Yes I know, people complain about GNOME 3 -- if you think this is just going to be like every other thread complaining that "GNOME 3 sucks", go away. This is my rant and I don't care what you think.
No for -my- rant. I CAN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE !!! GNOME 3 SUCKS.
Ok, now that I have that done with, I would like to tell just why I think GNOME 3 sucks. First of all, I actually do -like- GNOME 3. I think it has a lot of good to bring to the desktop and with a few (lots) of minor (and major) tweaks here and there it could absolutely rock.
First off, I would like to address the lack of the traditional notification area -- in the olden days you would have one, usually near your clock in the same way that every other desktop environment has. I have no idea what the reasoning is to remove this from, say the, area next to your user menu, where I think it would sit nicely (the place where the GNOME developers thought it would be cool to stick loads of stuff nobody -every- uses, with no way to disable it). Instead, why have a complete bar at the bottom of our primary screen which sort of does the same. Let's call that the "activity bar". I'm sure the GNOME people have some other term for it, but I'm really not interested in that.
The activity bar serves it's purpose. It allows us to "store" programs there, had little icons for pop-up messages and allows us to easy access to our IM and torrent software (what else would you use it for?). All is well. Well, not really, see, there are a few problems with this bar. First of all, it's hidden. Meaning I have to move my mouse cursor to the bottom of the screen to show it -- while that's not really a problem in itself, hotspots are very popular these days (more on that later), it also means that if, for any reason, my cursor is ever in that area, the bar is shown. Very annoying when I need to pick something at the bottom of the screen that's very close to this, rather large, hotspot. But that's not all there is to say about this bar.
The bar has this "feature" where it will expand an icon to the left (i.e. move the icon to the left) to make room for some text message related to the icon (usually the icon's "title") which is the printed on the right side of the icon. Very clever. I wish they hadn't done that. The idea itself is fine -- the problem is that the icon moves. This makes it very difficult to actually click an icon, since moving the cursor to hit a small target, which has just moved at high speed, isn't exactly easy. If they had only printed the text above the bar, or on the left side, everything would have been fine. But no. The only possible position the text could be in that would screw this up, was the very position chosen. Bad call. Personally I would really prefer that it was just removed and the activity area was part of the top bar. Far less disturbing and it gives better overview of what's going on.
Enough about the activity bar. Let's move on to the "Activity overview" (I like activities). The activity overview is the mode you enter when you do one of the following things:
- Move your cursor to the top left corner of your primary screen
Click the text button on the top left corner of your primary screen
Press the Super button (windows key)
Either of these will do the same and two of those are fine -- the click or the button option. Option number 1 is
annoying for the simple reason that if your cursor moves to that hotspot, you are instantly switched into activity mode. Unfortunately a lot of games actually move the cursor to that very spot, just before switching to full-screen! Loose the hotspot please (or at least allow me, as a default option, to disable it).
No that we're at the activity stuff, this is where I have lots of praises to give to GNOME 3 -- I think this is, mostly, done the right way. The rest of this rant is going to sound harsher than it's meant to be.
First of all, I would really like it if the short cut bare on the left side would either vanish and never return again, or at least allow me (for example by deleting all items there) to disable it -- currently if it's empty the top and button areas will still be drawn (and the area won't be released for icons/windows).
Next, also related to the activity mode, I would really like it if the mode would display the app icon grid if no windows are open. This should be easy to detect and it just seem silly to display a lot of nothing when I have chosen "activity" -- doing so, to me, means that I want to do something, not look at a lot of nothing.
I have something like 40 points of complaints related to GNOME 3, most of which are what I would consider pretty obvious mistakes and some of which I have seen others complain about elsewhere, so I'm not going to complain about those thing. I would like to stress that it's a outright scandal that one has to install what is essentially a program which hack the desktop in order to get even basic configuration ability. Not having theme support is OK, but having support for themes and not allow the user to define their own theme is not. Not allow the use to configure how text is displayed should be considered a sin against computing.