What I love about Unity

Sean McNamara smcnam at gmail.com
Sat Dec 31 20:16:05 UTC 2011

On Sat, Dec 31, 2011 at 11:58 AM, Ted Gould <ted at ubuntu.com> wrote:
> On Fri, 2011-12-30 at 23:03 +0100, Jo-Erlend Schinstad wrote:
>> Den 30. des. 2011 20:30, skrev Ted Gould:
>> > Thanks for writing this up.  I appreciate it.  We're never perfect, but
>> > it's nice to see some positive reviews every once in a while :-)
>> It was not meant as a positive review and I don't want it to be
>> understood as such.
> Sure, it wasn't a review really.  I guess it should have read "noting
> some of the positive aspects."  Though, in general, I was less careful
> with my words since I wasn't replying to the mailing list ;-)
>> The point was to separate between what users see and
>> what programs see and why that's important. The ultimate goal for me, is
>> to teach everyone that there are no fundamental differences between
>> 10.04 and 12.04.
> <snip>
> In general, you are correct, but I think your language there might hurt
> your argument.  I think that, for most people, it seems drastically
> different because the data is presented in a different way, but it is
> fundamentally the same data.  So instead of saying "nothing changed" it
> might be easier to say "only the emphasis changed."
> As an example we could look at the use case of finding applications.
> You can still browse for the applications in groups like you could in
> the Applications menu of 10.04.  But, it's not as handy.  On the flip
> side searching them is much, much, easier.  So we've switched the
> emphasis from browsing to searching.

Switched the emphasis? You mean to say that there is actually a way to
browse applications by category in Unity, similar to how the menus
were structured in Gnome2-panel? Well, that's news to me, and I've
used Unity on 11.10 for tens of hours in a virtual machine while
testing my software for Ubuntu compatibility. I would sometimes get
pretty fed up with having to type in the name of the application I
wanted to launch, instead of just clicking through a few menus. And
scrolling through the huge list of applications (I accrued many, many
of them because of all the development packages etc) is not
convenient, either; nor is it particularly snappy.

If this is in fact an explicit feature of Unity, I'd like to know how
to access it! I think one of the biggest flaws of Unity isn't a flaw
of the software at all, but of the human beings who use it (remember,
Linux for human beings?) -- 80% of the users don't know about 80% of
the hidden nugget features of Unity, because it's new, different, and
likes to "hide" a lot of stuff behind the obvious veneer. So yeah,
your attempts to "emphasize" one thing over another have essentially
produced a piece of software where the vast majority of the people
will only see the obvious features that you stick right under their
nose; and if they happen to desire a feature that's in any way
occluded or hidden behind a hotkey or whatever, they simply will never
ever use that feature because it's not apparent to them. Again,
probably not a software flaw as much as a human flaw, but that's how
it is.

Imagine shipping Ubuntu with a Unity tutorial video on the CD, or (if
that makes the CD spinners cringe at the file size of such) a video
player that pops up and streams the video from the internet....

Or even, a *series* of videos: one for beginners that just enumerates
the most obvious, basic stuff, and two or three more that go more and
more in-depth with hotkeys and things that most people don't know

Your biggest challenge for Unity is similar to what others before you
(PulseAudio, systemd, etc) have faced: user education. So educate the
users, in an accessible, highly-visible manner! Nobody's going to read
the manual; I'm sorry but that just doesn't happen. A video is
probably the best way.


>                --Ted
> --
> ubuntu-desktop mailing list
> ubuntu-desktop at lists.ubuntu.com
> https://lists.ubuntu.com/mailman/listinfo/ubuntu-desktop

More information about the ubuntu-desktop mailing list