My Ubuntu divorce and why Unity sucks

Posted in Linux on 19.11.2011.

Ever wonder what Canonical is thinking right now? What about GNOME team? I believe I've solved that problem..they are not really thinking at all.

WARNING: Rant ahead. Better get back to work if you don't want to be pissed off.

I became a full-time Linux user a while ago. I think it was just after Ubuntu 9.04 ("Jaunty Jackalope") was released, but I can't remember for sure. Before that, I played with Linux occasionally, just to see how are things working out. Each time, I was surprised to see how much progress has been made, but the full, seamless user experience was never really there. Every time I tried using it for a longer period, there were always some nuisances which could only be resolved with sorcery and many sacks of Internets.

Up until Ubuntu. It was the first time I saw something polished. It's probably just my perception (of course), but it was the first time I could see myself using Linux full time. But I had to be careful. I'm not the only one using my PCs. I have a wife who's not really into learning all that technical mumbo-jumbo-jet. And she's right, why should she?

So after googling for a long time, it was settled. Ubuntu it is. Well, up until Unity. I'm writing this from Ubuntu 10.10, the last Ubuntu release worth mentioning. I've tried upgrading my laptop further, but it is a disaster.

And let me tell you why.

Unity sucks, GNOME 3 sucks, KDE sucks

I have an unanswered question. It's a simple question, mind you. It's a question for Unity team, GNOME 3 team and KDE team. I bet they can't answer it. Here we go.

What the hell were you thinking?

Simple question, eh? Let me elaborate.

Unity. A GUI for beginners. Which requires you to learn:

  • new global, disappearing menu
  • lack of normal/standard/everyone-knows-it window switching
  • retarded unmovable menu with inconsistent click actions, hidden right click actions and many other idiocies
  • global, slick looking (this is very important!) menu, which is freaking useless unless you learn every app's name in the entire distribution

Well, that seems simple! That is, if you redefine simple as:

    adj. sim·pler, sim·plest
    see: complicated, ass-backwards

Basically, what I'm saying here, Unity team, you go tell my wife what's the name of that Torrent-downloading app she's used to. Also, tell her why her windows keep disappearing. In other words, feck off.

GNOME 3. I've just been staring at the screen for the past few minutes because I honestly don't know where to start. It's's too much. I hate to do this, because I really, really love GNOME 2. It's probably the nicest DE I've ever used. It doesn't get in the way, I can configure it however I wish, and then it simply works. GNOME just ruined everything. Or, to compare with the previous sentence, it gets in the way, I can't bloody configure it and it doesn't work. Well, it works if you want to play with it, but if you want to get any real life job done, you're basically screwed.

It seems to me that GNOME 3 suffers from the same Unity disease (or should I say, Unity suffers from GNOME 3 disease?). Which disease is that? The feckin' tablet disease! Let's make it all touch-screeny and large. Let's forget that there are people with desktop PCs, with twenty-something-inch screens out there. Let's make people forget all the shortcuts they've used for hundreds and thousands of years.

Also, nooooo, I don't fecking use social networking on my desktop. I don't need the web to be "integrated into my desktop". I want my desktop to stay the hell away from the internet. It's enough I had to remove that piece-of-shite Ubuntu gwibber stuff before, I don't need to get any more social than I am. People are, to put it gently, bastards. Why in the world would I want to seek more of them and then integrate them in my desktop? ARSE!

KDE. What can I say, I was never a big fan of KDE. Mind you, I didn't hate it or thought it was bad, I was simply not a fan. Until I saw KDE 4. Then I started hating it. And I don't mean the "4.0" flop, I mean the current "polished" KDE 4. I'm using the term polished very loosely here.

I guess someone on KDE team woke up one morning and said: Let's just pile stuff on and see what happens. Let's put up some indexing services and then let our users deal with it. Let us make it impossible for them to turn them off. That will be fun. Seriously? Nepomuk? Akonadi? Agrihsahiuh? (That last one was random keyboard bashing, in case you didn't notice at first)

Also, let's not forget to add fancy widgets! That's useful! Everyone uses those because I do!

And all of these are somehow advertised as usable desktop environments. Maybe the world will end in 2012?

Necessity is the mother of invention

Except the Unity team, GNOME team and KDE team are asked. In their case, invention is the mother of invention.

I am currently too pissed off to write anything else without sounding like a serial (or cereal) killer. I already sound like a jacquesass (it's fancy for "jackass"). Since I need to replace the stinking Ubuntu+Unity+KDE on my laptop, I'll just continue my search for a desktop for people who have work to do, not for those who want to work on their desktop. Mint seems to have a good idea of preserving the GNOME 2 desktop with MATE, and it seems like the only viable option. We'll see, we'll see...

Meanwhile, if you have seen any good OSs lying around, let me know (and please, stay on the Debian package management if possible).

Article comments — View · Add

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Tinos :: 23.11.2011 05:03:52
I faced the same dilemma. Once holidays started I tried Ubuntu 11.10, Mint 12 RC, Mint 11 & Kubuntu 11.10. Ubuntu sucks 'cause of Gnome, Mint 12 RC (Release Candidate) kept crashing, Mint 11 gave me extremely slow internet for some reason, and Kubuntu crashed and wouldn't start up again (I blame KDE). I've been using Xubuntu for a week or so, though, and it's mostly fine. Torvalds has gone with Xfce.

However I just woke up this morning without sound! No idea wtf is going on there; sound still works fine on Windows 7 partition.
Tinos :: 23.11.2011 05:15:58
Woot! Just worked it out; I had to deselect the IEC958 switch in Alsa mixer. It magically turned itself on after some update. It turns analogue into digital. Lack of intuitive audio controls is one serious issue with Xfce (which I'm sure they'll improve).

It's too bad I'm now going to have to re-install PulseAudio etc. :(
lecterror :: 26.11.2011 15:19:01
Hey Tinos, I've seen a lot of complaint all over the internet, people are moving away from Ubuntu ona massive scale. I'm not sure why Canonical is not doing anything. I know admitting one's mistake is difficult, but come on..they are only hurting themselves.

Glad to hear you got your stuff fixed :P
tshirtman :: 26.11.2011 21:27:33
"""Basically, what I'm saying here, Unity team, you go tell my wife what's the name of that Torrent-downloading app she's used to. Also, tell her why her windows keep disappearing. In other words, feck off."""

Or maybe she can type "torrent" or "download", if you think that's too hard for her, maybe you should start thinking she as a brain, yeah, even women have one nowadays!
lecterror :: 27.11.2011 00:11:44
@tshirtman: Why don't you just wait a few years; you know, grow up, learn how to write coherent sentences and learn how not to be a sexist troll. Also, do try to pop your head out of your ass, there's a whole world out here.

Does you mom know you're using the internet?