This post is kind of a response to this post on OMG!Ubuntu.
What is wrong with Unity? It’s a question with a lot of different answers.
Speed and ease of use.
Those are the most important things. An operating system should allow me to do what I want without bugging me. Without making it difficult to get to my files. Without making me relearn where everything is.
That is where Unity is a problem for me. Maybe I’m used to my dock-and-menu setup in Ubuntu, or my taskbar-and-menu setup in Windows, but making me think about where my files are, or making me type up a search (while handy in some respects) can make me irritated, as I can’t get to my files and programs faster. If I wanted a search metric, I’d be using Gnome-Do or Launchy or something.
I’ve grown used to the menu structure of Gnome. I like it and it’s comfortable.
I also don’t want to have to wait for my operating system to chug and think about getting my file structure. I’m particular about where I put things, and I have a special way I do it. If I were to just throw everything in /home without a thought, then this searching metric might work for me, but I don’t.
Unity seems to be aimed at someone who’s never seen a computer before. This is fine, but the further we go on in time, the fewer people will have not seen a computer before (anyway, speaking from my white, middle-class, college-educated, engineering background). I mean, everyone in my community has access to computers either though their own houses, a public or private school (for students), a university, a community college, or the library system. I’d be shocked at anyone under the age of 60 who hasn’t seen a computer in their lives.
Also, most of these people who have seen computers will have seen a Windows or Mac-based system. It’s just a fact of life because of the market share Windows and Apple have. Ubuntu and other Linux-based operating systems are trying to change that, but with Ubuntu and Gnome3 going to the “shell” model of things, many people are going to see it and reject it. Which is unfortunate because there are a lot of good ideas that have come out of Unity. For instance, the dock. I use a dock (Docky), but at a different location than where Ubuntu puts it. If Unity wants to win me over, they can do the following:
- Make the dock movable; to the right, top or bottom, as I please.
- Make the dock re-sizable, which I think they’re working on (this is not available in the version I’m running on my netbook).
- Allow me to change the size of the icons on the dock and make sure Unity respects that. I’d like a smaller dock on my netbook, as the screen is very limited.
- Allow me to use the regular file system easier. When I click on the folder in the dock, I expect a Nautilus window to open; this does not happen.
- Give me better categories and whatnot when I click on the applications button. Seriously, having a list of my applications is not helpful if they’re not sorted better.
- Make the dock expand to hold the icons, instead of expand the whole side of my screen. This is similar to the behavior of Docky.
- Use Compiz (this is in the works; Mutter was found to be unstable, so the Ubuntu devs have moved to Compiz, which is more stable. I remember when it wasn’t, and I was unsure of why anyone would use Compiz. Now I can’t live without it.).
I will be looking forward to the improvements in Unity. Hopefully with the inclusion of Compiz, the speed factor will be taken care of (my netbook can handle Compiz, which is pretty cool).
The Natty release looks to be interesting at the least.