Gnome - "Why Do They Bother" apps

Doing a new install of EndeavourOS tonight and switching to Gnome again. That said…

Gnome is a VERY polished DE, but there are a few things that I just don’t get.
And I don’t mean the lack of system tray or “removed features” or other dead horses, I am thinking of some apps that just… take up dev time, as far as I am concerned.

The two on top of my head are of course:

The “web browser” that not even Fedora has some standard and seem to only exist so they can have screenshots with webpages using the Gnome CSDs. I don’t think a single distro except for Arch and Gentoo (because they don’t come with ANY standard web browser and Epiphany is included in Gnome) that “uses” the web browser.

And Gnome Movies, which I find is the most useless video player period. Across platforms. It has tons of features, but none that are usable. The “Subscribe to channels” function has what? Three channels in it, there are no others to be found because nobody uses it, and the three that are there are completely uninteresting. Yet that feature is front and center.

Both of these seem to be big bulky projects and I know how open source projects work so it’s not as easy as saying “Gnome Devs should focus elsewhere”… but they really should give up both projects and focus elsewhere.

I also don’t really see the reason for a built in mail client or a map app since well… web browsers exist but I guess in a company environment a built in mail app that is “Not Outlook” ™ might be a good thing…? But the web browser and Movies are the big ones.


There do seem to be several areas like this where the gnome team seems to be focused on the wrong things.


The nature of open source means that people can work on and contribute to whatever they want. It isn’t a corporation where there are determined resources and priorities.

That means that sometimes things will get worked on which might not be the most important to thing to you personally. The idea they it needs to be focused or that resources could be shifted to other priorities doesn’t always apply to open source. The people who work on those tools might not be interested in working on something else so stopping effort on those things may not actually result in more work being done in other places.


I know :slight_smile:

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Evolution (Mail App), I know I use it, and prefer it to Thundebird for integration and usage with MSExchange.

Epiphany has improved with every iteration, and in case you have not noticed there is a dearth of Web Browsers not based on Blink.

Videos the movie player, is really designed to play locally provided and hosted clips. It is not meant to be VLC.

All three serve a purpose when you look at the principal funders, and contributors for Gnome. They provide a completely open source alternative, designed to play nicely in a Corporate Environment running on a Rhel, Fedora, Centos base. Third party projects leave you no options when the s–hits the fan. Also as @dalto pointed out you can’t herd cats. They go where they want to, and do what they want to.


I guess they hope it will eventually catch. All projects have to start somewhere with zero traction. Maybe they just keep cranking it until it finally takes off. Or not :slight_smile:

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Two and a half things you say is true; Epiphany has Improved, but it is not in an usable state yet. I give you the sad fact that Firefox is losing tho, although I still think Fedora choosing Firefox and not Epiphany as default for vanilla Gnome 40 is both telling (about the sad state of Epiphany) and and correct from a Freedom perspective.

As for Movies… I still don’t see a use for it tho, the way you describe it. Most users do not use media servers, heck most COMPANIES do not use local media servers. You most likely have a media bank accessible thru the intranet and view it in Chrome (cough Epiphany cough). To only provide a movie player designed primarily for local media servers is both odd, and again, counter-productive.

As for Evolution, that is what I suspected above; it is an “Outlook” replacement for companies.

…Which kind of makes me wonder how people expect Linux to ever defeat Windows for home users if the absolutely most polished DE is not designed for home users in mind at all (as you say).

(To be fair this goes for almost all the DEs for Linux tho; I am not really happy with the functionality of any of them; they are either primitive, over complicated, aimed exclusively to a corporate situation OR all of the above. I have been laughed at before here for saying this but from an end user perspective for someone who does not care about Open Source and privacy issues (which is 99.99% of the world’s population) Window 10 is the best desktop that has ever been made, with Windows 7 as a close second).

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I feel like you are supposing your own preferences apply to “most users”. Most of the users I know would use a web browser to stream video content and would only use a media player for local content.


How many years has GNOME been around now? It should be out of the beginner phase by now, right?

I would look at the current GNOME again as an alternative, but in 2021 still no decent support for curved scaling? nope

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But that’s exactly what I am saying!
I took @nadb 's comment to mean “Local media server” as opposed to locally copied video files, aka what you use VLC for most of the time.

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Maybe they just want to include their stuff instead of killing it :thinking:

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===> mpv


And yet - I still can’t find an easy to way just set my calendar to Monday. . . and the extension didn’t work for me. (Unless there’s some glaring setting I am missing again like I was in KDE). Yet, Cinnamon has it.

But GNOME movies as you said. . . why?


I actually mean video clips on a local hard drive, or file server. Most streaming services have a dedicated app, or can be used by your browser. Also I never said Epiphany was usable, but it might be someday.

Also Evolution and mail clients in general are infinitely faster, more flexible, and generally offer offline access to your mail, items webmail fails at miserably in most cases.


nobody was talking about gnome being useless or in the beginner phase. we were talking about a specific application which offers a set o features that still waits for adopters in order to catch on and take off.


Its not only Gnome, Kde has its share of problematic apps as well also.
Then their was Amorok once a top rated music app that evolved to version 3 and then failed does it even work now all its competitors stay with the v2 base and succeded .
All software has its priorities so can get forgotten for long periods of time.
Gnome as I see has goals that software just works without user interaction, that takes a long time testing in a very fast moving environment, also costs money and a user-base the size of windows, 1.5% the Linux share is minute.


OK, then I guess it’s only useless for SOME.

Like everything else in life, it all comes down to personal preferences, likes and dislikes. After having tried KDE Plasma (again!) for some time, I do realize and admit that it is a “power” desktop but at the end of the day, I enjoy myself much more when I interact with Gnome. To me it’s like fun. It’s not like any other DE within the design paradigm of a traditional desktop. Gnome has chosen to go on it’s own way. Call it eccentric if you want. That’s what I like about it. Then there is a mutual adaptation between me and Gnome. We both have our limitations :wink: At the end, I think comparing apples and oranges is a futile practice and waste of time. You have Gnome and then you have the rest :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: