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Canonical Killing Unity For Ubuntu Linux, Will Switch To the Superior GNOME (betanews.com) 386

Reader BrianFagioli writes: Today, the company admits that it is throwing in the towel on Unity, as well as its vision for convergence with devices like phones and tablets. Starting with Ubuntu 18.04, the wonderful GNOME will once again become the default desktop environment! "We are wrapping up an excellent quarter and an excellent year for the company, with performance in many teams and products that we can be proud of. As we head into the new fiscal year, it's appropriate to reassess each of our initiatives. I'm writing to let you know that we will end our investment in Unity8, the phone and convergence shell. We will shift our default Ubuntu desktop back to GNOME for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS," says Mark Shuttleworth, Founder of Ubuntu and Canonical.
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Canonical Killing Unity For Ubuntu Linux, Will Switch To the Superior GNOME

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  • 2018 (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 05, 2017 @01:43PM (#54180211)

    It seems 2018 will be the year of GNOME on the Linux Desktop.

    • Re:2018 (Score:4, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 05, 2017 @02:18PM (#54180561)

      Not on my PC i would rather install Windows 10 again!

    • by cheesybagel ( 670288 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2017 @11:08PM (#54183437)

      It was kinda cumbersome to get used to Unity at first though.

      I came from the absolute opposite (non-modal) school of using a desktop (for a long time I was an FVWM user w/ sloppy-focus, later I switched to Window Maker). So this extreme modal like click-to-focus desktop in Unity felt strange at first. But IMHO Unity is quite good at what it does. In like 2-3 days I got used to it and it doesn't bother me anymore. Unity was certainly a lot cleaner and less clunky than GNOME 3 was at the time.

      Unity uses the opposite user design philosophy to what I prefer for a developer's desktop (i.e. sloppy-focus for work with multiple windows). But IMHO, given what Unity aims to do, it does things extremely well from a user interface perspective.

      If there are things which need to be trashed in the Linux desktop, it would be the Xlib as the default API (something like Quartz would be a good replacement and is long overdue), ALSA, Pulseaudio, and systemd.

      Xlib and ALSA are the biggest reasons for the Linux desktop lagging behind everything else. They're horrible APIs. ALSA in particular is overly complicated, device specific, and complete trash. Xlib was a good design when it came out, but now that we have true-color displays, and that remote graphics make less sense it doesn't work anymore. Because ALSA and Xlib are horrible APIs, we get tremendously bloated, buggy messes of intermediary APIs to hide their overall suckiness (e.g. Pulseaudio and Qt). Pulseaudio and Qt are probably good compromises but they're the wrong solution to the problem. The problem needs to be fixed at the core libraries, not by plastering wallpaper over the cracks. Then there's Qt and MOC. Fuck MOC.

      Systemd is just absolutely horrible. A jack of all trades and master of none. A bloated pig, that even its own developers probably don't understand anymore, let alone the users. it goes against the UNIX philosophy of doing only one thing and getting it right. If we want the Linux desktop to win over its rivals Windows and MacOS X, we need to push our own vision of an OS for power users. That's after all what UNIX is all about. I don't necessarily mean programmers, it could also be artists and documentation specialists. i.e. if I was a translator wouldn't I want multiple windows open at the same time with dictionaries, the text I'm working on, a glossary, etc? If I was an artist, wouldn't I want to be able to launch renders and know their status in the background while I'm working on something? An OS that empowers people and makes them productive. A desktop for large screen displays where you can work with multiple documents visible at once. Not smartphones and the card deck metaphor. Not an OS that reduces everyone to the lowest common denominator. But an OS that allows everyone to work at their peak ability.

      Another thing Linux could use would be its own runtime with architecture independent binaries and application packages. Even if it's a copy of Android's. I know it isn't good for high performance apps, but we need a runtime for shovelware that doesn't suck.

    • I hope they use Gnome 2. Gnome 3 is for tablets.

  • Wonderful? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by i_ate_god ( 899684 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2017 @01:44PM (#54180223)

    Gnome3 is awful. I really do not like using it.

    So isn't it great to have an OS that lets you change your window manager for something else (like my preferred KDE5?)!

    Say, whatever happened to those explorer.exe replacements in the Windows scene? I think one of them was called BlackBox maybe?

    • Re: Wonderful? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      GNOME 3, while awful, has been the least of my problems with 'modern' Linux. Weird problems with systemd often prevent my Linux system from booting far enough to even get to a login prompt. I'd switch to a different distro, but all of the major ones now use systemd. I don't want to use an archaic distro like Slackware, or a niche distro like Devuan, or a weird one like Gentoo. So recently I've been using NetBSD and really liking it. I don't know if I even want to go back to Linux.

      • by SharpFang ( 651121 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2017 @04:44PM (#54181773) Homepage Journal

        > I don't want to use an archaic distro like Slackware, or a niche distro like Devuan, or a weird one like Gentoo. So recently I've been using NetBSD

        That gave me a chuckle.

        You mean you didn't want to choose between archaic, niche or weird, so you found one that is all three at once? :)

      • Never had any problem with systemd preventing bootup. Are you sure its systemd? I disabled graphical login on systemd systems on some computers and it tends to work fine, with one minor issue, some times you need to ctrl+alt+f1 to a command prompt. It looks just like a minor kernel isue or something. Ive added my own jobs to systemd with no problems. Overall systemd is an improvement, simpler declarative unit files, you can still use shell scripts if you want. A more modular architecture.

    • Re:Wonderful? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Thelasko ( 1196535 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2017 @01:59PM (#54180387) Journal

      Gnome3 is awful. I really do not like using it.

      I agree that the default settings for GNOME 3 in most distributions is terrible. It's actually very much like Unity if you ask me. However, it doesn't have to be that way. I was testing different distributions one day and discovered that one had a very nice implementation of GNOME. (I think it was CentOS.) Upon investigating I realized there was a setting that could be changed to go back to a traditional layout.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by JoeMerchant ( 803320 )

      Adjectives like "SUPERIOR" in the title and "wonderful" in the description tell you a lot about the author's objectivity.

      I'm no Unity fan, but it did handle 4K screens well at a time when nothing else would. I do wish KDE would get its 5 together (maybe it has, I honestly haven't cared enough to check in over a year). The worst thing about GNOME is reading how AWESOME it is, and then having to use its outdated, fragmented, counterintuitive crap because it got default-installed on you. Anybody who thinks

      • Re:Wonderful? (Score:5, Informative)

        by Fly Swatter ( 30498 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2017 @03:06PM (#54180997) Homepage

        The summary takes on a more realistic meaning if you read it in a sarcastic tone.

        • The lines in question are actually quoted from Betanews. I still can't decide how sincerely they're meant. :P

          • I would tend to agree, but then "geek" with the 4 digit user ID above seems to be claiming, with a straight face, "SUPERIOR" as an objective measure.

            I thought: "works on my new laptop as-default-installed" was an objective measure, one that Unity was winning a couple of years ago. Not that I'm lamenting Unity's departure, but to give credit where due, the Unity group were the first to make 4K screens work well, so at the time when they had it nailed and everybody else was fumbling around with configuration

    • by khr ( 708262 )

      Say, whatever happened to those explorer.exe replacements in the Windows scene?

      Somewhere on floppies I have the source code for the Toolbox one from PC-Kwik (formerly Multisoft), where I worked in the mid-90's before the company went out of business. It was a nice one, very simple and quick to use.

    • So isn't it great to have an OS that lets you change your window manager

      I should be able to mod this up to +6. I don't favour KDE myself, but if you do, good luck to you. I think Cinnamon is a really good desktop environment, but over the years I have used most of them and Linux lets me do that which is the key thing.

    • Re:Wonderful? (Score:5, Informative)

      by kimvette ( 919543 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2017 @05:51PM (#54182159) Homepage Journal

      Meanwhile, kubuntu will continue to exist, delivering a superior KDE-driven user experience! :D

    • Re:Wonderful? (Score:5, Informative)

      by kbahey ( 102895 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2017 @08:52PM (#54182965) Homepage

      I was on KDE for around 15 years. Never used GNOME.

      But when I recently upgraded from Kubuntu 14.04 to Kubuntu 16.04, there were many annoyances here and there. For example, no weather widget. Also, the notification history was gone. Dumbing down the user interface is rampant and have reached KDE.

      So, I bit the bullet and switched to XFCE (Xubuntu 16.04), and it is fast, nimble and just works.

      It was as simple as:

      sudo apt-get install xubuntu-desktop
      sudo apt-get purge plasma-desktop

      Then learning the ropes of XFCE, and adjusting the settings.

  • A little late? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bsharitt ( 580506 ) <bsharitt AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday April 05, 2017 @01:44PM (#54180227) Homepage Journal

    This sounds like April 1st news. But as real news, I'm guessing that when Gnome does return to Ubuntu as the default DE, it'll be a bit customized at least. It wouldn't be too had to create the addons to make Unity users feel a little more at home on Gnome 3.

    • Re:A little late? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by squiggleslash ( 241428 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2017 @01:51PM (#54180317) Homepage Journal

      I'm guessing that when Gnome does return to Ubuntu as the default DE, it'll be a bit customized at least. It wouldn't be too had to create the addons to make Unity users feel a little more at home on Gnome 3.

      I hope so, GNOME 3 really is awful, and I'm not seeing anything approaching mass adoption of it. Shuttleworth talks about the market picking it, but did it? Ubuntu users who were Unity skeptics didn't flock to GUbuntu, they flocked to Mint.

      I wish Canonical had adopted Cinnamon instead. I think it's a desktop with a lot of potential, but it needs some good quality control (the fact the DM runs Webkit as root, including installed plugins, should tell you how much the Mint team cares about quality right now...) "The Market" seemed to be adopting Cinnamon and MATE. Where's this "adopting GNOME 3" thing coming from?

      • The GNOMEs moaned the loudest when Unity was forced upon the world.

        The whiny wheel often does get its way.

      • Re:A little late? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by AthanasiusKircher ( 1333179 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2017 @02:50PM (#54180837)

        Ubuntu users who were Unity skeptics didn't flock to GUbuntu, they flocked to Mint.

        THIS. Mint was already on the upswing before Ubuntu switched to Unity several years ago, probably because it already seemed more polished and "just worked" upon install, whereas Ubuntu at that time still tended to require post-install tweaking even to get basic stuff like basic multimedia codecs. And (according to Distrowatch) Mint surpassed Ubuntu in pagehits starting in 2011.

        Around that time, Mint dumped GNOME and began focusing on Cinnamon and MATE, both of which seem to have gained widespread acceptance.

        Ubuntu potentially has a real chance here to move back into the spotlight if it made the right decision for default desktop, but I'm not sure GNOME 3 is it either. Linux Mint suffered a bit of backlash last year when it announced it wouldn't ship with multimedia codecs packaged in the ISO by default (even though it's still just a matter of a checkbox during the installation dialogs, assuming one has internet access), removing one of the significant convenience reasons people flocked to Mint in the first place. Anyhow, it would be a perfect time for Ubuntu to assert it's "not so different from Mint" anymore and increase popularity again after the Unity backlash.

        But GNOME 3 is probably not the best way to do that.

        [Full disclosure: Mostly these days I tend to use XFCE in Linux, because I like something a bit lighter. So I have nothing personally invested in this debate.]

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        GNOME 3 has a faster workflow than Cinnamon or Unity Desktop. You can tap the top-left corner or press the Meta key and get a view of all your windows on the current desktop; create a new desktop by dragging a window between any desktops; and pull up an application by bringing up the Activities view and just typing. It pretty much gets out of your way.

        Unity is basically 4x4 with zoomed-out view of all desktops at once, cluttered together, with a dock and an extra click to pull out a search bar. Cinnam

        • Re:A little late? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by arth1 ( 260657 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2017 @03:32PM (#54181233) Homepage Journal

          GNOME 3 has a faster workflow than Cinnamon or Unity Desktop. You can tap the top-left corner or press the Meta key and get a view of all your windows on the current desktop;

          Having overlapping windows that don't take up the entire screen is far faster - then you don't have to hit anything to see your windows.

          And "top left" and other edge/corner actions pretty much kill virtualization and multiple monitors, where screen edge != where the mouse stops.

          Gnome 3 and Windows Metro are GUIs for people who work with applications blown up full screen, and never need productivity boosting functionality like copy/paste without flipping windows back and forth.

        • GNOME 3 has a faster workflow than Cinnamon or Unity Desktop.

          ...if you want it to do a fairly limited subset of things, mostly involving a full-screen only desktop.

          . Cinnamon has a fixed virtual desktop arrangement and (last I checked) no Activities view, so you're back to spending 6 seconds navigating (well-arranged) menus instead of 1 second to open whatever application you were thinking.

          Cinnamon is a traditional desktop. It can have as many virtual desktops as you want - it's pretty much GNOME 2 buil

      • Ubuntu users who were Unity skeptics didn't flock to GUbuntu, they flocked to Mint.

        Well, I tried Mint when the Unity thing happened, but the whole, "google needs to pay us or we'll remove it from the list of default search engines in our version of Firefox" thing bothered me on a philosophical level (I know I could and I did manually add it, but they were trying to charge money to stop them from removing a feature instead of charging money to add a feature, and that rubs me the wrong way) and I immediately returned to Ubuntu. Not GUbuntu, but not unity either. You can always just apt-get

      • Re:A little late? (Score:5, Informative)

        by myrdos2 ( 989497 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2017 @03:02PM (#54180957)

        "The Market" seemed to be adopting Cinnamon and MATE.

        DistroWatch backs you up. Take a look at where the various Ubuntus rank in their most popular list:

        Mint #1, Ubuntu #3, Ubuntu MATE #15, Lubuntu #20, Xubuntu #31, Kubuntu #41, Ubuntu GNOME #54.

        Mint, which has the default Cinnamon desktop, is #1. If you want Gnome 3 you're down to #54. Given that list, why on earth would they pick Gnome?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by KiloByte ( 825081 )

      Why Gnome 3? The summary says it clearly: "to the superior GNOME". Ie, 2, that is, MATE.

      Gnome 3 is maybe superior to, uhm, Commodore 64's user interface with it's LOAD "*",8,1 -- but perhaps even that is unfair to C64.

  • Sigh.... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2017 @01:46PM (#54180241) Homepage

    Going from crappy to crappier.....

    Dear god just use Cinnamon and call it done...

    • Re:Sigh.... (Score:5, Informative)

      by Thelasko ( 1196535 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2017 @02:01PM (#54180407) Journal

      Going from crappy to crappier.....

      The recent versions of GNOME have some settings that can be tweaked to get a more traditional layout with a proper application menu. As God intended.

      • Yeah, and it all feels great until... until you want to add an applet to one of the bars. And then, amazingly, you have to load up Firefox, navigate to a website, and edit your bar from there. Note: I don't mean you download stuff from said website (though that happens too), I mean that's where you set up each applet.

        The defaults on the distro I tried it with were pretty terrible too, so it wasn't as if changing the settings was some obscure thing only power users would want to do.

        Cinnamon is what GNOM

    • Re:Sigh.... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by jopsen ( 885607 ) <jopsen@gmail.com> on Wednesday April 05, 2017 @02:04PM (#54180439) Homepage
      IMO gnome-shell has long been better than unity... I keep experiencing a lot of papercuts in unity, windows jumping between desktops, weird interactions and just generally annoying papercuts...

      gnome seems to have a lot of momentum these days.. and whilst I don't like all the decisions I can live with most of them, except the lack of type-ahead in nautilus...
  • About Time (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 05, 2017 @01:46PM (#54180243)

    While neither Gnome nor KDE are perfect, they are still the best "general" desktops for most users. Most users doesn't mean most /. users are very technical people/ I'll still very fond of Window Maker and prefer it with KDE a close second.

    If FOSS developers had spent all this time trying to not copy Windows and it's use case, Linux and FOSS in general would be ahead of Microsoft and Mac.

    This is good news and may yet help get more people on the Linux desktop.

    • Re:About Time (Score:5, Insightful)

      by rahvin112 ( 446269 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2017 @03:22PM (#54181155)

      This isn't so much an endorsement of Gnome as a rejection of Shuttleworth's pie in the sky "follow every trend" style of management and their extreme desire to reinvent the wheel at every turn. Rather than use Gnome they "developed" unity. Rather than use Wayland they "developed" Mir. Rather than pursue a desktop OS they pivoted towards the phone taking over everything.

      So Unity is dead like most of their other NIH house custom plumbing projects so I suspect Mir will be next. Shuttleworth would get far more bang for his buck if he spent his money helping established projects rather than trying to reinvent the wheel at every turn.

  • I'm still very much attracted to the idea of using my phone as my primary computing device, but not so much that I want to carry the weight of Unity around with me. ChromeOS is already showing us how to seamlessly inject Android apps into the desktop space.

  • by squiggleslash ( 241428 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2017 @01:47PM (#54180261) Homepage Journal

    I'm not a huge fan of either desktop, but Unity seemed better thought out and closer to an ideal system than GNOME's "Re-invent everything but for no apparent reason" approach.

    I guess I'll stick to Cinnamon for now. I just wish someone would put together a good GNU/Linux 2:1 desktop.

    • by Ramze ( 640788 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2017 @02:54PM (#54180873)

      I'm sticking with Cinnamon, but I am glad that Unity is effectively dead -- and Mir along with it. Now Ubuntu will focus on Wayland and Gnome, and I won't get Unity pushed to my Ubuntu machine during an upgrade. Gnome is a great backup DE for Cinnamon should it break on an update.

      I never cared for Unity or the convergence philosophy behind it. Gnome, Cinnamon, Mate, KDE, and other DEs will have to do unless someone wants to fork Unity for those that liked it.

      They are right about one thing, though -- Linux Mint is incredibly popular because so many people prefer Mate and Cinnamon (Gnome forks) over Unity. With Gnome as the default, if Gnome merges the changes from Mint, Ubuntu would be a decent user OS again... from my perspective at least. ymmv.

  • by damicatz ( 711271 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2017 @01:47PM (#54180265)

    Outside of Redhat's bubble, GNOME hasn't been relevant in years. The developers of GNOME went full Apple in trying to control how users use their computer.

  • Yes, it looks as though it'll be harder and harder to displace systemd from Linux distros with the defaulting to Gnome, with it's hardcoded dependencies. Long live Devuan Linux [devuan.org]
  • MATE (Score:5, Insightful)

    by flatt ( 513465 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2017 @01:54PM (#54180337) Homepage Journal

    Ubuntu MATE is an amazing release. Fast, capable, easy on resources, and it gets out of the way.

    Mark, if you really want to ruffle some feathers, go with the real successor to Gnome 2. You had it right the first time.

    • by Hydrian ( 183536 )

      I agree. That's why I moved to Linux Mint Mate for desktops. Ubuntu's version of Mate that I was using on 14.04 was old had still had lots of not-so minor bugs. I still use Ubuntu LTS for servers. There is don't have to deal with Ubuntu's GUI craziness.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by fnj ( 64210 )

      Mate is unacceptably buggy. The volume control constantly crashing -poof-. The weather applet whose weather maps have been completely busted for a YEAR with no fix in sight. I consider it by far the best-designed DE, but I don't think it has the development resources to compete.

      The latest KDE is what I am trying out now, after several years of frustration on Mate, utter disgust with GNOME 3 and Unity, and disappointment in Xfce.

  • About time (Score:4, Insightful)

    by GameboyRMH ( 1153867 ) <gameboyrmh@gCHEETAHmail.com minus cat> on Wednesday April 05, 2017 @01:55PM (#54180341) Journal

    Microsoft gave up on the desktop/mobile convergence nonsense after Windows 8. When a hybrid desktop/mobile device becomes practical, it'll just need two different desktop environments for the two different interface modes. Simple.

    • Phablets, mini notebooks - there are converged devices, just not many users for these devices.

      My Nexus 5x has higher screen resolution than the "desktop" monitor I'm typing this on, and can interface to bluetooth keyboard and mouse, if I cared to.

      I do wish that Jolla would have gotten some traction with their Linux based tablet/phones...

  • They could probably produce something which looks and feels extremely close to the existing Unity using GNOME shell. They're not forced to take the default behaviour if they don't want it although that is not a bad decision either. Perhaps they'll also dump Mir while they're at it.
  • by FithisUX ( 855293 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2017 @01:56PM (#54180365)
    Does it mean that they have ported Gnome on Mir?
  • Man, this is such good news I'm gonna bash all my coworkers who still use that INFERIOR UNITY CRAP. ...although, I understand their crappy decision, partially: most of them are lazy to change or simply found Unity good enough, and the fact it is the default choice on the login screen also helps.

  • Wait, too late. I'm blown away by this announcement! Canonical has been *so* invested in Unity over the years, in spite of a ridiculous amount of resistance from the community. I don't think Unity 7 is awful, though I certainly welcome the move to pure GNOME. Unity 8 has indeed been a disaster, but I really wanted Ubuntu Phone to take off. Particularly once Android support is added. I really hope this effort will continue, as Google is closing Android more and more each release.

    My biggest interest is

    • I actually have a plug-in for Cinnamon that does global menus, but it relies upon Unity being installed to work (presumably so that GNOME, QT, etc have the appropriate patches to redirect the menus.) So here's hoping future Ubuntus will come with Unity - even if we don't use it.

  • by HeckRuler ( 1369601 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2017 @02:14PM (#54180519)

    Today, the company admits that it is throwing in the towel on Unity, as well as its vision for convergence with devices like phones and tablets

    About frigging TIME. It sucked. Royally. Props to Canonical for beating Microsoft to the punch with this idea. Having a desktop that's identical to a phone has some good points. Sounds good on paper. It's not like it doesn't have any merit at all. But it's a bloody terrible idea. And trying to shoe-horn your users into a hideous mishmash of interfaces that randomly assume two wildly different I/Os is bound to piss off a lot of people that didn't really need to be pissed off. The gain you get from "oh hey, this looks just like my phone" isn't nearly offset by all the "OMG WTF would you do that?".

    One of the big reasons I just don't like windows 10. They could have made it easy. But what's easy and helpful for the desktop is nigh impossible on a phone. And what's useful to a phone is a pain in the ass for a real mouse and keyboard.

    And what's the fucking point? Who runs windows 10 on a phone? Who runs Ubuntu on their phone? They were trying to position themselves to tackle the phone market, but this position doesn't make sense until you're already there. And neither got there. EVEN THEN, until you can take your phone, dock it, and have a monitor, mouse, and keyboard, when what's the fucking point of making this OS try to straddle the different hardware?

    • until you can take your phone, dock it, and have a monitor, mouse, and keyboard,

      Oh, hey, it's been while since I looked. This is totally possible.... if you go out of your way to get a phone that supports MHL (Mobile High-Definition Link), and get a dock that then supports that. The MHL people are fragmented as hell unfortunately.

    • by c ( 8461 )

      Having a desktop that's identical to a phone has some good points. Sounds good on paper. It's not like it doesn't have any merit at all. But it's a bloody terrible idea.

      Unity was introduced as a lightweight out-of-the-way window manager for Ubuntu Netbook Remix version, and on a small screen netbook it was actually quite brilliant compared to the alternatives. The concept of maximizing the menu into the title bar and merging it with the status bar *really* saved a lot of space on a small screen, and auto-m

  • Wonderful GNOME? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Gravis Zero ( 934156 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2017 @02:16PM (#54180535)

    You mean the GNOME that was so "wonderful" that it resulted in the rise of multiple [wikipedia.org] forks [slashdot.org] and a mass exodus of developers? [slashdot.org] The GNOME 3 series has had to undo every major UI design change they have made because people hated it so much.

    • The GNOME 3 series has had to undo every major UI design change they have made because people hated it so much.

      So have they done that? It seems technically competent, but with terrible UI. If they unbreak the UI, perhaps it will be worth using again.

  • I was always fond of gnome 2 myself. I'm also really fond of Mate.
  • I really enjoy Unity. Hopefully it will continue to be available as an alternative window manager.

  • KDE? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nightfire-unique ( 253895 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2017 @02:26PM (#54180619)

    KDE is measurably superior to both Unity and Gnome3 - features & functionality, stability, customizability, usability ...

    Why dump Unity for something only marginally better?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I would agree with that. KDE has some problems, but it still is the best power user desktop going. It's highly customizable compared to most of them and still has a lot of advanced features tucked away in "advanced" menu options.

      It even works well for more basic uses - sort of like the Win7 interface without the MS crap infesting it. It has a good "start menu" type thing which people used to desktops of yore take to quickly.

      KDE5 is still not as good as KDE4 was, but it's better than most of the other opt

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      KDE has the enormous advantage that you can operate it with the compositor OFF. That gives it very low latency over VNC; less latency even than RDP.

      I tried hard to make Gnome and Unity and Mate and Cinnamon run fast over VNC, but nothing matched the low latency of KDE with the compositor off and most effects, shadows, etc turned off. Ubuntu was working on a "low graphics" mode for Unity, but it still wasn't as good has KDE minus the compositor. Now I guess that will die with Unity...

  • Well, shit. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by PvtVoid ( 1252388 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2017 @02:40PM (#54180733)

    I really like Unity!

  • I thought it was fine, but there were a couple things I hated. The forced grouping of terminal windows in the task bar which basically breaks ALT-TAB, and breaking the ability to map ALT+F10 shortcut to maximize window. In the end, I doubt I'd enjoy using it for extended periods of time.
  • One big mess (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Artem Tashkinov ( 764309 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2017 @02:59PM (#54180909) Homepage

    It's not about only Unity: Linux/GNU in general is one big mess [altervista.org] of an OS.

    If you ask people who actually use their PCs for work, most of them will tell you that the best DEs are reminiscent of Windows 95 with various small productivity improvements like Search in the Start Menu, icons only in task panel, vs. icon + application name, virtual desktops, widgets and good keyboard shortcuts. Also people generally cannot tolerate simplicity and scarcity in regard to customizability and features first introduced by Apple, now reduced to nothingness by Gnome 3/Unity/Windows 10. I know quite a lot of people who were relieved after migrating from Unity/Gnome to "old fashioned" XFCE.

    For some reasons various UX wannabes try to reinvent the desktop every few years and they fail, fail and fail. The prime examples are well known: KDE4/5, Gnome 3, Unity and Windows 8/10 interfaces (yes, Windows 10 Start Menu is as horrible as Windows 8 apps start screen). It seems like modern designers are hell bent on turning your beautiful PC UIs first designed for display/mouse/keyboard, into some grayish mess of huge buttons, tons of white space and nondescript controls meant for tablets and phones. I cannot imagine a common UI which will work equally well on such distinct platforms. I suspect it just doesn't exist.

  • one person's fault (Score:3, Interesting)

    by qQ7eBMsfM5gs ( 4756041 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2017 @03:04PM (#54180979) Journal
    What really sucks in this whole story with the Ubuntu Unity (besides the software itself) is the fact that the entire Ubuntu community was mislead by one individual.
    I really don't care if he admitted he was wrong, what I care is about years of engineering effort wasted and the Linux desktop platform reputation affected because of one person dumbness.
    I would expect that the Ubuntu Foundation look into this shameful failure of common sense and do something to prevent it from repeating in the future.
    But I'm not holding my breath as he pays their salaries.
  • by dfn5 ( 524972 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2017 @04:04PM (#54181481) Journal
    Give me twm and a stippled root window any day.
  • by sad_ ( 7868 ) on Thursday April 06, 2017 @04:08AM (#54184015) Homepage

    Just remember how both gnome & ubuntu advanced when they worked together. I think both grew stronger during that time and had were at their best.
    They splits ways, for no good reason, sure the first release of Gnome 3 was not really up to snuff, but Unity can almost be completely remade in Gnome 3 with extentions etc. Now combining forces again, both projects can grow faster and advance at a faster pace.
    Also, there is no reason why Gnome 3 wouldn't be a good fit for a phone/tablet just as much as Unity was.

  • by Stephen Chadfield ( 7971 ) on Thursday April 06, 2017 @06:57AM (#54184389) Homepage

    GNOME Shell is my favourite Linux desktop. I am using it happily on my CentOS 7 development machine at work. It is great that Ubuntu are going to adopt GNOME as their default desktop but you just know it is going to be tainted by one of their ugly brown/orange themes...

Steve Jobs said two years ago that X is brain-damaged and it will be gone in two years. He was half right. -- Dennis Ritchie