You just need to apt purge the dock package no need to hack
I think upstream designers lost themselves in some kind of experimental bubble without user needs in mind when forcing the user to use the dash to open apps
If one would see that the upstream designers would start caring for the user again then skipping the modifications should be considered.
Talking about look and feel, I really don’t know. Stock adwaita looks more and more old school and bad to me. Even Windows improves it’s design with every sub release but adwaita is still stuck with OSX 10 design. And I really don’t know why.
Design should ALWAYS be targeted on your users/target audience. So either they don’t know who their target audience is, or they don’t really care and want to force a certain workflow on their users because they think it is what they need
The unification of window spread, workspace view and search is a big improvement over other approaches in other DEs. It makes everything easier for the user.
But the absolute abstraction of opening apps to a point where you start the session and have no idea where you can stick to your last workflow again is just bad. It is a bad idea. I mean, you could go even further and abstract the process of opening apps to only 1 white pixel on your black screen and say “you only need to click this pixel to find your apps. It’s incredibly minimal and easy. You just need to get used to it.”. See what I did there? That’s kind of like what’s currently happening to the dash only approach to open apps (ofc it’s exaggerated but this may help). You ONLY need to hover in the the left corner (first step), then you ONLY need to click the app that you have previously attached to the dash-dock-thing (second step).
It’s just too abstract and too far away from a natural use case/ process. Compare it to osx, Android or Windows. It’s not an improvement. It makes this process to complicated and too abstract.