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:
sim·ple 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 just..it'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 3...it 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).