Bashing Ubuntu's Unity: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder!
Are Unity critics really being fair to Ubuntu and Canonical?
We all know that Unity has gotten a ton of criticism right from the very beginning. Heck, I even smacked it around in one of my columns for Eye On Linux. The column was called Unity: Ubuntu’s Descent Into Madness!
I had a lot of fun writing that column, and it was written very early on with Unity. Over time I've come to more or less accept Unity. Is it my cup of tea? No, it's not. I would never use it as my desktop environment of choice. I don't like the way it works, and I probably never well.
But it's important to remember that what I find appealing and useful might not be the same for you. There are many, many people out there who really like it. And why not? If it works for them, then more power to them.
One of the greatest things about Linux is that there's a desktop environment and distro for everybody. Choice is where Linux reigns supreme over all other desktop operating systems. And I wouldn't have it any other way.
The My Ubuntu Blog has a spirited defense of Unity in Ubuntu.
I am writing this article to dispel some myths about Ubuntu and Unity.
The reason I have chosen to do this article now is in response to an article in Linux User and Developer magazine which gives a glowing review of Linux Mint 15 whilst making some fairly derogatory and unnecessary comments about Ubuntu.
Is Ubuntu bashing a new sport? Are the issues with Ubuntu and Unity well founded or are some people living in the past of 11.04 and not giving Unity a chance.
Here's a small sample of my rant about Unity. There's a YouTube clip of the movie 300 at the beginning, where the messenger gets kicked down into a deep pit. It worked really well as a metaphor for Unity.
If you ever watched the movie “300” then you know that one of the supporting characters proclaims at one point that “...this is madness!” shortly before being fatally kicked into a deep, dark hole by one of the main characters.
That, I’m afraid, will soon be the fate of Unity.
Canonical has no one to blame for themselves for this mess; it will be the operating system equivalent to users switching from Digg to Reddit, after Digg introduced it’s horrific site “upgrade.” Somebody at Canonical is in desperate need of a smack upside the head to wake them up to this potential disaster.
Was I being a bit of a drama king in my take on Unity? Probably, since Ubuntu is still alive and well long after that column went up. But I remember being utterly shocked by what Unity looked like and how it worked. It was so different from previous Ubuntu releases that I really couldn't stand it.
On the other hand, there are those who have grown to love Unity. Tony Bradley at PC World initially used Ubuntu Classic but then switched back to Unity. Is he crazy? Or perhaps he just found that it worked well for him, once he gave it a chance and got used to it?
I think his experience has probably been mirrored by a lot of other Ubuntu users. Some were aghast and horrified by Unity, but it probably grew on them over time. I'm sure by this point Unity has some users who wouldn't want to use anything else, and who would react very negatively if Canonical suddenly decided to get rid of it.
After poking around the Unity interface a bit, I had switched back to the Ubuntu Classic desktop at the urging of some reader comments. But, today I decided to take a close look at Unity, and what unique features and functions it brings to the mix.
As it turns out, there is a lot I love about Unity. Why? Well, I know that some Linux loyalists are tiring of me comparing Ubuntu to Windows (although that is essentially the premise of the 30 Days With Ubuntu Linux series), but the reason I love Unity is that it offers many of the same features and functions I love about Windows 7.
As with so many things in life, beauty really is in the eye of the beholder. Ubuntu still has many users and probably will as long as it exists. The folks that didn't like Unity have decamped to Linux Mint and other distros, which is also as it should be. To each his or her own, in all things, but especially in Linux.
What's your take on Unity? Are you using it? Did it make you leave Ubuntu for another distro? Tell me in the comments below.