[OT] Ubuntu Should Be Forked!

Swapnil Bhartiya swapnil.bhartiya at gmail.com
Mon Jan 30 09:09:50 UTC 2012


I have been a long time Ubuntu user, been using it since 2006. I loved 
it and have been installing it on user's PC until version 11.04 came out 
with Unity. Before you get a wrong impression let me make it clear that 
I love to try new things as long as they don't come in between me and my 

I started using Unity since its alpha days and am currently running 
Ubuntu 12.04 with HUD and KDE 4.8. The reason is simple -- I am curious 
and love trying new things. I am also running openSUSE with Gnome 3 to 
stay updated with the latest development.

I am not certain if I will continue to use Ubuntu after 12.04 if they 
force HUD on me. Mark Shuttleworth has given clear indication that HUD 
will ultimately replace the menus. I don't know what he meant by that. 
When he introduced Unity has specifically said that this doesn't make 
much sense for bigger screens and now we are all stuck with Unity and 
Global Menus. We have seem mass exodus from Ubuntu to Linux Mint. Most 
of my associates have moved to Linux Mint and DistroWatch is an 
indicator of that migration.

That said Unity, Global Menu and HUD have their own loyal users. These 
technologies also demonstrate that Canonical is trying something new 
with the Linux interface. I appreciate that and I think every 
serious/concerned Linux user will appreciate that. As Jo-Erlend 
Schinstad wrote that HUD is a great idea and I completely agree with 
him, but I may not want that on my computer. I use Ubuntu so that I can 
do my work with greater ease, if its coming in my way I would rather 
switch distro than waste my time in learning new tricks. Many dedicated 
Ubuntu advocates like me who have been advocating Ubuntu for ages may 
share the same opinion.

I think it is becoming increasingly important for Canonical to 'fix' 
this problem before it becomes gangrene. How to maintain the balance?

My Solution: Fork Ubuntu
Forking is the only solution to satisfy users at either side of the fence:
1. Long time users who want to use Ubuntu to do their work without being 
bothered by new UI experiments and changes every six moths
2. Enthusiasts who want to try new UIs every week.

I propose that Canonical make a version X -- UbuntuX (like Debian's Sid) 
where they can introduce all their experiments and UI changes. The main 
Ubuntu can stay in sync with Gnome 3 development and offer users the 
standard GNU/Linux interface so that they don't feel challenges. It will 
help Ubuntu to a great extent. Just look at Gnome 3 Shell extensions. 
There are so many in so little time. Users will be able to get benefit 
from the work done on Gnome Shell without alienating themselves and 
dependent on Ubuntu developers who are working hard to iron out the 
wrinkles in Unity.

On the other hand the enthusiasts and 'power-users' will be able to 
exploit the bleeding-edge features of UbuntuX and take Ubuntu to newer 

This way while Ubuntu will retain (and bring back) old/loyal users and 
also attract new users who want ease of use and a familiar interface, it 
will also satisfy the enthusiasts.

What do you say?

Read full article here

Swapnil Bhartiya

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