Linked by Eugenia Loli on Sun 22nd Apr 2007 07:38 UTC
Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu "Ubuntu 7.04 (Feisty Fawn) arrived just a few days ago with promises of better hardware compatibility, included proprietary software and drivers, and more user friendliness. Was it wort the wait? And more importantly - Is it finally time to "Make the Switch"?" Read the review here. Elsewhere, "First thoughts on Ubuntu 7.04 Feisty Fawn" was published at ZDNet. Update: A reply article to the two linked above.
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Time to switch? I don't think so
by Polari on Sun 22nd Apr 2007 07:51 UTC
Polari
Member since:
2006-02-24

Ubuntu is still woefully unpolished. It's definitely an improvement over the last release, but Feisty still falls well short of a passing grade.

Would Apple ship an operating system where one menu has two mismatching "information" icons? (right-click the network icon in the system tray and you'll see what I mean). Icons system-wide are a complete and utter muddle, and have been for far, far too long.

"Desktop Effects" is embarrassingly broken and simply shouldn't have been shipped. Turning them on shouldn't result in black windows under any circumstances. My Samsung monitor's 1440x900 resolution wasn't detected out-of-the-box and I had to resort to manually editing xorg.conf to get it working correctly. The fonts in OpenOffice.org are rendered differently to the way they're rendered by GTK+, and have been for two releases now.

Does Ubuntu do a lot right? Yes. Do they do enough right? No.

Reply Score: 5

Terracotta Member since:
2005-08-15

A lot of desktop-effects depend on the drivers. i.e. I have noticed that no Nvidia drivers (repo version or official nvidia version) work for my 7900GS, while they all worked for my 6800card.
It's indeed strange that (K)ubuntu is like the only distribution that doesn't detect resolution automatically, even the new stable debian detects it. But well, that's like the only flaw I could detect, don't have the problem of inconsistent icons because I use Kubuntu which has different icon themes.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Eugenia Member since:
2005-06-28

I don't like the Human icons either. Ubuntu must switch to Tango which are much more "clean".

Reply Parent Score: 2

netpython Member since:
2005-07-06

I don't like the Human icons either. Ubuntu must switch to Tango which are much more "clean".

you can easily switch to an alternate icon theme after install if you see fit.

Reply Parent Score: 5

sledgehammer89 Member since:
2006-02-02

And what's the problem? Then please choose Tango or Tangerine or whatever you want.
Btw, Human looks nice compared to Tango... ;)

Reply Parent Score: 3

raver31 Member since:
2005-07-06

Click on System>Preferences>Theme and change away.
This is not Windows you are talking about!

Reply Parent Score: 3

christianhgross Member since:
2005-11-15

Saying Ubuntu is woefully unpolished is being a bit harsh. Are there problems in Ubuntu? Yeah, but there are in Windows, and OSX as well. No operating system, nor hardware maker is 100% right on the money. These days I find hardware and software is a crap shot. Sometimes you win, and sometimes you loose.

The key is to recognize that things are a crap shot and move beyond that! For example I have OSX horror stories, and while I could bitch about how bad Apple is my end result is that I lost with Apple. Will it stop me from buying Apple? Sure! But do I think Apple is a garbage producer? No as I know plenty of people are happy with OSX, I just don't happen to be one of them. And this is why I am happy with Linux (Ubuntu) and Windows as they tend to solve my problems...

Reply Parent Score: 5

Dirge Member since:
2005-07-14

I am unhappy that it cant properly support hardware like my 7 year old Intelli Mouse Explorer or Geforece2 Pro. The mouse has buttons that just don't function under Ubuntu and my gfx card wont go higher that 800x600 with the new restricted driver. Back to Windows for me.

Reply Parent Score: 4

biteydog Member since:
2005-10-06

It sounds from your post as if you chose the newer nvidia driver - I have had no such problems with the "legacy" driver recommended for older cards.

Personally I dislike multibutton (more than 3) mice, but can't they be setup? Kubuntu has the KDE configurator - don't know on Gnome.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Chris Member since:
2005-09-28

q The fonts in OpenOffice.org are rendered differently to the way they're rendered by GTK+, and have been for two releases now. q/

The fonts look perfect in Kubuntu 7.04 but not in Ubuntu.
The same with firefox.
KDE does a better job in rendering fonts.
This used to be the other way around for years..

Reply Parent Score: 4

slight Member since:
2006-09-10

Sounds like you have KDE installed on an Ubuntu install or vice versa. KDE f--ks up the Gnome font settings with the changes it makes to ~/.fonts. Try removing that then restarting Gnome.

Reply Parent Score: 1

mat69 Member since:
2006-03-29

To add a few things I encountered:

System monitor's CPU ussage is very high here (it jumps constantly from 5% to 20%), yet I can not turn of the "beautiful" anti-aliased lines so that it uses less resources. And if I start it the first time it is upset, so that the numbers on the y-axis are unreadable --> looks very unprofessional.

Same goes for the chess programm, it is very slow - maybe it uses svg for chess pieces. Yet there is also no way to use a faster method.

Maybe these programs would use less resources, if I was able to run not only in VESA.

Reply Parent Score: 2

ple_mono Member since:
2005-07-26

Maybe these programs would use less resources, if I was able to run not only in VESA.

That, my friend, is your problem. You get close to no accelerated video output with VESA, so your CPU has to do all the work your GPU normally does...

Reply Parent Score: 3

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

The fonts in OpenOffice.org are rendered differently to the way they're rendered by GTK+, and have been for two releases now.


File a bug. From OpenOffice 2.1.x this should not happen.

Font rendering in OpenOffice 2.1.x on my gentoo box renders font completely the same way as all other GTK+ apps (and QT3 apps) in Gnome. OO.o 2.0.x was somewhat ugly including bad kerning, but this has all been fixed with OO.o 2.1.x and 2.2.x

Reply Parent Score: 2

pcdoctor Member since:
2007-03-05

Few ppl are switching entirely. Ubu is cute and getting cuter,
but is not ready for ppl to make a definitive switch, fer real.
Like most ppl, I'll keep a foot in both camps for years and years, yet!

Reply Parent Score: 1

archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

Ubuntu is still woefully unpolished.


That is a misleading exaggeration. Ubuntu is quite polished, though there are still areas where improvement is needed...but to say that a distro is not worth switching because of icons? I'm sorry, but I have a hard time taking this seriously.

Was your monitor's resolution still not detected correctly after you installed the proprietary drivers?

Reply Parent Score: 5

archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

Was your monitor's resolution still not detected correctly after you installed the proprietary drivers?


Replying to myself as it appears the the Nvidia screen resolution issues are in fact a bug:

https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/linux-restricted-modules-2...

This is kinda bad, as many people are affected (strangely, for once it paid off to have an ATI card, as I didn't have any of these problems).

I hope this gets sorted out quickly. In the meantime, it is suggested to use the "nv" driver if you need the correct resolution (at the expense of 3D accel, however...)

Reply Parent Score: 4

Alleister Member since:
2006-05-29

Saying it is "woefully unpolished" because the default iconset isn't very nice must be the most stupid argument i have heard so far.

Reply Parent Score: 3

murloc Member since:
2007-03-12

Woefully unpolished, yes unfortunately.
The big problem as I see it is that the typical Linux user doesn't seem to care about things like polish, design and professional looks. So the maintainers of Ubuntu or any other distro probably won't change in this regard. I really like Linux - under the hood. I just wish it would look really good out of the box, but like I said, I have this feeling that most users don't care. Or, even worse, actually say things like Gnome looks good out of the box etc.

Reply Parent Score: 3

ssa2204 Member since:
2006-04-22

I think murloc is very correct in that a lot of Linux users are not concerned with the polish, design, and looks as long as they are using a non-MS OS. It is like in an article I read a while back about BSD that described Linux users as people that use Linux because they hate Microsoft. Ubuntu does fill a basic need in that it is a entry level non-MS OS for people to use who do not wish to use MS. The problem is that the zealot crowd fails to understand what non-geeks like or want. And they have spoken

I personally do not foresee Linux as a threat on the desktop for some time, it just is not there. And it is quite possible someone or something else will come along and be the "it" OS in a few years, surpassing Linux as the desktop replacement. When you consider what Apple did by designing an OS from the ground based on BSD it shows that with motivation, the *nix OS can be used. Problem is, Linux is just NOT the OS for the masses, and it still is no way close to being there. Many of the geek features of Linux are a complete turn off to non-geeks. Even more, something that wasn't touched too much in this blog review was this. At present, these distros are adding in technology such as XGL, compiz, beryl etc. that really needs to be left out and tested more. These desktop effects are a disaster. And as this author notes, the average user does not give a damn about the reasons why or any excuses, they just expect things to work. Roll out Linux on a desktop PC for HP or Dell, and give people these results will lead to a complete disaster for Linux.

But then again, I am in the minority who thinks that Linux should just drop this desktop crap all together and focus on it's core where it has found success. As I write this I am conducting a server migration with Linux that I would NEVER be able to do, or at least to do as painlessly, with any Windows server.

Reply Parent Score: 2

butters Member since:
2005-07-08

Different people have different standards. As a developer, I have very high demands for consistency, reliability, and maintainability. A novice might prefer simplicity and usability. Power users, it seems, like nice icons and smooth fonts. To each his own. The free software desktop will have an easier time appealing to the massive population of limited-needs users (including the corporate desktop market) and the strategically important population of developers than it will have attracting (demanding and useless) power users.

My definition of polish is that things work and work together as one would expect. I personally couldn't care less if an icon isn't as nice as it could be as long as it's clear what the icon is supposed to represent. I know there's a whole slew of people working on Tango, Oxygen, and other icon projects, and while I wouldn't mind some more attractive icons, I think there's way more important "polish" issues to be ironed out.

I'd like these X resolution detection bugs to go away and never come back. I've been editing XF86Config and xorg.conf for ten years, and it's just embarrassing that we can't lick this one. Xorg 7.3 can't come soon enough, and I hope it lives up to its expectations.

From a desktop perspective, we're currently in between the second and third generations of free software desktop technology. I switched to Linux as my predominant platform at the dawn of the second generation, characterized by the arrival of Mozilla and later OpenOffice. Many more with switch with the third generation, which will be characterized by modular applications and high-level abstractions.

Free software is about participation and network effects. It's still too difficult for power users to contribute to application development. But tools like QtDesigner and PyQt/PyKDE are making free software development accessible to casual programmers and even first-time programmers. Programming is going to become a more universal skill as time goes on, and free software will capitalize on this trend, especially if we keep lowering the barriers and embracing modular development.

We used to get "Hah! Linux is a joke and will never make it on the desktop." Now we get more of a "Sorry geeks, but Linux just isn't there yet and won't be for a long time." I don't see the Linux desktop having a breakout year in 2008, but it will be a damn fine product by that point in time. Some pretty fundamental aspects of the computer industry have to change if Linux rapidly gains marketshare, and that can't happen over night. There's only so much we can do as a community effort with little commercial exposure in the consumer market, and the OEMs and ISVs can only redefine their business models so quickly.

The higher-ups at IBM like to talk about Linux in terms of eventualities with no time frames. Linux will eventually run on the majority of computers. When? Nobody knows. Certainly not this decade, no matter how great the platform evolves over the next couple years. What Linux and the free software desktop need more than any feature, hardware support, or third-party application is time. We just need time to let this era of computing run its course while we continue to improve our platform under low marketshare conditions.

Eventually the market will come around due to some change that's out of our control. Maybe Vista will be the OS that breaks the fat client's back in the corporate space. Maybe politics will intercede (positively or negatively). Maybe personal computing will take on new shapes and sizes. Barring some unforeseen IP law changes, any change in the industry will be good for Linux and bad for Microsoft.

What is really comes down to is who is the thought leader in platform technology. You can lead by being the best, or you can lead by simply putting your ideas out there. One takes money, the other takes time. But if we lead, they'll follow... eventually.

Reply Parent Score: 2