If you don't like them, don't use them. They are brilliant and keep your fingers away from them.
Agreed. Virtual desktops are the single greatest aspect of the collective X desktops - a killer feature when I started with Linux fifteen years ago, and a vital part of every desktop I've used since. Their absence is one of the things I hate most when I occasionally have to use Windows machines - it's not a stock feature, and none of the addons I've tried have been particularly good. That's not a negotiable feature as far as I'm concerned - any desktop which doesn't have them is one I won't even consider using.
Sure you can change the background. I prefer naming the groups, as Panorama does, but some people may prefer the more visual differentiation that backgrounds provide (since I basically never see my desktop it doesn't matter to me but, as you say, some people do care and the amount of code added shouldn't be a great deal).
I don't know what this "Panorama" thing you refer to is, but it sounds clunky and inflexible. I don't want to define task groups - that sounds like something that requires me to think about it. Shuffling stuff around virtual desktops is something I can do pretty much reflexively...
Originally Posted by liam
For the most part I would imagine you would only need a few task groups and those would almost never change (say, Research, Coding, Fun Time, for example). So, once you set these up, and setting them up is as easy as launching the windows in Overview, lassoing/drag-n-drop/alt-click/whatever the windows you want to group, name the group..
No. *You* might only need a few task groups that rarely change - *I* tend to create and re-purpose virtual desktops all the time. I might have one for email and web, a few more for the two or three things I'm working on in parallel, and then when someone comes past with a question, I need a new desktop for any windows I need to open as part of answering that question - a couple of terminals, text editors, maybe bringing up a full-fledged IDE if it's something really complex. So if Gnome were to drop virtual desktops in favour of your task groups I'm forced to deal with a bunch of overhead for managing those groups. No thanks.