GNOME trialling split-pane view in 45

I know some of you hate GNOME but...

I think this makes the file manager look more like Mac's Finder, but what do you think?

I look at this and with a little bit of a practiced eye, I see certain problems.

One of the tenets of FOSS is, do one thing and do it well.
If it ain't broke, don't fix it until it is.
This change breaks certain things. Which... can be totally fine if there is a good, strong and valid reason for the change. So the first question is:

Is there a good, strong and valid reason for this change?

I would need to hear directly from the Gnome Devs what their reasoning is in this. But looking at it head on, we immediately see that the titlebar/headerbar class is either divided in two, separated, or nonexistant on the left header portion of the window. It appears as though the sidebar class extends to the top, cutting off the headerbar.
This will have a profound effect on many applications and how they function. And it will affect styling quite heavily.
This is harder to theme, since the header no longer covers the distance. Making a theme for it is not too difficult if you adhere to Gnomes desire for Flat Monochromatic styling, but anything beyond that becomes a major issue. It stifles and suppresses any individualism.
Now, we already know, over many years of Gnome Saying So and from LibAdwaita that Gnome disapproves of Linux users showing individuality and self expression with things like
Themes and Theming
Desktop Icons
Organized and differentiated widgets that allow for efficient workflow
Disability accessibility for the sight impaired. Gnome wishes to transition from Desktop Computer Workbenches to "Mobile-Styled" workbenches. Again, Gnome has specifically said this is their desire.

And the described change most certainly fits with that desire.

But I cannot fathom how it might fit with any other Workbench or workflow desire. In that regard, it is superfluous, unnecessary, creates new problems needlessly and force-fits the users into Gnomes Desired outcome and mold.

Does it improve ergonomics or visibility? No. It simply moves one thing from one location where users are accustomed to seeing it to the other side of that location, while simultaneously reclassifying that location for no reason.

Except... that there is a reason: To make us all Gnomies.
Not to help us. Not to make our computer experience better. But to allow them more control and make their experience as developers better, at our expense.


Gnome may hate being customized by users and distros as a free ride. However, Gnome is also built on a foundation of such FOSS contributions.

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They may have been built on it, but they sure want to scamper away from it.
To the tune that some Gnome Devs voiced that they need to move away from the Open License and move toward Proprietary due to the Gnu Public License "limiting their Vision for Gnome."

"In a recent posting from Philip Van Hoof, he suggests that GNOME split off from the GNU Project and has proposed a vote. He was informed he will need 10% of members to agree for a vote to be put forth. At the same time, David Schlesinger (on the GNOME Advisory Board) has agreed on a vote. Stormy Peters said she doesn't agree with this, but then gave everyone instructions on how to proceed with a vote. She mentioned that roughly 20 members are needed to agree."


I agree with the issues regarding themes and styling, this will create a clear disparity between Nautilus and other programs since those won't have their header bar split into two.

The current sidebar already has more than enough room to accommodate every single link by default, and more, so this change is also unnecessary. It provides no new functionality either, and moving the download indicator to the left corner is just a lame excuse.

This is change for the sake of change, not out of necessity, improvement or even experimentation. I definitely don't like where Gnome's is going with this, but for better or worse remains the better desktop environment for my needs at this time. I can't wait for Cosmic desktop to finally be released, and I hope KDE, Cinnamon and XFCE step up their game to contest Gnome's dominant position.


If that does happen, then I'll probably go to something like Budgie or KDE. I CANNOT believe they're thinking about moving to proprietary licenses.

I do not believe it will happen. But just that some voiced a desire to do so really shows the mindset Tobias Bernard and van Hoof and others have toward the project in modern times.

But this is from 2009 and Gnome remains an open source project, despite not being managed by GNU anymore. It looked like a disagreement over licenses when recommending solutions on Gnome's website or something, which is not surprising given how sensitive protective GNU can be regarding free software.
I don't think Gnome will become closed source, even with RedHat pushing for it, there are many other community and enterprise projects that also contribute to it.

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I... wouldn't word it this way. Sensitive - or protective of fundamental freedoms?
Here is a slightly aged, but still good and valid resource to read up on:

Yes, that sounds like a much better term to use here in this context.

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By the time I moved over to Linux (Which was not very long ago), the terms between Open Source and Gnu Free Software were already pretty blurred. We now often refer to FOSS: Free Open Source Software; a blending of the two ideologies.

The important distinction is that in Open Source; the source can be open, but components Non-Free. Non-Free means that you can read the source openly, but not copy, modify and distribute.
It is not Free (Freedom) and this is a very important difference.

How this relates to our current topic is just as important; as well as confusing.

Because the really sticky trouble here is that the Gnome Devs were feeling like a bit of non-free (Which we currently can look at LibAdwaita with some very critical eyes with though it technically remains "free") nature would help them to preserve Gnome as a Brand Image, not whether Gnome would improve the GnuLinux Environment.
Ok, fine... right? They have their opinions and desires... Except...

Bernard uses the very clear and direct argument that Gnome should remove features and restrict user behavior on the desktop since users can or even should contribute to Gnome in order to affect change.
Wait... but... how can users contribute to non-free portions? This rather glaring contradiction is, rather amazingly, followed up on in that very same blog post in which he refers to Gnome Extensions as a "niche" thing; Contradicting what he used as his excuse right before it.
When independent developers contribute- the contributions are rejected. The independent developers then contribute via extensions - and that is then labeled as "niche" and dying on the vine (It really isn't dying at all).

This is like an office building telling employees to not use the Main Entrance but to use the side doors. They go to the side doors to find them locked and when they ask, they are told that the side doors are locked for security and they must use the main entrance.
They are told they are more than welcome to contribute, as long as they can get into the building.

Slightly off topic(ish): I read on the GNU website that proprietary software is like malware.

I just hope that Zorin OS will not go the wrong way.

I'm not entirely sure but it looks like the Gnome shell and all the software is released under GNU GPL v2.0, doesn't it make it free software? Extensions may not be included under this license but they are also not authored by Gnome. Not that their decision to reject contributions because it doesn't fit their views isn't concerning.

Previously, we discussed some Gnome Developers expressing a desire to move away from the free license, but also pointed out that it did not actually happen nor is likely to ultimately happen any time soon. It was commented that thought it did not happen, it is indicative of the mindset.

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Let's hope it stays that way, and who knows maybe in the future they'll be more open to the idea of having extensions in a more reliable way, even if it's somewhat restricted... but my guess is that will only happen with a change of leadership.