LXer Feature: 21-Dec-2011
Unity is more natural and user friendly to me than anything else..finally. I have not booted windows for 4 months. This is not one of those hate article or Windows vs Linux article, so if you have such intentions please feel free to escape this article presently.
I have not booted windows for 4 months. This is not one of those hate article or Windows vs Linux article, so if you have such intentions please feel free to escape this article presently.
It is not because I hate windows or some such, it is because I just happen to do everything that does not require Windows. Lucky me, who even gets to work on Ubuntu in the office. What it means is my fingers, by brain is Linuxified. Since I only install/upgrade Linux twice a year (April and October), I am one of those guys who can work on a stable Linux install for long time. I don't hop around distributions, I don't need to change the theme and I feel no need to change the desktop environment.
I used to use Ubuntu 11.04, where I could bypass Unity (using classic desktop). Since 11.10 came out I could not do so. I was frustrated and I did not like the way it worked. It was ugly (it still is in terms of looks compared to KDE or Gnome 3). Once or twice I even completely removed it and installed other Desktop environments. After lot of fight time none of them felt natural to me. So I was forced to go back to Unity.
I thought of giving unity one week to prove itself. I lived with it with all its nuisances. After spending one week I was able to do at least basic things with it and after another week, I was much less frustrated (although I still remembered the old way of doing things). After two more weeks I thought of giving Gnome 3 a try to see how it felt. This time Gnome 3 did not feel natural to me so once again I was back to Unity.
After several months I can say Unity is more natural and user friendly to me than anything else. Even when I use Windows or a Mac while testing some things in my office, I happen to take my mouse to left side to expect for the launcher. I always press windows key to expect the dash. When there is a file menu at top of a window, I feel uncomfortable. I expect it to be at top panel. Any less space in the desktop due to the menu is a nuisance to me.
I happen to open up my music player using the sound menu. I use top right button to shut down the computer. I open up my mail from my mail launcher that exists on top right, my RSS reader and my chat client. This is such a huge change in my usage pattern and since it does not match that of a Wac or Windows install. I feel those Desktops to be lot harder than a Ubuntu Desktop.
I now totally understand when people say Linux is hard in terms of Desktop. Yes it is just as Mac was the hardest Desktop experience to me. The key is stick with it, when you use it daily it becomes natural to you. Apart from applications I am accustomed towards everything unity offers. E.g when I am tying this post this article, nothing else shows up in the Desktop except the top panel with this page's title and the right side of it filled with my favorite icons. Yet I know if I have to open up another application I can drag my mouse to left side or press Win + Space to open up Synapse to launch new application. There is nothing that distracts me, yet I know they all are a finger tip away.
I see lots of distributions released all around the year. A lot of vocal people on the Internet try out these distributions. Since these people try out different distributions now and then, it becomes for a newbie that Linux people are always trying new distributions rather than using it for something useful. These new folks must remember these people are targeting people who have different usage pattern to pick up a distribution that is more natural to their usage. If you are trying something new you have to give it enough time to blend with your usage pattern. Last of all you have to settle for one distribution that you can use for real work.
If you are frustrated with Windows because it did not let you change the theme, you will be more frustrated in Linux too. It is not that Linux does not let you change the theme, it is you who have problem settling on something. You have to give enough time for a system to settle down. May it be windows of mac or a Linux distribution. Since all of the software I use are cross platform, I may not have any issues on any one of them, but the decisive factor for you might be the software rather than the platform you use. However if you don't have any software dependency it is how well you use a system makes it usable or unusable.