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Thread: Disappointing Ringtail

  1. #1
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    Disappointing Ringtail

    I have no desire to start a Holy War. This is not a rant or a whine from someone too set in Windows/Mac's ways complaining about having to get used to something new. I'm a software developer, and have been using Linux since 2006 and specifically Ubuntu since 2008. I'm not a Linux/Ubuntu expert by any stretch, but I'm not afraid to get my hands dirty, troubleshoot, research, google, and resolve issues, I've had many lovely experiences with Ubuntu, and it's still the only thing I run on 4 PCs (soon 5) at home. Any Windows OS running on any of my irons, runs as a VM and only when I really need it (such as running proprietary MS stuff like SQL Server).

    What concerns me is this: The developers (Canonical, or whoever they may be), seem to be motivated by the desire to compete with Windows, and that's a noble goal, in a way, to attract Windows users. That's great. In their zeal to do so, and apparently (I could be wrong) to follow an accelerated release timeline, compromises are made that end up frustrating and alienating the core of the installed base. Examples:

    1. Unity and the Win-7-like vertical launchpad - I get it, we're trying to attract Windows users. To even marginally more proficient users like me, it's a wart. It adds layers of concealment that serve to hide things we need to know when trying to resolve problems. If this is going to be part of the OS, thats' fine and dandy, but at least allow users who are familiar with the old kde or gnome interfaces to keep what they know, what they have invested time in learning. No, the "gnome-fallback" is not an adequate alternative, it feels buggy, unstable. Result? Impacted productivity.

    2. Many tools are deprecated and replaced by less-than-equivalent options, or abandoned altogether. What was wrong with, say, Klamav, that it had to be ditched? clamtk feels like a toy written by some high-school sophomore. What was wrong with gcalctool, that it had to be abandoned? The replacement, gnome-calculator, does not have the registers gcalctools had, that allowed you to store and recall values. Why? Why? Why? Result? Impacted productivity.

    3. Just found out that vmplayer won't run on 13.04 without some addiional under-the-hood fixes, which I've researched, implemented, and it's still not running (posted question separately on appropriate forum). Again, why? Is the rush to release for competition's sake compelling enough to release incomplete and inadequate systems? If the goal is to attract converts, that's not how you attract converts.

    I really don't mind adjusting and adapting to changes in "the way I do things" on my systems, I've been doing it since at least Hardy Heron. With every new release, I expect to grit my teeth and struggle a bit, and every time I end up with a perfectly satisfactory solution. But for the last 5 days I've been struggling with Raring Ringtail, and it's sill completely unacceptable. My worst Windows-related nightmares didn't last that long.

    So, I know this won't be a loss to anybody, but I might just reinstall Lucid from scratch, someone call me when there's a new LTS release that actually works, and is actually LTS.
    http://folding.extremeoverclocking.c...avital&t=45104
    "I fear the day technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots."
    ― Albert Einstein

  2. #2
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    Re: Disappointing Ringtail

    12.04 works fine for me under the incarnation of Mint Maya Mate.
    I have a few older computers that still run under 10.04, and I'd probably still stick to it, if not of the sound problem.

  3. #3
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    Re: Disappointing Ringtail

    There is a disconnect between your statements "I've been using Ubuntu a long time" and "I can't believe they changed features x, y, and z!!" If you've been using Ubuntu since 2008 as you claim, then you should have figured out by now that a) there is a new release every 6 months; b) the non-LTS releases are often quite buggy; c) each new version is different than the version that came before, sometimes radically; and d) these changes and new features are often controversial on the forums.

    I'm not sure that the Unity interface was designed to attract Windows users (as you claim) but rather to develop a new type of user interface that distinguishes Ubuntu from other Linux distros using the same old same old Gnome/KDE/Xfce desktop environments.

  4. #4
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    Re: Disappointing Ringtail

    Quote Originally Posted by r_avital View Post

    1. Unity and the Win-7-like vertical launchpad - I get it, we're trying to attract Windows users. To even marginally more proficient users like me, it's a wart. It adds layers of concealment that serve to hide things we need to know when trying to resolve problems. If this is going to be part of the OS, thats' fine and dandy, but at least allow users who are familiar with the old kde or gnome interfaces to keep what they know, what they have invested time in learning. No, the "gnome-fallback" is not an adequate alternative, it feels buggy, unstable. Result? Impacted productivity.
    Eh?
    What do you need a classic taskbar or something that tells you what a application is or something?
    I dont see where changing from a traditional based taskbar to an icon based one is such an issue
    Plus the Taskbar in Ringtail is in many ways better then it was, with a window switching option by right clicking the icon.
    Sure no hover mode (something I really wish unity had) but it gets the job done.

    2. Many tools are deprecated and replaced by less-than-equivalent options, or abandoned altogether. What was wrong with, say, Klamav, that it had to be ditched? clamtk feels like a toy written by some high-school sophomore. What was wrong with gcalctool, that it had to be abandoned? The replacement, gnome-calculator, does not have the registers gcalctools had, that allowed you to store and recall values. Why? Why? Why? Result? Impacted productivity.
    I think Klam was ditched in the repos because it was no longer being developed.
    Clam TK however is still being developed and supported by its creators.
    Besides why bother with anti virus in linux, its immune to windows viruses and there are very few linux viruses out there and they are easy to avoid.


    3. Just found out that vmplayer won't run on 13.04 without some addiional under-the-hood fixes, which I've researched, implemented, and it's still not running (posted question separately on appropriate forum). Again, why? Is the rush to release for competition's sake compelling enough to release incomplete and inadequate systems? If the goal is to attract converts, that's not how you attract converts.
    That is an odd issue, but you got it resolved right?
    Last edited by MadmanRB; June 27th, 2013 at 08:03 PM.

  5. #5
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    Re: Disappointing Ringtail

    Leclerc65: Thanks, I had also considered 12.04 LTS as an option. On my end, 10.04 has no problems whatsoever with sound. But such different experiences are to be expected, with any OS. Good luck to you.

    Snowpine: Yes, non-LTS releases are often unstable. Yes, new features and changes are often controversial, that's why I said I had already developed the habit of adapting to new features and configuring them to my preferences. What does any of this have to do with dumping one better calculator in favor of an inferior one, to cite just one example?

    But you know what? You got me, I'm a fake, I'm a fraud, I've been using linux for only 15 seconds, me wrong you right have a nice day.

    MadmanRB: What you call "better" is better for you, and better for many others, not better for everyone. There are tons of posts out there from long-time, seasoned, veteran, expert users of Ubuntu hissing and moaning about the Ringtal taskbar. Eh? They're all wrong? Nobody ever said "don't develop anything new" -- that would be stupid. But when it comes to the desktop, the main interface with your productivity tools, at the very least leave the old interface intact as a choice, as an option, for those who will not like the new flavor, and you know there are always many.

    Re the vmplayer issue, yes, there is a good soul on this forum who rather than get involved in Holy Wars, is spending time working on a complete solution to the problem, and he has already helped many, including me. Thanks.
    Last edited by r_avital; June 27th, 2013 at 03:15 PM.
    http://folding.extremeoverclocking.c...avital&t=45104
    "I fear the day technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots."
    ― Albert Einstein

  6. #6
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    Re: Disappointing Ringtail

    Try:

    Code:
    sudo apt-get install gcalctool clamav
    or install them with a couple of mouse clicks in the Software Center. This is basic Ubuntu 101 stuff; should be easy for a veteran user such as yourself.

  7. #7
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    Re: Disappointing Ringtail

    Quote Originally Posted by r_avital View Post

    MadmanRB: What you call "better" is better for you, and better for many others, not better for everyone. There are tons of posts out there from long-time, seasoned, veteran, expert users of Ubuntu hissing and moaning about the Ringtal taskbar. Eh? They're all wrong? Nobody ever said "don't develop anything new" -- that would be stupid. But when it comes to the desktop, the main interface with your productivity tools, at the very least leave the old interface intact as a choice, as an option, for those who will not like the new flavor, and you know there are always many.
    Well may I ask what is the big issue you have with the Unity taskbar?

    Is it not clear enough, I mean for me its obvious how it works.
    Each icon is a like a desktop icon, each launching the application you want.
    Sure there is no text but thats because the Unity launcher is like a dock.
    Windows 7 also has this, and OSX has this.
    If you are unsure what an icon is, in unity you still have tooltips that tell you what each application is.
    As for window navigation that too can be learned easily.
    Clicking on a launcher icon opens one instance of each application., if you want more right clicking is simple enough to do.
    And if you ha e multiple windows you have the ability to switch between them, in Raring just right click, again its that easy.
    Or in older versions you can switch with alt tab or click on the icon you launched from again.
    I find Unity quite easy to use, I dont understand where you are having issues if you really have been using linux for so long.
    I mean the taskbar isnt at the bottom of the screen anymore, big whoop.

  8. #8
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    Re: Disappointing Ringtail

    Neither clamav nor clamtk is installed by default, so I'm not sure what r_avital is getting at or whether the suggestion helps.

    gnome-calculator, apparently, is gcalctool, in the same way that Files is Nautilus, and the registers have simply been removed. So that definitely doesn't help in this case.

    The results of your perfectly reasonable-sounding suggestion are hella weird, though. I don't think I've ever seen this.
    Code:
    djmcbratney@Rei-Rei:~$ sudo apt-get install gcalctool
    Reading package lists... Done
    Building dependency tree       
    Reading state information... Done
    gcalctool is already the newest version.
    0 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 0 to remove and 9 not upgraded.
    djmcbratney@Rei-Rei:~$ gcalctool
    The program 'gcalctool' is currently not installed. You can install it by typing:
    sudo apt-get install gcalctool
    Gnome themselves suggest that if you need a real calculator, they're not offering it, and you should look to another party. The first alternative listed, SpeedCrunch, is actually my favorite calculator ever, although it doesn't use registers, either. It does use "paper mode," which means you can scroll through any recent operations or answers and call them up (so that it almost feels like a friendlier version of Octave.)

    Edit: galculator, also suggested by Gnome and available in the repos, does use registers (as a drop-down menu under the results box.)
    Last edited by Copper Bezel; June 27th, 2013 at 09:02 PM.
    ~ I know I shouldn't use tildes for decoration, but they always make me feel at home. ~

  9. #9
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    Re: Disappointing Ringtail

    That is weird, Copper Bezel. Ah, Ubuntu, you are so strange sometimes....

  10. #10
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    Re: Disappointing Ringtail

    Regarding the software, you just have to understand that something like Ubuntu isn't built "from the ground up" by a room full of developers. They don't have a meeting one morning and say, "Let's dump Klamav and build a new front end using Tk!". Ubuntu is assembled primarily from a pool of independent, upstream software projects with a few in-house projects (like Unity, for example) pulling it all together. If the upstream project folds, or radically changes something, it's not like they can just rewrite every app.

    This is how it is running Linux; every so often you have to find a replacement for something because the original developers just lost interest in keeping it current.

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