> As I said in some other posts, I think Gnome 3 can actually be fixed
> rather easily. The Cinnamon effort proves this quite neatly
> (unfortunately, it also creates even more desktop fragmentation).
I agree. I tried Cinnamon a while ago and I liked the concept, but I found it still a little rough.
Like Unity, Cinnamon probably had to patch the GNOME libraries or live with APIs designed exclusively for Gnome Shell. In recent times, multiple GNOME developers have advocated for tighter end-to-end integration across the software stack, which sounds like a polite way to say that they won't take patches from other GNOME-based desktops unless they benefit Gnome Shell directly.
The situation for distributors is less than ideal: they're being forced to either carry forked versions of upstream libraries, or ship Gnome Shell only.
(disclaimer: the above is based on what packagers are saying in multiple forums, I haven't looked at the patches in question).