General concerns

As a simple user, I find conflicts between how Gnome is designed and how it is developed.
I’m not a developer at all, sometimes I try on my days-off to try to learn something about coding and stuff… but I really can’t understand the way gnome is followed in its development.
Its design is made for fool people like me to have a simple GUI, intuitive and to have everything without any mess.

  • gnome applications like Settings, File, Builder, etc… don’t follow theme selected by users;
  • customization need to be integrated with hundreds of extenstions and, before do it, we need to → install a piece of software to install extensions and modify them → to install extensions → to install themes, applets, widgets and stuff like that;
  • changing dimensions for icons, panel and stuff its almost impossible without other extensions that make possible doying it;
  • gnome has wayland as default session, but gdm doesn’t show it and we need to set it up searching around the web on how to have a wayland session for gnome listed in gdm;
  • vanilla theme it’s really awful, everything is giant and basically nothing is customizable at all without lost hours to make it possible…
    All these things would be “defaulted” in a normal desktop environment!
    Everything it’s conceived to nerdy.
    It’s a real conflict between how gnome is made and what developers conceived the project behind.
    That’s why a huge amount of people prefer kde plasma… customization is easier. The problem with plasma is that a user not so curious could lost himself between menus and stuff.
    Personally I prefer use what is gtk-based, above all because it is a community project, not as qt.
    Sometimes is really hard follow all of this, above all for those are not so involved with computers and coding.
    So, please, be more conscious about it.

I agree strongly with most of your points.
vanilla theme it’s really awful, everything is giant and basically nothing is customizable at all without lost hours to make it possible
This especially. Granted I haven’t looked at the most recent version, yet the default themes have been an eyesore for ten years now. It should at least include a consistent, light colored theme like unity had for ubuntu 16.04. Something off-white or light gray, with a matching light-colored panel/bar and no large, blinding areas of #ffffff. Aside from the theme, it lacks many of the basic configuration settings that most other DEs include. I’m sure I could come up with at least a dozen specific examples if I were to take a look at the latest version. I’ll gladly write up a more specific review if any of the developers are interested in such feedback, but people have been expressing these same concerns for years now.

P.S., You might want to give KDE a second shot. It’s quite nice if you install a minimal KDE plasma desktop and then add the programs you want. For instance, you can install Debian without a DE, add a minimal KDE plasma desktop after the installation, and then pick and choose only the software you like.

When I first used linux, I started out with gnome 2 and I was quite fond of it until gnome 3 replaced it. I’ve not been able to use gnome since then. XFCE is okay. I used it for several years but recent versions do not come with some of the themes I liked and those it does include are somewhat harsh. Menus, shortcuts, and various other features also require a lot of messing about with before they work the way I want them to. MATE is nice but lacks certain niceties, for example its display configuration program is limited and doesn’t deal well with mixed DPI multi-head setups. Anyway, I do hope the gnome developers address the cosmetic and configuration issues. I’m hardly optimistic.