GNOME 3.8 Released. Brings Back Classic Mode

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This morning, GNOME 3.8 was released. While there are many new exciting features for the GNOME Shell users of 3.8, I will be taking a look at the new Classic Mode reboot for GNOME.

Ever since the implementation of GNOME 3 and Shell, power-users and fans of the traditional GNOME 2 interface have been complaining about the way GNOME Shell functions and will argue that GNOME Classic was the better and more productive way of getting things done.

GNOME 3 did provide us with a Classic type interface which was referred to as Fallback Mode. But its intention was to be used by users who did not have the graphics grunt to run a full powered GNOME Shell desktop. Resulting in GNOME dropping back to Fallback Mode, hence its title.

The discussion of bringing back Classic Mode in to GNOME began in November 2012.

How does it work?

To begin, let’s understand that GNOME Fallback Mode has now been removed. The new GNOME Classic mode has been implemented as its replacement. GNOME Classic works by using the Gnome Extensions feature of GNOME 3. It’s a clever system where users can go to the GNOME Extensions website and install the extensions to their desktop to add and improve usability and the desktop experience. GNOME Classic now utilizes the same Extension method to implement a set of Extensions which pull in features which will essentially make GNOME 3 look and function like the old traditional GNOME 2 experience. But you will still be getting the benefits of GNOME 3.

GNOME is already receiving criticism for its implementation method of the new Classic mode. Personally, I think it’s a great concept. I am yet to test it here at Unixmen, but I have no doubts the GNOME developers have done a fine job of creating an environment that functions and looks just like the beloved GNOME 2 desktop still admired by so many of us. I am feeling confident that GNOME can finally put the whole controversy behind them and really put the effort in to move GNOME 3 forward in to a positive direction. Additionally, developers claim that this will also improve development of the code base as the code is now under the one base and not two different sets as was the case previously. This should see GNOME users getting more regular updates sooner and will benefit users of both camps.

Let us know if you’ll be switching to the new GNOME 3 Classic Mode. And if you won’t be, what are your reasons for it and what desktop environment do you use as a replacement? Comment below.