[OT] Ubuntu Should Be Forked!
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?
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