It’s been a long time since a file or folder put in the desktop folder would be displayed on the desktop. However we still have a desktop folder. Even F37 has one and though files and folders can still be put in the desktop folder they are not shown on the desk top.
My questions are why is there still a desktop folder? Is there an intention to restore it’s functionality some day or is it just a lot of work to remove it?
As far as I know, only Gnome doesn’t support putting stuff on the desktop any more by default—that’s part of the design there. Given that the contents of a user’s $HOME folder is not desktop environment specific, the Desktop folder remains because other DEs still use it.
I thought there was a way to enable desktop icons in Gnome 3, but I haven’t looked at that in years so I’m not up to date with the status there.