As far as Linus's post goes, well, I have my own feelings on the Gnome project. From my perspective the Gnome project completed it's purpose long ago when Trolltech opened up the QT kit under a GPL license and established a foundation to look after QT. Ubersoft actually mocked this well over a decade ago: https://www.eviscerati.org/comics/co...ant-win-losing
The current Gnome... clique... seems to have either lost sight of why Gnome was created to begin with, or just have no idea of Gnome's development roots and reason for existence. From my perspective the Gnome developers have never really gotten together and decided why they are doing what they are doing.
This could explain why we, as in outsiders to the Gnome development,_ continue to see development on the basis of non-nonsensical ideas such as removing clutter or making this grandma friendly. I'm sorry if the Gnome Developers are offended by this, but their Human Interface Design group is full of something that smells a lot like excrement.
I think realization that the Gnome developers really don't have a grasp on what Gnome is, or what is for, is starting to seep into some of the harder heads. As much as I dislike Canonical, they at least had the sense to start on something else. Granted, why Canonical didn't just drop Gnome, pull in KDE4, and then write their own Plasma-Interface to meet their UI requirements still eludes me. It would have been a much saner approach than trying to create a new GTK desktop from the ground up. Additionally it would have enabled Canonical to position Ubuntu to directly address a greater amount of downstream user-needs.
As far as the ultimate design goals go... well... I'm sorry. Design by FisherPrice is not a good thing. Emphasis on single screen workflow is not a good thing. Specific to Gnome, I am in complete agreement with Linus. Relying on extensions to replace functionality that was included by default in previous versions is just... dumb. Really. Really. Dumb.
I believe a point could also be made about the inablity of the Gnome or Canonical developers to consider previous usage patterns. When the KDE developers dropped the KDE3 codebase and worked on KDE4, early releases of KDE4 lacked features in the mature KDE3.x codebase. These features were not lacking because they were gone, they were lacking because they had not been rewritten and added back in. Somewhere around KDE4.4 or 4.5, the KDE4 desktop caught back up to the KDE3 functionality... and in the current KDE4.8 branch... completely blow KDE3's functionality out of the water... while... get this... still enabling users to use the KDE4 desktop exactly like they used the KDE3 desktop
Both Gnome 3 and Canonical Unity seem to have no comprehension on how they can push their desktop experience forward while still enabling functionality and User-interface behavior for users who do not want any changes to their User-Experience.