Can Ubuntu Be What Everyone Would Use?

Posted by ubuuser on May 28, 2012 12:45 PM EST
LXer Linux News; By ubuuser
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LXer Feature: 28-May-2012

Whenever there has been new transition, people have resisted to adapt to changes. Same has happened for gnome 3 based desktops. Specially from people who used to use gnome 2 as their primary desktop environment. Change for just the shake of change is not the best solution in most cases. However changes with desktops is something that can make or break the deal.

I don't think any linux desktop has given us the ultimate beauty. The most closest to perfection being default gnome 3 desktop. I know someone well known has written his dis-pleasement with this shiny and transparent thing, but desktop beauty are very subjective thing. E.g I don't like the orange icons in ubuntu. Even dark black color is something that did not came from beauty shop. I don't like the ugly window bar of gnome 3, nor do I like any icons generated for linux desktop till date. Khaki icons of gnome 3 are absolutely horrible.

Does that make me not use Linux? Absolutely not. I would use it even if I did get was only xterm and all the bazzar of GUIs built out of oil in water GUI apis. Since all the GUI apis are bad looking, in totality if you try to fix one type of GUI windows you break a million others.

E.g If I try to fix Ubuntu-mono-dark icon with Oxygen-refit I would break the looks of Download bookmark in nautilus. So the best looking Desktop cannot be built from anything other than ambiance or Ubuntu-mono-dark, which is a horrible combination as I said earlier. Some might argue elementary theme and faenza icons looks good, but I argue elementary theme looks as horrible as it can be, because it does not respect the window bar color and you have to strain your eye just to get the handle while dragging. The green mint icons are one of the most bad icons that can exist.

There was one icon set called fs-icon which tried to beautify ubuntu, but failed miserably because it had same orange color. The author might have noticed this and made another set of icons (with different color), which did not fit too, because it was too bright and did not know what theme the user would use.

For ubuntu to beautify its looks, graphics artists have to do a very good job. Gnome 3 is one of the best looking desktop, but it fails at icon and window bar color.

Even if each of these desktops fixed its look, color and icons, there is still a bigger problem that needs to be fixed. Its the inconsistent looks of each application. I know we can't fix that until we force the authors to rewrite their applications using new apis, which by the way is never going to happen at least for some applications. Even if some author would adapt their software to these new interfaces, they would not be sure if the whole thing changes 6 month from now. We have seen gnome developers not care anyone so who can say they won't screw everyone again. So the fix would be to improve the apis with more beautiful photos and themes. Even if it would not give a consistent look, but if they all looked beautiful in their own way very less would care and appreciate each application.

If you a programmer who don't care about GUIs everything might look good as long they are usable. However world has changed from system programming to usable enough GUIs to beautiful web pages. Since people spend most of their time on beautiful web pages, they don't want to get a feeling, that what they use on their desktop is any different in beauty from what they use on web. Since many desktop applications have blurred the limit for the user of what is happening online and what is happening offline, they need to make everything look same. Since they can't make all web pages look like a crappy desktop, so the best way to go is make desktop applications as beautiful as their web counterpart.

If you dwell on internet, you know even the hello world web pages these days have beautiful faces. It has been quite some year when client software has stopped using any form of desktop window and have completely switched to web interfaces. Today web interfaces have become so defacto interface, clients measure everything in terms of graphical interfaces. They think if something looks becautiful it might be more secure. As a result good software programmers spent much of their time trying to fix javascript and css of pages rather than spending their time where they should. I don't know how long such practice can continue, but currently its horrible. Today a javascript or css developer gets much more credit than a system programmer due to this web centric mentality. Managers who think bgcolor="red" to bgcolor="blue" is a whole day work, rather than code refactor or 5 unit tests implementation, will surely know what I am talking about.

Let me not side track you, but the purpose of my previous paragraph was to show you how important gui interfaces these days are. Bottom line is you have to be absolutely beautiful to look good. You may fix many critical bugs after release, but a break in user interface or looks is 10 times bigger bug than any serious bug.

Why ubuntu has not taken off yet?

We all know Linux has very limited set of software in some sector E.g people such as graphics artists absolutely need photoshop. I don't say linux should go begging on adobe's door, but they should make people who can use linux absolutely use it.

E.g In my office I use ubuntu. Since I am a long time Linux user I can get around different bugs. But since some releases ubuntu has been a real pleasure to use. As a result more than half of the staff have started using Ubuntu. And I did not have to help anyone of them. Since all of them are technically sound users of computer, they can work fairly easily. However a new user would not want to spend any time trying to install linux to solve a subset of problems her computer can do. If however it looked something beautiful they could not ignore the matter would be different. Can ubuntu bring a whole new experience for users (not just clone of what is already beautiful)?

» Read more about: Story Type: LXer Features; Groups: GNOME, Linux, Ubuntu

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Your leaning to U is showing wayne1932 3 2,262 May 28, 2012 8:25 PM

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