Ubuntu usability is significantly decreased with Unity

Nenad nenad_lecek at yahoo.com
Wed Dec 28 23:55:33 UTC 2011

On 12/28/2011 09:38 PM, Jo-Erlend Schinstad wrote:
> Den 28. des. 2011 20:40, skrev Nenad Lecek:
>> Dear all,
>> as I don't know where to put my comments about Ubuntu 11.10 usability,
>> I'm posting here. My apologies if this is not the right place, and I'd
>> be grateful if you point me where to post my comment.
> This list is ok to use for discussions about the desktop, but you should
> back up your claims with facts. It is not a fact that Unity doesn't
> serve users well. It serves me well, for instance. Claiming that Ubuntu
> is no longer user friendly because you don't like one of the
> applications it provides, is pure nonsense.

well, I'm using Ubuntu 11.10 and found really annoying to use Unity.
Open several windows (e.g. Netbeans, firefox, nautilus and gitk and try 
to work efficiently with menus of each application, minimize/maximize 
window, etc., Unity is just driving me crazy. It is simply unnatural. In 
case the Unity is just one application that is seldom used, and not the 
central one, you won't get my comments for sure.
>> Some reasons are explained below. This is not a full list, just the
>> key points.
>> 1) Appearing/disappearing left side toolbar doesn't bring anything
>> compared to Gnome Classic Ubuntu desktop and menu. Why? Simply put if
>> you know that you have couple of menus where you programs are, this is
>> much better/faster than unnecessary dynamic/uncertainty which Unity
>> provides. BTW, Classic gnome desktop we had in previous Ubuntu
>> versions was really well structured. Unity doesn't provide that.
>> Personally, I do not see the point of promoting Unity as the only
>> desktop on Ubuntu, because classic gnome desktop was well structured
>> and good enough. Eventually, only search capability like in Unity
>> could have been added, although this functionality in Unity is far
>> from good, currently is just minor convenience.
> Promoting Unity as the only desktop in Ubuntu would be a lie. Who is
> doing that? The idea that "classic gnome desktop", which is called Gnome
> Panel, by the way, is no longer available in Ubuntu, is a misconception.
> It's still there.
I do not see where to choose Gnome Panel. Again, I'm using Ubuntu 11.10. 
If I could remove Unity from my desktop and put Gnome panel instead fine 
with me. But, because is far from obvious where&how to do it, you have 
my comments.
>> 2) The application menu is shown in main menu toolbar. This is
>> annoying at best, and from usability point of view very it is a really
>> poor choice. Why is considered good to force the user to search where
>> the menu for her/his application is.
> You're claiming that you now have to search for the menu because it's
> always at the same place? That doesn't make sense to me. In any case,
> you can disable the global menu if you prefer it that way.

Try to work in parallel with few GUI applications mentioned above and 
you may get idea that global application menu could be really annoying. 
How to disable it is not clear to me. All I wanted is that application 
window which I'm working with has own menu. No need to look around which 
app has focus and which menu I have now in global menu.
>> 3) Performance consideration: seems so that Unity eats performance and
>> batteries on laptops. Again, no value in service it provides in return.
> Of all the components in Ubuntu, you just assume that Unity somehow
> reduces performance? Correlation does not imply causation. I see no
> reason why Unity would impact performance in any way.
You may open system monitor and see CPU usage for idle system. After 
upgrade to 11.10 my system user interface is significantly slower.
>> 4) Search applications capability in Unity is really poorly designed
>> and of limited usage. In some cases, you almost have to know exact
>> name so that application you are searching for could be found. In
>> others searching application itself has confusing, complex user
>> interface. This could have been done much better.
> If you can do better, then do so, or at least explain how. You don't
> even provide an example so that others can understand your problem.
Consider the following from my previous post:
 >> For example, in case main menu taskbar of classic gnome desktop
 >> contains the short, google like edit line for entering search
 >> expression for finding application, the Unity will be completely
 >> unnecessary. Simple as that.
>> Finally, my proposal is to return to classic gnome desktop as default
>> Ubuntu desktop.
>> In addition, if new fancy user interface is for whatever reason
>> needed, one can keep improving alternative user interface designs
>> until one of them reach maturity needed for such broad user base. And
>> make it optional, not mandatory.
> Unity has never been mandatory in Ubuntu. It's extremely unlikely that
> it will ever be. Gnome Panel is still around if you want to improve it.
I have impression that the Unity is mandatory, simply because I cannot 
find a way to switch back to Gnome Panel. So, if Gnome Panel is 
available in Ubuntu 11.10 and Unity is not mandatory, fine. And again, 
Unity was selected as a default option - bad choice, the user should 
have easier way to switch between Unity and Gnome Panel.
>> For example, in case main menu taskbar of classic gnome desktop
>> contains the short, google like edit line for entering search
>> expression for finding application, the Unity will be completely
>> unnecessary. Simple as that.
> Google searches public information. Unity scopes searches your personal
> information and online information. Completely different things. I would
> not want to give Google direct access to my personal computer in order
> to search for things. Unity is not primarily a look. It is primarily an
> infrastructure that enables applications to connect to the system. Parts
> of Unity is implemented for both Windows, LXDE and Xfce, for instance.
> The components will look different in KDE and Xfce, since they're
> different desktops.
Well, please try to understand that I mentioned Google only regarding 
simplicity of user interface (open browser, go to page www.google.com, 
normally use edit line to enter search criteria and based on that get 
pretty good results). Ubuntu searches for application locally, but still 
can use similar, simple interface of one edit field to search for 
available apps (ideally this edit line has fixed place in top menu of 
Gnome Panel, instead of show/hide me game in Unity).
> You seem to have many questions, but you formulate them as accusations
> and unsubstantiated claims instead. It is not an effective way of
> attaining information. In fact, you're reducing the likelihood that
> people will be willing to help you.
At least I've tried to explain and provide comments to developers in 
Ubuntu community, so that Ubuntu could be improved. If this is not 
wanted, well, feel free to ignore my (user) input.
The Unity is simply not intuitive and doesn't solve any of my problems, 
just drive me crazy. Gnome Panel is just fine! With one small (and 
optional) improvement of Gnome panel, as explained above, everything is 
fine again. No need to reinvent the wheel.
> Jo-Erlend Schinstad

More information about the ubuntu-desktop mailing list