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back to article Ubuntu Lucid Lynx changes its spots

Canonical is replacing its signature brown color scheme with the debut of Ubuntu 10.04, the next major release of the popular Linux distribution. Departing from six years of interface tradition, Canonical has revealed a new "light" default theme and updated Ubuntu logo that introduces a pallet of purple, orange, slate grey, and …

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Not bad

You should have put up screenshots of Bing, though ;)

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Linux

So...

what's next, Drunk Dragon? Dreaming Dog? Anemic Anteater? Fried Frog? Bumming Baboon? ubuntu still feels like a mac to me, but it is a great thing to see linux (in any flavor) get more attention from younger crowds.

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Badgers

Moronic Micturater?

Actually, I wouldn't know, not having drunk from the cup yet...

BTW: From Wikipedia

With the exception of the first three releases, code names are in alphabetical order, allowing a quick determination of which release is newer.

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Coat

It goes by the alphabet, so...

after Lucid Lynx comes M...er, Mummified Mongoose, Mangled Moose, Motheaten Mamba? Then onward to Necrotic Nit, Nasty Newt, Nefarious Nematode? Over to you, Mr Shuttleworth.

Mine's the Rabid Racoon coat...

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Coat

The next letter is M, so how about "Morose Mancunian"?

That could work. Just get Peter Saville to do the colour theme, and replace the happy Ubuntu startup drumbeat with the first few bars of "She's Lost Control".

Mine's the one with "Meat is Murder" in the pocket.

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Pint

The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

"and replace the happy Ubuntu startup drumbeat with the first few bars of "She's Lost Control". "

I so want it to do this.... or maybe some Mark E. Smith...

A pint to you sir, for this inspiration!

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Coat

Are you sure it's not....

Rampant Rabbit?

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Coat

Title goes here

Brown, Orange and Purple.

Let me guess: The designer wears flares and has big hair. Amirite?

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Apparently...

... you can polish a turd.

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Happy

Beats Office

Anything is better than Office 2007's powder blue colour scheme.

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Powder blue?

Haven't you changed the default colour to something better yet?

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Yup

That's the MS business model alright.

Now, about Linux...

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Paris Hilton

Looks good

Now if they could only get rid of that mono shite

Paris, because she loves linux. http://www.bbspot.com/News/2006/08/paris-hilton-tinkerbell-linux.html

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Good!

I always hated that doo-doo brown color scheme. Why did they ever choose it in the first place?

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WTF?

Help me out here.

And the difference between the light and dark theme is, what?

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Duh!

Don't look at the background. Look at the open Windows!

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Not a fan

So all the window controls are way off to the left and the dark colour scheme looks like Vista.

I'm not loving it.

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So ...

Is it a good thing that the only reason to care about the latest Linux distribution is the new seasons colours?

I suppose it means that everything just works - you aren't waiting for a distro that finally supports Adaptec scsi cards or 100Base network, like 10years ago, - but it seems a bit depressing.

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Looks good but...

I also notice they've swapped to mac-esque minimize/maximize/close buttons. Colours look neat, but no program bar at the bottom by default? Guess some tweaking is in order.

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Small team helmeted by Mark Shuttleworth

So colours and fonts are now what defined cutting edge OS design? The only positive is that this will make the old tshirts into collectibles.

Still, I have 5 boxes running Ubuntu. I hope they let me keep brown.

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Linux

Well thank god for that

No more "poobuntu" jokes from the wintards here! I just hope it is better than Karmic, which, IMHO was pants. In fact, it seems to me that for the last few years all the .10 releases were crap. Intrepid wasn't to good either.

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Anonymous Coward

Sure

Now it's going to be mardi-gras-buntu.

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Nice

Good change, finally.

Not that it matters much, but maybe I won't have to spend 2 or 3 minutes after next install changing the looks of the thing anymore, we'll see. At a minimum I always change the panels to be slightly transparent and the wallpaper to be something darker. This looks more like it to my taste.

The dark version of the new theme reminds me a bit of the New Wave theme (ships with Ubuntu, but it's not the default) that I use with small modifications, although the colors are a little different.

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reminds me of...

Reminds me of the way the BBC always depicts Labour Party apparatchiks. Always with a purple background. Yikes!

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HAHA

So someone finally listen to the "it looks like shit" comment every Joe Sixpack gave upon seeing ugboogo!

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Jobs Halo

Seems familiar?

Why didn't they just name the 'Light Theme' Snow Leopard and save themselves the bother??

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looks nasty

wasn't a massive fan of the brown but this just looks nasty to me

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Why different again?

Why would they think that it's a good idea to change the windows controls so they are in different positions to not only the older version of ubuntu, but also to both windows and mac os x? Surely this will just irritate everyone no matter what they are migrating from, and with no clear benefit as far as I can see. Very odd indeed.

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just tried it on my 10.04 alpha box

The buttons are on the right where they're supposed to be, the bottom panel remains, and in IMO both themes look better 'in the flesh' than in those screenshots. Much more modern than any of the other themes shipped by default. Only problems I can see are that windows shadows are overly large for my taste, and apps that don't have all 3 'normal' buttons (min,max,close) look funny (calculator, for example).

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Re: So...

Advances in UI *are* a reason to care. They're not as nitty-gritty as hardware support, but it's very important for the success of Linux. Yes, desktop colour schemes are at the lighter end of the UI spectrum, but still. It's progress.

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Agreed

I occassionally get asked to advise on UI design and it is remarkably important for user uptake. You can create the best functioning software in the world, but if you want to sell it to more than a very specialised market you better make it look good and work pretty slickly (or at least appear to). Companies like Apple and Microsoft spend millions on UI design and they don't do this for amusement.

If your customer fies up your software for the first time and just doesn't like the colours and design they may never really get past that initial impression. Although I've used Oracle for years I still can't get to like it, partly for those reasons.

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Give me my poo back

I can appreciate that Ubuntu wants to be the third UI paradigm in the OS world but Canonical, please, please get a professional to design your core theme instead of this... mess... that was probably done by a half-drunk code monkey on a Sunday night with GIMP.

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They drink it in the Congo

Ubuntu is often referred to as Umbongo. Seems fitting that they now have a colour theme to match.

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Anonymous Coward

Ugleee

"We're drawn to Light because it denotes both warmth and clarity, and intrigued by the idea that 'light' is a good value in software"....

Next time lets hope the pillock gets drawn to something that looks colourful and attractive - maybe even present day....

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Window controls and colours.

<stupicon>Head Desk</stupicon>

The window controls will be located to the right by default, it's just the person who took the screen shot preferred them to the left and so did so. That's the choice you get.

If you don't like the theme, it can be changed within seconds by selecting the theme manager.

It's always amazed me the number of people who moan about the brown theme as if you are stuck with it and it's a big issue. When in actual fact it can be eradicated immediately should you choose to do so. But then I guess people are not used to an OS that has such flexibility inbuilt and allows you to radically change the look and feel of the desktop, without having to first download and install additional third party window manager software. Dare I say some people need to "think different". Hyuk, hyuk.

The program bar at the bottom, you have the choice of including or replacing for a window dock manager (I hate to say like Apples dock, because that actually comes from unix ) but you can switch as you please.

Now if you were to criticise the system fonts you might have a point. They need attention and rapidly, along with the human looks icon set and in deed the layout of the Nautilus window manager.

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FAIL

Yeah, because Linux invented desktop themes.

Oh, wait: no it didn't!

Windows has been able to change its complete look and feel pretty much since its inception. Even Explorer.exe is just another app; you can swap it out for someone else's shell if you prefer. And there are umpteen themes you can choose from in recent versions of Windows.

If you want to take it even further, you can install Stardock's "skinning" software and make Windows look like OS X. (Or early '90s Solaris if you're feeling particularly masochistic.)

As for Apple's own OS: Which part of "It's *BSD Unix" do you not understand? You can run X Windows (or any compatible WM you like) on it just fine if you don't like Apple's own look and feel. Granted, Apple don't go out of their way to make it easy, but that's kind of Apple's *point*.

Not every choice is inherently beneficial; how do you create support documentation for a program whose very interface might look completely different from one user's machine to another? When you're selling to a market not renowned for its high number of tech-savvy users, it's not sensible to create such a fluid GUI.

Linux users who already know about theming and ports and makefiles, and are happy to pop its hood and tinker with what lies beneath, have plenty of other distros to choose from. Ubuntu isn't *intended* for such people, any more than Apple's Mac mini is intended for hardcore gamers.

There are many, many target markets out there, each with its own ecosystem of suppliers. Those suppliers are in no way obliged to target *other* markets if they don't want to. It's *their* choice, not yours.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: the dock.

"a window dock manager (I hate to say like Apples dock, because that actually comes from unix )"

No. Not Unix, NeXTStep - hence it's a feature of OSX. You may be confusing it for the FrontPanel from CDE that was the windows manager available on most commercial Unices from 1993~2000. NeXTStep was released in 1988. You can't mean VUE or Motif as both were developed just after NeXTStep, as well as being precursors to CDE. So it's entirely correct to say "Apple's dock" but if that make you feel wobbly, you can always say "NeXT's dock", but it's the same thing really...

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Headmaster

Partly right

STB wrote "Linux users who already know about theming and ports and makefiles, and are happy to pop its hood and tinker with what lies beneath, have plenty of other distros to choose from. Ubuntu isn't *intended* for such people, any more than Apple's Mac mini is intended for hardcore gamers."

Good post - apart from the segment above, which just restates the old WinTard accusations about having to (re)compile everything. Themeing on Ubuntu (even back to the HH version I'm using now) is dead easy - see menu item System ->Preferences->Appearance. From that item, you can tweak via a GUI that's pretty similar to that which exists in Vista etc.

As to the subject of the article - the new brown-less new look - once I'd updated my LL VM and got it to apply the new theme (it held onto the default for my login account - presumably because the new theme came out after the account was setup). First impressions were that (a) it looks a heck of a lot like the Netbook version; (b) I like the new colour scheme; and (c) I'm not so sure about the new window decoration (which - on my system at least) - are still on the (correct) right-top corner.

By the way - no command line trickery, makefiles,etc required to update the system, or the themes. :)

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Never said Linux invented themes, read it again.

"Windows has been able to change its complete look and feel pretty much since its inception."

You can change it, but it's not the same as a fluid system themeing for that you need ooh say something like Stardock?

"If you want to take it even further, you can install Stardock's "skinning" software.."

What did I say about third party theme software?

"Granted, Apple don't go out of their way to make it easy, but that's kind of Apple's *point*."

Which is exactly my point. Thank you for agreeing with me.

The rest of your response is incorrect.

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re: fonts....

tardigrade, I could not agree more!!! Ubuntu's system font has always been pretty dreadful.

Windows is better but ..and let's be fair... Apple has always been far ahead with its system font right back to Chicago under the original Macintosh OS.

as for the brown ...well the very first thing I always do with a Ubuntu install is change that!!!!

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purple, orange, slate grey, and tan.

Orange and tan were rather large components of previous schemes. They didn't help then and they're not helping now.

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Linux

Issues?

For anybody who uses a separate partition for their home directory, then it is likely that whatever changes they have already made for Hardy, Intrepid, Jaunty or Karmic will persist across the new OS (along with inappropriate settings for new versions of older software as well, unfortunately!)

I include Hardy, as I am going LTS to LTS releases on my main boxes, missing the intermediate versions.

but seriously. You just can't win. Make no changes, and you are being unambitious or not keeping up with the competition. Make changes, and it is all unnecessary. Thank god it is very easily configurable!

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Coat

Next release

Im going with Modding Meerkat

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Troll

Fantabulous!

Now all they need is a decent desktop manager...

... except, there isn't one for Linux ...

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Anonymous Coward

From bad to worse

Are the Ubuntu team TRYING to make Linux as ugly as possible?

They should take a hint from the Mint team, that's a nice looking OS.

Instead they've gone from one naff niche appeal colour to another, and evidently without too much care or thought as it looks like something an amateur would slap together by changing the colours at random.

And what's all this marketing psychobabble about being "inspired by the idea of light"? As a free OS, Linux is unique in that you can pitch it on its merits alone - without having to make up meaningless and condescending sales patter to impress the pointy haired boss. If he doesn't understand Linux, too bad, he already has Microsoft to give him hot air and buzz words.

If you're going to be as self important as to tell us what your inspirations are, at least be respectful and give us the real list - rather than a made up marketing list of generic catch all terms.

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Are the Ubuntu team TRYING to make Linux as ugly as possible?

In fairness, they're setting themselves a realistic, perfectly achievable goal if they are.

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Anonymous Coward

@norman bottomly

Light / dark have different window decorations. Look at the screenshots again, you'll see it :)

Not the most drastic difference between two themes but then they are supposed to be very similar.

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Flame

Have they fixed the mouse click bug yet ?

Since 9.10, there has been a bug with some mice, where the clicks seem to get trapped. I have posted, logged a Launchpad issue ... and nothing has been done. It may not be an *ubuntu* issue, possibly an X-server one, but either way, it renders a system practically unusable.

I was introduced to Ubuntu in late 2007, as an alternative to Vista (yay !!!!!), and was thoroughly impressed. I used to use it almost exclusively. However the 9.10 upgrade has meant I have to use Windows. I was recommending it to everyone I could for two years, but now have to admit that some of the criticism of ownership of bugs is completely true. In 2002 I had a weird bug in the MS MTS mechanism, which resulted in a visit from MS and a custom DLL. I could not, in all conscience suggest a Linux build for a stable desktop, given my experience.

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Stable linux build?

You'll be wanting an LTS version about 3-6 months after it first ships if you've used Ubuntu. That gives 2 years of stability until the next version.

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Linux

Re : could not, in all conscience suggest a Linux build for a stable desktop, given my experience..

Must be a VERY limited experience.

I've used SuSE & OpenSUSE for ~10 years without any problem with the (usually KDE) desktop.

Does everything I want either better than Windows, as well as Windows or at least adequately.

That would include :-

File& print serving to Windows & Linux boxes

Firefox

e-mail

Google Earth

Web-page generation

C & C++ compiling + almost any programming language you could require.

OpenOffice

Video editing

RAW digital photo processing

Panoramic photo processing

TV viewing /recording

SSH access to home server

Remote access to my wife's school

Microcontroller programming (PIC) via WINE

If you need games or really feel that you must have Windows fair enough. But the ignorant or malicious comments of others that Linux NEEDS a CLI for installation or routine use or even that you NEED to compile programs to use it needs refuting at every opportunity.

Just get a LiveCD and try it !

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