Do we need another desktop environment? There's already KDE Plasma, GNOME Shell, Xfce, MATE, Cinnamon and the list goes on for a while. System76 at least seem to think another is needed, one they control.
The news tip comes courtesy of System76 engineer Michael Murphy, who mentioned on Reddit their plans for it to be "its own desktop" and that it won't be based on GNOME like their most recent attempt with Cosmic but instead "it is its own thing written in Rust".
It's not a whole lot to go on right now but interesting regardless, because System76 are one of the biggest vendors of Linux hardware and they're the maker of their own Pop!_OS distribution based on Ubuntu. So they already supply the hardware, the distribution and later the desktop too. This will put them in quite a unique position, since they will have even more room to fully tailor the experience for their customers.
Not a huge surprise either, considering if you follow the System76 crew closely, you might have seen some friction between System76 engineers and GNOME recently with things like theming and customization. Seems there's some deeper technical problems that lead to this decision though.
Part of the problem appears to be the extensions system in GNOME, which many users of GNOME will know how twitchy it can be and how extensions often break with new GNOME releases. Discussing this Murphy mentioned "What are you expecting us to do? We have a desktop environment that is a collection of GNOME Shell extensions which break every GNOME Shell release. Either we move towards maintaining tens of thousands of lines of monkey patches, or we do it the right way and make the next step a fully fledged desktop environment equal to GNOME Shell.".
Murphy continued explaining some of the reasoning behind the decision, in reply to a user asking about what they plan to do versus GNOME to which Murphy replied "Significantly better stability over GNOME Shell, with much less resource usage, and more configurable out of the box. Achieving a modern software architecture for the desktop in Rust.".
What do you think to this? Let us know in the comments.