Gnome 2 and 3
|Ubuntu with Gnome 2|
|Ubuntu with Unity|
Gnome 3Gnome 2 and Unity both had their virtues and their flaws. The six-monthly upgrade cycle ("cadence") was never as smooth as it should be, so there have often been niggles that lasted a few weeks or months. I didn't like Unity's two different search boxes.
|Ubuntu with Gnome 3|
The biggest boo-boo in the development of Gnome from version 3.8, was fooling with the default file-manager, Nautilus. Many people have complained about the stripping out of function, like split-screen, and that was bad enough. So was the nonsense about shifting the menus to the panel bar (or not!). But what hasn't got mentioned so much (at all?) is that the new Nautilus changed all the keyboard shortcuts and rearranged the shortcuts relating to the menu system. So Alt-F didn't bring up a "File" menu any more, for example. Right mouse-click+R didn't begin renaming a file. If one uses computers all day, then one's fingers get trained, and no interface designer should mess with that stuff without expecting backlash. With Nautilus 3.8, it was like being a beginning typist again, looking at my fingers, chicken-pecking for keys.
I liked the general design model of Gnome 3, with the corner switch to the meta level for choosing programs, desktops, and so on. Searching for lesser-used programs with a few keystrokes rather than poking hopelessly through nested menus. Much better. A genuine and valuable contribution to the vision of how a computer should work.
Thanks to Webupd8, I was able to work around the Nautilus problem by uninstalling it and using Nemo instead.
But things just kept going wrong. The shell crashed too often. On two of my machines it stopped coming up at login, and had to be started manually. Only after a couple of weeks did I track this down to a bad file in ~/.config/gnome-session (and I'm still not 100% sure). Frequent crashes of the gnome-control-panel and other utilities. More and more extraordinary tweaking to make it comfortable and useable. Finally, I've had enough.
|Ubuntu with Cinnamon|