I'm surprised the fact that there's only one distribution of note still defaulting to Gnome 3 hasn't woken people up a bit more.That one's easy: the GNOME developers are visionaries. Consider the history of Emacs 20: RMS forced MULE, multibyte encodings, on people at a time when most didn't want them. A considerable number of users flocked to XEmacs, which offered a sane 8-bit environment, while developers struggled to fix Emacs and make the multibyte support production-ready. These days, multibyte support in XEmacs is still optional, and XEmacs is used mainly for "sentimental" reasons (meaning that the user base sees few new users, and a sizeable number of defections from users at intermediate level). One of the most cited reasons is the "mature" support of utf-8 that Emacs has. Of course, utf-8 support from XEmacs is quite better than what Emacs started with. But making multibyte support mandatory at a time that was not really ready for it has given it a solid headstart. Now that is the same kind of situation that the GNOME 3 developers see themselves in: they think they started on something new that will prevail in the long run, even though it is not necessarily better right now. It's a theoretic possibility. But I am skeptical. They don't have, as far as I can see, someone of RMS caliber and appeal sticking to his guns, so even if one considered them on the right technical track, the plan could just peter out.
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