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Ubuntu Unity growing pains

Tech Laze has their 10 ways in which Ubuntu can improve Unity – not a bad list and some good ideas.

But it gets me to thinking that Canonical’s biggest problem was not following the geek model. You can tweak and twiddle and customize the desktop interface components but you need special apps and things. The geek model, in essence, means you can take something like Unity and configure it to look like Gnome 2 or Gnome3 or KDE or just about anything else and use either a GUI configuration utility or a script to do it.

Part of this is just a matter of time. Putting Unity on top of Compiz and needing modern 3D graphics with an eye to substituting X with Wayland while synthesizing the best features of Windows 7 and the Mac OS is a rather ambitious project.

Canonical has started a conversation. From what I see, most of the complaints, such as at Tech Laze, are about style and configuration rather than outright flaws and bugs. That is extremely promising. It means that most of the conversation is about what people like and don’t like and wish they had. Those who toss up their hands in disgust or frustration are having problems with hope and change.

There are, of course, Linux issues underneath that confuse the issue a bit. The power management issue Phoronix brought up and mentioned in Tom’s in depth overview is a kernel thing. Some folks have noted regressions in some of the more problematical wifi drivers. Those changes are frustrating, too – have been and probably will always be. They are what happens with growth and are, in many ways, indications of the health and vitality of the FOSS community.

The latest with Open Office fits in here, too. Oracle bought it from Sun and then passed it along to the Apache Foundation which accepted it as a probational project. That gets all of the code out there under a very open license. The task now will be to get the Document Foundation’s Libre Office fork coordinated with the Apache Foundation’s project. There are some big interests here and some significant potential benefits what with the two different development and licensing paradigms. That too, reflects a lot of change coming down the Pike that may cause some frustrations.

Just think about where all this was when Torvalds got the itch for his own OS effort … twenty years ago.

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