Podcast (mp3): Download (Duration: 38:22 — 26.4MB)
In this special episode, Joe, Ikey and Jesse discuss the bombshell that Ubuntu is abandoning Unity in favour of GNOME for its next LTS and has officially given up on dreams of mobile convergence.
We’ll back to our usual schedule with episode 9 on 18th April.
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Wow, a little surprising — I thought this was a late April Fool’s joke at first. You brought up a lot of good points. I am optimistic about this (despite the overall trend of declining interest in the desktop), but we will just have to wait and see how it turns out for Ubuntu and for the Linux desktop ecosystem more broadly.
Although i don’t use or like GNOME, they (canonical) are making the right move. At the very least, their convergence effort was admirable. Now they need to focus on the future of the distribution and do their best to deliver a great OS going forward.
I think Canonical are making another blunder by choosing GNOME and not MATE for their next LTS.
The desktop OS will live on for a very long time.
I can see Canonical’s point from a business perspective (especially considering they’re trying to attract outside investment). Unless you’re Microsoft who break the law by bundling to maintain a monopoly, there’s no money in the desktop OS space. If they want to follow Redhat’s multi-billion dollar OpenSource business model, Canonical need to concentrate on the server space. And if this is the model Canonical are following, I think ditching the desktop (completely) is mandatory (i.e. leave it to the good folks at Gnome to worry about the desktop). Minimal financial outlay for the desktop environment, less hassle, concentrate on the areas that do contribute to the bottom line.
Having said that, I think it’s now important to watch what the OEMs do. Will Dell’s Sputnik program ship Dell laptops/desktops pre-loaded with Ubuntu 18.04 when it comes out? For new users, I think Gnome Shell will be quite jarring (i.e. not as intuitive as Unity). With this move, the Ubuntu Desktop will now basically become just another face in the crowd, and one that is not friendly to new Linux users (the “silver surfers”, those migrating from Windows etc…).
I’m actually stunned Canonical decided to go with Gnome Shell instead of KDE. After hearing the news, I installed Kubuntu 16.10 (and upgraded the kernel to 4.10.9 because I have a Skylake laptop with a mobile nVidia 970m GPU). KDE Plasma 5 is beautiful, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that KDE is no longer a resource hog. Not sure why, but out of the box KDE isn’t really that nice. Not sure why the default is tiny, tiny, tiny icons in the Dolphin file manager, why translucency is on by default, why “single click to open” is the default etc… I created a video with the customizations I applied to Kubuntu 16.10 (to suit my personal preferences) here:
Anyway, I for one am very sad Unity is on its way out. I’m also peeved off at all those who kept accusing Canonical of “fragmentation”.
I think I’ll stick with KDE for the time being.