I keep reading the constant rehash that Gnome Shell is a tablet interface. Rubbish. Gnome Shell is way too mouse centric. A tablet shell could be created, and that is what Gnome 3.x is all about. A framework that can be made into anything. Some people see the way it works, that is why we have Cinnamon. Cinnamon for Gnome 2.x die-hards. Cinnamon is just an alternate shell for Gnome 3. Others can be created, it only takes imagination and you have your own DE. Cinnamon is only about 4mb of packages. You can use extensions to bend Gnome Shell in all sorts of ways. If you look at http://extensions.gnome.org you find an ever growing list of extensions for all sorts of gizmos and gadgets and UI changes.
You can guess that I use Gnome 3.4. I have a selection of extensions to make my desktop the way I like it. With Gnome Tweak Tool and a few extensions you can make a DE that mimics Gnome 2.x, if that is your want. But, you have to take the time to learn how it works, try things out, change it again, then settle on your creation. "But, I should not have to do all that just to make it work" - funnily enough most of us who use 3.4 like the default more than 2.x. Then fiddle with it to make it a bit different.
How to make Gnome Shell act like Gnome 2.x
Install Gnome Tweak Tool and use it to have the file manager control the desktop - then spread your icons everywhere (shudder!)
Window List Extension
Hot Corn Dog
User Themes - manually copy the themes into ~/.themes
Frippery Move Clock
That is a good start point, you would end up with one toolbar along the top, a traditional menu (but more like the Mint Menu), a task switcher, and shut down as a default item. And a traditional desktop.
"But, I should not have to do all that just to make it work" - easier than installing Mate and you have all the latest versions of Gnome libs and programs.
I don't need Gnome for that, but I need X-Windows.
But in any case this discussion moot. RedHat will keep having a GUI which will need to support old graphics cores because they're integrated into the BMC.
I just checked a Dell R910:
VGA compatible controller: Matrox Graphics, Inc. MGA G200eW WPCM450
with the time they spent fixing build errors, renaming software to stop conflicts, while also making small changes to nautilus - they could have written the missing components they wanted for Gnome 3 and had time to spare ~ Fork gnome-panel, add a few missing features, etc. Mate at best is a band-aid.
I must admit that I am disappointed at the state of the panel in Gnome 3 Fallback Mode as it is currently in Fedora 17, but other than that I have little to no complaints about the classic interface.
I think Mate with Gtk3 and some selectively merged Gnome3 changes/apps would be the right thing to do for RedHat.
Yeah, and maybe that'll happen in four or five years time, if they developers haven't given up by then. The only way the MATE developers are going to get to Gtk 3 is by throwing out most of the Gnome 2 code they've inherited, and starting again based on the work the Gnome 3 devs have already done.
Yes, well - heaven forbid that different people have different opinions. Benjamin Otte might be unhappy with Gnome direction (or lack thereof), but that doesn't mean others can't hold more positive views.