If you're using Debian GNU/Linux wheezy/sid, you have already figured out GNOME3 settings to start GNOME in Classic mode (like in GNOME 2), starts gnome in a mode where the desktop is not showing the usual Computer, Home, Trash etc.
Besides that in that strange back-compitability Classic GNOME mode its impossible to add any program as a link in desktop like in the good old GNOME 2.
Thanksfully this abusive behaviour of the backwards compitability mode is easily fixable by two simple steps, here they are:
1. Install gnome-tweak-tool – (Tool to adjust advanced configuration settings for GNOME
root@debian:~# apt-get install gnome-tweak-tool
2. Start gnome-tweak tool
Press ALT+F2 and run gnome-tweak-tool or run it via xterm / gnome-terminal:
Change in Desktop, Have file manager handle the desktop the settings to ON
Once the Screenshot Handle Desktop is set to ON, further drag and dropping any application to the Desktop will be working.
Something really irritating is that launching applications in GNOME 3 does not work properly if you just press ALT+F2 and type in lets say gnome-terminal , to work around this weirdity you will have to install gnome-shell package.