Need your help in defending GNOME DE from its haters

First of all, relax, this isn’t an official call for help or mean that GNOME is in an trouble.
As I mentioned elsewhere, I own a Telegram group for Linux Mint users (and others) at https://t.me/linux_mint_users . Yesterday, while discussing random things, someone brought up the topic of “KDE vs GNOME”. Though we settled that both are best in their own way, today two guys took back the topic and started throwing some stupid comments on GNOME DE, I asked them to be polite and summarise what they hate in GNOME and this is what I got:

Why we hate GNOME?

  1. Its old
  2. Its restricted (for noobs and kids)
  3. Its bloated
  4. Can’t put icons in desktop
  5. Its icons and theme sucks

Me being a die-hard-GNOME-fan, find it irritating, though I respect KDE and GNOME in equal amounts, such persons make me “fight”. So, with all due respect, what do you think about their comments to hate GNOME DE?

Honestly, that will be a lost battle. I suggest referring to https://xkcd.com/1357/ and just show them the door.

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Yeah right. But what I thought of is giving em the right answers to their 5 comments.

It’s kind of pointless to respond to memes; all of the arguments are based on emotional responses, and emotional responses cannot be countered with logic or appeals to facts. The same applies to many of the reasons why we like GNOME, by the way, so let’s not construct a fantasy scenario where we are “right” in using GNOME, and everyone else is wrong.

The only way to counter the effects of emotional arguments to to make other emotional arguments. Don’t try to answer to the arguments of other peole, but write down why you like GNOME; how GNOME improved your life, or the life of people you know. More importantly, give room to people that feel the same as you to contribute to the discussion; create a safe space where insulting people for what they like, and insulting volunteers for working on what they like, is not allowed.

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I’ll try to give the OP what they’re asking for. But for each remarks you should try the 5 whys method.

It’s old

This would need the 5 whys to understand what’s behind.

  • Old as “not updated” ? A new release just got out: https://help.gnome.org/misc/release-notes/3.36/
  • Old as “looks old”? The looks is made to be the less intrusive possible and let you focus on what you’re doing. By default, almost all your screen real-state is used by your application. The top bar is black and melds into usual black borders of your screen. GNOME 3 is not about whistle and bells, it’s about letting you do what you want to do.

Its restricted (for noobs and kids)

Restricted ? This would need 5 whys too. I’ve heard that complaint for geeks that could feel resticted (and even that way, after talking a bit, it was not by the lack of features, but by the lack of knowledge about existing features). So I have no clue about that one.

Its bloated

Any reference? Bloated in terms of CPU, memory, disk usage?

Until two years ago, I was still using my AMD Athlon XP 3000+ tower to run GNOME 3, and always using the latest version provided by my distro (Mageia). I switched to a laptop since then. I stopped using that machine not because it was too slow, but because it was becoming harder to have distros not building stuff with SSE2 enabled, which is not available on that CPU. I’m using it currently on a second-hand laptop I bought, a Lenovo X230 with a Intel® Core™ i5-3320M CPU @ 2.60GHz. That CPU is from 2012, yet GNOME runs flawlessly, with the default visual effects. The system monitor shows no sign of “bloat”.

Can’t put icons in desktop

You can, just not by default. Search “Desktop icons” on https://extensions.gnome.org . Carlos soriano did that one: https://gitlab.gnome.org/World/ShellExtensions/desktop-icons

However, people should just try not using desktop icons. The flow is so much better. Each time you have to manipulate a file, you run Files. People using desktop icons (I was one of them, no choice back in time) use it as a “dump zone”, which is not ideal for being organized. Now you have to run the file explorer to manipulate the files, and are much more enclined to put your files at the right location instead of dumping them on a buffering zone forever. I’ve had my share of Windows users putting lots of stuff on the desktop that couldn’t be easily backed up because at a separate location, and not knowing what was worth or not. Not having desktop icons is IMHO one of the best moves of the GNOME desktop.

Its icons and theme sucks

All icons and all themes in the worlds ? Default theme ? Themes can be changed and https://www.gnome-look.org/ has existed for ages. The problem with themes is that theme bugs can break apps, and theming is just a complicated thing. It’s also hard to find a theme that is well integrated, so people like me just use the default one (hey, I like it). But themes exist, you just have to try them out and find one you like and that works.

Hope this helps.

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Simply Awesome! I too love Adwaita style ^^

Reasons I like gnome:

  1. it has clean and unintrusive interface. My eyes are at gnome apps.
  2. gnome shell overlay is the hands down best combination of task switcher, application launcher and file search on any desktop. This leads to a very intuitive “press super and I do what you mean” workflow that is hard to replicate on any other desktop. Rofi and krunner come close but still fall a bit short.
  3. I use tiling window managers mostly, and gnome is the only desktop that doesn’t feel weird by default. Keyboard/TouchPad driven controls, minimizing windows and system tray replaced by virtual desktops… It’s very much like tiling wms without the tiling. And you can add the tiling with shell extensions like pop shell and material shell
  4. gnome online accounts integration is great. My workplace uses Google services, and I get perfect desktop integration just by logging in. Calendar, email, Google drive, everything just works.
  5. gsconnect gives you excellent smartphone integration on par with plasma
  6. gnome drives the dev extricatelopment of new technologies like wayland. Gnome is not old, it is the innovator of Linux desktops.
  7. adwaita gtk theme is beautiful and functional

In my experience gnome becomes bloated only if you try to drastically change its workflow with many extensions. Vanilla gnome isn’t actually bloated at all. Sure, it is no bspwm, but you actually get good functionality for that resource usage.

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