Ubuntu's 11.04 release is now on the horizon and unless you have been living under a rock then you know that their big change is going to be the move to the Unity desktop. Personally I found this move to be odd when I first heard it, I mean after all it was Ubuntu that allowed the Gnome desktop to initially take off and beat out the KDE desktop. There have been piles of different articles about Unity, so I'm not going to bore you with the same details you can find lots of other places.
My question is this - Was this second project necessary?
I understand Ubuntu wanted to get away from the old Gnome 2.x desktop, but so did Gnome! Now I could see the need for another GTK desktop still if the two groups had two radically different ideas, but from what I have seen, read, and used they are fairly similar -
They both use GTK (although Unity is using the older GTK2). They both share so many common traits I have to wonder if both parties would have been better served with Ubuntu simply investing itself into Gnome 3 instead of creating something completely new.
I've mentioned my next idea once before and it seems my thoughts are still relevant nearly a year later. How much of the desktop does Ubuntu feel it is necessary to lock down in the name of user friendliness? I came across a HOWTO on Lxer.com the other day describing how to re-enable a full system tray in the Unity desktop. The fact that a HOWTO for this even needs to exist, makes me question the direction Ubuntu is headed in. If they continue down their current path, I have no doubt their days as the top dog of desktop Linux distros will be numbered.
You know what they say in the FOSS world though, if you don't like - FORK. Just this has been done to Ubuntu countless times, however I think with this upcoming Unity release it will be a chance for some of these other derivatives to really shine. Both Linux Mint and PinguyOS have stated they plan to stick with a more classic Gnome desktop for their 11.04 releases - so those facing shell shock over Unity will know where to turn to.
What are your thoughts on these newly created desktops? Needed change or unnecessary evil?
Why are you worried about yet ANOTHER un-needed fork in the *nix community? Linux is the king of OS & program fragmentation.ReplyDelete
Troll elsewhere HouseOfBugs :)ReplyDelete
I know the first one is Unity so I am assuming the second shot is Gnome 3 ? If so, then yea I agree that they are very similar and a fork was not really necessary. Tho I must say, I don't like either of them. - dhReplyDelete
they abandoned system tray for a reason (see rasters rants on systray for details). they provide upstream patches to use libappindicator instead. this allows apps to register their menu items via dbus and let the desktop environment decide how it is represented. good move imo.ReplyDelete
@JeffDameth Think we might see other desktops adopt libappindicator?ReplyDelete
it's on my todo for e17, somewhere.. for kde first hit on google is http://agateau.wordpress.com/2009/12/24/statusnotifieritem-and-dbusmenu/ReplyDelete
I find that selecting classic gnome session when logging into 11.04 gives me a very nice and noticeably snappy gnome desktop - so there's no need to jump ship just yet - I'm going to wait and see how things play out.ReplyDelete
I have tried both and I am not to keen on either. I have a few small Python programs that I wrote for my own uses. In Gnome I just click on the toolbar and add custom launcher. In Unity it proved impossible. It discovered it is possible by editing several files to create a manual desktop entry. That is just plain ridiculous. In Gnome3 I fared better. You can use the menu editor and create manual entries easily and they appear in the Gnome3 system. So, Gnome3 is way better for me just for that. It took me several attempts to get Google Chrome to attach to the Unity launcher and function.ReplyDelete
The other issue for me is that both desktops are just too "busy". I prefer a plain black desktop with as little clutter as possible. Gnome3 is slightly better, but neither is very "Zen".
I have switched to Xfce for the moment to see if I can function happily. So far so good. Custom launchers are no issue and i can have a weather app back on the toolbar. Future versions of Xfce running GTK 3 libs may well be the new home for traditional desktop refugees.
"If they continue down their current path, I have no doubt their days as the top dog of desktop Linux distros will be numbered."ReplyDelete
Have you seen the Distrowatch page hit ranking...Linux Mint (whom is keeping the classic Gnome configuration, though somewhat unfairly counts all versions as one) is fast gaining and will probably overtake Ubuntu after Mint 11 comes out
The reason why sounds trivial to me and you, but apparently it was a big deal that GNOME rejected some of the suggestions regarding the system tray/indicator applets that Canonical suggested (among other things); that's why Unity was born. Speaking of which, there's a new Ubuntu remix featuring...GNOME 3 (Shell). And also, regarding all versions of Linux Mint factoring into its rankings, I agree that Ubuntu, Kubuntu, and Edubuntu should be counted as one as they are all official Canonical products, but Xubuntu, Lubuntu, and Mythbuntu are officially-sponsored community projects. On the other hand, the KDE, LXDE, Xfce, and Fluxbox editions of Linux Mint are made by the same people that make the GNOME edition. Plus, if you think about it, all the spins of Fedora, openSUSE, et cetera are included in their respective DistroWatch rankings, so it isn't just .ReplyDelete
a Linux Mint user since 2009 May 1 (yeah, I'm biased, sue me)
Actually, Xubuntu is also an official Ubunutu derivative. In Linux Mint, the XFCE ('buntu based), LXDE, KDE, and Fluxbox editions are not made by the same people as the main Gnome edition. They are community derived that Clem reviews before releasing. I believe the Debian editions are official editions as well. Also a Linux Mint user since 2008.ReplyDelete
Unity was not a fork. Fork is when you have a common code and each would like to develop it in the different route. LibreOffice was a fork of OpenOffice.org, but Ubunty is not a fork it is a new project.ReplyDelete
Unity is effing confusing. For the first time in 10 years of using Linux I feel like a noob!ReplyDelete
"Unity was not a fork." Noted and posted updated.ReplyDelete
Still it was a second project that really wasn't needed.
I agree with Greg, strongly!ReplyDelete
I am an environmental modeler and write a *lot*
of my own software that I need menu entries for.
Or even (given the machines I work on), things
as simple as multiple "user@host" menu directories/entries. Looking at my current
setup, I have 5 "user@" directories, with a total of 47 "user@host" combinations. If I can't do that, *I'm dead in the water*.
If Gnome would have allowed Ubuntu to add the features it desired, then Ubuntu wouldn't have had to take a fork. And remember that Gnome wasn't expected to make Ubuntu's features and designs default, just to accept the code so they could be enabled, but they didn't.ReplyDelete
So far I like Unity after using it the past 2 months, but it is not yet stable enough.
I think Gmone "taking off" had little to do with Ubuntu and everything to do with the release of KDE 4.0. Before that, KDE was either slightly ahead or pretty even with Gnome, depending on how you went about measuring. Now with the release of Gnome 3.0 I think you will see the reverse effect - i.e. KDE will take off at the expense of Gnome.ReplyDelete
I think just about every other desktop environment is going to get a boost of user base off of Gnome's drastic change to their DE as well as the implementation of Unity on Ubuntu. It will be interesting to see in the days to come. Granted, there will be a lot of people that will like Gnome 3 and Unity, but im betting more will dislike it in the end and jump ship to something else.ReplyDelete
I just want to try Gnome 3 without the shells, either gnome or unity! I may stick with that, and I may not - but I am well curious as to what Gnome 3 desktop provides or does that Gnome 2 doesn't. I can best assess that with a vanilla desktop. Personally, I like Unity, but there is no way I am jumping into it until it has had a chance to mature...11.10 will be my Unity experience.ReplyDelete
fortunately it's not difficult to have a more friendly Gnome desktop:ReplyDelete
In Unity, disabling the awful dock and the gnome-panel and using Cairo-Dock.
In Gnome3, replacing Mutter with Compiz and using Cairo-Dock.
Their shells is just a layout on top of a Gnome desktop, it's really easy to get rid of.
uubntu just want to create their own unique DE thats allReplyDelete
I have never used traditional gnome (gnome 2) as my default desktop... i have tried it in ubuntu but once the linux mint is released i will install it on my pc.. as you know, linux mint is using gnome 2 but it does not looks like the actual gnome DE.. their is custom made which is created for the windows converts..ReplyDelete
recently i have tried the ubuntu 11.04 beta 2 and this is the first time i am trying it even though i have read and watch many review about unity..
i really liked unity.. it is very easy to use... i am now using ubuntu 11.04 more than my linux mint.. i am planning to use ubuntu 11.04 and not linux mint this time...
I like Unity as is :pReplyDelete
It's much easier to use than any other UI. Pretty simple and effective.
i'm an animator and i've tried both gnome shell and unity... i can't stand gnome shell, it wastes so much space and take so much time to do anything. unity is lightning fast mouse workflow, can use shortcuts if wanted for about everything and it gives me so much precious screen real estate. the gnome people were real jerks form what i hear to both canonical and also the compiz people before the unity/shell debocle started.ReplyDelete
now i', glad they both exists though so people have a choice. I do believe it was necessary to have two projects. if you listen to developers, the problem was having different views about the desktop and it would have taken longer to have the ongoing design and structure conflicts. between the two teams. Ubuntu made a decision it wanted a desktop that it liked. Gnome wasn;'t willing. and only after unity forked di shell steal visual ideas and start looking like unity. When the ifrst version of unity mutter was released, shell did not look like unity.
I want a stable desktop environment and the fact that the Unity desktop works in different, non-intuitive, ways that "jar" on me makes it difficult to just use it without problems. Even if it does look like Unity, Gnome3 is part of the development of Gnome, that I shall have to try some fully formed version of Gnome 3 before I can make a decision. There may even be a distro emerging that not only stays with the Gnome 2 desktop but upgrades the repositories too (or is that Debian I've been describing?).ReplyDelete
The fact is that the Gnome desktop is in a state of flux, and change is in the air. Lets hope this by-way of Unity is not a blocked road for Ubuntu.
Unity 2D is intuitive... its easy enough to arrange icons in the launcher and you can pin a traditional menu and show desktop in it. It pushed the traditional UNR to its limits in name of complete minimalism. I find it less confusing than the traditional GNOME desktop though I think the global search menu and application menu is too cluttered. If they push through more changes, it could become a very powerful desktop experience.ReplyDelete
Unity for worse or for good - looks here to stay.
I just loaded up Cinnamon Desktop on Ubuntu 11.10. Looks and works great. Alternative to Unity.ReplyDelete
thnx for the link to the howto,ReplyDelete
unity sucks donkeyballs