GNOME in Trouble Again (or Still)?

by Ostatic Staff - Jul. 31, 2012

We knew that a certain segment of the Linux population was still unhappy with GNOME, but I thought most of issues were behind us; that most have adapted or moved on. But apparently, a wave of articles today suggests otherwise. Of course, an insider's blog post set off this campfire.

It seems a well-respected GNOME developer blogged recently that GNOME was "staring into the abyss." Benjamin Otte wrote that developers are leaving and the staff in general is understaffed. He state that GTK has only one person working on it and that the number of developers has declined sharply in the last few years. As if that wasn't bad enough Otte went on to say that "GNOME has no goals." He says he first noticed that in 2005! We all thought the new goal was to remake themselves for the smartphone market. Otte says that GNOME thinks of itself as a "'community that makes great software,' which is as nondescript as you can get for software development."

Finally, Otte makes the point that GNOME is losing hearts and minds, and computer screens. He states as evidence that distros are dropping GNOME for more traditional and lighter options, supporters are scaling back, and most importantly, many popular GNOME applications have never made the transition to GNOME 3.

These comments are an indictment of the GNOME project. In a previous post Otte said GUADAC was a "self-congratulating echo chamber." Users have complained for a long time that GNOME developers didn't listen to them and others have said that Red Hat plays too large a role in directing the project.

Only time will tell if this little kerfuffle will lead to some positive change or blow over.