A Phoronix article suggests that Dell should update the Ubuntu on its Inspiron netbook. Michael Larabel wrote:
Besides running faster, the newer Ubuntu releases have better hardware support, various package updates, many improvements to GNOME, and all sorts of other features. Ubuntu 8.04 is nice for its Long-Term Support with Canonical continuing to push out security updates for years to come, but a much better experience can be had on Ubuntu 9.04 with its faster performance, updated packages, and newer features.
I think this view is very wrong. It is really a rather geeky kind of way of looking at computers. Take alone the fact where they are basing their suggestion “For our Ubuntu 9.04 testing we used a development snapshot from 2009-04-10“. Jaunty also introduces two new design decisions/technologies like the new notification system and also the extended FUSA applet. Both cant be called stable and have caused some protest already. both technologies will either be removed or much better in the next LTS release.
The whole point of LTS is trading stability and predictability in favour of newer and quicker technologies. So Michael misses the core point of why LTS was invented. It also removes the need for administrators to look at updates besides the security updates. if the users running around with the newest non-LTS Ubuntu the admins will have to look on every update – this takes much more time on a current Ubuntu than on a LTS release.
It is still up to the decision of a user who bought such a netbook to update if he thinks Ubuntu Jaunty is better for him – if he desperately needs a quicker boot process and so on. So I am not arguing against progress but rather like to brake the very idea that newer is always better and that progress alone is an argument for updating. I know that this is a very common view in the Linux world, but outside of that it is not always a smart thing to do.
What was good some years ago does not become bad overnight.
I have talked about this in my first impressions and now have found more about it:
See “Why missing shutdown and user logout menus in system menu with 9.04 Alpha 5?“:
“Yes, this is a stupid UI decision made by people in Ubuntu who haven’t thought about accessibility. Luckily, getting the menu options back is simply a matter of finding the user switch applet, and removing it from the panel. Things are now set up so that if the user switch applet is not on any of the panels, the menu items will return.”
Oh my… I do use the fast user switch applet but not for shutting down. I like things to be on different places. This is because switching a user and shutting down the computer are totally unrelated things. Some UI designers may think its the same because you leave the current desktop. The fast user switch applet used to have only few entries with available users. Now they managed to have it overloaded. I do have welcomed in the past to not overload the panel – but of you start overloading the applets (mine has 12 options now) its the same thing. Overloading functionality is never good.
So fast user switch should be essentially what it is called. Right now it is also “user status”, “shutdown/reboot”, “lock screen”, “log out”. The thing is that you actually loose functionality every time you add some functionality because people have a harder time to find what they are looking for. And please dont force people to remove the fast user switch just because they want to shutdown via system menu.
I have just updated to newest Ubuntu. Here are some points of interest:
- Thes removed the shutdown option from system menu. You now HAVE to use the stupid applet. IS this a GNOME or an Ubuntu decision. Personally i dont like this applet for shutting down. I always used the system menu. The applet looks so similar to the pidgin icon. Argh how stupid can programmers be? That would be a reason to dump GNOME. You should not remove essential stuff
- Flash does not work in Firefox and Epiphany
- I cant installe epiphany-webkit
- the volume ruler now is horicontal. Is this better? and he did crash
- The messaging (if you change volume, network is connected, etc.) now has a black background
- totem does not play videos and crashes
- monitor settings look much better. need to test it with my beamer.
- btw. the gnome 2.26 news again sound silly at least in german like:
- “GNOME’s web browser, Epiphany, gains an exciting new feature of an improved location bar, similar to the Awesome Bar popularized by Firefox 3.0.” – well Epiphany had this address bar BEFORE Firefox – it might have added searching the titles also – but what kind of GNOME marketing is that?
I am sure there is more to say. Why dont I file bug reports. Because I have lots of outstanding bugs that are undecided ot disputed so I know it does not make sense to submit new bugs. Its more likely that somebody reads this review and acts uppon that as that anybody really cares about new Ubuntu bugs from my experience. Thats sad but its true. That does not mean people do not work on bugs in Ubuntu – but they tend to either fix clear bugs or dismiss anything they dont get. Like the Evolution guys who still have crappy spam marking options. I did file a bug in GNOME bugzilla years ago but they still think spam handing is not important. That was the single reason for me to switch to Thunderbird.