back to article Ubuntu 13.10: Meet the Linux distro with a bizarre Britney Spears fixation

On the surface, based on the second beta just released, Ubuntu 13.10 is shaping up to be a solid, if slightly dull, Linux distro. There have been no major visual changes to the desktop and only a couple of expanded features for the Unity Dash, which means 13.10 – due 17 October - won't look all that different from the last …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    Mint 16 should be interesting...

    Not at all sure how Mir will play with anything other than the Ubuntu desktop - how about a review of Kubuntu, if it's available? If Ubuntu have done the job right, there should be no visual change, I guess?

    There are still some of us out here who prefer to search hierarchically and visually for our applications, rather than trying to remember their names - and indeed, some of us who do not couple data with a specific application. Nor do we give a damn about social sites; we use the computer for doing work (except for reading Vulture Central, of course!).

    1. Richard 22

      Re: Mint 16 should be interesting...

      Mint won't be using Mir yet according to this, though they don't rule it out in future;

      http://segfault.linuxmint.com/2013/09/mdm-lost-10-pounds/#comment-2946

      1. Vociferous

        Re: Mint 16 should be interesting...

        > Mint won't be using Mir

        Good. I switched to Mint when Ubuntu got Unity, would not like to have to switch again.

    2. Greg D

      Re: Mint 16 should be interesting...

      Yep, I'm one of those people. Cant stand the search-centric UI's these days. All my data is application independent, and sits on my NAS. Couldnt give a rats fig about social media either!

      I use my computer for work AND gaming though :)

      1. asdf

        Re: Mint 16 should be interesting...

        Yep good old Mint fixing what's wrong with Ubuntu. So happy they finally pushed out the latest lmde update pack as well.

        1. yossarianuk

          Re: Mint 16 should be interesting...

          The same can be said for Kubuntu also.

          If your a gamer you are better off with KDE over Cinnamon... (enable suspend desktop effects for full screen apps and disable VBLank in nvidia-settings and you'll most likely be running games faster than Windows 7/8 - Nvidia users only.)

          Games are faster on non Gnome 3 desktops (with Nividia) and some games are not playable fullscreen on any gnome3 based system that is a lower version than 3.8 (i.e Unity,Cinnamon,elementary, etc)

          KDE gives you the best of both worlds in terms of being able to actually do any work and being able to play games fast.

          Mints desktop (cinnamon) is nice however just seems a bit rough to me (and have the issue of being based on gnome3)

    3. asdf

      Re: Mint 16 should be interesting...

      I actually remember the days when an Ubuntu release article on El Reg comments didn't start with a reference to Linux Mint in the first few threads. Been awhile though.

  2. Pete 2 Silver badge

    Reversing Moore's Law

    I guess the answer to "Why do all this?" would be "because we can".

    After all, if Linux interfaces just stuck to the basics of running an application in however much (or little) of the user's screen it needed - possibly with a little cut'n'paste, there wouldn't have been the need for any interface development for the past 20 or more years. Though we might have machines that boot in a couple of seconds and will run off batteries for days on end.

    But since all the new, wizzy, capabilities we get in desktops - and also appearing in portable devices have the power, memory and graphics ability to do all these things (irrespective of whether anyone will use them), that's what we get.

    Personally, I'd much prefer a user interface that contained one simple question and a box for the user to type, write or speak the answer. If all the power and ingenuity that the UI guys have expended on X, Wayland, Mir and all the other stuff had been focused on the average user, that box might just say

    Tell me what you want to do?

    And it would then go off and (accurately) start up all the stuff necessary to service the user's request.

    Wouldn't that be better than all this eye-candy - though it would certainly be duller.

    1. Ian McNee
      Linux

      Re: Reversing Moore's Law

      @Pete 2: I think you're missing the point slightly - X, Wayland and Mir are not the stuff of UI eye candy - that's stuff built into desktop environments like Unity, Cinnamon and Gnome 3. And the problem with Canonical is not that they've spent too much time on the UI eye candy. It's much deeper than that: they're developing solely for Ubuntu without regard for the rest of the community.

      This was bad enough with Unity but at least that is just a DE, what they're doing with Mir is more fundamental and much worse. A large independent distro like Mint might be able to fork Gnome 3 to escape the Gnome 3/Unity nightmare but they won't have anything like the resources required to fork a display server to replace X. If Canonical had instead committed to Wayland as a replacement for X then it would probably be reaching several distros now or soon. Not that's it's any surprise: Canonical's form goes way back beyong Unity, for example going with Upstart for sys init rather than Systemd like the majority of the community.

      Incidentally there was a nice article on H-Online about this behaviour, before the site sadly closed in July this year.

      1. cyborg

        Re: Reversing Moore's Law

        To be fair to Canonical there's no particular reason they have to do what anyone else is doing and it's quite clear they have their own agenda in mind.

        1. Ian McNee
          Stop

          Re: Reversing Moore's Law

          @cyborg: no, Canonical don't have work with the rest of the Linux community - but it smacks of the arrogance and short-termism of a multi-millionaire VC to fail to see the huge benefits (to Ubuntu as well as other distros) of developing for Linux generally rather than just Ubuntu.

          1. James Hughes 1

            Re: Reversing Moore's Law @Ian Mcknee

            I guess the arrogance and short-termism will only be proven if Canonical isn't a success with their efforts. At the moment, I think they on track to being a success, and I think its disingenuous to imply they don't contribute anything back - they do.

            I'm guessing now, but presumably, MIR is OSS, and anyone can use it if they want to? Would like to know.

          2. cyborg

            Re: Reversing Moore's Law

            "no, Canonical don't have work with the rest of the Linux community - but it smacks of the arrogance and short-termism of a multi-millionaire VC to fail to see the huge benefits (to Ubuntu as well as other distros) of developing for Linux generally rather than just Ubuntu."

            Well that's only true for Canonical if what the rest of the community wants aligns with what they want. They clearly believe it doesn't so they're striking out on their own.

            If it's all open source then the community can still benefit if they choose to use it. If not they don't. I'm all for plurarity of ideas - the best ones should rise to the top.

      2. PyLETS
        Boffin

        forking generally good for long term

        The choice arising from the ability of open source developers to fork major parts of the software ecosystem is generally considered a strength and not a weakness. Sometimes forks intentionally recombine to strengthen the whole, e.g. having a development fork allowing for major changes and a maintenance fork where stability and security only patches from upstream occur with no feature enhancements. Sometimes forks allow different development visions to be tested, in which case either both find a niche and become different products useful to different user groups or one proves successful and the other is abandoned. But without the chance to test both development directions, you'd never know which one will be the dead end. In closed source development the project manager who makes this decision might well get it wrong, and programmers who don't like it can't do anything to change this other than get a job elsewhere.

        1. Ian McNee
          Headmaster

          Re: forking generally good for long term

          @PyLETS: yes, agreed. But Canonical are not forking Wayland with Mir. The way Canonical are requiring contributors to Mir to agree to grant Canonical the ability to relicense their code in any way they see fit makes it pretty clear they have no intention of creating anything that can be fed back into the broader ecosystem in any positive way.

    2. andreas koch
      Thumb Up

      @ Pete 2 - Re: Reversing Moore's Law

      > . . .

      If all the power and ingenuity that the UI guys have expended on X, Wayland, Mir and all the other stuff had been focused on the average user, that box might just say

      Tell me what you want to do?

      And it would then go off and (accurately) start up all the stuff necessary to service the user's request.

      . . . <

      That's what the 'Super' key (Windows key on non-Apple keyboards) in Unity does*. Type 'calculator' and you get a calculator, type 'word' and you get a word processor. 'VLC' starts my video player. 'sintel' starts my video player playing the film Sintel. Windows 8 does a similar thing with the side bar that contains a search.

      Is it that what you want? It's there, alongside all the eye-candy, so that it's not too dull.

      I seem to be the only person that gave Unity enough chance to make an expression. When it first turned up I hated it as well. And the second time I tried it. And the third. And then I thought I'd give it a spin for more than 1 day: It's different, yes, but as I got familiar with it, I found that it's faster than menus.

      Windows 95 was a big change and a lot of people didn't like it at first, now there's a change away from that paradigm and most people want to stay with it.

      It's not UIs that users dislike; it's change, I think.

      I bet Hrrrugh got dissed when he came up with this newfangled idea of tying a piece of rock to a stick . . .

      * With a modifier key, if you want to specify a category.

      1. M Gale

        Re: @ Pete 2 - Reversing Moore's Law

        Windows 95 was a big change and a lot of people didn't like it at first, now there's a change away from that paradigm and most people want to stay with it.

        I remember the most hate about WIndows 95 was the sheer amount of hard drive space it required, and it breaking compatibility with a crapton of stuff that came before. There were the lies about "your DOS programs now run faster than ever", the price, and the fact that up until Windows 95, at least you could buy alternative operating systems that worked with the vast majority of software (except Microsoft software, natch).

        However, at least Windows 95 included progman if you still wanted to use it that way. Does Windows 8 have the start menu? No, it has a shitty phone UI and you will eat it up and say Thankyou Sir.

        Speaking of which, will KDE, XFCE and other desktop environments more suited to the desktop environment continue to work in Mir?

        1. sabroni Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: M Gale

          Sounds to me like you just proved andreas koch's point big style!

          (plus, "desktop environments more suited to the desktop environment"? Do what?)

          1. M Gale

            Re: M Gale

            Sounds to me like you just proved andreas koch's point big style!

            Unless I'm completely misreading their post, Koch's point was about the UI. I'm pointing out that there was a lot more disliked about Win95 than the UI. Hell, the Win95 UI wasn't a radical break from Win3.11. You could still use Windows 95 without touching the Start menu, creating folders on the desktop just like you would with the old progman (which was still included in Windows 95, as already mentioned).

            Windows 8 (and Unity) on the other hand, seem to be more about turning desktop computers into phones. No ta. I'd rather have something that works, without some OS X-alike unified menu bar, either. And, as mentioned, I'm wondering how well KDE, XFCE and other less phone-like UIs will work with Mir?

            1. Paul 135

              Re: M Gale

              Mir is irrelevant - - every other mainstream Linux DE is going Wayland.

        2. Armando 123

          Re: @ Pete 2 - Reversing Moore's Law

          "I remember the most hate about WIndows 95 was ..."

          I remember the Windows guys saying "if I wanted a Mac I'd have goten a Mac". Take ten seconds to ponder that.

        3. David Cantrell

          Re: @ Pete 2 - Reversing Moore's Law

          xfce had better work or I'll not be using any new versions of Ubuntu.

          And even then, xfce is a bit shit. I'd rather just have a plain old boring window manager - olvwm by preference - and none of this desktop or panel nonsense, as just about everything I do is done in an xterm or a browser.

          Bah and harrumph.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            @David Cantrell

            What about Windowmaker? It's back in production and even if it wasn't the version released about 6 years ago is still the best "desktop" I've ever used.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @ Pete 2 - Reversing Moore's Law

        Applause! I get the same feeling. Programmers and people with decades of computer experience complain about the "type and launch" paradigm. What I don't understand is that some of the most tenacious cli guys prefer to point and click, instead of typing and lauching.

        Like you, I've tried it and discovered that I am much, much faster with the type and launch paradigm, than point and click.

        However! I regularly only use 5-8 applications, so I imagine that the old way of doing things could be better for someone who regularly has to use 20-30 applications, since that might be straining your memory a bit. On the other hand, using CLI, I am familiar with at least 20-30 commands + options, so even that shouldn't be a problem.

        1. JEDIDIAH
          Linux

          Re: @ Pete 2 - Reversing Moore's Law

          The right tool for the job.

          The things that I use most often are front and center in my UI. There's is no need to go searching for them. FORCING me to use a search interface for common tasks is less efficient and less easy.

          The problem with Unity and other interfaces like it is that it sabotages my ability to keep the most relevant stuff handy.

          1. Passing Through

            Re: @ Pete 2 - Reversing Moore's Law

            "The problem with Unity and other interfaces like it is that it sabotages my ability to keep the most relevant stuff handy."

            I find it very easy to keep relevant stuff handy with Unity, any application I need regularly can have its own one click launcher button, anything I've worked on recently comes up at the top of the list without inputting a search at all, although it's faster to start typing whatever it is I want.

            I'm using an iPad right now so just fired up my netbook to check I wasn't making stuff up, the letter M brings up Mahjong 'te' brings up terminal and text editor, 'tex' loses terminal and adds Libreofficewriter, etc, etc,

            Lots of people complain over losing their menus but there are problems with menus, what if there is no menu entry for whatever it is you want?

            Also due to the tree nature of menus you have to know wheather to look under administration or preferences or graphics or productivity or whatever.

            I'll admit that I found Unity strange at first and hung onto 9.10 for ages but having made the plunge I wouldn't go back.

            If he likes Unity so much why is he using an iPad I hear you say, well it fires up quicker than my A1 and the screen is bigger, however pasting the bit at the top of this was frankly laborious, and would have been much quicker on the netbook.

      3. Chika
        Coat

        Re: @ Pete 2 - Reversing Moore's Law

        To an extent, I agree with this except that you can categorise change two ways. Needful or useful change may annoy some users just as with Windows 95 or similar. These changes are often adopted because what it replaces has some sort of problem that is overcome by the successor. UIs, for example, are only the solution as long as the task at hand and the machinery in use suit the purpose.

        Then you get change that is either badly conceived, applied or is simply unnecessary. That's where the eye candy often emerges, and Unity, GNOME and KDE alike have been accused of this and, IMHO, are all equally guilty of introducing elements that nobody wanted or needed. The problem is that when such changes occur, the useful changes often get struck down as well.

      4. TheFiddler
        Linux

        Re: @ Pete 2 - Reversing Moore's Law

        Have to admit, shortly after the release of Unity I sat down and tried each of the main *buntu release DEs and Gnome3 with a view to finding which is best. I gave each DE a week as my daily user and eventually settled on Gnome 3 as my favourite, ironic really as they decided to create Unity rather than move to Gnome 3. On the flip side I do rather like the Unity phone GUI.

        Anyway, the point is more that there's a lot of variety out there for people to use, so much so that I see little point in complaining about one distro's direction as there's alternate options for you to try, Unlike with Microsoft where if they decide to change something you either like it or lump it.

      5. zb

        Re: @ Pete 2 - Reversing Moore's Law

        As a long lime Quicksilver user on a Mac I found Unity very easy to use and would not be without it. It took a day or two to get used to Quicksilver and now I find it very hard to use Windows, Gnome etc.

      6. Kunari

        Re: @ Pete 2 - Reversing Moore's Law

        @andreas koch

        I agree with you though, Unity is OK, I don't like it myself and I just have to put my most used programs on the desktop. I prefer Linux Mint's Cinnamon UI for desktops.

        Was you around for Win95's launch? People didn't "hate" it because it was a change, it was because it broke older software not designed for Win95. For the most part people liked the UI and once SP1 came out it was much better.

    3. DrXym Silver badge

      Re: Reversing Moore's Law

      "Tell me what you want to do?"

      "Email Susan and tell her I'll be 20 minutes late because of traffic".

      "I'm sorry I didn't get that, can you say it again"

      "Email Susan and tell her I'll be 20 minutes late because of traffic".

      "I'm sorry I didn't get that, can you say it again"

      "Open email program"

      "You say you want to open an email program is that correct?"

      "Yes"

      "Do you want launch Evolution, Thunderbird or GMail. Say option 1 for Evolution, option 2 for Thunderbird, or option 3 for GMail"

      "Thunderbird"

      "Do you want launch Evolution, Thunderbird or GMail. Say option 1 for Evolution, option 2 for Thunderbird, or option 3 for GMail"

      "Option 2"

      "Starting Thunderbird"

      "Compose"

      "I'm sorry I didn't get that, can you say it again"

      "Compose"

      "I'm sorry I didn't get that, can you say it again"

      "New email"

      "New email, please state who it is for"

      "Susan"

      "Is that Susan Smith, Susan Smith at Work, or SusanGainThreeInchesHerbalViagra? Say option 1 for Susan Smith, option 2 Susan Smith at Work or option 3 SusanGainThreeInchesHerbalViagra"

      "Option 1"

      "Composing new email to Susan Smith. Please say text"

      "Hi Susan, I'll be delayed by 20 minutes due to traffic"

      "You typed 'High Suzanne, ill be delighted by 20 minutes dew too traffic' Is that correct?"

      "Arghhhhhhh!!"

      "I'm sorry I didn't get that, can you say it again"

      Even Google / Apple with their massive resources and all the power of the cloud have limits on what you can do with voice control, constrained to some canned actions through their respective Siri / Google Now apps. What chance does Ubuntu have? Is it even something useful considering the mouse and keyboard are there and the person is seated in front of a screen?

      1. Pete 2 Silver badge

        Re: Reversing Moore's Law

        "Tell me what you want to do?"

        "Email Susan and tell her I'll be 20 minutes late because of traffic".

        That, 1000 times, that! (but who's Susan?) - though the email part becomes redundant, the "smarts" would just record your voice, filter out extraneous background noise and send that as the message.

        You are absolutely correct though: even Google's voicey thing (can't speak for Apple, never seen/used it) has trouble - but I have used it to translate We skipped the light fandango/Turned cartwheels 'cross the floor/I was feeling kinda seasick/But the crowd called out for more into spanish. But in 20 years time, they won't have trouble doing what I envisaged. And it probably won't matter what your native language is, either.

        Back in the mid 1970's there was a machine called the PERQ. It was marketed in the UK by ICL and did pretty much everything that users want from a machine today: GUI, mouse, networking, running stuff. If development into voice & face recognition had progressed as much as graphical software has and audio cards kept pace with graphics hardware - you could probably stare at your computer screen now it it would read your mind.

        Instead we're bogged down with eye-candy written by some very clever programmers with extreme technical skills, but bugger all utility so far as designing a user interface goes.

        1. Def Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Re: Reversing Moore's Law

          "Tell me what you want to do?"

          "Email Susan and tell her I'll be 20 minutes late because of traffic".

          That, 1000 times, that! (but who's Susan?) - though the email part becomes redundant, the "smarts" would just record your voice, filter out extraneous background noise and send that as the message.

          Back in the late 19th century there was this machine called a telephone. I understand it became quite popular for a while. Nowadays you can just send people text messages from a small device that fits in your pocket.

      2. Sureo

        Re: Reversing Moore's Law

        And then there's this: Voice recognition lift

        http://dotsub.com/view/6c5d7514-5656-476a-9504-07dd4e2f6509

      3. Wzrd1

        Re: Reversing Moore's Law

        "Composing new email to Susan Smith. Please say text"

        "Hi Susan, I'll be delayed by 20 minutes due to traffic"

        "You typed 'High Suzanne, ill be delighted by 20 minutes dew too traffic' Is that correct?"

        "Arghhhhhhh!!"

        "I'm sorry I didn't get that, can you say it again"

        Go to hell, you miserable pile of excrement.

        The device faithfully does so and loads Windows ME as a replacement OS.

    4. Armando 123

      Re: Reversing Moore's Law

      "Personally, I'd much prefer a user interface that contained one simple question and a box for the user to type, write or speak the answer."

      So, a text-based version of Microsoft Bob, then?

    5. plrndl
      Linux

      Re: Reversing Moore's Law

      "box might just say

      Tell me what you want to do?"

      If that's what you want, get an iPhone.

      The principal point of open source software is that it's free as in freedom. Canonical can do whatever they want with it, and so can you and I. If you don't like it, use something else, or roll your own. If Ubuntu was doing the same as Red Hat, SuZE or any other distro there would be no point to its existance.

      Personally I currently prefer Mint/Cinnamon/Docky, but I keep a close eye on what Canonical are doing, because if they get it right with their PC/phone/tablet integration, they will have a dream system, unlike MS, who have got it just about as wrong as possible.

    6. Gav

      Re: Reversing Moore's Law

      Tell me what you want to do?

      I'm not sure. There's that thing that let you take a file and change it. You know, I'd recognise it if you'd show me a menu. You know, like you used to when you were a computer, instead of this useless, fake person that annoys the hell out of me. You were good as a computer, why pretend to be something you're not?

    7. Vociferous

      Re: Reversing Moore's Law

      > I guess the answer to "Why do all this?" would be "because we can".

      No the answer to "Why" is the same as to why Microsoft went all Metro on us: that manufacturers think the PC is dying.

      Ubuntu's interface is looking and feeling a lot like Windows 8 because they've both decided that mobile, low-powered, devices with touch interface is the future.

      And honestly, if that's the future I want no part of it.

      1. dajames Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Reversing Moore's Law

        No the answer to "Why" is the same as to why Microsoft went all Metro on us: that manufacturers think the PC is dying.

        That's in danger of becoming a self-fulfilling prophesy: The more people muck about with the PC the more it is likely to die. You meddle with a successful formula at your peril.

        Yes, sure, there are smartphones and tablets and other nice new toys that extend what we can all achieve with our personal collection of IT kit -- and the ways and the places in which we can use it -- but these are additional devices not replacements for the PC. Yes, some people will find that they can manage with just a mobile device but most of us will cling to our PCs ... unless some fool causes them to mutate into something that no longer does the job we want in the way that we want.

    8. Michael Thibault
      Headmaster

      Re: Reversing Moore's Law

      >Tell me what you want to do?

      Tellingly, that isn't a question. It's a command mis-punctuated. (It might be a question in Redmond, though. I can't be arsed to check. I just don't want the truth from that quarter.)

  3. jb99

    I don't want any of this.

    Does anyone want any of this?

    They seem to have had a meeting where someone asked "How can we make linux worse" and all their recent decisions are based on it.

    1. codejunky Silver badge

      Re: I don't want any of this.

      @ jb99

      If you dont want it then dont get it. It doesnt come bundled onto a computer which bumps up the price tag. You could get ubuntu and change the interface with minimal effort. You could abandon ubuntu and get something else.

      If you dont want this you have many options. Such is the joy of linux

      1. jb99

        Re: I don't want any of this.

        Sure, and that's fine.

        If they want to go off their own way producing stuff nobody wants then that's up to them.

        The problem is that they also have a lot of good stuff, and it's not fun to have to decide if putting up with the bad stuff forever is worth the gain.

        1. andreas koch
          Mushroom

          @ jb99 and a lot of others - Re: I don't want any of this.

          For crying out loud . . .

          No one has to put up with anything whatsoever at all.

          Keep what you like, drop what you hate. Is that so hard? There is no need to put up with a disliked feature just because it's there in a distro!!!!!!! Remove it and get something else that you like instead. If the GUI doesn't suit you, get another GUI. Get a naked kernel and build your own. Do as you like!

          There is no, N O , reason ever to have to put up with something that a Linux distro provides. This isn't a locked system, you are root.

          Some of you guys sound like you go to McDonalds, order a burger and fries and then complain that you don't get bangers and mash.

          Phew. Dried frog pills. Need to take dried frog pills . . .

          Better now.

    2. stizzleswick
      Go

      Re: I don't want any of this.

      Actually, I do want most of the under-the-hood things Canonical are doing. What I (still) don't want is any GUI that has me jump through hoops just to fire up an application that I would otherwise start up from a well-sorted menu, or from a well-sorted folder.

      The biggest news is, of course, the display server. X.org is getting to be a little long in the tooth these days (again--I still remember the times when XFree86 was the go-to display server because X.org was stuck firmly in the early 1990s). I think it's a good thing that work is being done on a modern DS.

      My biggest no-no is Unity. The thing just simply keeps me from getting work done, that's why I am using Kubuntu. Otherwise, I find very little wrong with Canonical's efforts.

  4. HereWeGoAgain

    'if you're stuck using proprietary drivers'

    You mean 'if you use drivers that actually work properly and outperform the open source drivers'.

    1. ricegf

      Re: 'if you're stuck using proprietary drivers'

      It depends on your graphics hardware, of course - some open source drivers work exceptionally well. And with the SteamOS announcement, this should become the norm rather than the exception.

      1. M Gale

        Re: 'if you're stuck using proprietary drivers'

        And with the SteamOS announcement, this should become the norm rather than the exception.

        So long as it doesn't come with Steam, I'll be happy.

      2. JEDIDIAH
        Linux

        Re: 'if you're stuck using proprietary drivers'

        > It depends on your graphics hardware, of course - some open source drivers work exceptionally well. And with the SteamOS announcement, this should become the norm rather than the exception.

        Gabe doesn't care about political purity in device drivers. He cares about performance.

        If anything, Nvidia is in the drivers seat here because they have the best combination of silicon and drivers available for Linux. Anything involving Intel is a total non-starter regardless of platform. The hardware just isn't up to the job. AMD also has a chance to influence things because their hardware is not a joke.

        Until AMD can provide a superior result (under Linux), Gabe will just follow Nvidia's lead.

    2. DrXym Silver badge

      Re: 'if you're stuck using proprietary drivers'

      Mir and Wayland have very specific requirements from their drivers - decent EGL and OpenGL ES 2.0 support. I've read the odd comment of certain binary drivers being buggy or non functional through those APIs which is not surprising since Linux desktops wouldn't have used them much until now.

      It's not just Mir / Wayland either. Here are Dolphin devs complaining about the bugs they found porting from OpenGL to OpenGL ES for various GPUs.

      https://dolphin-emu.org/blog/2013/09/26/dolphin-emulator-and-opengl-drivers-hall-fameshame/

      Perhaps it's just easier when developing a low level client side display server to be able see what the driver is up to and the binary drivers will catch up in due course.

  5. Avatar of They
    FAIL

    Glad I walked away.

    I very rarely do searches for files, but the stupid unity interface makes it a requierment. So you type into search and it searches 'Reddit'... Wow, anyone got parental locks on theirs? What a very creepy, badly throught out logic. Reddit being the frnot page of the internet and having so much dodgy stuff on there that I wouldn't want kids to see.

    I walked away from Ubuntu after Unity and was scared by the creepy nature of amazon, now it searches reddit as well? Do they think about home network speeds, internet traffic, user choices etc?

    Does this flavour have a great big "No thanks" button?

    Geez.

    1. ricegf
      Facepalm

      Re: Glad I walked away.

      Slide the big ON button to OFF, and it doesn't search Reddit. It's actually faster than walking away - or posting diatribes to random comment sections...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Glad I walked away.

        @ricegf - "Slide the big ON button to OFF, and it doesn't search Reddit. It's actually faster than walking away - or posting diatribes to random comment sections..."

        But, he's got a point. Why would anyone think it's a good idea to spam your desktop with gutter-talk from Reddit as a default option? Why not just barf up Urban Dictionary or 4Chan postings by default? It's disgusting to be honest with you - and not something that anyone should have to turn "off".

        I guess it's probably a Canonical PR move - it's so over the top, it takes the sting out of the Amazon spam that comes with every Ubuntu desktop search. Makes me feel even better about my decision to stick with vanilla Debian.

        1. Necronomnomnomicon

          Re: Glad I walked away.

          Hang on, typing "reddit" and getting Reddit is spamming your desktop? You better make sure you don't accidentally search for "pictures of naked ladies". You'll go blind.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Glad I walked away.

            @Necronom: RTFA

  6. Rol

    Build your own!?

    Creating your own OS with the features you require is possible, if you are an aficionado of the Linux world.

    For mere mortals, like myself, we can only plump for one of the many distos that meets the greatest of our requirements and then tinker with it, usually, until we break it.

    It would be nice to have a pre OS that enables a huge check list of features, with a graphical interface that allows the user to easily define the desktop to their needs, which once completed sets about building your bespoke OS and then rigorously testing the resulting system before reporting it as a goer, ready to be installed.

    If you have Linux licked, you can do this for yourself now, but having been reared on a multitude of non Unix systems, I wouldn't have the foggiest.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Build your own!?

      Create an OS, I can't get past (or to) creating drivers!

      I know the response is either "it's easy" or "but check the hardware first". But this is a Linux compatible usb wifi stick. It's just I've no idea how to get it to work on any other machine than the Linux machine it came with. :/

  7. NB

    Meh

    I already have an excellent search function.

    It's called find.

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Meh

      Send this poster for a big dose of re-education.

      didn't you know that even suggesting the use of a command line these days is enough to send all those 'shiny-shiny' GUI fans into apoplectic fits?

      You must be a dinosaur to even suggest using find.

      Being serious for a moment, the more I see of what Canonical is doing to Ubuntu, the more I want nowt to do with it. They may turn out successful but to foist Mir on us at this stage of its development is plain silly. If this was for 14.10 then I might be more agreeable but not yet.

      1. James Hughes 1

        Re: Meh

        find? Obscure command line syntax, not suitable for the general populace. And tyes, I do use Linux, and on the command line, but I do accept its limitations to the majority of users.

        Once again, a commentard completely misses the point of something like Unity and Ubuntu. It's not for YOU, it's for the vastly greater number of people who simply want an easy to use desktop system.

        1. Tom 38 Silver badge

          Re: Meh

          It's only "obscure syntax" if you don't use it. If you do use it regularly, then it is just "find(1) syntax".

          Anyway, who uses find(1) to search for files, find(1) is for walking directory trees, not searching. For searching I would use locate(1).

    2. Wzrd1

      Re: Meh

      I do as well. It is called locate.

      As for the wonderful adverts, I also have an answer to those:

      apt-get remove unity-lens-shopping

      No more BS adverts.

      If I want to search Wikipedia, Amazon, Google, etc, I search them myself.

      No need for some unintelligent agent that they claim will become intelligent or any other garbage to consume system resources.

      As for the writer's long lost photos, if you can't find your photos on your own filesystem, you deserve to have lost them. Learn how to organize your file store!

  8. dotdot

    take a few mins on this one..

    It always helps to go away then come back to something if it irritates you.

    UBUNTU - .. well i ,like a few folks, here started using it back at breezy.. which is a while ago.

    I hung on for a long time - it went well, it was actually going great.

    Then unity came along and the show was somewhat derailed.

    Perhaps other terms could be using instead of derailed , you get the jist - the train came off the tracks.. people .. like me fell off the wagon - and thought "no !! ffs no !" - that is not going to sit in my stomach for a long time.

    I wandered off to mint - and thought , and to be brutal still do , think - "hey this is simple ! does the job and does it rather well!"

    Will I come back to this ? .. perhaps i will - there are still some things i'd like to do with my os / skin - which LM doesn't do by def - will ubu 13.10 then ? - not sure !

    I'll fire up a UBU 13.10 VM and perhaps report back - for now .. it still "looks" like a bad place of glitz and junk , put simple

    1. James Hughes 1

      Re: take a few mins on this one..

      Hmm, I stuck with Unity - like a poster above, and I quite like it. Does all I need in usually a simple and easy to use way. I keep finding things where I think - hey, cool, I didn't know it could do that....

      I suppose I was willing to look past the differences, and try it out, rather than go all apocalyptic on how it ruined the desktop.

    2. Pookietoo
      Linux

      Re: "no !! ffs no !"

      You can still use Ubuntu without using Unity, you know? I'm not even talking about Kubuntu/Xubuntu, just the regular distribution with gnome-session-fallback. Or you can stick a nice old-fashioned menu back on top of the Unity desktop with ClassicMenu Indicator.

  9. ForthIsNotDead

    WTF?

    See that GUI?

    That's what you'd get if you asked Fischer-Price to design a GUI.

    No. Just no.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Anonymized search implemented they say

    But if you search for names in files it will still be sent to Ubuntu.

    1. stizzleswick
      Devil

      Re: Anonymized search implemented they say

      Actually, it'll be sent to the NSA. And CIA. And Google. And even worse.

  11. This post has been deleted by its author

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    MEH

    Does anybody outside of a few hardcore techies care? It's a minority DE/Distro of a minority OS. The rest of us in the real world will carry on using our Windows or OS X machines and ignore Ubuntu and Desktop Linux

    1. Matt Piechota
      Flame

      Re: MEH

      "Does anybody outside of a few hardcore techies care? It's a minority DE/Distro of a minority OS. The rest of us in the real world will carry on using our Windows or OS X machines and ignore Ubuntu and Desktop Linux"

      What an exciting new idea! I can't believe no one ever thought to post it before.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: MEH

        Probably because the Commentariat on El Reg tend to shoot down in flames anyone who dares criticise the Church of Linux or any of it's High Priests.

        Like some other religions and sects Linux DOES appear to garner coverage out of all proportion to it's relevance to daily life. Take Ubuntu for example.

        Linux = 1.5% market share (on the desktop)

        Ubuntu 3rd most popular Distro on Distrowatch

        Which translates into a Desktop environment of neglible importance. Yeah I know that there will be people who quible about the figure of 1.5% but if they do they need to provide some hard fogures and not mere conjecture

  13. oddjobz

    Please please PLEASE ...

    Can someone tell Mr Shuttleworth that PC's and Tablets are two different things! Putting a tablet interface on a PC is not a smart thing to do - if it were, people would be running Android on their PC's (!)

    1. James Hughes 1

      Re: Please please PLEASE ...

      I think you might be surprised how many people would think Android on their PC is a good idea....judging by the number of people who want it on the Raspberry Pi.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Please please PLEASE ...

        What? A [desktop] PC is the same as a raspberry Pi now? I'd be interested in Andriod on both. I'd use it in a VM (and can/did a while back) on the PC, or native (if possible) on the pi. I'd not use it native on a PC, because I can run full Linux distros on it. I tend not to be able to on the Pi though.

    2. Sean Timarco Baggaley

      Re: Please please PLEASE ...

      He's well aware that PCs and tablets are two different things.

      Which form-factor is selling like hot cakes?

      Which form-factor is seeing sales drop off a cliff?

      75% of all PCs sold three years ago were laptops. That percentage is rather higher now. Laptops typically come with trackpads, not mice. Even Windows laptops have had trackpads that support multi-touch gestures for some time now.

      The traditional "separates" PC design is already a niche market. That form-factor is limited primarily to high-end workstations.

      Dell sold about 9 million PCs last year. Asus sold about 8.6 million. Acer sold a little over 6 million. In a year.

      Apple sold over 9 million iPhones 5s and 5c models over a single weekend.

      Canonical are well aware of the future of IT and consumer electronics. At least they're doing something. They might not get it right first time – Microsoft have a tendency to iterate too; the first reasonably popular version of Windows was v3.1 – but it's the attempt that matters.

      Both the GNU / FOSS communities and Microsoft have proved that you can cock up spectacularly regardless of your corporate / community culture and politics. How long have we been waiting for the "Year of Linux on the desktop" again? And yet, there's Apple with a full-fat *BSD UNIX OS that's been made so user-friendly, most of their customers aren't even aware of its UNIX heritage. And they pulled that feat off not once, but twice, with OS X and, later, with a completely redesigned GUI for iOS.

      Without vision, effective guidance and focus, you're screwed. Whatever your personal views on Mr. Shuttleworth and his vision, at least he has one. The GNU / FOSS movements do not. All they have is a tired, anachronistic political dogma of no relevance to anyone who doesn't actually program computers for a living. (And even then, it's only a tiny subset.)

      1. Vociferous

        Re: Please please PLEASE ...

        Why would you replace your PC?

        Games do not push the PC hardware envelope any more, not since they started being written for console. Surfing and watching video sure doesn't tax the hardware. So why upgrade? A five year old computer is just as capable today as when it was new. That's why all the old XP rigs are still going strong, and that's why PC sales have dropped off a cliff.

  14. MissingSecurity

    Thoughts...

    This persepective is from Fedora and Ubuntu which are the two I am used to. I can see where both these projects are trying to head and to be frank the GUI for either is not really all that terrible. When you conisder the design goals (especially of Ubuntu) these interface might be great at the phone/desktop/tablet union. We just don't know yet, as Ubuntu hasn't really released anything concerete, and I don't think Fedora has really considered it.

    I think think the next few itterations of gnome 3 and unity will make interactions with these UIs largerly mute. When I shifted from Fedora 17 to 18 I started actually feeling comfortable about it. As for bling, It seems largely that the biggest quips come from sysadmins, developers, and OSS fanatics. I understand this, since as a sysadmin running RHEL 90% of my servers have no GUI, but if we really want Linux to replace Windows and Apple as a persons choice, they need to have an evnironment in which it looks fuck sweet and you can show off. It's how most people seem to be with tech.

  15. 3arn0wl

    Mir,

    as Dan Brown would have it, "There's your problem, mate - it's your basic linguistic coincidence." Hasn't someone thought to limit the scope of the Scope [sorry] to 'Application Relevance'? i.e. to scan the open application(s) for key words?

    I really like the idea of a desktop search engine that looks at the contents of the hard disk, cloud and internet, but it won't be much good if the results are too broad.

  16. Gene Cash Silver badge

    Real GUI improvements - predictive keyboard

    So I've been using un*x for 20 years and the one thing I'd love to have is a predictive keyboard. I really miss Swiftkey on my Android phone.

    Bash command completion in console is awesome when implemented properly, but I'm talking dictionary-based stuff in X11 apps like emacs, email, browser text fields, etc. that learns from the words/phrasing that you use most.

    *That* would be a major desktop UI advance. Unfortunately I'm not a good enough coder to implement this myself. Maybe as a language input method hack?

    1. Vociferous

      Re: Real GUI improvements - predictive keyboard

      Predictive typing is an abomination before god even on cellphones, and ten times more when you have a perfectly good keyboard to type on!

  17. sisk

    Ok, excuse my ignorance here. I mostly stopped paying attention to Ubuntu when I realized that their goals and development methods could never, ever lead to a distro I'd be happy with.

    What, exactly, does Mir do that Xwindows doesn't? You can run Xwindows just fine on mobile devices with nothing more than a desktop environment designed for such, and it's not really aging as it's been continually updated since it's inception. So, to me, developing a whole new stack from the ground up would require that it do something new or significantly better than what we already have.

  18. EPurpl3

    That's why I use Mint, no crappy features

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Pointer only interaction?

    Who thought that requiring me to use a keyboard to launch apps would be a good idea? Plus that background indexing of all of my content which is already indexed in use-specific databases.

  20. Spoonsinger

    Re : Meet the Linux distro with a bizarre Britney Spears fixation

    So it's an agents/producer school girl fixation thing? - rather than being useful. Look pretty though.

  21. Nym

    You cheated

    There weren't more pictures.

  22. oiseau Silver badge
    Flame

    All very nice ...

    Hello there:

    Yes, it's all very, very nice.

    But ...

    I have tried to get off the M$ bandwagon and on the Linux train for the longest time, ever since W2000 came around.

    For the last 10/12 years I've tried many (many) times to move to a Linux distro and stay there. Tried hard enough, I think. With various Debians at first, then a few Knoppix and then Ubuntu (from 5.10 I think), which I must say was the best distribution I had found up till then. I think it still is, last time I tried was with 12.04 LTS.

    But I've never been able to get just a couple of basic things working right out of the box with UIbuntu, not even with some serious searching for solutions on the web and many many hours of work: my Matrox G400 twin monitor card (which BTW has worked flawlessly in W2000 from the very first time), a half decent desktop app for my beloved Palm IIIxe (no, I will not give it up) and wireless without hassles.

    I cannot continue without saying that there have been very interesting advancements such as on boot wireless detection with very easy configuration and a great front-end for GRUB2 (both really excellent) but for the life of me I have been unable to get my Matrox G400 card working or the wireless drivers for the ath chip to give stable operation and no hassles.

    The web is absolutely full of users bitching about these two items.

    /rant mode on

    And no, I really don't think that telling me the Matrox G400 is old and that I should ditch it or that the Palm IIIxe should be in a museum is the right answer.

    I always thought that the main idea behind Linux on the desktop was that it would give everyone who wanted to escape the WinTel curse of rehashed bloated software requiring new more powerful hardware and so on ad-nauseam, a way out of that treadmill.

    But no. It seems that it's not possible (and probably won't ever be) to harness the creative work of the thousands of programming experts dedicated to this fantastic project started by Linus Torvalds work together and come up with just 'one' 100% functional and scalable 'distro' instead of generating gadzillionz diffrent flavours, forks or whatever.

    /rant mode off

    OK.

    It's just 'my' 0,02 ... No biggie.

    As always, YMMV.

    Cheers,

    CIV

    1. AdamWill

      Re: All very nice ...

      "The web is absolutely full of users bitching about these two items."

      There are about three people in the world who both a) still have and b) are still, for some bizarre goddamn reason, attempting to use a G400, so no, no, it really isn't. It is always a valuable thing to get a realistic handle on how much everyone else actually cares about your Precious Snowflake Bug. The answer in your case is 'not at all'.

      Have you asked Windows for a Windows 8 driver for it yet? How's that going?

      (For those who don't remember, or weren't born, the G400 came out in 1999. It was moderately popular, for a year or two.)

  23. Vociferous

    Do you actually SEARCH your files and programs?

    Could I just ask everyone: Do you really use search to find the programs you want to start, or the files you want to open? You don't use menus or browse?

    I honestly, for reals, do not understand how people use their computers if it is indeed true that the majority of users use search as their universal interface to files and programs.

    1. MrWibble

      Re: Do you actually SEARCH your files and programs?

      I have everything filed away in folders according to project, etc, as I'm quite anal about things like that.

      However, it's much quicker and easier to press the super key, and type "func temp" then enter to get the "Functional Specifications Template" open, than click on files, then documents, then templates folder, then scroll through the 50 or so documents in that folder to find the right one.

    2. 3arn0wl

      Re: Do you actually SEARCH your files and programs?

      I'm embarrassed to admit it, but I do have to search for files occasionally: quantity of files, poor memory & no filing system :$

    3. AdamWill

      Re: Do you actually SEARCH your files and programs?

      "Do you really use search to find the programs you want to start, or the files you want to open? You don't use menus or browse?"

      Yes. Typing 'start, xc, enter' - without even needing to look at the screen, as it's an entirely predictable interaction - is approximately sixty thousand times faster than going start, mouse or keyboard navigate up to 'internet' or 'chat' or some other weird category, mouse or keyboard navigate through a pokey list to the entry labelled xchat, click or hit enter.

      I'm stuck in Xfce at the moment because GNOME 3 is not working (occupational hazard of being a QA guy and testing lots of marginal stuff), and hating it. I can't find anything in these ridiculous Windows 98 menus.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Am I the only one...

    ... who loves Unity and the way Ubuntu is heading? I administer Linux boxes for a living; at home I want something simple that works and allows me to do useful stuff with minimal hassle. Unity *was* terrible but is now a pleasure to use; starting programs using unity search is much quicker than searching through menus, especially for those that are rarely used. Ubuntu 'just works', for example I can spend my time editing photos (Darktable) and editing videos (OpenShot) rather than fighting with (for example) graphics drivers / dual monitor problems etc.

    1. 3arn0wl

      Re: Am I the only one...

      :) No! You're not the only one.

  25. AMB-York Silver badge
    Windows

    Microsoft?

    Have Microsoft paid these guys to try and make the Windows 8 program manager look good?

  26. AdamWill

    Mir? Mirbe not.

    "Ubuntu 13.10 is, however, something of an iceberg - the bulk of what's new is hidden away under the surface. Ubuntu 13.10 marks the arrival of Mir, Canonical's new graphics stack designed to replace the ageing X Server."

    Or...not so much.

    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=MTQ3NDQ

    "Ubuntu 13.10 Desktop Will Not Use XMir By Default"

    Seems like they really thought this one through carefully.

This topic is closed for new posts.

Other stories you might like

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022