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Elementary OS 0.2 "Luna" Released

samzenpus posted about 8 months ago | from the welcome-to-the-world dept.

Operating Systems 117

First time accepted submitter kazade84 writes "Over the weekend the Elementary team released the stable version of Elementary OS, codenamed "Luna" which is based on Ubuntu 12.04. The new OS features an entirely custom desktop shell called Pantheon which has been developed from scratch using Vala and Gtk+ which allows for fast apps with a small memory footprint. Elementary OS has been years in the making, and the team have documented the process in their latest blog post."

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117 comments

why (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44541183)

I don't understand why everyone is making such a huge fuss about this. Do so many of us really desire an OS X themed window manager?

Re:why (2)

CrimsonKnight13 (1388125) | about 8 months ago | (#44541217)

To go further with this thought... Is it any good regardless of "popular" consensus for an OS X alternative?

Re:why (0)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 8 months ago | (#44541325)

Why is OSX an option at all?

It lacks X conventions, customizability is a total joke, the only good thing about it is compositing. Honestly, it's second monitor support manages to be worse than most Linux Distros

Re:why (4, Interesting)

iggymanz (596061) | about 8 months ago | (#44541537)

My Mac at work makes a fine X terminal, of what X conventions are you speaking? my mac has in .xinitrc. some crazy people even install X11 based desktops on their mac osx.

customizing? I have computer to do work, not fart around with desktop appearance beyond color or font.

my three monitors are working well, get video hardware/drivers that are well supported by mac osx and there are no issue.

Re:why (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 8 months ago | (#44541727)

font size and ui widgets size changing is a nice customization..

Re:why (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44542233)

font size is changeable via a 'defaults write' command or a free tool like TinkerTool or many others. widget changing requires a bit more hacking

Re:why (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 8 months ago | (#44543247)

font size is changeable via a 'defaults write' command or a free tool like TinkerTool or many others. widget changing requires a bit more hacking

last time I tried it was .. less than ideal, things just break badly. and couldn't find any hacks for widget sizing, menubar sizing etc, which are what really kill osx on high resolution smaller monitors for me.

Re:why (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 8 months ago | (#44541821)

Highlight Middle click copy paste for one.
Using the clipboard is not the same.

I want FFM. Find me that checkbox please.

Try using a thunderbolt to HDMI adaptor. Welcome to the monitor resetting many times a day.

Re:why (1)

berj (754323) | about 8 months ago | (#44541919)

Highlight/middle click works for me in the OS X terminal. It's not *quite* the same as the shell on my Linux machine since you can only paste once but it's relatively workable. It's definitely not OS-wide but the functionality is there in a limited capacity (good enough for me personally)

Generally I prefer using the clipboard since many times I have to highlight the text that I want to paste/replace.

What's FFM?

Re:why (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 8 months ago | (#44542401)

Focus Follows Mouse

Re:why (1)

berj (754323) | about 8 months ago | (#44543807)

Ah. Again.. they've implemented that in the terminal but not much else.

It's something that would be nice but certainly not a dealbreaker for me personally. Certain things follow the mouse (scrolling, for example. I can scroll the window under my mouse even though it's not selected). I can see a number of stumbling blocks for this on the mac (mainly owing to the pervasive application menu) but I think they could all be overcome with a bit of design savvy.

I'd be happy to see the feature but I don't need it.

As a long time Linux and Mac OS user (80% of my work time is spent on a linux workstation) I can unequivocally state that for my needs any downside to OS X is far outweighed by the upside. I'm not sure about other desktop environments (nor do I really have the time or energy to try any to be honest) but I would much rather use my Mac than spend time in KDE. I get all of the unix goodness that I love and I get an absolutely wonderful GUI to boot.

Re:why (2)

oPless (63249) | about 8 months ago | (#44542027)

Middle click: Different OS, sorry.
Clipboard: Oh wait ... it's a different OS, sorry.
FFM: I'm sure if you talk to the barman at your local hotel, you'll be able to sort out a FFM. Might cost you though.
Thunderbolt/HDMI: works fine for me, and I've got a random mini-displayport -> HDMI cable that now works with audio now I've upgraded from my old 2009 mbpro.

I've had a bunch of monitors (Maximum three at the last count, though I probably could do four if I wanted to cope with bazillion cables attached to my laptop) set up without problems:
1. Air Display
2. Lenovo DisplayLink monitor
3. Another DisplayLink Adapter on a wide range of monitors (VGA/HDMI/DVI)
4. DisplayPort/ThunderBolt -> HDMI
5. DisplayPort/ThunderBolt -> DVI

None have "reset" even once a day.

Re:why (1)

akirapill (1137883) | about 8 months ago | (#44543659)

Highlight middle click copy paste is a bloody UI abortion. I applaud any application that breaks this convention. From freedesktop.org: [freedesktop.org]
  • 1. It's inconsistent with Mac/Windows;
  • 2. It's confusingly. Selecting anything overwrites the clipboard;
  • 3. It's not efficient with a tool such as xclipboard;
  • 4. You should be able to select text, then paste the clipboard over it, but that doesn't work if the selection and clipboard are the same;
  • 5. The copy menu item is useless and does nothing, which is confusing;
  • 6. If you think of PRIMARY as the current selection, cut doesn't make any sense since the selection simultaneously disappears and becomes the current selection.

I would like to add that this behavior completely takes over the middle mouse button, rendering the input useless except for this application which is only efficient in a very specific use case (you want to paste the thing you just highlighted)

Re:why (1)

guantamanera (751262) | about 8 months ago | (#44542079)

my three monitors are working well, get video hardware/drivers that are well supported by mac osx and there are no issue.

Yeah there is no issue viewing multiple monitors in MacOS, the Problem is working with them. The menus is what makes using multiple monitor in mac very anoying. I have not used it in a long time since I got rid of macos, maybe it has been fixed. I had 4 monitors and I had to put many miles all the time to get to the menus of the application I was using, because the menu only displays in the main monitor.

Re:why (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about 8 months ago | (#44542259)

Do so many of us really desire an OS X themed window manager?

I don't much care for any OSX themed desktops, but the extended outing for Vala is much more interesting.

Glib is a not bad dynamic object system which requires no more than the C runtime. So far almost all hacking is done in C. This is quite incredbly painful and I'm honestly surprised that the people developing with GLib persisted for as long as they did.

Really it's awful. It's the most astonishingly verbose system where you have to do *everything* by hand the slow and painful way and any application logic is hidden under a morasse of glib code.

Vala gets rid of that, leaving only the god bits apparently.

Re:why (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44542719)

Hey, it's newsworthy if it's a Linux distro whose default desktop is neither Gnome nor KDE. Doubly so if they're writing their own desktop.

Re:why (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44542721)

Don't worry scro'. Havin' plenty o' 'tards out there, living really kick-ass lives.

My first wife was â(TM)tarded. Sheâ(TM)s designing iOS now.

Re:why (1)

nine-times (778537) | about 8 months ago | (#44543855)

I'm not sure it's about the OSX theme per se, but I'm interested in the idea of having a stripped down desktop UI that's very simple, moderately attractive and modern looking, and doesn't do anything crazy.

Examples of "doing something crazy" would be like replacing the Windows Start menu with a weird full-screen menu and trying to force desktop users to use tablet applications, like what Microsoft did. "Doing something crazy" would also include Gnome 3's overhaul, which still kind of confuses me.

It seems like OSX has the only desktop UI that has simplified and modernized the desktop experience without losing their minds.

Re:why (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44544037)

I don't understand why everyone is making such a huge fuss about this. Do so many of us really desire an OS X themed window manager?

Unlike every other Ubuntu derivative (Mint, Zorin, and freaking every other distro), they actually took what is good in Ubuntu and improved the missing parts. If we did not care about UX, why even recognize a distribution like Mint (for cinnamon). If everything could be achieved in Ubuntu, we should start a campaign to kill every other ubuntu derivative (I am think about kubuntu, lubuntu). Since ubuntu is a debian derivative, we should kill Ubuntu too, because with some effort everything that is on ubuntu can be compiled and installed on Debian.

May be there needs to be only two distribution "Red Hat Enterprise Linux" and "Debian wait for ever version 7".

So how is Elementary different?
1. It is beautiful and it is functional, without overdoing anything.
2. Functions and options just appear when they need to.
3. They have not put every configuration option on the menubar and called it a better UI
4. It is the first UX made for computer users and not for system admins or programmers.
5. First distribution, that followed feature and usability over 6 month cycle and put what ever is available.

Well, I could go on.

They are not perfect. I also have questions about how they are going to proceed with such a small team. How easy it is going to be, if they don't follow Ubuntu (because of Mir).

However, they have managed to create a statement that, user interface and out of the box experience matters much more than version number of your software. I hope they influence the big players to care about these things more.

Re:why (1)

mcdonald.or (985710) | about 8 months ago | (#44544297)

I definitely like the OSX theme that they showed, but there is no compelling reason, for me to switch to Luna from OSX. Because, under the hood, OSX is BSD.

BSD allows you to do almost all the things you can do with Linux, albeit, some of the command line arguments are a bit different from UNIX, but since most Linux distro's support both versions of command line arguments, this is not such a big deal.

Re:why (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44544967)

People keep saying this even though it isn't true. OSX's kernel (XNU) is based on the Mach kernel mixed with BSD. Mach may be descended from BSD but it is *not* BSD, not least because it is a microkernel. OSX has a hybrid kernel.

Take a look: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XNU [wikipedia.org]

It *is* Unix (despite its name) but it's not BSD.

Re:why (1)

wjcofkc (964165) | about 8 months ago | (#44544699)

I've been giving a spin all day, and I can tell you it is much more than an OS X themed window manager. I know that's not much of a review, and if I have time maybe I'll put one together, but I suggest you try it before knocking it - it's actually pretty wonderful.

Re:why (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | about 8 months ago | (#44544793)

Well, OS X themed isn't bad, I like their UI look. However this Elementary OS doesn't seem to be that either. It seem oriented towards "apps". Ie, Linux underneath, applets on top ala tablets/phones, or at least simplified minimalist designed framework on top. It's incredibly hard to tell what it is without installing as their website is obtuse and lacking in solid information. Even Apple's web sites are more informative and down to earth.

What's new? (3, Insightful)

pipatron (966506) | about 8 months ago | (#44541211)

So what's in there which isn't in Ubuntu?

Judging the book by the cover, it looks like someone thought this new cool programming language of the week was the most awesome ever, wrote a few wrappers to some applications, and released it as a new distro.

Re:What's new? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44541247)

The new OS features an entirely custom desktop shell called Pantheon which has been developed from scratch using Vala and Gtk+ ...

Re:What's new? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44541331)

and why the need to release and advertise an entire new desktop OS when just the desktop shell is novel? people don't know how to create software packages anymore?

Re:What's new? (1)

liamevo (1358257) | about 8 months ago | (#44542961)

This type of thinking is why mass adoption will never happen on the desktop. You are entirely correct of course, but the OS will continue to be a niche for people who know how to properly use a computer when you only think about things in their technical terms. The same reason the UX and design of open source software has always lagged behind property counter parts, because of thoughts like "If the option is available, then anything else to make it nicer is just wasted cycles, bloat or fluff"

For proper adoption it needs to just work, it's needs to be easy to market and it needs to make sense to joe public. I could sell this to my none geeky friends and family much easier then I could sell ubuntu +pantheon window manager. "Oh it's easy, see you just open the terminal, why yes it does look like what hackers use in movies, now you type sudo apt-get install pantheon... What's that mean? Well, the sudo bit gives you temporary admin access letting you make changes to the system, apt-get is a program that lets you download other programs, install is the command for apt-get and pantheon is the window manager we want to install... well the window manager is what the OS uses to give you windows, it manages how.. *looks up and sees a blank face looking back with glazed eyes* you know what, nevermind. Ok, log out and then select which window manager you want to use, yes there are a variety to choose from, why? well, because "choice is good"... oh, you think that's confusing? Well I guess it could be... blah blah blah

Compare that to "Check out something called Elementary OS. You might like it compared to windows"

Re:What's new? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44543213)

For proper adoption it needs to just work, it's needs to be easy to market and it needs to make sense to joe public.

do you really think it will be a couple of guys that do not even have any reputation in the community that will come up with the level of vertical integration you are talking about? these guys here, they basically slapped a desktop shell over ubuntu. meanwhile you have Linux distributions working their asses off at full power to attain just a bit of differentiation (see Mint Linux for example).
also, their homepage is just a smoke cloud of buzzwords and propaganda. one of their buzzwords is that their OS is more consistent.. then, explain me, what will happen if one day canonical decides to change any of the underlying core pieces of their system (already happened - wayland et al.)? do you really think the couple of guys behind Elementary OS will be able to develop workarounds or compatibility layers to keep their OS "consistent"?? of course not, they will follow whatever ubuntu deploys because they won't have the power to do that.

Re:What's new? (1)

liamevo (1358257) | about 8 months ago | (#44543993)

Nope, I don't think these will be the guys to do it. I just think the engineer mindset is too prevalent in the open source world (for good reason of course). We need more designers, UX people and others who are not blinded by the technology involved, to pull it all together into a seamless experience, one where the terminal is relegated to the last resort for the normal users (I'd still be using it every day), it shouldn't be something they have to learn to effectively manage their pc these days.

Ubuntu have been trying, but they suffer the same problem of "it's good enough, all the features are accessible". Look at the software centre, it's a piece of shit. It's not a nice experience to browse and install software through, and as much as that might just sound like fluff to some, it's fucking important to get it right, not just transfer what you can do in the terminal to a gui.

Re:What's new? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44544251)

Ubuntu have been trying, but they suffer the same problem of "it's good enough, all the features are accessible". Look at the software centre, it's a piece of shit. It's not a nice experience to browse and install software through, and as much as that might just sound like fluff to some, it's fucking important to get it right, not just transfer what you can do in the terminal to a gui.

you already have plenty of platforms accessible enough for dumb users, heck one of them is even Linux based (Android). but i think that is battling the problem the wrong way. nowadays everyone is pretty much expected to know how to do some programming/scripting, we need more educated users and not more platforms for dumb users.

Re:What's new? (5, Insightful)

AlreadyStarted (523251) | about 8 months ago | (#44541311)

More like someone wanted something different from what was already available, and put their desire into a project that created something new. Good for them. Hacker spirit and all.

Re:What's new? (1, Insightful)

OzPeter (195038) | about 8 months ago | (#44541393)

More like someone wanted something different from what was already available, and put their desire into a project that created something new.

Good for them. Hacker spirit and all.

But basically taking a bunch of Ubuntu themes, adding some different application handling code, a new desktop manager and touting it as an "OS" is disingenuous to say the least.

Re:What's new? (2, Interesting)

geek (5680) | about 8 months ago | (#44541421)

The distro itself is a joke. I've been battling these guys for a couple years on another Linux blog. They love to swarm it like flies on shit and tell everyone how great they are. They've done nothing but copy OS X's look and feel from the start and then go off on tangents about how "It can't be done any other way"

There isn't an original thought in the entire group. They even have one guy that does nothing but hang out on social media and spam about Elementary. He went so far as to email me personally (how he got my email I dont know) and wrote a 4 page letter trying to sell me on their distro.

The only upside I see to it is that these young guys are learning a thing or two about Linux and programming which may or may not benefit them in the future when they grow up. I'll give them props though, they are far more productive than I was at that age. I just wish they would contribute to a decent distro instead of this pile of garbage.

Re:What's new? (2)

gl4ss (559668) | about 8 months ago | (#44541563)

I thought from your comment it can't be that bad.
then I opened their homepage.

immediate result: burst out laughing.

spent some time trying to find screenshots, couldn't find them. the fuckers even implemented a hidden end of page menu on their homepage, that wouldn't be too bad hipster design if on their journal they hadn't implemented automatic load more upon reaching end of page...

I did gather as much as that they don't really understand why double clicking exists(to select an item vs. activating it).

oh well..

Re:What's new? (2)

geek (5680) | about 8 months ago | (#44541609)

Watch their little Luna intro video. It's so Mac like as to be ridiculous. These guys are in complete denial of how much they copy from Apple. I think Samsung envies them for not being sued yet. Even the style of their website mimics Apple.

They used to have a forum but it got shut down because they got so much hate on it about their inability to form original ideas. Now they have some blurb on there about "They feel social media provides the outlet needed" instead of a project forum.

Just a complete joke.

Re:What's new? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44541841)

This from someone jerk who can't properly punctuate/capitalize a damn sentence.

Go Away .. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44541605)

"The distro itself is a joke. I've been battling these guys for a couple years on another Linux blog"

Patents (1)

jbolden (176878) | about 8 months ago | (#44541659)

I believe there are 269 patents on the Aqua interface elements. If you are right, given they sell this distro for $10, they better hope they are never successful enough to get noticed.

Sheesh (3, Insightful)

JoeCommodore (567479) | about 8 months ago | (#44541305)

Can't you guys just let us have a menu where we can select a program from a list of all the ones already installed and let us put our crap on the desktop?

Every GUI OS designer wants to present stuff stylishly and enforce some good file housekeeping paradigm, must of us users just want to be able to select (not find) our installed programs and store files were we expect them.

Screen organization and the other stuff of elementary is nice, if you are going to be inspired by Apple, include letting us put stuff on the desktop and give us a thing like "applications folder" were we can quickly browse installed programs.

Re:Sheesh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44542211)

Right!

My use of any interface is unique.

The interface designers job is to facilitate not dictate.

1) I expect to be able to access my frequently used programs and data with ONE click.

2) To meet my expectations an interface MUST allow customization.

Any interface which is not designed to meet these expectations is an F'ing FAILURE.

It's very simple.

Re:Sheesh (2)

deviated_prevert (1146403) | about 8 months ago | (#44542873)

Can't you guys just let us have a menu where we can select a program from a list of all the ones already installed and let us put our crap on the desktop?

Every GUI OS designer wants to present stuff stylishly and enforce some good file housekeeping paradigm, must of us users just want to be able to select (not find) our installed programs and store files were we expect them.

Screen organization and the other stuff of elementary is nice, if you are going to be inspired by Apple, include letting us put stuff on the desktop and give us a thing like "applications folder" were we can quickly browse installed programs.

xfce in pure form without some cludged up distros' customizations. Nothing around runs faster than good old slackware and a pure xfce DE. Simple mouse activated menu anywhere on the desktop and easily customizable. Zenwalk was great at one time but seems to have gone down hill.

Patrick has it nailed, keep the OS clean as a whistle and avoid too much ln -s crap built in the install scripts. This is the whole problem with most distros, you spend way too much time trying to find how the linked libs work and each distro pollutes usr and obfuscates how to compile source! If someone uses a lib then you can bet instead of keeping the build environment simple they will change core directories to make their build not work with other distros. MINT has become a hodge podge of libs splattered all over the place in usr so have all the Ubuntu variants. LSB is a joke when distros deliberately obfuscate core functionality.

For instance once upon a time you could just go to usr/lib/*browser/plugins folder and drop adobe flash.so into it. Now installing a flash plugin is so stupidly obfuscated that you need a frigging distro specific plugin installer to do the deed. THIS IS WHY Adobe and others have stopped supporting linux. Can you blame them for not wanting to field questions on their forums from Linux newbees wondering why they can't use flash from Adobe like they can with Windows?

Why did Patrick drop Gnome? It was because these guys pulled the same crap and obfuscated where things go and made including gnome on in a distro a royal PITA. Once upon a time installing linux and running it was fun, now because of differences between how distros splatter around libs it is a steep learning curve to even do something as simple as install the latest Google Earth.

I do not see this distro as being any different except that being coded in vala it might just be more multimedia friendly as there was some good work being done with DLNA and vala [gnome.org] for GNOME 3 of all places. So if anything this distro could beat Ubuntu to the punch with communication through DLNA to things like Samsung phones and the like. Nifty things like playing vids pictures, and music through DLNA directly to your laptop desktop, something that should happen very soon with Linux if the distros stop bashing each other by obfuscating access to libs.

Re:Sheesh (0)

cirrus_minor (2461290) | about 8 months ago | (#44543529)

Nothing around runs faster than good old slackware and a pure xfce DE

Archlinux/slackware w/ Openbox,Xmonad, dwm, i3 etc etc does, in my tests openbox consumes less resources than xfce.
why would any linux user want to emulate a mac ?

Re:Sheesh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44545151)

Dunno, maybe they like the interface?

Re:Sheesh (2)

deviated_prevert (1146403) | about 8 months ago | (#44547197)

Nothing around runs faster than good old slackware and a pure xfce DE

Archlinux/slackware w/ Openbox,Xmonad, dwm, i3 etc etc does, in my tests openbox consumes less resources than xfce. why would any linux user want to emulate a mac ?

To a certain extent you are right. But at least xfce can easily be made to do things the way you want them. I have found that if you strip it down thunar is really a great file manager and that xfce does not hang or cludge up launchers the way other desktops do. I remember the Mac wantabee desktop OS called Dream which only proved that you could fool mac user into thinking you were using OS 10 LOL. Fact is that xfce runs really well if you want speed and you know how to set it up. Sure there are DEs which use less resources but a decent setup with xfce4.XX will run fast on old P11 450s and 512 meg of ram if you know what you are doing and how to set up a linux box the right way. The days of running on less than 512 meg of ram are dead, though it is possible with some skinny desktops that are essentially just a way to run an x session. This is the beauty of linux you can run old hardware and make it work well on the net on just about anything out there! These guys making a skinny Mac UI look alike is nothing new, I have been thinking of doing a Win95 clone DE just for laughs. Hell you can even rename the file manager to explorer ...who cares. ROLF

Re:Sheesh (1)

Patch86 (1465427) | about 8 months ago | (#44543673)

Doesn't KDE still follow the traditional click-the-menu paradigm? As does XFCE, Cinammon, MATE, LXDE, and most of the "lightweight" ones.

Gnome might not (I haven't tried Gnome 3 in ages). Unity presents a big text search by default, but the clickable list of all applications (filterable by category, as in Gnome 2) is only 2 clicks away. And this new fella (from TFA) is just an OS X clone- same paradigm Apple have been plugging for decades.

In other words, you worry too much.

More Lin-sux copying Apple (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44541333)

OS X for the win... *AGAIN*.

Why a new distro? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44541337)

Why not release pantheon as a package for any old ubuntu user who wants his computer to look like a Mac? Do they plan to contribute such a package upstream?

All I see is another attempt to set up yet another "app store" with a bunch of bullshit jargon about being "faster and more lightweight". It's still just ubuntu and x-windows, but with worse support and a fairly useless and uninformative website (obviously not reaching out to technical users).

If they want to clone MacOS, they should start with Darwin, and go from there. ReactOS is more interesting to me than this.

crap based on crap is .. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44541353)

.. crap

Congratulations (2)

Luthair (847766) | about 8 months ago | (#44541409)

You copied OSX.

Re:Congratulations (1)

spikeb (966663) | about 8 months ago | (#44541583)

Great design isn't new, it builds upon prior success. also, a dock on the bottom != copying OSX

Re:Congratulations (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44541769)

Great design isn't new, it builds upon prior success.

also, a dock on the bottom != copying OSX

Take a look at their video. The left pane, right pane and icons all look like OS X. <Seinfeld>Not that there's anything wrong with it.</Seinfeld>

Re:Congratulations (1)

wjcofkc (964165) | about 8 months ago | (#44541787)

They also blatantly copied expose and a host of other OS X functions. This is so brazen I'm a little shocked.

Re:Congratulations (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | about 8 months ago | (#44544839)

As an OS X users, what features are these? Basically there's a dock at the bottom (auto hide to get rid of the ugly thing), plus menu bar up top, plus no borders on windows, plus rounded corners. Really, that's all that would differentiate it at a glance from Windows 7 or KDE or traditional Gnome.

Re:Congratulations (1)

wjcofkc (964165) | about 8 months ago | (#44545091)

I made another post discussing this in slightly more depth further down, read it here:

A brazen copy of OS X [slashdot.org]

Be sure to read the follow up where I reply to myself too. And be sure to give it a spin when you get the chance, it's really very good.

What's the point? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44541467)

How is this different from other distributions? What is the point to it? What sort of use-case is it designed for? I'm all for making new and different things, but I can't find anything that tells me what the point is. Not in TFS, not on the SF page, and not on their website (which has plenty of buzzwords and is very pretty but lacks a statement of purpose). I don't have a problem with making new Linux distributions for any reason under the sun, but unless there's a clear statement of purpose, some reason why I should bother with it, I won't.

More grids? Seriously? (4, Insightful)

mothlos (832302) | about 8 months ago | (#44541559)

Time for my occasional rant on grids.

Grids are terrible for displaying sorted lists of item collections. Almost all of the time, we sort a collection along a single dimension; a grid positions items across two dimensions, but that second dimension holds no information about the sort being performed. If you have more than a few items, your brain has to bounce back and forth and conform to the line breaks that the computer has chosen in order to find items in the collection. Displaying a collection in a table with each collection item taking up one row and attributes of that item can be displayed in table fields (a.k.a. columns) allows for easier, more intuitive searching of the list based on those field values. It also leaves plenty of room for textual display, which fits quite well in a long, horizontal space.

Grids of icons have been a blight upon GUIs for decades. Why do they persist?

Re:More grids? Seriously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44542565)

Its why I like piano more than guitar

Re:More grids? Seriously? (1)

Andreas Mayer (1486091) | about 8 months ago | (#44543323)

Grids of icons have been a blight upon GUIs for decades. Why do they persist?

Seriously?

Because you can put more square icons in a grid of a certain area than you can in list form. Duh.

Re:More grids? Seriously? (1)

Jesus_666 (702802) | about 8 months ago | (#44543445)

Information density when browsing for images or applications? When all you care about is the filename and a preview of the file in question (where appropriate, such as for images or movies; for applications substitute the application's icon) you have two choices:

1. Use a list view, which uses most of the application's real estate to display a bunch of metadata you don't care about. In other words it's horribly inefficient, wasting the X dimension. Depending on how large you want your preview icons to be you might also only be able to fit a couple files on a single screen, which would make browsing rather tedious.
3. Use a grid view, which uses both dimensions to display what you care about: Filenames and preview icons. Given the same icon size this allows you to fit many more files on the same screen, making visually scanning a directory of images more efficient. The human visual system is good at noticing patterns and shapes. You can browse a screenful of images and find the one you seek without carefully inspecting each one of them; just scrolling through a grid of sufficiently-sized previews is usually enough. Likewise for applications (if your OS makes all applicaitons accessible form a single browsable place): You may currently not remember what the program you're looking for is called but you might remember that its icon is a red cursive letter.

Grid views are for a different use case than list views. Both have their place and both are far less useful when used in the wrong situation.

Re:More grids? Seriously? (1)

mothlos (832302) | about 8 months ago | (#44543749)

When, exactly, does the increased information density of grids really help? Grids obscure organization, making navigating through information-dense views worse. Sure, you have more stuff, but it is more difficult to find what you want. More does not immediately mean better and increasing the cognitive load required to solve a problem is not a reasonable solution to utilize 'wasted space'.

Icons are not incompatible with list views and neither are pictures. Scrolling through a list of icons means that the user only has to focus on a single column of information. By narrowing the parameters of the search (simplifying a large, complex visual field) the user's brain is less likely to be distracted by non-useful information. This is not an anti-icon complaint, it is an organizational complaint.

To be clear, I am complaining more about sorted grids vs positional grids, where the physical location of a thing in the grid is largely static and hopefully user configurable. I do have gripes with the latter, but they are not the subject of this particular rant.

Re:More grids? Seriously? (1)

Jesus_666 (702802) | about 8 months ago | (#44544229)

Again, it's possible to scan a grid of images without focusing on each one in turn. (Of course this depends on the image in question and how similar it is to other images in the grid.) If what you're looking for is the mostly-red icon in a directory full of mostly-blue icons or the image with three people in it in a folder mostly filled with landscape pictures you're not gaining anything by displaying those things in a list.

You don't need to bring each picture to the exact center of your vision in order to determine what's roughly in it. That's what a grid view is really for: Make the icons big enough that each one of them is, say, three inches across (or smaller for higly distinctive images like icons), then scroll through entire screenfuls of them. If something looks rougly like the image you'e looking for, you focus on it.

We're good at locating things that aren't organized in one row. That's what we do all day. Additionally, there is very little non-useful information present in a grid view - unlike in a list view, where an unusual bit of metadata might distract you.

I'd like to point out again that my point applies only to cases where you're visually scanning for images. In this case anything that isn't a graphical depiction of the file's contents is useless clutter and the grid view minimizes clutter while allowing our visual system to do its thing and locate the pattern we're looking for. Otherwise the list view does have advantages over the grid view, although it depends on the user whether they are actually used.

Re:More grids? Seriously? (1)

dargaud (518470) | about 8 months ago | (#44543507)

A hundred mod points to you sir. The first thing I change in any finder/explorer/dolphin/file manager is to set it in list form for easy sorting. In addition to that you need to be pretty visually-oriented to be able to find the icon you are looking for on a 1920x1080 screen full of icons. And I'm not. Also why I LOATHE UML, but that's another story.

Room for improvement, but an advance for Linux! (0)

RanceJustice (2028040) | about 8 months ago | (#44541669)

ElementaryOS is likely a bigger benefit to Linux and the FOSS community than those that are focusing solely on its technical shortcomings perceive it to be. Is there room for improvement? Of course. I'd love to see them base it upon a "Linux Mint Debian Edition" or "Arch/Manjaro" style rolling release, to keep everything leading, if not bleeding edge. Heck, I'd like to see a more modern Ubuntu and/or Mint release used as a base. I'd certainly like to see all the "Pantheon" content released upstream and available to be packaged into other distros. However, lets not overlook the benefits that ElementaryOS provides, which will touch the entire Linux community in time.

For years a huge contingent of users and potential users have voiced their experience that most Linux UIs are made "by gurus, for gurus", and lack aesthetically pleasing and functional elements that are the hallmark of a UI developed by a UI designer. In addition, when it comes to desktop Linux, some feel that even current full-featured DEs lack a "unified experience", where tools that are simple, easy to use, and functional are provided from the start. In short, it is the reason that many are drawn to Apple OSX - design, and experience. Well, ElementaryOS provides this, without the restrictions that plague Apple. This is a Linux distro that is not supposed to simply apply an OSX skin to a desktop environment - that can be done easily - but instead replicate the overall experience thereof within the framework of Freedom that Linux provides. They took a long time developing Luna because they wanted to tweak it to a perfect experience and develop new programs to showcase that ideal and experience. It may not be the OS for everyone, but it most certainly brings something new to the the table without impeding the ability of the user to update and customize it as they wish.

Desktop Linux adoption is on the rise thanks to making the platform more accessible, functional, and alluring to users of other operating systems. ElementaryOS is an important step in this regard. It rebukes the idea that Linux developers "just don't get design", and as such it can be a tool to leverage those who are interested in an OSX-like experience to come to Linux and see the benefits thereof. This is a bigger step forward than many are giving credit, and it is thanks to these evolutions that we have greater adoption and it shall only continue to build (ie Linux as a viable desktop platform, bring Steam for Linux, which brings more users to Linux and improvements in GPU drivers etc...) upon these successes.

Re:Room for improvement, but an advance for Linux! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44541839)

They even have one guy that does nothing but hang out on social media and spam about Elementary.

Guess you're that guy.

Zzz...

Re:Room for improvement, but an advance for Linux! (2)

OzPeter (195038) | about 8 months ago | (#44541885)

They even have one guy that does nothing but hang out on social media and spam about Elementary.

Guess you're that guy.

Zzz...

Oh Crap .. is /. really social media now?

Re:Room for improvement, but an advance for Linux! (1)

HybridST (894157) | about 8 months ago | (#44542613)

Depends what editor pushes out a story. Your UID is low enough to know this already. Where have you been?

Remember roland p.? BSD? Phil plaitt? Nortel? The year of the linux desktop? The Taco days?
Astroturfers and FUD?

I shouldn't have a lawn yet...

Re:Room for improvement, but an advance for Linux! (1)

OzPeter (195038) | about 8 months ago | (#44541849)

.. ElementaryOS provides this, without the restrictions that plague Apple. This is a Linux distro that is not supposed to simply apply an OSX skin to a desktop environment - that can be done easily - but instead replicate the overall experience thereof within the framework of Freedom that Linux provides ... it can be a tool to leverage those who are interested in an OSX-like experience to come to Linux and see the benefits thereof.

So what do you think the Apple lawyers will think of this release? Especially since they are selling this "OS"

Re:Room for improvement, but an advance for Linux! (1)

RanceJustice (2028040) | about 8 months ago | (#44542497)

Considering that there is nothing in the style (ie it doesn't even have the "traffic light" button arrangement) that is a direct analog to Apple OSX, nor any applications named in such a way that could confuse users (ie Music is as generic as one can get for a player, and is nothing like calling it iTunes etc), I don't think they have any ground to stand on. Apple may try to litigate everything under the sun, but for the moment simply having a dock and clean design isn't exclusively the purview of Apple. There are tons of far more "OSX-like" visual styles for both Windows and Linux, and thus far Apple has been unable to squash even the most popular of them - thankfully.

ElementaryOS may be developed to fill some of the same design needs as Apple, but does it in a suitably unique way that demonstrates it is a Linux distribution wholly divorced from Apple. I should also mention that they aren't "selling" the OS so much as they are asking for donations. There link right next to the donate button allows you to download for free.

Re:Room for improvement, but an advance for Linux! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44542067)

Good god man! If you're affiliated with the project/team.. you should disclose that.

I don't normally go for the whole "everyones a shill" thing, but this reads like a press release.

Re:Room for improvement, but an advance for Linux! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44542087)

Save your buzzword-wordsalad for techcrunch, skippy the spammer.

shill press release (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44542455)

you guys have absolutely no respect for the work done by the community. it is fine to come out from under the rock with an OSX shell clone and rebrand an entire Linux distribution (ubuntu) as something else. however it is NOT fine to spam the community with your rebranded distro. guess what? if you guys really had something that people wanted, word would go around at the speed of light and people would use your distro at their own will.

[i am a developer in two big opensource projects and one Linux distribution, i am posting as anonymous because i don't want these guys to bother me]

A new OS? That's impressive!.... Oh... Wait... (4, Insightful)

Serif (87265) | about 8 months ago | (#44541719)

Methinks someone needs to learn the difference between an OS and a Linux distribution.

Re:A new OS? That's impressive!.... Oh... Wait... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44542687)

I thought they were talking about a new release of IBM's OS/2. Then I looked again and thought, maybe it's a slimmed down version of OS/2.

No chance.

Re:A new OS? That's impressive!.... Oh... Wait... (1)

wjcofkc (964165) | about 8 months ago | (#44544707)

We call Android an OS.

Re:A new OS? That's impressive!.... Oh... Wait... (1)

geek (5680) | about 8 months ago | (#44545271)

We call Android an OS.

Because it is.

Re:A new OS? That's impressive!.... Oh... Wait... (1)

wjcofkc (964165) | about 8 months ago | (#44545415)

Considering it's running the Linux Kernel, and from what I've seen of the filesystem layout with the terminal I have on my phone, it looks to me like it is overall a linux distro, just very different and funky. Can we not also call Elementary an OS based on that rather than confining it to the category of yet another distro? I'm not talking back, I really am asking this as a question that perhaps has a less obvious answer than I realize. So... enlighten me.

So I don't have to "sudo apt get" now? (1)

kimgkimg (957949) | about 8 months ago | (#44541889)

If everything worked out of the box, now that would be revolutionary. I'm still struggling to get integrated webcams and broadcom wifi drivers working on some older platforms.

Re:So I don't have to "sudo apt get" now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44544043)

I don't remember the last release of Ubuntu where you had to use the command line to get restricted drivers.
It's all clicky goodness nowadays.

A brazen copy of OS X (4, Interesting)

wjcofkc (964165) | about 8 months ago | (#44542029)

It's not just the docks behavior or the slightly less similar menu bar across the top. They actually went so far as to copy expose functions and the music player looks exactly like the version of iTunes before the most recent update, even the file browser is an obvious and direct clone of the Finder. For crying out loud, the default wallpaper that the video starts out with is even the default wallpaper in OS X. And all that just from the video. Since I'm going to install it, I'm willing to bet the similarities don't even come close to stopping there. I am really super surprised at what a brazen OS X clone this is, even shocked they would go this far.

With all that said, and myself as someone who is a long time dedicated Mac user, I think it looks really freaking cool! I have been waiting for something like this and will be giving it a spin today. As someone who is also a long time Linux user, I'm about as excited as a six-year old on christmas morning to play with this new distro. Now if only I can drop that interface onto Slackware.

Also, as I scroll down their page, even that flows and looks exactly like an apple website product page, even the navigation bar at the top comes close to a clone of apple.com - interesting. They should steer this in the direction of making it a platform that integrates with Edge, much like iPhone (disclaimer: I use an Android) is integrated into Apple's platform. Anyway, going to download and install now, hope it lives up to what they are advertising.

Update to: A brazen copy of OS X (README) (1)

wjcofkc (964165) | about 8 months ago | (#44544913)

I've been using it since I made the original post and it really is a big accomplishment. If I ever went back to using Linux full time, this would be my choice. There are a lot of naysayers here who haven't even taken the time to try it. Download it, fire up VirtualBox, run the ISO as a virtual live DVD, and be impressed. Interestingly enough, it even has drivers for every last little bit of hardware on my MacBook (yes, even wifi). I'm going to be installing a dedicated install on my Win 7 laptop and use it for the next week (except when I need to use my OS X only software), and see where things go. Maybe I'll write a review. Anyway, go for it, it's not like anyone here doesn't know how to get it up and running in a VM in five-minutes. Also, it's been amazing to watch people here (of all places) trash something just because it's a Linux project. Whatever happened?

Finally, to those who are upset that they are calling it it's own OS, do we not also refer to Android as it's own OS? So far, this appears far enough outside the norm of common distros to give the developers some room on this.

gtk is garbage (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44542571)

once I read gtk, I didn't need to read any further - this is a doomed project and a waste of time

Re:gtk is garbage (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44543321)

So what, maybe these guys want to say they did and that is it? Its more than half of the wankers on here ever do. Why are people on here being so nasty? Oh I know because most are SlashDot regular a$$hole liberals.

Isn't it Gnome 3? (2)

Blaskowicz (634489) | about 8 months ago | (#44542765)

I thought it looked like Gnome 3, with maybe a custom dock they've written.
A top status bar, zooming windows, GTK3 and otherwise featureless design, that must be Gnome 3 right? At least it looks pleasing.

I'm not too familiar with the Apple OS so I don't get why everyone jumps on it and say this copies Apple. I don't give a shit thanks. A bar on top, well, it was copied in the 1980s by the Atari ST and Dosshell already and the dock, a bunch of icons, available before OSX.. who gives a shit?
I'm waiting for LXDE-Qt, now using a boring-looking Xfce 4.8, I'm not into the GTK3 stuff much but it doesn't hurt me too much some people are playing with it.

Re:Isn't it Gnome 3? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44546673)

It's not Gnome 3

Ubuntu 12.04 vs. 13.04. (1)

xkosh (1011003) | about 8 months ago | (#44544111)

Although the presentation layer is obviously different, I look at distros like this and Ultimate Edition (http://http://ultimateedition.info/) and have the same thought. "Why are they releasing new forks on 12.04 and not 13.04? This seems overcautious.

Re:Ubuntu 12.04 vs. 13.04. (1)

fnj (64210) | about 8 months ago | (#44544441)

Although the presentation layer is obviously different, I look at distros like this and Ultimate Edition (http://http://ultimateedition.info/) and have the same thought. "Why are they releasing new forks on 12.04 and not 13.04? This seems overcautious.

13.04 is only supported for NINE MONTHS. 12.04 is long term support, and is supported until 2017. 13.04 introduces the new policy of only 9 months support instead of 18 for non-LTS releases. It makes them pretty much nothing more than toys.

Nobody in their right mind would base anything on any Ubuntu releases except for the LTS releases.

Two comment trends (1)

astro (20275) | about 8 months ago | (#44544583)

I see two common trends to the comments here:

1) Only negative comments, not a single positive comment about this distro.
2) Not a single person appears to have actually used it.

I'd be very interested in an old-school, actually informed comment from someone who has actually installed and used it.

-astro

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