have expressed a desire to pull out of the Gnu Licensing agreement as they find it "inhibits their pursuit of their 'vision.'"
If Free Open Source inhibits a Linux Developers Vision; this raises some very hard questions about that "vision".

In addition to this, Gnomes GTK4 directly removes all support for a very large number of features that other desktop environments rely on and use. This is quite important.
Gnome has continuously removed large chunks of functionality and tool access, reducing user control. Much of this is restored in the code by independently made Gnome-Extensions which are not made by Gnome, but by users like you and me that cover for Gnome by restoring that functionality that Gnome removes.
Zorin OS 16 makes very heavy use of Gnome extensions to make Zorin OS Core usable and full-featured, rich with user controls.
Other Desktop Environments also extend the gnome base, using the provided GTK3 to patch in the features that Gnome removes.
GTK4 halts this, by removing that code from the toolkit entirely.
We can no longer use many of the facets of extensions or patch in the features from the toolkit as there is no longer anything in the gtk4 toolkit to call upon.
This undercuts the very basis of what differentiates other desktop Environments from Gnome, rendering them nearly redundant and pointless competition to Gnome, thereby setting Gnome On Top through sneaky undercutting.

Gnome validates this behavior by positing that other desktops do not align themselves with Gnomes "vision", thereby necessitating the need for Gnome to secure itself. This is akin to an abusive spouse saying that he beats his wife because she makes him hit her.

These are very real and direct actions that affect us all.

I am outspoken, often, because of the anti-FOSS behavior and unsettling direction Gnome is forcing us all into. The use of Force on users is the very antithesis of what FOSS and Linux are all about.
It's totally fine if users enjoy what Gnome has to offer as a Desktop, but that Gnome directly seeks to force itself upon us ALL truly must be met with the utmost resistance.
For many of us, we migrated away from Proprietary behavior for a reason and to have Gnome climbing that ladder and asserting it in Linux destroys what many of us hoped to achieve in leaving Proprietary systems.

Who Defends Liberty when those who live under it care not to?


If the Zorin team decide to permanently leave Gnome in the future, and switch over to XFCE only, or maybe have choices like KDE alongside or whatever, I am all for it. I mean, the Gnome that we got now is ok, cause like Aravisian said, we can use extensions to restore most of the functionality that we need.

But Gnome 40 will not be able to be patched because of the changes that they made. It means that Gnome version 3.38 that were all using, is pretty much the end of Gnome for most of us I think. Its really sad to see what Gnome is doing.

I think we know that GREED is the biggest thing that motivates it. How Gnome is make that money I don't know. But I agree with Aravisian, this is most certainly against FOSS. We should have sanctions put on them.


Linux only holds a small percentage of the market and Gnome only holds a percentage of that. Kill out competition, by any means necessary.

Gnome knows what Apple and Microsoft knows: That people don't care; they will keep using a product, no matter how damaging it is.
E-waste and environmental destruction - climate change. Exploitation of labor. Child Labor. We know about it. It is reported on. People don't care; they want what iPhone does for them. Self is all that matters.
Facebook. Google. Apple. Microsoft. Gnome knows it can be on Top no matter what bad things they do. People are too self-absorbed to care about the damages to others. Some just ignore the problems. Others make excuses and some outright deny the existence of the problems. But whatever validation the average person uses, the result is the same: Most people do validate it and keep on using the product.

And many just see "Bigger Number on Gnome" and assume that it must be good without reading the Warning labels.

The proper business ethic is to promote a better product and not to damage the competitions toolkit. What Gnome is doing is like letting the air out of the tires of the competing race car.

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By the way, Wayland is not a part of Gnome, Gnome just supports it. Wayland is a suggested replacement for X-window Management (display server protocol) that has currently spent well over a decade in development and still does not work.

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You know, its not often that we have Azorin or Zorink speak on the forum, and when we do, its usually to answer a support question that is on the developer level.

But I strongly feel that this is important enough to get the developers take on this. I am sure Azorin and Zorink have discussed it with each other, there is no way that they haven't.

But I'd appreciate if they discussed it on the forum, let us know their opinions on the matter, but most of all, I'd like to know which direction they are going to indeed go on this, thats what I am curious about.

Will Zorin's keep using Gnome DE in future distro versions, or, will the Zorins be leaving Gnome behind? @AZorin @zorink If you both can find the time, I would really appreciate it if you could answer us on that question?

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I would like to see this as well. Sometimes the lack of information from the developers, be it the release date for Z LITE, or just the Gnome controversy can be frustrating. Sometimes I feel that we are all left to speculate and twisting in the wind about some of these things. :confused:

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Ya I agree. I really like zorin and want to continue supporting it so I want to know there is some plan on how to continue the experience they created in Zorin 17 and beyond.

Also thanks for all the info guys! I got into Linux this year training for the CompTIA a+ so I’m just absorbing as much as I can lol

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