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Ubuntu is moving away from GNOME

  Date: Nov 26    Category: Unix / Linux / Ubuntu    Views: 408

I just read that Ubuntu is moving away from GNOME. Natty Narwhal
(11.04) will not feature GNOME Shell and will use Unity as the default
interface. This is hot on the heels of announcements by Canonical CTO
Matt Zimmerman that Ubuntu is looking closely at using Qt (KDE's
language) to programme apps in. Gwibber developer then added his 2
cents saying that ho had seen the advantages of Qt when he was
developing Gwibber in GTK and saw the limitations.

Commentary: www.networkworld.com/.../ubuntu-moves-away-gnome
Zimmerman: http://mdzlog.alcor.net/2010/10/20/ubuntu-and-qt/

Note: Unity is a shell for GNOME that will change the desktop look and
feel, away from standard GNOME and GNOME Shell.

The bottom line is that change is coming, like it or not.

I have used GNOME Shell and it is not as easy to use. It is
counter-intuitive for users of GNOME and KDE, but new users may pick
it up faster than those of us who are fixed in our ways. It is more
like KDE's Search and Containment desktop activity used by netbooks.
You can install GNOME Shell in Maverick and can press Alt-F2 and type:
gnome-shell --replace . The next time you login you will be in the
familiar GNOME desktop environment and not the Shell. Note: It is a
work in progress, but worth seeing what the fuss is about and why
Ubuntu would be leery.

This is not the first time that this has happened with a desktop
interface. When KDE 4.1 came out it was half baked and many distros
stuck with KDE 3.5 for two years before giving KDE 4 another try. I
know the feeling well of seeing a distro go in a different direction
from the desktop project it uses.



7 Answers Found

Answer #1    Answered On: Nov 26    

My thoughts after reading one article are:
Properly functioning 3d hardware.. I thought I had that with my graphics
card but I still cant get things to work properly. I have no qualms
about saying with LTS past its term but if they are moving to a new
desktop - what if anything does that affect - like software?

Answer #2    Answered On: Nov 26    

I suspect that they will stick with their tried and true software, but
this is just speculation on my part. They are always tweaking their
software apps. Rumours persist that Evolution will be replaced by
Thunderbird for example.

Change is good, but too much change at once may cause a backlash.
Canonical is smart enough to know what users will put up and what they
won't. I suspect after using GNOME Shell that they realised that it
was too radical to be adopted by their user base and that it will take
time to grow on them. I also think that they foresaw this coming and
have been thinking about this for some time. The next logical step for
Ubuntu is to have its own desktop environment and Unity is a step in
that direction.

I only throw this out for discussion. It may also keep some users from
upgrading to Maverick and then to Natty which is not necessarily a bad
thing in times of change. If you are using Lucid, then don't just look
ahead to Maverick, but look beyond to Natty. Lucid is LTS and there is
no need to go thorough this and be a guinea pig. Just sit tight and
see where things go. You have three years of support from last April.
If you have already upgraded to Maverick, remember that it will expire
1 year before Lucid, so you are on the upgrade treadmill whether you
like it or not.

Answer #3    Answered On: Nov 26    

I dont have problems with the OS changing. If they are looking to change
because it will offer a better overall experience in speed or ability or
apps or some long term idea they have -- then I just have to believe
they are working it through and moving people along at some type of pace
they think is appropriate.

If they screw up -- it will be like MS and XP. XP is still on 90% of my
clients machines with no reason or desire to move on (in the clients mind).

Answer #4    Answered On: Nov 26    

Choice is good and knowing what is coming can help us to make the right
decisions now. People who are thinking about upgrading to Maverick should
think before they leap based on this new information. You cannot downgrade,
only upgrade.

Answer #5    Answered On: Nov 26    

Perhaps it would help more people join the guinea pig group if Ubuntu
created an option to downgrade as well. Then again, maybe that's why they
came out with the live cd version and the usb stick versions... to test
drive them before you buy them. But as everyone else has said, if you want
to maintain up to date server updates, etc... then just test driving won't
cut it past the service date so LTS it is unless they choose to allow
downgrading as well.

Answer #6    Answered On: Nov 26    

I installed Unity. It is slower and more cumbersome to use than Gnome.
Especially slow.

Answer #7    Answered On: Nov 26    

They are aware of that and are planning changes including moving to Compiz
from Mutter. Unity has been a work in progress, but this announcement should
give it some impetus and breath some life into Compiz. I am not sure how
this will affect users who do not have compositing. The last article is
worth a read.


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