“traditional desktop” is dead?

Just found this article on OMG Ubuntu.

I have a lot of issues about GNOME, especially the following ideas I do not agree.

The “traditional desktop” is dead, and it’s not coming back
System-wide theming is a broken idea

It’s hard to disagree with a lot of what Tobias puts forth

It is very easy to disagree with what Tobias puts forth.
For example, on theming:

Tobias suggests those who don’t like the way an app looks on their desktop should stop theming and instead contribute to the app directly, fixing its flaws.

That is the antithesis of customization. Tobias is giving Lip Service to validate Gnomes behavior, just the same was as Politicians and Microsoft... What it really boils down to is Gnome getting what it wants and doing what it wants in spite of the user.
It is about wresting control from the user and putting it in Gnomes hands.
Seriously, contributing to the code of a single app to perform a Theming issue not only makes everything Uniform on other peoples computers (Which is not what personal customization is about), it is absurdly Inefficient. This is not a performance issue, but an Appearance issue. It is a Customization category, not a coding category. This is singly, the absolute dumbest thing I have seen Gnome Say Yet.
Submitting code to the app source to handle Personal Customization. Brilliant.
And you would have to submit that code to each and every individual app that you use or install or maybe will install... and hope that commit is accepted by the developer.
What utterly inefficient nonsense.

Gnome has a very long history of deceptively breaking theming (Until the shareholders made them sign a pledge to stop doing so beginning at gtk 3.20) and speaking out against theming. If Gnome had its way, the unique look of Zorin would be as dead as the "traditional desktop" they desperately wish to kill and take control of. So would Mint and Linux Lite and MX Linux.
Gnome no longer respects the Gnu Principles:

This comes as no surprise given the repeat occassions that Gnome Devs have complained bitterly about Gnu Licensing and even to split from Gnu:

The philosophy of User Freedom stands in the way of Gnomes goals.

For Tobias, this means GNOME should be free to abandon “old concepts like menu bars or status icons” so it can instead focus on trying to “invent something better” holistically, from the ground up

This requires the assumption that what they are doing is "better." More importantly, to serve the Primary Focus of a Desktop: To be user friendly.
Removing known and familiar functions and hiding them can hardly be described as "better." Users migrating from Windows to Linux struggle much, much more on Gnome desktop than they do on Mate, Cinnamon or XFCE.
It is hard to describe these changes as "better" when even longtime Linux users are lost and confused as to where basic settings went to.
As a mechanic, I can tell you: Hiding the Tools is the worst way to improve job performance. You need your tools well organized and easily accessible. Gnome performs in the opposite manner. Many settings are only accessible through terminal gsettings commands.

It is very confusing to see Tobias Bernard give such bluntly focused assumptions in the Microsoft manner of "telling us what we want" when User Forums state otherwise. It is confusing even more to see articles suggest that they disagree in some undefined way, all the while voicing loud support. That article writer made a Big Show of making it look like he was convinced by sound reasoning. "It's hard to disagree with..."
When things get that confusing, I have learned to stop looking at the facade of the words... and Look for the $$ trail.

Gnome has removed not only large chunks of their workload and responsibility (Which was also XFCE teams openly stated reason for switching) by switching to CSD's.
The same applies for the ever broken and poorly supported Gnome Extensions. Rather than Gnome properly supplying Desktop Functionality and user friendliness, they passed the buck to independent developers to make extensions to essentially Fix what Gnome breaks. They then can say they do not support extensions; use at your own risk.

It is often that we help members with strange and odd problems on this forum only to find removing, disabling or reinstalling a Gnome Extension is the fix.
Gnome extensions add functionality, sure - but it was needless and redundant as a path. And you all know where I stand on Flatpak.

The "traditional desktop" does not seek to remove User Preferences and control - Gnome does. If anything needs to Die and Not come back, it is Gnome.


Double post:
Additional reading:

Gnomes new Gnome 40 removes steppers on scrolling, removes the min and max buttons (Breaking themes without breaking the css, this time... Always finding a workaround to violate the pledge they had to sign) as well as more features that make workflow easier- removed by Gnome.
Things I did not know until now, Gnome 40 breaks Gnome-tweaks. I cannot say that surprises me any. Gnome is becoming like Elementary.

In my opinion, there is a very simple solution to undo these mistakes. Simply stop using Gnome. When users/distros are using Gnome products, it means that they are endorsing them. When the users/distros switch to other, more liberating desktop platforms and app suites like KDE/XFCE, Gnome will very quickly realize how it is losing its market share and they will change their policies so that they either stop losing their market share or draw back some of their former users.
When I was new to Linux, my perception was that Gnome is just the least worst option and I have to deal with it as the other options are worse. But now I'd say that, it is not true. Not only many alternatives exist, but they are significantly better as well. Ever since that I switched to KDE apps, I cannot even fathom the thought of going back to Gnome. I highly recommend all KDE apps.

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gtk4 Gnome 40 more removals:
toolbar class (Gnome hopes to remove intuitive toolbars to replace with difficult to navigate widgets.
This also has the side effect of breaking ALL themes that use the class, providing Gnome exclusivity on Gnome built applications and themes alone. All other themers and software developers must re-work their projects. This additionally violates the Pledge Gnome signed to stop breaking themes. Even Gnome 40 themes made in advance are broken.)

and GtkBin
(Which breaks all software that uses containers - This will set back all independent developers as they must recode all their projects. More struggling for Dominance by Gnome.)

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It reminds me of this phenomenon I observed some years ago for Firefox and Thunderbird. Updates routinely broke add-ons and required authors to do an extensive rewrite. I've never studied it closely, but I think that was the turning point of declining popularity for both applications.

Will the same thing happen to Gnome?
I am not so sure. Gnome got a big sponsor = Re Hat behind them. Corporate adoption rate must be quite high for those who have no choice for their desktop. From my very short work experience in a Fortune 100 company, IT department loves such un-customisable system. Just like the mass-produced products they are churning into the society, uniformity and monoculture is their credo.

BTW, my opinion on Red Hat hit the bottom after the recent fiasco over CentOS. @Aravisian started this thread about take over of Audacity by MuseScore. I see exactly the same pattern. Free and Open software is purchased/sponsored by for-profit company and eventually deviates from its original spirit.

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This is a big part of why Zorin OS includes the option of choosing Ultimate.

If developers are not being paid for their hard work, then how long does it take for them to be willing to underscore rather than be underpaid?

The Audacity changing of hands is a good example. When the original developer cannot feasibly maintain a project, whoever buys it will Have Certain Motivations. They want an immediate lucrative return on the investment.
And should the Original Maintainer be expected to turn down money for the project all things considered?
Microsoft and Google are both running around gobbling up all the little people they can fry.

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Elementary OS has a system to pay for the download of their OS. But it is very unlikely for anyone to pay before trying out the OS. I think the approach by Zorin is way more realistic - offer a paid version with some bells and whistles while giving away regular versions.

I tried out Elementary a few times before, but desktop customization is almost non-existent. If I only have two choices between Gnome and Elementary, I think I go for Gnome any time.

Yes, Elementary is Well Known for believing that the desktop belongs to them, not the user.
An independent developer designed a tweaks tool for Elementary... You should hear the way the Elementary devs badmouth him.

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It sounds like Extremists among Gnome developer is working for Elementary :scream: Totalitarians...

Futile resistance?
When I was into customization, I always used XFCE as my base, nothing else. I morphed my desktop looked like macOS and fooled so many people with that one :grin:

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