Sunday, March 2, 2014

On Good Design, Standards, and Divisiveness

by Dietrich Schmitz

I am shaking my head and letting out a chuckle.  Because today, I read how Ubuntu, or, Canonical Ltd., in their own infinite wisdom have decided to reinstate 'Menus' in select applications, including Nautilus.

Good grief.  So, throwing the baby out with the bath water wasn't a good idea after all?

I should say not.

I've been dead set against Unity from the beginning and have taken the position that it represents in its great desire to be 'different' a net software regression.

Removing menus was a mistake and flies in the face of common sense and good sound design principles.

That with a host of other changes which have essentially given Canonical Ltd firm control of their software development, including Mir, have placed them in total isolation from the community at large and distinguish Ubuntu as the only Distro that uses the novel Unity graphical user interface.

Arguably, they have made some technology advancements, but to many, they have created a rift and wholesale development shift in avoidance of Unity and its attendant technical issues entirely.

Wayland fortunately continues to progress and paves the way for Distros which plan to migrate away from the aged and complicated Display driver semantics.  This is a bridge that will be crossed soon and Mir will be the singular replacement going forward for Ubuntu, unless they reverese their position and current thinking.  It would really be in their best interests to support Wayland so as to be uniform with all upstream development but then Canonical Ltd., would yield control away from sole ownership of Mir and have to 'cow-tow' to the community or at least make an attempt to 'cooperate' and contribute to Wayland.

But, that is the way it is.  Live by the sword, die by the sword.  Canonical Ltd. has made their own strategic business decisions and must live with them.  It's not too late for them to come to their senses and drop Mir and support Wayland.  It would be a good move.

+Mark Shuttleworth you've done the right thing by standardizing on systemd.  Don't be divisive.  Adopt Wayland and dump the Mir project.  Do the right thing.

-- Dietrich

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