Ubuntu – future for Gnome Classic


Note: This question has the potential to cause unneccessary debate about the merits and demerits of Unity, Gnome3, and Gnome Classic. I would like to avoid that and concentrate solely on the issue of future support for Gnome Classic. Thanks for your help!

I am using Gnome Classic, which suits me more than either Unity or the Gnome3 shell.

I think it has the potential to be the best of all possible worlds, in that it has the new Gnome3 code base which appears to be faster and more stable, and also approximates the things that I feel made the Gnome 2.2 shell great.

However, it is not perfect. There are some minor faults in the way panels, the desktop, and other details are handled.

Over time, by asking questions and hopefully getting help, maybe I could resolve those issues and arc towards a UI that I fully enjoy. Also, I would hope that simultaneously, there are big fixes and development happens.

However, I am unsure about whether or not this is worth the effort. Is Gnome Classic just the remnants of Gnome 2.2, and will not be supported or developed further?

Is there a chance it will be forked and possibly expanded upon?

Is there anyone who is working to make Gnome Classic equal in priority to the other shells?

In order to make decisions about whether or not it's worth asking questions, I'd like to know if Gnome Classic is a living, breathing, project, or, is it dead on arrival? Will it cease to even exist in Ubuntu 12.04?

Best Answer

The Gnome Classic in 11.10 is Gnome Panel 3. It has been ported to GTK 3, so there's no reason not to support it. The question of development is mostly a question of popularity. Gnome Panel 2 have been very popular, but I'm not entirely sure that's because of the panels themselves, but because of the large number of available applets that is available for it. From a users perspective, these were quite nice, but from a developers perspective, the technology they were based on, are horribly outdated. So the question remains if anyone is going to actually port them to the new platform. If that happens, then I think Gnome Panel 3 can have a good future, but it requires quite a bit of effort and somebody has to do the work.

Because of this, I am a little bit sceptical that it will "take off". It seems more likely to me that people who want a similar environment to Gnome 2 will move on to Xfce, which already has a community and some momentum. I don't think Gnome referring to it as a fallback helps create enthusiasm to rebuild the Gnome 2 experience on Gnome 3.

But this is pure speculation. It's impossible to tell how this will unfold.