I don't know whether desktop programming is dead, but I do know that there are apps that I want that the web can't give me yet. These are mostly software development-related, but that's what I use my computer for most.
Since I use Gnome on Linux pretty exclusively these days (and I'd like to continue), I'd like to start a study/hack group for Gnome/Gtk+/GObject programming.
My goals are (1) to be comfortable enough with GI programming to quickly create applications that I want, without the GI layer being the roadblock, (2) to be comfortable enough with C+GObject or Vala to translate potentially reusable pieces of GI applications into actually reusable components. And (3ish) if I can contribute to the examples, tutorials, and docs all the while, that's a win too.
So, if anyone is interested is interested in learning or practicing Gnome/Gtk+/GObject development in a group, hit me up @mjumbewu, or in the comments. Standing offer, so even if this post is several months old, hit me up.