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Ubuntu 11.10 launch interview- Unity is here to stay

by Gareth Halfacree

Linux User talks to Canonical’s Gerry Carr to get the full low-down on Ubuntu 11.10 ‘Oneric Ocelot’ ahead of its 13th October launch…

Ubuntu 11.10 launch interview- Unity is here to stayGerry Carr is a busy man. As director of communications at Canonical, it’s his job to make sure that everyone knows what to expect from the launch of Ubuntu 11.10 – also known, in classic Ubuntu fashion, by its animal codename Oneiric Ocelot.

“We’re describing it as an iteration rather than a revolution,” Carr explains of the release his company has spent the last six months shepherding towards release. “Really, it’s the first step towards this drive that we have to break down the separation between the operating system and the applications – the legacy of where Ubuntu’s come from – and the cloud, and the Internet, so basically where people get content and applications from outside of their local PCs.”

Carr, previously Canonical’s marketing manager, is used to having to sell Ubuntu releases to the Linux-using public. When he took responsibility for the site back in 2008, he spoke publicly of his desire to demonstrate what could be achieved with truly open tools – something which won him a great deal of respect in the community, even if he admitted to cheating occasionally with a copy of Adobe Photoshop.

Now, as communications director, Carr has the responsibility of keeping the community – and our readership – informed as to the goings-on at Canonical.

Talk us through the major new features of Ubuntu 11.10 ‘Oneiric Ocelot,’ compared to the previous release.

“One of the most significant steps forward is the work we’ve done on this release to the Ubuntu Software Centre. That changed in this release in three ways. First of all, on a basic level, just in the variety and range and the number of applications that we’re making available through the Ubuntu Software Centre now, which will only ramp up significantly across the lifetime of Ubuntu 11.10.

“The other significant step forward, which is a very recent one but we’re already starting to see the benefits from, is the release of Basically, what does is make it much more transparent about how to make an application available on Ubuntu, and at the same time how to develop an application natively for the platform.

“Finally, we’ve done a fair amount of work to make it much more integrated into the Ubuntu experience itself, so for instance if I got to Dash and search for applications, it’ll prompt me with applications that are locally installed and also with applications that are available via the Ubuntu Software Centre. That’s a big step forward we’ve made for Ubuntu 11.10, and I think it will become a more popular yet less visible part of what we’re making available ongoing.”

Ubuntu 11.10 launch interview- Unity is here to stay
“One of the most significant steps forward is the work we've done on this release to the Ubuntu Software Centre.”

When Ubuntu 11.04 launched with Unity, there was feeling in the community that it wasn’t quite ready for release. Is that something that’s been addressed in this latest release?

“You learn far more by releasing a product than you do by developing it under wraps. I mean, obviously, we believe that the product is and was ready for prime-time, if you like, for a vast majority of use cases and a vast majority of users. We knew we were running pretty tight towards the release date of that product, and we had stopgaps in place if we felt it wasn’t ready but we didn’t have to use them.

“It was ready, but there will be some faults. We knew we wanted to get it out at least a year before the LTS releases, to give it that time to iron out the edges. 11.10 has six months additional development in terms of making it smoother and faster and better than Ubuntu 11.04.

“The Dash has become much more mature in this release. It was its first release with Ubuntu 11.04, and I think with 11.10 users will start to realise the centrality of its place in how to navigate their way around this operating system. The Launcher, we’ve done a lot of work – and learnt a lot about this – with improving the algorithms for search.

“We’ve broken down more the difference of whether I’m searching for applications or whether I’m searching for files, that’s much more of a distinctive location for either. We’ve also, with this release, made clearer what the Lens concept is: you can consider it a subset of Dash, which allows us to focus on a single type of content.

“We released 11.04 because we thought it was ready then. We knew that there would be some faults, but we’ve had six months to iron out those faults and I think 11.10 is better, and 12.04 will be better again – but that’s the inevitability of development cycles in software.”

You mention making the concept of Lenses clearer – what are the best examples of real-world uses of Lenses in Ubuntu?

“For a few months now there’s been a Help Lens, which is a Lens that accesses Ask Ubuntu – an external site with lots of help and support queries and answers for Ubuntu. So, a Lens uses the same interface, more or less, as the Dash, so users don’t have to learn a new interface in order to access different types of content.

“With this release, we’re bringing out the Music Lens, which offers a Dash-like experience and allows you to use the search bar to search for, let’s say, Abba – it’ll display all the Abba that you have locally on your machine, and it’ll also display any Abba available in the Ubuntu One cloud, and then also it will – and I’m not quite sure if this is going to land at release, or just after – but basically it’ll also allow you to access all the Abba that’s available on the Amazon Music Store or on the Ubuntu One Music Store, so I can purchase that directly within the same Lens.

“Once purchased that music will be made available through to Ubuntu One Cloud so I can stream that music to my local Banshee player on Ubuntu or I can play it on my iPhone or on my Android device, or however I choose to listen to my music. So, that represents a breakdown of where my music is available, how I access this music – so basically we’re sort of elevating the content away from the operating system. We’re starting to see that in various real ways that we hope people will find convenient and useful.”

Ubuntu 11.10 launch interview- Unity is here to stay
unity's new Music Lens for Unity

We couldn’t help but notice that the traditional Ubuntu mail client, Evolution, has been swapped out in favour of Mozilla’s Thunderbird. What prompted the change?

“The short answer: user preference. Basically, at each UDS – which is the developer summit we hold every six months – we run through a check of the default applications, and ask whether they’re the right default applications ongoing. We were aware that lots and lots of users were using Thunderbird as opposed to Evolution as their preferred email client, but that had certain inconveniences: for instance, if I click on an email address that’s in a document it’ll automatically start up Evolution, but most of our users seemed to be using Thunderbird.

“So, now, if I do the same thing it’ll start up Thunderbird, which is the email client I prefer. So, really, it wasn’t a case of fault with Evolution, it was really a case of preference for Thunderbird and the fact that reality seemed to be that most of our users were using Thunderbird over Evolution, so it seemed a natural switch. We’ll still make Evolution available through the Ubuntu Software Centre – I’m 90 per cent, 95 per cent sure of that – so it’s still a simple install for users who want to use it, but it’s not the default email client from 11.10 on.”

Are you concerned that the decision to remove Ubuntu Classic – which allowed Ubuntu 11.04 users to drop to a classic GNOME interface – in this release will get a negative reaction from the community?

“We’re concerned in a sense that we never want to do anything to deliberately lose users, and we’re obviously concerned about anything that people would have a negative reaction to – but we’ve been pretty open and consistent around the fact that we think that the new user interface for Ubuntu is the direction in which we’re moving. We know that that’s caused problems, let’s put it that way, for certain sections of users around Ubuntu.

“We brought out the two experiences – the default 3D experience, and then the GNOME experience – because we needed to give people the option. We’re more confident now that we don’t need to have that second option – the Unity 2D option is ready.

“What we said then, we continue to say: we are committed to Unity, we see Unity as – for a variety of reasons, and across a variety of form-factors – as the principle driving force for where Ubuntu is going, so it makes consistent sense for us, at least, to make Unity 2D the default secondary experience for users with graphic-restricted PCs.

“So, are we concerned? Yes. Do we hope that people will come with us? Yes. Are we going to change our minds on that? No. We know it’s an argument that we have to win, we know it’s an argument we have to win over time, we know it’s an argument we’re not going to win with absolutely everybody, but we think it’s the right thing to do and this is consistent with that decision.”

Ubuntu 11.10 launch interview- Unity is here to stay
“The Dash has become much more mature in this release.”

Canonical has been very vocal about its support for the ARM architecture in the past – how is that project progressing?

“With this release, we’re releasing a tech preview of Ubuntu Server for ARM as well – Ubuntu Server 11.10 will be available on the ARM architecture for the first time, I think, any general-purpose software system has been available as a server technology, so that’s a very significant feature.

“We’ve done a lot of work to make the LAMP stack available on the ARM server product, so there are real applications for people to run and test out the applicability of ARM for data-centre use. We’ve done work to make virtualisation container technology available on ARM, which allows us to make OpenStack or Ubuntu Cloud available on ARM for the first time.

“There’s a lot of firsts in there on the server side. It is a tech preview, there’s a limited range of architectures available out there – so it’s not for everyone, put it that way. We’re not expecting production on these devices for some time, but ourselves and ARM are extremely excited that we’re starting to see real movement over there.

“On the client side, we going to start seeing ARM devices appear like netbooks – we’ll start seeing those running Ubuntu pretty soon. There isn’t a legacy of applications out there that have been in the market for as long as an x86 PC-type experience, but that work is ongoing. There are, obviously, areas where it makes sense to port applications across to ARM, and it’s a case of the industry deciding which ones make the most sense to focus on.”

Ubuntu has long been made available as alpha and beta versions for community testing before each version gets an official release. How important is the community feedback in the development of the distribution?

“Well, it’s hugely important – that’s why we do it. I can’t characterise how important it is, but as you know we have an alpha programme which is out very soon after the release of the previous product, we have an extended beta programme, we have many, many, many thousands of participants in that – the bug reports are probably the most essential part of making sure that our stability is right, and the features are working.

“It’s certainly something that our development teams pay huge attention to, the entire community pays huge attention to. It’ll become even more important with the next release, which is the 12.04 release, which is all about stability and precision as Mark [Shuttleworth] announced. So, the beta programme, the extended beta programme, the entire development process which you could call a beta programme – it’s what Ubuntu is about, it’s how we crowdsource and how we make sure that the product is quality is by getting feedback around where we’ve fallen down and to try and fix it.”

Thanking Carr for his time, we ask him if he has a message he’d like to pass on to our readership. “It’s not for me to lecture people about how they should or shouldn’t react to releases,” he explains, “but I think that they should understand that what we’re trying to do.

“The best of our efforts, and what we talk about all the time, is basically ‘how do we get free software into the hands of more people?’ We take decisions around interface design, product design and application integration, but they’re all designed for a single purpose: to put more free software into the hands of more people.”

It’s clear from his words that it’s a topic Carr feels passionate about, and one he believes is fully supported by his employer. “While we may disagree in terms of tactics,” he admits wryly, “the strategy is shared between us and the broader community in open source and elsewhere.”

Ubuntu 11.10 ‘Oneiric Ocelot’ is a launch which Carr and his colleagues is hoping will win back support lost during the transition to Unity with 11.04, and will be followed in April next year with the company’s latest Long Term Support – LTS – release, Ubuntu 12.04 ‘Precise Pangolin.’

Read out our review of Ubuntu 11.10

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    • Ah. I pulled 2 things from this interview.

      1) The intentional integration of what I have and what I don’t have (but can buy or download.)
      2) Ubuntu is engaged in an argument with me regarding the functionality of the OS I want to use.

      The first is kind of disgusting. I suppose there are people who have no idea how to use the Google to find something that they want (be it for free or fee), but… everyone I’ve met who’s under 25 knows how to use the internet. Efficiently. Automatically. It’s like a third arm.

      So what’s the point? I’m picturing nightmare scenarios where I’m looking for my sound editor and Unity clutters up my s*** with the one I have installed and the five optional ones that I already decided I didn’t want. Why would I care about the newest one? Why, when I’m just trying to edit an mp3, would I want to suddenly be propositioned with the notion that maybe there is another program that is even better than the one I’m already happy with?

      Canonical, riddle me this: if I already researched and dismissed what you had through your software center, why would you keep forcing me to reconsider?

      Which brings me to the second point: Canonical wants to argue with me about what I want. Which is funny, because why I switched from Win7 to Ubuntu was because I liked how Gnome 2.x gave me room to organize and keep track of a lot of things without eating up screen space or being too eldritch about it. It already had won that argument by doing what I liked, just more of it and better. Now I have to learn a whole new OS idiom? Because you want to attract a few new users with eye candy? For the sake of a high-concept pissing contest over desktop metaphors with Gnome and Mac? Get outta here.

      I liked what I had. Now I have to waste hours upon hours doing research on different desktop environments and other Linux iterations, just so I can recreate what worked. I guess I can revert to 10.4, but… ugh. UGH. That’s like having a ticking time bomb. I might as well do the legwork now so that I won’t have to deal with this again later.

      You know what a good metaphor for this is? Some uppity carpenter coming into my house and destroying my cherished desk because it isn’t ergonomic enough, and then replacing it with an Ikea Alve ( that is 1/8 as small and nowhere near as useful. Way to go, guys.

    • Chris

      Unity sucks!

      Is there a Linux Distro that doesn’t allow this stupid application?

    • Shaneo

      Wow there are some really jumped up bunny in this blog. I understand you have freedom of choice and are welcome to air your personal opinion. But think of it this way, what did the poor bugger do that brought windows 3.1 who did not like it. Did he say sod this i’m going back to msdos, did he hell. He had to stick with it cos there was nothing else available. Yes I may have been very unhappy, but I bet you he never spat in the face of the people that made windows 3.1 what it was. Which leads me on to the Ubuntu Team, they believe in something big and they are looking to the future of computing. Do you honestly think that we will all have desktop PCs in the future. Answer, YES because the people who refuse to get out of the 80s and 90s are preventing evolution. Not just evolution of computing but everything we look at in the world from building, to transport. As a race we are so far advanced we are going to look stupid and primitive compared to other life forms when the time comes for our first encounter. So who are our children blame. Us for whining about evolution the future of computing. If you don’t like it just move on in silence, because to be honest you are only making the people who come to this blog and read the negative posts, their mind up about Ubuntu unity and walk away. In my opinion Unity is very clean, fun and intuitive. Today I upgraded one of our most used computers to Unity 11.10, and my boss who is not tech savvy, ;loves it. Thinks its very easy to use and I could not get her off the machine all day, normally she sits at her own desk with Windows 98 and Windows XP. That how Ubuntu is affecting old windows users. Good Work Ubuntu. Keep it up. I was a Windows 7 user 1 year ago and now refuse to install the virus riddled garbage on my laptop.

      I you hate it shut up and walk away sad guy from the 80’s and leave the rest of the world to evolve :)

      Unity Rocks, it converts windows users and makes the heads of Mac users turn.

      PS. My rant was not about Ubuntu it is about the people that make something good look bad. Such Lamers.

    • TedvG

      I use Ubuntu, and also WIndows7
      both systems are great.
      each in their own way.

      11.10 is excellent! except..

      It is so easy to solve this problem in you next release:

      simply keep the choice
      for either option
      -with or without Unity
      -the classic desktop
      as it was in 11.04

      What’s the problem with that?

      Thanks to a few tips I could do some sudo’s to
      get it back to classic.

      What irritates me a bit is that
      that you are trying to force Unity upon us?
      whether we like it or not
      by removing the option to restore the classic desktop?

      Why not simply keep al the options
      then everybody is happy, ok?


    • Meles

      For some years now, I was awaiting Ubuntu release dates like Xmas.
      Starting with 11.04, with the introduction of Unity and all the problems it brought, I upgraded Ubuntu only on my laptop, but not on any other computer in my home.
      Sadly, Oneiric will be the first Ubuntu release I will not upgrade to, not now, probably not ever (unless I can find a way to get Gnome2 and Panel back).

      I understand the reason to introduce Unity, and stick to it (although I don’t really see why my large monitor desktop should look like a smartphone).
      What I don’t understand is why Unity is forced on everyone, like it or not?

      Why can’t it still be the option of using 11.10 with an interface that even remotely resembles the tested and true Gnome Panel, for the ones who are so inclined?

      What I always liked in Ubuntu was the freedom, the possibility of customizing it almost endlessly.
      I’m saddened that Canonical departed so much from this principle.

      I don’t think is such a good idea to make Ubuntu look trendy,
      If users would like to see interfaces just like MacIntosh or Windows, then they would stick to those operating systems. I don’t think that users that switched from those OSs want to see at Ubuntu copycats of them.

      People at Canonical should be rightly concerned that they will lose users.
      They’re certainly about to lose me.
      With all the problems of 11.04 (one of the worst releases of Ubuntu), this wasn’t such an issue. I, for instance, could pretend for 6 moths that Unity doesn’t even exist, by switching to Ubuntu Classic.
      With 11.10, Canonical leaves us no other options, and I expect that a mass defection will occur soon.
      Is this really what Canonical wants?

    • JDB

      Back to slack-y and KDE and the crap that is akonadi (till it gets removed or I give up and go all retro XFCE), unity is the biggest piece of shit I’ve seen in close to 25 years of experience with dumb-puters. I don’t think the world needs a mac OS wannabe. The originals are bad enough!

    • UnityArgh

      “Are we going to change our minds on that? No. We know it’s an argument that we have to win..”

      There it is: Canonical have chosen not to listen. Well you can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make it drink.

      Canonical: Why does it matter to you what desktop we prefer? That is a serious question. Not rhetorical.

      You are capable of putting old style panels as an option.

      If you make old style panels available at a few clicks, or better a version without the cruft that is Unity already set up, and create a more loving name for fallback, you diffuse all the arguments against Unity in one stroke. Your stubbornness on this one point will turn far more users away than you can gain by trying to force users into an ill fitting mould.

      These words are intended in the kindest way: Please don’t be stubborn.

    • Odipides

      Evil!!!! We hates it Baggins!!!!

      Loved Ubuntu to bits and now it’s ruined (sob!). Can’t find anything; all the icons have disappeared; the workspace switcher is cr*p (compared to the old faithful version in ‘classic mode’). P*sses me off really. One of the benefits of Open Source Software is there’s (usually) an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” approach.

      Upgraded to 11.10 today and the installation committed suicide at the first opportunity so, to avoid further pain, I’m jumping ship to Linux Mint or Debian until I find another distro I like.

      I gave an old laptop (with Ubuntu 10.10 on it) to my niece today (she’s 10). As she’d only previously been exposed to Windows therre was a bit of culture shock but she was completely au-fait with Gnome within half an hour.

      However, I suspect she would have given up after ten minutes with the new GUI and chucked the laptop away or installed (spit) Windows.

    • Odipides

      Oh, and by the way, to all the guys who think people who don’t like the Unity interface are Luddites and change-averse ‘stick-in-the-muds’: I’m a developer, the GUI, for me, is convenient for some purposes and a pain in the ring-piece for others. Thus, what I look for in a GUI is something which is simple, concise, effective and places a minimum overhead on the OS. Whether I am representative of Ubuntu users is a moot point of course. However, despite rhetoric suggesting that I am somehow mentally subnormal for not liking Unity, I reserve the right to vote with me feet if I feel my requirements are better met with other distributions.

      I suspect that Canonical will find that many hardened users of Ubuntu, like myself, will take a similar view. Whether that compromises their core user base remains to be seen.

    • D.

      A few questions. Why are half of the icons in the Unity experience the ghosty-white outline things, and half from a full-color icon set? Why do you have to traverse three borders of your UI to figure out how to close a window? How can a triangular divot on an icon tell you more about a second open instance of a program than a switcher tray?

      Whenever a device is on, be it computer or refrigerator or lawn mower, the user wants one of three things: do something with it, see how/what it is doing, or turn it off. Unity hides all of those things almost to the point of incredibleness.

      So, sure, go ahead and plug your ears until you feel you have “won that argument”, the world will simply leave you behind.

    • Darren

      I’m another long term Ubuntu user who is very disappointed that they have dropped classic Gnome. Why do this to spite users? What is to be gained by removing an open source technology that so many users enjoy using?

    • bob

      History will reveal that the decline of Ubuntu began with the imposition of a poor user experience called unity. So sad that an os which attracted users with choice would knowingly stab its longest-standing customers in the back.

    • BB

      The lens menu is really annoying when you have dual screen and the left is a tv that isn’t always on. Login and menu are shown on the left and no way to configure this. The menu is also pretty bad itself because you cannot do everything with the mouse. Yes… of course you can… but it needs a lot of clicking and eventually you got a big list of icons that also contains a lot of duplicates. While typing this while backing up files so I can install 10.10 or maybe I just even go back to 10.04. Lucid started in 5 seconds on this same machine that is now struggling. I’m really a big fan of Ubuntu but with this version I’m shocked because it is everything but lighter. Unity does not bring unity at all. Not on my pc and reading other opinions it also isn’t with the Ubuntu community.

      I’m sorry, but I call this version Ubuntu Vista. :-(

    • GZ

      Unity will get better I’m sure, but it’s not usable for me now. I’m very unhappy with it.

      I cannot understand why you wouldn’t allow the classic to go forward while Unity got more and more polished. The only thing I can think is that it’s from a weak position so that forcing people to unity is the only way to get participation.

      I’m unsure how to support my corporate desktops going forward. Unity does not work for our needs and spending time training people on a still immature product is not worth the effort.

      I will have to find new solutions and at some point migrate users to another platform.

    • gorman7654

      I can’t believe some of you morons. You do realize that unity isn’t the only desktop available in ubuntu, right? They support all DE’s that other distros do. You guys are nothing but haters and losers.

    • justme

      Guys, that x button to close the window, why the hell is on the left side? why the hell can’t i move it to the right side? why those windows cannot have the menus on the f*ing window itself not on a bar on top ?
      why can’t use a menu which is on the left side because like a Windows autohide menubar or what the hell keeps appearing, guys do you ever used a PC not just for music and movies? have you ever write a code, ever read a sourcecode or something ?
      This is a big shit, i thought ok, 11.04 was a crap, lets give it a try version 11.10, but that’s it, goodbye ubuntu, after 5-6 years of usage i have to say goodbye, this desktop is a fancy useless shit.
      well i know this is for free, but if you want to loose all of your users well you are on the right way!
      peace and unity for all

    • klaas

      if u are tired fromthis than ofcours u can go to windows

    • francesco44

      Like most of the people…above…I blessed Mark Shuttleworth for giving us so nice past distros of Ubuntu. Unity is complicated, stupid, not made to work with, needs too much resources…

      Like most of the people above I have a deep feeling of betraying. Everything turned wrong when Mark Shuttleworth decided to take the leadership of the design team.

      How is it possible that he seemed so kind and efficient before and so dumb now will remain a mystery forever.

      Each interview of the Canonical folks reminds me of the behavior of a sect. Marks pays them for delivering the message….

      I had the hope the Mark Shuttleworth will wake up some day…..and promote a simple solution up to any interface designer….accept the concept of two very different interface…one being minimal as Gnome 2 was.

      Even that simple solution is refused for non understandable reasons…..

      What more can I say which have not been said?

    • satanselbow

      Quite amusing that the interview repeatedly states Canonical’s commitment to FOSS software when their own Software Center is offering increasing large numbers of closed paid for apps… bill’s gotta be paid I suppose… unfortunately Shuttleworth seems to be willing to pay with both his soul and credibility.

      The inclusion of Gnome-shell as a working DE option is a massive step forward with this release and one that is most likely to bring a few deserters back to Ubuntu that left after the 11.04 Unity debarcle. All but the most blinkered could foresee a move towards a touchscreen style UI on the desktop given the advances in technology and popular reception of iPad and Android devices. I still fail to understand Canonical’s commitment to a proprietary UI which is at best divisive; at worst fundamentally flawed, buggy, 2nd rate (in direct comparison to Gnome Shell) and unintuitive. Development time on Unity is time wasted (IMO) at a time when Ubuntu could and should be making further advances in general usage.

      Unity and Software Center – 2 of Ubuntu’s showcase “features” – will be the 1st unwanted apps to go on my Ubuntu installations for a while yet :$

    • ElGato

      Excuse me:

      “making it smoother and faster and better than Ubuntu 11.04.”

      – Reality: Since I upgraded to Oneiric, Unity and my whole netbook is LESS STABLE, SLOWER and I cannot even change a window colour.
      Is that what you call better? I am currently trying Gnome Shell and so far I like what I see.

    • wcs

      All the intensity is really needless. True, Unity is useless. My objection is not that it’s new but that it is a big step backward. It feels like it wants to have control of desktop. I cannot do or change anything like I want to. This element of owning my desktop is what drew me to Linux in the first place. I am not really worried about Ubuntu now, it is so easy to just walk away and use another distro, but with both Unity and Gnome Shell being equally awful I worry about future development. KDE or XFCE both offer hope–I hope they will step up. Insults and arrogance will not work Ubuntu and Gnome–we are already gone.

    • Gene Olson

      I foolishly “upgraded” to 11.10 only to discover that the familiar Gnome interface was gone, and replaced by Unity. Unity may be a good interface for a smartphone, but it is a terrible interface for a computer.

      I have just reformatted and reinstalled 11.04 LTS. I’m hoping Ubuntu will come to its senses and create Gubuntu or something with the old Gnome 2 interface. If that doesn’t happen, I will go to Debian (provided Debian does not drink the Gnome 3 cool aid) or Centos. Centos is about 3 years behind, but at least you can count on Redhat to keep a stable user interface.

      If someone would like to fork Gnome 2 and continue development on the best Linux UI to date, I would be in their debt.

    • Oli

      Hi Matt B!
      This stuck-in-the-mudness attitude comes from the choice we are used to in Linux distros.
      Unity doesn’t give you the choice anymore. That’s why it’s more like Windows and Mac these days.
      Open Source is all about choice. You might say, use the fallback option. Sure, would do if Cairo Dock
      was working properly plus the systems menu on the panel has gone, which was one of the best things
      about Gnome 2.
      I used to tell Windows people that the best thing about Ubuntu is not having to use the search function because intuitively you know where things are. No mess. Now the search function is the center piece of Unity.
      Will go back to 10.4


    • Parshuram

      I’d love to meet the moron who came up this desktop and give him an earful. I was absolutely in love with the simple functional <= 10.04 desktop. Even the 10.04 I was happy, it allowed me to switch of all the novelty stuff.

      Now I have spent all of my Saturday trying to figure out, why my window borders won't show, why that side bar on the left is a sidebar on the left, why I cannot have custom panels with simple menus…….

      Why did you behave like "know it all"? I might have to defect to Mint 11!!

    • Kevin

      “Unity is here to stay”? Not on my systems. Canonical are turning into another Microsoft, forcing features down users’ throats and breaking existing functionality in new and unusual ways with each update. I shouldn’t have to start googling around to find out which package lets me get back to a gnome 2 – Why dispose of the fallback desktop manager without any decent warning unless you’re intent on pissing people off?

      I bit the bullet and ‘upgraded’ to the new version and while I can see there are some things they fixed I wasn’t prepared for the complete trashing a desktop configuration that I had really got set up the way I wanted.

      Given that there seems to be no easy way to revert back to my previous configuration I think my best option is to go the Arch route (from where I found the only working patch for the psmouse module to make it work with my Acer’s touchpad). From there I can build up a system step by step to where I want to be and I’ll know exactly what I did to get there. I imagine there are going to be more and more people realising that the Ubuntu team are not interested in their needs as time goes on.

      Obviously Canonical have their own agenda, I’m just no longer going to be a part of it.

    • cattom

      I am happy to use UBUNTU 11.10 . I upgraded from Lucid Lynx 10.04 LTS to 11.10
      by the help of Ubuntu site , using a USB stick , as per instructions .
      As has been said earlier by Dave Lane , I do not care whether my laptop is with Gnome or
      Unity but I like UBUNTU and its development team and every six months of excitement , what
      is going to be new . I love Ubuntu and their effort . Keep moving ahead.Thanks .

    • Chris

      I’m a recent convert to Linux from Windows. I have had a lot of trouble with Ubuntu 11.10 including it not loading up from the boot sequence. After reinstalling several times I found out how to get the classic desktop for Ubuntu 11.10. I ran the command through the terminal and followed the instructions o how to set it up. That was 2 days ago so far no problems. Here’s the site.

    • Gordy

      When I tried Unity back in version 11.04 I hated it but with the 11.10 release it is so much better. It feels like so much work has gone into it in the last 6 months. I am going to continue to use it. I am sure Unity will get even better.

    • Mozzyy

      I’ve been a cautious ubuntu user for 4 years now (always have at least 1 windows machine), 2 years ago after a harddrive crash i made the complete switch to ubuntu on my main pc and loved it. My laptop needed wiped this week soi thought id jump straight into 11.10. Just yuck….unusable shiny piece of crap, even with gnome 3 installed it just isn’t quite right. I might give mint a go now i’ve heard its good and is nice and straight forward like ubuntuu USED to be

    • Claude

      Mark Shuttleworth is the Steve Jobs of the Linux world. I never expected such arrogance from the realm of Open Source. I thought, such closed minds are only to be found in Apple’s marketing and development policies. At least, Apple’s OS X is usable, whereas Ubuntu became unusable with Unity. With Unity, you can’t do your daily work fast. It’s a pile of crap that just slows down even the simplest tasks.

      Unfortunately, Gnome 3.x isn’t any alternative. It’s the same load of turd, just with a different flavor. Now the only option left is KDE 4. That’s a pity. Because I never liked KDE really. But that’s the way it goes now. Or switching back to Windows — after more than 10 years of Linux. Coming from a long-time Linux user: Yes, Microsoft finally did it right. Not perfect under the hood, still. But Windows 7 is stable and has very good usability. I would have never imagined I’d ever say that, after all that pain I had with previous Windows versions.

      Canonical, go home. The game is over.

    • Ubuntu 11.10 sucks.

      That’s all that needs to be said about it. Try it, you’ll [likely] agree!

      It’s time to find another distro, unless Xubuntu works well, but I hate all of the GVFS crap and errors.

      For the Ubuntu 11.10 user, check your .xsession-errors file, I bet it’s always active and full! There’s just no excuse for this crap.

    • “So, are we concerned? Yes. Do we hope that people will come with us? Yes. Are we going to change our minds on that? No. We know it’s an argument that we have to win, we know it’s an argument we have to win over time, we know it’s an argument we’re not going to win with absolutely everybody, but we think it’s the right thing to do and this is consistent with that decision.”

      What an arrogant line from someone who tries to be “open” and “for human beings”. I’m off here. Ubuntu is the most polished distro out there, but the people behind it suck. Unfortunately.

    • A lot of people here have right concerning the Unity in Ubuntu 11.04, 11.11 and now 12.04 -beta 1 LTS.
      My questions is, the Ubuntu Gurus from -CANONICAL, read or not all the users frustrations about the Ubuntu evolution from 11,04.

      Ubuntu now is like a cellphone.

      The people from ubuntu do not understanding that :

      L’arrogance précède la perdition ( French) or

      Pride goes before perdition

    • Jules

      Loved ubuntu.

      Decided to change from 10.04.

      Got 12.04

      Unity is pointless.

      Changed to classic using 12.04

      Now depressed that I am with an OS which is great but is doomed because of Unity.

    • J Black

      Somehow Canonical decided that they wouldn’t to make Unity so simple any idoit could use it. I find it really is a piece of crap. I’m using the terminal more and more to make up for the massive drop in flexibility.
      Is is so bad I’m begining to think Windows is better.

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