Unity and Daisy-Weaving

I’m giving a talk on Unity at KWLUG tomorrow (Monday) night. I was going to say something, but I really couldn’t do it any better than Paul Nijjar‘s announcement on the KWLUG mailing list:

Just like every other desktop environment recently, the GNOME desktop environment has been looking to update its WIMPy interface. GNOME 3 brings with it two prominent options: GNOME-Shell and Unity. Which interface will be the ultimate victor?

In the left corner, wearing orange trunks, is the Unity Upholder, Darcy Casselman. In the right corner, wearing aubergine trunks, is the GNOME Shell Gorilla, Chris Irwin. In this desktop deathmatch, Darcy and Chris will battle to the.. wait a minute. They aren’t fighting! They’re standing together weaving daisies into each other’s hair! (Where did they find daisies in January?) They aren’t going to fight at all! Instead, they will be demonstrating the strengths of the two desktops, discuss their goals, and address some common complaints. They will start spreading the love at 7pm.

If this sounds too touchy-feely for you, how about using your brains? This month’s FLOSS Fund nominee is MusicBrainz, a project to develop an encylopedia/database of music information, all released under open licences. You can use MusicBrainz to tag music or build website that play with data via web services. If you are so inclined, you can make a donation at the meeting, or by getting in touch with me.

The meeting will be held at our usual location

St John’s Kitchen
97 Victoria Street North
(Corner of Victoria and Weber Streets)
Kitchener

There is some Hippie Bus parking in the Worth a Second Look parking lot, and if you are crazy you can park your bike along the side of the building. Photos and maps of the location are on the website.

I don’t think I have enough time to grow my hair long enough to get daisies in there. Come out and watch Chris and I sing the free software desktop environment equivalent of Kumbaya tomorrow night.

3 thoughts on “Unity and Daisy-Weaving

  1. Pawlo

    Sadly, both have more weaknesses than strengths. Default Unity is far better than default shell, but modified shell to behave like gnome2 is better than Unity. I wonder if I can make Unity to behave like gnome2?

  2. Darcy Casselman Post author

    Good luck on your quest, Pawlo.

    I’m not going to address this directly in my talk, but what I will say is that:

    • Unity is designed to appeal to the mass market, ie., people who have never used Gnome 2 before.
    • Unity gives Canonical the freedom to experiment with user interface design to appeal both to new users and to OEMs who might sell Ubuntu machines to the mass market
    • Canonical has hired developer and user experience engineers who are designing Unity based on feedback from actual usability testing
    • Unity isn’t done yet. It’s still in development and will evolve based on user feedback. If there’s stuff you don’t like (something specific, not “It’s not Gnome2!”), post bugs! Get involved!

    Finally, if you don’t like Unity, don’t use it! There are plenty of alternative desktops out there. And given the user base for Gnome 2, there are surely enough developers out there to keep a Gnome 3-based panel-like interface supported in the repos forever. See MATE (http://matsusoft.com.ar/projects/mate/).

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