Ubuntu loosing its popularity

Liam Proven lproven at gmail.com
Thu Dec 1 02:45:12 UTC 2011

On 30 November 2011 16:45, Art Edwards
<edwardsa at icantbelieveimdoingthis.com> wrote:
> I have also used a variety of window managers, although I'm always conscious
> of where I'm getting the most done. So in 1997 I was just so happy to have
> X-windows on a home machine--I wasn't very fussy.

Oh, my, yes, me too!

I started with LaserMoon Linux-FT - the first LiveCD - in 1996, as I
could not get Slackware to install in 1995.

> As I migrated from RH 4.1

Well, 4.2 for me. It wasn't very nice. I really didn't like Fvwm or
fvwm95 at all.

I went from there to Caldera, the first distro to bundle KDE. When
Caldera died and rose from the grave as a crazed zombie called SCO, I
abandoned it and went to SuSE with KDE.

I /really/ liked KDE 1 in the Caldera days. As you said (of GNOME, but
the point still applies):

> Note that it's not just a wm, it's an environment.

I liked KDE 1.x. I found KDE 2.x too cluttered and complex. KDE 3.x
was worse. KDE 4.x just descended into comedy - it doesn't even have a
working desktop any more, just some kind of weird permanent folder
thing, which if you close by mistake seems to be gone forever. And the
weird floating bean/apostrophe things in the corners. Very odd, not at
all pleasant to use IMHO.

> So, I'm not so big
> on adapting, if adapting means using an inferior product.

Well, like you, I've been a GNOME user for a long time - since 2004
when I switched from SUSE to Ubuntu.

But every now and again, I try the others.

* Xfce is OK. It's too basic for me, but it works.
* KDE 4 is just ugly and stupidly complex and Byzantine with 2^16
little options to twiddle.
* LXDE I like - it's simple, clean and quick and does what you need.
* OpenBox and Fluxbox are just too basic.
* WindowMaker has potential and looks great.
* Enlightenment falls somewhere between very pretty and
over-ornamented into a eye-searing mess - a tart's handbag, as we say
in British biker circles - and in use it doesn't make any sense to me,
but I could live with it if I had to. Probably by theming it into
something very drab and dull and grey like WindowMaker. :¬)

So really I don't see what all the fuss is about. GNOME 2 worked, but
it was much like Windows and Microsoft is getting threatening.

It had to go and it did go. It has passed on. As a desktop, it is no
more. It has ceased to be. It has expired and gone to meet its
makefile. It is a stiff. Bereft of life, it rests in peace. If MATE
hadn't nailed it to Github, it'd be pushing up the daisies. Its
metabolic processes are now history. It is off the twig. It has kicked
the bucket, it has shuffled off its mortal coil, run down the curtain
and joined the bleedin' choir invisible.

It is an ex-desktop.

> To me Unity
> is Ubuntu's Edsel and Gnome 3 is gnome's Edsel.

So many people say this. But why? It works! You can start apps, switch
between apps, minimise and restore them, tile them and move 'em around
virtual desktops. You can open multiple instances and see how many
windows you've got. (GNOME Shell doesn't do most of that.) You can
pick apps off a list or run them with a convenient shortcut, or start
them from a convenient, easy, friendly icon bar of frequently-used
ones, which it even imports from GNOME 2 when you upgrade!

> So, the wm-bashing is because we have
> lost the best option.

The one that infringes 235 Microsoft patents and over which it was
threatening to sue, yes. That one. The one that is "inspired by" the
patented commercial product of a large and litigious company that has
a protection racket in place with SUSE but doesn't with the 2 big
GNOME distro makers - Ubuntu and Canonical.

You know what SUSE's response was to GNOME 3? It was to announce it
was going back to KDE! :¬) Which it can, because it has a deal with

Red Hat doesn't, so it's going with GNOME Shell. Canonical/Ubuntu
doesn't, and it didn't like GNOME Shell, so it's turned its Netbook
Remix into a sort-of copy of Mac OS X.

All 3 seem like sensible moves to me. Staying with GNOME 2 was not an option.

> Luckily Xfce has progressed so that it is almost as
> good as Gnome 2. Based on the Xfce traffic on the list, gnome users are
> migrating their in large numbers, so Xfce will probably get really good
> quickly.

I hope so too.

> I know that I'm not looking back, unless the MATE fork becomes
> stable, and I find that I'm unhappy with Xfce, an unlikely situation.

Seems fair enough. Classic Ubuntu is dead. Long live Xubuntu!

Liam Proven • Info & profile: http://www.google.com/profiles/lproven
Email: lproven at cix.co.uk • GMail/GoogleTalk/Orkut: lproven at gmail.com
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