Open Ballot: What does Gnome have to do to win back users and developers?


A few months back, we asked whether or not KDE had become a third class citizen on desktop Linux, but maybe we got the question wrong.

A recent post on Planet Gnome revealed to the world that not all is well in the land of gnomes. Gnome and GTK, according to the post, are understaffed, with some key developers having left the project, Gnome has no real goals left, and perhaps most importantly, Gnome is losing mind and market share: distributions like Mint and Ubuntu are dropping Gnome and many important applications aren't planning to port to GTK 3.

While the discussion in the comments reveals that not all of the author's arguments stand up to criticism, there's truth in much of what is said. We want you to tell us, and the developers of Gnome, what do they need to do in order to win back users and developers?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments, and we'll read out the best in our internet famous open ballot.

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Your comments

Do what I have to do

I will use what I like, and I don't like gnome 3.

What I need is the tried, and true stable classic desktop.
If it doesn't meet this need I will not put it on my machine.
There are many fish in the sea, and new fish can be added.

Adapt it to the user, not vice versa

The main problem with Gnome 3 team is the attitude. "They can take or leave it." Looks like they're "leaving it." Here's a radical solution -- find out what your users want and adopt Gnome 3 to the users -- instead of trying to adopt the users to Gnome 3. In other words, quit playing Microsoft. It doesn't work when you have options to chose something else.

Stop trying to be petty tyrants

Gnome 3 is progressive politics brought to your computer

The developers, rather than look to those who use Gnome for guidance on what it should be and how it should be improved, have decided that they are The Experts and that they know best. The rest of us, being lowly proles and plebes, will be made to benefit from their wisdom, whether we like it or not.

When governments attempt to do this, people leave, or they get shot trying to dig under the wall from east to west Berlin.

When software developers do this, people leave, and the developers don't have the power to stop them.

The Gnome developers need to stop listening to the voices in their heads that tell them how wise and enlightened they are, and start listening to the people who actually use (or used to use) what they have created. If they won't do that, they and their products will be abandoned and no one will miss either.

Creating free software that people use is a privilege earned by creating software that people WANT to use. The Gnome developers seem to have forgotten this and have somehow gotten the idea in their heads that the rest of the world is beholden to them. If they don't wake up, and soon, Gnome will be joining XFree86 in the land of open source projects that no one uses anymore.

Please keep

Please keep Gnome-Session-Fallback or "Gnome Classic" available to Ubuntu, Mint, and other linux distress. This will ensure that those who prefer a Gnome2-type of DE with customization will have such an environment available. Of course, it might be possible for us to migrate to various forks, such as Mate or Cinnamon, or to use an alternative such as Xfce, but many of us want to have the standard Gnome available in classic or fallback mode along with the many Gnome-based applications that work well with the interface. Thank you.

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