Feeds

Linus Torvalds dubs GNOME 3 'unholy mess'

'Head up the a*** behavior'

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Linux daddy Linus Torvalds has dropped GNOME 3 in favor of the Xfce graphical desktop interface, dubbing GNOME 3 an "unholy mess".

Last week, on Google+, various penguins discussed the possibility of creating an incarnation of the Linux 3.0 kernel that would masquerade as version 2.6.40 – a 3.0 version number, you see, causes problems with Fedora 15 – and at one point, Linus took the opportunity to have a go at the latest GNOME.

"While you are at it, could you also fork gnome, and support a gnome-2 environment?" he wrote. "I want my sane interfaces back. I have yet to meet anybody who likes the unholy mess that is gnome-3."

Then, later in the discussion, Torvalds expanded on his dislike, saying his beef extends beyond mere rendering problems that could be corrected with "Forced Fallback Mode".

"It's not that I have rendering problems with gnome3 (although I do have those too). It's that the user experience of Gnome3 even without rendering problems is unacceptable," he said. "Why can't I have shortcuts on my desktop? Why can't I have the expose functionality? Wobbly windows? Why does anybody sane think that it's a good idea to have that 'go to the crazy "activities"' menu mode?"

An example? He's got one. And it's not just crazy. It's insane. "You want a new terminal window. So you go to 'activities' and press the 'terminal' thing that you've made part of your normal desktop thing (but why can't I just have it on the desktop, instead of in that insane 'activities' mode?). What happens? Nothing. It brings your existing terminal to the forefront," he wrote. "That's just crazy crap. Now I need to use Shift-Control-N in an old terminal to bring up a new one. Yeah, that's a real user experience improvement. Sure.

"I'm sure there are other ways, but that's just an example of the kind of 'head up the arse' behavior of gnome3. Seriously. I have been asking other developers about gnome3, they all think it's crazy."

As The H Online points out, this isn't the first time Linus has had a right go at GNOME. In 2005, he took aim at GNOME developers for trying to oversimplify things. "This 'users are idiots, and are confused by functionality' mentality of Gnome is a disease," he said. "If you think your users are idiots, only idiots will use it." He used KDE instead, but then he switched to GNOME in early 2009 after the arrival of KDE 4.

Now, he's going with Xfce. He says this is a step down from GNOME 2 as well. But he can't help but add that it's "a huge step up from gnome3. Really." ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
KDE releases ice-cream coloured Plasma 5 just in time for summer
Melty but refreshing - popular rival to Mint's Cinnamon's still a work in progress
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY
Web devs, Mozilla really wants you to like this one
Put down that Oracle database patch: It could cost $23,000 per CPU
On-by-default INMEMORY tech a boon for developers ... as long as they can afford it
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Mozilla keeps its Beard, hopes anti-gay marriage troubles are now over
Plenty on new CEO's todo list – starting with Firefox's slipping grasp
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.