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Ubuntu 11.10 – I felt like destroying something beautiful

I updated my main desktop computer to Ubuntu 11.10 yesterday. Today, I’m reinstalling 11.04.

First of all, Unity. To say I’m not very fond of the road both Unuty/Ubuntu and Gnome teams are travelling right now is an understatement. They’re both moving away from clear menu-driven systems and towards some sort of misguided attempt at making things “easier” for the “common user” by obscuring applications and settings. I like well-behaving search-based launchers as much as the next guy, but I also like neat ordering and clear hierarchal categories.

Both Gnome 3 and Unity seem to try to eliminate all clarity, opting instead for visually unclear OSX dock-type launchers, plus search-based launchers. The dock in OSX is a disaster – too many icons, no clear distinctions, no categories. It works, I guess, for people who only see the computer as a tool – and don’t have any need to easily access everything. I like being able to see most if not all applications and games I’ve installed with a quick glance and 1-2 mouse clicks.

And now Gnome 2 is completely gone. I’m looking into switching to Lubuntu or Xubuntu, but I’m also willing to give at least Gnome 3 a chance. According to some info, there are addons to bring back the regular menus and make it mor well-behaved…

But… 11.10 won’t let me. Or rather, there’s something that makes the whole experience unfeasible: Nautilus crashes. A lot. I got 15 segmentation faults inside two minutes of fidgeting. All I wanted to do was to move some movies to my Samsung Galaxy S Wifi 4.0 (terrible name… hard to shorten. S wifi? Wifi 4?). Apparently, it has something to do with one of my absolute favorite Nautilus extensions: nautilus-terminal-here. Uninstalling it brought some stability, but accessing the Samsung took like forever – and my file transfers didn’t work, some nonsensical error was thrown in my face.

Also I tried changing some display options. Apparently, I’m not supposed to want to do that. In sharp contrast to Gnome 2’s wonderfully detailed and usable theme switcher, I was treated to some horrible Windows 7-wannabe mess. If the settings I was looking for (the ability to select GTK-themes and preferrably window borders) extsited, I wasn’t able to find them.

So; 11.04 it is. I might try Gnome 3. I’m not at all comfortable with the visual style of Unity. I might try 11.10 in a virtual machine every now and then, to check on its progress.

I turned 30 a few days ago. Apparently, Ubuntu celebrated this by giving me aple opportunity to turn into a cranky old man, loudly declaring that thing were better in his day…

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