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Thread: Ubuntu's Unity Still Crashes A Lot, Usability Problems

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  1. #1
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    Default Ubuntu's Unity Still Crashes A Lot, Usability Problems

    Phoronix: Ubuntu's Unity Still Crashes A Lot, Usability Problems

    A week ago a discussion began on the Ubuntu development mailing list whether Ubuntu 11.04 should ship with Unity or the classic GNOME desktop as many people are concerned about the state of the Canonical-developed desktop and shipping it too prematurely. While it looks like they'll continue using Unity since they went ahead and released Ubuntu 11.04 Beta 2 yesterday without any change, they have some published some rather frightening results from their user testing...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=OTMzMw

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by phoronix View Post
    Usability Problems
    No, no, no.
    Ubuntu fanboys always tell us Canonical is the only one who understands usability.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Awesomeness View Post
    No, no, no.
    Ubuntu fanboys always tell us Canonical is the only one who understands usability.
    Yeah, that's nonsense. This news clearly shows Canonical has no idea how to improve usability. They rather shouldn't do these kind of tests, so nobody learns about the usability problems unexperienced users run into, so nobody can complain. It works out for gnome-panel, gnome-shell and KDE after all.


    Quote Originally Posted by sandain View Post
    I might switch back to Debian with the direction that Ubuntu has been moving... I installed beta 1 and not only did my desktop look like shit when I first booted up (lots of graphic corruption), my whole desktop crashed within 5 minutes. I thought that I would give it a chance and switch over to using the propriety drivers (AMD), but the situation was worse, the crashes happened right away. Fortunately, I was able to figure out to switch back to using metacity, and my system has been much more usable.

    If Ubuntu pushes ahead with releasing Unity, I will be forced to tell the numerous people that I provide support to to not upgrade to save me the hassle. Go ahead and release a buggy product Mark, and watch your user base disappear.
    Yeah, I completely agree. I've tried Ubuntu 5.04 Alpha 2 six years ago and it crashed, so I really can't recommend Ubuntu to any of my friends.

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    Quote Originally Posted by d2kx View Post
    Yeah, that's nonsense. This news clearly shows Canonical has no idea how to improve usability. They rather shouldn't do these kind of tests, so nobody learns about the usability problems unexperienced users run into, so nobody can complain. It works out for gnome-panel, gnome-shell and KDE after all.
    That they performed the study is extremely useful -- as a reference point for future versions of Ubuntu. That they didn't publish it prior to making a decision about Gnome 2 or Unity for Natty? This greatly diminishes the value of the study. Particularly because many of the usability issues that are genuine defects will have been fixed by the time we need to make the same decision again for Oneiric.

    I have the sneaking suspicion that this study was done and reported internally within Canonical in the days prior to the open discussion on the lists about Unity vs Gnome2 for Natty, but they deliberately withheld it from the public because they knew that the results would damn Unity in the eyes of the public and make it very difficult to proceed with Unity in Natty.

    Of course, I could be wrong, and maybe they literally just finished the study mere days after the closing of the discussion on the lists. This would just be a matter of unfortunate timing. I can understand the desire to conduct a UX study using relatively stable software beneath (to get useful results, you know), but if you conduct it so late in the ballgame that its worth is greatly diminished, then why do it?

    Unless those crashers are 100% reproducible on all systems and completely obvious, chances are good that they won't be fixed before release. Two or three weeks is not a long time in software engineering. Not to mention that quite a lot of enhancement requests could plausibly be filed in response to the data gathered from the study, and without those enhancements Unity would seem quite "rough", and you see where I'm going with this.


    Quote Originally Posted by d2kx View Post
    Yeah, I completely agree. I've tried Ubuntu 5.04 Alpha 2 six years ago and it crashed, so I really can't recommend Ubuntu to any of my friends.
    But what does the sarcasm add to the table? I agree that we all need to just keep trying Unity over and over, even if it breaks, because we're enthusiasts and the distros rely upon us to provide our honest feedback. But if that honest feedback is negative, it shouldn't be interpreted as childish or invalid. Sometimes software really does suck, and you have to face it down and decide if it's a good idea to release it like that. I would say not, but apparently Canonical thinks otherwise.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Awesomeness View Post
    No, no, no.
    Ubuntu fanboys always tell us Canonical is the only one who understands usability.
    I thought it's a Gnome fanboys domain. As far I found KDE to be the most usable DE. Unity is not yet what I'd like to see, but it's better than Gnome Shell. Users should be able to do with their systems what they like and the way they like. Unity is better in this than GS, but KDE is the best.

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    I might switch back to Debian with the direction that Ubuntu has been moving... I installed beta 1 and not only did my desktop look like shit when I first booted up (lots of graphic corruption), my whole desktop crashed within 5 minutes. I thought that I would give it a chance and switch over to using the propriety drivers (AMD), but the situation was worse, the crashes happened right away. Fortunately, I was able to figure out to switch back to using metacity, and my system has been much more usable.

    If Ubuntu pushes ahead with releasing Unity, I will be forced to tell the numerous people that I provide support to to not upgrade to save me the hassle. Go ahead and release a buggy product Mark, and watch your user base disappear.

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    Default There is *some* FUD here

    I have been following unity development for a while now, and with an nvidia card crashes has almost disappeared in the last few unity updates. I guess most people use mac osx to compare usability in other interfaces, let me tell when I first tried mac (it was just leopard) it took a lot of time to find my applications menu.

    I think with some more bug squashing unity can be made crash free, and some changes to the applications lens it *can* rock.

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    Here is what the participants of the usability test had to say about unity https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ub...il/002973.html its mostly positive

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    Quote Originally Posted by babai View Post
    I have been following unity development for a while now, and with an nvidia card crashes has almost disappeared in the last few unity updates. I guess most people use mac osx to compare usability in other interfaces, let me tell when I first tried mac (it was just leopard) it took a lot of time to find my applications menu.

    I think with some more bug squashing unity can be made crash free, and some changes to the applications lens it *can* rock.

    Quote me the FUD.

    Unity does not work for me as of Beta 1. If I get the chance to futz around with my desktop some more, I'll try it again with Beta 2, but don't hold your breath.. Once bitten, twice shy, as they say.

    My experience with Unity says that it is not ready for prime time.

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