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I don't think the criticism is solely because features are missing; it's the fact that existing features are removed and the process by which those changes are communicated ahead of time (seemingly, they're not).

It's the same philosophy underpinning OS X. The UI should do what it is supposed to do, do it well, and do no more. "Get out of my way" design at its best.

Removing customization options and features that are not seen to be necessary is an inevitable part of the transition to this philosophy.

GNOME is positioning itself as a more simple, user-friendly desktop environment. Quite frankly, if total customization is your thing, there are plenty of other options available to you.

It's not my thing. I do think it's pretty poor form to take out APIs without some more advanced warning and heads up to the community than apparently the gnome team provides. Whatever they think they're doing in terms of communicating their roadmap/plans/vision wrt their API, it's certainly not enough based on this sort of feedback.

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