More to the point, making a better interface is incredibly hard. Thinking you have succeeded is no indication of success, but thinking you couldn't fail strongly predicts failure.
It is hard to get people to adopt a better interface. It is way harder to get them to adopt a worse one. Sometimes it happens anyway (cough Java cough), but it's nothing to be proud of. Genius has nothing to do with it. Sometimes, clever marketing succeeds. Usually, it takes massively overspent hype, and luck. Whether it's your good luck or the adoptees' bad luck may be hard to discern.
Gnome, like the U.S., was an interesting experiment. Many good things came out of it. The organization itself has failed, though long after expected. It is interesting, not to say terrifying, to speculate on what will arise in its place.
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