I never really hated GNOME 3. I can’t say I was ever overly thrilled with it, but I feel like it gets innovation right to some level. I was willing to put up with Alt-`, no taskbar, and wonky dual monitor support in the name of “innovation,” but there was one thing I could never get used to: temporary notifications. If you happen to miss a notification, you can lose track of an IM conversation for quite a while.
I eventually got frustrated enough with Empathy (the XMPP support is really lacking, and the whole thing felt buggy to me) to switch to Psi, which led me to another realization: tray icon notifications were now completely useless, and I’d be stuck with Empathy forever, as it seems to be the only one to support the (frustrating) GNOME 3 notifications.
Well, I’ve had enough. I decided to cut the cord two days ago and it’s been smooth sailing since. I’d share some screenshots, but I’ll make it easier for you: it looks exactly like GNOME 2.
While I eventually got frustrated with GNOME 3, it did have some features I liked. Luckily, most of those were easily replaced:
- Kupfer (http://kaizer.se/wiki/kupfer/) is in the AUR, and is a welcome Gnome-Do/Quicksilver/whatever clone (since GNOME-Do is conspicuously absent in all Arch repositories)
- xfwm4-tiling (https://aur.archlinux.org/packages.php?ID=40030) or the patch linked from that package provide the “aero-snap” functionality that Windows 7 Aero and GNOME 3 provide
- Panels can be tweaked on each monitor to show only open windows (think UltraMon on Windows)
- I actually tweaked the virtual desktops to match GNOME 3 style, since it interferes with the -tiling patch otherwise