It has been known that GNOME 3.8 will support a GNOME 2-ish environment through extensions. What wasn’t clear is if that option would be included in Gnome Control Center (similar to Fallback) or in Gnome Tweak Tool.
Neither will happen. GNOME “Classic” will start up a separate session, and that means we can choose it from GNOME Display Manager before we login in GNOME. In other words, gnomers will pay a lot of attention to it.
May not be the final name, but that is a small detail after all. The important thing is that GNOME will now offer all the cool stuffs (GOA, GCC, Notifications etc) powered by GNOME (which is a trusted name, regardless of complaints) to users that just don’t like the GNOME Shell interface.
I asked Debarshi Ray how Gnome Classic will work:
After a bit of to and fro (back and forth), we decided that we will expose the fallback mode replacement as a separate session. So, when the user tries to log in via GDM she will see two options for GNOME — the vanilla GNOME and the fallback mode replacement. We have not yet decided what to call these two modes. The current consensus is that ‘Classic’ is a bad name because it does not clearly convey any meaning, so I am trying to avoid using it so that it does not stick in people’s minds.
It will have the following 4 modifications:
- alternate alt+tab (going to be part of core, see bug 688913)
- minimize and maximize buttons by default
- some form of an application menu
- task bar or window switcher
The way this will work is that there will be a separate mode for this fallback replacement session. GNOME Shell allows you to define modes. Currently gdm, initial-setup and user modes are the primary modes, and there are some internal modes for the lock-screen and unlock-dialog. As a nice side-effect Florian has some code to let you define a new mode by dropping a JSON file in a particular directory. This might be useful for sysadmins who might want to run GNOME Shell in a customized / locked down mode.
You might want to follow bug 685744 for tracking progress.
Things are still in a state of flux, but I think the picture will be clearer by the end of next week.
This is definitely superb news for the people that got frustrated with GNOME 3, and though starting with just-4-extensions, more will arrive from the community to support a better GNOME 2 experience.
GNOME 2-ish Extensions
Ray added the default-min-max Extension yesterday (adds Max-Min Buttons on Title Bar) and Giovanni added a “classic-mode” build infrastructure, so the extensions that GNOME maintains at the moment are:
Matthias Clasen proposed few days ago a Taskbar Extension for GNOME Classic (#685744), so a Task Bar is also likely to be added in Classic Extensions.
This is the App-Menu Extension currently for GNOME Classic 3.8, but I guess they will change that. Also looking at Tetris, so far I didn’t get a line..
This is the Alternative Alt-Tab for Gnome 3.8, which might come for both Classic as Default and in Vanilla GNOME as an alternative. As Ray said, the final decisions will be taken in the next few days, so nothing is sure till then ;)