I love Linux and have learned many things over the years, including application development. But lately it just seems like the problems I'm finding are due to either lack of testing or lack of programming knowledge/skills. Please read the following with an open mind. This post is not meant to upset anyone.
Symptom: Launching an app requires more work in Unity than was required in previous versions of Gnome.
In Gnome 2.x, opening an app was as simple as clicking on Applications > Accessories > app_name. Unity requires more steps - Click on Unity launch icon in the left panel > Click on apps icon at the bottom of the unity launch window > click on "See $number more results > scroll to find the desired app > click app_name. I realize that the Ubuntu developers want people to use the HUD, but people want the easiest method and that means point and click, not typing and hope that the user gets the correct app name. The average user doesn't want to type, the average user wants to point and click.. otherwise we'd still be using text-only operating systems. The mouse and trackpad were developed to make things easier, but the Unity developers seem to be stuck in a previous decade. However, I realize this is Ubuntu's pet project and itsn't going to change.. which is sad.
Eye of Gnome (EOG)
Symptom: Double-click a picture in a folder. The picture opens but pressing the "Next" button in EOG sometimes skips pictures in the same folder. EOG does not display pictures in the same order as they appear in a folder (alphabetical).
Steps to reproduce:
- Open Nautilus
- Double-click on a picture
- Press the Next button in EOG and keep track of the file names as you page through pictures
I can just hear the end-user; "what happened to the picture I just put in that folder?"
Symptom: The background color of the right pane in Nautilus sometimes changes for no apparent reason.
Steps to reproduce:
- Open Nautilus and note the background color of the right pane (file view)
- Right-click a folder and choose "Open in new tab"
- Now, note background color of each tab
It's not a huge bug, but it does detract from the professionalism of Ubuntu.
Symptom: Missing text input field.
Steps to reproduce:
- Open the Contacts app
- Click the "New" button in the tool bar
- Notice the missing text input field for "Address"
I don't think this app was tested prior to release.
System problem reported
Symptom: At random times I get a message that pops up on the desktop with no way of canceling or reporting the problem.
The body of the popup states "System program problem detected" and the popup window includes two buttons for "Cancel" and "Report problem...". There is no error code or any type of hint as to the nature of the problem. The Cancel button does not dismiss the popup window and the Report problem button yields nothing that the user can see. If the problem was reported then the popup window should be dismissed, but this is not the case. It would have been nice of the developers to at least give the user a hint as to what caused the problem so the user could include that information in any online discussion.
Log out, Shutdown
Symptom: Clicking the system icon and choosing Log Out or Shut Down does nothing.
In the Unity desktop there is a system icon (gear in the upper right corner) that yields a user menu. Two of the choices in this menu are Log Out and Shut Down. However, clicking on either of those menu items sometimes produces no action. How is the user to log out or shut down the machine if these menu items produce no effects?
I've found many more bugs but I don't wish to waste time and space listing them here just to be told to file bug reports elsewhere. I'm sorry to have to tell you this, but it's not the job of the end-user to find and report bugs.. please don't rely on us this way. Do more testing and bug fixing prior to release. Some of the bugs that I found are the result of a lack of testing prior to release, that's the only logical conclusion. What else is the end-user supposed to think when they open an app and there is a missing text input box on the main window? And this app was chosen for inclusion in a major Linux distribution (Ubuntu)? How is the end-user supposed to trust an operating system that includes amateur mistakes? The typical response is "file a bug". But, that is not the job of the end-user. It is the job of the developer to at least test their software and attempt fix bugs prior to release. If developers spent more time on proper software testing, the end-user could spend more time on getting things done rather than reporting silly mistakes made by the developers.
To the new Linux user, these problems are the fault of Ubuntu developers. New Linux users don't realize that there are countless developers all over the world working on the various apps and/or contributing code. Perhaps that's the problem.. too many cooks in the kitchen and the lack of a "head chef".
I hear the phrase "this will be the year Linux overtakes the desktop", I've heard it every year since 2003 and every year it never happens. Linux will never overtake the desktop until the developers learn how to do a better job of testing their apps prior to release. I love Ubuntu but it's a good thing Linux is free, otherwise the user base would be much smaller.