Two years ago at GUADEC, the annual developer's conference for GNOME, it was announced that GNOME 2.30 would be released as GNOME 3.0. With GNOME's long-standing tradition of putting out major updates every six months, this put the GNOME 3.0 release to be in March of 2010. Last November it was then decided to delay GNOME 3.0 to September of 2010 to give developers more time to prepare on this first major overhaul to the GNOME desktop in years. It's just been announced though from this year's GUADEC conference happening this week that GNOME 3.0 will now not be released until March of 2011...
I do have to voice my utter astonishment with the fact that GNOME 3 will not work without 3d acceleration.
GNOME is a part of the GNU project, and thus closely involved with the FSF, yet they are going to FORCE PEOPLE TO USE PROPRIETARY SOFTWARE.
In other words, GNOME 3 will not work on a free system as long as you have an nvidia card or (currently) Radeon Evergreen, or Poulsbo. People running free drivers on such hardware will not be able to use GNOME 3.
and i guess the first couple gnome 3 releases will be as bad as the early kde 4 releases till ~4.3 or 4.4
I doubt that - Gnome 3.0 may have a very different overall UI, but the code differences between it and the last of the 2.x series will actually be very small. It mostly discards older unsupported APIs, rather than adding a lot of new stuff - to the point where right now, many Gnome packages can be switched between 2.0 and 3.0 without touching anything but the Makefile...
That's not to say it'll be perfect, of course - new code is still being written, and existing code migrated away from those old APIs. But with the exception of the radically new features like Shell, I suspect Gnome 3.0 will be more stable than the average point-zero release.