> Ultimately, isn't my saying "I like gnome3 better" the whole point here, just as (please correct me if I'm wrong) you're saying "I like gnome2 better"?
Sorry to disagree again, but no. I am not basing my argument on any particular "like".
As I mentioned, activities overview is more or less an implementation of RFC 1925 (6a). I will quote the whole (6) here, just so that you you know what I'm taking about. This is a somewhat humorous RFC called "The Twelve Networking Truths" (you can find it here: http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc1925). So, the (6) is:
> (6) It is easier to move a problem around (for example, by moving the problem to a different part of the overall network architecture) than it is to solve it.
> (6a) (corollary). It is always possible to add another level of indirection.
Now think about activities overview. Which elements does it contain?
1. The dash (which is really like a dock).
3. Applications menu (when selected).
5. Workspace switcher.
6. Other stuff I may be forgetting.
It's a desktop in itself. Ergo, the desktop layer has been moved one level deeper. That would be the meaning of RFC 1925 (6a), in a nutshell.
None of the activities overview elements are new or innovative in themselves and all exist in previous DEs. And can be accessed directly there.
As an aside, the use of dash as a task switcher is entirely hypocritical. If taskbar is not good for task switching, why is dock in activities overview OK for this purpose? But I digress...
Moving this functionality one level deeper introduced new problems. For example:
- repainting of the entire screen on entry/exist (terrible for VNC work)
- no visibility of the desktop (workspace switcher gone)
- unnecessary animations (performance problems when no 3D hardware)
- more GUI actions required to do things (more cumbersome to use)
- nowhere to minimise windows (broken GUI metaphor)
And so on and so forth. These are not "likes". These are facts that you can verify for yourself.
The Gnome Shell design document I pointed to talks about solving problems through the introduction of overview, such as:
- effective focus switching
- less distraction
- better use of screen space (in another document)
None of these are factually true. Focus switching was already solved through the existence of workspaces. Within workspaces, it was also done using either taskbar or expose directly. Distraction reduction (if there is such a thing, given that Gnome 3 panel still has buttons which distract) is better achieved through autohide of panels. A single panel holding everything is possible and sufficient in Gnome 2 (or Gnome 3 fallback).
So, on facts, activities overview just pretends to solve something, but really just moves everything one level away from where one can use all those directly.
As an aside here, it is the activities overview that actually made Gnome 3 have fallback mode. Were it not for it, there would be no need for two modes (or at least they'd look indistinguishable enough from each other). But, I digress again...
If Gnome developers want to just tell all of us to bugger off (means: go away), that's fine. However, pretending that design documentation holds some deeper truths is not on. As a long term user, I think I'm entitled to point that out.
> It's Free Software; if you don't like where it's going, fork it and build towards your vision instead. Talk is talk, but code walks.
Yes, absolutely agree with you here. In fact, in one of my somewhat sarcastic and cynical posts on gnome-shell list I said as much. Short of me building a non-overview shell, it won't happen (well, it did happen - it's called Cinnamon). Shit has well and truly hit the fan with the fallback removal in 3.8, so who knows - maybe I'll even have a crack (don't hold your breath).
However, ignoring long term users that are trying to point out genuine usability problems does not look good for the Gnome project, IMNSHO.