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Will GNOME 3.4 Save the Linux Desktop?

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From the 'I Miss GNOME 2.x' Files:

There are a lot of people that don't like the changes brought to the Linux desktop with GNOME 3. Among those people is none other than the father of Linux himself, Linus Torvalds.

But that could be changing as GNOME 3.4 development work continues and could build on some improvements that first debuted in GNOME 3.2

"Hey, with gnome-tweak-tool and the dock extension, gnome-3.2 is starting to look almost usable," Linus Torvalds wrote in a Google+ posting." Now I just hope those things become part of the standard gnome shell setup and made available in the regular "system config" thing rather than hidden off…Or would that be too close to "Ok, we admit we were wRong" and thus not politically acceptable?"

Intel developer Dirk Hohndel added in a comment the he is close to finding Gnome3 usable.

"I filed a few bugs for the most annoying things that still bother me - but my hope is that by Gnome 3.4 we'll forget about the disaster that was Gnome 3.0. 3.2 + the extensions is on the right path," Hohndel commented.

Going a step further GNOME developer Allan Day has started the 'Every Detail Matters' effort to help clean up GNOME 3.4. It kinda/sorta reminds me of the Ubuntu Papercuts effort and has a similar end goal – to make the system more usable.

"For the first round of Every Detail Matters, we will be focusing on the Activities Overview," Day blogged. "This is obviously an important part of GNOME 3, and there are lots of small things that can be done that will make a big difference."

We're still months away from GNOME 3.4 and until then, I suspect that Linux Mint and it's 'classic' view of the desktop will continue to win over users. But hey, GNOME devs are working on their 'issues' and I strongly suspect that the next version of GNOME 3.x will make a lot more users think twice about the Shell.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist

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