Nov 08 2011

Ubuntu has jumped the shark and may soon be bitten by it.

Since my original post in May of this year and my follow up post in August of this year, a significant number of Linux users have lifted their voices and poured them onto clacking keyboards pushing back against the tide that is the child-like interface of Unity and Gnome 3.x. (For those who may find my choice of the phrase “jump the shark” odd, please see this link.)

Apparently there’s a pretty serious backlash to the whole Unity desktop as well as the Gnome 3.x interface.

Just a few posts to illustrate this point:

One, two, three, four, five, Six (#6 is complete with some video comparisons). Also, a recent post on Technorati shows that Debian classic is indeed beconing Ubuntu refugees back home. Here’s another recent article on why Gnome Refugees Love XFCE.

At this point many are about ready to write off Ubuntu, and switch back to Debian proper, or an entirely different distribution, such as Fedora 16. Some have chosen to stay with Ubuntu for now, but run a variation on it with Xubuntu (which has been my choice for now).

At this point I am not sure what Ubuntu brings to the table anymore except excellent forum support and perhaps a good set of drivers for hardware detection among various laptops and desktops. Linux Mint is already working on their own Gnome 3 fork called MGSE, which will look at lot closer to Gnome 2.

It also looks as though a serious OS-independent fork of the Gnome 2.x interface has already begun, it’s called MATE. Though I’m not sure how ready it is for use.

Ubuntu has reached the pinnacle of its exposure and I think the bubble in which the developers and Mark Shuttleworth live has entirely squelched the outcry, probably to their detriment.

I do hope the Gnome developers also see the error of their ways. Gnome 3.x is a “Windows Vista” of sorts — a real shark-jumping moment, but could be corrected with a mea culpa and at least an offering of a fully functioning “classic mode” for everyone not interested in Fisher Price style graphical interfaces.

I will continue to stay with Xubuntu for now, but I can readily say that I am now officially shoppin’ around.