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ninjaaron
October 6th, 2011, 06:52 PM
Anyone else notice this fascinating phenomenon?

Bonus points to anyone who can accurately guess how many posts it takes before this becomes a "Recurring Discussion." Mods aren't allowed to guess. :P

Basher101
October 6th, 2011, 06:54 PM
I dont get why ppl have so much hate on unity...if you dont like dont use it. No need for flame, rant or anything similar. I like unity, i do not love it though, but its fine. It is unique, something Windows does not have.
just my 2 cents

p.s. Hi^^

CharlesA
October 6th, 2011, 06:55 PM
3..2...1... ?

ubupirate
October 6th, 2011, 06:56 PM
Anyone else notice this fascinating phenomenon?

Bonus points to anyone who can accurately guess how many posts it takes before this becomes a "Recurring Discussion." Mods aren't allowed to guess. :P

Recurring discussion right here, 1st post.

jerrrys
October 6th, 2011, 07:12 PM
six

ninjaaron
October 6th, 2011, 07:32 PM
Recurring discussion right here, 1st post.

While we have seen many threads about the relative merits and drawbacks of the interface, I haven't seen one yet that discusses it's positive reception by new-comers and the frequency with which they come here to ask what the community is so upset about. If there is one, I would be delighted to find it and read it.

Of course, any discussion of the reasons behind all of this is bound to tread over familiar ground.

Linuxratty
October 6th, 2011, 08:28 PM
3..2...1... ?

Beating of the dead horse begins...Now.
I understand why but I'm sick of discussing it.

sffvba[e0rt
October 6th, 2011, 08:31 PM
This thread is a first... can't see why it will end up in Recurring...

Carry on :popcorn:


404

Copper Bezel
October 6th, 2011, 08:59 PM
Yeah, good show, ninjaaron. I like this thought.

I was a little surprised by that thread (http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1854122) myself, but it made sense. I mean, Unity is a comparable interface with Aero. Without some familiarity with other Linux interfaces, all the hate must seem rather silly. And even setting aside familiarity with other environments, someone just coming from Windows is just very unlikely to be as nitpicky about the finicky details of an interface, because it's really only Linux and BSD users who have been spoiled with a variety of options or can be enthusiastic about little tweaks and improvements to a workflow.

Of course, for all of those reasons, purely Windows-attenuated users wouldn't notice the difference if Unity had no workspaces, or couldn't be swapped out for another interface, or had no official method for changing themes....

krapp
October 6th, 2011, 09:21 PM
I rather like Unity's improvement of the traditional panel. Window controls in the panel are a smart move, not to mention the addition of Apple's global menu. The dock needs improvement however, and I'm not yet swayed by the whole dash thing. Never liked it in OSX.

ninjaaron
October 6th, 2011, 09:46 PM
Yeah, good show, ninjaaron. I like this thought.

I was a little surprised by that thread (http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1854122) myself, but it made sense. I mean, Unity is a comparable interface with Aero. Without some familiarity with other Linux interfaces, all the hate must seem rather silly. And even setting aside familiarity with other environments, someone just coming from Windows is just very unlikely to be as nitpicky about the finicky details of an interface, because it's really only Linux and BSD users who have been spoiled with a variety of options or can be enthusiastic about little tweaks and improvements to a workflow.

Of course, for all of those reasons, purely Windows-attenuated users wouldn't notice the difference if Unity had no workspaces, or couldn't be swapped out for another interface, or had no official method for changing themes....

The real funny thing is that the people complaining are self-proclaimed "Power Users," complaining that Unity is too newbie friendly to be useful. I've been trying out several WM's lately that are geared specifically towards power users like scrotwm and evilwm (mostly BSD guys), and they are surprisingly characterized by the things that many people hate about Unity. There are no gui menus or window controls, everything is type to launch, all window transformations are controlled with keybindings, saving space is a maximum priority, extensive tiling options (which Unity has). Considering what the Gnome2 "power users" are whining about, Unity is surprisingly similar to what hardcore *nix guys hack up for their custom work environments.

If it works for those guys, and it works for new users too, it makes you wonder exactly who these "power users" having so much trouble with the slightly more limited mouse accessibility are.

Basher101
October 6th, 2011, 09:47 PM
+1

viperdvman
October 6th, 2011, 10:10 PM
I've seen a lot of reviewers in magazines and online Linux reviews bash Unity as well. So it's not just the "self-proclaimed Power Users". I would have to read through all those reviews again to find out what their gripes are.

Me, I like running Unity for the most part. I can't customize it as well as I can GNOME 2.x, but it does the job very well. I can add and remove stuff from the launcher, and the Dash isn't bad either, and has actually gotten better with Ubuntu 11.10.

I still think there should be some applets for the Unity launcher like there are for Cairo, Docky, and AWN... (i.e. not launchers for Ubuntu apps). I know Unity is still very new and has some more maturing to do, but adding a few applets could go a long way :)

I do like the fact that it has the Mac-style app menu in the panel by default rather than having to install it from apt-get or GNOME Panel applet in Ubuntu 10.04 - 11.04, as well as moving the window buttons to the top panel when the window is maximized... thus removing the need for the title bar when maximized.

I urge all the haters to at least give Unity a chance. Play with it for a week. Use it to do the stuff you normally use a computer for (Internet, IMs, LibreOffice, GIMP, etc.), learn how to tinker with it, and stuff. And give it a chance. If you still don't like it, then move to either Xfce or KDE Plasma, they're both good interfaces too.

grahammechanical
October 6th, 2011, 10:39 PM
I think that the tread title refers not so much to new Linux users or new Ubuntu users but people registering on this forum just to whine about Unity.

I know that I sometimes tend towards paranoia but I think that these posts are an attempt to seed negative comments about Ubuntu into search engine results.

Regards.

lykwydchykyn
October 6th, 2011, 10:55 PM
The real funny thing is that the people complaining are self-proclaimed "Power Users," complaining that Unity is too newbie friendly to be useful. I've been trying out several WM's lately that are geared specifically towards power users like scrotwm and evilwm (mostly BSD guys), and they are surprisingly characterized by the things that many people hate about Unity. There are no gui menus or window controls, everything is type to launch, all window transformations are controlled with keybindings, saving space is a maximum priority, extensive tiling options (which Unity has). Considering what the Gnome2 "power users" are whining about, Unity is surprisingly similar to what hardcore *nix guys hack up for their custom work environments.

If it works for those guys, and it works for new users too, it makes you wonder exactly who these "power users" having so much trouble with the slightly more limited mouse accessibility are.

Hmmm... now it just needs a scriptable config file and maybe I'll drop awesome WM for it :D.

...but probably not.

ninjaaron
October 6th, 2011, 11:07 PM
I've seen a lot of reviewers in magazines and online Linux reviews bash Unity as well. So it's not just the "self-proclaimed Power Users".
You've got a point. I was sort of chuckling about that after I wrote it, as Linus Torvalds complains about a lot of the same stuff in Gnome 3, and I suppose he qualifies as more than a "self-proclaimed power-user" :P

As do the guys at Linux Action Show, etc.

But the point remains that GUI shells designed by hackers specifically for maximum efficiency have a lot more in common with Unity than with Gnome 2 (and certainly have much, much worse mouse accessibility than either of them). As far as I can see, the only thing that's causing difficulty is that some things, simply do not work as before, so those who do not take the time to learn the new implementation believe that they have been removed. The only thing that actually has been removed is the menu, which is such a dumb idea anyway, and has been replaced with a launching system that is many times faster.



I still think there should be some applets for the Unity launcher like there are for Cairo, Docky, and AWN... (i.e. not launchers for Ubuntu apps). I know Unity is still very new and has some more maturing to do, but adding a few applets could go a long way :)I agree that the dock is pretty pathetic at this point, but some of the applet features are already there, they just haven't been exploited yet by the development community.

Of course, you always have the option to autohide the Unity dock (or launcher, as they chose to name it for some silly reason), and use a 3rd party dock if you like. Gnome 2 doesn't come with any dock at all, so the Unity dock is obviously much better than that. It's also possible to get some panel applets (those that run in the systray) working by white-listing them with dconf-editor.

vehemoth
October 6th, 2011, 11:12 PM
The real funny thing is that the people complaining are self-proclaimed "Power Users," complaining that Unity is too newbie friendly to be useful. I've been trying out several WM's lately that are geared specifically towards power users like scrotwm and evilwm (mostly BSD guys), and they are surprisingly characterized by the things that many people hate about Unity. There are no gui menus or window controls, everything is type to launch, all window transformations are controlled with keybindings, saving space is a maximum priority, extensive tiling options (which Unity has). Considering what the Gnome2 "power users" are whining about, Unity is surprisingly similar to what hardcore *nix guys hack up for their custom work environments.

If it works for those guys, and it works for new users too, it makes you wonder exactly who these "power users" having so much trouble with the slightly more limited mouse accessibility are. I never liked the term power user, to me it says that you are using the wrong interface or OS to be fully productive but I guess in this case it just means someone who is able to use the full features it offers. I think BSD and linux guys look for different things when they create an interface. I personally don't like unity but I try not to whine about it, though I fail to see your comparison, windows also has features from tiling WM such as tile horizontally, vertically and keyboard controlled window movement. Though I would say that it's only to supplement the mouse controls not to replace them like a true tiling wm or something like evilwm. So unity has to meet the requirements of those who only use the mouse more than those who use the keyboard as well. Anyway we'll soon see with 11.10 when unity has matured a bit.

ninjaaron
October 6th, 2011, 11:18 PM
Hmmm... now it just needs a scriptable config file and maybe I'll drop awesome WM for it :D.

...but probably not.

I'm not using Unity much at the moment either, but I think it's a perfectly good shell. You can get a lot of things scripted like you would in awesome with ccsm, and if you know how to work it a little bit with gdm and all that.

Course, if you stop using awesome, you can't look down on people who don't configure there WM in lua. On the other hand, Xmonad guys have one up on you, since theirs is configured in compiled haskell, and DWM guys will always be miles above us mere mortals, as the only way to configure that is to edit and recompile the C source code directly. Their website talks about how that is a perk, because that way they filter out idiots from using dwm and thereby polluting the mailing list and irc channels with stupid newb questions.

Which is cool... if you're into that sort of thing, I guess.

[edit]
p.s. Unity is entirely scriptable with devilspie, of course.

ninjaaron
October 6th, 2011, 11:31 PM
Though I would say that it's only to supplement the mouse controls not to replace them like a true tiling wm or something like evilwm. So unity has to meet the requirements of those who only use the mouse more than those who use the keyboard as well. Anyway we'll soon see with 11.10 when unity has matured a bit.

I turned off all my window controls and titles in Unity, and I have no trouble using it exclusively with key bindings. It's true that you can't be quite as finicky with the window dimensions and placement as with something like evilwm, but evil doesn't have anything like the compiz grid plugin either, which essentially means you can get good arrangements with less messing around than evilwm, and the grid comes with great default bindings. Course, there are also some great cli window management utilities that can be scripted and bound with compiz, so you can end up with some very precise window placement rules, should you desire it.

Remember, Unity is just a compiz plugin, and if there is a problem with keyboard access in compiz, that is the fault of the user, not the window manager. Compiz will do just about anything you tell it to (except, alas, true auto tiling).

proxy.qtz
October 6th, 2011, 11:39 PM
Well, Unity's improved a lot in 11.10, and if you don't like Unity, then don't use it. Just don't hate on it...

pjd99
October 6th, 2011, 11:47 PM
I think that the tread title refers not so much to new Linux users or new Ubuntu users but people registering on this forum just to whine about Unity.

I know that I sometimes tend towards paranoia but I think that these posts are an attempt to seed negative comments about Ubuntu into search engine results.

Regards.
The reason I registered was to voice my disappointment with 11.04 (and Unity, which is starting to feel a lot better in 11.10) but now find myself helping people with technical questions.

I get it now, Unity was an evil ploy to get Ubuntuforums more members...

el_koraco
October 6th, 2011, 11:52 PM
Hmmm... now it just needs a scriptable config file and maybe I'll drop awesome WM for it :D.


To quote a fellow bum: You mean Awesome DE.

cariboo
October 7th, 2011, 12:08 AM
the reason i registered was to voice my disappointment with 11.04 (and unity, which is starting to feel a lot better in 11.10) but now find myself helping people with technical questions.

I get it now, unity was an evil ploy to get ubuntuforums more members...

+1 :)

ninjaaron
October 7th, 2011, 01:34 AM
To quote a fellow bum: You mean Awesome DE.

Be careful though. Integrating dmenu in scrotwm very nearly makes it a DE. I mean seriously, what does launching programs have to do with managing windows? What a bloated window manager. :)

Copper Bezel
October 7th, 2011, 02:37 AM
+1 :)

Indeed. That's a success story if nothing else. = D

I don't know, guys; Unity definitely leaves out some features I'd miss, but then, I also don't proclaim myself a power user - or a keyboard junkie, for that matter. (And of course, it's still worlds better than Gnome Panel.) It's just that, to main point of the OP, I agree that the the bulk of the changes only affect established users and won't bother new users a jot. I do think there's a distinction between established Gnome users and the hackery sort, too, though; claiming to not be a new user isn't the same thing as claiming to be a power user.

And to clarify, that doesn't mean that I'm defending the bulk of the complaints themselves, which tend to be based entirely on "this isn't how [Windows / Gnome 2] does it, so it's wrong."

ninjaaron
October 7th, 2011, 04:20 AM
Indeed. That's a success story if nothing else. = D

I don't know, guys; Unity definitely leaves out some features I'd miss, but then, I also don't proclaim myself a power user - or a keyboard junkie, for that matter. (And of course, it's still worlds better than Gnome Panel.) It's just that, to main point of the OP, I agree that the the bulk of the changes only affect established users and won't bother new users a jot. I do think there's a distinction between established Gnome users and the hackery sort, too, though; claiming to not be a new user isn't the same thing as claiming to be a power user.

And to clarify, that doesn't mean that I'm defending the bulk of the complaints themselves, which tend to be based entirely on "this isn't how [Windows / Gnome 2] does it, so it's wrong."

I think I agree with you. I can understand having difficulty changing to a new interface (though I have difficulty sympathizing with it, being someone who tends to be excited by change and eager to try new things. Perhaps that will change as I get older, though I'm not really a kid anymore). Part of my beef is that a lot of these people are blaming the interface for shortcomings that relate directly to the habits of the user, and they would come out with these statements like "Unity is unusable for power users," "Unity sacrifices usability for newb friendliness," and so forth, with the obvious implication that Unity was somehow below them because it has large buttons in the dash and no application menu or something, or a compiz default that's different from what it was in 10.10 that they haven't bothered to change by ticking a box.

The fact of the matter is, Unity has integrated elements from cutting-edge productivity environments into a system that new users can embrace without difficulty.

The biggest complainers are those who automatically assume that change is change for the worse. I have no problem with people who have an easier time with Gnome 2 and prefer to use it. The problem is when those people think it's because Unity itself is somehow deficient (I'm not saying it's perfect, just that it's excellent), and then go on to vilify Canonical for creating an interface which is both innovative and well devised. It is obvious that MS and Apple have also taken notice, as several of the features of Unity are now being added to those desktop environments as well. I'm not saying 'oh, MS and Apple copy.' Everyone copies, and it's for the best. It's called 'progress.' It's just that this time, Canonical is the one being copied because they have created something that presents a clear advantage over other paradigms available on the desktop. The only improvement I could really ask for in Unity would be an auto-tiling plugin for compiz.

A lot of the stuff I'm saying about Unity could also be said about gnome-shell, as they grew up together and share a lot of similar goals and features.

Course, I'm personally going a much more minimalist route these days with my choices in software and interface. That, however, is a personal choice, not a problem with Unity. If they shipped Ubuntu with my defaults, they wouldn't reach 200 million users in 200 million years.

wolfen69
October 7th, 2011, 04:56 AM
I hope this thread doesn't derail, but it probably will. Well to be on topic with the thread title, I think that sometimes even a bad review is a good review when you think about it. When things are talked about, debated, and bashed, it makes people curious as to what all the fuss is about.

1roxtar
October 7th, 2011, 05:23 AM
"love how new users need to come here to find out the "problem" with Unity..."

There isn't a problem with Unity. It's simply a matter of YOU having a problem with Unity. The "problem" is simply subjective or relative to YOUR preferences, thus not making it a legitimate problem with Unity in and of itself.

:guitar:

Copper Bezel
October 7th, 2011, 05:26 AM
ninjaaron,

Is that the new goal - 200,002,011 is the year of the Linux desktop? = )

Again, we're straying wildly from your OP, but. = D



I think I agree with you. I can understand having difficulty changing to a new interface (though I have difficulty sympathizing with it, being someone who tends to be excited by change and eager to try new things. Perhaps that will change as I get older, though I'm not really a kid anymore). Part of my beef is that a lot of these people are blaming the interface for shortcomings that relate directly to the habits of the user, and they would come out with these statements like "Unity is unusable for power users," "Unity sacrifices usability for newb friendliness," and so forth, with the obvious implication that Unity was somehow below them because it has large buttons in the dash and no application menu or something, or a compiz default that's different from what it was in 10.10 that they haven't bothered to change by ticking a box.
I agree with this part wholeheartedly. A lot of the complaints I've seen are about things that are, first, superior to the old function, and second, easily reverted to the previous behavior with a decently informed Google search. (Well, the Unity shell itself is one of those features. = D)


It is obvious that MS and Apple have also taken notice, as several of the features of Unity are now being added to those desktop environments as well.
This bit I'm not so sure about. MS has taken some cues from Android or iOS. The overview mode (I don't recall the name) in Lion is very, very similar to that of Gnome Shell, but it could be a coincidence, particularly since they (of course) launched around the same time. I think that's another topic entirely, of course, and I think there exist threads on that.


The fact of the matter is, Unity has integrated elements from cutting-edge productivity environments into a system that new users can embrace without difficulty.
This I'm not really sure of, either. Most of the new features come from MS and Apple. <Super># and the Grid are from Windows 7, while the Panel is 99% OSX. Keybindings and customization for the Grid certainly evoke proper tilers and take their inspiration from there. Disappearing title bars for maximized windows are a neat trick and certainly do improve productivity by up to 30 px, but they were a feature implemented in UNR, and I'm not certain that they've ever really existed anywhere else.

Docks and search-based launching are indispensable, and I am glad that Unity is implementing them. They're common additions to a Gnome desktop, but Windows 7 really did get them integrated first. = /

So what I'm saying is, yes, these are "power user" tools of a kind, and at least for the ones that didn't come from Windows, I'm glad that Unity is easing users into them. I just disagree with - everything you said regarding anything coming from anywhere. = )

sffvba[e0rt
October 7th, 2011, 05:57 AM
I have seen enough posts over the last year or so that has gone from absolute Unity loathing (and feeling they have to express it in every thread that might mention Ubuntu) to loving it and making it look even more awesome (see screen shots thread).

I +1 the notion that many of the threads OP describes where just simple trolling, but for many others it was the simple fact that most people don't like change.


404

Dangertux
October 7th, 2011, 06:10 AM
Wow, I am truly blown away, in a good way. I have never even put as much thought into desktop environments as some of the posters in here. It's actually really amazing.

Personally I like Unity. I feel it has a very polished look especially in 11.10. I have kind of waffled on that one for a while but I had just been used to Gnome2. I feel Unity particularly in 11.10 is progressing nicely and am looking forward to seeing it fully mature in 12.04.

However , I really must admit, some of the functionality talked about here particularly in several of ninjaaron's posts puts a new perspective to it. I was always a CLI guy I've been using Linux for a long time and spend most of my time in a console or browser due to the things I like to do not often having a GUI. However, I feel like I am missing a whole world of things to mess with in terms of the desktop environment

Thanks for the different perspective. As far as people trolling Unity or Gnome shell or KDE or whatever, haters gonna hate. If you like it use it if not leave it IMO.

jwbrase
October 7th, 2011, 06:12 AM
Yeah, good show, ninjaaron. I like this thought.

I was a little surprised by that thread (http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1854122) myself, but it made sense. I mean, Unity is a comparable interface with Aero.

I wouldn't say that. Aero has more to do with the window decoration of Vista/7 than the actual interface. You can have a more traditional layout without all the changes Win7 made and have all the shinyness of Aero (Vista, or certain settings on 7), or you can use "Windows classic" and have the Win7 interface features (the changes they've made to the taskbar, etc) without any of the glitz of Aero.

I personally think that Unity actually *looks* better than Aero, but I hate both it and the new Win7 taskbar features, because both make the same usability mistakes (not to mention OS X, which is the horrible example that both Canonical and Microsoft followed).


Without some familiarity with other Linux interfaces, all the hate must seem rather silly. And even setting aside familiarity with other environments, someone just coming from Windows is just very unlikely to be as nitpicky about the finicky details of an interface, because it's really only Linux and BSD users who have been spoiled with a variety of options or can be enthusiastic about little tweaks and improvements to a workflow.

Not so in my case: The two big missing features that turn me off of Unity (A decent taskbar, where "decent" means that each open window has one tab, and decent quicklaunch, where "decent" means that clicking on the launcher always opens a new window) are both features that I first encountered in Windows long before I ever touched a Linux system.



Of course, for all of those reasons, purely Windows-attenuated users wouldn't notice the difference if Unity had no workspaces,

Even coming from GNOME 2, I probably wouldn't notice. I hardly ever use workspaces (except to provide the 4 workspaces the Compiz Cube needs, but that's purely an eye candy thing and adds no productivity).


or had no official method for changing themes....

Depending what you mean by "changing themes", I would, and some Windows users might as well. Windows isn't quite as flexible as GNOME 2, but it does have at least some configurability (especially if you use Windows classic instead of Luna. I say Luna 'cause I've never tried theming Aero, so I don't know how themable it is).

el_koraco
October 7th, 2011, 09:39 AM
This I'm not really sure of, either. Most of the new features come from MS and Apple. <Super># and the Grid are from Windows 7

Do you mean the snapping thing or the grid as in the Compiz tiler (CRTL ALT 1, 2, 3, 4, 5...)?

Erik1984
October 7th, 2011, 10:57 AM
I rather like Unity's improvement of the traditional panel. Window controls in the panel are a smart move, not to mention the addition of Apple's global menu. The dock needs improvement however, and I'm not yet swayed by the whole dash thing. Never liked it in OSX.

The global menu works surprisingly intuitive. It's a bit embarrassing Apple already had that implemented in 1984.

Copper Bezel
October 7th, 2011, 12:47 PM
Do you mean the snapping thing or the grid as in the Compiz tiler (CRTL ALT 1, 2, 3, 4, 5...)?
They're the same plugin - the Grid (at least in in 11.04) mostly imitates Aero Snap when used with the mouse (with the possibility of quarter-screen and top and bottom positions in addition to the left and right halves and maximizing.) Used from the keyboard, it does the pseudo-tiler thing, but the possible positions are the same (any half or quarter screen size, plus maximized.)

But now that I think about it, you're right, the keyboard-driven part came first, didn't it?

el_koraco
October 7th, 2011, 01:31 PM
But now that I think about it, you're right, the keyboard-driven part came first, didn't it?

Yes, you could tile the screen for quite a while. If anything, that's a feature taken from the manual tiling WMs. Earlier versions of Windows also had a tiling mode, selected from the taskbar (there's was no option for determining the layout, though, and you couldn't combine tiling and floating. In both cases, it's just a respin of stuff that's been there forever (the first Windows release had a tiling or a rudimentary floating layout, with no option to resize windows).

I don't think any of the modern additions to the desktop are really ground-breaking, it's just old stuff with new graphic effects and a control or two.

Copper Bezel
October 7th, 2011, 01:36 PM
Yeah, I'd mostly agree with that, although some of them certainly make the computer more fun to use. (And I do remember missing the "Tile Horizontally," "Tile Vertically," and "Cascade" options whenever they disappeared in Windows, though I don't recall if that was with 95 or later on.)

el_koraco
October 7th, 2011, 01:38 PM
I'm pretty sure it was still there in XP (but I last used XP four or five years ago, so I don't really know).

Copper Bezel
October 7th, 2011, 01:46 PM
Oh wow, really? I'll have to check this morning - I use an XP machine at work.

Edit: Never mind. A quick Google search, and it is in XP. I distinctly remember it not being there at some point in time, but there's always been an option to tile in Windows.

BrokenKingpin
October 7th, 2011, 01:59 PM
A lot of people are ranting about Unity because a lot of people don't like it. That is what the internet is for, bashing stuff you don't like :P.

zlyke
October 7th, 2011, 02:35 PM
While we have seen many threads about the relative merits and drawbacks of the interface, I haven't seen one yet that discusses it's positive reception by new-comers and the frequency with which they come here to ask what the community is so upset about. If there is one, I would be delighted to find it and read it.

Of course, any discussion of the reasons behind all of this is bound to tread over familiar ground.

I'll sort of bite depending on your definition of new-comer. I've been a Linux guy since Red Hat Guinness and I think this is maybe my first post in these forums, after all. Completely new to Ubuntu here as of just a few hours ago and I have to say while everyone's discussing the "breaking all the rules by not letting you break any of the rules" issue with Unity, I really don't mind it at all.

To me there's nothing better than converting people to adopting Linux for everyday use. It's been easy in the past with my colleagues but more-than-difficult with less-than-proficient family members and friends. There's something inviting about the interface (and GNOME3 / Shell, while we're at it) that allows for Linux to get out to a broader base.

I'll hear the complaints when a distribution essentially does away with any need or ease of accessibility of the Terminal. Desktop Environments are not only a choice for every user but should they serve as a widening gateway for new users coming to find the benefits of Linux, sign me up (even if I don't wind up using that environment permanently / in the long run).

Anyway, cheers. This seems like a fantastic community and I hope my knowledge of a fair amount of distros outside of Ubuntu contributes healthily.

ninjaaron
October 7th, 2011, 03:46 PM
ninjaaron,

Is that the new goal - 200,002,011 is the year of the Linux desktop? = )

Again, we're straying wildly from your OP, but. = DShuttleworth said something about going from 20,000,000 to 200,000,000 in the next six years or something in his big speech at the last UDS. I dunno.



This bit I'm not so sure about. MS has taken some cues from Android or iOS. The overview mode (I don't recall the name) in Lion is very, very similar to that of Gnome Shell, but it could be a coincidence, particularly since they (of course) launched around the same time. I think that's another topic entirely, of course, and I think there exist threads on that.It's true, of course, that many of the new desktop paradigms have come from mobile interfaces, and there can always be a question of what the most direct inspiration for any given feature is. It is true, however, that the Gnome Project and Canonical have been leaders in implementing those features on the desktop. It is also true Unity and Gnome 3 came out several months before Lion. In addition, they were being openly developed for several years before that while Lion was being brewed in secret. Jobs in particular was always one to draw inspiration from what's going on in the Open Source world (and I don't say that as criticism. I think it's better that way, just frustrating when he sues people for using his ideas).

Naturally, these issues are not totally resolvable.


This I'm not really sure of, either. Most of the new features come from MS and Apple. <Super># and the Grid are from Windows 7, while the Panel is 99% OSX.Certainly not! Tiling has been around for a long time. It was implemented in a very simple way in Windows 95 and on, but X has had stuff for that for almost from it's beginning. The snapping function, which is quite useful for the mouse-based user, and probably is imitated from Win7 (which I think is as good a source of inspiration as any other, if the shoe fits), is only the tip of the iceberg for what is possible with the grid, and compiz also supports things like precision keyboard-based window movements and resize, just like evilwm and the rest.

The <super> thing does feel a lot like in terms of functionality, but even that is based on earlier quick launch systems, which originally come from a combination of things like Mac OS spotlight and run dialogs (like gnome's own alt+f2 run dialog; spotlight was originally a utility for search for files, but it's now evolved into a proper launcher). Check out old stuff like the deskbar applet and Quicksilver on mac (the inspiration for Gnome-Do), as well as simpler programs like dmenu and bashrun to see where all of this really comes from. I'll grant that Windows was the first major player to get this kind of behavior well integrated into the desktop, for which they deserve props, but it wasn't their idea. All of it essentially boils down to the command line, of course, which was around on every platform (except machintosh, until OSX, for some weird reason), and is still often the fastest way to get where you are going.

The panel borrows the global menu from Apple (which has been there since the original Mac gui, and isn't a new feature OSX), but I have trouble seeing what the rest has to do with Apple. Systray in the panel has been around for a long time, and things like fully integrated music-player control, managing multiple social clients, and configuring cloud behavior from a default panel applet aren't something I've seen anywhere else until recently (Canoical was two steps ahead of everyone with the personal cloud, but that isn't Unity per se).


Keybindings and customization for the Grid certainly evoke proper tilers and take their inspiration from there. Disappearing title bars for maximized windows are a neat trick and certainly do improve productivity by up to 30 px, but they were a feature implemented in UNR, and I'm not certain that they've ever really existed anywhere else.Many window managers allow you to remove the title bars from maximized windows (or any other kind of windows), and have for a long time. It just hasn't normally been the default behavior. Of course, there are also a fair number of window managers that dispense with window titles altogether (which as been entirely possible on compiz for a long time as well).


Docks and search-based launching are indispensable, and I am glad that Unity is implementing them. They're common additions to a Gnome desktop, but Windows 7 really did get them integrated first. = /I'm not sure what the fuss over docks is, except that they look good, but I guess they do it for the clicky sort of folks. Search-based launching is wonderful of course. It was already partially there with alt+f2, but the Windows version was probably the best implementation in the default user environment.


Not so in my case: The two big missing features that turn me off of Unity (A decent taskbar, where "decent" means that each open window has one tab, and decent quicklaunch, where "decent" means that clicking on the launcher always opens a new window) are both features that I first encountered in Windows long before I ever touched a Linux system.

If you use alt+tab or super+w, you will find something much better than a taskbar (especially super+w). You can also set the super+w behavior to a screen edge or corner with the 'scale' plugin in compiz. If you prefer a taskbar, that is one thing, and perfectly fine. To insist that that sort of behavior is better is a little silly. In addition, any program you launch by searching with the dash will create a new window. I'm not sure if this is the case in Gnome 3, however. I think it is not.

Remember folks, Unity is Compiz, and Compiz is whatever you make of it.

ninjaaron
October 7th, 2011, 04:00 PM
I'll sort of bite depending on your definition of new-comer. I've been a Linux guy since Red Hat Guinness and I think this is maybe my first post in these forums, after all.YOU DON'T COUNT!! I was more thinking about people new to Linux and it's DE options. Naturally, your input is still welcome, as is your presence on the board!


Completely new to Ubuntu here as of just a few hours ago and I have to say while everyone's discussing the "breaking all the rules by not letting you break any of the rules" issue with Unity, I really don't mind it at all.

I can agree with most of what you said, but I do take exception to this point. Unity is quite hackable, but it requires different tools to do so than Gnome 2, and people have to find those tools. CCSM is the same, and still lets you do basically anything you want in terms of window management, but for things like the panel and the dock, there's the dconf-editor, which lets you do quite a bit. People just don't know about it, and so assume that it doesn't exist. If you want to get more hacky than that, there's always the /usr/share/unity folder with all of it's resources, fully prepared for every form of tweaker molestation.

And the terminal isn't hiding. You get to it the same way you get to any other program, and you can add it to the dock, if you like. It's also one of the only programs that has a default keybinding to launch, so it's arguably easier to get to than most programs (ctrl+alt+t), excluding those that come with giant, pulsating icons in the dock by default.

I got so irritated when Linus was ranting about how it was "hard to open a terminal" in Gnome Shell. It's like the man didn't even try.

Iowarth
October 7th, 2011, 04:28 PM
I have to put my two pen'orth in here.
Firstly, I have to admit that I am a Unity hater (albeit a longstanding Linux user. But, I still use Ubuntu once I found out how to turn the horrible thing off! Quite apart from usability questions (and these are something else which is frequently down to how individuals choose to use their machines) it is simply the sight of the ghastly thing which turns me off! Comaprisons have been made with Windows 7 - well, I hate it! The forthcoming Windows 8 I loathe even more! In all cases the reason is that I can't stand great big yucky icons/buttons!

I am one of these people (and we are not that rare) who has great difficulty understanding them - in fact, I frequently have to stand and work out which is which of the "ladies" and "gents" signs in public toilets! I want need and desire simple drop down menus with real live words in them - not to hover over a completely meaningless picture waiting for the words to tell me what it does!

So, it's not it's functionality, or all the wonderful things it does (most of which I will never use) - it is, simply, conceptually, verging on completely useless to me - and others like me!

But, many people DO like this - and for them it is great .... and I do have the option!:D

PS And, yes, I can barely use my mobile phone for anything but the most basic functions for the same reasons - and I know many people the same!

Chris

krapp
October 7th, 2011, 07:24 PM
Remember folks, Unity is Compiz, and Compiz is whatever you make of it.

At this point what exactly Unity? Is it the horizontal dock, the new gnome-panel, and the dash? I've heard it described as a shell but which is basically a fancy way to refer to a window manager.

ikt
October 7th, 2011, 08:33 PM
At this point what exactly Unity?

I believe it's

Founded in 2010, the Unity project started by Mark Shuttleworth and Canonical has gone on to deliver a consistent user experience for desktop and netbook users alike. Putting great design at the heart of the project, Unity and its technologies such as Application indicators, System indicators, and Notify OSD, have strived to solve common problems in the Free Software desktop while optimizing the experience for touch, consistency and collaboration.

Something like that.

Copper Bezel
October 7th, 2011, 09:57 PM
Shuttleworth said something about going from 20,000,000 to 200,000,000 in the next six years or something in his big speech at the last UDS.
I was only kidding. = ) I've seen the statement.


Tiling has been around for a long time. It was implemented in a very simple way in Windows 95 and on, but X has had stuff for that for almost from it's beginning.
Fair enough. I admit (again) that I was really thinking of the Grid as the Aero Snap behavior. If you're considering the keyboard behavior, then yes, that's tilery, although as el_koraco pointed out, it also preceeds Unity. Of course, Unity's use of the Grid could certainly popularize it, and Unity could secretly be a tiling window manager gateway drug.

As for tiling in XP and later, I actually didn't know you could select multiple windows at once from the taskbar with Ctrl in the first place. Works in Vista, too. I'm amazed sometimes how Windows illiterate I actually am.


It is also true Unity and Gnome 3 came out several months before Lion. In addition, they were being openly developed for several years before that while Lion was being brewed in secret.
Yeah, that's fair - although I still see more Shell than Unity in Lion.


If you use alt+tab or super+w, you will find something much better than a taskbar (especially super+w). You can also set the super+w behavior to a screen edge or corner with the 'scale' plugin in compiz.
Scale / Exposť doesn't display window titles anymore, though, which is a catch for usability. (Unless this is fixed in 11.10.) For similar-looking document windows, you really need to be able to see the filename.

In those cases, for the same reason, a dock's not necessarily better than a taskbar, particularly one without a window list at all.

I do use Scale (as the upper left hot corner, Activities-style) for window switching far more than I use my dock, but then, I just sort of like pretty things. And, of course, I'm using DockBarX, which is a very different thing from Unity's Launcher, and that colors my perception of what docks do; Unity's, I think, I would use less still.

Of course, as you say, if you were really concerned with productivity, you'd just use Alt+Tab.


Even coming from GNOME 2, I probably wouldn't notice. I hardly ever use workspaces (except to provide the 4 workspaces the Compiz Cube needs, but that's purely an eye candy thing and adds no productivity).
I decided to quote this after all. This is because the cube, while functionally worthless, is also freaky fun with only two sides, and everyone needs to try that at least once. Go try. It's silly and fun.

ninjaaron
October 7th, 2011, 10:23 PM
I have to put my two pen'orth in here.
Firstly, I have to admit that I am a Unity hater (albeit a longstanding Linux user. But, I still use Ubuntu once I found out how to turn the horrible thing off! Quite apart from usability questions (and these are something else which is frequently down to how individuals choose to use their machines) it is simply the sight of the ghastly thing which turns me off! Comaprisons have been made with Windows 7 - well, I hate it! The forthcoming Windows 8 I loathe even more! In all cases the reason is that I can't stand great big yucky icons/buttons!

I am one of these people (and we are not that rare) who has great difficulty understanding them - in fact, I frequently have to stand and work out which is which of the "ladies" and "gents" signs in public toilets! I want need and desire simple drop down menus with real live words in them - not to hover over a completely meaningless picture waiting for the words to tell me what it does!

So, it's not it's functionality, or all the wonderful things it does (most of which I will never use) - it is, simply, conceptually, verging on completely useless to me - and others like me!

But, many people DO like this - and for them it is great .... and I do have the option!:D

PS And, yes, I can barely use my mobile phone for anything but the most basic functions for the same reasons - and I know many people the same!

Chris

Nothing at all wrong with any of that. Course, if you want words with your icons, the programs in the dash are labled, when you press super and type to search. I think alt+tab also displays words now for window switching, but I may be wrong about that.

But it's a valid point you make about some people being better able to identify words than pictures, and the new interfaces are tending to skip on text when they can. Very un-unixy of them, I have to say, cause after all, 'text is a universal interface.'

If I were to fault the new interfaces for anything, it would too many layers of abstraction between the software and the users that obscure what programs are actually doing, and consume a lot of additional resources in the act of concelment... but that's nothing new from Gnome 2 to Unity, and I guess it is helpful to people who aren't as familiar with the way computers work and don't want to be bothered with it (a.k.a. the majority). Of course, the move from text to images is part of this abstraction (well, at at natural level, text is much more abstract than an image, but not for a computer).

Paulgirardin
October 7th, 2011, 10:25 PM
ninjaaron,

Is that the new goal - 200,002,011 is the year of the Linux desktop? = )


No,That's the year the descendents of the human race climb down from the trees for the 9th time in their history

zlyke
October 8th, 2011, 08:34 AM
YOU DON'T COUNT!! I was more thinking about people new to Linux and it's DE options. Naturally, your input is still welcome, as is your presence on the board!

First post and I already don't count! Haha. :p Cheers! Sorry for late reply.


And the terminal isn't hiding. You get to it the same way you get to any other program, and you can add it to the dock, if you like. It's also one of the only programs that has a default keybinding to launch, so it's arguably easier to get to than most programs (ctrl+alt+t), excluding those that come with giant, pulsating icons in the dock by default.

Oh I know it's not hiding. Completely agree with you. I was mostly saying people can start complaining when and if a distro does away with it. It's very easy to get to still in Unity haha.


I got so irritated when Linus was ranting about how it was "hard to open a terminal" in Gnome Shell. It's like the man didn't even try.

Hey it's not the first time Open Source heroes can gross people out with actions or words: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I25UeVXrEHQ

gutterslob
October 8th, 2011, 08:57 AM
Be careful though. Integrating dmenu in scrotwm very nearly makes it a DE. I mean seriously, what does launching programs have to do with managing windows? What a bloated window manager. :)
In that case, you'll have that WM that's "miles above us mere mortals" (your own words (http://ubuntuforums.org/showpost.php?p=11317048&postcount=18)) to thank, since dmenu was made for Dwm.

Truth be told, Dwm isn't that hard to use as long as you have a bit patience and willingness to learn. Config syntax is self-explanatory for the most part, even to those who don't know the language. It used to be my tiler of choice, till I killed it with overpatching and decided to try something new.

...and yes, Awesome is a DE. =P

Can't comment on the Unity thing though, since I've never used it before.

vehemoth
October 8th, 2011, 10:20 AM
I think launching of applications is part of the WM because keybindings are and you might like to launch apps with your keyboard.

The only time I ever used a dock was on windows becasue I wasn't a fan of the xp and before start menu and didn't like some of the restrictions of 7 so never upgraded. However I did like the win7 bar.
I think unity might be able to pull in new users because as far as I can tell, the less computer knowledgeable in the windows area only upgrade their os for "the pretty new interface" or if the are forced.
I'm interested to try it out in 11.10 because it seems to be much better.