GNOME 3.0 which is due for release in September 2010 has been getting some bad press for quite some time now. We did an article about the new GNOME Shell that is making its way into GNOME 3.0 a couple of months ago. If you judge by the response we got to that article from our readers, it is quite obvious that most of the people did not like what they were seeing. Even in Slashdot, where our article made it to (sorry I can't dig up the post), the readers were very critical about the whole GNOME 3.0 thing.
Now, the GNOME team is trying to clear things up with GNOME 3.0. To do that they have posted a wiki entry answering some critical questions that users have been raising regarding GNOME 3.0. So, here is a brief summary:
GNOME 3.0 does not require a powerful graphics card
The GNOME team says that if your current graphics solution can handle GNOME 2.x, it should be able to handle GNOME 3.0. The GNOME Shell is the only component in GNOME 3.0 that requires 3D or graphics acceleration. Any relatively new computer (bought within the last 4 years as they say in the wiki) should be able to handle it. In the worst case scenario, you can always ditch GNOME Shell and go back to the Panels and Metacity.
GNOME 2.x Panels and Metacity will still be available
As we wrote above, in case your configuration cannot handle GNOME Shell or you plain does not like it, the good old Panel and Metacity will always be available. However, it is upto the distros to decide if they want to include it or not.
Nautilus will remain the default file manager
Despite all the speculations, the GNOME Activity Journal is not going to replace Nautilus as the default file manager. In fact Nautilus has been undergoing a lot of changes recently to remove some of its overlapping functions with GNOME Shell.
GNOME 2.x applications will work with GNOME 3.0 desktop
Most of the GNOME 2.x applications will require very little porting to GNOME 3.0 as most of the API's removed from GNOME 3.0 has been deprecated in GNOME 2.x for quite some time. Moreover, the distributions will still be able to provide the GNOME 2.x platform. However it will take some time to develop applications taking advantage of the new GNOME 3 technologies.