On Natty Narwhal
Posted by Eitan Tue, 03 May 2011 23:26:00 GMT
I don't get it.
Everyone's talking about how Ubuntu 11.04 is a radical departure from Gnome 2.x because of Unity.
I beg to differ.
Before Natty Narwhal, I was using Gnome-do. After having upgraded to Natty, I still am. I was using google-chrome and firefox, and today I still am. Gmail still looks the same. Gnome-terminal is the same old app. Gedit is the same old app. So are nautilus, and evolution. So are eclipse, git, etc..
As far as I can tell, what's different (aside from the usual version upgrades across the board) are:
- the removal of the disfunctional menus in the gnome panel
- the addition of that annoying dock on the left hand side.
Docks never worked. They don't work for apple either, where anyone with half a brain switched to quicksilver or a derivative thereof as soon as they were introduced.
Compiz is still there, but you're forced to use the 2d multi-desktop thing instead of the cube, which I liked better. I don't care enough about this to bother to customize compiz back to using the desktop cube effect. Interesting how this feature now much more resembles apple's tack on multiple desktops.
Two more differences:
- Ubuntu also copied the 'move the menu out of the window' idea from apple, which I personally have always disliked.
- Scrollbars widget and rendering are unique. I really like what Ubuntu did there. I love them miniscule scrollbar indicators.
My point is there's no significant difference to the way I work. Just minor tweaks to the UI I suppose, though I'm sure the amount of work to achieve these tweaks was monumental, which in my opinion indicates that the way desktops are designed today is overly complex.
Overall, I'm happy to see Ubuntu depart from the Gnome desktop. And I so very much appreciate how they've taken over the stewardship of maintaining and evolving the Linux desktop. Because the Linux desktop needed someone who cares like Ubuntu does. And I so look forward to the changes coming down the line: Wayland. Not that I know or understand much about X to start with. And looking back, I'm grateful to all the folks who worked on evolving the ext file system and gave us ext4. Ditto for grub and evolving the boot loader.
Ubuntu, and open-source community: thank you for everything you've done. I look forward to perhaps some day having a desktop that's designed simply and beautifully, one that's easy to customize and extend with my favorite language bindings.