Default Desktop Experience for 11.04

Brian Curtis bcurtiswx at
Fri Apr 8 01:55:41 UTC 2011

Hi all,

I think I can offer some opinions on this without repeating what
others say too much.

I want to compare this to the decision a few releases ago to make
Empathy the default IM client in Ubuntu.  Then why I think Unity
should become the default desktop session and not classic GNOME.

Pidgin was the running favorite, there were a ton of fans of the
client, people were really liking the application and along came the
rookie Empathy, which at that point few had heard about, but was a
very good candidate based on the amount of time their devs had put
into the client and the potential of the software.

Once the switch was officially made, the backlash in bug reports and
in the social media was harsh, and rude at times.  Look where that
client has come to this point since we made it default.  I sincerely
believe (and the devs have expressed the same sentiment) that it
wouldn't be as good as it is now if it weren't for that decision and
amount of attention.

Not to digress any further, I feel that Unity will thrive in the same
environment.  If we delay it any further then we are keeping some
valuable attention from its development.  There will be backlashes, in
bug reports, in the social media.  With the amount of attention and
use it will get by being default, it will grow fast.

It may appear to be a couple steps back, but I think in the end we
will find that Unity as the default desktop environment for 11.04 will
be a gigantic leap forward later on.

Thanks for all of your time,


On Thu, Apr 7, 2011 at 9:38 PM, Rick Spencer <rick.spencer at> wrote:
> Hello all,
> Back at UDS for 11.04 in Orlando, Mark set the goal of using Unity by
> default on the Ubutu desktop. Given the current course of development,
> it appears that we are going to achieve this goal, and Unity will stay
> the default for 11.04.
> I'm following up on this list at the suggestion of the Tech Board to
> give folks a chance to respond or escelate any concerns.
> Note that there are some arguments for changing the default from Unity
> to "classic' GNOME:
> 1. There are key feature regressions, for example, there is no systray
> support for many important applications.
> 2. There are usability problems, for example, settings are hard to find,
> the launcher icons behave differently when you click on the trash can
> versus the home folder launcher, it's hard to find a categorized view of
> applications, searches do not always turn up expected results.
> 3. We are coming in too hot, there are too many crashers on some
> hardware and the final product will be buggy.
> I won't rebut these points myself, as I am rather striving to represent
> the viewpoints not argue against them.
> Representing the desktop team, Jason Warner believes that Unity will
> deliver the superior experience for most users in 11.04. I agree with
> this position and support staying the course.
> Cheers, Rick
> PS - You can reference the recent and current bug fixing efforts of the
> Unity team here:
> --
> ubuntu-desktop mailing list
> ubuntu-desktop at

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