The GNOME Project is now 20 years old
The GNOME Project was born on August 15, 1997, when Miguel de Icaza and Federico Mena Quintero started this initiative with the goal of building a graphical user interface for Linux that does not use any non-General Public License elements. GNOME 1.0 arrived two years later when its main competitor, KDE, had been around for around three years already.
Since the 1999 release that opened the road for GNOME, no less than 33 stable releases of this GUI were launched. GNOME's applications are now available under the terms of the GNU General Public License and now the suite includes popular products like the Evolution email client, the AbiWord word processor, or the Epiphany web browser.
After the first release, it took three years for GNOME 2.0 to arrive, while GNOME 3.0 was only released in 2011. Sadly, this major update was not well received, although things got better in the meantime and Linus Torvalds concluded that GNOME 3 is usable.
Unfortunately, GNOME reached the peak of its popularity back in the GNOME 2 period. A recent GUI poll placed it in the fifth position, behind KDE Plasma, Xfce, Cinnamon, and MATE. The next version, dubbed GNOME 3.26 "Manchester," is expected to arrive in September.