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Ubuntu Unity: The Great Divider 729

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the line-in-the-sand dept.
Barence writes "Canonical's decision to impose the new Unity interface on Ubuntu 11.04 users appears to have split the Linux distro's users, according to PC Pro. Features such as a moving Launcher bar and invisible scrollbars have angered many users, with one claiming that 'Ubuntu is doing a great job throwing away years of UI experience.' The rush to meet the six-monthly release schedule also appears to have harmed the release, with many users reporting graphical glitches with the new user interface."
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Ubuntu Unity: The Great Divider

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  • unity (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I hate unity.. but just logout and go back into ubuntu classic.

    • by jdgeorge (18767)

      I hate unity.. but just logout and go back into ubuntu classic.

      Agreed, I do that when I run into Unity issues.

      My biggest gripe (aside from media performance, lack of a full menu, and lack of my customer GNOME widgets) is that you can't choose the GUI to use next time you log in from within the GUI (e.g., as a log out/restart/etc. option).

      Oh, did I mention the lack of widgets? (Are there widgets that I just don't know about?) I want to see when something's sucking the CPU without having to run the full System Monitor.

      • The biggest problem is that Canonical has said that the option to switch back to GNOME will be completely removed in 11.10, leaving Unity as the one and only option. Sure, being Linux, it's possible to install GNOME on your own and use it, but I have better things to do. Thus the search begins for a suitable replacement that isn't going to force its user interface decisions on me. If Linux Mint (based on Ubuntu) sticks with GNOME, that may well be the best choice--all the compatibility of Ubuntu with non
        • Correction: Apparently, GNOME 3 will be an option in 11.10. I don't like GNOME 3, but at least it's better than Unity.
          • Re:unity (Score:4, Informative)

            by Lumpy (12016) on Tuesday May 03, 2011 @01:37PM (#36013204) Homepage

            God I hope not because Gnome 3 is not ready for prime time as well. It's nice but in terms of polish it's back 10 years to where you have to configure it by hand. That's an epic fail.

            and both unity and Gnome 3 forgot that people have laptops so their management of backlight and sleep functions all got flushed out the toilet. I'm back to Laptop annoyances from 5 years ago.

            Unity and Gnome 3 are early alpha releases and NOT ready for use by users as a stable release.

          • Re:unity (Score:5, Insightful)

            by grumbel (592662) <grumbel@gmx.de> on Tuesday May 03, 2011 @01:38PM (#36013218) Homepage

            The problem is that Gnome3 is essentially the same as Unity, its basically just a slightly better implementation of all the same concepts, with all the same problems. You still have zero support for applets, no option for a taskbar, no launchers in your panel, no additional panels, etc. And of course both of them require OpenGL support, which I find quite frankly completely baffling given that my OpenGL drivers basically broke on every single dist-upgrade for the last few years.

            • by gehrehmee (16338)

              1) Here's the thing: Gnome 3 has been largely redesigned. A lot of features went away, because the developers don't want to bother supporting them. If someone wants to develop that feature, nobody's stopping them: All you have to do is do a gnome-shell extension. Then you can do icons and launchers and window-lists and whatever you want. Extra panels, drawers, crazy applets, whatever you want. But the onus is on the extension developer to maintain it, not the Gnome 3 devs who are focused on making the core

          • Re:unity (Score:4, Insightful)

            by MBGMorden (803437) on Tuesday May 03, 2011 @02:19PM (#36013810)

            Gnome 3 is just as goofy as Unity. Canonical basically saw that Gnome 3 was going to be a stupid UI, and in a move of utter "brilliance" decided instead to go their own direction and create an EQUALLY stupid UI.

            XFCE is a better option. Unfortunately the exo package used in the version of XFCE available in 11.04 causes issues with Chrome opening files. The XFCE compositor is also fairly basic in comparison to Compiz.

            All in all, it's an aggravating time to be a Linux user. I feel like 10 years worth of solid, stable UI design was just tossed out the window because some idiot UI designers wanted to feel special.

            I'm still sporting Ubuntu Classic myself. Once that option is gone I'm going to be pulling my hair out whilst I try and get a decent replacement desktop setup. I'm thinking that with enough tweaking, XFCE is the most likely candidate.

            • Reading this discussion, I have to say: I feel a bit vindicated. For years I've pointed out to people who think they are "empowered" by GUIs that this is fine for beginners, but if one doesn't advance in knowledge of how to best use the machine then the day will always come when you're stuck because a certain radio button broke and you can't click it anymore or something silly like that. GUIs are fickle and fragile, the popular ones even more than most others (due to delusions of rockstardom, see how many
        • by SharpFang (651121)

          fortunately you'll have a plenty of time for all the better things to do, considering that installing gnome will be as hard as typing sudo apt-get install gnome-desktop

        • Re:unity (Score:5, Interesting)

          by tripleevenfall (1990004) on Tuesday May 03, 2011 @01:53PM (#36013458)

          The biggest problem is that Canonical has said that the option to switch back to GNOME will be completely removed in 11.10, leaving Unity as the one and only option.

          The strategy, attempting to force something that doesn't work well on the user base in order to speed up fixing/finishing it... the "involuntary beta"... is downright MSFT-like

    • by qwijibo (101731)

      Since I couldn't figure out if there was a non-Unity option from within Unity, I was about ready to give up on Ubuntu entirely before I figured out that you could log out and log in with classic to get rid of that steaming pile.

      • by poptones (653660)

        Problem is they seem to have focused so much on the new shit they forgot to qc the rest of it! Since I upgraded to 11.04 the goddamn panel has crashed SO MUCH that I have just added a custom launcher in the lower right that I can find and easily press when the panel suddenly decides to become invisible again.

        There's a lot to like here, and much to despise. I've worked out enough adaptation that I'm really, really regretting the upgrade. How many months before my system is as stable as it was under 10.10? It

    • Re:unity (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Cougar Town (1669754) on Tuesday May 03, 2011 @01:41PM (#36013286)

      Agreed... and I always give new things a good chance.

      When they moved the minimize/maximize/close buttons to the left side of the windows, I gave it a try, and found that going to one side instead of the other really didn't have any actual impact on my life so I was happy to use that, and I still do. It's really not a life-changing thing for me, I got used to it in about 2 minutes and I don't really care.

      But Unity? I tried it. I really did. And it sucked like a tornado. Taking up useless space on the left side of my screen with icons in seemingly random order? I much prefer my tiny and thin bars at the top and bottom of the screen that show me useful, realtime information that I want, and give me very quick access to everything I need.

      I don't hate things because they're different or because I'm ignorant of them. I hate them after I really give them a chance and learn about them and they still just do not work for me. I use Ubuntu as my OS on my daily workstation at my job, so I need things to be quick, efficient, and work the way I work. Unity doesn't do that for me at all, even after I tried.

      If Ubuntu drops Gnome completely and makes it a pain in the ass (and/or unsupported) to install... I'll be moving to Kubuntu or Xubuntu. I've used both before, and unless they've completely changed into something else, either would work just fine for me. Maybe Unity is very good for some people... I'm just not one of them.

  • Absurd (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Lord Ender (156273)

    This is an entirely configurable option. Users who like it will keep it, users who don't will switch it. Anyone complaining is just doing it to hear his own voice.

    • Re:Absurd (Score:5, Informative)

      by 0123456 (636235) on Tuesday May 03, 2011 @01:02PM (#36012578)

      This is an entirely configurable option. Users who like it will keep it, users who don't will switch it. Anyone complaining is just doing it to hear his own voice.

      Gnome 2 goes away in the next release of Ubuntu. Then it's a choice between Unity and Gnome 3, which both appear to be following similar 'you will do things the way we want you to because we know best' philosophies, or KDE which is OK but just feels blah whenever I try a new release.

      • Re:Absurd (Score:5, Informative)

        by sensei moreh (868829) on Tuesday May 03, 2011 @01:16PM (#36012846)

        Gnome 2 goes away in the next release of Ubuntu. Then it's a choice between Unity and Gnome 3, which both appear to be following similar 'you will do things the way we want you to because we know best' philosophies, or KDE which is OK but just feels blah whenever I try a new release.

        or XFCE (Xubuntu) or LXDE (Lubuntu) or . IMHO, XFCE is now very similar to GNOME2; close enough that if I were a GNOME2 user who'd rather switch than whine, that would be my first choice. Personally, I prefer LXDE.

      • by Lumpy (12016)

        it's also a not easy to find configurable option. no "use this as your DEFAULT session" checkbox. you have to choose it every time you log in OR find the obscure and now really hard to find configuration program to set it as the default.

        It's in the basement behind a locked door that has a signthat reads, " beware of the Unity"

    • by pavon (30274) on Tuesday May 03, 2011 @01:12PM (#36012792)

      But the original selling point of Ubuntu was that it was the distro that "just worked". You didn't have to spend days tracking down hardware problems, or hours figuring out how to change all defaults to something that worked. That meant the defaults were set to those that would be most familiar and comfortable to most computer users.

      It is nice to have a distro like that to recommend to Linux Newbies, but Ubuntu is moving in a direction where it no longer is that distro.

      • by hduff (570443) <hoytduff.gmail@com> on Tuesday May 03, 2011 @02:23PM (#36013876) Homepage Journal

        One of the first distros with a decent default configuration that "just worked' was Mandrake, now Mandriva.
        They gad a brief hiccup due to poor management but Mandriva 2010.2 was one of their best releases ever. Again, it "just worked" and had a huge software repository. And again, they had a management hiccup and most of their devs left to start Mageia, which promises to carry on all the best that was Mandriva/Mandrake including sane and useful default settings and configurations. Mageia is now just in in final beta before their first release, but Mandriva 2010.2 is done, polished and constantly updated. You should try it if you are dissatisfied with the lack of user choice provided by Ubuntu.
        http://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=mandriva [distrowatch.com]

    • by Hatta (162192)

      If you're going to configure everything the way you want it, why not just use Debian? Ubuntu is for people who want their computer to "just work". If it's not working for them, they are right to complain.

      I can no longer recommend Ubuntu to people wanting to give Linux a spin. That's going to be a problem for Ubuntu.

    • by grumbel (592662)

      This is an entirely configurable option. Users who like it will keep it, users who don't will switch it.

      The problem is that it is a forced changed, you get shitty Unity even when you never asked for it. Yes, you can switch it off, but two things make this hard: The option is only well hidden in the GDM login, so most people might not even realize that it is there (auto-login makes you completely bypass that screen and that the option only becomes visible after you clicked on your name makes it easy to miss even when you see the screen). Second problem is that Unity requires OpenGL and OpenGL drivers have the

  • ... then maybe it's time to switch to Fedora?
  • by hedwards (940851)

    I've been starting to use it, but it's kind of meh. My main annoyance with it is that the bar doesn't seem to work very well. Getting it to stay open long enough to click has been sort of hit or miss so far, but it is somewhat interesting. It really should have an obvious way of getting it to open up and stay open as it is sometimes it stays open and sometimes it doesn't. Plus it doesn't work very well in virtual box if you haven't a hard monitor border on that side.

    • Re:Meh (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Nerdfest (867930) on Tuesday May 03, 2011 @01:08PM (#36012716)
      I tried it, but have found it lacking. In 'classic' Ubuntu, I remove the bottom panel, and use Docky. I use Gnome-do for quick-run functionality. I have several indicators (temperature, network i/o, weather, dropbox, etc) some of which work or have replacements, and other which don't. The fonts on the Unity Panel seem blurry or low-rez. The Apple-style menu at the top is exceptionally annoying when using multiple monitors, or for those of us that don't like the buttons on the left side of the window. In general, I find the interface a step down from Gnome-do/Docky, although I do like the new scroll bars so far.

      I also find that Natty is slower, and has introduced a lot of problems in Compiz, and my wireless performance is much reduced. I was reading about an interview with Mark Shuttleworth where he apparently said that perhaps power users should switch to a different distro. I respect him for saying that, but it's unfortunate, as I like the Ubuntu release cycle. Unfortunately, I think I'm going to have to do just that, or perhaps switch GDMs. Both LXDE and XFCE are looking quite nice ... not quite Gnome, but nice enough.
      • by Compaqt (1758360) on Tuesday May 03, 2011 @01:30PM (#36013090) Homepage

        >Mark Shuttleworth where he apparently said that perhaps power users should switch to a different distro.

        Mark, Mark, Mark:

        If power users switch to another distro, who is going to answer 1st-day newbs' questions on ubuntuforums.org? 2nd-day newbs?

        And who's going to do all that free Ubuntu development and package management work for you on launchpad?

    • Had the same problem. I solved it by selecting an option to have the bar show when I touch the upper-left hand corner rather than the left-hand side. I forget exactly where the option is and I don't have the computer with me at the moment.
  • Works fine for me (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Pieroxy (222434) on Tuesday May 03, 2011 @12:49PM (#36012394) Homepage

    I installed it the day it was out. The menubar is somewhat different, so what?

    For me, it's working fine and I'm sticking with it. Gnome fanboys will not appreciate it, but Unity feels a bit slicker than Gnome. And the user experience is so close it's almost undistinguishable.

    • by hawguy (1600213) on Tuesday May 03, 2011 @12:59PM (#36012534)

      For me, it's working fine and I'm sticking with it. Gnome fanboys will not appreciate it, but Unity feels a bit slicker than Gnome.

      Isn't anyone that describes a UI as "slicker" a fanboy by definition?

      And the user experience is so close it's almost undistinguishable.

      I don't think that most of the people complaining about unity are comparing to Gnome3 -- they are comparing to KDE4 and Gnome2.

      • I've used it vs Gnome-Shell, which was removed in 11.04 and slated for 11.10. I'm HEAVILY anticipating 11.10 because DAMN, Gnome3 is awesome in comparison. It's like Unity is an impressive knock-off of Gnome-Shell, like Saccharine diet pepsi is an impressive knock-off of regular cane sugar pepsi.
    • Re:Works fine for me (Score:5, Interesting)

      by WeatherGod (1726770) on Tuesday May 03, 2011 @01:23PM (#36012980)
      I agree. I was using Unity (or whatever its precursor was called) in 10.10 because it was part of the Ubuntu-Netbook-Remix (note that the netbook edition is now only intended for ARM netbooks), and 11.04's Unity is a huge leap in stability, usability and just general look-and-feel. Are there still some more to be done? Absolutely, but for someone to claim that Unity is "throwing away years of UI experience" is hyperbole at best and disingenuous at worst. I think that we are going to learn a lot from the Unity/Gnome-Shell "experiments" and when the dust settles, we may have something that is a lot better than Gnome 2 ever was.
      • by nschubach (922175)

        Absolutely, but for someone to claim that Unity is "throwing away years of UI experience" is hyperbole at best and disingenuous at worst.

        I'd like to know how Unity is supposed to handle multiple monitors. What menu items show up in the "task bar" and where does the sidebar show up? What if I have two apps open (one on each screen) and I swap between them often?

  • So I upgraded to 11.04 on my laptop, a Dell D620. Its a decent laptop, dual-core CPU, works quite well for what I use it for (not games).

    Well, when I first logged on after the upgrade I was notified my computer could not handle Unity and would default to the old desktop. So that's where I'm at now, and I have no problem with that. I'd have LIKED to try Unity, but I've been given no option to.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      You can install a package called "unity2d" to get Unity with your graphics hardware.

      • Bingo, though it's "unity-2d". I use RDP with my ubuntu computer so no hardware acceleration, and it works just fine. Only real difference is that reordering windows in the taskbar requires you to click and hold the icon for a bit before dragging, whereas in normal Unity you drag the icon out of the bar and drag it back in at the drop point.
  • another cycle (Score:5, Insightful)

    by digitalsushi (137809) <slashdot@digitalsushi.com> on Tuesday May 03, 2011 @12:52PM (#36012448) Journal

    Let's all remember how much we hated XP when it came out, and then how much we wanted Windows 7 to be XP when it came out.

    • But that wasn't the user's fault, that was Microsoft's fault, if you recall ;)

      Whatever. Ubuntu/Canonical can change Ubuntu to their liking. I use it because it's free, I can't complain much as long as the interface works. Switching to a Mac is a pretty significant UI change from Windows, but nobody seems to think that's such a big deal (or if it is, it's just the user being silly or something).

      That said, I haven't actually upgraded yet. hehe...

      • Switching to a Mac is a pretty significant UI change from Windows, but nobody seems to think that's such a big deal

        Because the Mac interface is actually very good, while Unity and Gnome 3 are atrocious.

    • Re:another cycle (Score:5, Insightful)

      by hawguy (1600213) on Tuesday May 03, 2011 @01:00PM (#36012558)

      Let's all remember how much we hated XP when it came out, and then how much we wanted Windows 7 to be XP when it came out.

      And let's remember how much we hated Office 2007's "ribbon" interface when it came out... and how many of us still hate it today.

      • by Abreu (173023)

        Count me in for one that hated the ribbon at first, and then came to like it.

        As I mentioned before, we are all in the "They changed it, therefore it sucks" phase with Ubuntu Unity.

      • I don't use Microsoft products often, but I have to say, I love the ribbon. It put literally everything within easy reach. You do have to make it auto-hide, but after that, it's simply like much-improved toolbars that actually have auto-hide.
    • I *still* hate XP, Vista and Windows 7. The first thing I do on any of those machines is turn off the theming service.

      I like Windows to look like 2000. Although I use a Mac most of the time, Microsoft seems to have gone overboard on the form over function. Sure I have pretty GUI widgets, but they're not obnoxious and in my face like the Play School theme of XP or the default Windows 7 theme.

    • by equex (747231)
      Doesn't matter if it's MS or Canonical, some people just want their OS to work 100% out of the box and not wait for future updates to fix it. If XP came out at SP2 level it would be totally different. Nobody pays for Ubuntu but still people don't like to be crash test dummies. Now that the mainstream starts to use Linux like we all wanted, it's up to the various distros to make the transition smooth and not 10 more years of testing before its stable enough . (Like MS did, causing the general population to t
    • by LWATCDR (28044)

      Still hate XP. The UI still looks like FisherPrice made it to me. Windows 7 is much better but I want to beat Microsoft for moving the 32bit executables to Program Files (X86) instead of putting the 64 bit executables in Program Files (x64).
      DUMB and brakes old programs for no good reason.

      • Re:another cycle (Score:4, Insightful)

        by i kan reed (749298) on Tuesday May 03, 2011 @01:36PM (#36013200) Homepage Journal
        Regarding the x86 thing: It only breaks programs that were written incorrectly in the first place. If you had your principle hard drive on any disk but C: those same lazy programs wouldn't work. Environmental variables exist for a reason. Furthermore, I think that may actually be one of the things compatability mode fixes automagically.
    • by itsdapead (734413)

      Let's all remember how much we hated XP when it came out, and then how much we wanted Windows 7 to be XP when it came out.

      ...and remember how people hated Vista so much that it flopped and would have sunk any company that didn't have MS's dominant position and cash reserves.

      Actually, ISTR the main hates about XP were product activation, driver hassles and its unquenchable thirst for more than 256MB of memory. The only UI quibbles were that it looked a bit Fischer-Price - it worked much the same way as Win95/2000.

      (Waiting for the reaction when OSX 10.7 hits the street...)

    • by FauxPasIII (75900)

      Well, XP was displacing Win2k, still in my opinion the best offering MS has made to date.

      Win7 was displacing Vista.

    • We did?

      Pretty much from day 1 I found Windows 7 to be superior to XP. Sure I may want a small handful of things like the old XP network config interface back, but 7 is far and away the better UI, which isn't even counting that the underlying OS is way better as well.

    • by nschubach (922175)

      Windows XP was easy enough to fix. I made it look and act like Windows 2000 and I've been running "Classic" all the way up to Windows 7 who's classic theme looks like utter garbage.

  • Some annoyances (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 03, 2011 @12:57PM (#36012504)

    I'm not "angry" or anything, but there are some things that are annoying about the interface. My main problem is the title bar. I love the idea of trying to make the client area as large as possible -- and I love that Firefox takes up nearly the entire screen. However, to make that work, they have really goofy title bar logic. The menu and title bar are basically sharing the same area. If you mouse over the title bar, it turns into the menu. However, if the window isn't maximized, then the menu is still at the top of the screen (like Mac OS). If you have two windows open, one maximized under a non-maximized window, then the title bar looks like it belongs to the maximized window, but it really belongs to the window with the focus.

    My other complaint is that the icon bar is stuck on the left. I'd prefer it on the right, or on the bottom. It's also annoying because it doesn't always stay out -- sometimes it hides, sometimes it takes multiple clicks to get something launched, sometimes it pretends to poke out, but then goes away... It's not as simple as "when I put my mouse over there, stay open until I move my mouse away". There seems to be other logic going on that I can't figure out.

    Lastly, my Wi-Fi broke upon upgrading (BCM4322). I had to do some command line modprobe stuff to get it back running. Not a Unity issue, but still annoying, and hurts usability.

    • by hedwards (940851)

      I'd say this is definitely an epic lulz for Ubuntu. I think once they fix the bugs you're referring to, it should be fine, but at this point it's only marginally usable and damned confusing. We should be able to move the bar from the left to the right, and having the bar at the top the same color as the titlebars makes it tough to see where the application's bar ends and that top bar begins.

      I do think that there's plenty of potential with the new system, I just think they rushed it way too soon and need to

  • by 0123456 (636235) on Tuesday May 03, 2011 @12:57PM (#36012506)

    I've been running Unity on my netbook for six months and it's not bad there as it's a bit more space-efficient on the screen and all I do is web browsing and type the odd document in Office; hence the half dozen launcher icons are all I need.

    But I only lasted about 30 minutes with it on my laptop until I switched back to Gnome, because having 30 launcher icons scrolling up and down the screen and having to move the mouse to random parts of the screen to make them appear and scroll through the list to find the windows that are actually open is just awful.

    IMHO the big problem is the idea of a 'one size fits all' GUI for everything when people have very different requirements on different systems. Unity is an improvement on small screen devices where you don't need to open six out of thirty different applications at a time, but not good when you do.

    • by hedwards (940851)

      Indeed, and Firefox developers also need to make note of that. Changes which positively affect the experience on a small screen turn out to be counterproductive on a larger screen, and users should have an option to turn on a space wasting mode in those cases.

      Or at least give us a viable means of slicing up the screen to be more useful.

  • My problem with it is that it won't reboot or shutdown even with shutdown -r now or shutdown -h now. The screen stays lit.

    I don't have much time to figure it out but my overall impression is somewhat NeXTish but needs work. Useable. Nice to see someone trying something different.

  • Doesnt even work! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anne Thwacks (531696) on Tuesday May 03, 2011 @01:02PM (#36012590)
    I tried it on our family machine which has been running Ubuntu for about 5 years. It declares that the hardware is inadequate to support the new UI, and advises you not to use it - but not until you have already started it, and cant find a way to stop it. If it knows the hardware wont support it, why does it even try? (fortunately, I happen to know about ctrl-alt-f2, and am confident using the CLI. My grand-childen are not in the same boat.

    I admit its not the latest hardware, but I regularly use older hardware. The VGA card is on the motherboard, and is probably rubbish too. It draws a solid colour areas over the tops of windows you are trying to use, and hides the bar which would enable you to logout!

    Once you manage to get back to "classic, without effects" its OK. But for bad user experience, I'd still give it 10/10.

  • I'm not sure who decided that we needed Cell Phone UI's on our desktops, but I'd like to slap the person(s).

    For me personally, Xfce4 is the only sane desktop solution left.
    • by gilgongo (57446)

      I'm not sure who decided that we needed Cell Phone UI's on our desktops, but I'd like to slap the person(s).

      I believe the recipient of your slappage would be Christian Giordano:

      http://design.canonical.com/2011/03/introducing-overlay-scrollbars-in-unity/ [canonical.com]

      At least, this quote would seem to be culprit:

      "Other platforms optimized for touch input like Android and iOS are already using a light-weight solution visible only while dragging the content."

      So that's your question answered I think.

  • by swanzilla (1458281) on Tuesday May 03, 2011 @01:02PM (#36012600) Homepage
    sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager

    Go nuts.

  • Classic (Score:5, Interesting)

    by roman_mir (125474) on Tuesday May 03, 2011 @01:06PM (#36012678) Homepage Journal

    Have the Ubuntu 11.04 on a couple of machines, but immediately switched to classic desktop on both. This thing is ridiculous, retarded and useless to me. I am not an Apple user, I don't own any iProducts and don't want to in no small part because I absolutely despise their way of doing interfaces. I hate the 'ribbon' garbage as well, BTW.

    Anyway, from point of view of a developer, this GUI is a POS. No way I am going to use something that takes a chunk of my screen like that, gets rid of the battery power/network status icons (and whatever else I want to see on the launch bar). I honestly do not have patience to figure out where the application window goes once I attempt to minimize it. Is the window closed then and the application is killed? Is it somewhere on the background, and if so, how do I get it back? Where is the minimized window icon? That crazy search window that pops up only when I want to see the normal menu with the usual items in them - the entire idea of a menu tree is gone?

    Anyway, you may want to use your computer as some sort of a weird appliance... I need a predictable, stable system, things should be where I am used to them, not hidden and removed in ways that defy any logic. The minimize/close/maximize window icons will be on the right side of my windows and there will be a normal tree like menu with items where I will find them every time I look there and there will be an icon for every window on the bottom of the screen, period.

    • by ppz003 (797487)

      I need a predictable, stable system, things should be where I am used to them, not hidden and removed in ways that defy any logic. The minimize/close/maximize window icons will be on the right side of my windows and there will be a normal tree like menu with items where I will find them every time I look there and there will be an icon for every window on the bottom of the screen, period.

      And this is why I use Slackware.

    • I hate the 'ribbon' garbage as well, BTW.

      Were you implying that there are ribbon interfaces in 11.04? Or maybe you were just making it clear that you aren't a Windows fan either? I am not sure, but I am guessing the latter because there are no ribbons in 11.04.

      Anyway, from point of view of a developer, this GUI is a POS. No way I am going to use something that takes a chunk of my screen like that, gets rid of the battery power/network status icons (and whatever else I want to see on the launch bar).

      If the battery power/network status icons are missing, then somehow your settings got cleared. That would be a bug and should be filed. My upgrade kept those icons exactly where they belonged. It is also fairly straight-forward to turn them back on in the Power Settings (where you can s

  • by itsdapead (734413) on Tuesday May 03, 2011 @01:11PM (#36012762)

    Ubuntu need to decide whether they are "the Linux for the rest of us" or "the bleeding edge".

    When they started out, making Linux more polished-looking, consistent, user friendly, easy to install and the Linux you'd recommend to Aunty Agatha, that was bleeding edge (even if it wasn't exclusive to Ubuntu, they did a lot to advance that field, and to promote Linux in general) so there was no choice.

    Now that most Linux distros are, at worst, no harder to install than Windows, and make a good College try at auto-detecting your hardware and helping you locate drivers they might want to think twice against "forcing" major changes on mainstream users (even if there is a way to revert, making them the default will give some people a WTF moment and fragment support and documentation). They also tend to introduce other major changes to subsystems with their regular releases.

    If I were Ubuntu I'd have the last LTS version "headlining" the website as the recommended download, with the latest 6-monthly release as an option, and divert a bit more effort to backporting new versions of applications (not just bug/security fixes) to LTS so that non-techie users had an easy way to install the latest & greatest applications without a major OS overhaul. Of course, that's very unsexy work, especially if you're not being paid.

  • if it wasn't so buggy.

    I can't count how many times X has shut down just randomly with Unity.

    On top of that, I think some of the concepts behind it are better than Gnome Shell, but I haven't tried Shell in a long time.

    • by ndogg (158021)

      On top of that, changing just about anything from CCSM causes it to crash, and suddenly there is no Compiz or Unity.

  • I do get that people are very particular about their interface, I am one of them. Maybe I am misinformed, but I thought I read that you can use "classic" Ubuntu interface of Gnome and set it at login. I'm using Kubuntu 11.04, and have been very happy with it thus far. There are other variants of *buntu as well. Just because something comes a certain way out of the box, it doesn't mean you can't configure it. Surely Linux users understand this.

    • by grumbel (592662)

      Yes, you can disable it at the login screen, but many people never see the login screen due to auto-login and OpenGL driver issues might screw up Unity so badly that you can't even get to the login screen or just outright crash your machine.

    • by dissy (172727)

      You can only disable it for another 6 months, and even for these 6 months you can only disable it if you have new hardware.

      At work I have 18 Dell p3 machines all running Ubuntu 10.04.
      I would prefer 10.10 as it is vastly better, but not being LTS forces you into this upgrade cycle.

      11.04 will not even boot into the graphics system on those computers to let you disable unity.

      So if I want security updates, I must switch to another distro. (Or upgrade, but that is controlled by the finance department, not IT)

      Al

  • Wah wah wah... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Covalent (1001277)
    I upgraded to 11.04 and I like Unity. It's a lot quicker and, while a little buggy, I'm already moving faster than with Gnome. That said, if you don't like Unity or Gnome 3, then either stay with 10.10 or 10.04 (LTS) or go to Linux Mint or Debian or pick a distro but quit bitching or pay for Windows / Mac. Either way, get off my lawn!
  • Unstable (Score:5, Informative)

    by CynicTheHedgehog (261139) on Tuesday May 03, 2011 @01:16PM (#36012844) Homepage

    Compiz crashes 2-3 times a day for me. Evolution crashes as soon as I start it (hangs fetching messages) and I have to do 'evolution --force-shutdown' on the command line because for some reason xkill is gone. Had to switch to Thunderbird, because Evolution was unusable.

    I also uninstalled the appmenu because there were situations involving VirtualBox and Java/Swing apps where it would just go blank and stay that way, so I would have no menu at all. Plus, when you combine the app menu with Gnome's propensity to steal focus and raise windows to the foreground regardless of what you happen to be doing at the time, it's almost unusable.

    After 4 days of tinkering and disabling things I'm to the point where I can actually do something (barring the compiz crashes, which require a reboot). Overall this is the glitchiest, most unstable Linux instance I've ever dealt with. I'll probably go back to KDE this upcoming weekend.

    • Re:Unstable (Score:5, Insightful)

      by systematical (1394991) on Tuesday May 03, 2011 @01:18PM (#36012880) Homepage
      This is why I've told everyone not to immediately update to Ubuntu's latest version. In fact, your best bet is to just stick with the LTS releases. Ubuntu has certainly proven not to be an option for production level servers and is starting to make me question its viability as a work station.
    • Forgot to mention: boot up times went from about 10 seconds in Maverick to well over a minute in Natty. That's a minute to get to the login screen. And now, after I log in, it takes 30-60 seconds to bring up the launcher and panel. Major step back. Wish I never upgraded.

  • Every new release someone whines about a change in default apps or UI.
    They could stick to one of the LTS versions, but they invariably jump on the new versions despite hating change.

    I didn't like Unity, so I gave Gnome3 a go. No need to whine about it. If I didn't like either I could stick to classic or a previous release and update on an app by app basis.

    It's pretty plain to see in the years of releases that LTS is stable, and the others are venues for experimentation and rapid change. But maybe that needs

  • I tried on two machines, a 13" laptop and 40" combined dual-monitor desktop. Worked great on the laptop: I really liked it. On the desktop, though.... For one, mirror the menus is a big improvement compared to anything. They tray (notify area) was on both monitors, the focused app's menu stayed on that monitor (compare to multi-mon OSX where the app's menu shows on one central monitor regardless of which monitor app is on). But the launcher sucks. It lives on a single monitor, and being on the horizontal
  • Hopefully this will be sorted out by the next LTS release. I found awhile back that I'm much better off with those than being a guinea pig for whatever comes out twice a year.
    After all, at least so far, if a nice new app comes along, I can still find a backport of it.

    I'm not a computer newb at all -- I started way back before there were portable ones. I do some software development still as well as content management for a site I run. I'm always doing something a little closer to the metal than most
  • by SharpFang (651121) on Tuesday May 03, 2011 @02:03PM (#36013594) Homepage Journal

    Yesterday I finally replaced ancient XP with Ubuntu on one of my machines.
    The first impressions were "it's retarded." The install required to connect to the net to download required packages (over ethernet, while I only had wifi) despite running off 600MB install disk. I finally managed to install from 'live' and was not impressed - the Unity interface was so dumbed down that it was beyond useless - multitouch touchpad support broken, power managment disabling all the options I needed, gedit unable to load files containing unprintable characters and so on. At first I thought "That's it, Ubuntu has jumped the shark. I need to look for a different distro.

    Then I thought "let's see, maybe KDE is still usable." Of course none in the default, but simple apt-get install kde-plasma-desktop loaded it just fine. Log out, session: KDE, log in, done.
    And then I decided I'm quite happy with Ubuntu. The OS under the hood is actually pretty good, and once you replace the desktop manager, it's quite a nice OS to use.

    So, install KDE and stop complaining.
    sudo apt-get install kde-plasma-desktop
    It's that easy,

  • THAWTELESS, Star City, Monday (NNGadget) — Canonical, Inc. has announced the release of Ubuntu 11.04, "Venereal Vista," based on the Unity Vista desktop, which only 5 out of 11 first-time users managed to crash in final testing two weeks ago.

    Unity is Canonical's response to the GNOME 3 shell, which uses 1 gigabyte of RAM and four processor cores to exquisitely render a single button in the centre of the screen in beautifully anti-aliased text; when pressed, GNOME tells the user to switch off the computer and do something useful with their life, such as showering.

    "This was just not up to the user expectations of Canonical's vision of the desktop," said Mark Shuttleworth, from his castle high on a crag in West London. "So we added a 'minimise' button too."

    Design is at the centre of Shuttleworth's roadmap for Unity. "I woke up one day and thought, 'Gosh, I'd really like to make using my universal general-purpose computer that I can do ANYTHING with feel like I'm using a locked-down three-year-old half-smart phone through the clunky mechanism some l33t h@xx0r used to jailbreak it, I can't think of a better user experience.' We're not quite there yet, but this gets Unity a lot of the way."

    Picture: Unity is made of arse [newstechnica.com].

    Shuttleworth foresees an exciting future for Linux for the general Internet user. "It'll be a whole world of Linux devices, which millions of people will use all the time, everywhere! Of course, at the moment those are called 'phones' and run Android."

APL is a write-only language. I can write programs in APL, but I can't read any of them. -- Roy Keir

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