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GNOME is Worse Today (in 2023) Than When I Did GTK Development 20+ Years Ago

posted by Roy Schestowitz on Sep 24, 2023


"This Week in GNOME" was released a short while ago [1], revealing work done and work to be done. NewsFlash 3.0, a GNOME application, was also released some days ago by Jan Lukas Gernert [2-3].

This morning Ryan cautioned us about the IBM/Red Hat/GNOME agenda, but as a part-time GNOME user myself I'd be reluctant to throw the baby out with the bathwater. I am a former GTK developer (as in, developing using GTK) and it used to support themes. Ryan says the project now strongly discourages it. Funny how much 20+ years of "progress" brought us. No more theme-ing?

Matthias Clasen has just issued a pair of reports about his work on GTK itself [4-5], Izhar Firdaus wrote about Wayland in GNOME [6], and GNOME 45's release [7] was accompanied with plans in Fedora [8] and Ubuntu [9] (next releases). We're meant to get excited about ‘Dark Style’ in 2023; when I used GTK around 2001 (yes, 22 years ago) it had loads of themes and those were natively supported. The applications worked well across desktop environments (Enlightenment, KDE etc.) without any worries about Wayland and other supposed (not!) "innovation".

To me it seems like GNOME is moving backward, not forward, mostly removing features and functionality rather than adding any. It's not like they copy Mac OS X anymore; now they're becoming Android. Useless. Ryan is probably right about KDE being the way to go; at least KDE isn't controlled by IBM's dictatorship. GNOME's principal developers (typically Red Hat staff) never tackled common criticism that included Linus Torvalds calling them interfaces nazis.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. (This Week in GNOME) Felix Häcker: #114 Forty-five!

    Update on what happened across the GNOME project in the week from September 15 to September 22.

  2. Jan Lukas Gernert: NewsFlash 3.0

    The next version of NewsFlash is ready. And it comes packed with so much new features and speed improvements + a new look, that the jump to version 3 is more than justified.

  3. NewsFlash 3.0 Released with Slick New Look

    A new version of Linux RSS client NewsFlash is out – and newsflash: it’s looking good! I’ve written about this app in detail in the past so I won’t cover its core feature set in this post, except to say: it’s a desktop RSS reader that can sync with various cloud services (including Miniflux, FreshRSS, NewsBlur, and CommaFeed, new in this release) or run locally.

  4. Paths in GTK

    It is no secret that we want to get rid of cairo as the drawing API in GTK, so we can move more of our drawing onto the GPU.

    While People have found creative ways to draw things with render nodes, they don’t provide a comprehensive drawing API like Skia or, yes, cairo. Not a very satisfying state of affairs.

    A few years ago, we started to investigate how to change this, by making paths available as first-class objects in GTK. This effort is finally starting to come to fruition, and you can see the first results in GTK 4.13.0.

  5. Matthias Clasen: Paths in GTK, part 2

    In the first part of this series, we introduced the concept of paths and looked at how to create a GskPath. But there’s more to paths than that.

  6. Izhar Firdaus: Allowing keyboard capture for Remmina, Virt Manager and other software in GNOME Wayland

    One capability seems missing in Wayland compared to X11 is the ability to fully capture keyboard events, for example when using remote desktop tools or virtual machines.

  7. GNOME 45 Released, Here’s the Best New Features
    GNOME 45 "Riga" raises the bar with its core app updates, ensuring a more enjoyable and efficient Linux experience. Here's what's new!
  8. Fedora Linux 39 Beta Released with GNOME 45 and Linux Kernel 6.5

    Fedora Linux 39 is now available for public beta testing with the GNOME 45 desktop environment, Linux kernel 6.5, as well as an up-to-date GNU/Linux toolchain.

  9. ‘Dark Style’ GNOME Extension for Ubuntu 23.10
    In Ubuntu 23.10 the default Yaru theme uses a light style for GNOME Shell elements — but there’s a new GNOME extension that lets you change this without affecting the rest of your desktop. Upstream GNOME Shell uses Adwaita, and Adwaita gives the Quick Settings menu, the calendar applet, and desktop notification a dark background.

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