When I first tried gnome3 some time back I didn't like it, had to for instance hunt around to figure out how to add minimise and maximise buttons in windows titlebar. Having tried it again more recently and this time I get-it more ... don't bother closing windows, even just keep them full screen size and mouse into top left corner and launch another program/window. Then to switch between them just mouse into the top corner again.
I swapped out the default file manager for pcmanfm that I'm more familiar with and this time I'm really liking gnome. I've set it up to auto load kodi on workspace (desktop) 1 and firefox on workspace 2 so all ready to go from bootup (activate the radio station using kodi of my preferred choice, then switch to workspace 2 to start browsing).
Nice how you can use just the keyboard to swap around windows (Special key (Win) tab, or even just special key alone to view all of the available windows and then tab between them) ... or just use the mouse to navigate around.
Whilst the layout is less configurable, having a common standard is a good thing in many ways. Making you focus more on actual applications than the looks of the desktop, and having everyone using a similar desktop is better/easier tested/supported.
With Ubuntu throwing their developers towards gnome ... should be a good thing. A bit like getting more developers to look at a common standard bootup (init ... systemD), rather than millions (ok slight exaggeration) of different variations of fundamentally doing the same/similar task/function.
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