An Explanation for the Window Controls Removal (Minimize, Maximize buttons) of Gnome Shell

It has been a while since the Gnome Shell first came out with its “radical” changes. One major change was the removal of the “Minimize” and “Maximize” buttons and some people are still a bit (or quite) mad at Gnome developers for removing those beloved buttons (;-)) from the Window controls and they deserve a bit of an explanation.

The “Maximize” function is not actually criticized (as far as I know) as you can maximize a window easily by dragging them towards the top menu-bar for instance. Despite the fact that there isn’t a “place” to minimize a window, due to the UI design of Gnome Shell, some people still kinda miss it (including me).

Then again, just because the “minimize” buttons isn’t there doesn’t mean the whole idea of “minimization” is missing, as you can use the “workspaces” as a somewhat an alternative method.

It however, does not give you the exact functionality of the old method and can also be a bit hectic while doing so as well (when comparing with the act of simply “clicking the Minimize button” that is).

Yep, that’s all you gonna get! ๐Ÿ˜‰ …

Anyhow, again, it’s been quite a while since this has happened and I don’t know if it’s worth giving personal opinions again and again over it. But if you still have thoughts inside your head that say “what the heck happened?!” ๐Ÿ˜€ and would like to have a “reasonable explanation” which led to such decisions, then there’s this Gnome mailing list that I found today (you perhaps may have read it already) that might worth reading (it’s not that long).

The mailing list took place about 2-3 months before the initial release of Gnome Shell and is written by “Owen Taylor” (a RedHat engineer). And I honestly don’t know how you feel about this approach, you might still be quite pissed off or perhaps have “moved on” or actually loving the new implementation over the old/classic one.

But apart from all that, one thing that bugs me is the fact that (according to that mailing list message) this new “window controls implementation” is based on the experiences of two individuals! (two experienced, power users).

However, I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing to implement something new by based on the experiences of a few. Because sometimes, a single opinion of an experienced professional can outperform the opinions of a thousand others, resulting an “optimized” outcome for the community.

But I think most would agree to the fact that, life is not always about trying to give out the “best”, or trying to improve things using the best possible “sources”, because what matters the most at the end, is having the decency to … you know what, let me quote ” The Godfather” here ๐Ÿ˜‰ …

” … you (to ‘Bonasera’) come to me, and you say: ‘Don Corleone, give me justice.’ But you don’t ask with respect. You don’t offer friendship. You don’t even think to call me Godfather. Instead …”

Is it too much to ask ? (I hope I didn’t offend anyone, especially the Gnome developers, I respect your work, a lot).

An RHCE, 'Linux' user with 14+ years of experience. Extreme lover of Linux and FOSS. He is passionate to test every Linux distribution & compare with the previous release to write in-depth articles to help the FOSS community.

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