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Canonical Needs Your Help Transitioning Ubuntu Linux From Unity To GNOME (ubuntu.com) 111

BrianFagioli quotes BetaNews: On August 24 and 25, the Ubuntu Desktop team will be holding a "Fit and Finish Sprint," where they will aggressively test GNOME. Canonical is also asking the Ubuntu community to help with this process. In other words, you might be able to assist with making Artful Aardvark even better.

What makes this particularly cool, however, is that Canonical will be selecting some community members to visit its London office on August 24 between 4 pm and 9 pm. "Over the two days we'll be scrutinizing the new GNOME Shell desktop experience, looking for anything jarring/glitchy or out of place," says Alan Pope, Community Manager. "We'll be working on the GTK, GDM and desktop theme alike, to fix inconsistencies, performance, behavioral or visual issues. We'll also be looking at the default key bindings, panel color schemes and anything else we discover along the way."

A few caveats: Canonical won't pay anyone's travel expenses to London, and "Ideally we're looking for people who are experienced in identifying (and fixing) theme issues, CSS experts and GNOME Shell / GTK themers."
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Canonical Needs Your Help Transitioning Ubuntu Linux From Unity To GNOME

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 12, 2017 @11:37AM (#54998571)

    Bite me. You broke it, you fix it.

    http://www.webupd8.org/2010/03/ubuntu-is-not-democratic.html

    • Try Debian

      To people who have used GNOME 3.14 in Debian 8 "Jessie" or 3.22 in Debian 9 "Stretch": What serious problems have you run into?

      • There is a bug refreshing your Kerberos ticket when unlocking the screen in Gnome 3.22.

        Obviously only affects people using Kerberos.

        That's the problem I've run into with Stretch so far.

  • They paid to screw it up, now want help to fix it and won't pay for that.

    It reminds of car maker that is now resorting to junk bonds to meet the manufacturing costs of the over promised car they have the world over hyped on.

    A movie quote: "you're writin' checks your body can't cash"

    • straight from the German car manufacturers' playbook. "Dear customer, we fucked you over with the last model and recognize that we have to do something about it. Instead of fixing the faults for free, we'll give you X Euros off with your next purchase, which won't have any of the cheats previous models had. Promise!"

    • Re:This is funny (Score:5, Insightful)

      by bill_mcgonigle ( 4333 ) * on Saturday August 12, 2017 @12:11PM (#54998711) Homepage Journal

      They paid to screw it up, now want help to fix it and won't pay for that.

      No, that's not what's happening.

      Yeah, Unity was a stupid idea. I've complained here about not even considering Ubuntu because of Unity before (though I've since run XUbuntu for some compatibility-driven tasks).

      But what they're saying here is, "Guys, we were wrong, we're going with GNOME, but there are some things GNOME doesn't do right that Unity did". Can you believe that Unity might have not done EVERYTHING wrong and that GNOME doesn't do EVERYTHING right?

      They want to make a good, more Open release and are asking for help from the community to do that.

      Don't shit on people who are trying to mend their ways; the best thing about Open Source is the community and the "never forgive, never forget" attitude only serves to damage it.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Why should we 'forgive and forget' when we, as users, have been repeatedly fucked over?

        We, the Ubuntu community, didn't want Unity. Yet it was forced on is.

        We, the Ubuntu community, really don't want Gnome 3. Yet it's being forced on us.

        It doesn't matter that Ubuntu Linux might be free. That's totally irrelevant.

        If they wanted to 'make a good, more Open release' like you're claiming, then they'd be switching to Xfce or Kde instead of Gnome 3.

        We shouldn't waste our time helping them when they're not doing wh

        • If they wanted to 'make a good, more Open release' like you're claiming, then they'd be switching to Xfce or Kde instead of Gnome 3.

          Which is why Kubuntu and Xubuntu exist. I personally run Xubuntu on my PC at work. If you want Xubuntu or Kubuntu to gain momentum, then go ahead and contribute to that project. This project is for people who prefer GNOME.

        • I'll never use Ubuntu, but I use Gnome. This sounds like a great way to get all the irritating bugs in Gnome fixed, indirectly.

          • Sorry I have bad news for you. There have been unfixed irritating bugs in Unity for years. Gnome is meant to be the fix for those bugs.

      • Unity made sense when Gnome was so unstable. Now that Gnome is usable, Ubuntu is dropping the cost of maintaining unity by using Gnome. It makes sense to me.

      • Can you believe that Unity might have not done EVERYTHING wrong and that GNOME doesn't do EVERYTHING right?

        What I believe is that Unity took the air out of the room and asphyxiated things I was using like AWN, Compiz, and emerald. What Ubuntu would have to do to win back my loyalty at this point is fix that stuff. I had a great desktop with all the best aspects of all the most popular GUIs in one place with good performance, total configurability, high ease of use and even massive eye candy factor and... now I don't. Of that software, only Compiz still works correctly.

  • Great Process (Score:4, Interesting)

    by bankman ( 136859 ) on Saturday August 12, 2017 @11:41AM (#54998589) Homepage

    "Ideally we're looking for people who are experienced in identifying (and fixing) theme issues, CSS experts and GNOME Shell / GTK themers."

    So they're not specifically looking for input from actual users, the people who have to change all the idiotic defaults designers and themers chose in their endless wisdom? And all this is going to happen over the course of two days? I expect great things and will stick with Xubuntu. :-)

    • They ought to be looking for some UI people who can run a lab and translate user-identified issues into specific problem reports that the people they are asking for can do something with.

      They probably don't want random poor-reporting users to slow down their sprint, but as so often happens, it sounds like they forget that UI design is an entire branch of Computer Science.

      Infrastructure would be required to push each build iteration out to the lab, but that's quite do-able.

    • Re:Great Process (Score:5, Interesting)

      by unixisc ( 2429386 ) on Saturday August 12, 2017 @12:56PM (#54998917)

      "Ideally we're looking for people who are experienced in identifying (and fixing) theme issues, CSS experts and GNOME Shell / GTK themers."

      So they're not specifically looking for input from actual users, the people who have to change all the idiotic defaults designers and themers chose in their endless wisdom? And all this is going to happen over the course of two days? I expect great things and will stick with Xubuntu. :-)

      Which begs the question: why are they doing this? If Unity has failed, why not fall back to the existing and established sub-distros, like Xubuntu, Lubuntu, Kubuntu (yeah, I know another organization now owns it), or just let users pick from miscellaneous distros, such as Trinity, Mate, Razor/qt, LX/QT, et al?

  • Glad I'm using only LTS releases, because the new coming 17.10 seems likely to get a messy GUI.
  • Unity was always a farce, many of us warned you. Now you want our help cleaning up the mess you've made? Next you'll want us to help you remove systemd.

    • by Kjella ( 173770 )

      Unity was always a farce, many of us warned you. Now you want our help cleaning up the mess you've made?

      To be fair, Canonical went where a lot of the market - Microsoft, in particular but a lot of other tech pundits too - thought the world was heading. Convergence, touch, one OS from smartphones to desktops. In retrospect, it's easy to see they were wrong. Microsoft had to backpedal on the Windows 8.x UI and Windows Phone is dead. Android and Chromebooks haven't merged, neither has iOS and macOS. You might say the Surface line has proven that cross-over devices aren't totally dead, but it's more of a border s

      • What fraction of the people saying "Nice try, too late" donated money or contributed code, or art, or translations, etc?
        If all they did was say "I don't like the way the project is going" that is fine and somewhat useful input as well, but there is an attitude of entitlement and distain that is unjustified and kind of funny.

        FOSS programmer Bob Dylan: "Just because you don't like my stuff doesn't mean I owe you anything."

        I get the dislike of Gnome, and Unity, and Metro but at least the FOSS options are easi

        • What fraction of the people saying "Nice try, too late" donated money or contributed code, or art, or translations, etc?
          If all they did was say "I don't like the way the project is going" that is fine and somewhat useful input as well, but there is an attitude of entitlement and distain that is unjustified and kind of funny.

          What's hilariously unjustified is thinking that I'd donate to Ubuntu when they are explicitly going in the wrong direction. The stuff that's valuable in Ubuntu is in the core, and the community, including the PPA system. It's not in the goddamned themes.

      • Well, correct me if I'm mistaken, but the only part of the UI where Microsoft has backpedaled is on the start screen where they went back to a more classic start menu. In Win 10, they've changed some parts of the UI and the default apps to ones being designed for touch.
        • by Dutch Gun ( 899105 ) on Saturday August 12, 2017 @05:58PM (#55000155)

          That's one part. The second critical part is that "modern" apps (formerly "metro") used to be full screen only, which was ridiculous on PCs. The third was the elimination of the on-by-default screen hotspots, which were a disaster for normal mouse users. I generally don't mind using Windows 10 with those major issues fixed. I still think Metro apps look ridiculous on PCs, but at least they're reasonably functional now.

          It's so strange to me how this looked so completely obvious to many of us looking from the outside in: that desktop PCs and touch devices have radically different interface needs, and any attempt to merge them is going to end up being a serious compromise for the PC users, making them unhappy.

          I suspect this was largely a fearful reaction by those entrenched in PC tech as they saw mobile OSes eating PC's lunch in terms of general market share. So instead of focusing on making their core users happy, they tried to desperately grab at the emerging mobile market, only to lose their core constituency even faster.

          • It was obvious to everyone. I've read in several places there was resistence even at Microsoft but I guess, as you say, that the higher ups wanted to capture the tablet market at all costs.
            I still think that the ideal solution is 2 totally different interfaces and that huge targets and lots of whitespace are a waste of real estate on mouse devices. But I guess the young people are used to touch UI and that we the old farts don't matter much
      • In retrospect, it's easy to see they were wrong.

        Retrospect? I said right from the start that thinking smartphones and full blown computers had the same UI needs was batshit insane.

  • Isn't Canonical a business? With money? That they could use to hire people?

    If anything this looks more like an "open hiring" date at McDonalds than anything else. (If the suckers who show up have any skills, they may toss them a low-ball offer to do task X on a timeline that will definitely cut into their day job.).
    • They reorged a few years ago and decided appealing to the community was more important than paying experienced employees.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      On April 12, 2017 there was a story here at Slashdot titled "Dozens Of Canonical Employees Resign As Ubuntu Switches To GNOME, Shuttleworth Returns As CEO" [slashdot.org].

      I don't know if it's correct, but the summary for that submission stated:

      The Reg has learned 31 or more staffers have already left the Ubuntu Linux maker ahead of Shuttleworth's rise, with at least 26 others now on formal notice and uncertainty surrounding the remainder.

      Maybe they wouldn't have to be begging for community help if those employees were sti

    • Isn't Canonical a business? With money? That they could use to hire people?

      Just because Canonical doesn't pay doesn't mean that those people who show up won't get paid. If a company is selling PCs with Ubuntu, or are using it inhouse, might care enough about future Ubuntu desktop experience and lend their staff for couple of days to serve their business interests.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    They should transition from Ubuntu (of any kind) to Slackware, the one true Linux, the most UNIXy of all of them. It will put and end to this silly systemd nonsense too. If that shit spreads much further, BSD (even more UNIXy) is going to "suffer" a great increase in popularity. I hope they have a suitable Solitaire game in there.

    Hey, what's up with SCO these days? I hear they're still alive

  • I hope Ubuntu will go for a modern ICU 59.1 as unicode library! That would bring both Gnome and Ubuntu ahead.
  • "Did you need my help to make this mess? No? Then I guess you won't need it to clean it up, will you?"

  • by Alain Williams ( 2972 ) <addw@phcomp.co.uk> on Saturday August 12, 2017 @02:48PM (#54999415) Homepage

    I have tried Gnome 3 several times, I also run it on a virtual machine .... but I just find it unusable; way too dumbed down, essential (to me) features removed; Mate (Aka Gnome 2) has them - so I stay there.

    • unusable; way too dumbed down, essential (to me) features removed

      In the good old days people at least were a bit more specific with their off-topic whining.

  • Do they think they have the technical side covered and just need lipstick? Not IMHO -- big efforts are necessary to improve recognition of displays larger than FHD (1920x1080) such as 2K (2560x1440) and 4K (3840x2160). They're now much more common and if the [built-in] graphics are limiting, then this too should at least be user-visible.

  • If you want to transition from Unity to anything other than Gnome or KDE, count me in. If you want to transition to non-systemd, count me in twice. Otherwise, get stuffed.
  • Keep your @!!!kin hands off of it! I also like the Unity episode on "Rick and Morty".
  • It's fine, we'll just watch. It's cute watching people squirm in their own feces.
    I've hated that broken idea of a linux distribution since day one. I'll stick with Window Maker.

  • Don't be stupid. Just finally admit that KDE is a far superior desktop to Gnome, and go with it. Or become irrelevant. (Switched most of my machines to Debian testing already, I've had enough of Ubuntu quirks and wildly inappropriate side excursions.)

  • Same old story. Use it or don't. It's a great DE for some, not for others. No other DE gets nearly as much hate for actually just advancing their platform instead of pushing out the same old thing year after year after year.

"I just want to be a good engineer." -- Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple Computer, concluding his keynote speech at the 1988 AppleFest

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