Friday, 10 August 2012 11:29

GNOME OS: a bid to catch up with the big boys

By

In what can only be interpreted as a desperate attempt to catch up with the rest, the GNOME Desktop Project has announced that it will be developing its own operating system.

The announcement was made a few days back by Allan Day, a user interface developer with Red Hat. Day's post on this is, sad to say, the usual GNOME announcement, lacking in clarity, and long on buzzwords. But then, if it were otherwise, it would not be a GNOME announcement.

The O-S is meant to make GNOME available as an option for tablet and mobile users. But how long that will take is open to debate, given how slow GNOME has been to react in the past.

GNOME has been on a downward track ever since it was ditched by Canonical as the default interface for Ubuntu. Canonical wanted to go in one direction, GNOME had its own ideas and in April 2011, Ubuntu 11.04 emerged with a new look, called Unity.

Ubuntu had based its own release timetable on GNOME, coming out every six months to match the pace of development of the desktop project. But then, once design ideas started to diverge, Canonical had to look to going with what it thought would bring commercial success some years down the track.

GNOME's next effort, GNOME 3, did not exactly set the Thames on fire. It was the target of much criticism, but the GNOME developers did what they do best - they ignored all the criticism and went into denial.

This state of denial seemed peculiar when a project called GNOME shell extensions was begun to add some features to GNOME 3 which were not present in the main release. The level of user unhappiness with GNOME 3 was underlined even more when efforts by the Linux Mint distribution to preserve the attributes of GNOME 2 by using a fork called MATE as its defeault desktop environment met with much approval.

The downward trend in GNOME's fortunes has coincided with an upward trend in the fortunes of the KDE project, the main rival desktop environment in the Linux space. KDE has now ironed out all the kinks that were present in its 4.0 release - the one which made many users unhappy some four years ago - and is a mature solid product.

KDE has also made rapid strides towards a tablet version of the desktop and a release of the product, named Vivaldi, is expected sometime this year.

GNOME has yet to make any meaningful movement towards the mobile or tablet market. It appears to be stuck in the past, with no sense of direction.

The project is still stuck in the old timewarp of "write it and they will come". That no longer is the case; these days users are needed else projects tend to die. GNOME has corporate sponsors but given the multiplicity of projects, things have come to the point where the money invested has to make sense to the sponsors.

Else, it is very likely that if a more attractive option were to surface, the funds would go there. GNOME is now nearly 15 years old and it may not live to see its 20th if it continues to lag behind the rest of the development community in ideas and execution.

Read 6185 times

Please join our community here and become a VIP.

Subscribe to ITWIRE UPDATE Newsletter here
JOIN our iTWireTV our YouTube Community here
BACK TO LATEST NEWS here

GET READY FOR XCONF AUSTRALIA 2022

Thoughtworks presents XConf Australia, back in-person in three cities, bringing together people who care deeply about software and its impact on the world.

In its fifth year, XConf is our annual technology event created by technologists for technologists.

Participate in a robust agenda of talks as local thought leaders and Thoughtworks technologists share first-hand experiences and exchange new ways to empower teams, deliver quality software and drive innovation for responsible tech.

Explore how at Thoughtworks, we are making tech better, together.

Tickets are now available and all proceeds will be donated to Indigitek, a not-for-profit organisation that aims to create technology employment pathways for First Nations Peoples.


Click the button below to register and get your ticket for the Melbourne, Sydney or Brisbane event

GET YOUR TICKET!

PROMOTE YOUR WEBINAR ON ITWIRE

It's all about Webinars.

Marketing budgets are now focused on Webinars combined with Lead Generation.

If you wish to promote a Webinar we recommend at least a 3 to 4 week campaign prior to your event.

The iTWire campaign will include extensive adverts on our News Site itwire.com and prominent Newsletter promotion https://itwire.com/itwire-update.html and Promotional News & Editorial. Plus a video interview of the key speaker on iTWire TV https://www.youtube.com/c/iTWireTV/videos which will be used in Promotional Posts on the iTWire Home Page.

Now we are coming out of Lockdown iTWire will be focussed to assisting with your webinars and campaigns and assistance via part payments and extended terms, a Webinar Business Booster Pack and other supportive programs. We can also create your adverts and written content plus coordinate your video interview.

We look forward to discussing your campaign goals with you. Please click the button below.

MORE INFO HERE!

BACK TO HOME PAGE
Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

Share News tips for the iTWire Journalists? Your tip will be anonymous