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View Full Version : Does Ubuntu ever feel "unpolished" to you?



Mazza558
March 14th, 2008, 09:17 PM
By this, I mean things like the system menu (with several very similar choices), or glimpses of bash in the background if logging off, etc. Also, I feel forced to use beta versions of software to get a fast/more functional system (e.g using Firefox Betas to reduce the monumental lag when scrolling/changing tabs). This use of cutting edge software leads to lots of crashes, which can be a pain.

On the other hand, this is unfair due to proprietary drivers (ATI/AMD, gah!). One thing I'd really like to see is being able to use compiz and a 3D program without crashing X - is this only a bug of XGL? Looking at Vista and OSX, they both have composited environments but there's no problem with running 3D apps. I think one of the reasons why this works so well is because there is little compositing for Vista, and so when it temporarily disables it for fullscreen apps, there's barely any difference. If you did the same thing using AWN, you'd get a nasty black bar behind it.

Kernel Sanders
March 14th, 2008, 10:01 PM
In fact, i'd say the opposite was true. Ubuntu feels very polished for me, and clearly something that Canocial pay particular attention to :KS

Sam Lars
March 14th, 2008, 11:17 PM
Sometimes, yes, it does. But then, so does Windows. It's not going to be perfect, and as long as it works and doesn't significantly effect my doing what I need to do, I usually let it go.
I do think XGL is more buggy. I'm using Nvidia and it works great, no big complaints there, really.
I never had much trouble with FF2, but the new betas are great, so I do use that. I don't really feel forced to upgrade other software... sure, I can't wait to upgrade to Hardy, but there is a tradeoff between stability/polish and up-to-date software. I like the way Ubuntu has decided on that tradeoff.

der_joachim
March 15th, 2008, 09:39 AM
I have been using Linux over 10 years now and have stuck with Kubuntu for about three years. The reason is plain and simple. It is a Debian-based distro that "just works".

There were many 'user friendly' distros that looked very polished, but were horrible to configure. Mandrake looked terrific back in 2002, but it had this automagic config tool which overwrote all manual changes by default.

OTOH, I used slackware 8 for a while, which was tried and true and very stable, and very polished in that sense. On the other hand it had no packaging system at all (except for tar and gzip), which made it a pain to update.

Debian was good, but its stable branch was not appropriate for the desktop as it was horribly outdated. Back in 2004 you had a nice polished 2002 system. :) Debian unstable wasn't unstable of itself, but it did lack some true testing every now and then. My USB automounter never really worked, and stuff would sometimes spontaneously break.

Gentoo was horrible. Not only did you have to polish everything yourself, you had to mix the ingredients for the polish as well. For some reason, the precompiled packages would not install well and all compilations would fail, so a few days later I scrapped everything and installed Debian agan.

To cut a long ramble short, although my definition of polish does differ from time to time, Kubuntu really is polished enough since I never really had the urge to try a different distro.
One distro that keeps tickling my curiosity, is Arch. I may just try it in the foreseeable future, just because. ;)

That was a long way to say 'no'.

madjr
March 15th, 2008, 10:21 AM
yes, most of the time it has bugs, i feel linuxmint does a better job at polishing ubuntu.

uberlube
March 15th, 2008, 10:25 AM
Good job madjr. If you are looking for a more "polished' distro, give Mint a try. Especially the new KDE CE edition. It's uber-cool! :)

billgoldberg
March 15th, 2008, 11:18 AM
I used mint a year or so ago but I switched back to ubuntu.

Ubuntu looks very good and polished (think emerald, compiz fusion, gtk 2 themes and icons sets).

I like the code you sometimes see when booting up or powering off.

I do agree on the 3d games and compiz fusion not playing well together, but hey, it's been a year since I played a game on ubuntu.

Darkagentx
March 15th, 2008, 11:37 AM
I've always felt it to be very polished both in visuals and layout. I do just wish turning the desktop effects all the way up on my machine didn't kill the bar at the top of all my windows.

billgoldberg
March 15th, 2008, 11:44 AM
I've always felt it to be very polished both in visuals and layout. I do just wish turning the desktop effects all the way up on my machine didn't kill the bar at the top of all my windows.

That is pretty easy to fix, ask about it in the help forums.

blueturtl
March 15th, 2008, 12:08 PM
Polish is attention to the little things.

In this light Ubuntu is the best Linux system I've ever used. However there are times when I feel like it isn't quite as polished as I'd like it to be.

Most commonly this happens when I upgrade / install the new version.
While you get accustomed to the flaws and features of the current release it's always a bit bothersome to see things move backwards when you upgrade.

For instance, there were never problems with emblems in Gnome until Gutsy, so something that previously worked got broken (the emblem size is microscopic without a manual hack to some config file). Or the fact the Gnome-Juicer's profile dialog cannot be edited if you don't close it's parent window etc. etc. It's always these small annoyances.

If a particular piece of hardware works flawlessly it might regress in the next upgrade. For example suspend/resume worked on my wife's laptop with 6.06 but no longer with the releases after it.

While I'm willing to put the effort into fixing newly introduced bugs to gain the new features, I'm sure many newbies are turned off by the constant struggle to get the "perfectly working system".

intense.ego
March 15th, 2008, 01:33 PM
There are more glitches, I feel, in Ubuntu then in Windows. For example, sometimes I get some random lines beneath the icons in my notification area. However, that is what happens when you are given the power to customize and change everything to your liking.

EdThaSlayer
March 15th, 2008, 02:17 PM
Ubuntu is kinda polished. It could be polished in some other areas though. With my Kubuntu, the loading screen doesn't work, so I have to ctrl-alt-F1 to get to KDE. I don't really mind that too much though. Thats the only fault I currently have with Kubuntu.

rune0077
March 15th, 2008, 02:41 PM
Compared to Windows, yes Ubuntu feels very unpolished and a lot of stuff (like Compiz) seems less like a finished product and more like a dirty workaround. But of course, Windows has had many more years on it's back than Ubuntu to get it's present polished feel, so with any bit of luck Ubuntu will get there some day (it's still a long way to go, though, in my opinion). Also, what Ubuntu lacks in polish, it more than makes up for in many other areas.

original_jamingrit
March 15th, 2008, 02:46 PM
With the things I do to my Ubuntu install, I'm surprised it keeps any polish at all.

... and I do some horrible, horrible things... :twisted:

bonzodog
March 15th, 2008, 03:07 PM
hrm...
Ubuntu feels slightly polished ( in look and feel), but its main let down is to my mind, bloatiness, (some of the apps installed by default are just not needed, and having to spend a couple of hours uninstalling stuff immediately after a clean ISO install is not fun), and it's build quality is lacklustre. Some of the package builds, whilst not technically broken, are extremely badly put together, and have un-necessary dependencies.
Also, clean building an app on ubuntu is slow IMO, especially after using Slackware and its brethren to build the same apps on.
I have in the past come across entire broken package trees, with no visible maintainer -- orphaned, broken, packages. Yes, they were reported, only for us to get the reply along the lines of "theres nothing we can do about it - no-one wants that particular tree to maintain."

So, ubuntu feels bloated and badly built to me.

Bartender
March 15th, 2008, 03:35 PM
I don't know about you guys, but Ubuntu or Kubuntu or Xubuntu or Mint or PCLOS seem pretty snazzy for what they cost me.

Vista is "polished". Try Vista's built-in .zip utility. It's all shiny and has neat metallic effects that glow and the damn thing shimmered and gleamed for 10 minutes before it quit, failing to unzip a small file.

I opened 7-zip, which is decidedly unpolished compared to Vista's offering. It extracted the files without fuss in about one second.

The open-source world is moving fast. I'll take progress over polish any time.

rune0077
March 15th, 2008, 03:47 PM
The open-source world is moving fast. I'll take progress over polish any time.

Absolutely, but the question raised by OP was not whether Ubuntu was effective or progressing, but whether it was unpolished or not.

nandasunu
March 15th, 2008, 04:08 PM
I've been using linux on and off (and mostly ubuntu, but also mandriva, suse etc.) and am more and more impressed with every ubuntu release. I was only using ubuntu (no windows any more) until I got a mac last year, then I switched over to OS X, now I've got a dual boot with ubuntu and am loving it again.

I started using ubuntu at 5.10 and 7.10 is like night and day compared to that. You can now do a full install with all codecs etc. without consulting any wikis or using the command line, the interface is much smoother, no more nasty gtk1 stuff poking up, more apps, much better hardware support, flashy effects etc. I am looking forward to what will come in the next couple of years.

chucky chuckaluck
March 15th, 2008, 04:34 PM
i guess it depends on what you mean by 'polish'. gnome, with compiz and all the trimmings, as set up by ubuntu probably looks a lot more polished than what i use (wmii), but i think i actually don't like things that look polished. i'm not sure how you'd measure polish in a consideration like usability. appreciation of usability probably depends a lot on personal preference.

bobbybobington
March 15th, 2008, 08:28 PM
Ubuntu needs maybe some visual polish imo. The grub screen if dual booting is unacceptable (http://www.funnestra.org/ubuntu/grub.png), openSuSE (http://shots.osdir.com/slideshows/836/1.gif) is a lot better in this regard. Flashing the command line when shutting off also needs to fixed, the average user usually equates seeing white text and black (or blue or red lol) background with some kind of error, and scares the crap out of them. This is also not acceptable, and really can hurt a users impression of ubuntu, considering a lot of people are skeptical ubuntu.

popch
March 15th, 2008, 09:02 PM
Yes, Ubuntu does have a few rough edges. Some of those, from off the top of the head:

- Icons in Gnome's top panel sometimes not properly aligned
- Fonts hard to read
- Delays between clicking and showing of 'busy' cursor
- Lengthy delay when checking file system every n-th time (20<n<35)
- Non-intuitive placement of entries in System/Preferences and System/Administrative tasks
- Questionably design decisions concerning visual appearance
- Unability of some applications to use files on network drives unless the drives are mounted

There are probably more rough edges. I use Ubuntu anyway. I don't mind a few rough edges when the system is structurally sound. Which not all OSs are.

billgoldberg
March 15th, 2008, 09:51 PM
Yes, Ubuntu does have a few rough edges. Some of those, from off the top of the head:

- Icons in Gnome's top panel sometimes not properly aligned
- Fonts hard to read
- Delays between clicking and showing of 'busy' cursor
- Lengthy delay when checking file system every n-th time (20<n<35)
- Non-intuitive placement of entries in System/Preferences and System/Administrative tasks
- Questionably design decisions concerning visual appearance
- Unability of some applications to use files on network drives unless the drives are mounted

There are probably more rough edges. I use Ubuntu anyway. I don't mind a few rough edges when the system is structurally sound. Which not all OSs are.

Yeah, the default design (gtk theme, icon theme and wallpaper) don't do very well with most people.

I have no problems with the default fonts.

Bruce H. McCosar
March 15th, 2008, 10:08 PM
I use Kubuntu; it feels very polished. Transparent, actually. I can do what I want to do without worrying about how to work around the OS. Usually, Kubuntu anticipates the common needs and has some already-streamlined shortcut.

Can't beat that with any sort of polish.

Windows, on the other hand -- good lord. I am forced to use it at work. Most of the time, my desktop icons don't even have icon images. Programs load at approximately the same speed as a constipated donkey trying to pass a petrified ham sandwich it accidentally ingested.

CaptainCabinet
March 15th, 2008, 10:22 PM
In fact, i'd say the opposite was true. Ubuntu feels very polished for me, and clearly something that Canocial pay particular attention to :KS

Agreed. Considering Ubuntu is made by volunteers and is completely free they've done a pretty good job.

Vadi
March 15th, 2008, 10:25 PM
Yes. There are things that could be improved.

vexorian
March 15th, 2008, 11:49 PM
By this, I mean things like the system menu (with several very similar choices), or glimpses of bash in the background if logging off, etc. Also, I feel forced to use beta versions of software to get a fast/more functional system (e.g using Firefox Betas to reduce the monumental lag when scrolling/changing tabs). This use of cutting edge software leads to lots of crashes, which can be a pain.

On the other hand, this is unfair due to proprietary drivers (ATI/AMD, gah!). One thing I'd really like to see is being able to use compiz and a 3D program without crashing X - is this only a bug of XGL? Looking at Vista and OSX, they both have composited environments but there's no problem with running 3D apps. I think one of the reasons why this works so well is because there is little compositing for Vista, and so when it temporarily disables it for fullscreen apps, there's barely any difference. If you did the same thing using AWN, you'd get a nasty black bar behind it.

AWN is not a part of ubuntu. I really have not experienced any crash whatsoever with compiz, so it looks like your 3d card is the one that's not polished enough.

Also, of course ubuntu looks unpolished to me, it actually screams "lack of polish", of course, it is not like the current incarnations of "windows" or "OS/X" aren't unpolished hells themselves.

ljpp
March 15th, 2008, 11:52 PM
In terms of visual aspects, I find Ubuntu very rough and unpolished. To be honest, it is ugly. I know that after tinkering with themes, icons, window decorations and other settings it can look amazing, but the out of the box experience should be much better to attract newbies. It is no accident that Apple has put huge effort on the visual appearance of OSX.

In terms of visual appearance out-of-the-box Ubuntu loses hands down to:
- Mandriva
- openSUSE
- Fedora
- PCLOS
- Mint
... To mention just a few.

I have to wonder why Ubuntu/Canonical is taking this approach, since after all it would be a minor task to decorate Ubuntu and derivates with much more appealing visual settings.

Sam Lars
March 15th, 2008, 11:52 PM
...it is not like the current incarnations of "windows" or "OS/X" aren't unpolished hells themselves.

I guess it depends what you mean by polish... Vista looks really polished, but the repeated confirmations and lack of freedom get old really fast. Seen a few issues, but nothing major...

vexorian
March 15th, 2008, 11:56 PM
I guess it depends what you mean by polish... Vista looks really polished, but the repeated confirmations and lack of freedom get old really fast. Seen a few issues, but nothing major...


All what I see in vista is a dark taskbar and exaggerated visual effects on window titles. That's not polish.




In terms of visual aspects, I find Ubuntu very rough and unpolished. To be honest, it is ugly. I know that after tinkering with themes, icons, window decorations and other settings it can look amazing, but the out of the box experience should be much better to attract newbies. It is no accident that Apple has put huge effort on the visual appearance of OSX.
Aw please, not again, not another self proclaimed authority of what's a good default look, arggh...

Sam Lars
March 16th, 2008, 12:02 AM
All what I see in vista is a dark taskbar and exaggerated visual effects on window titles. That's not polish.

Agreed, but there were a lot of changes to the interface. In System Properties, for example. Everything is liked together. The Start Menu has more of a Deskbar look. Etc.

bruce89
March 16th, 2008, 12:16 AM
For ****'s sake, even the logout dialogue wasn't centred until I fixed it. It was a one liner even.

Redrazor39
March 16th, 2008, 12:21 AM
HELL YES IT'S UNPOLISHED!!!!!!!1111!11!!11!!!!ONE!1!!!!1EXCLAMAT ION POINT !!!!1!!!!!





You people seems to say "polish" just means looks. This is by no means true. "Polish" includes looks, but also means ease-of-use, how hard it is to figure something out, and how well (meaning fast, easy, and at least somewhat understandably) things work. Ubuntu is not polished compared to other "top of the line" software, which is where it should be. It should be the portal that takes non-Geeks to Linux and shows them a better world while beating commercial software at it's own game.

Look at Macs. I'm seriously considering going Mac because they seem to really do it right. Software works together, which may not be possible here, but at least it works fast, easily, and isn't hard to learn how to use. The UI is friendly looking and calming. This is the kind of thing we need.

Under the hood, Ubuntu ownz! Even more speed and hardware support wouldn't hurt, though.

drbraniac
March 16th, 2008, 12:47 AM
I agree with Redrazor39; "polish" isn't limited to aesthetics. Overall, Ubuntu does feel a bit unpolished from time to time, but it doesn't take away too much from the desktop experience.

Ubuntu is what ultimately convinced me to switch fully to Linux because of its software "polish." I really appreciated the Add/Remove feature in Feisty (the first Ubuntu version I used); it was, to me, a "polished" way to manage apps on Linux. What I'm getting at is that fresh, clean installs of Ubuntu are..fresh, clean installs/pretty polished. When I upgraded to Gutsy, well...problems abound. There were more problems than I envisioned, so the upgrade process seemed a bit unpolished (might just my own fault, though). :P

As for Hardware compatibility, Ubuntu is polished enough to work well on three different systems on my house, but of course, it's not without its problems.

Aesthetically, I think Ubuntu's default is becoming more polished but does feel a tad bit unpolished sometimes. Don't get me wrong, I just cannot work with too much orange. (I prefer the default blue-whiteish scheme of Clearlooks, myself). But that's what themes are for, yes?

bruce89
March 16th, 2008, 12:50 AM
Warty was called Warty for a reason. I don't think update-manager even existed. In other words, things are a lot better these days.

clanky
March 16th, 2008, 12:52 AM
I have only just started using ubuntu and I was expecting a much less polished product.

I would say that visually Ubuntu is as polished if not more so than Windows, being used to Windows there are some areas which seem less polished (like the terminal), but having read a few posts on here about using the terminal I am starting to think that the terminal may actually be more polished than windows control panel, just in a different way.

bruce89
March 16th, 2008, 01:02 AM
being used to Windows there are some areas which seem less polished (like the terminal)

I don't see how a terminal is not polished. It's neccessary on a UNIX type machine. It's a lot easier to tell someone to execute a certain command as opposed to navigate a convoluted collection of GUI elements.

popch
March 16th, 2008, 08:22 AM
I am starting to think that the terminal may actually be more polished than windows control panel, just in a different way.

To be fair, you would rather compare the 'terminal' with the 'command window', and the several 'control panels' and settings/preferences dialogs to Windows's control panel. You could then proceed to compare the various configuration files in Linux with the registry in Windows.

SomeGuyDude
March 16th, 2008, 08:41 AM
OpenSUSE always felt incredibly polished to me. Ubuntu, not so much. I have no idea why that is.

Mint NEVER felt polished to me, even Daryna. I'm still giving it the ol' college try, but it really felt to me like a fan-made custom port of Ubuntu.