back to article Ubuntu UNITY is GNOME-MORE: 'One Linux' dream of phone, slab, desktop UI axed

Ubuntu's dream of a single Linux platform across all your devices has died, swiftly, following a single gunshot to the head. Holding the revolver: founder of Ubuntu, Mark Shuttleworth. Shuttleworth has shocked and surprised the open source community, even those who were critics of the Unity effort that was started six years …

  1. keithpeter
    Coat

    Mir -> Wayland then?

    I'm assuming that the adoption of Gnome as the default desktop for Ubuntu 18.04 will entail use of the wayland graphical server/compositor in place of Mir?

    Perhaps a concentration of available developer effort on something that works well might be for the best.

    Coat: mine won't have an Ubuntu phone in...

    1. AdamWill

      Re: Mir -> Wayland then?

      Can't see it happening any other way. There is absolutely no reason for them to spend money building Mir any more.

    2. thames

      Re: Mir -> Wayland then?

      The whole point of Mir was that it was to be more focused on mobile than Wayland was, There's no point to Mir if Ubuntu Phone is being binned. They'll just use Wayland.

      I can see the rational for focusing on the server and desktop markets, given how Android utterly dominates the global phone market. Ubuntu Server is doing well, so they will focus efforts on that and on IOT.

      However, I will miss the Unity desktop on my PC. It's modern without being as radical as Gnome 3. I hope they will do something to improve the usability of Gnome when they switch to it.

      Ubuntu started off as Debian with more polish. It looks like they're going back to their roots.

      1. Tom 64
        Boffin

        Re: Mir -> Wayland then?

        I think its a good decision.

        Gnome 3 is very slick these days, especially on wayland. Far better than the ghastly kludge that is KDE5.

        I may even consider trying out 18.04 over Fedora, probably before running back to the warmth of DNF.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Mir -> Wayland then?

      What about all the users who rely on X and ssh to use remote sessions and who won't be able to do this with Wayland? (Please don't mention VNC. VNC is MUCH more network intensive, particularly for sessions which only need a terminal session.)

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: Mir -> Wayland then?

        ACK on Wayland's serious shortcomings. Wayland and systemd - we don't need either one!

        I'm glad that Unity has been shot dead. I always _hated_ it.

        Ubu with Mate, though, works pretty nice. same with Mint/Mate (or cinnamon for that matter). Perhaps the Ubu folks should re-consider their use of gnome 3 next...

        Let's just keep X11 working well and stick with this old yet well supported standard, and stop trying to migrate everyone off of "something that works" to "new, shiny because WE happen to FEEL".

        1. Steve Graham

          Re: Mir -> Wayland then?

          I've always been dubious about Wayland's architecture. It all seems much too tightly-coupled and Linux-specific. And it was designed NOT to work over a network?

          Then there's the scenario that Wayland depends on evdev, which depends on udev, which is developed as part of systemd, which wants to eat my operating system.

          Xorg still supports basic keyboard and mouse drivers, so I'm currently able to set up systems which are free from udev.

          1. FeRDNYC

            Re: Mir -> Wayland then?

            My understanding is that Wayland wasn't "designed NOT to work over a network", but simply that Wayland was designed to handle local display only. All manner of remoting capabilities can be provided, if necessary, by an external component. Which doesn't currently exist and which nobody appears to be working on. (Other than VNC and the other loosely-coupled solutions wich already exist for remote display.)

            I agree it's an annoyance, simply because when running Wayland and I'm ssh'd in to my filesever, I can't type "sudo gparted" or "sudo meld" and have the application show up on my local screen, something I've gotten used to doing while running Xorg because the X11 proxying Just Works™.

            I'm not entirely sure that particular annoyance is a big enough complaint about Wayland to make it a bad thing, and in fact I'm quite sure it's a much smaller problem than a lot of the legacy features I had to unlearn when they were stolen by Gnome3/Shell or newer Nautilus versions. Then again, I'm also still running Xorg on my main systems because I use (older) Nvidia cards with the proprietary drivers, so it's not an issue I've had to face yet.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Mir -> Wayland then?

        Try Nomachine NX (or FreeNX)

  2. anthonyhegedus Silver badge

    Unity always seemed to me to be an interface designed to work on the now defunct "netbook" concept. Also, it's a good reason why Linux Mint came about.

    1. thames

      The original version of Unity was for netbooks. However, the current version is definitely not, even though they re-used the name. They just took the name and the look of the launcher and came up with a new interfaced designed for desktops. The main ideas that survives from the older Unity is having the launcher/dock on the left, as this fits modern form factor monitors better, and also using this to make the icons bigger and do double duty as dock and application switcher.

      The current incarnation of Unity came about in reaction to the complete usability disaster that the early versions of Gnome 3 were. Ubuntu didn't want to continue to ship old versions of Gnome 2 like many other distros did, KDE was still in the throws of their own long running self-created version transition fiasco, and the other potential desktops had a look and feel from a decade before.

      Hence, Ubuntu rummaged through the cupboards and cobbled up a new version of Unity. The early versions were rough, but Gnome 3 at the time was so bad that people widely predicted that Gnome was going to die off from lack of users. Gnome had to kill off support for Gnome 2 to get users to "upgrade" to 3.

      Eventually, there was some change at the Gnome Foundation. They abandoned some of their more hallucinogenic inspired UI visions, borrowed ideas heavily from Unity, and came up with something that was at least somewhat usable.

      Linux Mint came about as a reaction to Gnome 3, not as a reaction to Unity. The Linux Mint founders also thought the Gnome 3 developers were on drugs, and wanted an interface that looked more like Gnome 2. Originally it was just a set of extensions that re-skinned Gnome 3 radically to give it a different appearance and function (the end result looked nothing like Gnome 3).

      However, changes to Gnome 3 kept breaking the Mint extensions, causing them to look elsewhere for a new desktop, hence what they currently have (which were also started in reaction to Gnome 3).

      Linux Mint was based on Ubuntu for the same reason that a number of other distros are. Ubuntu offers a good compromise between solid but out of date Debian Stable and bleeding edge Debian Unstable.

      The main reason that Unity was never used outside of Ubuntu was that Canonical never put the effort into separating the Ubuntu specific features from the generic features. If you pulled in Unity straight from Ubuntu, you also pulled in a lot of unrelated Ubuntu specific features and services. Nobody else wanted to do the work of maintaining a hard fork if Ubuntu weren't going to make that generic version the one they worked from, and Ubuntu weren't going to slow down and backtrack on their own development to make that possible. Hence, it wasn't practical to put Unity into Debian, and without there wasn't any practical way for the secondary distros based off Debian to offer it.

      If Ubuntu had separated Unity better from Ubuntu specific features early on, then it may have been able to expand into the vacuum that the early versions of Gnome 3 left. Instead MATE (available on 2 dozen distros, including Ubuntu) filled that role.

      1. frank ly Silver badge

        "Ubuntu offers a good compromise between solid but out of date Debian Stable and bleeding edge Debian Unstable."

        There's Debian Testing of course.

      2. keithpeter
        Pint

        History and all

        @thames

        Thanks for a good outline of the history - I think that I remember a spat about notification libraries as being one of the reasons for the decision to build Unity as an alternative shell as well as concerns around basic usability.

        In addition to Cinnamon, there are a couple of other UIs that provide an alternative to Gnome Shell. The Chinese distribution Deepin Linux and the modifications that Trisquel used to make to Gnome spring to mind. I think Trisquel is moving its UI away from Gnome now. Deepin provide source for their UI and Arch users have in the past succeeded in packaging the code.

        It is worth mentioning that Canonical Design actually carried out and published the results of usability studies, albeit with basic tasks and subjects new to Ubuntu. There appears to be very little usability research published for gnome shell that I can find; some work was carried out by an intern one summer. If anyone has references, I'd love to see them.

        1. thames

          Re: History and all

          @keithpeter - "I think that I remember a spat about notification libraries as being one of the reasons for the decision to build Unity as an alternative shell as well as concerns around basic usability."

          The notifications library issue came about later, as part of Freedesktop.org discussions (an organisation which was dedicated to promoting standards and interoperability between Linux desktops). KDE and Unity (Ubuntu) worked on standards for notifications and associated widgets, and Ubuntu produced a library which followed that standard. Gnome meanwhile refused to take part and then said they wanted nothing to do with it because "they hadn't been consulted" (because they had refused to discuss it - some serious circular reasoning there).

          The head of KDE was quite pissed off with attitude displayed by Gnome, and gave his summary of the situation here: http://aseigo.blogspot.ca/2011/03/collaborations-demise.html Long story short - KDE felt that Gnome had a major problem with NIH syndrome and didn't play well with others. I'll speculate that some of that attitude may have been sparked by jealousy over KDE seeming to be the ones who came up with most of the good ideas. The KDE and Unity teams on the other hand focused on technical issues, avoided politics, and seemed to get along well enough.

          @keithpeter - "It is worth mentioning that Canonical Design actually carried out and published the results of usability studies, albeit with basic tasks and subjects new to Ubuntu."

          Yes, although I can't recall the name of the project. They went out and hired some professional UI usability consultants who produced a report which was then published and available to be used by anyone. Nobody else in the Linux world was spending that sort of money on usability by the average sort of person (as opposed to the sort who reads El Reg).

          The project was called Ayatana. There are various wikis and Launchpad projects associated with it, but I don't know where the actual study is.

          @keithpeter - "There appears to be very little usability research published for gnome shell that I can find;"

          The Gnome developers wanted nothing to do with airy-fairy designers and people like that. Their design process consisted of someone writing some C code and asking one of their friends if they liked it. Conflicts were resolved based on who was friends with who at Red Hat.

          The end result shows it. Start up Unity and there are familiar looking icons right there for you to click on so you can get started. Start up Gnome 3 and you have an almost completely blank screen and no clue on what to do next. It takes two or three times as many mouse clicks to do basic tasks in Gnome 3 as it does in Unity.

          The most common tasks in Unity have keyboard short cuts (about three dozen of them) and they have a nice cheat sheet to explain them that pops up if you hold down the flag key. Gnome 3 is just starting to get around to implementing more than a handful, and if you want to know what they are you'll need some good Google skills to find the Gnome wiki.

          Hover the mouse over something on Unity, and a tool tip will pop up telling you what it is. With Gnome 3 - well let's just hope you have a good memory for obscure icons.

          I could go on like this for quite a while. Unity works on the principle of giving you obvious things to do up front, and making the important stuff large enough for you to see what is going one, and having explanations right there. With Gnome 3 - let's hope you like microscopic grey on black icons because you're going to have to memorise a lot of them.

      3. dajames Silver badge

        The original version of Unity was for netbooks. However, the current version is definitely not, even though they re-used the name.

        That "original version" for netbooks actually had a different name: Ubuntu Netbook Remix.

        It only came to be called "Unity" when it spread onto other platforms than netbooks.

      4. oneguycoding

        Correct on all points, except for the point on gnome 3 usability in the early days. Gnome 3 ended up being the desktop that made all other desktops feel clunky IMO. And Gnome 3 advanced just as quickly as Unity in the early days, and might have done somewhat faster had Shuttleworth not aimed his prow at unity instead of Mir for his mobile/desktop project. Besides, Unity was always ineptly named given its relationship to gnome.

        1. smot

          @oneguycoding Thought I was alone in this echoing chamber of anti-Gnome3 sentiment.

          For me, Gnome 3 sets the standard for all desktops - Mac, Windows and backwards-harking things like Cinnamon and Mate (Ok, I'll let Mate past as it's useful for stuff with old CPUs and teeny RAM).

          Even in its first incarnation it was refreshingly new, with a clean intuitive interface. Now, it's even better. But if you like squillions of icons, folders and files slapped all over your hi-res desktop, it's not the interface for you. If, however, you want something that doesn't get in your way, or impose itself on your work, it's spot on.

          I'm sitting waiting for the ready stream of downvotes, but I'll win.....

        2. FeRDNYC

          @oneguycoding - "Correct on all points, except for the point on gnome 3 usability in the early days. Gnome 3 ended up being the desktop that made all other desktops feel clunky IMO."

          An opinion you're entitled to, but definitely not a universally-held one. I definitely heard some of that sort of response, quoted loudly and often by the Cult of William Jon McCann, but there were plenty of the rest of us who were completely frustrated with the changes, and the sudden loss of features we'd spent over a decade relying on. I even once sent Jasper St. Pierre an email, thanking him profusely for extensions.gnome.org, and for being one of the only people within the ranks of the Gnome developers who appeared interested in "making Gnome Shell feel less like punishment".

          I'm definitely not a luddite, and I'm fine with new things when they work well. (I think PulseAudio is great, for instance. I know it's been a problem for some people, but I remember what a nightmare Linux audio had always been, and every time I move VLC's audio from my speakers to my bluetooth headphones, or start a song playing in my fileserver's music server with the audio exported over the network to my desktop, it feels like living in the future. I've also had no real qualms with systemd, only my own teething troubles and needing to relearn some things, but I could and did. Plus, the direction they're heading with it, where there'll be an instance to manage user sessions, is exciting. $HOME/.config/autostart/ can't die fast enough for my taste.)

          Early Gnome Shell broke a lot of things without offering anything in the way of alternative solutions, and appeared to do so glibly and without remorse. That was what really upset a lot of people. And it made us vindictive and petty, and we remain so to this day. You should've seen how viciously I mocked them when the Gnome 3.18 release notes included this item for Nautilus: "Context menus can now be activated on a touch screen using press and hold." They redesigned the entire interface around touch, with giant controls, minimal chrome, and no freakin' tooltips, but it took them 9 releases to figure out long-press menus?

    2. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      @anthonyhedgedus - Linux Mint and other 'buntu derivatives exist because someone believes that the base Ubuntu can be improved in their opinion. In some cases, like Mint, they have a very reasonable alternative to Ubuntu itself long before Unity was a out.

      It should be noted that Gnome can be run on Ubuntu instead of Unity fairly easily. Also, I believer there is Ubuntu derivative with Gnome as the default desktop. I have a couple of different desktops on my Linux partitions. This ability means that switching default desktops is not very difficult for a Linux user.

    3. Turbo Beholder
      Linux

      Unity always seemed to me to be a pile of widgets built for one and only purpose of making Mac fanboys go "SQUEE!". It had a scrollbar miniaturized AND auto-hiding. What's the point?

      I switched to XUbuntu immediately after getting over attempts to figure out how that weird thing which replaced window panel in Unity can be actually useable.

    4. NonSSL-Login
      Facepalm

      Unity helped Mint

      Mint came about before I switched to Linux on my machines but I believe part of the reason it became successful were from people like myself switching at the time we did.

      Windows 8 had come along with it's 'for tablets and phone' Metro interface on the desktop which I absolutely hated. If this was the way Windows was going with it's unified desktops, it was finally time to switch to Linux that had been in the back of my mind for ages.

      Ubuntu was one of the first I tried out, being as it was the most popular, besides say Debian, and looked like the one to go for. At the time I switched the latest version had just been released and it had this new Unity thing which sent anything I searched for on the desktop to Amazon as a search too. I was horrified that this could happen on Linux. After a quick look around it wasn't clear that is could be disabled so threw Ubuntu out as a choice and went with the next ISO to try.

      Mint worked, looked fresh and had an interface that was easy for Windows users to switch too. It didn't have that horrible Ubuntu feature that tried to monetise my local file searches, so I stayed with it.

      Everyone has their own reasons for switching but I feel the reason Mint got popular was because of the Win 8.1 interface originally and not choosing Ubuntu because of the Unity thing. Good or bad timing depending on how you look at it.

  3. m0rt Silver badge

    Finally!

    About time people stopped thinking that this was some kinda nuxvana.

    Different usecases, different needs. Even Microsoft are getting it finally (I think, I try to avoid windows these days since they butchered Windows Phone 8), Canonical should certainly be ahead of that curve.

    1. asdf Silver badge

      >Different usecases, different needs.

      Absolutely love my Lubuntu LTS VM for occasional POSIX development I don't want to hack in with cygwin. GUI runs comfortably in 768 meg and boots in like 5 seconds and shuts down nearly instantly and there is almost always a PPA for that.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Glad someone in this world has the balls

      to kill a project that that needs putting out of it's misery. I think many of us have worked on projects that everyone knows is dead in the water, but management are too scared to admit defeat, and continue on down the road of pretending everything is all right... YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE...

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: Glad someone in this world has the balls

        "management are too scared to admit defeat, and continue on down the road of pretending everything is all right"

        Oops - don't say the 'M' word! Or the 'W' word, or the '10' number, or...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Glad someone in this world has the balls

          Yep, 10 for sure.... It's the unlucky project number it seems.

  4. Drew 11

    Just give me a Linux Desktop with the look and feel of OSX 10.6.8 (peak OSX) and I'll be a happy chappy.

    1. asdf Silver badge

      If you are going for the hipster vibe NeXTSTEP would give you more cred.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Coat

        "NeXTSTEP would give you more cred."

        My kids love that on CBBC, as well as many grown men (but for different reasons).

        Coat? More like a dirty mac.

    2. kryptylomese

      I have configured Ubuntu running on an iMac I inherited to look like OSX http://www.noobslab.com/2016/04/macbuntu-1604-transformation-pack-for.html

      Much better for me to be able to do all the Linux stuff and it fooled my Mac owning friends, so I guess it matches the experience pretty well.

    3. Vic

      Just give me a Linux Desktop with the look and feel of OSX 10.6.8 (peak OSX) and I'll be a happy chappy.

      There used to be a KDE project called Baghira that allowed you to make your desktop look like various versions of OSX.

      I don't know if it's still usable - I stopped using it many years ago.

      Vic.

    4. J 3
      Devil

      A Linux desktop with the look and fell of OSX?

      Fine, as long as I don't have to use it.

  5. Mage Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Good

    The entire idea of one GUI to rule them all is bonkers.

    TVs, phones, eBook readers, mid to large tablets and stuff used mainly with keyboard / mouse all need different nuances to the GUI, different resolution/screen percentage per interactive element and text sizes as they are also used at different distances too.

    Unity was doomed. As was Windows 8 (phone centric on desktop) or even Windows CE / Win Phone < 6, as that was a regular WIMP desktop, on a too small screen which is why it was resistive with a stylus. What idiot thought a Win9x desktop was suitable for 320 x 240, or the Win phone 6.5 Zune like interface suitable for a laptop with no touch. What moron thought changing menus or ribbon was a good idea.

    Really Ubuntu needs to IGNORE Microsoft Windows and Apple Mac, go back to WIMP GUI basics and take a course at Norman Nieslen Group.

    Ditch FLAT, avoid hyper realistic and rendered. Simple highlight & shadow, a bare hint of 3D like Win3.11, Win9x, NT3.5x 4.0, Win2000. No eye candy OR newspaper flat.

    Mozilla take heed too!

    1. thames

      Re: Good

      @Mage - Unity wasn't a "single" GUI. There were two different GUIs - one for desktop and one for mobile. They had common visual elements and certain shared features, but they were two GUIs. The system had both and was intended to bring up the appropriate GUI depending upon the mode it was being used in. This was not part of the current shipping desktop Ubuntu, which still uses Unity 7 and X.

      Application developers who wanted the same app to work in both environments were expected to write two GUIs, one for desktop and one for mobile, and the system would show the appropriate one, again depending upon current mode. The GUI tool kit was designed to support this dual mode.

      In other words, it was the complete opposite to the approach that Microsoft took with Windows 8.

      I suspect that Apple will eventually do with the iPhone and Mac what Ubuntu attempted to do with Unity, and their fans will ooh! and aah! at the latest Apple "innovation".

      1. Updraft102 Silver badge

        Re: Good

        "Unity wasn't a "single" GUI. There were two different GUIs - one for desktop and one for mobile.

        ...

        This was not part of the current shipping desktop Ubuntu, which still uses Unity 7 and X."

        It sounds like you are saying that the shipping version did have one GUI, and the shipping version in Ubuntu is what people are generally aware of and referring to when they say "Unity."

    2. Updraft102 Silver badge

      Re: Good

      "The entire idea of one GUI to rule them all is bonkers."

      That's it in a nutshell, and it's nice to see that Mr. Shuttleworth has the ability to recognize when an idea has failed and move on. When they tried putting telemetry-using adware into Ubuntu, users were livid, and the fact that it could be turned off completely with a single setting was not enough for them. Canonical responded, changing the default to "off" for the ad tie-in.

      If only MS could show some signs of being able to learn. Users have complained far and wide about the MS data slurping and ads... slurping that cannot be turned off, and ads that have to be turned off, whack a mole style, with various settings that are sprinkled across the OS and not immediately recognizable as ad settings (and I'd bet on those settings going away eventually).

      Users rejected the phone and PC convergence in Windows 8, but the product that was supposed to make up for the mistake has the same damned thing! They changed a couple of things from Windows 8.1 (making the start screen not take up the entire screen and eliminated the Charms), added a whole bunch of crap no one asked for (see above), and then has tried to force it down our throats whether we want it or not (and it's "not" for many of us).

      The ship has sailed on the converged UI, even before Mr. Shuttleworth commendably gave up on it. It was a bad idea from the start, but maybe we had to try it to recognize this. Now we know for certain: Mobiles and PCs are too different to be well-served by the same UI. Rather than making things easier, the unified UI has proven to be another example of putting the cart before the horse, and that's particularly true in Microsoft's case: We're all expected to tolerate a reduction in UI quality (less intuitive, more drilling, slowed work flow, and butt-ugly to boot) in order to support Microsoft's ambition to create one UI to rule them all.

      Wait, what? Wasn't the UI supposed to be provided by them to the user for the purposes of facilitating what the user wants to do with the PC or other device? When did it get to be about us, the users, working to support Microsoft?

      1. DropBear Silver badge

        Re: Good

        I still think a single device that can work as either phone or desktop is the future, but not using the same GUI as Unity tried to do (or as Android keeps failing to - yes, it's possible, no, nobody seems to like it much). Any GUI with a hope of succeeding to pull off that convergence in the future will have to reflect that various screen sizes / distances have radically different requirements for UI elements, and that people generally hate change and no newly emerging paradigm can hope to be instantly so much better than the old as to simply overcome that resistance. Change for the sake of change, backed by nothing but lofty ideals will always be rejected.

        1. Mage Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: single device

          IMO, such a single device needs to be just storage for all your data, MRU lists, application settings, customisations etc.

          Then the challenge is purely two alternate sets of applications, using the same settings, same data and similar functionality on two alternate GUIs.

          The dock can be simply interfaces, or a dumb connector and entirely optional if it uses a different GPU or a different CPU and GPU.

          So in theory this can be done on an SD card, or using USB Storage mode on a phone/tablet to a laptop as a demo, using two sets of applications written (phone & laptop) to show it off. No need to ever sync bookmarks, email, data files.

          The idea of one GUI to fit all, or one app to run everywhere misses the point that the gadget/phone/tablet/laptop etc is only differentiated from the factory shipped one by the user's data and settings!

    3. Trigonoceps occipitalis

      Re: Good

      "The entire idea of one GUI to rule them all is bonkers."

      Next the design of web pages please.

    4. Mellipop

      Re: Good

      It's not just the UI where convergence is wrong.

      Innovation and divergence go hand in hand.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    When prototypes go too far

    "the new Samsung Galaxy S8 phone came with the ability to attach it to a screen and keyboard [and fan] and use it as a desktop computer" for idiots

    See what I did there?

    You do realize you can just attach any mouse and keyboard to any Android device and use it with them? All Sammy did was add a way to attach a bigger screen, then provide a method to cool it that goes back to the stone ages. Even a mini fire extinguisher in the product box would have been an innovation. This is; why bother, no one is going to configure and use a crap phone with a larger monitor because you can attach a keyboard and mouse to it, which you jolly well could before. What technical buffoonery!

    ATH+++

    1. Mage Silver badge

      Re: When prototypes go too far

      My ancient Sony Z1 takes mouse, keyboard, 1920x1080 HD HDMI screen.

      Though you can't power it at the same time.

      The fact is though, Android is rubbish on a big screen and for an alternative to netbook or laptop. Many apps can't use the SD card, hardly any support printing. Networked storage requires the file manager. Most apps don't suit a mouse.

      So even if Android supported multi-window use better, the apps are designed for phone / tablet and often aren't that great.

      So not only does a phone / medium tablet need a different GUI to a laptop or netbook, you need differently designed applications too. Microsoft's Universal idea can't work.

      I can do ONE version of a java program that looks native and works OK on Linux, Windows XP or 7. But I have to design it differently for a set box (TV screen) or a phone/ tablet.

      1. bazza Silver badge

        Re: When prototypes go too far

        My BlackBerry Z30 has HDMI, and becomes a computer when one pairs it with a Bluetooth mouse and keyboard. And the USB2 port is still free for charging! The problems with UI aren't quite so severe as you describe for Android, but it's still not that great.

        I've never understood the drive for UI unification either. I've always felt that the proponents of such an approach (MS, Canonical, etc) missed the point of the word "user" in UI.

      2. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

        Re: When prototypes go too far

        I could do that with my old Sony Xperia SP with a MHL adapter.

        MHL adapter plugged into the phone USB port, powered USB hub plugged into USB socket on MHL adapter, HDMI cable to a TV plugged into HDMI socket on MHL adapter, keyboard and mouse plugged into USB hub. You could leave it all on a desk, and just plug a single cable into the phone (I believe that Sony actually made a cradle to allow you to drop it into the cradle). And the phone charged at the same time!

        Single app nature of Android was a bit of a problem, but with ConnectBot, I could use it to access remote systems as a terminal, and move files between other systems and the phone, and use local apps to process files on the phone.

      3. Daniel Bower

        Re: When prototypes go too far

        The Galaxy S8 drops in to a custom gui when docked - it actually looks quite natty so will be interesting to see how it feels in action

    2. Updraft102 Silver badge

      Re: When prototypes go too far

      Isn't it +++,ATH?

    3. roytrubshaw
      Coat

      Re: When prototypes go too far

      "ATH+++"

      Ha! I switched to my Miracle Modem and I'm safe from your attack!

      Still it's very difficult to type quickly at 75 bd and the screen refresh takes a.....g.....e.....s at 1200bd

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: When prototypes go too far

      "All Sammy did was add a way to attach a bigger screen, then provide a method to cool ....."

      "All Sammy did was rip of Microsoft's Continuum......"

      TFTFY...

      Granted MS don't give a shit about phones now, but you get the idea.

  7. fidodogbreath Silver badge

    Makes sense

    Mark S must have realized what a long shot it was that Ubuntu / Unity could inroads against Android or iOS in the phone or tablet markets. Without that, what's the point of a unified interface?

    I can't speak to Unity's technical underpinnings, but as a desktop user I didn't like it. I tried it, found it wanting, and went back to my preferred Mint / Xfce setup. Personal preference, to be sure; but if it had been popular then Canonical wouldn't have taken it out behind the shed...

    1. Mage Silver badge

      Re: Makes sense

      It's not about popularity, the very concept isn't viable. There is a reason why iOS and MacOS are different and that the GUIs are different too. Apple has that right. If they do an iOS for a true Mac Air device, (keyboard and Wacom) rather than the half baked copy of the MS Surface, then it needs a new GUI *AND* suitable apps.

      I have a Lenovo X201 Tablet. It works OK with Win7 or Linux Mint as a "netbook", but really only artistic work can make use of its wacom pen. It's a failure in Tablet mode, though that would be more usable with Win 8, but then the applications would still be poorly supported, they really need the keyboard and mouse. So it's a niche product.

      1. jamesb2147

        Re: Makes sense

        I would disagree; the implementation has failed so far. I would posit that's mostly because the UI has to be contextually aware, and the applications have to be coded to accommodate that as well.

        Neither of these has occurred as of yet, though Microsoft did take a fair stab at forcing developers into new API's. They also made a half-hearted attempt at the former, but it got mangled somewhere along the way, either by a committee or Sinofsky...

        1. Long John Brass Silver badge
          Mushroom

          Re: Makes sense

          I would posit that's mostly because the UI has to be contextually aware, and the applications have to be coded to accommodate that as well.

          Nope sorry; You have that backwards. The app doesn't need to know jack shit about it's desktop environment. That's the job of the display manager. Whats needed is a "standard" set of APIs that applications can call to display themselves and their data to a "screen"

          Every device can then have their own display manager that works with the hardware and present the API for applications to use.

          This way it doesn't matter if you are running pidgin messenger on a phone, tablet, netbook, laptop desktop; the display my main window call on a phone would then take over the whole screen, on a tablet a strip on one side, etc

          X11 was a good first stab, but way to primitive, both KDE and gnome had thier own messaging and API systems and I believe that there is now a way for gnome and KDE apps for example to co-exist on one desktop; This idea needs to be pushed further into a generic API standard that anyone can write to.

          Downvote away!

          1. thames

            Re: Makes sense

            @Long John Brass - "The app doesn't need to know jack shit about it's desktop environment."

            Yes it does. Trying to shoehorn a complex app written for a large desktop monitor onto a small touch screen is never going to work. Either everything will be too small to see or else windows will get cut off and controls won't be reachable. Look at the disasters on the early netbooks with applications that weren't written for small screens.

            @Long John Brass - "I believe that there is now a way for gnome and KDE apps for example to co-exist on one desktop"

            You always could. You just had to have the correct libraries installed, which any decent Linux package manager handled completely automatically when you installed the app. Usually the only way that you knew you were using an app from "the other" desktop was by the fact that the theme didn't match perfectly and that the names of the KDE ones usually started with a 'K'. You could have both Gnome and KDE desktops installed, and switch from one to the other and still have all the same apps automatically show up in both sets of menus and run just fine. Some distros (e.g. Mandrake) used to install both Gnome and KDE by default, and have even more as an option.

            That's got nothing to do with desktop versus mobile though. The latter relates to a different physical environment and different available modes of interaction.

            1. Long John Brass Silver badge

              Re: Makes sense

              You could have both Gnome and KDE desktops installed, and switch from one to the other and still have all the same apps automatically show up in both sets of menus

              Yes; But not quite what I was getting at, The integration I was talking about was/is things like docks, info, message notifiers and inter app messaging, gnome used to use corba and kde dBus.

              What I am trying to suggest that the window manager part become a API spec that everyone can use. Either as a supplier (gnome, plasma etc) or consumer (applications).

              Some apps won't work well on mobile vs desktop, but maybe you could do something smart like

              the app says hey desktop I'm a mobile app, and the DM would then be able to something smarter than just splashing the whole thing over the desktop.

              1. thames

                Re: Makes sense

                @Long John Brass - "Yes; But not quite what I was getting at, The integration I was talking about was/is things like docks, info, message notifiers and inter app messaging, gnome used to use corba and kde dBus."

                What you're looking for is Freedesktop.org. It was supposed to make the various desktops more inter-operable. It was started by KDE and for a while Gnome was working with them on it. However, later on Gnome lost interest in collaborating with other desktops (apparently seeing them as competitors).

                Here's what happened from KDE's perspective. http://aseigo.blogspot.ca/2011/03/collaborations-demise.html

            2. JLV Silver badge

              Re: Makes sense

              >Trying to shoehorn a complex app written for a large desktop monitor onto a small touch screen

              Agree. I'll chip in from the point of view of browser apps.

              Now, I know some (most?) of you frown on CSS. That's fine, if you are looking down at excessive finagling of form over function (I mostly write command line programs, so don't point the finger too much in that regard).

              But, in MVC terms, CSS is also really, really, good at separating view/presentation/formatting concerns from the core model/controller layer. Recently, the responsive/mobile-first frameworks (Bootstrap being one of them) have been promising, and mostly delivering, screen-resolution independence. In theory, you could display the same website on a 480 or 1920 screen. There are a bunch of built-in functions that resize and re-flow the page at different resolutions.

              But... in reality you (the coder) need to take into account the device:

              - If you have large content widgets, they may not fit at all or be desirable at low-res. That's why you have breakpoints available for hiding widgets. If you are on low res and need to display something big, maybe that's another page. Or a modal. It's not just shrinkage.

              - a desktop browser typically won't have touch gestures like pinch/spread. It will have right-mouse click (even though it's not often used in html/js). A mobile typically won't have "hover" sensitivity. So, if you were writing a complex app, you'd have to be aware of what's available.

              - pixel count <> device size either. A 1920 5" screen is not the same as 17".

              I don't meant to imply that browsers, html and js are the answer for desktop/native development.

              But, optimized as they are for precisely the run everywhere mode, they show us that you still need the developer to be aware of what complex GUI interaction modes are available and the nature of the device it is run on.

              The feature gap between devices isn't as bad on the web, because folks have limited expectations of what a browser app will do and how to interact with it. That's not going to be true of a serious and complex native app.

              Pretending an app "doesn't have to know" will likely drive to lowest common denominator type of approach. While I haven't used Unity myself, I have had the misfortune of using Windows 8. Another example of less than stellar results would be Java Swing which manages never to quite take on the full capability (and look & feel) of its host platform.

              For simpler programs, a possible solution for cross-device portability is to code a core app, w.o. GUI, and "skin it" with a presentation layer. But I don't think that layer really needs to be embedded in the window manager of the device, especially if the app needs to be aware of/and react to the device type anyway.

              Rome wasn't built in a day and this is likely another step on a long journey. Best wishes to the Unity devs, I think everyone learned a lot from it - MS could have, but decided not to pay attention and went Win8. If someone really really likes Unity, I figure that's the beauty of open source, they can pick it up and run with it.

              And, respect to Shuttleworth for taking what must have been a really hard decision.

          2. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

            Re: Makes sense

            The app doesn't need to know jack shit about it's desktop environment.

            I guess you have never had to create an app which needs to keep users with HD displays and those stubbornly still using 640x480 monitors happy.

            It is hard enough crafting web pages which one or the other doesn't complain about, before adding landscape and portrait modes into the mix.

            Having auto-resizing grids and complex rules as to how things should shuffle and re-align in different environments can help but at best it feels like a compromise. A particular target environment often dictates the aesthetics of the whole and it can be very hard to achieve the same satisfactory feel in another.

            It's not that auto-layout cannot be done it is more that the results are rarely pleasing and need to be tweaked based on knowing the environment.

          3. bombastic bob Silver badge
            Devil

            Re: Makes sense

            "there is now a way for gnome and KDE apps for example to co-exist on one desktop; This idea needs to be pushed further into a generic API standard that anyone can write to."

            open desktop standard. I've been working on my own toolkit for a few years now. yeah, it's slow going because I have to work for pay to make the bill collectors happy. In short, if all you do is handle the clipboard correctly, everything else should work fine. Let the window manager draw the outer stuff, then just make everything else play by the rules written up as part of the open desktop standard. I've tested with fluxbox, KDE, gnome, mate, etc. and this is pretty much how it works. The downside are the things that are in gnome settings that aren't truly compatible, but there are ways around that, too. I forget the details already but I had to deal with them so I have a general idea of the existence of standards, and the clipboard being one of the more difficult things to manage properly. (I came up with a threaded method of doing it so I could process things asynchronously without stuttering the UI).

      2. fidodogbreath Silver badge

        Re: Makes sense

        It's not about popularity, the very concept isn't viable.

        I don't disagree with you.

        However, even if One Shell To Rule Them All was viable and beautifully executed, the odds are low that Canonical could take food off Apple's or Google's plate. Not saying that this will always be the case, but if M$ and RIM couldn't get anywhere, it seems unlikely that Canonical would.

      3. Eddy Ito Silver badge

        Re: Makes sense

        Apple has that right. If they do an iOS for a true Mac Air device, (keyboard and Wacom) rather than the half baked copy of the MS Surface, then it needs a new GUI *AND* suitable apps.

        Perhaps we'll see that come sooner rather than later.

  8. marky_boi
    Thumb Up

    He did put his money where his mouth is for quite a bit

    He had his vision and paid to make it happen. Have to respect someone who kills their own pet project even after a spitload of money has been spent. Personally I hated Unity and grabbed onto Ubuntu-Mate with both hands. I am grateful for Ubuntu for making Debian more polished. I wont return to Gnome though.. Wondering if they now take their cues from Ubuntu-Gnome project???

  9. Salts

    Took Balls to Give It a Go ...

    bigger ones to know when to give it up.

    now some focus, weyland as a nice just for me desktop that gives me seamless integration with my ubuntu servers, lovely, some of you guys may also like it, but hey I am only thinking of me :)

  10. picturethis
    Meh

    one down, one to go..

    Unlike some other comments to the contrary, I DID leave Ubuntu exactly because of the Unity crap (along with phone home AppStore). But I'm not ready quite yet to feel the love again for Ubuntu, First there is one more item that has to go: that Pottering Piece of stinking Excrement called systemd. Only when that has been accomplished, will I start using and/or recommending any Ubuntu variant again.

    1. keithpeter
      Windows

      Re: one down, one to go..

      @picturethis

      "First there is one more item that has to go: that Pottering Piece of stinking Excrement called systemd. Only when that has been accomplished, will I start using and/or recommending any Ubuntu variant again."

      You'll be waiting some time then as Ubuntu is based on Debian Unstable (Sid). They then freeze the packages and do their Ubuntu things to them.

      Slackware runs a MATE desktop just fine. There are others.

    2. Updraft102 Silver badge

      Re: one down, one to go..

      Mint allows you to choose systemd or Upstart at boot time.

  11. ShelLuser

    An open source projects needs to be good, not sell good....

    I believe that one of the main problems of todays market are the open source projects which have a company behind them. The problem should be obvious: a company, per definition, has a completely different agenda than those involved with an average open source project.

    A company needs to generate revenue and in order to do that they need to sell something.

    But an open source project is usually driven by passion; people who believe in the project and who want to make the best out of it. This often works as expected, but as soon as something clashes with the main goal, the revenue, then you'll soon learn where the true priorities lie. I think a good example is Drupal which removed a well respected developer from their project for reasons which have never been fully explained, but the general believe is that it was because of his private life and how people in general might feel about that. In other words: people could become upset about what this developer does in his free time, and that could affect revenue. As such he had to go.

    This situation is different, yet comparable. "One GUI to rule them all" is a good marketing phrase: it sells, and if it sells it might generate revenue and thus is then bound to become a key target. So you'd run into 'talking reason' vs. 'talking revenue'. Guess which wins? So now it has been deemed unprofitable, so obviously it had to go. Bye Unity, you're fired. That's pure company talk for you.

    When there's a company involved with an open source project then there's always a double agenda. And in my opinion that generates a very toxic and unhealthy environment where open source ethics are concerned. Because open source is not about revenue perse. And it's that key aspect which made it such a strong force to be reckoned with.

    1. DropBear Silver badge

      Re: An open source projects needs to be good, not sell good....

      "But an open source project is usually driven by passion"

      Not exactly - rather, an open source project is almost always driven exclusively (often quite literally) by its developers, unfortunately, and its user base (if present) might well be captive in some sense and using it out of any number of other considerations rather than actually considering it usable. The reality of contemporary computing being that users normally vastly outnumber developers and are usually not in a position to "simply become a developer" themselves for a range of reasons, that's a Really Bad Thing as far as users are concerned.

      We can argue until the cows come home whether and how much that should matter from he developers point of view or whether non-contributors should have any say over what's being showed down their throats, but that reality won't change: devs have no interest in making what they make particularly usable; for them, usually it already is usable enough as-is. And as much as I dislike companies, that's one point they see differently: they actually tend to care about people liking or not what they deliver. Considering just this single aspect and nothing else, I find it hard to object to their presence in OS projects...

  12. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

    ding dong, the witch is dead

    Well, one of them anyway.

    Hopefully people will start looking at GTK3 in general and systemd. Unity (along with Mir) and GTK3 were the main reasons I abandoned Ubuntu long ago. There's still that fucking metastasis that is systemd to extricate from the heart of Debian-based distros.

  13. Lord_Beavis
    Linux

    Figures

    I finally get used to the polished turd that is Unity and now it's back to Gnome. I think I'll just go back to Slackware w/KDE and no Systemd.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ubuntu Touch

    Never used it but will miss the Ubuntu Touch. It was the last hope of getting a Linux(True Linux) phone. A smartphone OS which won't collect your contact list, phonebook, sms data, typing data, browsing history... won't turn on your GPS/microphone in secret.. won't collect your voices, scan your emails, make a such complete profile of you which will even beat your own mother.. knows every f***ing thing there's to know about you and then use them to mentally blackmail you(90% unsavvy netigens) throughout the internet. After all these then they'll ungratefuly give all your weaknesses including naked private dance video or intimacy problem descriptions to NSA..

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ubuntu Touch

      "It was the last hope of getting a Linux(True Linux) phone. A smartphone OS which..."

      Put your money where your mouth is: download the code and continue development!

      1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

        Re: Ubuntu Touch

        "download the code and continue development!"

        Ummm, so if I am daft enough to want a bit of privacy on my phone, I need to become a system's level programmer, an application's programmer, build my own phone, connect it to my own mobile network ...

        The point about Ubuntu Phone was that Shuttleworth was one of the few people on this planet who actually had enough money to pay for all those people to come together. Now he has lost interest, apparently because his preferred phone UI is (like every other phone UI) crap on a full-size screen. I don't see the logic myself, but apparently it makes perfect sense to both Mr S and to Microsoft, so it must be true (despite Apple proving every day that it makes far *more* sense to use different UIs in each case).

  15. lesession
    FAIL

    All mouth and no trousers

    And so yet another linux grand scheme crashes and burns when exposed to the glare of actual reality.

  16. jake Silver badge

    As I said a little over 6 years ago:

    Unity is just plain wrong ... Five blind men describing a camel comes to mind.

    Good riddance to bad rubbish.

    Next on the block? That 'orrible affront to everything un*xish, systemd ...

  17. JMcL

    Missing you already (not)

    As seems to be the consensus here, I can't say I'm sorry to see the back of it and never really got on with it - heavy, clunky looking, and flaky - random UI deadlocks (calendar/time widget on 14.04 was so flaky, I gave up on using it to look at the calendar), and especially flaky on multi monitor setups.

    No, how about throwing their weight behind Cinnamon?

  18. wolfetone Silver badge
    Pint

    Don't have a hat tip, but I'll give Mr.Shuttleworth a pint instead.

    You can't help but admire a man who had a vision and backed it to make it a reality. It's a shame it didn't last, but I've a feeling this won't be the last we see of Unity.

  19. gryff

    Qt?

    How is this different from the dream of Qt?

    One UI on all devices?

    1. Mage Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: Qt?

      QT is a framework for GUI and applications.

      It's NOT about one GUI for everything. I've seen both win9x and tile style "desktop managers" implemented using QT.

      I also have used Windows XP, Windows7, Linux Desktop applications that look like any other desktop application, implemented using QT.

      QT doesn't make the impossible of writing the SAME application (that's more trivial than a widget) work on a laptop or a phone usable any more than Java or MS Universal thingy does.

      Even on a decent resolution 7" android tablet, a full wordprocessor done like a clone of the Windows/Linux version is horrible. You need a differently designed application, even apart from the GUI libraries for a touch screen (even if it has a keyboard cover option), compared to a keyboard & mouse GUI on a larger screen typically twice as far away. Also "touch" on a laptop or desktop screen is pretty useless ergonomically. I've tried it.

      QT is real and useful alternative to Java, though not a language, it's an alternative to VB forms, c# forms, Visual C or C++ MS forms / windows frameworks etc.

      The default language to use QT was always C++, but they have added more language support.

      QT 5 language bindings

    2. thames

      Re: Qt?

      KDE is based on Qt. Qt just gives you the tool kit to build a UI. It isn't a UI in itself.

      KDE by the way was around before either Gnome or Unity. Gnome in fact was started by people who didn't like the idea that it was based on Qt and so started their own project based on the GUI widgets from the Gimp image editor (hence, GTK - Gimp Tool Kit).

  20. EastFinchleyite

    Horses and stable doors

    I was an Ubuntu user from v. 10.04 until Unity became mandatory (14.04 ? or something like that). From my completely subjective viewpoint as a user (the only one that matters in my view) the Unity desktop was so hopeless that it drove me to find the Mate Desktop first as an add on, and then to try UbuntuMate and finally settle upon Linux Mint Mate. You may see the common link here; I like and require the classic desktop layout and I don't want all the swooping sidebars, Metro tiles and Amazon phone homes that slip in and out of fashion. It is also for that reason that any M$ efforts post Win7 are out of scope.

    Ubuntu abandoning Unity and going back to Gnome will probably mean Gnome 3 which again is not a classic desktop design and therefore no better than Unity. I am glad that Ubuntu / Canonical exist as they produce the basic core of a good system that Mint / Mate (and others such as Cinnamon etc) can place a decent desktop upon. As for actually using Ubuntu as my desktop; that horse has bolted a long time ago and however much Mr Shuttleworth slams the stable door it is too late.

    1. dajames Silver badge

      Re: Horses and stable doors

      I was an Ubuntu user from v. 10.04 until Unity became mandatory (14.04 ? or something like that).

      Unity has never been mandatory ... Ubuntu Maté is working fine on my laptop.

      Ubuntu abandoning Unity and going back to Gnome will probably mean Gnome 3 which again is not a classic desktop design and therefore no better than Unity.

      I actually like Gnome 3 rather less than even Unity. It's not the job of a desktop environment to be seen, it's the job of a desktop environment to launch applications and get out of the way -- something that the Gnome developers seem to have lost sight of.

      1. TQLeaman

        Re: Horses and stable doors

        That's amazing as I just posted saying how pleased I am to see GNOME Shell coming back as I love an environment that stays out of my way!!

        Perspective is truly an wonderful thing.

      2. nijam

        Re: Horses and stable doors

        > ... not the job of a desktop environment to be seen, .. .developers seem to have lost sight of

        Some sort of irony...

      3. AdamWill

        Re: Horses and stable doors

        Eh? That's one of the key principles of GNOME Shell, and one of the things people keep complaining about (all the 'but where's the dock?!' people).

  21. yossarianuk

    They should have chosen Plasma

    The latest version(s) of Plasma are more than enough for the great unwashed. It is stable, its fast, and arguably pretty. And unlike Gnome Plasma has the normal things you expect from a desktop, i.e a taskbar (so you don't have to rely on memory) and such luxuries as a minimise button (you need extensions to get those things in Gnome).

    Newbies could pick up Plasma easily, with gnome you need to 'change your workflow' to use it.

    1. Tom 64
      WTF?

      Re: They should have chosen Plasma

      I do quite like the design of Plasma, but ... it's neither stable or fast.

      In fact it's a massive resource hog.

  22. plrndl
    Pint

    Almost Right

    Eureka!

    A few more days of sackcloth and ashes, and he would have realised that what the world really wants is Ubuntu and Cinnamon (and no, I don't mean Mint).

    PS Now that you've freed up some developer time, how about getting USB2 to work properly?

  23. TQLeaman

    I won't be mourning the loss of UNITY...

    We all switched to the GNOME derivative of Ubuntu after the shock of UNITY.

    (I actually switched back to Red Hat - which proved to be less suitable for our needs, we then tried heading back to SUSE / KDE which annoyed the hell out of so many people..)

    My company (Tone Six) provide cartography services to the Film and TV industry and it's fair to say a rugged OS and a user interface that keeps out of your way is what we all liked about GNOME Shell.

    I know it's not to everyone's taste but for us, a dash that only arrives when you want it and multi-monitor workspaces is perfect. (Yes, we had to install Multi-monitor extensions, top bar icon extensions and disable the top left corner hotspot extension... You get the drift.)

    The big thing that I noticed is that even though we were all used to seeing a list of of windows (taskbar style) in old GNOME, our brains are actually quite capable of knowing what we have opened without having some reminder along bottom of the screen taking up valuable space!

    My hope is that with Ubuntu back in the GNOME game we will start to see Canonical focusing on what they are good at and leaving the UI to the GNOME guys!

    (But this is Linux so that probably isn't going to happen...)

    1. nijam

      Re: I won't be mourning the loss of UNITY...

      > ... a user interface that keeps out of your way is what we all liked about GNOME Shell

      WTF! Gnome shell is the very essence of getting in your way ALL THE TIME.

  24. Confucious

    Yea, for Mir and Unity

    Herewith an humble eulogy

    On phone, tv and other screens,

    Suppos'd to converge,

    Or such was the dream

    Seven years of not quite there

    And droves of users fleeing elsewhere

    A new display server caused consternation

    "Not unity, but fragmentation"

    April, cruellest month indeed

    with an evening post 'twas decreed

    "Next year we go back to Gnome"

    Nevermore, the Ubuntu Phone

    The dream of convergence--a bubble burst

    And look, Samsung got there first

    So yea, for Unity and Mir

    We shall shed at most one tear

  25. Charlie Clark Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Out of the frying pan into the fire…

    GTK FFS

    QT all the things or forget any serious GUI development.

  26. Lord_Beavis
    Linux

    I guess that's about right

    I get a new laptop about every two years and that happens to coincide with Ubuntu's even numbered releases. I can't imagine the fuster cluck that this thing would be trying to go to 18.04 LTS from 16.10. But, TBH it would probably have 17.x on it by then.

  27. This post has been deleted by its author

  28. paolodelbene

    Why should die Unity or any other GPL Project?

    Obviously the news is that Canonical decided to cut the support to the Unity shell of Ubuntu, but this does not means that the Unity shell will not be developed anymore.

    I understand that a journalist is not a technician, but is not written from any part that if is not developed from Canonical, it will die.

    Unity shell is FREE SOFTWARE and it is released under the terms of GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE version 3 https://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl.txt and this is the source code of Unity http://bazaar.launchpad.net/~unity-team/unity/trunk/files

    What's Free Software? https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html

    I hope that many of you have clear ideas now, Unity as FREE SOFTWARE will be supported from those people who want continue to support it.

    And now I invite to read about FREE SOFTWARE:

    http://paolodelbene.pbworks.com/Richard_Matthew_Stallman_en

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Why should die Unity or any other GPL Project?

      Yes, we know all that. And you are quite correct. However, now that the Space Cadet has pulled his money from the project, who is going to pick it up? My gut feeling is nobody. Unless you are a developer and volunteering, of course!

  29. Tripolitan

    Good Riddance

    Unity didn't make sense to me so, I never used it and made it a rule to remove on all my fresh installs since it came out, in favor of Gnome Flashback.

    1. Jay 2

      Re: Good Riddance

      I didn't like it much either. Mind you I seem to recall when Ubuntu took to Unity I didn't really like Gnome 3 on some other distro either. Fortunately I only have desktop Linux on a few VMs to play with every so often, so I didn't have to suffer too much.

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