The Direction of Gnome

The Gnome Desktop Environment, in its current state, is usable - especially in the way that Zorin OS has configured it with many extensions.
Zorin OS is the only distro I have used that makes Gnome 3 (Zorin-os-desktop package) pleasant to use.

The direction of Gnome, including the Gnu ToolKit (GTK) has left many of us scratching our heads.
The topic comes up on occasion and often, one of us will assert a claim. For example, we claim that Gnome wants to do away with Gnome Extensions.
It becomes clear that The Evidence for these claims must be presented.
Where Theme creating is concerned... There is a literal ton of evidence all over the web about Gnomes actions toward theme creating and creators. The most recent bout, considering Libadwaita is actually best covered by Developers, rather than just end users (Who we can expect to have choice words):

That is one of many. I cannot inundate an O.P. with a hundred links of course... There is much you can find about Canonical and Suse and Solus and others resistance to Libadwaita on the web.
But reading it is suggestive... What we really need is context. preferably, supplied by Gnome Devs.
And we have that.
Tobias Bernard opened up in his blog on many of these issues.
Let's take a close look at what he had to say:

The “traditional desktop” is dead, and it’s not coming back). Instead of trying to bring back old concepts like menu bars or status icons, invent something better from first principles.

System-wide theming is a broken idea. If you don’t like the way apps look, contribute to them directly (or to the platform style).

Shell extensions are always going to be a niche thing. If you want to have real impact your time is better invested working on apps or GNOME Shell itself.

Here is the takeaway on a lot of this.
What Tobias Barnard is saying in the first quote is:
"We do not care what the users want. We are going to implement things our way. If you don't like it, contribute to the Gnome Code in order to improve our apps."
This is akin to a car maker telling you that they are going to stop making cars with steering wheels and thermostat controls. If you don't like it, work on your own, in your own time, to freely provide them designs that they can accept or reject at will as long as they meet the design plan they intend to implement regardless of how you need to use the car.
It doesn't make any sense!
He is saying, "Like our development mantra and if you don't, Join Us."

The Second quote is continuation of the first. He is saying that users that dislike that lack of theming, then they should instead, develop for Gnome, additions to the apps that have nothing whatsoever to do with the theme.

Both of these are very dismissive of the End User. They essentially deny the user while hiding under the veil of offering that the users contribute to the code (nonsensically).
The End Users are people who have jobs, lives, other interests. Many are not GTK experts. Most rely on the developers product so they can work on their own work and projects, not in order to work for that developer.

Tobias states that he firmly believes that Gnome Does Not Work for the users, but that the users should work for Gnome. That the users should put up or shut up.

The last quote...
He expresses his disdain for Gnome-Extensions. Ok, fine. Except that the dismissal of extensions in his words utterly ignores that almost every distro sporting Gnome includes many gnome-shell extensions in order to restore what Gnome has removed.
The logical fallacy is that again he demands that the users contribute to the code for Gnome in spite of the fact that Gnome had these features and removed them.
How can the users contribute to Gnome code... instead of as an extension... but as a part of Gnome Shell... That Gnome had and removed?
Do you see what he just did there?

If Gnome wanted the code that the extensions restore, they wouldn't have removed them in the first place.

It is very hard to tell if these misleading words are deliberate, or a sign of some strange and rather special form of delusion.
What is not hard to tell, however, is that the Gnome Foundation is very clear in its intentions:

  • It doesn't work for the users. And it expects us to work for them.
  • It is clear why complaints and bug reports on removed features are closed with "wontfix" and ignored.
  • Gnome Foundation is so out of touch with its user-base, that it is unable to accept that its direction can only succeed if the users want it.
  • The libadwaita fiasco caused multiple distros - even whom are stakeholders for Gnome to pull back and to protest. Suse/Solus expressed that they intend to drop Gnome entirely and develop Budgie independently. This is a very big deal. And yet, Gnome Foundation has not altered course in any way. It is insistent that it gets what it wants, its way.

How much trust do you have in companies that act this way?
Would you trust your car dealer, your insurance company, your doctor or dentist... if they did business this way?
Would you trust anyone... a neighbor, a date, a coworker... that acts this way?
I expect such slanted doublespeak and weasel words from Politicians and Oil Execs... But from the Linux Desktop?


I read one of the Facebook Linux groups that there's a hack for libadwaita, but I can't confirm this. But that makes me hope that the Zorin Brothers can do some magic with the next or the next after.


I like Zorin OS as it is now and hope they will not be involved in Gnome's ambitions. Gnome is trampling on the spirit of FOSS and I never agree with them.

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I think this is hysterical he posts this on his blog, because Gnome is literally the opposite of this in every way. This contradicts everything that he and the dev's at Gnome do.

He's delusional here, just outright delusional. The menu button was supposed to be dead over a decade ago, yet here we are.

Part of the problem I see here is the distro's themselves. They use Gnome as a DE and this just gives him and the dev's more reason to do what they do. The fact that the distro's are using extensions and altering the code is irrelevant, they're using Gnome.

I agree with you @Aravisian he is a walking contradiction. If you don't like how Gnome does something contribute to the code. People do extensions ( in essence contributing) Gnome then goes out of their way to make sure it doesn't work.

There is an easy solution here, stop using Gnome. There are plenty of other DE's one could use instead, plus they would ultimately be less work. Distro's need to stop using Gnome, period.


Saint Words with pure a true.
I don't liked when your extensions are connected with your e-mail. Something near gmail synchronized with another things?

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This may be interesting:


He is from Poland. :slight_smile:

What I find interesting is how angry devs get when another developer introduces something like this.

There is a Logic Flow a person can trace.

I sell Wheeled wagons.
After some years, I remove the wheels and the wagons are now pulled on sleds.
Other smaller companies begin producing after-market wheels for my wagons.
I sue the after-market companies and produce wagons that make it harder to put wheels on.
Customers complain about the lack of wheels.
I respond with fallacies like misdirection, redirection and suggesting the irrelevancy of wheels.

The Logic Flow to be traced demonstrates that:

  • I see wagons as My Brand Image, regardless of whether other people could make them.
  • I have some kind of problem with Wheels on wagons. Perhaps I think kids are moving too fast with wheeled wagons. Or perhaps there is some personal self gain to be had by denying the wagon users the wheels they want. But logically, I clearly do not like wheels.
    Any misdirection I apply to shift the topic away from wheels must be untrustworthy.
  • I do not care if the users want wheels on their wagons. I want to be in control and to stop them from having wheels.

If the users are creating and using extensions; then they are being vocal as to what they want.
That is not a niche thing.
Denying it is extremely indicative.
If the developer gets upset about it and is taking actions to stop them, such as coding in breakage or more difficulty in using them - it shows that they do not care about the product or the user - but seek to control it for something else.


Then project isn't go forward or want stop him to be in future? Don't get that describe to much but here is something like don't use that, using what we selling or want doing that more difficult? The same example with technology tv 8K is forbidden from EU? Technology tv going forward but the rules EU sayed we don't have a rules for them then this is closed project. What a stupid idea. Someone have a fabrics and engineering to get better technology but some people stopping that. What this is a kind circus for me? The same fiber a cable or battery DNB what could be a furute. That something a smell the small population want a control new technology and don't share with a small consumer on the whale world! Reading a Elon Musk bought Twitter because he want the same app WeChat what is in China and America atack this new ideas because they controlling transfer a money where some countries paying some transaction 30%. This is near 700 bln $ one year. The all amount money in Poland 2021

I feel that Gnome overestimates smartphone operating systems. They look beautiful because they run on smartphones, and I don't think they are suitable for PCs, which have different interfaces.

Some people say that Android and Chrome OS are Linux, but I think they are like Frankenstein's monster, which was created by destroying the soul of Linux and using only its body. I can't tolerate repeating that fault.

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After a couple of days running Fedora, with its characteristic vanilla Gnome implementation, I have to say that I'm quite happy with it. However, it's true that I don't see myself using it long-term as it is without some modifications. For example, something that most people have come to find common and intuitive is minimizing windows. I can't really think of any reason why this isn't included by default and can't be switched on and off quickly in the settings menu.

I can see how Gnome is a great desktop environment for people like me, who rarely changes default settings and installs extensions. But everyone has their own habits and preferred workflows that make them more productive. Why not just give these people a switch button for those common features? Even if they are off by default because is not the vision of the developers.

This is something distributions like ZorinOS have gotten very right. Sensitive defaults, but with every opportunity to change them very easily. Another example of something that I would've never used without being easy to use, is PopOS's tiling window manager. And I really enjoyed it, but will I install it in Fedora? No, because it's not easy to do for me. I rather get stuff done. Even something cute like changing the color of the folders is welcome if it's easy to find and use.

Simply put, it's against the interests of Gnome to restrict customization because this will tell you what people using the product actually want. I will have to agree that the Gnome developers are shooting themselves in the foot with their current stance on extensibility.

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This isn't new for Gnome dev's, this has gone on for decades with this behavior.

Google how many people and organizations have walked away from Gnome because of their behavior.

They don't care what you like or want, they will make what they do and you will like it. That is their attitude, it's been this way for years.

Gnome Tweak is your friend.

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The only example that I know of is with PopOS and how they plan on developing their own desktop environment. I really hope something good comes out of it. After all competition is key for developing better ecosystem :slight_smile:

I still haven't got around to use it but I definitely will throughout the week!

I reading also Vindows11 is more cut customization and propably what @Aravisian many times mention, they don't care what people sayed. Fedora i saw have a spin tiling. I will trying in vm cinnamon Fedora37 spin later when they repaired some bugs. Fresh version always have some problems when users start installing on them hardware. Always must fix my comments because nettbrett tablet doing some mistakes. Diffrent language on my tablet trying finding and put więcej polish.

Flatpak is the future of app distribution.

No, Flatpak is the future of app dystopia.

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I will be happy if they creating one type app distribution what will be compatibility with all type linux.

That's sad. Will it be that late? :frowning:

Lateness does not bother me at all.
Quite the opposite. I do not rush to the latest package based on Version number instead of changelog or in sacrifice of stability.
ZorinGroup can take all the time they need.

I am getting more and more dismayed at the direction of Linux as a whole.
I do not think I can show support of any Distro that shows support for Gnome.

A couple days ago, my next door neighbors property caught on fire.
Everyone... his two kids... the other neighbors... They stood and watched. One of his sons did help some... but...
The home owner and I were the only ones out there with hoses. Hosing that fire. It was winning, but we did not back down. We were still hosing, even after the fire trucks arrived.
I saw him run from the house, just freshly awoken. He stumbled, grabbing the hose and he aimed for His Sons Car parked in the garage.
That was what he went to protect, first. Not his tools... his welder, his tractor. His Sons car. That... I understood.

And the building is gone. It burned up - and the roof collapsed. The car is nothing but a burnt frame. The welder, atv's, tools... it's all gone. Every. Last. Bit.

It got me thinking.
We must have looked like fools.
Total fools out there... fighting against inevitability.
Sometimes, you can only watch the inevitability happen.

But I don't. I will stand there and fight. Sometimes, you have to accept that you are beaten, but undefeated. To tell inevitability to go off itself.
That's who I am. That's what clicked in my mind... it's who I have always been.
I guess as the years went by and more and more loss and lifes disappointments got to me, I began to forget.
Until it was tested.

I understand that I am fighting inevitability and that others will watch me, the fool, dance around.
I do not care.
If it means leaving a good distro, where I got my start on Linux - because they choose to enable what Gnome is doing - I can do that.
And by my principles.
By what I believe in and trust in this world.
I will lose. I know this. I will lose so others can assert their control over me.
But I won't be defeated.


I sort of understood it a bit. But I don't but I want to know what it is you are trying to explain. Can you please explain it in layman's words?