[blfs-support] Latest news in GNOME world

Armin K. krejzi at email.com
Fri Nov 9 13:59:11 PST 2012

Good morning/afternoon/evening.

As a BLFS GNOME maintainer, I am trying to follow upstream discussions 
and other news related to projects.

Today while I was reading news I found out some interesting things 
related to the project.

GNOME 3 fallback mode (the GNOME 2 look-alike where no 3D acceleration 
is required to run it) is going to be dropped from next GNOME release, 
3.8 [1].

That would require users that don't have powerful enough hardware or 
good enough drivers with proper 3D support to use OpenGL software 
rasterizer called llvmpipe (a llvm accelrated software rasterizer) which 
runs OpenGL decoding on CPU [2]. The driver itself needs lot of CPU 
power to do serious OpenGL and yet it is only up to OpenGL 2.1 
compliance as far as I know.

There is already a discussion going on phoronix regarding the "issue" [3].

 From my point of view, I started disliking GNOME more and more after 
every 3.x release. For me, the 3.2 release was *best* by far. And after 
I found out that GNOME devs actually don't care what users need and they 
do the things that they think users need. One example was "taking apart" 
nautilus file manager with 3.6 release. One of the reasons was: "It does 
not work on TOUCH (yes, TOUCH!) and we will remove it", but lot of users 
said that feature was useful for them [4].

As soon as I've seen that, I decided that I wouldn't stick with GNOME 
anymore. I've already migrated to KDE (currently using 4.9.3) and I feel 
happy with it, but I still have GNOME 3 installed.

Even Linus doesn't like GNOME and you can see him ranting on his Google+ 
page a lot about it [5].

But, taking the useful features apart is just part of the story. They 
also implement "features" that they demand useful (gnome-documents? 
really ...) while there are lot of bugs open in their bugzilla.

Also, with every release they make GNOME more and more emo (emotional 
and crying about everything - no offense). Not so long ago, it was 
mentioned "Ooops, there is an error ..." thing on the list. That is only 
one of the useful features where GNOME devs decided that they let 
gnome-session display a message with "sad emotion :(" saying that there 
is "something wrong" (you don't say!) instead of actualy telling us what 
is wrong! There is an article called "Ooops, I ruined your life" on [6] 
making fun of such error messages.

Linus also said that GNOME 3 makes him feel like emo (because most of 
the interface is black).

To make it more interesting, even some of GNOME devs seem to notice that 
project is going down highway to hell, and some of them have left the 
project [7].

As for me, I already said that I switched to KDE, but still have GNOME. 
But not for long. On my next build I won't even bother to build it. I 
got used to KDE just nicely (I like eye candy).

That said, I won't maintain GNOME in the book and if you ask me, you can 
drop it completely. In BLFS we don't tend to force users to do something 
and keeping GNOME would force (some) users to use mesa with llvm for 
llvmpipe in order to use GNOME.

There is 3.6.2 release comming and that would be last revision regarding 
GNOME from me.

Have a nice day.

(I reserve all rights to have some typos or gramatical errors in the post)

[1] https://mail.gnome.org/archives/release-team/2012-November/msg00009.html
[2] http://www.mesa3d.org/llvmpipe.html
[5] https://plus.google.com/u/0/+LinusTorvalds/posts/UkoAaLDpF4i
[6] http://www.cooper.com/journal/2012/01/oops_i_ruined_your_life.html
[7] http://blogs.gnome.org/otte/2012/07/27/staring-into-the-abyss/

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