It was a movement started by the KDE group around 3 years ago — radically redesigning how the Linux desktop looks. Since then, Ubuntu — the most popular flavor of Linux out there — latched on and announced it too will radically alter how the computer interface will look.
Through all the retching changes, the ‘conservative’ linux user always had the predictable and most popular ‘skin’ of Linux — Gnome — to fall back on. It was the default on most flavors (distributions) of Linux — till this week.
Fedora, the second most popular distribution, after Ubuntu, too has moved to a complete overhaul of the Gnome user interface. Like Unity, the interface favored by Ubuntu, the new Gnome interface, called Gnome 3, also misses the usual ‘unfolding’ program menu, a ‘click to open’ application panel that helps users move from one program to another and several widgets.
Even KDE, the second most popular User Interface for Linux distributions, kept the traditional items like ‘unfolding user menu’ and click to change ‘task bar’ on its panel.
Predictably, the new overhaul has drawn severe protests from users who were used to switching from their firefox to openoffice wordprocessor by clicking on the task bar.
As a result, a simple program-switch that would taken a single click on the old system needs 2 or 3 clicks.
“The whole environment is significantly less configurable than its predecessor and is missing a handful of important features,” wrote Ryan Paul of the tech blog Ars Technica.
On the other hand, the new system is definitely snappier and slicker and makes the old Gnome version look sedate and well, old-fashioned. However, the slickness also comes at a price — the new Gnome shell uses more graphics power than the older one.