Ubuntu, despite how it has gone by leaps and bounds in terms of usability and appearance, still lacks a lot of things to make it truly a “For Dummy” operating system. I am afraid they are taking the route on aesthetics too much focus, what with the Unity project and all that, while there are other things that needs more attention.
Take for example the Network Manager. It could definitely need some more polishing up. I was trying to configure my PC to share Internet connection to another PC via another ethernet card (wired), and I had to do it old school. Yes, that reads as command line stuff.
Shouldn’t we have graduated from that thing by now? It’s been a while and still I have to do it the same way I did it 8 years ago? Come on! Now don’t tell me, “No, it’s not Ubuntu’s fault. It’s Linux as a whole.” Now wait just a minute. Linux, if you consider it as that console thingy where you have to type weird commands already does it pretty well. The part where you manage things without having to type cryptic commands, that falls on the desktop environment (DE)? But what is Gnome or KDE with all the distros available? Aren’t they all the same? So what is the role of the distro if not just another name?
That is what Ubuntu is there for. To lead the way where others have failed. So far it has been getting it right with each release. That is why we love it, don’t we?
I can’t blame them though. Nobody would want to play with an ugly-looking interface. Mac looks absolutely beautiful and has been over the years. You can’t argue with that. Windows 7 has definitely polished its GUI with more shinies.
On the other hand, Ubuntu has been changing from one appearance to another and it’s not stopping now with the planned release of the Unity desktop by version 11.04. Improvements are always welcome, even if it is just “skin deep” this time, but Gnome, I must admit, is just terrible in the looks department no matter what. If you compare a default Gnome and KDE install, which DE do you think looks better? Definitely KDE!
Ubuntu, since they’ve made Gnome their DE, could have used a bit more flair. But no, Ubuntu’s default install is as bland as a piece of bread before the PB & J. Add that PB & J, after a bit of downloading, and it will look better.
So with the Unity desktop, are they making the right decision? How about giving Network Manager more functionality? What about the other stuff that needs attention?
Let’s hope version 11 will be better than ever. New looks. Better functionality. Definitely more Ubuntu users.
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