Linked by Howard Fosdick on Tue 2nd Jul 2013 21:04 UTC
Editorial Like many of you, I've been watching the big changes in user interfaces over the past few years, trying to make sense of them all. Is there a common explanation for the controversies surrounding the Windows 8 UI and Unity? Where do GNOME 3, KDE, Cinnamon, and MATE fit in? This article offers one view.
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Ubuntu Unity
by reduz on Tue 2nd Jul 2013 21:47 UTC
reduz
Member since:
2006-02-25

I honestly don't think Ubuntu Unity is that bad, and not really understand all the backslash against it.

Gnome was going to discontinue 2.x anyway so they really had no choice.

Unity is almost identical to OSX and Win7, save for two main differences, the global menu (which is horrible and you can disable), and the fact that tasks are laid out vertically instead of horizontally, (which to this day I simply don't understand why you can't move to the bottom, but got used to it anyway).

Gnome3, in contrast, is way more different. You even need to go to a separate screen to switch tasks.

So, what's wrong exactly with Ubuntu Unity?

Edited 2013-07-02 21:48 UTC

Reply Score: 5

RE: Ubuntu Unity
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Tue 2nd Jul 2013 22:06 in reply to "Ubuntu Unity"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

The whole built in amazon advertisements thing was kind of a put off for me. But I really don't use Ubuntu for two reasons:

1) It didn't like my desktop's dvd drive.

2) KDE 4 is too awesome to give up*.


*kubuntu always had a reputation for not being very good for kde desktops. Plus it may die off in the not too future distance because of mir.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE: Ubuntu Unity
by dusanyu on Tue 2nd Jul 2013 22:11 in reply to "Ubuntu Unity"
dusanyu Member since:
2006-01-21

Unity has a couple major sins that makes me say no to it.

1 While I do not mind global menu fits law bad all that jazz I hate the fact that it vanishes do not remove vital controls from the screen it is off putting.

2 said menus consistancy most apps have the standard file edit tools layout the new nautilus and a couple othe apps it is now all filed as a single menu when you click the applications name this also stinks

3 the Ubuntu dictatorship at one time unity's launcher was able to dodge windows the poweres that be decided they did not like that behavior so they removed it completely and said F you to users that liked it.

Lastly the dash is inconsistent and now riddled with spyware.


Lastly to vent my spleen at "modern UI" in general it is all too large by default with the tools removed so you have to rely on a third party tool or a configurations file hack to set it to a decent size.

sorry butt thesis silly on a desktop computer I want my screen real estate to display information not oversized widget cruft.

Edited 2013-07-02 22:19 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Ubuntu Unity
by Drumhellar on Wed 3rd Jul 2013 00:15 in reply to "Ubuntu Unity"
Drumhellar Member since:
2005-07-12

What bugs me most about Unity is being unable to move the dock bar to the right side of the screen, or any where else for that matter.

Well, that, and the global menu bar makes focus-follows-mouse worthless, since my apps lose focus when I go to the bar.

So, I use KDE, which has none of these issues.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: Ubuntu Unity
by reduz on Wed 3rd Jul 2013 00:55 in reply to "RE: Ubuntu Unity"
reduz Member since:
2006-02-25

Yeah, honestly I think kind of stupid to not allow users to move the dock around. At this point I haven't heard one single argument favoring it.

I do recognize that you can get used to it on the left side fine and it works fine, but it's probably far more important to make users that come from another OS feel at home instead of alienating them.

At this point, Shuttleworth seems more focused on the product than on it's user base, but that can't last forever and at some point he will have to start worrying about pleasing it's supporters again to get more of a following, or Ubuntu will fade to irrelevance.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Ubuntu Unity
by Naomi on Wed 3rd Jul 2013 11:30 in reply to "RE: Ubuntu Unity"
Naomi Member since:
2013-05-27

This. This is the reason I use GNOME 3. The asymmetry of Unity drives me nuts. Every time I think I've gotten used to it, I try a more symmetrical DE, and it feels like such a relief.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Ubuntu Unity
by UltraZelda64 on Wed 3rd Jul 2013 02:33 in reply to "Ubuntu Unity"
UltraZelda64 Member since:
2006-12-05

I originally hated Unity--and I'll make it clear, I don't use it or have any intention of using it and I'm still not pleased with it--but these days it seems tolerable. And by tolerable, I just mean that after the GNOME project and Microsoft managed to drop something even worse upon us, it's hard for Unity to be much worse (those guys really set the bar low...).

Canonical has really improved it a lot since its early days as well; that was another problem, they released it before it was done and actually ready. Now, if they'd just remove (or even just disable) the spyware/adware lens(es) by default... that's its major problem now from what I can tell. I'm still not too fond of Unity's resource usage though... it's a hog.

Anyway... I've actually been experimenting with the i3 window manager for the last few days. And actually... it's pretty nice. Took a bit of getting used to, though.

Edited 2013-07-03 02:35 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Ubuntu Unity
by M.Onty on Wed 3rd Jul 2013 11:14 in reply to "RE: Ubuntu Unity"
M.Onty Member since:
2009-10-23

... It's hard for Unity to be much worse (those guys really set the bar low...)


According to the above comments, they made it impossible to set the bar low ...

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Ubuntu Unity
by intangible on Wed 3rd Jul 2013 04:30 in reply to "Ubuntu Unity"
intangible Member since:
2005-07-06

Unity was forced into a release too early, had a lot of rough edges, ESPECIALLY multi-monitor setups...
I went with Xfce for about a year afterwards.

I recently went back to Unity though, most of the rough edges have been ironed out since the early iterations and I quite like it now.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Ubuntu Unity
by UltraZelda64 on Wed 3rd Jul 2013 04:52 in reply to "RE: Ubuntu Unity"
UltraZelda64 Member since:
2006-12-05

Unity was forced into a release too early, had a lot of rough edges, ESPECIALLY multi-monitor setups...

Totally agree. That seems to be a common problem with Ubuntu and Fedora; to quick to jump on untested software for actual releases. It's understandable for Fedora given its role as a test bed for Red Hat, but it's inexcusable for Ubuntu and is only done because Canonical is so hell-bent on reinventing wheels and doing things differently than everyone else, while trying to capture the most users. Oh well... at least Ubuntu's *.04 releases, especially the LTS ones, are usually decent. Usually. Every other release (typically versioned/dated *.10) is usually crap and highly experimental in my experience.

Edited 2013-07-03 04:55 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Ubuntu Unity
by Delgarde on Wed 3rd Jul 2013 04:49 in reply to "Ubuntu Unity"
Delgarde Member since:
2008-08-19

Gnome3, in contrast, is way more different. You even need to go to a separate screen to switch tasks.


It's not as big a deal as people make it sounds. For starters, if you tend to use the keyboard a lot, there's little difference - alt-tab to switch tasks, C+A+arrows to move between virtual desktops, etc.

If you use the mouse, you can click on other windows if they're visible - otherwise you just flick the mouse to the corner, the windows shrink and re-arrange to show you what's there, and you click on the one you want. It's not really a separate screen - it's like an animation view on the existing one.

Really, launching apps is the only thing that's really different, and then, only for apps you don't pinned to the sidebar.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Ubuntu Unity
by reduz on Sun 7th Jul 2013 09:37 in reply to "RE: Ubuntu Unity"
reduz Member since:
2006-02-25


If you use the mouse, you can click on other windows if they're visible - otherwise you just flick the mouse to the corner, the windows shrink and re-arrange to show you what's there, and you click on the one you want.


I'm counting about 10 apps open at the moment, many look similar (pidgin/xchat/terminal). Sometimes I just go do something quick in the terminal and go back to the IDE, or check irc briefly.

In a regular desktop, you can automate this task mentally very easilly, just go click the app icon.

On Gnome 3, you need to think and figure out which of the windows that look similar is the one you want, each time. It is clearly more bothersome, without any need for it. I can understand some users might be fine and fit their workflow to it, but it is clearly not for everyone.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Ubuntu Unity
by tkeith on Wed 3rd Jul 2013 10:20 in reply to "Ubuntu Unity"
tkeith Member since:
2010-09-01

I'm right there with you. I originally hated Unity, mainly because they rolled it out over netbook remix which I loved so much. But over time I grew to like it, and have even moved my Windows taskbar to the left at work. It's a better use of screen space and Windows 7s button style task switcher is better suited to the side of the screen IMO.

On a similar note I used KDE 4.0 from the start and loved it. I switched to Unity because Kubuntu had various issues.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Ubuntu Unity
by Soulbender on Wed 3rd Jul 2013 18:01 in reply to "Ubuntu Unity"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

So, what's wrong exactly with Ubuntu Unity?


Nothing or everything, depending on if you like it or not. It's highly subjective really even though some people like to think otherwise.
Me? Despite some minor niggles I really like it.

I can't say I'm that fond of gnome3 but it's an interesting development.

Can't say anything about Windows 8 because I haven't used it. Probably won't use it either for some time, not because I have something against the interface but because I have no use for Windows (other than to play the occasional game).

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Ubuntu Unity
by bassbeast on Thu 4th Jul 2013 15:58 in reply to "Ubuntu Unity"
bassbeast Member since:
2007-11-11

Meh while I almost never agree with SJVN this is one place where he and I agree 100% in that they ALL suck nowadays and I also agree on the why...cellphones.

http://www.zdnet.com/blog/open-source/new-desktop-interface-flops/9...

It seems like all these OSes are trying to be jacks of all trades and as we have seen time and time again what works on a 7 inch tablet does NOT work equally well on a 27 inch widescreen, but as long as these "pundits" (personally I call them professional idiots) keep screaming "ZOMG its all gonna be cellphones and appstores ZOMG" you'll continue to see these UI designers make giant ugly messes because "Its gotta look and act like a smartphone dammit!".

Call me weird but I want a desktop that behaves like a desktop and a smartphone that behaves like a smartphone, i DO NOT WANT "one device to rule them all" and all this jamming cellphone appstores and UIs into non cellphones just turns me right off the product.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Ubuntu Unity
by eco2geek on Sun 7th Jul 2013 05:18 in reply to "Ubuntu Unity"
eco2geek Member since:
2009-09-23

> Unity is almost identical to OSX and Win7

I can't speak to OS X, but Unity is in no way identical to Win7. Win7 has no global menu. It has nothing even close to resembling the dash (which, IMO, is the clunkiest part of Unity). It has no "HUD." Its minimize, maximize, and close buttons are where they've always been. Its bottom bar is much closer to KDE's in layout and in functionality than Unity's. It has a hierarchical, searchable "Start" menu.

And that's a good thing. If Win7 were like Unity, I would never have bought it. Actually, Win8 is more like Unity, and I have no plans to upgrade.

What's so bad about Unity? It's clunky and it gets in your way.

I've been trying for some time to think of a real-world mechanical object that has a UI that's as clunky as Unity's, but have been unable to. Anyone have any suggestions?

Reply Parent Score: 1