Why is it that the linux kernel, as an open source project, doesn't seem to receive this scorn, whereas so many other open-source projects do - i.e. gnome, kde, ubuntu ?
Is it because the linux kernel generally doesn't complete revamp things. Linus proudly announced that there would be nothing exciting in the 3.0 kernel.
Or is it because the linux kernel is more of a community thing? It sounds like Linus doesn't do much 'directing' - he simply agrees or disagrees with patches. The linux kernel is like a sandcastle built up very slowly by millions of ants, with no large interventions, such as a spade. Whereas other opensource projects seem to get razed and re-built on a regular basis.
On the other hand, when linus got frustrated with the version control system, he did entirely build his own one. But this isn't a fair comparison because the system they were using was not open-source.
If a desktop GUI took the kernel model of development - i.e. lots of very small incremental changes - would we want to use it? Is this xfce's development model?
On a slight red-herring, a lot of people here mention centos and red hat. What is Red Hat going to do for a desktop GUI? They can't seriously be thinking of going to gnome 3? MATE is probably not stable enough.