JP Vossen on 15 Dec 2011 23:22:27 -0800

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Re: [PLUG] I have had time to consider and may now comfortably hate Unity.

Date: Thu, 15 Dec 2011 11:50:06 -0500
From: Rich Freeman<>

On Thu, Dec 15, 2011 at 11:19 AM, Alex Launi<>  wrote:
You're using an older version of Unity. Neither of these are true in 11.10.
We learned lesson that in 11.04.

But those of us using LTS are stuck with that failed experiment for years... Yeah, OK, 10.04 LTS doesn't use Unity as a default, so it's not that big a deal. But 12.04 LTS will, and if that's wrong, it's all over, especially if there is no more familiar, workable alternative. I was going to say "Linux Mint, here I come" but that's actually too Windows-y. Not sure what I'll use, but someone will come up with an "Ubuntu Classic" distro...

And I'm not sure I'm confident it will be right. IMHO, Ubuntu releases have steadily declined in quality since I started using it in the 6.x days. *Looks* have improved and become much more polished, but stability is down and bugginess is up. That's part of why I'm only using LTS in "production" (though I play with 6mo releases in VMs). I want it to Just Work and keep on working, and the 6mo releases just don't. I'd give specific examples, but I forget them, since I installed 10.04, got it working right, and leave it alone now.

I think part of the problem may be that it is highly experimental but
being made the default.


Without having made a study of it, and without any insight into the real process, sounds really interesting to me.

Now I realize that's almost the opposite of LTS and that would need more thought. But it also sounds like it would space a lot of different things (planning, dev, alpha, beta, testing, deployment) out more, with more time for testing, and more gradual changes (like Gentoo) instead of forklifts every 6mo or LTS... I dunno, like I said, it *sounds* good but I haven't really thought it through.

Hmm,  that sounds like a neat PLUG talk - a tour of 50 different
window managers from matchbox to ratpoison.  :)

Interesting idea. But 1 minute per WM with a few minutes left over for QA sounds a bit...aggressive. :-) Maybe a 2-3 parter? Or only the "top 10" whatever that means?

Date: Thu, 15 Dec 2011 13:18:01 -0500
> From: Art Alexion <>

Maybe the problem is the 6 month release cycle and the insistence in making
works in process the default. While a KDE fan, I used Ubuntu Gnome when an
unstable KDE 4 was made the default.

Yeah, as I noted above this really bugs me. I've preferred Gnome over KDE only because it mostly stays out of my way and doesn't distract me for hours make tiny tweaks (kinda like writing PLUG emails :).

Having said all of that, I'm really torn about Unity. I can see the point on a Notebook where the screen is so small running everything full-screen is more-or-less required. I can see the point on other small-screen devices, and/or touch-screen devices. I can see the point of having the same interface no matter what the device. (Actually, I love that idea. I'm not 100% sure it's possible to be all things to all people--err--devices though.) I can see the point for grandparent users. I set up my Mom's systems like that, all the icons she actually uses in a row someplace, and she hits the one she wants and that's it.

I'm also vastly amused at how we're coming full-circle back to the CLI again and allowing (in some cases forcing?) people to remember and type things to make stuff happen. AFAICT, Windows, Apple and at least Gnome Shell and Unity are all doing that. Being a CLI guy, I like that--for myself. And Unity at least is simple enough to set up the stuff Mom needs as icons in a row, so...

Where Unity falls short--for me--is the large-screen multi-purpose "Workstation." I *like* the Gnome 2 menus; that's one reason I moved to Ubuntu way back when, that menu layout just makes more sense to me than the Windows one. I like being able to surf the menus for that app I use twice a year and only remember where it's located, not the name.

And I loath the window controls on the left. I hated that on the Mac (when I attempted to use one), and I hate it now. It breaks almost 20 years of mousel-memory [sic] for me, and that context switch kills me. I get the arguments for it, including the Fitts' Law [1] stuff (though being a righty, I might argue that the lower-right corner is a better place to concentrate controls). I just hate it.


My $0.02,
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