For all intents and purposes, MATE is Gnome 2. Furthermore, Red Hat is still maintaining Gnome 2 in RHEL 6. As such, Gnome 2 is far from dead.
You are of course correct in the above observation. However, this is boiling down to a chicken and egg argument (pardon the unintended pun). MATE probably wouldn't exist if Gnome 3 didn't have such massive UI changes. If Gnome 3 was more evolutionary, or had built in options to let people choose which new UI elements to use, we wouldn't be having this discussion.
The Fedora review process is hence broken, given the amount of fall out that the UI changes in Gnome 3 have generated. It strongly suggests the engineering steering committee has a very cavalier attitude when it comes to UI regressions.
This is consistent with a cop out. You have responsibility to the Fedora community, and instead of admitting that the Gnome 3 shell UI is a point of pain for many in the Fedora community, you are in effect telling them to go away.
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