With so much focus on how one desktop environment compares with another, it's easy to lose focus on what really matters here the applications we use each and every day.
With this in mind, Ill highlight twenty great applications I like to use on the GNOME desktop.
1) Geany Gedit, among other GTK text editors, are all fine and dandy. But what about when you want something with a bit more kick to it? Geany is a lightweight Integrated Development Environment (IDE) that provides all the functions of a good text editor, in addition to features one might find with similar alternatives. The big features here include code folding and syntax highlighting.
2) Banshee Officially, it's not a GNOME project, but its roots are very close to GNOME regardless. At the end of the day, I've been using Bashee for so long that it's simply my preferred media player when it comes to music and podcasts. Bundled with playlist management and the device syncing options, it's a great option for folks such as myself -- despite the expected grief Ill receive for including it.
3) Inkscape - Not all vector graphic editors are created equal. More importantly, you don't have to spend a bucket of money on a proprietary product to be able to produce high-end, great looking vector graphic results. SVG graphics have never been more accessible than with Inkscape.
4) Gimp or The GIMP To graphic pros, I realize that this may not seem like much of a Photoshop alternative. Yet to individuals looking for most of the functionality found in proprietary apps like Photoshop, using Gimp is really not that big of a leap once you have gotten yourself past any perceived learning curve. From filters to effects, Gimp is one awesome photo editing app.
5) gThumb Sometimes you simply want to view and perhaps make simple edits to an image before sending it on its way. In addition to its image viewing options, gThumb also makes for a decent photo organizer and to a lesser degree, editor. Speaking exclusively for myself, I tend to use gThumb for quick cropping of photos more than anything. It loads fast and I can crop in just half a second.
6) BloGTK If you're managing multiple blog accounts across various web platforms, then I'd say that you might want to consider looking into BloGTK. Now Ubuntu users may find there to be some issues with it not running right, but it should work great on other distros while the bugs are worked out. The functionality of being able to quickly and easily post to multiple blog accounts from one location is very attractive. And BloGTK is one such app that makes this possible.
7) Empathy Definitely one of those applications you either love or hate, as may people may still prefer Pidgin. I happen to be in the camp of users who enjoy using Empathy for my instant messaging needs. I am especially happy with the LAN feature that allows me to simply "see" anyone who is using the same app on my LAN, without needing to add them. Very cool for small business environments.
8) Gpass For myself, little is more annoying than a forgotten password. And with as many as most people use today, it's really easy to become overwhelmed trying to remember them all despite our best efforts. Thankfully we have Gpass to make managing these passwords a bit easier. Gpass goes a few steps further though, by not only providing you the tools to manage your passwords, but also giving you the means to generate them as well.
9) Liferea There is no rule out there that RSS readers for desktop Linux users must all look the same. And it's clear that the developers behind Liferea understood this with the application's own development. Its great for adding some quick RSS feeds or even importing huge OPML files from other sources. Whatever the content source, chances are that Liferea is perfect for the job.
10) Totem Because there is a world beyond MPlayer, Totem is the perfect solution for your video viewing needs when going with VLC seems a bit overkill. The single best feature I have found with Totem is how it handles multiple video files. For instance, if I highlight five video podcast files on my desktop, then open it up with Totem, they're all queued up and ready to go. This makes creating a quick playlist with Totem a snap.