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Unity: Ubuntu’s descent into madness!

November 2, 2010
By

If you ever watched the movie “300” then you know that one of the supporting characters proclaims at one point that “…this is madness!” shortly before being fatally kicked into a deep, dark hole by one of the main characters.

That, I’m afraid, will soon be the fate of Unity.

I’m sure you’ve heard by now that Ubuntu will be changing its desktop interface from GNOME to Unity in Ubuntu 11.04. I could not disagree with this change more, for a number of reasons.

Changing from GNOME to Unity is truly madness on Canonical’s part and I’ll tell you why in this column.

What the Heck is Wrong With GNOME?
GNOME: A Great Desktop Interface
One of the things that puzzles me about this choice is the implication that GNOME is apparently not good enough to remain the default desktop interface for Ubuntu. Why not? GNOME is arguably one of the best, most comfortable desktop interfaces around. It has come a long way from where it started and it’s gotten better and better over the years.

I freely confess that I usually use GNOME when using Linux. Don’t get me wrong, there are other interfaces that are also quite good (KDE, Xfce, etc.) but I usually return to GNOME. It’s always worked very well for me and for many other people.

Canonical is claiming differences between their priorities and those of the GNOME developers, as noted in this article from Ars Technica:

Shuttleworth described desktop adoption of Unity as the “most significant change ever” for Ubuntu. He also acknowledged that it is a “risky step” and that much work remains to be done to prepare for the transition. The move reflects Ubuntu’s growing divergence from the standard upstream GNOME configuration and effort to differentiate itself with a distinctive user experience. During the keynote, Shuttleworth emphasized that Ubuntu is still committed to GNOME despite the fact that it will ship with Unity instead of GNOME Shell. He contends that diversity and competition between different kinds of GNOME environments will encourage innovation and benefit the GNOME ecosystem.

I also asked Shuttleworth why Canonical is building its own shell rather than customizing the GNOME Shell. He says that Canonical made an effort to participate in the GNOME Shell design process and found that Ubuntu’s vision for the future of desktop interfaces was fundamentally different from that of the upstream GNOME Shell developers. He says that GNOME’s rejection of global menus, for example, is one of the key philosophical differences that would be difficult to reconcile. Canonical has accumulated a team of professional designers with considerable expertise over the past few years. They want to set their own direction and create a user experience that meets the needs of their audience. The other major Linux vendors, who are setting the direction of GNOME Shell’s design, have different priorities and are arguably less focused than Ubuntu on serving basic desktop users.

Ugh! Talk about a bunch of self-serving malarkey! Give me a break, Shuttleworth. Seriously.

Nobody Want a Netbook Interface…Except Canonical
As you may have noticed, I write a lot of distro reviews on Desktop Linux Reviews and quick looks at distros here on Eye On Linux. I’ve never, ever gotten a comment from anybody related to replacing GNOME with a netbook interface. Ever. Nobody’s ever brought it up to me or indicated any desire to have a netbook interface on their desktop computer.

So Canonical’s decision is quite puzzling. Or is it? Perhaps there’s another agenda hidden in this decision?

Touch: The Tail Wags the Dog
I suspect, based on Canonical’s statements and on various media articles, that “touch” is what this entire change is all about. Canonical wants a desktop interface that is friendly to touch-screen usage. That’s fine as far as it goes, but even Apple (the company who introduced multi-touch in its iPhones, iPads, etc.) recognizes that the desktop is a different experience.

Apple has wisely opted to use touch via the Magic Mouse rather than introduce fingerprint-laden touch screens to its desktop computers (iMacs, Mac mini, Mac Pro). Apple knows very well that touch has its place on the desktop, but they have smartly opted to do it in a way that works for the desktop.

They have not, as Canonical seems to be doing, decided to change Mac OS X’s interface to suit multi-touch. Canonical’s switch to Unity is more an example of the tail wagging the dog, and it ought to reconsider this foolish decision.

Unity Has Its Place: Netbooks
Netbooks
Don’t misunderstand me here; Unity certainly has its place and that is on netbooks, not desktops. Netbooks are very useful tools for many people, and Canonical is quite right to support them with a proper netbook interface.

It is, however, important to note that a desktop is not a netbook and vice versa. The two computing experiences are very different and require a different approach in terms of interface design. What works for one may not work very well for the other.

Apple Understands Interfaces
Let me go back to Apple yet again for a moment, since Canonical as indicated their admiration of Apple in the past. Apple does not use a “netbook interface” for its notebook computers. Users of Macbooks and the like use a full-blown version of Mac OS X. Only users of iPads, iPhones, etc. get a different interface.

Apple knows quite well that a netbook interface does not fit the bill at all for desktop computing. The two things are apples (no pun intended) and oranges; a lesson that Canonical has yet to learn firsthand. How ironic that Canonical apparently chooses to emulate Apple on some things but seems unable to discern the logic behind a lot of Apple’s interface decisions related to Mac OS X and iOS.

Ubuntu 11.04: A Half-Ass GNOME Distribution?
Despite changing to the Unity interface, Canonical has promised that Ubuntu will still be a GNOME based distribution. Here’s what one of the Canonical folks had to say about it on their blog:

Mark just announced at the Ubuntu Developer Summit in Orlando that we will be shipping the Unity environment in the Ubuntu desktop edition. Unity is the environment we shipped on the Ubuntu Netbook Edition for the first time in Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat, and users and OEMs have been enjoying the experience. It is an environment that is inspired by great design, touch, and a strong and integrated experience.

I think this is a fantastic opportunity for Free Software, and this is going to be a busy cycle. We have a lot of work to do, and we know that quality is a firm focus for this release, and we have identified a solid set of issues we need to focus on and resolve, but I know the final product will be something that we will all be proud of. Another key focus is performance; we have already started porting Unity from mutter to Compiz and the initial work is much faster, most notably on hardware that has traditionally had the most trouble from bug reports. Quality meets design meets performance. Together as a community we can make this rock.

There is going to be some questions about this decision in relation to GNOME. I want to make something crystal clear: Ubuntu is a GNOME distribution, we ship the GNOME stack, we will continue to ship GNOME apps, and we optimize Ubuntu for GNOME. The only difference is that Unity is a different shell for GNOME, but we continue to support the latest GNOME Shell development work in the Ubuntu archives.

Um…well okay, but then why bother with Unity in the first place? It’s like saying that you’re going to serve somebody a delicious steak dinner but instead of steak you’ll be giving them liver instead.

It’s either really a GNOME based distribution (complete with GNOME interface) or it’s not. You can’t have it both ways.

What Canonical will be serving up is a part-GNOME distribution that includes GNOME apps and other elements, but that defaults to a non-GNOME interface. Sorry but that just doesn’t cut it, Canonical. The company can spin this like a mad top but it can’t change facts.

Ubuntu 11.04 will no longer be a truly GNOME-based distribution.

Final Thoughts: Consequences, Choices & Alternatives
Choices & Alternatives
Canonical’s decision opens the door for Ubuntu derivatives like Linux Mint and others to gain more users, at Ubuntu’s expense. I suspect that many faithful Ubuntu users will be casting around for alternatives the minute they see what Unity looks like on their computer screens.

We are blessed with choices in Linux, and switching away from generic Ubuntu to one of its derivatives or a completely non-Ubuntu distro is probably going to happen once long-time Ubuntu users experience Unity.

If you are unhappy about Canonical’s foolish decision to make Unity its default interface, I recommend that you consider Linux Mint Debian Edition instead. LMDE gives you all of the advantages of Debian (and the excellent Linux Mint tools & utilities) without any of Canonical’s poor choices and silly design decisions.

Linux Mint Debian Edition

Goodbye Ubuntu! Hello, Linux Mint Debian Edition!

You get it all with Linux Mint Debian Edition; I strongly suspect that many Ubuntu users will choose it once they are aware of the awful changes that Canonical has in store for Ubuntu users in 11.04.

Consequences…
Canonical has no one to blame for themselves for this mess; it will be the operating system equivalent to users switching from Digg to Reddit, after Digg introduced it’s horrific site “upgrade.” Somebody at Canonical is in desperate need of a smack upside the head to wake them up to this potential disaster.

Sadly, I doubt anyone there is listening. But they surely will be after Ubuntu 11.04 comes out and the screams of horror begin in earnest. When that happens the only thing left to be said will be this:

CAN YOU HEAR US NOW, CANONICAL?

What’s your take on Canonical’s descent into Unity madness? Tell me in the comments.

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127 Responses to Unity: Ubuntu’s descent into madness!

  1. Linux Mint 11 (Katya) | Desktop Linux Reviews on March 26, 2014 at 6:41 PM

    […] by using Unity. This will probably please most current Linux Mint users since Unity has caused an enormous amount of controversy in the Linux […]

  2. [...] July 11, 2013, 2:32 PM — We all know that Unity has gotten a ton of criticism right from the very beginning. Heck, I even smacked it around in one of my columns for Eye On Linux. The column was called Unity: Ubuntu’s Descent Into Madness! [...]

  3. [...] July 11, 2013, 2:32 PM — We all know that Unity has gotten a ton of criticism right from the very beginning. Heck, I even smacked it around in one of my columns for Eye On Linux. The column was called Unity: Ubuntu’s Descent Into Madness! [...]

  4. [...] July 11, 2013, 2:32 PM — We all know that Unity has gotten a ton of criticism right from the very beginning. Heck, I even smacked it around in one of my columns for Eye On Linux. The column was called Unity: Ubuntu’s Descent Into Madness! [...]

  5. sasha on November 4, 2012 at 6:57 AM

    Once you configure it, Unity becomes invisible.

  6. Richard on January 30, 2012 at 6:57 AM

    I have now been using Unity pretty much everyday since Oneric came out and I must admit I have started to like it much better than I first did. Is it perfect …far from it but it’s has a damn side better feel than any GNOME3 distro I have tried.

    Now I have tried using KDE and GNOME3 but I cannot stand either for more than one session here and there. GNOME3 just feels so wrong there is no rhythym to the flow of using it. You end up moving your mouse pointer 500 hundred miles top achieve something that is much simpler on Unity.

    Personally GNOME2 had the desktop nailed but all the current desktop enviroments at lack that something special feel that GNOME2 had. Maybe it will come back but all 3 Linux GUI are light years ahead of Win7 still.

  7. GUIMaster on January 29, 2012 at 11:33 AM

    Sir, you are a prophet indeed! Had you written this article today it couldn’t be more accurate than it was in 2010 when you wrote it.

    I’m using Linux Mint right now, but it’s not the same feeling I got from Ubuntu. I used to promise myself that I was going to stick with the LTS version of Ubuntu. But I would see all the pretty upgrades to the top panel and the Software Center, that I couldn’t help but to upgrade every 6 months. I was excited about Ubuntu, believing that they cared about the end user’s experience. I was excited because every release seemed to be an improvement upon the last.

    Well, I used Unity for quite some time. I liked it at first. But I began to wonder how much time I was spending dragging my mouse cursor to the left side of the screen to click, in order to switch between applications. I began to wonder how much easier it would be to have my open applications listed on the bottom panel. I began to wonder why it had to be so dang difficult to find applications that I wanted to find, and all of the junk I had to scroll past in order to find what I wanted.

    I wonder if I will ever get excited about Linux again like I used to be with Ubuntu?

  8. Xander Bilmonchuk on October 26, 2011 at 6:20 PM

    Can I just suggest that the only rational explanation for how horrible Unity and Gnome 3 are is that Microsoft or other terrified proprietary competitors have planted moles on the dev team to destroy this once awesome interface and cause the slow death and abandonment of Ubuntu. Nothing less could explain this unspeakably horrible trainwreck of an “upgrade” to such a previously awesome system. I am being completely serious here- nothing this unbelievably horrible has a benign origin- this is enemy action.

  9. Uncle Bob on October 25, 2011 at 9:46 AM

    By all means, give Mint a try. I tried it in May and have been using it since. It’s very fast and does everything I need to do… so far. Much nicer than Ubuntu. Perhaps it will be the ticket for you, too.

    Hope so.

  10. Phill on October 25, 2011 at 2:03 AM

    Ive tried Unity last release and it sucked and I tried it again this release and it still SUCKS
    Ive run Ubuntu for years but I JUST can not use this interface.
    Right now Im considering whether I go to Mint, back to Fedora (which was my first distribution) or something else.

    BUT THIS is unintuitive, SLOW (and Im running a Top of the line QUAD CORE desktop with 4 GB of RAM) and just doesnt show the information I want (and I have two screens – I dont want stuff disappearing I want MORE stuff visable.

    I could not recommend anyone use ubuntu now….

  11. KEnto on October 3, 2011 at 2:06 PM

    My reaction upon seeing the new Natty desktop manager was to wipe it out and install Lucid LTS.

    Since that, I lost all my faith in Ubuntu and started looking for an alternative. I think Debian is a good candidate.

  12. Carlos on September 20, 2011 at 10:32 AM

    Almost one year later, the author can be proud to have made one of the best forecasts of the software world.

    The last three years, I have been using and installing Ubuntu to anyone who showed cronic problems with windows. I would not do it any more, and the reason it’s Unity.

    Ubuntu was magic because it was -by far- the best and easiest install&use distro. Newcomers would be amazed at how fast and easy was to install it, and how many useful apps they could -intuitively- use. After that first “it’s easy!” moment, then the second surprise was that there was a looooot, to grow into the OS. How much fun it was to do small improvements, and get it better and better.

    Current Unity does not create an “it’s easy” moment. It creates an “It’s limited” moment. The user does not grow in the OS now, because the amount of things that you cannot do, are bigger than the ones that you can do. Unity downsizes its user and puts itself in the way at every moment. I don’t mean the bar; I mean the whole computer use. Doing actual work -any work- has become a joke. Something as simple as having two folders open, moving things from one to another, do an edition in one software, and watch the result in the other has become unmanagable. Ubuntu has downsized itself from a full Operating System to an internet-browser… For me and everyone I know, Unity has been a deal breaker. I left for Debian, and others have left for windows 7 and Mac – and LMint-. I will always be grateful to Ubuntu for opening a door to the basic user; now, I will wish them luck, but parting ways. Good luck with Unity, Ubuntu Shop, and paid account in Ubuntu One…

    • Brian Masinick on September 20, 2011 at 4:28 PM

      Carlos, I don’t blame you for moving on to something else, and Debian is one of the best places I can think of for such a move, but if you once liked Ubuntu, what about using a Ubuntu variant, such as the KDE-based Kubuntu, the Xfce-based Xubuntu, the LXDE-based Lubuntu, or one of the somewhat built-up derivatives of Lubuntu, such as Peppermint Two or WattOS R4?

      Ubuntu still has some good stuff in it; it’s just that the default User Interface (UI) is limiting in its first iteration. It MAY be better, but if not, there are other user interfaces to consider, and the Ubuntu repositories include several of them.

      So while moving to Debian is another great idea (and Debian-based systems also happen to be MY favorite), sticking with one of the other Ubuntu variations isn’t a bad option either. I’d nominate Xubuntu as the best of the Canonical variations, and Peppermint Two as the best lightweight alternative that uses many of the same packages.

      If you just want a simple distro for beginners, how about SimplyMEPIS? It does not track the latest and greatest software, but it is trivial to support, provided the hardware you’re using cooperates.

  13. Dave on September 4, 2011 at 4:17 AM

    I’m a Linux user. My son in a distant town, told me I’d be proud of him. He was switching from Windows to Ubuntu. He was fed up with the hassles he had experienced. He got a repair shop to install Linux. They chose Ubuntu. I tried to ascertain which version, but he couldn’t tell me.

    I got busy, downloaded several recent versions of Ubuntu to run “live” so I could help him if he had questions. I got pretty frustrated with Ubuntu. I told my son I thought he could do better on something besides Ubuntu so I tried Kubuntu to see if I could recommend it. I’d used it before, and liked it. I tried the newest Kubuntu, but found so many bugs, I couldn’t recommend it to him. I’ve been using Mint and Zorin for the last year or more, and am very pleased with them. They’re rock solid, and provide everything I need. Zorin is my laptop choice, and Mint 9 for one desktop, and Mint 11 for my newer desktop.

    I put Mint 11 to task recently, downloaded many of my favourite programs from the repositories, and got down to work. I’ve build a web site with Mint 11, done vector graphics work, tailored images with GIMP for the web, and set up e-mail accounts in Thunderbird (with Lightning) to help maintain the web site. I’ve not found a single flaw with any program, or the OS.

    My point? I don’t want to be a guinea pig for Canonical. I want a desktop OS that works, works well, and that I can count on, day after day. I don’t need to stay on top of the latest developments, have the newest, latest and greatest devices, or be the bleeding edge techie. I just need my older (rebuilt from spare parts) machines to work. Canonical may need marketing strategies, and Unity might be their vehicle. Marketing is hype. I’m pretty well immune to so many marketing tactics. Just give me a product that works. My money is better in my pocket than in some computer manufacturer’s. I won’t be buying the equipment I might need to be able to run Unity.

    In the review on Unity, I believe the author sees right through Canonical’s reasons for believing Unity is the future, and I think his assessment is correct. Canonical is competing with MS and Apple in some ways, if only for prestige.

    And don’t as me what I think of Google……….

  14. Gary Pewitt on September 1, 2011 at 4:40 AM

    I upgraded to 11.04 from 10.04 and I -HATED- it. I finally wiped it out and after trying Mint and looking at some other opsys I ended up reinstalling 10.04. I will -never- use Ubuntu 11.anything. It stinks!
    It’s enough to drive me back to Windoz. :wub:

  15. rick on August 17, 2011 at 1:48 PM

    Well, even UbuntuStudio is distancing itself from Ubuntu/Unity.
    “http://dullass.blogspot.com/2011/05/ubuntu-studio-moving-to-xfce.html”
    I think that pretty well sums up what UbuntuStudio devs think about UNITY, interface-wise, … I’m very glad UbuntuStudio has stood up to Mark and said NO,emphatically -GJ.

    So, in the meantime, I went back to Kubuntu 11.04, but alot of weird things started to happen with that “nepomuk” ? wth? is this thing?, KDE “mucked” it up again with this out-of-control resource thingy.
    I guess it’s Xubuntu now, “sigh”, mmm maybe I’ll go back to Arch/KDE/LXDE , wait a minute, I wonder what Fedora is doing these days, on 4th thought maybe I’ll try ,…., ….?
    :)

  16. Ubuntu 11.04 | Desktop Linux Reviews on July 29, 2011 at 8:08 PM

    [...] for quite some time, but I shared some of my thoughts a while back in a column on EOL called “Unity: Ubuntu’s Descent Into Madness!” The Ubuntu 11.04 Unity [...]

  17. Xubuntu 11.04 | Desktop Linux Reviews on July 29, 2011 at 8:06 PM

    [...] Xubuntu is not as popular as its big brother, Ubuntu, but it has its own charms. It’s ideally suited for those who are looking for a slimmer alternative to Ubuntu itself but who also want to stay within the Ubuntu family of distros. Xubuntu and Lubuntu 11.04 are both similar in that respect. Xubuntu also has the virtue of not using Unity, the new Ubuntu interface that I talked about in an EOL column a while back called “Unity: Ubuntu’s Descent Into Madness!” [...]

  18. Dozer Bull on June 24, 2011 at 2:44 AM

    Hello,

    I’ve bought a new laptop (Toshiba Satellite) preinstalled with Win7. I’m thinking of installing UBuntu or Mint. I’ve read your post. Now I have questions:

    Why can’t I just install Ubuntu 11.04 and remove Unity and install Gnome?

    Is Ubuntu11.04 – Unity + Gnome = Linux Mint 11 ?

    Thanks. Your answers will help me decide which distro to install.

    • Dozer Bull on June 24, 2011 at 2:45 AM

      The symbols in my original comment were not all preserved.

      I wanted to ask:
      Is Ubuntu 11.04 minus Unity plus Gnome equal to, less than, or greater than Linux Mint 11?

      • cyp on June 24, 2011 at 9:11 AM

        Hi
        Ubuntu 11.04 already has gnome installed, you just need to choose gnome when you login.

        Mint and ubuntu are not equal
        - mint has media codecs and many other useful things preinstalled
        - mint does not have unity
        - mint has many other minor changes like a bit different application installer, update manager, etc

        But I do not recommend to install ubuntu 11.04 nor mint 11. Both have so many bugs, many things which were ok in previous versions are broken now. To be more precise Ubuntu 11.04 is buggy, Mint is based on ubuntu so Mint 11 is buggy as well.
        I installed Mint 11 and I am dissapointed, It should be considered beta. So I removed it after few days.

        If you want to install Mint i suggest to chose Mint 10, It is stable and reliable enough. Mint in general is better choice than ubuntu.

        LMDE ( mint based on debian ) is worth to try as well, but I have not tested it yet.

  19. Andrey on June 14, 2011 at 8:34 PM

    With the first presentations of Windows 8 we can see how a touch and tablet shell can be added without all the problems Canonical created for itself. Looks like MS has better designers.

  20. prawns on June 14, 2011 at 6:31 PM

    PRO UNITY
    We all know how most of Sony’s greedy impositions ended up, so I’d like to believe that it was not the case with Canonical. Nevertheless, they had a right to develop their own GUI, even make it default to encourage users to Unity. Yes, it’s a shame that Ubuntu 11.04 is equipped with Gnome 2.x and not Gnome3, but nevertheless, in this aspect I disagree with the review.

    AGAINST UNITY
    If it’s true that the overall concept and experience of Unity is notebook-like then I fully agree with the review – that *is* a tactical mistake that can cost Ubuntu it’s popularity. In this respect the review sounds right to me.

    FUTURE OF CANONICAL
    The more popular an OS is, the greater chances for closed-software giants to give a damn about it’s users. And I think giant’s play fools by prettending to perceive each distro as a complately separate OS. So if Unity makes Ubuntu less popular, then I think it won’t be very good for the entire Linux community.

  21. Ze Ferrari on June 14, 2011 at 12:46 PM

    As an ex-Ubuntu user, I just can be grateful for the amazing job they have done so far…

    But as you described very well in your article, this change (at least for me) was a deal breaker (even though, I wish all the best for them).

    Fortunately, I didn’t have to do a big search,
    The answer for my problem was pretty simple: LMDE

    ;)

  22. Santhosh on June 12, 2011 at 6:54 PM

    Have you seen the size of Icons on this Unity thing, Ugly. And broken navigation menu. Clicks do not work. Key strokes go empty. Unwanted items turn up under “available for download” but installed software remains hidden, and needs endless key strokes and clicks to open.
    Horrible experience. End of Ubuntu.

  23. Gianni on June 9, 2011 at 1:13 PM

    I am a computer user who doesn’t know anything about programming, I use Windows XP at work and at home i decided to move from Vista to Linux basicly for the philosopy behind it. I found the installation of Ubuntu 11.04 very easy, but I switched to Gnome because I find Unity is too heavy for my Dell XPS 1530, and I also find Gnome more intuitive: I don’t own any tablet or netbook, so Unity looks very weird to me.

  24. zahir adil on May 10, 2011 at 6:06 PM

    No Linux OS company by itself, is large enough to make any sort of dent in the desktop OS market. The only way that people will take Linux desktop seriously is when the various companies agree on Desktop GUI standards and adhere to them. Canonical’s decision to break from the GNOME mainstream is not wise, in my opinion.

    I have tried to like Unity, but its just too clunky an interface. While classic GNOME menu’s require 2 clicks to find an application, Unity takes 4, and makes you read while you are doing it (show 7 more..), taking more time. It just gets in the way! The GNOME menu editor no longer effects the Unity menus. Customization is gone. I liked my GNOME menu bar on the left, which, btw, gave me more vertical space than Unity does. The Mac style menus are something I have disliked, even on the Mac’s. I think that menus attached to a window, makes for lesser mouse movement, and the menus relevance is not a continually changing thing. The menu bar, the launch bar are all forced on the user in the locations and sizes that Canonical chose to make them! The better way to save vertical space would be to integrate the menus into the title bar of a window. The title is usually so small that a lot of space is available to the right…or wherever.

    Linux at this time, is used only by computer professionals for the most part. My wife uses it only because she does not know how to boot into Windows! It does not make sense for a company to try and cater to the non-computer-professional user, when the doorway into that market is essentially non-existent for desktop Linux so far.

    I continue to use Ubuntu for now, but will soon look to Linux Mint Debian Edition or Suse as a replacement if Canonical continues its divergence from the mainstream.

  25. abanglek on May 3, 2011 at 3:06 AM

    updated: i’ve tried unity on natty & you know what? it’s really okay.. after some customizing, unity looks good & really function on my pc (my main os always linux, win xp is just blue collar on my pc & even worst, just for dirty works)

    thought maybe i’m may be boring with unity someday, unity is quite good for new user. of course i have complaining about the menu (not categorize & i want to throw away software download suggestion), but i’m always type on whatever i want (vista/7 like, press home/win key & type) & it’s work.

    i can say unity still beta (but not alpha on unr maverick), but it quite good, seriously.

    it’s all about preference & it’s all up to you. & if you really into linux community, please contribute, not killing each other.

    * for me, all linux is same, you’re using same kernel & same wm. but my respect is for distro that creating (or customizing) their own ui. distro is just something that packaged system to create easier experience to user. if you really hate this distro or that distro, you’re freely creating your own system from scratch.

  26. Uncle Bob on May 2, 2011 at 1:30 PM

    Yes, Gnome is a very nice and comfortable and sane desktop. Unity looks nice, but that’s all. The lack of options sent me right back to the classic Gnome desktop — clean and easy. It should remain the default, and Unity the option.

  27. JTF on May 2, 2011 at 9:38 AM

    As you point out yourself, it’s the character shouting “This is madness” who gets kicked down the hole. Canonical’s not the one shouting “Madness”, you are. Just saying.

  28. abanglek on April 23, 2011 at 10:53 AM

    oh, forgot to say why i stick to ubuntu (i’m not intended to comment other distro). because their widespread server, repo, support & fast. of course you can always make-install by yourself, but you have better choice (& new user friendly). ubuntu also have well management stucture.

    I don’t care about ubuntu fork & i’m always customizing the stock ubuntu. i’m not really using all the tools gnome provided. for other distro (especially debian typical), er, experience yourself, i dont have 24/7/week in front of pc, that’s all.

    by the way, osx will implement ipad like ui on their desktop, at least i saw in macbook air.

  29. abanglek on April 23, 2011 at 9:46 AM

    this writer is nut. of course you have choice whatever you prefer. i’m not telling you’re crazy if you eat with fork & spoon or using bare hand or even bare foot, it’s your choice. you’re also not intended to dispute others decision.

    you can always using ubuntu & still using gnome, compiz or whatever wm you want. or simply build it from scratch.

    sometime i feel shame with the linux community, of course you all can arguing, but please behave yourself. plese make good critism.

    when me myself still using ubuntu + gnome, i feel unity give something new & modern & comparable to osx -not winxp. i know you can always mix & match every piece of tools, but in the end it’s look alike ubuntu (eg: gnome+globalmenu+whatever dock). i don’t think canonical have other agenda but they have target -new migrated (from pirated winxp maybe). even one of their focus is helping 3rd country developing computing facility. they do as easy ui as they can. of course unity are new, but just last few month, they getting quite good. of course they should give extended customization, people not always love to eat porridge, they want to chew meat.

    just like iphone, they are criticized, but if they not exist, there is no android & you’re stuck either symbian or >$1000 2.6″/2.8″ wm phone. whatever you say, iphone stabilize (or dropping) smartphone price.

    just like puppy linux, ubuntu is the one who dare to create new idea, rather than stuck with traditional way. i hope later other distro will follow, creating their original ui not rather forking other distro. not being really good is okay, you’ll be better over time, but not play safe.

    whatever you say, ubuntu makes linux scene much better & alive. before ubuntu, only rebel student (dual-boot with pirate windows) & virus maker using linux (other than cheapskate company that using sun or red hat)

  30. limoeiro on April 23, 2011 at 1:41 AM

    I m not worried :tongue: I have an alternative based on Ubuntu .. :biggrin: and as such I m pretty relaxed… :sleeping: THat unify thing can be good for Netbooks so why not create the Ubuntu for it… :wink: AS long as Ubuntu Gnome is there updated.. :smile: who cares if they do Ubuntu Unify…. :lol: I ain t using it ever! LOL :silly: :whistle:

  31. Theo Stauffer on March 18, 2011 at 10:53 AM

    Switched over to Linux Mint yesterday, first the Gnome edition as Mint has announced it won’t be using Unity and possibly the Debian edition in future. I am a Mac user in my day job and have a big Mac tower at home, and I am tired of Canonical/Ubuntu’s attempts to ape the Mac UI, and this after years of aping the Windows UI. It has only made the UI more cluttered and less usable.

    Ubuntu’s biggest strengths are in fact not its UI but its use of social media to get many thousands of wannabe UI designers to swarm to its forums and thereby beef up the popularity stats.

    That’s fine unless you actually want to do some real work in Linux in between having to chat with the same people you avoid elsewhere on the net.

    Ubuntu is becoming a distro for people who can’t afford iPhones or Android phones.

  32. Anonymous on March 10, 2011 at 11:17 PM

    Personally I don’t care for the authors attitude. Look at Ubuntu’s interface change the same way that Windows changed its taskbar and everything for Windows 7. Some users are gonna love it, others may not. Personally I think Canonical is doing a great job of trying to evolve Linux into something that everyone can easily use. They are trying to put Ubuntu on the map and their decisions in my opinion are sound. Linux Mint and all other distros all have their place and I’m sure everyone has their preference. That is fine and is the point of Linux, to try to meet the needs of everyone. It’s all on choice. Point of this is… Jim Lynch, stop with these absurd articles. I’m tired of hearing bashing of this or that and this system is better than that system. If ya don’t like it don’t use it. It all comes down to preference whether it be which Linux distro to even the use of Linux, Windows, Mac (or some other Unix system for that). Just my view but people need to get over themselves. Use what you wish and stop trying to push crappy opinions on everyone else.

  33. Fedora 14 Review | Desktop Linux Reviews on March 2, 2011 at 3:29 PM

    [...] 14 has wisely decided to stick with GNOME, unlike the next version of Ubuntu (which promises to use the Unity interface on the desktop). Fedora 14 is also available in KDE, LXDE and XFCE versions. For this review, I [...]

  34. ankspo71 on January 6, 2011 at 8:46 AM

    I happen to be using KDE4 now and I’m enjoying it, but I am also a big fan of Gnome. I think what most people are upset with is that gnome-panel will no longer be maintained and eventually disappear for good. When that time comes I know I will be missing gnome-panel too, because the traditional Gnome desktop was very straightforward and very customizable. I hope Unity and Gnome Shell will be worthy enough replacements for the traditional Gnome desktop soon. As of right now, I think they both have a long way to go because they are both lacking so many features that will be missed. :sad:

  35. Deshapria on January 6, 2011 at 7:10 AM

    Well, I think Unity is going to be a good DE. I tried Ubuntu 11.04, which is still in alpha, and it broke many times. Then I downloaded Unity to another Ubuntu fork and that works beautifully.

    First of all, this is free software, so you can change it if you want, and if you don’t like something, you can delete it, or the whole OS. No one stops you from hopping from one OS to another. This is NOT MS Windows or Mac Os.

    I thank Mark Shuttleworth for his involvement and giving us Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Lubuntu and array of Ubuntu forks. Mint couldn’t com ethis way, if Ubuntu was not there for them to fork it. Whatever the fork, it is Ubuntu!

    They have to change with any changes of Ubuntu, otherwise they won’t be in the scene. Or, they’d have to build a new OS all by themselves.

    So, shall we say thank you to Mark, and let him do something for the Open Source community? He too has the “freedom” to choose, as we do, am I right?

  36. adrian on January 3, 2011 at 5:30 AM

    I have played with Linux for a few years. Things keep changing, can’t say I like some of the changes, but everything in life changes. I just wish Linux (Ubuntu) would install on my laptop and work the first time. Still have trouble with wireless card. Why can’t if find it, install the drivers and ask my my passcode. I don’t know what SSDD and all that crap is.
    Personally I don’t care what it looks like, is a red car better than a green car. Just run right the first time.

  37. Frank Zimmerman on January 2, 2011 at 6:25 AM

    I’m looking forward to trying out Unity when it arrives. I dumped it on my Netbook on the last release because of the Mutter/Clutter slowness, but if it had been faster, maybe it would still be there. I like Compiz a lot, so having Unity built on that makes it much more interesting indeed.

    It reminds me a bit of the window button location change introduced recently. At first, I, like many others, thought “what’s going on?!” But after a while I tried the new button location and have gotten use to it, and actually prefer it.

    There’s always some uprooting involved with any new change, and that’s never too pleasant initially, but I’m going to keep an open mind and give Unity a fair try.

  38. Jason on December 30, 2010 at 1:56 PM

    I spend on average an hour surfing the net at night on a netbook (HP mini), I’ve installed 30+ distros on it and I absolutely hate all the “netbook” desktops, aside from maybe meego which is an interesting twist. I’d prefer a lightweight desktop to a “netbook” desktop. Personally I like Chakra with all of KDE’s glory, I’m a fan of the konvenience of K and the plasma desktop. So KDE eats up 100 – maybe 200MB more RAM than a lightweight desktop, I think it its worth it and even a mini feels plenty fast with every bell/whistle enabled.

    I hope we are prematurely judging Ubuntu on a rough product and the final will be much more refined.

  39. Ryan Johnson on December 29, 2010 at 6:11 PM

    I used Ubuntu since 9.10, and 10.10 might be my last ubuntu version if they don’t make that sidebar like a dock, (probaly add one on the side and one on the bottom like Pinguy) and make that stupid apps menu into something like linuxmint’s or at least that short menu with places and system inside of it.

    Shame Canonical, In about 6 months or so, I think Im gonna go Arch. :biggrin:

  40. Virgil Brummond on December 29, 2010 at 5:07 PM

    Oh please. Unity is looking better by the day, and is something perhaps my grandma can use without me worrying she destroyed the Gnome Panel. Canonical focuses on consistency with a lot of things, which is excellent. Not only that, Gnome is still available for people uninterested in Unity.

    I am about as sick of hearing about Arch and Mint as Arch and Mint people are sick of hearing about Ubuntu. It R E A L L Y doesn’t matter what OS you choose. It is all free software.

  41. tlmck on December 28, 2010 at 11:42 PM

    OR. It could be that Canonical is pulling the old “New Coke” marketing trick.

  42. Ubuntu Wayland: Shuttleworth's post-Mac makeover on December 28, 2010 at 9:18 PM

    [...] Unity is madness I tell you! Madness! Unity: Ubuntu's Descent Into Madness! | Eye On Linux New to the DLR forum? Welcome! Great to have you with us! Feel free to introduce yourself. [...]

  43. Condoulo on December 8, 2010 at 12:03 AM

    Errm…..
    As of next year, the GNOME’s team main focus will be GNOME-Shell, and GNOME-Panel will be put on the back burner, and eventually, phased out.

    The move to Unity was smart. Why? The Complaints people had with the 10.10 netbook edition had mostly to do with performance. What caused those performance issues? Mutter. So why would Canonical switch to an Interface that will use Mutter, the biggest complaint about Unity, when they could just use Unity and change the backend.

    I think Unity is going to turn out much better than GNOME-Shell. Especially since one has a Compiz Backend, and another a Mutter Backend.

  44. groovydaddy on November 13, 2010 at 1:47 AM

    My primary computer is a netbook, and I am currently running Ubuntu 10.10. I tried the UNR in VMware, thinking that if it is Ubuntu specifically designed for netbooks, it can’t be that bad. Right? I HATED IT! I do not like Unity at all! In all fairness, I gave Unity a one-week trial period, running from my VMware when using my netbook. I don’t like the interface, the menu, the feel, anything really.

    I think the combination of GNOME and AWN is perfect for netbooks. I have my Avant Window Navigator in place of the bottom panel (a very Mac OS X look), and my top panel is set to auto-hide. This way, my AWN disappears when I’m using an application, and the top panel stays out of the way so that I can maximize the use of my small monitor. I have converted Mac users to Ubuntu with this setup, as well as Windows users and users of other Linux distros. Perhaps Ubuntu should play around with the idea of utilizing AWN for netbooks instead of using Unity.

    I completely agree with you on this one, Jim. Ubuntu is going to lose their place as most used Linux distro within this one cycle of 11.04. Even if the immediately switch back to GNOME for 11.10, former Ubuntu-users will have already become acclimated to LMDE or whatever distro they’ve switched to, and probably won’t come back. At least, right away… Why would they? What if Ubuntu decides to make another major change that flushes the distro down the toilet after switching back? If Ubuntu gets through this whole Unity nonsense in one piece, they will have to earn the trust of their users back, including myself.

    I’m in the process of downloading ISO’s of other distros and trying them out on my VMware to see what I want to switch to. Mint is looking good, as well as antiX and #!CrunchBang. I guess we’ll see what the future holds for Ubuntu and its users…

    –GroovyD :devil:

  45. Anonymous Coward on November 7, 2010 at 1:54 PM

    Oh please, Canonical could care less about your pithy opinion. You assumption that touch is an irrelevance to anything but a net-book smacks of the problem with the community as a whole. You simply think that your view is the only valid one.

    Pretending gnome doesn’t have its problems and the fact that upstream devs want to take it in a different direction than the owner (and funder) of ubuntu is not simply an irrelevance that can be casually dismissed.

    Where is your braying against the Gnome devs for sticking with the past?

  46. Klaar met Ubuntu | Braindisorder on November 7, 2010 at 10:43 AM

    [...] niet helemaal, maar de weg die ze ingeslagen zijn bevalt mij totaal niet en ik sluit mij aan bij de legio aan sperglords die [...]

  47. Fort Collins on November 7, 2010 at 7:25 AM

    I think I read in the bible somewhere that it is a sin not to have gnome as the default.. But, we are talking about ubuntu, so I can understand. My wife uses it on her netbook and the interface works flawlessly. Very minimal, kindergarten feel to it. I’m not trying to offend, just my opinion.

  48. Loushon on November 5, 2010 at 3:21 PM

    I have tried KDE more than once, but I always go back to Gnome. When 11.04 is released, I’ll be using Gnome again. Unity is ok, but it will need to be a little bit nicer before I’ll actively use it.

  49. Mitch on November 5, 2010 at 12:31 PM

    I don’t think this article has thought about it to much. The Unity shell doesn’t have to be place in the manner it is on the Netbook Edition, it could have a desktop design. I feel that Unity does look similar to the Mac OS X shell with the large un-titled icons and the information panel at the top of the screen. This could be the start of something brilliant! Fingers crossed we get an alternative shell for Ubuntu.

    Mitch

  50. julian516 on November 4, 2010 at 8:53 PM

    Well, people who like Debian and Gnome can go to ……Debian! Imagine that. And it works quite nicely. Prefer KDE on your Debian? Well, a person could just install that desktop, or do Mepis or aptosid.

    So why Unity? I have to conclude there is some behind-the-scenes pushing and shoving, but more importantly Shuttleworth is betting on the value of a distinctive touch screen as the future of desktop computing for Ubuntu. He does not like the forthcoming Gnome desktop as a platform from which to do it, so here comes Unity. Given the resources Canonical can bring to the task they will make this work. It is a gamble but not a foolish one.

    Will I use it? I doubt it. Will it work for new Ubuntu users? I think it will, if only because the desktop people learn initially often defines their sense of what a thing should be.

    Will it work for experienced Ubuntu users? This is the larger unknown. Some will leave while some will go to the Gnome shell. But as more equipment is built to facilitate touch screens Mr. Shuttleworth may have positioned his distribution well.

    Should be interesting to watch.

    • groovydaddy on November 13, 2010 at 1:56 AM

      “Well, people who like Debian and Gnome can go to ……Debian! Imagine that.”

      I love it, man!! I was thinking that, but didn’t want to write it. :biggrin:

      I’m thinking of making the move to a straight-up Debian system on my netbook. The only thing really holding me back is knowing that I’ll have to configure all of my hardware and peripherals myself. Not that its hard to do… I’m just lazy. :blush: If my distro will do it for me, I’ll let it.

      –GroovyD :devil:

  51. rpk on November 4, 2010 at 4:20 PM

    yeah they go for touchscreens. Maybe it turns out to be a good decision when one will look back in 1 / 2 years..

    If I imagine unity on a touchscreen tablet, I think it will be cool. You can choose your apps with the thumb while holding the tablet. Lets see what they will provide for desktop users!

  52. Andrey on November 4, 2010 at 3:25 PM

    What would you expect? Canonical is releasing one Ubuntu after another and the Linux desktop share is flat. So, desperate measures are necessary.

  53. spikey27 on November 4, 2010 at 10:49 AM

    I’m using a 5-year old computer (ASUS A8N-SLI Deluxe, Athlon 64, NVIDIA GT6600), so cutting edge standards are likely not going to be a concern for me.

    I know nothing about Unity, but unless it becomes the only interface, i.e. they do away with Gnome, I can live with that.

    My alternative preference is Mint. If push comes to shove, perhaps it will become my main OS.

    Let’s wait and see what develops. Maybe it’ll be so good they will encourage me to go buy a new ‘puter with some real power.

  54. ankspo71 on November 4, 2010 at 10:15 AM

    I think it is now safe to say that Canonical believes the future is in touch screens… but I won’t be buying a touch screen devices anytime soon because I am happy with what I have. I had a feeling that Canonical was going make the move to Unity in the Desktop Edition because of all of the subtle hints – the window button arrangement, memenu, indicator applets, strong focus on netbooks and touch screens etc, so it didn’t come as a surprise to me. I didn’t like all of the desktop construction and politics going on, and the fact that Ubuntu is based on an unstable version of Debian, so I moved on over to PClinuxOS. I don’t have access to the same tons of great Ubuntu packages anymore but hardware support and performance is much better for this computer now. I have tried Unity on my Ubuntu desktop and while I didn’t mind the new interface, I found it to be a little slow and hardly configurable at its current state, which I’m sure will probably improve in time for both the Netbook and the Desktop editions. I may switch back to Ubuntu in the future but I’ll wait to see the finished product first. :silly:

  55. Richard on November 4, 2010 at 5:51 AM

    I must admit I was very hesitant about the whole Unity transplant into 11.04 but after trying it out it is not as bad as I had thought.

    If Canonical/Ubuntu Community do improve this I can see it doing quite well. Will it be better or worse, who knows…only time will tell.

    AS to Gnome Shell I can’t say I was really looking forward to it either, both are a change from what we are used too.

    At the end of the day it is easy to install GNOME or whatever UI you wish.

    We all need to take a deep breath and see what is delivered come April. From there we have a simple decision, if we like it, we use it and if not we can change GUI or distro. That is the joy of the Linux world.

    I will commend Ubuntu for at least taking a chance on doing something different of their own creation.

  56. Scrubby Creek on November 4, 2010 at 4:53 AM

    I gave tried Unity 10.10 on my netbook, which I use for work – (it fits neatly in my brief case and is very manageable on a plane). I went back to 10.04 simply because of my inability to intuitively configure Unity in a way that I like. I love being able to make the desktop my own but I found the netbook edition of Unity very controlled and inflexible, just like Windows.

    I am willing to hold judgement on the new move to the Unity desktop until I try it. If it encompasses configuration options (like currently with gnome) then it might be okay. If I am locked out as with Unity netbook’s current version, I might be back with Fedora.

    Scrubby.

  57. Admiral Jeroc on November 4, 2010 at 1:43 AM

    1. as far as people saying why don’t we just wait and see what gnome-shell is — it’s a big ugly menu down the left side of my screen.

    2. as far as people saying gnome-shell will be changed by the time of roll out — it’s still going to be a big ugly menu down the left side of my screen

    3. as far as people saying it’s great forboth a desktop and netbook — it’s still a big ugly menu down the left side of my screen

    4. as far as people saying, well this is just an example of people resisting change —- yeah if that change involves putting a horribly ugly menu down the left side of my screen im resisting it

    now opinions are like A-holes, thank you..

  58. johnnyP on November 4, 2010 at 1:02 AM

    1. as far as people saying why dont we just wait and see what unity is — it’s a bunch of big ugly buttons down the left side of my screen.

    2. as far as people saying unity will be changed by the time of roll out — it’s still going to be a bunch of big ugly buttons down the side of my screen

    3. as far as people saying there will be a desktop and netbook version — it’s still a bunch of ugly buttons down the side of my screen

    4. as far as people saying, well this is just an example of people resisting change —- yeah if that change involves putting big horribly ugly buttons down the side of my screen im resisting it

    5. you heard this here first within a year canonical will start producing cloud apps that integrate with unity and start selling them in the ubuntu store for .99 cents promoting them as a way to “help support the development of ubuntu”

    6. in three years the ubuntu project will be dead because people will realize that canonical took the free out of free and open source

  59. Spackie on November 4, 2010 at 12:43 AM

    It’s not “madness”, its the future of computing ALA ios 4.1 and above. GNOME is so far back in the past with its 1990 look and feel its a joke. It’s a bold move by ubuntu to go with UNITY, but it’s the future for all you linux heads stuck in the past.

  60. seeker5528 on November 4, 2010 at 12:18 AM

    First…

    You can’t really judge the decision to use Unity as the default desktop based on your current desktop, unless your current desktop is Gnome-Shell. Even then what Gnome-Shell *is* exactly, doesn’t seem to have been finalized yet.

    Second…

    95%+ Gnome isn’t enough to call it Gnome based, just because of the less than 1% that is used in place of Gnome-Shell?

    Later, Seeker

  61. TucsonMatt on November 3, 2010 at 11:56 PM

    Yes… use Linux Mint unless you’re Jewish. Any Jewish people or supporters of Israel were asked not to contribute anything or use Linux Mint. Of course, once a brouhaha was raised over it, he backed off, but it’s obviously what his true feelings are, so just keep it in mind. I’m not Jewish, but I will never use Linux Mint.

  62. benQ on November 3, 2010 at 9:44 PM

    This was by far the worst article or comment on this topic. It lacks true arguments, logic and reliable information (does it contain any technical information?).

    Error No. 1: assuming Unity as it is now (an yet incomplete shell halfway optimized for netbooks) will be 1:1 (a little bugfixed) the default shell.

    Error No. 2: assuming that GNOME 3.0 will provide the well-known user interface of GNOME 2.x

    Error No. 3: allowing GNOME (or Apple) to take decisions for the user or following their own vision and at the same time critisizing an other entity when this entity makes the exact same thing

    I could continue … but it isn’t worth it. This article is just another piece of en vogue Ubuntu bashing.

    The problem I have with GNOME (even worse with OSX) is that it wants to control my workflow in that it hides away many options that are accessible through cryptic gconf-editing. Thus, it provides for a sparse user experience (others say streamlined) while still carrying all the code ballast for the hidden options underneath. Thus, it has less visible configuration options than XFCE (or even LXDE …) while staying rather heavy on the resources side. I rather prefer a hundred buttons together with a sane default, so that i can have the flexibility of adjusting the shell to my workflow, not the other way around.

    I’ll give Unity a fair try.

    • Harry Porker on November 3, 2010 at 10:47 PM

      Well, you guys that don’t like the move to Unity, wake up, nobody is pointing a gun at your heads. You are free to give it up and use anything else whenever you want.

      I’m simply sick of the same old GNOME crap (a good crap indeed, but it’s still crap nowadays). I’m so sick of GNOME’s 20th century user interface that I’m now loving using Windows 7 with its sexy Aero theme. I would love to go back and use GNOME again but it’s too far behind modern desktops. I hope that Unity will bring Linux back to the desktop race.

    • snkiz on November 3, 2010 at 11:17 PM

      Ya know because you never know what options have been hidden away, Gconf-editor has become my friend. While it may not be the ideal solution to configure the desktop, at least gconf keys are written in plain English not obscure errors codes and the like.

  63. john monteiro on November 3, 2010 at 8:30 PM

    IMO this isn’t an abandonment of GNOME, Canonical disagrees with the direction of GNOME Shell and decided to go with Unity. Unity is still GNOME just a replacement for GNOME Shell. I don’t understand why people get this confused.

    I think this is a good thing because Canonical is willing to fund this development and hiring full-time developers to work on this. Unity maybe very alpha now but keep in mind its just a start and they are willing to fund this development.
    Having another choice and a project being privately funded is great for Linux, regardless weather you like Unity or not.

  64. Rafael Hernampérez on November 3, 2010 at 8:30 PM

    I think Ubuntu must preserve its authenticity with Gnome, and use Unity like an optional desktop, which you can select at the starting page. It’s my opinion.

  65. [...] A post from Jim Lynch arguing that the Unity shell will hose Ubuntu 11.04 in the same way that Digg&… [...]

  66. [...] I’m sure you’ve heard by now that Ubuntu will be changing its desktop interface from GNOME to Unity in Ubuntu 11.04. I could not disagree with this change more, for a number of reasons. More here [...]

  67. slumbergod on November 3, 2010 at 7:51 PM

    The Unity move is a huge step backwards. Given the number of people who use netbooks, budget laptops, or can’t support hardware acceleration, why focus on an environment that the majority can’t use? It’s not a big deal for me personally because I stick to Xfce but I can really see this killing enthusiasm for the next release.

    It seems much, much wiser to stick with the present Gnome environment and just offer Unity or Gnome Shell as alternatives.

  68. Brian Masinick on November 3, 2010 at 6:57 PM

    I can’t guarantee that I will even use the Unity approach, but generally speaking, I am all in favor of free software projects trying out new alternatives, even at the risk of further fragmenting the existing ecosystem.

    Let’s face it, the desktop as we’ve known it, for the most part, has looked the same for quite some time. We are starting to see many different approaches emerge as not only the desktop, but user interfaces in general continue to evolve.

    So to me, Canonical taking a look at yet another approach as the GNOME project moves to a different interface is not a bad idea at all. Should the Unity approach not work out, there remain many other options to take.

    The GNOME Shell, at this point, is not really finalized. I have not personally seen it in action, so I don’t know how useful it is or precisely what it’s feature set is. I believe that it will eventually result in one potentially useful approach. The Unity approach may result in another useful approach.

    To me, there is nothing wrong with working on both. I doubt that either the GNOME Shell or the Unity interface will be a complete bust, but even if they are, there will still be other choices available. So why not just play this out and see what happens?

    Ubuntu provides a platform that allows for creativity and choice, and this is simply another example of expanding those choices.

  69. Elder-Geek on November 3, 2010 at 6:47 PM

    The first thing to note is that people are always complaining about Ubuntu copying Apple. Here is Ubuntu either guessing where computer interfaces are going, OR being a leader in taking us someplace. So now instead of “You are just copying Apple” we are going “Even Apple does not do it this way”. That is the price of leadership, you go out and do things differently than they have been done before.

    I do wonder what happens to everyone who has a video card without 3d support that can not run compiz? Do they tell you go to back to Maverick, or to run Xubuntu instead?

    This should be interesting to watch. Since I run fluxbox as my primary desktop on Ubuntu I will be fine. Even if I don’t understand the new interface I just need to do a Ctrl-Alt-F2 to a terminal and sudo aptitude install fluxbox and I will be on my way.

  70. snkiz on November 3, 2010 at 5:49 PM

    Its amazing to read the comments lately in articles about Unity. (pro or con.) It only takes a few to realize, that most readers and to many authors only see what they want to see. They are deathly afraid of change, or in the case of bloggers are be being sensationalist and misinforming in a effort to generate traffic.

    Its been made quite clear, Unity as it now will not be making it to the desktop, heck it wont even be on the next netbook version of Ubuntu. Gnome as we know it is going to be depreciated in the near future. Ubuntu and many others have tried to be engaged in the development of Gnome-shell, they wont have it. No matter what decisions are made its going to piss off someone.

    The plan for Unity is to make it flexible so that it works on a desktop or a notebook. This is a great idea giving the users more choice. If a user decides a netbook interface is just not for them in any situation, Unity will be able to adjust. If a user thinks big silly buttons are super on they’re 22″ monitor, Unity can do that to.

    Realistically no one including Mark thinks this will all be finished by 11.04. Mark has said his long term goal is 12.04, If some of Canicol’s decisions seem without reason, that’s probly why. Does Ford or Apple or Macdonalds explain design decsions 18 months in advance of a product launch? No but Mark aleast give clues and takes suggestions and critcisim as a method to improve, Can the same be said of Gnome-shell?

  71. [...] the stearing wheel from left to right in the sad attempt to changing user behaviour in the process?Shout out for sanity now, because the mirage presented by Gnome Shell and now Unity aka Ubuntu Shell, is killing me. It is [...]

  72. Clint on November 3, 2010 at 4:51 PM

    I think this is a good and understandable move in some ways, although in the end I may not like it and choose to use something else.

    1. Mark Shuttleworth is an entrepreneur and as such, he wants Ubuntu to stand out and be used as widely as possible. Looking just like all other Gnome distributions doesn’t help further that aim.

    2. As an entrepreneur, I am pretty sure he is doing some research into both the costs and interests of users. However, as an entrepreneur he could have also said that having a common interface will save money and development time in the long run, even if users don’t like it.

    3. Honestly, Apple is popular because of its simplicity and its Mac interface, not because of its underlying operating system (i.e. most users didn’t care that they moved to a unix based OS since the interface didn’t change). Shuttleworth is looking for that niche that people will want to use and OEM’s will be able to market.

    4. Finally, Linux is totally unlike Windows and Mac and gives anyone the ability to do whatever they want, and if people don’t like it, then there are a multitude of options for people who don’t like Unity (like some possible distro that will be called something like Gnubuntu–the Ubuntu with the Gnome Shell).

  73. reference2myself on November 3, 2010 at 4:41 PM

    I switched from Ubuntu to Mint a while ago, and I stayed with Mint 8 until the Debian Edition came out cuz I didn’t want Ubuntu’s stupid notification applet. LMDE (Linux Mint Debian Edition) is the best setup I’ve ever had, I definitely recommend it, but beginners might want to wait to December when they roll out a new iso with the improved installer and bug fixes.

  74. Charlie on November 3, 2010 at 3:51 PM

    Looks like this is going to be Canonical’s Vista…

  75. albinard on November 3, 2010 at 3:21 PM

    This article has convinced me there is no longer any valid reason to read this site for a rational evaluation of technical matters.

  76. ndubi on November 3, 2010 at 3:03 PM

    You are criticizing something you haven’t seen yet, something you haven’t used yet (Unity) and defending something that is as yet untried and unproven (gnome-shell).

    You can criticize Canonical all you want for their decision all you want, but I think it is a very clever decision, in my opinion. Gnome is changing its shell for something radically new and unproven, which may backfire on them and run into severe user backlash. Canonical is changing its shell for something radically new and unproven, which may backfire on them and run into severe user backlash – BUT OVER WHICH THEY HAVE TOTAL CONTROL. That is why the decision is brilliant (for them, not necessarily their users).

    But, it’s probably a good idea to wait for a relatively complete version of Unity for the desktop before complaining, it may turn out to be excellent, and so far to me looks like it will be more similar to the current Gnome Panel interface than gnome-shell.

  77. asdf@asdf.tld on November 3, 2010 at 2:50 PM

    Yawn. “I don’t like X. Here’s why X is bad”

    Your opinion disguised as logic.

    Well here’s my undisguised opinion:

    Ubuntu is just OK. And Gnome is just OK.

    Don’t really care if either go away.

    I enjoy working with Snow Leopard, Slackware, Android, and AIX.

    That’s my undisguised opinion. I have no need to sell my opinion to anyone, and don’t give a crap if no one else likes what I like.

  78. Mark on November 3, 2010 at 2:27 PM

    Yo, people, this is a truly pathetic argument! Nobody’s having a fit when Micro$oft changes a wallpaper with the new version of Windoze. So why having it now? Changing desktops in [K,X,Ed]ubuntu is as easy as changing wallpapers in Windoze. Seriously, go cry about something else.

  79. Cantormath on November 3, 2010 at 2:17 PM

    I agree 100% that changing from GNOME to Unity is true madness, especially as Ubuntu’s default desktop interface.

  80. Erno on November 3, 2010 at 2:16 PM

    The way desktop use has been progressing, and the way many consumers use GUI devices (eg smartphones) can be an indication to what an average desktop user will want to have on their desktop. Several months ago I played around with Jolicloud and liked it so much that I even put it on the desktop. Eventually Jolicloud got erased because it was about 2 ubuntu releases behind, but the interface itself was quite easy to use.

    In my opinion several years from now people will look back at Ubuntu 11.04 and realize that the risks Canonical took led the path to the new standard desktop interface.

  81. Mark on November 3, 2010 at 2:13 PM

    That’s a bit hysterical, Jim. Don’t you know that one can switch over from Gnome to, say, KDE desktop (and vice versa) with one “apt-get install”? I imagine something similar will still be possible for Unity after 11.04: apt-get install gnome-desktop.

    OK, one thing that your screaming could achieve (I’ll give you that) is Canonical adding a menu entry “Install Gnome” (similar to the Install Firefox) making Gnome desktop only one click away instead of two, thereby soothing the inconsolable Gnome heads/addicts.

    The way I see it, everybody (especially you, Jim) should calm the fsck down. Nobody is stealing anything from you.

  82. George on November 3, 2010 at 2:04 PM

    Why is it when any Linux Distro makes a change people always post I’m moving on to (insert distro name here)? Are they afraid of change? Then when their new distro makes a change, they jump again? Is Unity going to have bug? Yep. The current version is slow and buggy. Am I going to jump to 11.04 on my production PCs when it is rolled out? No. I will keep 10.10 for now and try out 11.04 in a VM or my spare PC.

    Unity will make Ubuntu stand out, something the Linux community needs. If Unity works well out of the box, will Jim change his tune? BTW, when will Gnome Shell come out of beta?

  83. Chris Carpenter on November 3, 2010 at 1:53 PM

    So, first off, let me make my position clear: I think both Apple and Canonical have good products for the regular user, however, I myself would never use either companys’ products, because I dislike that they make so many choices for the users. Of course, Apple is worse because they also lock you down to their company and don’t allow you to modify anything. (Canonical is attempting to lock down users as well while remaining relatively open, and seems to be doing okay). Secondly, I didn’t read the other comments so I apologize if this is a repeat.

    When Apple was just starting out Steve Jobs said something along the lines of “The user doesn’t know what they want. You can’t ask the user what the UI should look like, as they don’t really know.” That’s not an exact quote, but it should get the idea across. Well, look at Apple now? The only time they did very badly was when they got rid of Steve Jobs. He makes choices for the User’s, he decides what they will like, and they eat it up like candy(Albeit horribly expensive candy).

    Canonical is more like Apple than you seem to think. Mark Shuttleworth is saying the same thing that Steve Jobs did. You said “No one has ever told me that they want a netbook interface for the desktop” and Mark Shuttleworth is saying “Users don’t know what they want, so of course they didn’t tell you!”. While I don’t agree with this for my own use, i’ll be willing to bet that it takes off for the “regular user”. That’s what regular user’s like: They like being told what to do.

  84. Unity | Yep, Just My Stuff on November 3, 2010 at 1:48 PM

    [...] http://eyeonlinux.com/2010/11/02/unity-ubuntus-descent-into-madness/ This entry was posted in Ubuntu. Bookmark the permalink. ← Ubuntu Developer Summit – Natty Narwhal [...]

  85. amorphous on November 3, 2010 at 1:47 PM

    In Ubuntu 11.04 you can still use Gnome if you want. It’s just that the installer will use Unity as the default, but at the login window you will be able to chose Gnome if you want. So what’s the problem? Personally I think it’s a smart decision. Sure it will take some releases before Unity is mature enough. Don’t think that the Unity interface from Maverick will be just copy&paste to Natty. There will be a lot of changes to it. So all Gnome lovers stay calm, you will still have Gnome on Ubuntu.

  86. Joseph Smidt on November 3, 2010 at 1:41 PM

    I actually think this will be a good decision for both Canonical and Linux in the long run. You really shouldn’t comparing Unity to Gnome but rather Unity to Gnome shell as Gnome will still be powering the back end.

    And if you put it the *honest* way the choice is actually good: Unity has more promise than Gnome Shell. Especially because the day is soon coming where all computer users will want desktop functionality that draws some parallels with the netbook they also own. Apple is merging many of their features from the iphone and ipad to the Mac OSX for this very reason.

    Unity is clearly in a position to give what will be in a few years the more modern desktop experience than Gnome Shell.

  87. psypher246 on November 3, 2010 at 1:34 PM

    EXACTLY my point, well said! Gnomes changing either way, let see what canonical can give us and THEN complain. So far they have done a great job on the desktop, IMHO, and I look forward to see where this is going. Who knows maybe this is the change in desktop computing people have been waiting for, next gen stuff. Something totally different.

  88. Stephen Wilson on November 3, 2010 at 1:28 PM

    Jim, your whole “descent into madness” theme is rather extreme and hysterical. The old adage about nobody likes change is clearly evident in reactions to Canonical’s Unity desktop announcement. Remember reactions to KDE’s change to the Plasma desktop? Think about reactions to GNOME’s change to the GNOME Shell desktop. Both were significant changes that attracted tremendous negativity. This is another change… good or bad… we’ll see.

    What you really ignore is that the GNOME interface is already changing completely. It will never again look like the GNOME we are used to. Doesn’t that upset you more than the change to Unity? As a longtime user of GNOME, the change to GNOME Shell makes me nervous. Also, it has been delayed in development… perhaps a sign that there are too many issues that are yet to be resolved.

    Yes, upcoming touchscreen systems may have been one motivation to move to Unity. But, I believe a larger motivation is that GNOME Shell may not be a good change for users. Think about it… which is a more dramatic change in user experience: Unity or GNOME Shell? I think it’s GNOME Shell.

    There are several comments that the Unity desktop will NOT be the same as the Unity netbook interface. This is supported by the blueprint on Launchpad, which says the marching orders are to: “Create a desktop-oriented form factor of Unity.”

    Perhaps the most annoying subtext in your post is that, somehow, no thought has been given to this change to Unity. Come on!

  89. psypher246 on November 3, 2010 at 1:27 PM

    I stopped reading after “What the Heck is Wrong With GNOME?”

    Gnome as we know it will no longer be “Gnome” so whether canonical goes with unity or not, it’s all gonna change anyway. According to Canonical gnome shell will not cut it. So how bout we all just chill the #$^% out and see what Canonical gives us. Be it a netbook “like” interface which scales excellently on a desktop or a more traditional desktop. If you don’t like it change your distro.

  90. dakira on November 3, 2010 at 1:02 PM

    Hi,

    I’ve recently read an interesting comment on Unity by one of the core KDE devs (who was also at the UDS-N and talked to all involved parties). His arguments in favor of Unity are pretty solid. Don’t get me wrong, I really love the current GNOME and GNOME in general. And there lies the problem:

    The current GNOME desktop is more or less deprecated. There won’t be any further development on the current desktop (only maintainance). This is a fact. So Canonical has to decide on something and the have 3 choices:

    1. Go for GNOME Shell
    2. continue using Metacity/gnome-panels and add their own features
    3. develop something themselves (Unity)

    1. GNOME Shell goes in a completely different direction than Canonical wants to take Ubuntu. GNOME devs don’t want anything to do with Canonicals ideas so that working together seems impossible. For Canonical there seems to be no way to use GNOME Shell and still implement their own ideas.

    2. This could be a good option, but Canonical might have to hire the respective developers to handle this (like the Metacity guy). I think we all love the current desktop and would like it to just incrementally improve. But there are some restriction posed by the codebase that would make improvements difficult at a certain point.

    3. I don’t know the interna, but the KDE-guy seems pretty convinced, that the Unity team has better resources and manpower to accomplish the task of creating a shell, than the GNOME shell folks. Now the core Compiz devs work for Canonical, too. And they are definately more experienced than the mutter devs (note that the metacity people don’t work on mutter!).

    GNOME people might not like Canonicals decision, but it is a sane one. It is a decision FOR GNOME but against GNOME Shell. And speaking of forking is ridiculous. KDE has two shells right now and two more are coming. And the devs are happy for it. The only problem I see with Canonical is their required copyright assignments but as I heard, the situation on that front will improve as well.

    The post I was talking about is here (in German): http://is.gd/gFaC4

  91. Sol on November 3, 2010 at 1:02 PM

    Totally agree, this is madness, i’m merging to Fedora because of Canonical’s decision

  92. syncdram on November 3, 2010 at 12:57 PM

    As a Ubuntu user from the start of there releases Ubuntu Linux always has been a joy to look forward to release after release. This is were i stop with Ubuntu, I’ve tried unity and its utterly awful! This is not a desktop app, mobile phones etc yes. There is nothing wrong with Gnome. Other forums that I’ve been to suggest switching to fedora to send a clear message. This was a very un open source decision if you ask me. I just don’t know, this is sad, so sad but its not my money and I’m not in Marks shoes. Mabey another trip into space would be a better investment?

  93. wally on November 3, 2010 at 12:55 PM

    I thought maybe your article would be a bit longer on facts, but it doesn’t seem to bother much with them. Oh well.

  94. dca on November 3, 2010 at 12:55 PM

    One way or the other Gnome will ship with Gnome Shell as the future desktop. It feels to me, as progress goes, by next year the shell will be it and there will be no way to ship without due to integration (no way to remove a’la explorer.exe) with complete stack. As Canonical sees it, they don’t like where it’s leading, more power to them. Microsoft was able to steal back netbook with an eight year old home edition of an OS that runs on both netbooks and workstations…

  95. Petem on November 3, 2010 at 12:54 PM

    i think all this bantering is alittle short sighted.. :sad: we in the FOSS community are called copy cats.. not original.. and by the sound of this opinion piece.. those words are correct.. we keep looking/comparing at how Apple, or MS or XYZ or ABC or ______ (fill in the blank) and say if they are not doing it then it must be wrong for us to do it.. NOW.. im not saying that what ubuntu is going to do it right or wrong.. however.. i do agree with shuttlesworth that the present interface and and even the gnome shell (as i have seen it) is not condusive to a touch type interface.. you have to look PAST what apple is doing.. and plane for touch screens on the desktop… they may not be popular now.. but with the advent of smartphone and tablets and poeple getting use to these formats.. the desktop touchscreen, the refrigerator touchscreen.. the multimedia center touchscreen, your car radio touchscreen … all these things will be coming… and why wait for apple or ms.. or company XYZ to do it.. we should already be there when all this is ready.. don’t wait to copy.. be copied..

    we pride ourselfs on having a CHOICE.. and we are argueing about the default look.. of ubuntu.. there is nothing stopping anyone from reverting to a regular GNOME desktop..

  96. rpk on November 3, 2010 at 12:22 PM

    You’re telling us that nobody uses a netbook interface for deskop pcs, but your article does not provide a single point pro or contra canonical’s decision!

    Your first argument is: “apple doesn’t use netbook interfaces and hence its a BAD decision”
    Your second argument is: “apple doesn’t use touch interfaces on desktops and hence its a BAD decision”

    you need to provide WHY it is a bad decision…

  97. unwesen on November 3, 2010 at 10:33 AM

    I, for one, welcome our new Unity overlord.

    No, seriously. Netbook edition UX > desktop edition UX.

  98. sxe on November 3, 2010 at 10:33 AM

    oh, one more fanboy post.. I know, not a good start for a comment but thats what i was thinking first after reading your words.

    Seriously, so in short, everything that apple did is good and other approaches are bad? Thats the whole point i can get from your article. If you don’t try something else there is no innovation, no steps in other directions but thats the main concept from linux, CHOICE.

    I read you article twice to check if there are good arguments you have but the only one is. Unity is a netbook shell and we don’t need it on our desktops. Thats all? Do you really think they are so stupid and put it without modifications in their desktop distribution? There is absolutely no reason to think so, so cool down and think about it without being a gnome fanboy. I think thats your main problem. You read about, that someone will take your lovely gnome (shell) away and that makes you so frustrated.

    Take it easy, i’m sure canonical will do a good job like they did in the past. Keep in mind, the usual windows user is the target.

    btw. i don’t use gnome neither ubuntu but posts, without value, like this makes me sad.

    cya

  99. patrickquinn on November 3, 2010 at 10:18 AM

    Hold on, out of everything that the ubuntu team have done to commercialize themselves this is by far the one that makes the most sense, this gives them full control over the desktop environment rather than relying on a charitable organization to supply the desktop. What company do YOU know that runs that way? Uniceif?

  100. Nomadic on November 3, 2010 at 10:14 AM

    Jim, the default desktop interface is going to change whatever happens. I suggest you try out GNOME Shell (the other alternative) before you draw any conclusions.

    IMHO, GNOME Shell makes Unity seem brilliantly intuitive. :P

  101. Steve Chow on November 3, 2010 at 9:05 AM

    *sigh* Gnome Shell is not Gnome 2.x.x… As much as Unity is a new interface to the user so is Gnome Shell. Compare Gnome Shell to Unity rather then dragging in Gnome 2 which both Unity and Gnome Shell will be using as a fall back….

  102. Jim Bauwens on November 3, 2010 at 8:46 AM

    Quote from http://www.jonobacon.org/2010/10/31/unity-some-further-clarification-points/ :
    Unity is the 3D experience, Classic GNOME is the 2D interface – if your graphics hardware cannot sufficiently run Unity, Ubuntu will present the 2D experience which is the two-panel GNOME desktop we currently ship, complete with all the Ayatana improvements such as application indicators, global menu, system indicators etc.

    I think that this means that you can always switch to the plain old gnome desktop (maybe by choosing your session when you login).

  103. boyd on November 3, 2010 at 7:47 AM

    How can you judge on a product without even knowing what the final product looks like? I concider this as pure Ubuntu Bashing.

  104. Kenny Strawn on November 3, 2010 at 7:10 AM

    Personally, I would rather have GNOME Shell than Unity now that I am looking back on this situation, but take a look at this:

    https://blueprints.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+spec/packageselection-desktop-n-specialized-unity-form-factor

    Even though Unity *will* be the default in 11.04, there will be special form factors for the desktop and netbook editions. Look at that Launchpad blueprint for further details.

  105. evan on November 3, 2010 at 6:17 AM

    Bear in mind it might be (partly) politics. The Gnome guys didn’t listen to Canonical’s wishes on direction to take with Gnome Shell, so Mark Shuttleworth makes this announcement as a bit of scare tactic to exert more control over the direction of Gnome. In effect there is no revolutionary departure if Unity vs Gnome Shell are the two available interfaces – if people prefer Gnome, they will click on that choice – and while Unity is inferior to Gnome and more buggy, it won’t be the default – altho Canonical will say it will be now for political reasons as i said above. I would say that Unity would be more buggy than Gnome but if the Gnome shell is also brand new development, that may or may not be the case.

  106. alaukik on November 3, 2010 at 6:14 AM

    Dear Writer
    You are a fool
    Ubuntu will stil be using Gnome .
    Secondly Gnome 3 will have Gnome shell as default And uunity is a netbook interface but 11.04 WILL NOT BE USING PLAIN UNITY
    THey will use unity as a base and make a DESKTOP AND SUITED FOR LARGE SCREEN shell FOR Gnome

    • 2eurocents on November 3, 2010 at 11:53 AM

      You’re not helping the object of your adoration with this kind of response.

      It makes people think all Ubuntu users are rude prepubescent boys.

      As for the article, well, Canonical decisions are always good for improving website traffic :) AnywaynI suspect Shuttleworth is just one very, very bored man with no particular purpose in life, playing around with Linux and toying with Ubuntu users just for the hell of it.

      No amount of strategic or otherwise thinking seems to have gone into this decision. It seems Canonical were more interested in sticking a knife into Gnome than creating and offering something new. They were not happy with that census back then and the backlash. Also, the spin now is, they’re not forking Gnome, just putting something on top of it. In other words, they’ll contribute even less than before (as if that’s possible), and will continue to leech full steam ahead.

      That said, I do wish this would succeed. Anything where Linux succeeds is good. But cellphone UI on people’s desktop PCs… it seems so random and pointless.

    • Cyp on May 11, 2011 at 4:27 PM

      As we read in wikipedia:

      “In April 2011 Mark Shuttleworth announced that Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot would not include the classic GNOME desktop as a fall back to Unity, unlike Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal.”

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unity_%28desktop_environment%29
      or here
      http://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2011/04/ubuntu-11-10-will-not-ship-with-classic-gnome-desktop/

      So who is a fool now? :p :D

      Goodbye uBUNTU, welcome Linux Mint (linuxmint.com)

  107. DakotaKid on November 3, 2010 at 4:46 AM

    Guess I won’t upgrade to 11.04 until I absolutely have to. Then I’ll consider switching to a different distro. Amazing how some decisions are made in the computer world.

  108. stlouisubntu on November 3, 2010 at 3:26 AM

    You indicated that no one wants a netbook interface on their desktop computer. Well, by the screenshots I have seen and what I have read about Gnome-Shell (3.0), it is strikingly similar to Unity (except that Unity will use compiz and zeitgeist while Gnome-Shell will use mutter and not zeitgeist.) So, with either Gnome-Shell or Unity, you will get a netbook type interface if that is what you want to call it.

  109. kaddy on November 3, 2010 at 1:47 AM

    I agree Canonical’s decision at this point is laughable… Because at the moment, Unity is a piece of Garbage… and I have dissed it many a time…. Although the Interface that is going to appear on 11.04 Desktop edition is not going to look like Unity…. It is going to be an implementation of Unity with a different interface… it won’t have that stupid annoying dock on the side etc….. Thank God

    I don’t have much faith in Canonical as I see them make poor technical decisions over and over again and the software they produce…. to me, is a joke…… for the most part…..
    And I can See 11.04 also being a half baked pile of garbage at best, being rushed and pushed into 11.04… but….

    If they do manage to sort out the bugs, add the right features, and design it half decent…. Then I think it would be a great decision that will seperate Ubuntu from the rest and attract alot of new users over…..

    That is thinking positively….. However, judging on all their past decisions I have major doubts that they can pull it off.

    check out my channel
    http://www.youtube.com/Linux4UnMe

  110. JohnMc on November 3, 2010 at 12:45 AM

    Short Answer: Pfffffft
    Long Answer: http://thirdpipe.com/?p=7937

  111. d on November 3, 2010 at 12:24 AM

    This change wouldn’t bother me too much for my own purposes – I’m sure there’s a trivial way to revert back to the standard gnome interface. The real tragedy here is all the folks who have come over from Windows or Mac. They took the plunge, whether it was by choice or a friend/relative who dragged them into it. They started getting used to things and decided “OK, I can live with this” then BAM! Canonicamaniacal pulls the rug from beneath them. They are gonna be pissed when they upgrade because now the whole damn thing is different. Bad move ubuntu! Mint, here we come.

    D.

  112. Jim Lynch on November 2, 2010 at 9:28 PM

    Hey watch it buddy! My last review of Kubuntu was quite positive! :lol: :wink:

    Yes, there are other options and I’m sure those who choose to will be able to run the regular GNOME interface if they want, but it won’t be the default any more.

    • Brian Masinick on November 2, 2010 at 9:51 PM

      Hey, it is OK if you generally prefer Ubuntu to Kubuntu and GNOME to KDE. It is no threat to me whatsoever, and I think one of the real strengths of free software is that we have many choices. I try many of them, and I have my favorites, but there are times when I use stuff that isn’t even my favorite because I enjoy the choices that are available so much, and really nearly all of the choices are actually pretty good!

      • frodowiz on November 27, 2010 at 3:07 PM

        good point brian. i understand marks reasons and i agree, especially since its his company to do with how he chooses. and so far his choices have been spot on. i like gnome. but i stress the current gnome. gnome 3 will suck badly for 2 reasons. no compiz and slow as he**. unity will allow compiz. hmmm, desktop with 3d effects i can choose or desktop without? the author of this post just seems to be spouting off. yep mac left the touching to its mouse. exactly! the author seems to think the touch stack is only for screens on ubuntu while other os have many devices. and as far as using a netbook interface on a desktop or laptop, why not? i have it installed so i can get used to it when i dump gnome(when it is gnome 3) and right now my only complaint is i would like some say in how the task panel is set up. how can one claim to have some expertise and yet be so inflexible? linux is about choice and right now unity is more linux than gnome.

    • Alan Ri on November 3, 2010 at 3:53 PM

      I’ll reply here because I want my comment to be on the first page.

      There are some things that I just can’t understand no matter how hard I try. And to clarify something; I am using Linux for a lots of years and I am senior member of lots of Linux related sites like LinuxQuestions etc. I speak about Linux in my home, on the street etc. whenever and wherever I can. I’ve installed Linux on lots of my friends computers. I helped to solve lots of their problems on their computers running Linux etc.etc.etc. and do you know what was all this years that I liked the most about it? It’s freedom! Heck, even my laptop which runs Fedora 14 has been named Freedom. Linux, GNU, Open Source is all about that. You don’t take away people’s freedom. You let them have their choice.

      Would there be so many great open source projects if there was no freedom? Would we have GNOME? KDE? etc. So, if somebody, no matter if it’s one man or a company, wants to try something new with open source, with no harm intended to anyone in the Linux and Open Source community, I say, let them do it!

      In a real example, Canonical and Ubuntu are not going to take your freedom to make a choice, they’re just gonna make one more choice. As before, you will be able to do what ever you want with your Desktop Environment.

      Actually, that is something that we as a community need. We need new things, better things and nobody is going to help anybody if we keep on discouraging people who try to do that.

      To make one thing clear. I have Fedora on my laptop and Debian on my desktop. I’m not even using Ubuntu, but I, damn right, will not be saying that Ubuntu is making the wrong move. No, quite the opposite.

      And to finish, after all these years with Linux and as a member of the community, I can say that what we need is to respect each other more and try to understand the real essence of Open Source and Free Software. Criticism is always welcome, so that things could be better, but do not judge those who don’t have to be judged, instead try to encourage those who try to bring something new into this open world of ours, because whatever that could be, I’m sure that it can’t be bad, we only sometimes have to work on it to make it better.

      With regards and respect to the Linux community!

      Alan

      • Mathias on November 4, 2010 at 12:15 AM

        It was a pleasure reading your comment Allen.

        • kiiz on November 6, 2010 at 12:44 AM

          i could’t agree more with allen. he was right on the money!

  113. Brian Masinick on November 2, 2010 at 9:20 PM

    This isn’t the first time that Mark has taken a divergent path that has bothered a large number of people. Enough of his decisions have apparently either worked out or swept the defectors away, but the total number of Ubuntu users seems to remain fairly even over time. The recent changes over the past year did lead a number of people to using Kubuntu or Xubuntu rather than Ubuntu. Kubuntu, in particular, in spite of Jim’s editorials against it, has deliberately distanced itself from several core Canonical choices, including the choice to change the icon order and the manner in which social media, Ubuntu One, and the Ubuntu Software Center (all considered positives by some, but negatives by others) were handled, so Kubuntu uses different art work and does not closely align its brand with Ubuntu except that it does use the same core underlying technology, just completely different interfaces.

    The good news is that you can get alternatives, even within the Ubuntu community, so I am not worried or concerned about these changes at all. Besides, unless they block them, there ought to be ways to install the GNOME Shell, and I suspect a moderate population will do just that, no matter what Canonical does.

    • Brian Masinick on November 4, 2010 at 5:05 PM

      Well, if you wanted traffic, it sure looks like you got some with this one Jim! I think we have a lot of choices, and I’m glad to see another one, and I hope that people allowed the ads to be displayed as they viewed this site; it probably paid for the Internet bill with this thread alone – and I hope it did.

      Keep making us think – even if you have something controversial to say. We don’t have to agree – though I do urge everyone to be respectful when they voice their opinions. After all, that’s what this section is – a series of opinion pieces. Keep it up! :smile:



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