Let me explain it. I like it that gnome is spending so much of there time to new features like (useless) flash support. and (useless) youtube support in totem or lets take the (useless) webkit support in epiphany.. or even a (useless) redesign of gdmsetup! (from the gnome 2.22 roadmap)
Revamp of configuration management system so it is based on XML (USELESS!! it was working so why break it!)
All the improvements on Gnome Games are USELESS as well.
Nice effect when clicking on a launcher (WHY DO I NEED IT?!?!?!?!)
Now there are a lot more useless improvements in gnome but i will name a few useful ones now
Redesign of GDM so that it makes use of D-Bus for all interprocess communications
Support for NewStuffManager (soon to be renamed to Capuchin): easy download of additional plugins from internet (can also be seen as useless)
Support for using blank passwords with keyrings which results in an unencrypted keyring. (was about time)
Work on Firefox 3 accessibility interoperability
Migration to gio/gvfs
I seriously couldn't find more improvements that really give me a "Wow glad that it's fixed/changed" feeling..
Now why am i so hard at pointing out the useless parts of gnome in 2.22? I will tell you all about it.
Oke i'm using gnome for about 2 years now and got to know a lot of it's parts and found more and more things that i simply don't like. I do intend to try out KDE 4 as soon as i get Fedora 9 (alpha/beta/rc/final) installed. Over a year ago i got so sick of the thumbnails size of images anywhere in nautilus that i started to make a patch for nautilus so that you don't need to have such huge and ugly thumbnails compared to the normal icon size (48x48 == default and the thumbnails where double that). Back than i had nearly no c coding experience and couldn't actually make it. I got some help with it. Now i am better at it but still bad. I posted the patch in Gnome's bugzilla and it got modified and than (thankfully) accepted. you can see the result of it in gconf-editor : /apps/nautilus/icon_view/thumbnail_size that got in and is living in gnome since version 2.20 (i still fail to understand why they left the default size of the thumbnails to 96x96). That was my first bad experience with gnome (nautilus in particular).
About that same time i got to use gnome on a daily basis and i really got "frustrated" by the fact that long filenames where not truncated to 2 lines on the desktop. bugzilla report of 2002 can be found here: http://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=84390
Now at this time they finally put in a fix into pango so that setting this on 2 lines by default is working but they STILL didn't make it in nautilus! and it doesn't look like it's gonna be in gnome 2.22 and you just hope it gets done for 2.24. The base to make it is there.. they simply don't do it.
Now the desktop itself. You can have the icons nearly everywhere.. there is no grid where you place the icons on like you do have in KDE/XFCE/windows This is really a irritating issue and makes the desktop look ugly (there is no structure in the icons placing) you can just drag/drop it where ever you want it. Things improve a little when you click "Clean up by name" and select "Keep aligned" but than it still looks extremely ugly! I am gonna try to work on this for gnome but not because i like there work on it but because the current way is frustrating me. What gnome absolutely needs is to have a decent working GRID on the desktop where you can drag/drop your icons in just like in KDE/XFCE and windows. And the filenames needs to be truncated if it exceeds 2 lines.
And for the menu structure.. in gnome you have a menu icon for EVERYTHING which makes it hard to use for new linux people that get gnome. I personally started out with KDE and switched to gnome somewhere around the release of Fedora 4 or 5. But with KDE 4 i think i'm gonna go back to it. But lets continue on the gnome menu's.. Lets for example say you want to change the resulution of your screen or want to see the progress list.
progress list is in:
Applications -> System -> System Monitor
Resolution is in: System -> Preferences -> Hardware -> Screen Resolution
System -> Administration -> Display
2 apps with 2 names on 2 different locations both for the display settings. And it are all system things so WHY is System monitor in another place than Screen Resolution or Display? you tell me..? it's just not obvious to me.
Gnome has a Control Center (gnome-control-center) but that one doesn't appear in the menu.. so they have a way to make it all look better but are just not using it which is just plain stupid. I think it would be best if you kill out all the icons in the menu that are in the control center as well. KDE has understand this and are doing a way better job on this. Don't know about XFCE. Just one control center that contains all the apps that can change the way the system work/monitor tools or adjust (system sensitive) setting.
So that is why i noted the useless new parts in gnome. They can add all the features they want and they are cool indeed but i won't call it cool when they didn't fixed the BIG issues that i've just described. I've used a gnome 2.22 beta 2 for a few days and none of those issues have been fixed in there.
Now i'm NOT a gnome hater and not a windows lover (quite the opposite) but gnome just has a lot of issues that are so basic and yet are not good in gnome. I use gnome because in fedora 8 it's the only decent desktop environment. i miss things in xfce and kde 3.5.x just doesn't do it for me. I would like to see OpenBox get updated with a panel and a desktop where i can have icons.. than i'm likely to leave the bulkyness behind completely and just use the extremely fast (i know there i even faster) OpenBox.
And i posted this here because i just wanted to tell you all what my opinion is about gnome and what they should be doing (fixing nearly 6 year old bugs).
That's it for my thoughts on the new gnome (a waste of development time)
Gnome has a Control Center (gnome-control-center) but that one doesn't appear in the menu.. so they have a way to make it all look better but are just not using it which is just plain stupid.
As far as I understand it, most people (developers) prefer the menus to the control center. Until recently you couldn't even hide Preferences from the System menu... you can now, but it's not default. I think the control center is nice though