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Ubuntu's Unity Still Crashes A Lot, Usability Problems

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  • #16
    Originally posted by admiraljkb View Post
    I suspect Xubuntu and Lubuntu are the same way. The main experimentation and breakage seems to have been around Ubuntu. Due to strange/improperly unexplained decisions starting with 10.04's UI, I've been behind Kubuntu instead for a fully featured Desktop Environment as it finally stabilised with KDE 4.5.

    Kubuntu 11.04 is FAST and snappy. Largely thanks to the 2.6.38 kernel combined with KDE 4.6.2 which has fixed most of the issues I've had with KDE 4.x in the past. One nice thing about Linux - if you don't like the Desktop Environment switch. If the distro has reached the "bad" tipping point, switch. Lot more flexibility than Mac or Windows where for better or worse you're pretty stuck with whatever comes out that year. Some years are good (Win7, XP) some years bad (Vista, WinME).

    Ubuntu Gnome all the way to 10.10 was making nice/steady improvements overall (except for the decision around the buttons moving to the left in 10.04). I understand having to do something (with Gnome 3 being the next KDE4 release), but I would have preferred if they had switched to KDE and applied the same level of effort to helping KDE fix issues and add features with the now stable KDE. Particularly since Ubuntu is going the QT route anyway.
    I'm kinda grateful for Canonical's hands-off approach w.r.t. KDE because, If I look at Unity, that kind of useability and stability help in the KDE enironment I can do without.

    I have no doubt that they're actually trying to bake a better desktop with Unity but both the stability issues and the whole "moving-target" feel of every iteration of Ubuntu's desktop GUI make the whole thing less than practical in my opinion.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by JeanPaul145 View Post
      I'm kinda grateful for Canonical's hands-off approach w.r.t. KDE because, If I look at Unity, that kind of useability and stability help in the KDE enironment I can do without.

      I have no doubt that they're actually trying to bake a better desktop with Unity but both the stability issues and the whole "moving-target" feel of every iteration of Ubuntu's desktop GUI make the whole thing less than practical in my opinion.
      Good point. Kubuntu for better or worse is like the forgotten stepchild sometimes. This might be one of the better times to be forgotten.

      Don't get me wrong, I don't necessarily have a problem with the experimentation. I think it's great really and applaud it. Some experiments work, some fail miserably but you don't know until you try. I do think that some of the more interesting experimentation (like Unity) should be done in a separate branch though and call it "UniBuntu"! At least until Unity stabilizes/matures sufficiently. Otherwise it ruins the brand, potentially irreparably if the first thing people see is "crash-o-matic" from the current Unity. We already had someone comment that Ubuntu 5.04 crashed a lot on them 6 years ago, so they don't use it now. Totally different beast in between 5.04 and 10.04, but that first impressions was STUCK at 5.04 (unless it was sarcasm... but I've heard comments like that for real too). That's just human nature.

      I do applaud Canonical for releasing some pretty damning data of their new UI. I think it'll get fixed by 11.10 for those still running the default Ubuntu rather than a variant, provided Shuttleworth doesn't catch sight of a new "squirrel" and dash off after it instead. Unfortunately, the "bog standard" Ubuntu 11.04 looks like something to avoid for now. No big deal to me, it's open source, these things happen, but expectations on Canonical now seem to revolve around "stop jacking around with things" and be a little more conservative.

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      • #18
        About what I'd expect (and so should everyone else)

        Unity is an attempt to shift the desktop paradigm in exactly the same way as KDE 4x, Gnome 3, OS X and, yes, Vista. And for a <1.0 release (as of today), it is in roughly the same shape. These are early days. Remember the disastrous first release of KDE 4? The back-peddling claim that it wasn't meant to be a public release? Well, it has matured nicely (but I still don't like it). The same could be said of OS X (but I still don't like it) and Vista. Umm, wait, Vista is no more. Windows 7 is pretty good, though no paradigm shift, more of an XP patch.

        I find Unity to be disturbingly similar to the first release of OS X so, perhaps not a paradigm shift, but more of a regression. That's ok, they've tried something else which is at least a move away from the same old, same old Gnome. It's also in far better shape than Gnome 3, which at this point won't even run on any of my hardware. I'd call that a non-starter. And Unity will run in VirtualBox. Come on you Gnome slacktards, get with the program. I sure as f*ck am not going to waste my time installing your frankenstein monster to bare metal if it can't even be safely virtualized first.

        Unity is actually not too terrible, and easy enough to figure out where stuff is by poking around a bit. I'd like it better if it were easier to customize. It is definitely geared towards a touch screen, and that means tablet. Fair enough. I don't have a tablet, nor do I want one. For development use, I'll stick with my desktop pc running Gnome 2 on FC14, thank you very much.

        I'd love to play around with Gnome 3. It looks interesting. Someone wake me up when they finally get it to work.

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        • #19
          Wow, I can't believe how nasty some of you are towards something that is still in beta. You guys need to relax and simply report what is not working without the whole, "it's crap", "it's garbage", etc...

          I have been using 11.04 for a few weeks now on my Aspire 1690 laptop and for the most part I am liking Unity. Have I encountered any problems, you bet but I am not going to put the whole Unity and Canonical down because of it. It's beta therefore there is going to be errors, crashes, etc. so don't get your panties in a bunch. When 11.04 is officially released and the crashes plus other problems still exist then you have ground to bash Unity but until then just relax and report the problems.

          As for Canonical taking average computer users and having them spend an hour testing Unity, everyone must understand that the average computer user are afraid of computers and thus are afraid of change. How do I know this, well I help a friend with his computer repair business where the customer base is mostly home users with some business users. Everyday I shake my head at how fearful most computer users who come in are of their machine and how a lot of them do not even know the basic names of things. Example would be asking someone to point to the desktop of their operating system. First question out of our customers mouth is "what's the desktop". It really takes a lot of inner strength to stop me from taking their computers away from them and telling them that they can not have it back until they take a basic computer course.

          Most clients who also come in wanting a new system refuse to take any other operating system than XP...why?...because they are used to XP and are too afraid of everything else. If it don't look like XP, they don't want it and are intimidated by it so when putting a Windows user in front of a Linux machine, you are guaranteed to get the results that Canonical got from their study.

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          • #20
            Wow, I can't believe how nasty some of you are towards something that is still in beta.
            It's going to be released as production-ready software very soon.

            When 11.04 is officially released and the crashes plus other problems still exist then you have ground to bash Unity
            So... wait two weeks?

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Goodolandy View Post
              Most clients who also come in wanting a new system refuse to take any other operating system than XP...why?...because they are used to XP and are too afraid of everything else. If it don't look like XP, they don't want it and are intimidated by it so when putting a Windows user in front of a Linux machine, you are guaranteed to get the results that Canonical got from their study.
              The reason people like XP is because... it works. Windows 7 offers little benefit in user interface over what we've used for years.

              Unity probably isn't a bad idea for tablets and similar touchscreen devices which run a limited number of applications and probably only one at a time, but it's a lousy interface for a desktop; having to hunt through a massive list of applications is insanely inefficient compared to starting them from a menu, for example. I also find it incredibly unintuitive as the designers seem to have thrown away the mouse interface so that it can work on a touchscreen; why can't I just right-click on a file to delete it, for example?

              Gnome 3 seems to be a simiilar step backwards for people who actually know how to use a computer, slowing down the interface in favor of fancy graphics effects.

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              • #22
                The gnome2 "Classic desktop" also is full of bugs atm also. I have been using natty since alpha2 with classic desktop only. And about all the problems that where present in alpha2, mostly compiz related, are still present in beta2. And i don't expect them to be solved before release, since the classic desktop hardly gets any development.

                Most bugs in an alpha release so far, but that's what you can except with alpha and i'm not complaining about that. But atleast with other releases bugs tended to get fixed before relese.

                Infact i think the number of bugs on the classic desktop only grew between alpha2 and beta2.

                So they not only have a badly working main desktop, the fallback is also full of bugs. This release is going to be great!

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by DanL View Post
                  So... wait two weeks?
                  Exactly. Who knows, in two weeks, they could have most or all of the problems fixed.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by DanL View Post
                    It's going to be released as production-ready software very soon.

                    So... wait two weeks?
                    Hard to argue that. Unity would have had to have been production ready by Alpha2 with the understanding if it wasn't, it would be pulled out in Alpha 3. That way the fallback to Gnome2 would have been an orderly affair prior to the beta's hitting and Ubuntu's name wouldn't get racked through the mud.

                    I'm not hating on Unity per se... I'll have to wait for it to be stable and workable in 11.10 to do that without feeling a pang or two in the 'ol conscience. It just really should have been in an explicitly experimental branch rather than releasing as the main face of Ubuntu.

                    But, no reason to get all lit up on it. Shuttleworth has something in mind and it *is* his baby really to do with as he wishes. He's been spending a lot of his own money keeping this going, and I respect that. *However*, if the direction continues to be contrary to the Ubuntu Community, then the Ubuntu Community will at some point walk. Simple as that. It's in the Open Source world and we're a finicky/harsh bunch much of the time. See OpenOffice and MySQL as the two most recent examples where the sponsor and community had a massive disconnect and the community left en-masse. More close to home for Ubuntu, Mint is already spinning itself clear and re-basing directly on Debian.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by movieman View Post
                      but it's a lousy interface for a desktop; having to hunt through a massive list of applications is insanely inefficient compared to starting them from a menu, for example. I also find it incredibly unintuitive as the designers seem to have thrown away the mouse interface so that it can work on a touchscreen; why can't I just right-click on a file to delete it, for example?
                      I agree with you on the applications list, I would much prefer to have the drop menus but it is something I can get use to.

                      As for right click delete, I am able to do that just find, except I would prefer the word "Delete" over "Move To Trash" but again it is a minor thing that I can live with.

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                      • #26
                        Unity stil a failure

                        I have been using ubuntu 11.04 since alpha2 and i have a laptop with hd3200 igp. I have to say i am not very fond of unity i kept checking it from time to time but from start i used classic ubuntu option.That desktop was stable enough for me. New kernel has nice kms and video improvements for my card i like that! I would say that unity will never be accepted except for fanboys that dont care about usability. Aldo i would say its worth updating and use classic ubuntu option is still same old gnome that we know. Whats bad about panels?windows 7 has panel,kde4 has a panel. Its a good thing when some projects fail couse ppl get to try new DE like kde xfce4 and so on. In the future if everyone make touchscreen interfaces and push them to be used as desktop ones KDE might be the only same DE to use. Make a thing different just for the sake of its just stupid. Gnome was never a smart community they eat more money that KDE does have slower development cicle dont care about user or usability. In the end they`ll bring the old panel style back on invent a dock.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Goodolandy View Post
                          Exactly. Who knows, in two weeks, they could have most or all of the problems fixed.
                          I'm not going to hold my breath..

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Awesomeness View Post
                            No, no, no.
                            Ubuntu fanboys always tell us Canonical is the only one who understands usability.
                            I thought it's a Gnome fanboys domain. As far I found KDE to be the most usable DE. Unity is not yet what I'd like to see, but it's better than Gnome Shell. Users should be able to do with their systems what they like and the way they like. Unity is better in this than GS, but KDE is the best.

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by movieman View Post
                              The reason people like XP is because... it works. Windows 7 offers little benefit in user interface over what we've used for years.
                              This is probably an only reason why people still use it. XP usability sucks a lot. I can't imagine using it for something more than launching a game.

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by kraftman View Post
                                This is probably an only reason why people still use it. XP usability sucks a lot. I can't imagine using it for something more than launching a game.
                                XP's interface is largely the same as 2000 (or can be made to be so), which is largely the same as ME/98/95. Same interface, flawed or not, for 16 years. Vista tried to be different and people didn't like it, and now people are moving to 7 out of reluctance.

                                The 12.04 release will be the major barometer. Unity will have been around for a year and it's the next LTS. If it's still not what people want a lot of people will start jumping ship.

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