Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 27th Nov 2011 22:07 UTC, submitted by Nooone
Linux So, it's no secret that the Linux desktop - at least, the GNOME-side of things - is a bit in a state of disarray. Unity hasn't exactly gone down well with a lot of people, and GNOME 3, too, hasn't been met with universal praise. So, what to do? Linux Mint, currently one of the most popular Linux distributions out there, thinks they are on to the solution with their latest release, Linux Mint 12.
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Lessons learned
by kurkosdr on Mon 28th Nov 2011 07:49 UTC
kurkosdr
Member since:
2011-04-11

Lesson learned from the Gnome 3 debacle: If you are not a professional UI designer, you may stick into copying (Gnome 2 is a copy of early macs, KDE a copy of Windows)

Lesson learned from the Unity debacle: Make sure you have the resources to make something before you start making it.

Am I the only one who thinks Linux Desktop might actually stand a chance if people kept refining 10.10 (solving the update and break problem, make things better for the developer etc) instead of jerking with new UIs?

Edited 2011-11-28 07:52 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Lessons learned
by B. Janssen on Mon 28th Nov 2011 08:22 in reply to "Lessons learned"
B. Janssen Member since:
2006-10-11

If all you know is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

Reply Parent Score: 3

if all you have is a mallet,
by sPAZbEAT on Wed 30th Nov 2011 05:16 in reply to "RE: Lessons learned"
sPAZbEAT Member since:
2009-07-17

everything looks like a noggin

or a cockroach.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Lessons learned
by juzzlin on Mon 28th Nov 2011 08:37 in reply to "Lessons learned"
juzzlin Member since:
2011-05-06

Am I the only one who thinks Linux Desktop might actually stand a chance if people kept refining 10.10 (solving the update and break problem, make things better for the developer etc) instead of jerking with new UIs?


Come on! Gnome 2 looks like s**t compared to Mac OS X and Windows 7. It matters especially to new users. Unity looks great and brings Linux desktop back to the game. People commenting here just fail to think like average and new users.

Edited 2011-11-28 08:42 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Lessons learned
by jal_ on Mon 28th Nov 2011 08:48 in reply to "RE: Lessons learned"
jal_ Member since:
2006-11-02

Unity looks great


The problem being that it is hell to work with.

Reply Parent Score: 11

RE[2]: Lessons learned
by bert64 on Mon 28th Nov 2011 09:27 in reply to "RE: Lessons learned"
bert64 Member since:
2007-04-23

Looks aren't everything...

Over 10 years ago Linux had Enlightenment which looked much better than anything offered by Apple/MS. I found it nice to look at for a while, and then went back to windowmaker which was simple, fast and usable.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Lessons learned
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Mon 28th Nov 2011 15:12 in reply to "RE: Lessons learned"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

People commenting here just fail to think like average and new users.


That's because we aren't average and new users. And, just maybe, we want an interface that works for us. We shouldn't be criticised for advocating for our use cases.

Typed from my Fedora 16 distro within Gnome 3. Which, by the way is insane. It makes no sense what so ever. However, I'm beginning to question my own sanity because ... it sort works really well with the way I work.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Lessons learned
by joekiser on Mon 28th Nov 2011 21:35 in reply to "RE: Lessons learned"
joekiser Member since:
2005-06-30

Come on! Gnome 2 looks like s**t compared to Mac OS X and Windows 7. It matters especially to new users. Unity looks great and brings Linux desktop back to the game. People commenting here just fail to think like average and new users.


Gnome 2 looks great with the Nimbus theme and Avant window navigator. I don't see how GTK3 or Unity make this any better, since most major apps still use GTK2. FWIW, Firefox, Chrome, and Flash player are planning to default to GTK2 for the next several years. Even Gimp hasn't been ported yet.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Lessons learned
by tonymus on Tue 29th Nov 2011 13:00 in reply to "RE: Lessons learned"
tonymus Member since:
2006-01-15

I must be developmentally-challenged, because I rather like Unity. That said, I hope Canonical can find a middle ground in satisfying both casual desktop users (I'm in that camp) with passionate long-term linux users (a lot of people who post here)...

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Lessons learned
by silviucc on Mon 28th Nov 2011 09:09 in reply to "Lessons learned"
silviucc Member since:
2009-12-05

Actually, Canonical does have the resources to make Unity good, they seem to lack the time. There's also the compiz piece of the puzzle. They have to work on that too.

One year for a project like that is not enough.

I'm currently on 10.04 but also have a seperate HDD for testing new distros. After a few weeks of XFCEs, KDEs and Gnome3s, I came crawling back to my 10.04 desktop.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Lessons learned
by Lennie on Mon 28th Nov 2011 11:27 in reply to "Lessons learned"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

I think the lesson should be:
when you are doing something very new, don't force it on everyone, make it optional.

Keep the old stuff in a working state, GNOME 3 fallback isn't GNOME 2 for example.

Edited 2011-11-28 11:28 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: Lessons learned
by kurkosdr on Mon 28th Nov 2011 12:27 in reply to "RE: Lessons learned"
kurkosdr Member since:
2011-04-11

"when you are doing something very new, don't force it on everyone, make it optional. "

The problem with that would be that the Gnome team would have to maintain Gnome 2 and Gnome 3, aka split manpower between the two DEs (Gnome 2 and Gnome 3). As if there wasn't already enough fragmentation of manpower between different DEs in Linuxland. The correct choice would be not taking such a radical departure from Gnome 2, because quite frankly they are not professional UI designers, so they should be doing evolutionary changes based on experience instead of radical changes based on what they think is right.

As i 've said before, the mess with the DEs in Linux is a bad one. I wish the Mint team the best of luck, but cannot count on it for my computing needs.

Edited 2011-11-28 12:34 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Lessons learned
by Alfman on Mon 28th Nov 2011 18:48 in reply to "RE: Lessons learned"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Lennie,

"I think the lesson should be:
when you are doing something very new, don't force it on everyone, make it optional."

I think you hit upon the biggest gripe of all. Why are linux users being corralled into a UI paradigm that is so rigid and non-customizable? Customisation used to be one of the greatest strengths of running a linux desktop. OSS was undeniably way ahead of either MS/Apple in this aspect. I would hope that gnome3/unity designers had a great compelling reason to completely disregarded this core strength, but from what I can see this tradeoff resulted in only lost functionality with absolutely nothing gained.


Maybe the focal shift away from functional purpose and towards eye candy is a sign of linux's growing mainstream popularity, but like Lennie, I ask why the designers are killing off features instead of incorporating them into gnome3/unity. To this end, I'm thankful for Mint's acknowledgement of the problem and their steps towards patching the UI holes which have cropped up.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Lessons learned
by Luminair on Mon 28th Nov 2011 14:46 in reply to "Lessons learned"
Luminair Member since:
2007-03-30

I don't know if these guys are professional at anything or not.

I want to think of it like this: Are they proven? Creating a new GUI design like GNOME 3 is a big deal that usually doesn't make it out of a person's head. Have these guys had success before, or are they just blowhards like the rest of us, playing in their sandbox?

Reply Parent Score: 2