"Menus in a Muddle
"So far as menus goes, choosing between GNOME versions is a
matter of which inconveniences you prefer. Do you want your
workspace blocked by submenus spilling across the desktop, as with
GNOME 2's classical menu, or do you want to leave your workspace
for a full-screen menu, as with GNOME 3?
"One of GNOME 2's trademark is the Applications / Places /
System set of top-level menus. The Places menu is of limited use,
but the System menu has the advantage of making configuration and
administration tools easy to find. In most implementations, it has
no favorites menu, although you can easily create one using the
Drawer applet or a launcher like the Avant Windows Navigator (AWN)
on the desktop.
"By contrast, GNOME 3's menu appears in the overview, not the
main workspace. The overview installs with a launcher for
favorites, and divides the menu into Windows and Applications.
Configuration and administration tools are part of the general
menu. However, you can use the System Tools filter to find them
"In GNOME 3, reaching the menu requires two clicks: one to reach
the overview, and a second to switch the menu from the default
Windows to Applications. After that, both require two clicks, one
on a sub-menu, and one on the application to launch anything. GNOME
3's filters are no advantage, since GNOME 2's sub-menus give much
the same functionality.
"Verdict: If not inconveniently placed on the overview, GNOME
3's menus would be the winner. After all, if using the menu is
going to disturb your work anyway, the menu might as well give you
a clear, full-screen view. As things are, both versions of GNOME
have enough shortcomings that I have to declare a tie. However, I
suspect that many users would prefer GNOME 2 just because it's more