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5 Out of 11 Crashed Unity In Canonical's Study

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the that's-nothing-I-can-crash-anything dept.

Bug 468

dkd903 writes "Today the results of the Default Desktop User Testing for Ubuntu 11.04 was published by Canonical's Rick Spencer. The test was done using 11 participants from different backgrounds to test the new Unity interface that Ubuntu 11.04 will have." Though the Unity interface in the upcoming Ubuntu is a moving target, the bad news from this test is that about half of the testers managed to crash it.

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Surprising (3, Interesting)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 3 years ago | (#35837524)

That's pretty surprising, I only manged to use it for 10 minutes before I ditched it and moved to Kubuntu.

Not that surprising, actually (2)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | more than 3 years ago | (#35837558)

Unity isn't stable, it hasn't reached the "production level" yet.

Anyone know what's the reason behind Ubuntu rushing Unity out, before it's ready?

Re:Not that surprising, actually (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35837588)

It's rather pathetic that a desktop shell can unexpectedly crash in the first place. We're not talking about kernel level programming here.

Re:Not that surprising, actually (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35837676)

spoken like somebody who's never done graphics programming at all, let alone a desktop environment. window managers are harder to program than kernel hacking, especially when it's not yet mature (just look to the old days of red hat and you'll find ridiculously unstable kernels and that product had been out for years).

Re:Not that surprising, actually (3, Insightful)

walshy007 (906710) | more than 3 years ago | (#35837696)

window managers are harder to program than kernel hacking

Bullshit, with kernel programming if you bollocks something up the entire machine can hang and there is very little comparatively in the way of things you can do to debug the thing. Worse yet, given a bad hardware design some hardware makes it possible to brick things.

Makes window manager programming look like childsplay.

Re:Not that surprising, actually (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35837774)

not necessarily agreeing with either of you, but this only makes debugging harder, not not putting the bugs in in the first place

Re:Not that surprising, actually (2)

nzac (1822298) | more than 3 years ago | (#35837828)

Unity isn't stable, it hasn't reached the "production level" yet.

Anyone know what's the reason behind Ubuntu rushing Unity out, before it's ready?

Because if Gnome 3 turns out to be popular it would be DOA.

Re:Not that surprising, actually (3, Interesting)

greg1104 (461138) | more than 3 years ago | (#35837864)

Ubuntu rushes everything out before it's ready; it's impossible for a 6 month release cycle to do anything else. This whole Unity experiment is no surprise to anyone who was using in Ubuntu in 2008, when the at the time barely working PulseAudio was integrated into the "Long-Term Release" 8.04. And by LTS, they mean "supported until the developers are whipped to start working on their next 6 month deadline the week after shipping".

Re:Not that surprising, actually (1)

Daengbo (523424) | more than 3 years ago | (#35837972)

I know everyone hated Pulse being added so quickly during the cycle, but there were two real travesties in that release: the Flash/Pulse compatibility layer was pulled last minute, causing all those hangs, crashes, and other problems; and F-Spot had a crasher bug on second launch, which meant that the app was unusable.

Ubuntu should have pushed off the release date a couple of months, just like they did for 6.06LTS and just like they should do this time around. Heck, this release matters less, since it's not even an LTS. Maybe they should just leave it in perpetual beta and release 11.10 as a finished product.

Re:Not that surprising, actually (1)

greg1104 (461138) | more than 3 years ago | (#35838100)

Adjust the release schedule just because of bugs? Never again. Besides, Ubuntu is always in perpetual beta now. I think they're trying to be like Google or something.

For me a stable release implies a focus and quantity of backports into that version that I have never seen Ubuntu do. I'm curious since I wasn't following those two: were the "travesties" (agreed) you mention in LTS 8.04 fixed to your satisfaction at any point? Or were you forced onto a new version for things to work?

Re:Not that surprising, actually (1)

Daengbo (523424) | more than 3 years ago | (#35838138)

The bugs I mentioned were only on 64-bit, but they should have been release stoppers. The F-Spot bug got fixed in time for the .1 release. It was then that I said Ubuntu became a "wait for SP1" distro. The Pulse problem never really resolved itself in 8.04.

Re:Not that surprising, actually (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35838192)

Maybe they were on drugs when KDE 4 came out and came away thinking that it's a good idea to label pre-Alpha software "production ready" and ship it out?

[This is a dig at kde 4's disastrous release. I don't actually know where Unity is re: stability/usability].

Re:Not that surprising, actually (1)

perryizgr8 (1370173) | more than 3 years ago | (#35838194)

anybody know why ubuntu is even bothering to develop unity? cause it seems like a shameless rip-off of osx. i'd just use a mac instead of this half-baked pice of shit.

Re:Surprising (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35837656)

It's not just me then? Pretty much the exact same story here. - Installed the Natty beta, and an hour or so later I was a born-again KDE user.

It's not just stability and buginess. It's that the whole thing reeks of Apple-wannabe-ism. Not only it the whole interface very touchscreen-phone-ish,
the thing has its own tie-in to canonical's new App Store/Android Market/OVI wannabe as well.

Besides the fact that tons of functionality has been lost, I don't feel the general style/look/philosophy of the whole thing was at all suited to how I want
to work on a desktop computer. I think they're trying too hard to make something that'll cater to phones and tablets and ending up with the worst of all worlds.

Re:Surprising (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35837750)

Installed it into virtual box, started it, ... I clicked one thing, I clicked another thing, then vwoom woom woom, and my entire ui was gone and seemingly no way of bringing it back.

I just figured it was like how C++ no longer uses classes but has gone all functional template meta programming and I was just the dumbass again.

But yeah, I recycled that virtual box because I wanted to do good for the environment.

Sample size (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35837528)

Seems kinda low.

Re:Sample size (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35837594)

You can't get big samples, It's fucking linux!

Re:Sample size (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35837708)

11 users really is kind of small regardless of what the findings are. They could have reported that all 11 users experienced no problems whatsoever and that finding would have been equally invalid. I think however that when you have findings like "Nobody understood Ubuntu One" and "Only 1/9 (P4) easily added that game to the launcher" though that's enough to warrant a further investigation. Of course, that doesn't make for a story people want to hear and so all we get is "5 Out Of 11 Participants Crashed Unity".

Re:Sample size (3, Insightful)

NotBorg (829820) | more than 3 years ago | (#35837880)

You don't need a large sample size to prove a bit of software is buggy. You need a large sample size to prove that it is not that buggy. If all eleven people found no problems and loved it, then you could say that the sample size is too small to be relativly sure aobut the quality of the software.

Re:Sample size (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 3 years ago | (#35838106)

If they weren't hackers and just normal users using it "normally" it's pretty damning.

It's like 5 out of 11 people trying out a TV and having it crash/hang for them. That is terrible. Just imagine what else would be broken (just not crashing).

unity would be crap even if only 1 out of 11 experienced a crash.

1 out of 100 = ready if the boss yells "ship or we die".

1 out of 1000 = you're starting to get to the region where the hardware (other people's bugs) is more likely to crash your stuff.

That's not the worst about it (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35837566)

Crashing is not the worst thing about it, but the fact that it is a worse interface than Gnome 2. It's not terrible like Gnome 3, but feels like a step backwards nonetheless.

Re:That's not the worst about it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35837596)

That's subjective. I actually rather enjoy it, I mostly appreciate the efficient use of vertical screen space. There are still a few bugs and rough edges, which I suppose is to be expected from a beta product, though they are coming pretty close to release time.

Re:That's not the worst about it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35837934)

You should try Gnome 3 in fedora, I find it to be a massive step forward and very clean.

Re:That's not the worst about it (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 3 years ago | (#35838250)

Indeed. KDE isn't looking much better either IMHO. It hasn't felt "right" to me in years (I used it primarily up until the early 3.0 days).

At this point I'm looking at switching to XFCE.

Them new DE's, man (5, Insightful)

caius112 (1385067) | more than 3 years ago | (#35837584)

I personally find all Unity, GNOME 3, and KDE 4.6 to be unuseable. What the hell went wrong? Why reinvent the motherfucking wheel as clumsily as possible over and over again?

Re:Them new DE's, man (2)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 3 years ago | (#35837606)

I agree with Unity and Gnome3, but I don't find KDE 4.6 to be any less usable than Gnome 2 (especially after I switched the launcher to classic style). What about KDE do you find to be unusable?

I really wanted to like xfce, but ran into problems with xfce in Natty beta 1 where the window manager would hang occasionally. I'll try it again after Natty is out of beta.

Re:Them new DE's, man (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35837610)

Re:Them new DE's, man (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 3 years ago | (#35837638)

no, it sucks period, its unstable, stuck in windows 2000 land broken vomit and its nothing else

Re:Them new DE's, man (4, Insightful)

caius112 (1385067) | more than 3 years ago | (#35837634)

OK, you're right, KDE is by far the most useable of the three once you've disabled all the "semantic desktop" and "desktop activities" bullshit. But out of the box, it's just as jarring as the rest for me.

Of course, the mere fact that you can disable shitty features is a rarity these days. What happened to the Linux philosophy of personalization?

Re:Them new DE's, man (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35837654)

What happened to the Linux philosophy of personalization?

GNOME's developers decided that you're too stupid to personalise anything without getting confused or intimidated.

Re:Them new DE's, man (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35837672)

Wait, I thought that was Apple

Re:Them new DE's, man (1)

msuarezalvarez (667058) | more than 3 years ago | (#35837700)

No, they realized (a long time ago) that writing a desktop targeted at people that do care to personalize their desktops in the sense you have in mind is a pointless exercise: they are far too few in the big picture and way too uninteresting.

Re:Them new DE's, man (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 3 years ago | (#35837716)

No, they realized (a long time ago) that writing a desktop targeted at people that do care to personalize their desktops in the sense you have in mind is a pointless exercise: they are far too few in the big picture and way too uninteresting.

Not to mention they all switched to Enlightenment roughly 10 years ago...

Re:Them new DE's, man (1)

Tanuki64 (989726) | more than 3 years ago | (#35837726)

And why don't those just use Windows? Hardly any personalisation. Mainstream system. And you cannot even say Linux is cheaper since Windows is preinstalled on most systems anyway. Linux with GNOME or KDE will always be an inferior Windows replacement.

 

Re:Them new DE's, man (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35837896)

http://rainmeter.net/ [rainmeter.net]

Image someone posted at Guru3D over a year ago: http://img11.imageshack.us/img11/2577/bild1yk.jpg [imageshack.us]

Saying that Windows has no potential for customization is hardly accurate.

I haven't tried out any of the many Windows skin/shell replacements, but then I hardly care about desktop customization.

Re:Them new DE's, man (2)

epyT-R (613989) | more than 3 years ago | (#35838188)

I think the point is that these new environments are causing people who usually do not do much customization to HAVE to do a lot of it.

Re:Them new DE's, man (2)

aix tom (902140) | more than 3 years ago | (#35838220)

Actually, recently I have found that there is *a lot* of movement in certain Linux DEs to be *less* configurable than windows.

The two things that really annoyed me were first the non-configurable UI changes in Ubuntu, and then the impossibility to turn off the stupid trash can in XFCE. What annoyed me most about the latter was the "We won't make it configurable to turn it of because every user in the world expects there to be a trash" attitude when the point was discussed in the forums. When even 90% of the WINDOWS people I know completely disable the trash.

Re:Them new DE's, man (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35837960)

And they might have been right, there's the gconf replacement, you can access the settings with dconf-editor or gsettings. It's just too early and there are no GUIs for everything yet. When they meant Gnome 3 is "released", they meant you can run it but don't expect it to be complete (Apparently, since I'm using it right now).

Re:Them new DE's, man (4, Insightful)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 3 years ago | (#35838084)

I don't particularly care about customising stuff. I want to get on with actually using my computer. It took me several days of digging around to get Unity into a state where it was just about usable. The first sticking point was the nauseating drop shadow around the focused window - instant eyestrain! Here's a hint, guys - big blurry things make your eyes think they're not focused properly and they go crazy trying to pull it into focus. The utterly retarded idea of sticking the window buttons on the wrong side, that had to go - why break a convention set with just about every WIMP environment since the dawn of time (or at least bitmapped graphics hardware)?

Okay, so what else was broken? Well, there's no weather applet in Unity. "ZOMG JUST LOOK OUT OF THE WINDOW LOL" Yes, great, but I spend a lot of time working in windowless blast-proof machinery rooms and I like to see what I'm missing.

Lastly - and the most important thing - is the stupid sidebar thing. So there's a strip of little indistinguishable squares. If you mouse over them, the title of the app pops up. Are they apps that are open, or apps that can be opened? No way of telling. Double click one. An application launches. Double click it again. Some windows shrink and whirl around the screen, but it doesn't open another instance off the application. Right click? "Add to Favourites..." Okay, so another square appears. Double-click that - shrink, whirl. How the hell do you open more than one instance of the same app? *Middle-click* one of the squares. Oh, okay, so on my laptop, that's pressing both left and righ click at the same time? No, because middle-click chording is disabled by default.

Oh, and if you put a window too close to the strip with the squares, it gets scared and hides. Then you've got to move all your windows to get it back. Yeah, that's a really discoverable interface, guys...

Re:Them new DE's, man (3, Insightful)

Tanuki64 (989726) | more than 3 years ago | (#35837688)

Least common denominator. The more idiots use a system the more it has to be dumbed down.

Re:Them new DE's, man (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 3 years ago | (#35837820)

there's always a nice, simple, straightforward command line

Re:Them new DE's, man (5, Insightful)

muuh-gnu (894733) | more than 3 years ago | (#35837916)

So who is now Gnome3's and Unity's target group? Idiots overwhelmed with Windows and OS X? I dont remember that the race for Desktop domination was meant to be a race to the bottom.

Gnome3 & Unity are so unusable for everyday work (from a business point of view), that they do not even seem to be desktop oriented any more at all. They both seem to bet on a (appleized) smartphone & tablet dominated future and want to get there as soon as possible.

The demise of Gnome2 will absolutely KILL desktop linux used in businesses, at least in mine. Deprecating the familiar Gnome2 workflow for no other reason than some visual art designer masturbation reeks of irresponsibility towards existing customers and _will_ have consequences. Leaving Windows and trying Linux on the desktop on a larger scale was a bet not every business was willing to make. Punishing those who did by arbitrarily destroyng familiar desktops environments will no nothing but prove linux skeptics right and linux enthusiasts wrong and seal its fate on business desktops on years to come.

Re:Them new DE's, man (1)

Daengbo (523424) | more than 3 years ago | (#35838044)

Stay with 10.04 until 2013. Or just log into classic mode. The menu is there. Workspaces are in the same place. All the old underpinnings are the same. No need to worry. If you really want a special workflow, start with minimal, add a window manager and a dock or panel, script it as a preseed file, mirror the repo in house, and keep your workflow virtually forever.

Re:Them new DE's, man (2)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 3 years ago | (#35838122)

Ahahaha, they want to remove classic mode for 11.10!

At that point I'll be switching to Mint or Debian Sid.

Re:Them new DE's, man (5, Interesting)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 3 years ago | (#35838148)

True with that.

I switched back to Windows. Before I get modded as a troll I have to say I still like Linux on the server and I am serious and not troll baiting. I love all the scripts, apis, and programs that Linux has.

I saw the writing on the wall with Fedora 15 after I left Ubuntu due to the lack of stability and quality software. I left Windows because of beta quality products that were terrible. Linux is less stable in my experience on the desktop with the exception of Gnome 2.8. I saw the writting on the wall again with hardware based html 5 of all the new browsers ... with the exception of a lack of Linux support.

My 3 year old laptop running Fedora 13 can not even handle some sites under Linux. Chrome is getting much better but most hardware rendering is still only available on Windows.

Gnome 3 and KDE 4 are terrible. Sun donated millions of dollars of R&D into Gnome and Opendesktop and it is stupid to throw it all away. Why? Menu's work. You may want to reduce the amount of mouse clicks to find things. For some reason Gnome decided to increase the mouse clicks for the same task?? Lets now look at the hassle to simply switch a workspace. Why is that hidden? Infact in Unity why do I have to keep clicking around to see all apps?? Ugh

Compiz with newer widgets with more functionality is where Gnome should have went.

I have virtualbox handy for Windows 7 and will look forward to using it to run Postgresql and some Lamp. For me I now use Windows and I feel like garbage for turning back 10 years of my life but I do not care what people think of as stable 10 years ago or cool. I want something that works. Seriously Firefox4, IE 9, and Chrome scream and you can run all the Unix apps with Virtualbox or a win32 version.

Lets hope gnome 3.2 fixes this and I may just come back but there is no shame of switching to MacOSX or Windows. Today's gui's remind me of poor Netscape's demise of 4.

Re:Them new DE's, man (1)

danbuter (2019760) | more than 3 years ago | (#35838210)

I wish I had mod points, because I'd mod you way up. The Gnome Shell devs should all be fired. They are the reason for Unity, since SHELL is so awful.

Re:Them new DE's, man (1)

degeneratemonkey (1405019) | more than 3 years ago | (#35837732)

There's nothing preventing you from customizing your Linux environment as it suits you, however in an interest to cater to the tastes of less technically-inclined users it's important to reduce the perceived level of available customization. This is the paradox of choice. As the number of available options increases, peoples' ability and willingness to make good decisions generally decreases.

I am not a fan of Apple's platforms, but there is a reason why they've become so successful. This is that reason.

Re:Them new DE's, man (2)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 3 years ago | (#35837798)

This is the paradox of choice. As the number of available options increases, peoples' ability and willingness to make good decisions generally decreases.

Yet a person's willingness to make decisions is completely orthogonal to whether a system allows choices to be made or not. The Gnome people are taking the choice paradox much too literally, by having the desktop environment mimic their model of a user's brain.

What's needed is a way to reduce apparent complexity, not actual complexity. Kind of like when looking towards the horizon, things become smaller and less detailed the farther they are. That's helpful as it reduces perception noise, but if necessary, you can move towards some thing of interest and the details will reappear the closer you get.

Linux desktops ought to be apparently simple, but actually complex if the user decides to focus on some aspect more closely. Instead, our software usually is either too simple, or too bewildering, or offers two modes: too simple (beginner), and too bewildering (expert).

Re:Them new DE's, man (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35837832)

> in an interest to cater to the tastes of less technically-inclined users it's important to reduce the perceived level of available customization.

No it isn't. This whole idea is wrong. Nobody is going to switch from Linux back to Windows because there is a button to toggle the location bar.

> but there is a reason why they've become so successful.

Yeah, a heavy marketing push coupled with the fact that Windows sucks.

Re:Them new DE's, man (1, Insightful)

westyvw (653833) | more than 3 years ago | (#35837736)

Choice is what I like, Unity is driving me crazy because it seems so locked down (or devoid of anything interesting all together). I agree with the ability to personalise philosophy.

KDE still rocks for me. Activities is a great concept and actually works well. If you dont want it, dont use it no big deal. Like classic menus? Use them. Like a desktop or several "workspaces"? Its your choice (or the distro managers for the default appearance).

Re:Them new DE's, man (1)

marsu_k (701360) | more than 3 years ago | (#35838010)

Agreed on activities - it took a while for me to get my head around the concept, but at least for me it works very well. Like having virtual desktops within your virtual desktops (insert appropriate "yo dawg" here).

Re:Them new DE's, man (1)

gilesjuk (604902) | more than 3 years ago | (#35838126)

The more configuration options you add the more testing is required and the greater the chance of an option being broken.

Re:Them new DE's, man (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35837848)

A anonymous coward coincidently I watched this TED talk last night, Making spaghetti sauce:
http://www.ted.com/talks/malcolm_gladwell_on_spaghetti_sauce.html

What this says is that you're exactly right but so are the others that like Unity, GNOME 3 and KDE 4. You can never satisfy everyone but something different isn't bad. Some succeed and some don't. In the end it all evolves.

Re:Them new DE's, man (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35837950)

That's great for you. The implicit assumption in your post is of course that the old desktop model is fine for everyone.

And frankly, that's just bullshit. It's a metaphor so persistent that it has become second nature to many of us, that doesn't mean other interfaces can't be more efficient for a wide variety of users (including technical ones). For me many of the new features make it more, not less powerful, I can do things that were impossible before, others that required a lot of work by hand have become automated/easier.

It just means now it's your turn to complain that they changed something. "I always did X by doing ZYQ and in the new program it doesn't look the same way so I can't use the new program!"

I am really startled by the general attitude towards these experimentations. Maybe KDE set the wrong expectations by shipping a genuinely less powerful shell as 4.0, but to generalise from that to anything that moves away from desktop+startbutton+taskbar is stupid.

Re:Them new DE's, man (3, Interesting)

smash (1351) | more than 3 years ago | (#35838112)

Yes, agreed.

I'm waiting for the dust to be blown off windowmaker, and more people to realise that they can write cross platform stuff for GNUstep/OS X.

Windowmaker plus a decent file manager / dock would give Linux a powerful, usable desktop. Unfortunately the past few years I've seen of linux desktop "development" is madly rushing to re-implement whatever useless crap Microsoft has tacked onto the latest version of Windows, or trying to look like Aqua.

The Free NIX desktop used to be BETTER because of innovation that was happening in the free software world. Lately it's just playing catchup, and poorly.

Re:Them new DE's, man (2)

gilesjuk (604902) | more than 3 years ago | (#35838118)

Maybe the developers don't understand K.I.S.S. and "if it's not broken don't fix it". All they needed were refinements and improvements, mainly around appearance as they did look a little ugly in places.

Also, with the accusation that open source tends to copy the interfaces of Windows and OSX I guess they were trying to do something different?

Re:Them new DE's, man (1)

m50d (797211) | more than 3 years ago | (#35838124)

They let "usability experts" design them.

Re:Them new DE's, man (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 3 years ago | (#35838214)

UI design is hard, and it's something seldom taught in a lot of CS courses (or if it is, it's entirely optional). Which means there's no shortage of developers, but developers who can design something you'd actually want to use are pretty thin on the ground.

i read TFA, and the lists report (cuz the TFA) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35837624)

... is ad-laden crap!

instead i'm _really_ curious why they are worried about windows and mac users.i'm not; i'm wondering how hard it will be to get my latpop and desktop on mint, and my server on straight debian..

Re:i read TFA, and the lists report (cuz the TFA) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35837856)

> i'm wondering how hard it will be to get my latpop and desktop on mint

Nearly impossible if your disks are configured with LVM. The Mint installer doesn't support that.

If there were only GNOME and KDE.... (0)

Tanuki64 (989726) | more than 3 years ago | (#35837626)

...I'd switch to Windows. And Windows 95 was the last Windows I voluntary installed. Fortunately there are enough non-bloat window managers like Windowmaker.

Re:If there were only GNOME and KDE.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35837728)

Your computer should be able to run any window manager with ease, if you have any gfx hardware support for it. And if it doesn't, you should ditch that desktop anyway.

And I did switch to Windows, because all Linux desktops suck ass even compared to Vista.

more stupid fucking interfaces. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35837644)

Ubuntu's shitty interface isn't news. Ubuntu has always had a shitty interface.

The problem is KDE copied the shitty interface of ubuntu and created yet another shitty interface.

Stop hiding shit! I shouldn't have to type ctrl-f3 then command, to hand edit a config file to tune my UI. That crap should actually be exposed on the GUI you stupid mutherfuckers!

To me, Unity netbook was better (1)

twilight30 (84644) | more than 3 years ago | (#35837646)

I found Unity netbook from 10.10 to be acceptable after a bit of use, but the upgrade to Natty beta was enough for me to drop it in favour of just going back to Gnome 2. I'm also trying out Gnome 3, and both these 2 as well as KDE all feel like suboptimal blind stabs at some holy grail rather than fast and practical.

Might have to try out Enlightenment again, or xfce. i dunno.

Re:To me, Unity netbook was better (1)

Compaqt (1758360) | more than 3 years ago | (#35837990)

I'll grant this: Unity seems to be a OK interface for netbooks and possibly touchpads.

You don't want the full desktop experience on those environments.

You don't really care or want Alt+Tab. You'll likely only be doing a few things at once.

Re:To me, Unity netbook was better (1)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 3 years ago | (#35838132)

"I'll grant this: Unity seems to be a OK interface for netbooks and possibly touchpads."

No, I tried it and it sucks on netbooks too. It doesn't actually work reliably, and the bits that do work don't let you do quite a lot of stuff that the classic interface does.

Re:To me, Unity netbook was better (1)

Compaqt (1758360) | more than 3 years ago | (#35838176)

OK, that's a data point.

I hadn't used it on netbooks, by the way.

I guess this is going to be another my-way-or-the-highway Ubuntu fiasco, like window controls on the left, the faux-Mac design, "windicators" [google.com] .

Re:To me, Unity netbook was better (1)

DrXym (126579) | more than 3 years ago | (#35838212)

I'll grant this: Unity seems to be a OK interface for netbooks and possibly touchpads.

You don't want the full desktop experience on those environments.

You don't really care or want Alt+Tab. You'll likely only be doing a few things at once.

My experience of Unity is it is a useful UI for netbooks. It is a compact UI. Problem is it's inflicted on EVERY desktop regardless of size and doesn't appear to have configurable settings that would make it more tolerable/useful on large desktops. I don't want the single Mac style menu or the dock on the left, or indeed the behaviour it uses to hide itself. All these things should be configurable through a UI. I'm aware there are settings in text files that control these things, but they have to be in the UI. The app menu is also entirely absent and the ordered collection of apps it offered has been replaced by a horrible unordered list of apps that must be filtered to reduce the clutter. It's just very ugly.

The consolation prize is Ubuntu still lets you drop to a "classic" desktop and I do agree with the principle of eating dogfood to iron out the bugs. I just hope they do it with Unity before releasing. Delay by a month or two and get it right. I do think GNOME 3 and Unity have the grains of a usable desktop but they need a lot of polish.

Re:To me, Unity netbook was better (1)

oakwine (1709682) | more than 3 years ago | (#35838032)

Xfce better for what I do. If even that. Holy Grails are only available from commercial vendors like Microsoft, Apple, and Google. Corporations can maintain design focus while products of volunteer groups are chunky, quirky collections of everyone's ideas. Next name of Ubuntu release, Quirky Quillboar. Any further questions about why the vast majority of users are not adopting Linux?

shit article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35837648)

It would be better to have just linked the actual mailing list thread https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel/2011-April/032988.html

If you actually read through it, you'll see the user experience team and the devs aren't surprised by the crashes at all - in fact it has only one mention and the rest of the focus is on the other stats. They're well aware of the state of unity and expect it to change over the coming weeks. Part of the reason 11.04 is in a second beta rather than an RC is that they expect to make many more changes before 11.04 reaches its final state.

Re:shit article (1)

danbuter (2019760) | more than 3 years ago | (#35837786)

There will be no RC for Ubuntu 11.04. They just renamed it to Beta2. So it's the exact same thing as a release candidate.

Ignore crappy blog - link to results (5, Informative)

Xgamer4 (970709) | more than 3 years ago | (#35837682)

Just ignore the crappy blog link. It's not really helpful at all. Here's a link to the actual results:
https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel/2011-April/032988.html [ubuntu.com]

Re:Ignore crappy blog - link to results (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35838094)

It struck me as odd that there's only 1 ubuntu user on that list. Who cares what Windows and Mac users think... don't they care what Ubuntu users think?

Hard to Figured Out (3, Funny)

dcollins (135727) | more than 3 years ago | (#35837686)

FTA: "None of the participants could figured out what Ubuntu One."

Indeed.

Seriously? This is news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35837692)

Why is anyone surprised that bugs are discovered during testing with unreleased software?

Re:Seriously? This is news? (2)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 3 years ago | (#35837722)

The most surprising part is that this'll ship by the end of the month...

Poor headline... (1)

osu-neko (2604) | more than 3 years ago | (#35837694)

Not that the situation isn't bad, just that, if you read the original article, you'll see the crashing will be easy to fix compared to all the other, far more serious problems with the new UI.

I like Ubuntu 11.04 (5, Interesting)

Mass Overkiller (1999306) | more than 3 years ago | (#35837724)

I have to admit that when I installed Ubuntu 11.04 beta with Unity, I felt the need to repartition my hard drive to make more room for linux and less room for windows. I like the desktop, I like the bar thingie on the left (whatever it's called). I like typing "System" and having it give me an application to click rather than wade through 3 submenus. There have been a few bugs like not being able to select that bar thingie on the left sometimes, and I still don't know what that Ubuntu icon is for or why it turns blue. Also, I'd like not to have to type my password in when I boot into linux - I thought that was why I selected "auto login" as an option. I truly enjoy this latest version and I'm thinking of keeping it. Just fix the bugs. I'll adjust myself to the layout quickly enough.

Ridiculously misleading, nobody crashed it... (0)

Zapotek (1032314) | more than 3 years ago | (#35837734)

... a few people just couldn't figure out how to perform certain actions.
Here's the actual announcement: https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel/2011-April/032988.html [ubuntu.com]

Re:Ridiculously misleading, nobody crashed it... (1)

Zapotek (1032314) | more than 3 years ago | (#35837740)

Scratch that, I missed the last item in the announcement -- my bad.

Re:Ridiculously misleading, nobody crashed it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35838182)

It's misleading either way, it's still BETA software; this test was obviously conducted at some earlier point in time. Not that I have particularly much faith in Ubuntu, but seriously; "Pre-beta software crashes frequently, news at 11"....

Re:Ridiculously misleading, nobody crashed it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35837754)

... a few people just couldn't figure out how to perform certain actions.

Here's the actual announcement: https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel/2011-April/032988.html [ubuntu.com]

Slashdot does have a lot of misleading summaries, but, from your own link:

"5/11 participants (P2, P3, P5, P9, P10, P11) crashed Unity during their hour of testing. And towards the end of her test, P11 opened a zombie quicklist that stayed on top of everything and didn't respond to clicks."

Re:Ridiculously misleading, nobody crashed it... (1)

ayvee (1125639) | more than 3 years ago | (#35837772)

"5/11 participants (P2, P3, P5, P9, P10, P11)"

Wait, so is it 5/11 or 6/11?

Re:Ridiculously misleading, nobody crashed it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35838196)

The typical response from open source zealots; everything negative must be FUD (even if it comes from official sources and is PGP signed). :-D

It's just bad UI (4, Interesting)

cripkd (709136) | more than 3 years ago | (#35837746)

The fact that it crashes is not the end of the world. Ubuntu 11.04 is still in beta.
What I don't understand is why Unity has made so many bad UI decisions.

1. the icons are on the left, to conserve vertical space. Ok, but I'm NOT on a netbook. Why not give me the option to move it at the top or at the bottom ?
2. The icons are on the left. Whenever you use content on a screen (in mostt western countries) you start scanning the screen with your eyes from the left to the right. Why do I have to see some brightly colored icons everytime I move to the next line? This never happens if the bar is at the bottom. The eyes focus on the content not on some list of eye-candy icons. Again, why no move it to the RIGHT at least?
3. The window title/window controls fiasco. I don't see why should I perform a specific action to either see the whole title of the window,l the window control buttons or the usual application "File" menu. The desktop is not yet an iPhone. The desktop is still another paradigm. The application menu should be visible at all times! We're not all just using firefox all day long (see Eclipse for exmple.)
4. Blurred windows menus. Why do I have to first focus the window and then hover or something to get it's menu?

PS. Speaking of usability, why does slashdot redirect to it's main page after logging in ??? I still hope unity will change a lot in the next 1-2 years,, otherwise it's just crap they put out to spite gnome.

Re:It's just bad UI (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35837780)

2. The icons are on the left. Whenever you use content on a screen (in mostt western countries) you start scanning the screen with your eyes from the left to the right. Why do I have to see some brightly colored icons everytime I move to the next line? This never happens if the bar is at the bottom. The eyes focus on the content not on some list of eye-candy icons. Again, why no move it to the RIGHT at least?

I had the same thought myself. Those icons should be out of my way most of the time but maybe it's dangerous to put them close to scrollbars at the right edge of windows. An old school applications menu or even a bottom-of-the-screen dock (which is one of the reasons I don't like Macs) seems a better solution to me.

PS. Speaking of usability, why does slashdot redirect to it's main page after logging in ???

Very annoying indeed. What's even more annoying is that you lose what you've been writing if you discover you're not logged in only when you click on Preview. It happened to me right now so I'm posting as AC. Copying to the clipboard and pasting it back later is annoying and sometimes finding again the post you wanted to reply to is difficult and time consuming (not now as there are still only a few posts). The login dialog should be rewritten in ajax.

One more thing, they should find a way to dramatically speed up the Preview button, the first time we hit it.

Re:It's just bad UI (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35837788)

...and Gnome 3 is just crap they put out to spite their users.

Re:It's just bad UI (3, Interesting)

Khazunga (176423) | more than 3 years ago | (#35838054)

I installed 11.04 this week, and I totally disagree. I absolutely love top-level navigation taking over horizontal space instead of vertical space, as well as other vertical-space saving features, such as moving the menu onto the title bar. Naturally, I appreciate this more because my laptop has a 12" display. Were I on a 24" desktop LCD and I could spare space for the menus. However, if you are so inclined, this is just a gtk option. It's easy to move menus to their standard location, Unity does not bind you to that decision.

As for readability with icons on the left, just maximize your windows or move them to the left of the screen. It will push the icons away.

Sometimes, I think people criticize ANY change. I'm not involved with Unity and have not accompanied its development. The final result was a total surprise to me this week. I like it. There are corners to be polished, for sure, but it's an excellent first version.

Re:It's just bad UI (2)

PybusJ (30549) | more than 3 years ago | (#35838216)

Sometimes, I think people criticize ANY change.

Yes, and the answer is to give people the options to respond to change at the pace that they can cope with. Attract them in with better interfaces, which if they are better will become apparent over time. Releasing "upgrades" to previous versions which take away functionality people are used to and doesn't offer configuration is guaranteed to annoy users. Considering the interface people have huge amounts invested in using a deprecated compatibility option which is there for hardware they don't support is not good.

Why should people have to change at Ubuntu's pace to continue to get their work done? Apple are the only company who've managed to successively transition a large number of users from one technology to another, and, on the desktop, they have a rather specific userbase (plus high quality design which only gets released when it's ready).

With their bug #1, Ubuntu always seem to be designing for the users they don't have (and will quite probably never get) rather than looking after the interests of their current users.

While I do actually like the direction of Unity as a netbook interface (where it started out in fact), I'm much less happy for my multi-screen desktop where I'm used to configuring things as makes sense to me, for my tasks, rather than in the fashion that Canonical UI designers think makes sense to them for their typical users (mostly inexperienced switchers from Windows/Mac if the testees in the article are anything to go by).

Re:It's just bad UI (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 3 years ago | (#35838206)

Not to sound trollish but Ubuntu 11.04 is about to be released. This is very troubling that will give Linux a bad name. I used to laugh at Microsoft for such releases but I find them to be much more stable than Linux in the past decade. Windows 7 was far past beta and RC status and was stable for 98% of users with zero months before it came out. Not ... gee lets skip an RC to have it out in 2 weeks.

Come on Canical seriously? A disclaimer, I am an anti Ubuntu user with likes Fedora and has totally switched back to Windows thanks to Gnome 3 and KDE 4.

If I were Shuttleworth I would keep gnome 2.8 as default and put Unity as a technology preview until 11.10. Many Linux users will not like this and are not ready to switch. I hope gnome 3 or Unity in the case of Ubuntu evolves to something useful. In my opinion it is not ready and may not ever be.

unity rocks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35837776)

I hated Unity early on but now see the method to the madness. Now that its stable, i prefer it to standard gnome. Some apps like Vuze dont dock to the system tray but what is a system tray anyway?, another stupid place to put a task where it shouldnt be. I would prefer a service tray for services that dont have a gui like mysql, postgres, apache, squid etc.. simply to know there running and to start and stop them. Unity is a step forward.

Openbox (1)

XFire35 (1519315) | more than 3 years ago | (#35837796)

I use Openbox, none of this Unity, KDE, GNOME3 rubbish for me. Are DEs really needed?

Re:Openbox (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35838142)

Enlightenment user here. No, they are not.

I hope they backport into 11.04 after release (1)

danbuter (2019760) | more than 3 years ago | (#35837806)

I'm sure there will be tons of fixing going on for the 11.10 release. I really hope they backport the Unity fixes into 11.04. They already backport Firefox and Office releases, so if they do Unity as well, 11.04 should improve over time. If they keep Unity locked where it is at release, that will probably cause a lot of users to either switch to Gnome Classic, if they can figure out how, or switch to another distro (maybe just staying with 10.10).

a lightweight alternative (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35837918)

There's always the lubuntu project which gives you a light, fast and usable desktop without tons of overhead, really great for linux audio systems where you want to use as much cpu for sound as possible: http://lubuntu.net/

configured to unusable (1)

kwoff (516741) | more than 3 years ago | (#35837948)

I upgraded to Natty a week ago, and I was so flustered with Unity that I tried to disable it somehow. Much worse than the other idiotic "design decisions" they've made recently, like with moving the window buttoms to the left. I clicked a few options, I think something to do with Compiz, and Unity seemed to crash and the desktop became basically unusuable. I tried logging back in, but was presented with an emtpy desktop where nothing happened when clicking. It turns out that I can login with the older style desktop at the login screen, though I haven't figured out how to "reset" the Unity configuration.

so... (4, Insightful)

hitmark (640295) | more than 3 years ago | (#35838034)

looks like i will be using XFCE for the foreseeable future. Tho if this dumbing down spreads, i may be forced to go LXDE or even FVWM...

Unity: one equals zero. (4, Insightful)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 3 years ago | (#35838102)

I have installed Ubuntu Natty Narwhal. The new Unity interface is stupidly shit. Half the stuff literally does not work on my netbook. If you woke up one day and thought:

"Gosh, I'd really like to make using my universal general-purpose computer that I can do ANYTHING with feel like I'm using a locked-down phone running an obsolete version of Android through the clunky mechanism some l33t h@xx0r used to jailbreak it, I can't think of a better user experience"

- this gets you quite a lot of the way there.

If you want it to feel a bit more like a computer, log out, select "Ubuntu Classic" and log back in and then you'll only have the Mac ripoff menu arrangements to contend with.

I actually liked the old UNR interface. I wonder where it all went horribly wrong.

Do the same with someone who has never used OSX (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35838130)

...and you'll get worse result. OSX UI is good, but not intuitive, if you've never used it. Once you have, it is good.

Since those people were not familiar to Ubuntu, this was a measure of UI intuitivity.

The crashes are not good. But crashes are fixable. Take the callstack, and fix it.

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