Short bio: Computer Scientist, FOSS supporter (read more)
Tux Machines (TM)-specific
I wanted to check out Gnome3 on my own, in spite of the wide range of reviews [or because of them!] I especially appreciated this review: https://piecesoflint.wordpress.com/2011/04/05/10-things-i-love-about-gnome-3/. I don't wish to repeat the findings, but add my own reactions.
Going to the gnome3.org site, and their “Try it out!” page is where you find the trial iso files.
Initially, I tried to use the opensuse 32bit iso with Gnome3, which failed at boot (both live on usb and using UNetbootin as live hard drive install.
I downloaded the Fedora-based Gnome 3 iso and it had no trouble running live from my hard drive. There is no Fedora branding; after all, Gnome3 is to be the focus!
The "problems" I found:
Rhythmbox crashed when I tried to have it use my music folder on my hard drive.
I could not get a touchpad tap to register as a button push, disconcerting that it is not setup, and I could not find a way to change that.
I would like to have a global scaling view of all apps open, not just for the current workplace.
What I liked:
I didn't time it, but the boot time was shorter with Gnome3 and the new kernel.
It is very responsive, lighter on resources compared to my current system. Here are the comparisons with only system monitor running and wifi connected:
Mint 10/Gnome2, kernel 2.6.35 advanced compiz effects, and AWN dock; dual cores use 1-13%, 450 megs RAM
Base Fedora/gnome3, kernel 2.6.38, gnome3 composite desktop effects; dual cores use 3-8%, 167 megs RAM
Some of this lightness and speed could be from the newer kernel's reported speed improvements, as well as Gnome3's reported reduction of Gnome2 “cruft.”
I quickly adapted to the new ways of doing things.
I like the way the "social" apps are integrated into the system, for immediate use (if you utilize such apps). What I don't know, and have not yet tested is, if you replaced any, will the new application be integrated into the system?
Just by hitting the super key (depending on your system, the one with the windows or ubuntu logo) the application/workplace desktop is instantly available, with the focus on the search box, so one doesn't have to leave the keyboard to start typing the name of an application to have it easily selected and started. If you like the use of the mouse to start programs, by moving an application icon to the left border dock, it will be added there for you to click to start that application.
The suspend worked simply and reliably, whether by laptop lid shut or clicking on suspend. [if you press "alt" while mousing over "suspend" it will become "poweroff" if one wishes to turn the system off.]
What I have seen, I like, and that is coming from someone who enjoys advanced compiz features for looks and productive use, AWN dock, and very comfortable with the Linux Minty ways of menuing, etc. It isn't as “flashy,” compared to the full compiz effects. Gnome3's overall look is modern and it has a smooth, yet purposeful, feel. I could see this as functional even for tablets. If your intent is to be productive, Gnome3 streamlines your motions and keystrokes to enable you to get to your task or application quickly.
Overall, Gnome3 is a YES!