Gnome Shell: Not for me

Last week I posted about Ubuntu’s Unity desktop environment.  I have spent time since using the Gnome Shell for a similar amount of time.

  1. The two environments (Unity vs Gnome Shell) feel like different themes skinned over the same thing.  It is a complete mystery as to why the Unity folks felt the need to start their own project, rather than just make Gnome Shell theme-able, and then skin an Ubuntu theme over the top.
  2. The gnome shell uses considerably less CPU and GPU to render the environment (but still more than Gnome Classic No Effects).  The laptop is much quieter and quite noticeably less warm running Gnome Shell than when running Unity.
  3. The Unity interface is very “child’s plastic toy” themed, when compared to the slightly slicker Gnome Shell theme.  The notification pop-ups take a bit of getting used to, but tend to be nicer than notify-osd.
  4. The methods for choosing and switching between tasks and windows is equally revolting in both Unity and Gnome Shell.  The Gnome Classic task bars are still a clear ergonomic winner, for me.  All this whizzing around of window thumbnails is cool the first time, but it gets old real fast, by the second day it’s where the hell do I disable that? Yuck.
  5. The only good thing was that Gnome Shell uses the Metacity algorithm for window placement.

Just as with Unity, I can’t recommend Gnome Shell as a productive work environment.