OK I have to confess I felt this episode was more a bash against Gnome because of some developer blog and less about actually the merits of Gnome itself.
Let me give some background. I have been using Linux since CDE was a thing, and so have seen the birth and evolution of both Gnome and KDE over the years. The GTK / QT rivalry has been around since handheld palm computers and PDAs were a thing. With Opie & QT
and Angstorm & GPE
QT was always a colourful toolkit and very much Windows like whereas the GTK stuff was much more refined, cleaner and simpler.
So when the desktops started to appear based on both, it was natural KDE would look more colourful and Gnome would look cleaner and simpler. To be honest, that has not changed in all these years. That is still how the 2 desktops seem to me.
Now don’t get me wrong when Gnome went from 2 to 3 I absolutely HATED it. It was just so different and so broken that I just had to switch to something else and settled on Cinnamon for a while. But slowly Gnome got better, slicker and actually erased some of my pain points that made me loathe it in the beginning.
These days it is just a desktop that gets out of my way and lets me do my work without having to tweak keyboard shortcuts or theming every time I install an application. Yes I do use a fair few extensions and actually the fact that they have broken out extensions into its own management application should tell you they are not going away any time soon.
As you can see I don’t have too many extensions for my needs and in fact these are pretty much all the ones I have ever used and vary only by machine to machine depending on physical keyboard lights etc.
The two things that I absolutely must have, are not even extensions. They are dynamic workspaces because being able to open an application and just fling it to a new space is so required for my work. But the other thing is the overview, which is both intuitive and useful. I can easily drag applications from one workspace to another or tile them side by side.
I can’t say I am too thrilled about the move to horizontal desktops, but it appears that might be optional and so won’t break my workflow.
KDE/Plasma is just too fiddly for me to get it to where I can just do stuff. I did spend time in it while I was using the Pinebook Pro because that was the default for Manjaro and it was ok after about a week of futzing. Keybindings/shotcuts are always a pain for me. They are scattered among 3 different configuration panels for global and workspace and application, it is just frustrating for me. The Alt-F2 launcher was clunky and I couldn’t just up arrow and scroll the history of previous things I have launched, which was irritating. Yes there was a drop-down list, but you had to start typing first to see any options. I have got better things to do with my life than fight against poor choices for defaults, like manually having to choose workspace layouts and stuff.
Understand, it is not I cannot do this stuff, it is just I did not live through the pain of the last 20 years of terrible desktop experiences to still be fiddling with my desktop window borders now.
Now if you talk about remote desktops that is a whole other thing. MATE is my preferred remote desktop closely followed by lxqt or lxde depending on the resources of the device. For that Gnome would be a terrible choice, but that is for a specific purpose not for general purpose.
Well you wanted to hear from a Gnome users. Now you have.