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Thread: ARTICLE: My Desktop Is Changing

  1. #1
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    Post ARTICLE: My Desktop Is Changing

    The Growing Pains Of An Evolving Desktop
    Written by 1ROXTAR

    Hello to everyone in Linux land. As you know by now, Ubuntu 11.10 codenamed Oneric Ocelot, has been released into the wild since October 13th. There have been many changes since 11.04 made it's controversial debut featuring Unity as the default desktop, instead of the standard Gnome. This has continued with Oneric, with the biggest factor being that the traditional Classic Gnome 2x will no longer be available, as the new fall back will be the newly refined and integrated Unity 2D.

    This release has added a lot of spit and polish with a lot of work going into Unity and, in my opinion, is looking like a beautiful and efficient desktop. The dash is coming along with elegance and integrated with Scopes and Lenses, making finding applications easier and quicker. So much has already been written about it's features that I will include the release notes because my goal is to tackle other issues with this particular blog.

    UBUNTU 11.10 RELEASE NOTES:
    https://wiki.ubuntu.com/OneiricOcelot/ReleaseNotes

    I have been following the Ubuntu 11.10 development process through the Alpha releases and continually updating all the way through until the final release, filing bug reports, participating in forum discussions and reading through many blogs. One thing that I have noticed consistently is that since Ubuntu 11.04 debuted with Unity as the default environment, there has been nothing but grumbling and Ubuntu bashing everywhere. You cannot read through Linux forums without coming across many threads entitled, “Goodbye Ubuntu”, “Going to KDE...XFCE...LXDE...etc” or the proverbial, “That's It I'm Moving To Arch”.

    As I have stated in another blog, whenever some new adopters post that they love Ubuntu with Unity, they are greeted with much disdain by power users who hate having their customizations limited and locked down by default. This is where all the chagrin is stemming from. In previous versions, Ubuntu used the standard Gnome 2x or “Classic” desktop by default. What made the 2x series so popular was that you could tweak and customize it to your heart's galore. I, personally, was one who enjoyed making my desktop more unique than the next guy by adding various themes, indicators, docks and widgets. I can understand the root of those strong feelings because our desktops became an extension of our own individualities. Linux is about choice. Take that away and you get your hand bitten off.

    Now we come to 2011 and the Linux desktop horizon is changing with the rise of smartphones and tablets. As our data becomes more mobile, developers are working to synchronize everything we use and need across all platforms, from your phones and tablets to your laptop and desktop computers. It is believed that by having a unified interface, it will help users avoid confusion and create a productive synergy. As handheld platforms are quickly becoming the dominant tools for accessing data, computer operating systems are following suit.

    Take a look at the the two major platforms, Apple's OS X and Microsoft's upcoming Windows 8. OS X is quickly adopting an iOS look and feel along with a planned integration of code. Microsoft is taking the Windows Phone 7 Metro tiled interface and adopting it as the default desktop for Windows 8. On the Linux front, we see Gnome dropping the 2x series and replacing it with Gnome 3 and it's new Gnome Shell which looks like it's also moving towards being a touch-centric interface. Ubuntu seems to be going the same route with it's homegrown interface, Unity and cloud technologies.

    Each of these platforms has a very passionate, dedicated user base and community. I believe the major backlash stems from the feeling that these new interfaces and technologies are being forced upon their longtime users with little care as to how they feel or how it affects their productivity and work flow. This is especially felt within the Linux community who came to Linux because of it's freedom to control how their computers work. When you restrict them from their freedoms it stirs the ire that drove them from those other locked down proprietary operating systems. In contrast, Linux distros are built by their communities, even Ubuntu who has a commercial sponsor in Canonical, was built upon the genius of many dedicated programmers and hackers who contribute code with no thought towards monetary gain.

    Nevertheless, change is here. It's everywhere and it's evolving every single day. We are heading into a whole new world of technologies and everything is becoming more integrated on every level. To me, these are very exciting times. In some ways it's frustrating because I want more, but it's also very uncomfortable. Just as I am getting used to something on my computer, a few months later I am having to learn it again. A few things are certain to me, though. As far as Gnome 2 goes, as much as I loved it, it's not coming back. Yes, it may get forked, but so did KDE 3. Where is it now? Only a handful use it today, but the majority learned to adopt and enjoy KDE 4.5 and onwards. It's a technology that stirred up controversy, but as it matured has settled in nicely. Gnome 3 and Unity were very disruptive because the changes came at the same time, with nothing familiar to fall back on. The big distros are moving forward with Gnome 3 and Ubuntu with Unity. With one more cycle all their derivatives will have make the tough choice and move forward too.

    It may seem like we are living in a Star Trek:TNG episode and the cybernetic Borg are declaring that “resistance is futile” but assimilation doesn't have to mean dealing with a grim future. After all, we still have our Linux and because it's open source, there will always be a freedom that goes beyond the “free as in beer”. On a personal note, my hope is that Canonical will not forget the user base that made Ubuntu so popular, while in pursuit of the 200 million users goal. I say, meet us in the middle. I'm sure we can accept whatever defaults, so long as we can still make our computers extensions of our individualities again. To the Linux community I ask, if you do not like Unity or Gnome Shell, or any other desktop environment, use the one that suits you and tell the world how great it is. Stop the tearing down and trolling if someone else likes one that is different. As Mark Mckenna once said, “Taste is subjective and may very well change with time.”
    My Personal Blog: http://1roxtar.blogspot.com Latest Blog: HOW MUCH DO YOU LINUX?.

    My Ubuntu 12.10 Quantal Quetzal Testing Rig:
    Dell Dimension E521, AMD64 Athlon X2, 5 Gigs of RAM, Nvidia Geforce 9500 GT video card.

  2. #2
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    Re: ARTICLE: My Desktop Is Changing

    That sure was an article.

  3. #3
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    Re: ARTICLE: My Desktop Is Changing

    Quote Originally Posted by 1roxtar View Post
    It is believed that by having a unified interface, it will help users avoid confusion and create a productive synergy. As handheld platforms are quickly becoming the dominant tools for accessing data, computer operating systems are following suit.
    Well, thanks for your opinion, but I recall being told this about thirty years ago and guess what? It didn't happen. It didn't happen then and it won't happen now. And it won't happen ten years from now when marketing shills continue repeating it.

    This is what I dislike the most. All this marketing BS. "You WILL buy this disposable machine because we tell you to." Um... No. I won't.
    Help yourself: Ubuntu Docs - Ubuntu Packages

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    Re: ARTICLE: My Desktop Is Changing

    Very astute observation(s). I couldn't agree more. =D>

  5. #5
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    Re: ARTICLE: My Desktop Is Changing

    Ya know the whole open source = freedom idea? Well if you don't like the Gnome Shell interface or how it works, then help out! Fork it!

    People seem to think that the Gnome team not making an interface that they like is stepping on their freedom. They're doing the work, this is what they decided to do, and they're working hard to improve upon it. What's with this entitlement attitude where people are swapping out the words "freedom" and "interface".

    I like Gnome Shell personally.

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    Re: ARTICLE: My Desktop Is Changing

    Quote Originally Posted by gsmanners View Post
    Well, thanks for your opinion, but I recall being told this about thirty years ago and guess what? It didn't happen. It didn't happen then and it won't happen now.
    Could you please add a little more cynicism to the negativity for a better all around balance to YOUR opinion?

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    Re: ARTICLE: My Desktop Is Changing

    Quote Originally Posted by NadirPoint View Post
    Could you please add a little more cynicism to the negativity for a better all around balance to YOUR opinion?
    Okay.

    Grr. Doubletalking marketspeak BAD!!!
    Help yourself: Ubuntu Docs - Ubuntu Packages

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    Re: ARTICLE: My Desktop Is Changing

    Quote Originally Posted by Legendary_Bibo View Post
    Ya know the whole open source = freedom idea? Well if you don't like the Gnome Shell interface or how it works, then help out! Fork it!
    I just read an article that Linux Mint with "version 12 of the Ubuntu-based Linux distribution will still continue to support GNOME 2.32 as its default desktop in the standard edition of the OS. Code-named "Lisa", it will be based on the recent 11.10 "Oneiric Ocelot" release of Ubuntu". Plus they plan to work closely with the MATE project which is trying to fork the Gnome 2 desktop. With the support of a popular distro like Linux Mint, the possibilities for the future of this desktop environment looks very promising indeed.

    http://www.h-online.com/open/news/it...s-1362441.html
    My Personal Blog: http://1roxtar.blogspot.com Latest Blog: HOW MUCH DO YOU LINUX?.

    My Ubuntu 12.10 Quantal Quetzal Testing Rig:
    Dell Dimension E521, AMD64 Athlon X2, 5 Gigs of RAM, Nvidia Geforce 9500 GT video card.

  9. #9
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    Re: ARTICLE: My Desktop Is Changing

    Shameless Bump.
    My Personal Blog: http://1roxtar.blogspot.com Latest Blog: HOW MUCH DO YOU LINUX?.

    My Ubuntu 12.10 Quantal Quetzal Testing Rig:
    Dell Dimension E521, AMD64 Athlon X2, 5 Gigs of RAM, Nvidia Geforce 9500 GT video card.

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