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Ubuntu Unity: The Great Divider 729

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 on Tuesday May 03, 2011 @12:48PM (#36012356)

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

  • Absurd (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Lord Ender ( 156273 ) on Tuesday May 03, 2011 @12:48PM (#36012370) Homepage

    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.

  • another cycle (Score:5, Insightful)

    by digitalsushi ( 137809 ) <> 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.

  • 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 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.

  • 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 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.

  • 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.

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

    by Covalent ( 1001277 ) on Tuesday May 03, 2011 @01:16PM (#36012842)
    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!
  • 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.
  • 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 2nd-day newbs?

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

  • 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.
  • Re:unity (Score:5, Insightful)

    by grumbel ( 592662 ) <> 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.

  • Re:Classic (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 03, 2011 @01:52PM (#36013442)

    You need a predictable, stable system BUT you decided to upgrade to the initial version release? This isn't shame on Ubuntu, this is SHAME ON YOU.

  • 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.

  • Re:Absurd (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gfxguy ( 98788 ) on Tuesday May 03, 2011 @03:17PM (#36014716)

    I'm having a hard time getting accustomed to OS X interface. I can control the speed of my mouse, but not the acceleration. I can't resize windows except for the bottom right corner, (which sucks when I'm trying to line things up on the right side of the screen and resize from there). The windows don't "snap" together, making it hard to maximize space, and then most of them don't seem to remember their size or positions (or get confused because I had multiple windows opened the last time I used it).

    There's more, but what I found out after using it for about a month is this: Mac users pay a premium for their Macs, and to keep them upgraded - so having to install a bunch of paid software to just tweak the UI doesn't seem crazy to them like it does to me; all the answers I found when trying to tweak things ended up being third party $oftware.

    We're taking a step backwards every time these companies take away options in order to simplify.

"If you lived today as if it were your last, you'd buy up a box of rockets and fire them all off, wouldn't you?" -- Garrison Keillor