Done with Unity

I want to love Ubuntu’s Unity, but I just can’t handle the stupid launcher bar on the left side of the screen any more: on every system I have, that’s the wrong place to put a launcher.

The bottom or the right of the screen works well, but having the task bar/launcher menu on the left side of the screen with the “start menu” equivalent at the top right next to where the main application menus are leads to nothing but continual pain in the ass.

I’m tired of this happening:

Right clicking the task bar … produces nothing, trying to resize it, does nothing, trying to drag it, does nothing. There is no option for disabling the auto-hide behavior, no option for adjusting the size of the icons (not even under accessibility).

Regardless of your screen layout or size, you are stuck with the stupid piece of crap launcher on the left side.

There’s the hillarious omg-you-really-fail-to-get-it story of how Mark Shuttleworth believes the solution is to force all users to have an unhidden task bar along the left side of their display at all times: No more dodge windows in 12.04. Rather than admit dodge windows were a mistake, as so many people predicted before hand, his conclusion is that we need to evolve further and just shove the launcher in your face. Go Mark! (All the way to the unemployment line, please).

Of course, what’s important is how it looks on say a platform or a phone factor. Lets try that.

Hrm – Ubuntu’s own software installer doesn’t cope well with this situation.

Ubuntu’s “launch” thingy really doesn’t like it.

But how about browsing?

Wow – that’s a fair amount of my screen thrown away on giving me the ability to open Ubuntu One with a single accidental touch.

How would it look without the bar?

Well, I like my browser full screen. And on every touch device I’ve used, you touch the screen to bring up the browser. Yet Canonical are making the decision to force the bar on you. And no, you aren’t allowed to move it.

If you were, and you could move it to the bottom, how would that look?

I’m a LOT more comfortable with that. I’d guess that anyone who reads vertically might prefer it at the left or right or something.

I’d like to draw your attention to one last issue with this:

Where it says “Chromium Web Browser” – Unity takes window menus and puts them along the top of the screen in a Mac-like global menu. It’s also moved the Window controls from the right side of the window to the top left.

So – all of your apps controls are up at the top left of the screen, right on top of the launcher menu.

Predictably, many Ubuntu 11.x users have had issues where their browser controls get stuck under the launcher menu, like this:

So, yeah… Unity… No. Thanks. I just can’t abide the launcher. As far as I can tell, it’s Mark Shuttleworth’s penis, which is why he wants it in everyones face but doesn’t want anyone touching it.

Tomorrow, I start looking at other window manager options. Gnome 3 is a bit of a pig, I’m about as eager to try KDE as I was to try Solaris 15 years ago. I know they say “once you do fat you never go back”, but I’m just not drunk enough to do KDE.



One Comment

I decided on XFCE4…

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