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After some time using (and customizing) it, I now quite like Gnome Shell but its sudden major change from Gnome 2 left me pretty shell shocked (arf) at first.

And to be at all comfortable with it I'm using about 15 extensions.

So now I see Gnome Shell as basically the core of a framework to develop your own desktop system. Not ideal, but I like it more than xfce (and cinnamon, last time I tried it).

My main problem is the lack of task bar: - I need to see what windows I have open, it gives me context - Without a taskbar, I'm not able to switch windows quickly

I like the visual context too, some of the dock extensions did a fine job last time I played with it.

The problem with relying extensions is that the Gnome team don't care about or even particularly like third party extensions and have no qualms about breaking them every update.

I think that this is more to do with just the fact that it's so new and immature that it's going to take a while for things to settle down... I expect that the interfaces the extensions depend on should stabilise fairly soon.

Ubuntu Unity and Gnome Shell on Gnome 3 both seem to take a few weeks to 'get into' I find.

Currently GS on Gnome 3.6 as provided by the Gnome Ubuntu Remix 12.10 has my attention, seems a good fit to my end user like use cases. The only plug-in at present is the one to put the hibernate command back on the power/system settings menu.

I find GS gives me the illusion of being more responsive (perhaps because when invoking the search screen there is no dynamic search going on) and is somehow 'quieter' in operation.

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