What's wrong with Gnome

Gnome3 has been a struggle. Unity has been a struggle. I've been a steadfast ubuntu/gnome user through the process. To make the desktop workable for me, I do a couple things.

  1. Disable online lenses from unity to prevent constant irrelevant upsell content from being displayed in the applications menu.
  2. Don't use unity. Install Gnome and use "Gnome Classic." The Gnome3 shell has greatly improved in stability and useability, but early versions pushed me into "gnome classic" which is something of a blend between Gnome3 with taskbars from Gnome2.

However, with Ubuntu 14.04, even I must frown upon gnome for their direction and attitude. I use gnome and ubuntu because it provides the most attractive desktop experience while providing the benefit of debian packages. I spend a lot of time in the terminal, so I'm willing to overlook glaring holes in the UI where features simply haven't been implemented yet. Gnome 3.6 is the best yet, except they've decided to remove terminal transparency. This is a blocking feature for me. I want an attractive and functional desktop experience, and consider a transparent terminal a required component of that.

First, let me say what a great terminal guake appears to be. With the loss of transparency in gnome terminal, I was forced to look for alternatives and found guake. It supports transparency, tabs, and seems to have everything I need. Guake isn't designed to be a terminal window like any other desktop application. It is modeled after the terminal found in PC games; it is always available, but hidden. Hitting a specific key (often ~ in PC games, but F12 for guake) will toggle the terminal to/from the foreground. On my main desktop I have multiple monitors and dedicate one monitor to my terminal, so guake might not work in that setting. But guake works very well on my laptop which has limited screen space. In fact, this approach works better than gnome-terminal in this environment, so I'm kind of glad gnome decided to ruin their terminal and cause me to look for alternatives.

Now let's look at just what is going on with gnome-terminal. This bug report sums it all up and is very sad to read because it illustrates some very poor choices and attitudes coming out of gnome. I'm still hanging in as a gnome user and like a lot of what they're producing, but killing a much loved feature with so little concern for users is a tragedy.