And red color, Ubuntu from Unity 8 has been spared [Opinion]

Today has been quite moved after the announcement made by Mark Shuttleworth where he details Ubuntu's abandonment of convergence and the phone, in addition to the replacement of the Unity 8 desktop environment in the next version of the distro.

And how well the title of this opinion piece says, «And colorín colorado, Ubuntu from Unity 8 has been spared«, What in principle is only a change in the desktop environment may in the future become a movement that directly influences the growth of Canonical, in addition, the consequences of this decision will not only affect Ubuntu but will have an effect direct on the various distros that are derived from it and on the entire GNU / Linux ecosystem.

Ubuntu 18.04 will come with Gnome

Ubuntu LTS 18.04 will have GNOME as the default desktop environment, so the official flavor Ubuntu GNOME it will once again be the workhorse of one of the most famous GNU / Linux distros.

Similarly, we assume that the organization will continue to maintain the different flavors that it distributes, leaving aside the distribution of any flavor that contains Unity 8.

Late but safe?

For no one is a secret that Unity had many more detractors than supporters, the project that emerged as a project «innovative»By Canonical and aimed at convergence on any device, was seen by most communities as an attempt to minimize all the achievements obtained by the desktops that exist today and in turn was accused of fragmenting the reigning philosophy in the development of desktop environments.

Unity it also directly affected the user quota that it maintained Ubuntu in recent times, making in many cases that its users will migrate to other distros including those that are based on Ubuntu but that maintain other desktops or carry out various modifications.

In the past months I read a user nicknamed Fernando say: "With so much unfulfilled promise, unity 8 will be born dead (and years from now). Ubuntu should never have abandoned gnome«. What an interesting way to predict the future of Unity 8, although many of us knew that Canonical was paddling against the current and that sooner or later the raft was not going to be able to stay afloat.

The decision to abandon Unity as Ubuntu's default desktop environment evidently came late but surely, because Canonical is having a good time in other areas that will surely help reverse the negative consequences that the abandonment of a project brings. to whom so much has been given and for which so much has been wagered.

«It's never too late when bliss comes", Y "Better late than never«These are two sayings that fall like a glove to Canonical's current situation, that despite their determination to follow a project that was adrift, today they take on the responsibility of assuming failures and focusing on more realistic objectives.

In this sense it is worth highlighting the words of Shuttleworth, in which it clearly states that markets and communities decide which products grow and which disappear.

«In the community, our efforts were seen fragmentation not innovation. And the industry preferred known solutions or the creation of self-made platforms. What the Unity8 team has delivered so far is beautiful, usable, and robust, but I respect that it is the markets and the community ultimately who decide which products grow and which disappear. "

Personally, as I read your words, I assume that the cancellation of Unity8 has been a decision very against its objectives, which it has only taken in view of the difficulties that it would bring to your organization to continue maintaining this project. That is, Unity8 is out of Ubuntu because there was no way it could keep standing without affecting performance (Economic interests) from Canonical.

Is Ubuntu abandoning the battle for desktop users?

A question that today I have read repeatedly, in the various social networks and blogs of the Linux world, is if with this announcement, Is Ubuntu giving up the battle for desktop users?. I think the answer to this question is quite clear in the statement made by Shuttleworth where it states:

“I would like to emphasize our commitment to continue investing in the Ubuntu desktop. We will continue to produce the most widely used open source desktop environment in the world, maintaining existing LTS releases, working with our business partners to distribute this desktop, to support our corporate customers who depend on it and to delight of the millions of cloud and IoT developers. "

Ultimately, the choice is to invest in the areas that are contributing to the growth of the company. Those are Ubuntu on desktops, servers, and VMs, our cloud infrastructure products (OpenStack and Kubernetes), our cloud operations capabilities (MAAS, LXD, Juju, BootStack), and our history of IoT on snaps and Ubuntu Core. They all have communities, customers, income and growth, the ingredients for a great independent company, with scale and momentum. This is the time for us to ensure, across the board, that we have the aptitude and rigor for that path. "

The words of Shuttleworth make us understand that sacrificing Unity8 development, Ubuntu for phones and convergence, do not mean abandonment by Canonical from Desktop usersInstead, they are restructured to bet on the areas where they can really make a significant contribution to these users.

Personally, I believe that this movement will make Canonical end up increasing support for the various communities in charge of the development of the different desktops from which it has benefited, in the same way, it means that Canonical's contributions at the development level will be more oriented to projects with results. in the short term and that the organization will look more in the sense of not reinventing the wheel.

Finally we must understand that Canonical makes it clear that their priority becomes the Cloud and IoT (because it is the one that brings you the most profitability) and that the desk becomes an element that they need to consolidate their objectives.

 “The cloud and IoT story for Ubuntu is excellent and continues to improve. You probably all know that most public cloud workloads, and most private Linux cloud infrastructures, depend on Ubuntu. You may also know that most of the IOT work in auto, robotics, networking, and machine learning is also in Ubuntu, with Canonical providing business services on many of those initiatives. The number and size of business engagements around Ubuntu in the cloud and IoT has grown materially and consistently. "

Probably who else gains with the replacement of Unity 8 by Gnone are the distros that derive from Ubuntu; I personally assume that Linux Mint it will have the greatest benefits as it is one of the most used distros today, mainly because it is offered with a different environment than Unity and with good performance and visual finish.

It will dawn and we will see, but for my part I feel a bit of joy for Ubuntu that finally got rid of nothing dear Unity.

What do you think of Ubuntu's decision?

PD: This opinion piece has been written by someone who did not like Unity one bit, who migrated to OpenSuse and then Manjaro because of the stubborn philosophy in some Ubuntu cases, so many of the arguments can be far from the reality of some readers.


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  1.   Omar18 said

    There are the consequences, for trying to get away from the community and trying to impose "projects" by force ... The regret is for the time and resources wasted that had been used in other better projects and supported by the community ...

  2.   mario said

    it was time

  3.   Leo said

    Very well, the change from ubuntu seems perfect, start working on the new desktop

  4.   Rare case said

    It is a shame that innovative projects are abandoned in the Linux world. I knew Ubuntu just released Unity, but it never convinced me. But it was the best option for many other users. It is regrettable that there is one less option in the variety that exists for Linux.

  5.   Benji said

    Now I wonder what haters will hate if ubuntu returns to gnone ... Haters gona hate ...

  6.   Novatronic said

    Personally, I never liked Unity, but to taste the colors, good articles, they keep me a little up to date on this wonderful world of linux.

  7.   Lucas matias gomez said

    Although today I am using Gnome 3.20 I am going to miss Unity, I always liked it and it worked well for me.

  8.   Caesar said

    Well the truth is that it is a shame.
    I understand that for many who started with Ubuntu prior to Unity, the change could hurt, but for me the versions before Unity the truth is that they were so unattractive that no matter how much functionality and speed they gave me, they ended up sending me back to Windows , after a few months of use.
    It was already after testing version 11.04 with Unity that it has left me as an Ubuntu follower and from learning this of more Linux distros that I have later been able to test (Debian and CentOS and the occasional flavor of Ubuntu itself) .
    I think that those of us who make up a community like this that goes against the current of the majority Windows user should be clear that the objective of an OS is to be used by as many users as possible and not just by developers and experts on the subject (what's up? there are so many linux).
    Likewise, let's wait for the new distribution to come out and we can test if this reversal is really beneficial or has gained the sectarianism of the community.

  9.   Anonymous said

    Hallelujah!

  10.   Mr. Paquito said

    I liked Unity, I had a hard time understanding it, but when I gave it a chance it beat me.

    I don't know what we would expect if Unity 8 made it to the desktop, but Unity 7 was very functional and productive for me.

    I guess we'll have no choice but to get used to Gnome again.

    We'll see.

  11.   Brother said

    The problem was not unity 8 or ubuntu mobile, or convergence, the problem was MIR which was completely unnecessary and caused all the backlogs and problems in these projects.

    Of these projects, the one I liked the most was unity 8, my opinion is that it should not be abandoned simply to adapt it to wayland, surely many problems would be solved.

  12.   Haiku said

    I think they got pissed off at Unity.

  13.   Anonymous said

    Well go. I have been an ubuntu user since 10.04 and I had gotten used to Unity, which I know has many detractors, but in my case it was great. I find it comfortable, clean and practical. We will see now.

  14.   Wire said

    A very hard blow to innovation in the world of SL. Losing alternatives is always a drama, it reduces the horizon of possibilities.

    I don't understand the joy of some, frankly. I hope GNOME integrates the good things of Unity 7, which has them. Anyway, to see where things go.

    1.    Shengdi said

      I think that the problem was not Unity itself, but how closed and selfish Canonical became with its developments.

      If they had been intended to be used by the entire Linux / BSD community instead of exclusively for Ubuntu, the story would have been totally different. Of that I'm sure.

  15.   Fabian said

    I already dropped quite a few lines of text against unity. I did my catharsis and I got over it at the time so I don't care about this, I don't think I'll go back to Ubuntu. I feel a little sorry for the users who did like unity but nothing else.

  16.   Leonardo said

    Since unity came out I liked it and still use it. I managed to configure it and make it very fast (just as can be done with free software). I would not be surprised if someone emerged who continues to support it in a new distro. Time to time.

  17.   William said

    A pity that they abandon Unity, a desktop that I have been using for many years and about which I have no complaints. Let's hope they reconsider and can implement a new Unity.

  18.   Francisco said

    I am very sorry, I would have liked it, so more people would have opted for other distros like LinuxMInt with Mate, etc. Unity is crap.

  19.   Coco said

    Mark returns regretful with his look so tender with his muzzle split and his tail between his legs

  20.   Luciano said

    It is the ideal opportunity to recover users and strengthen the ubuntu community. I even think they could face gnome customization based on community opinions, it is a guaranteed ticket to be able to give it more popularity. Be careful not to return Jono Bacon to canonical. I would not be missed.

  21.   MarkVR said

    Amen…
    I hope they do well, so users do well.

  22.   Wire said

    Community? What is "community"? Anyway.

  23.   under me said

    I was never quite comfortable with Unity, and it also seemed like a forced attempt to make a difference to hitherto traditional Linux desktops. But, finally, if it is abandoned it is because it has not come to fruition. It has not fulfilled and it returns to the origins. You learn from failures.

    1.    Mark VR said

      It is that, in my opinion, I had nothing of importance to offer that other more agile and proven desktops no longer offered (and less if they abandon the idea of ​​convergence) ...

  24.   Wire said

    Do you learn from failures? Well, the share of GNU / Linux on the desktop is laughable, more or less than 2,33%. And watch out, historical record. Come on, a smash hit. As if to rejoice in the Canonical disaster.

    1.    Mark VR said

      And what's that about? ... What does Canonical have to do with people preferring to pay licenses or hack Windows? ...

    2.    Esteban said

      The average user only wants to use their computer and enter twitter or facebook. If so many use NSA / Windows it is because it comes pre-installed. If ArchLinux came pre-installed they would surely use it. I don't think that this change by Cannonical is going to affect the GNU / Linux usage statistics much.

      1.    Wire said

        Man, that a company that developed Linux for desktop leaves it, because what is really happening is Canonical stops developing Ubuntu for desktop, it is a major problem for the entire community. In addition to losing a stable benchmark for other soft companies.

        But come on, if you don't see it clearly, you should still do a slower and more perspective analysis of the situation.

      2.    Ted said

        It happens that people get scared when they see how the archlinux installation is, however I would dare to recommend archlinux for the experienced user and manjaro / antergos for all public because you will never have to format to update again, you will not have to look for some ppa or compile from sources since surely someone packaged it in AUR, the packages are always the most current and it is very comfortable to maintain, on the other hand I have noticed that even kde consumes less resources than unity, I leave them at your discretion not always the most popular is what best

  25.   Manual said

    It really hurts me to see how efforts to innovate fail due to the intolerance of some who do not like a leaf to be moved. Nothing, everyone happy, everything remains the same in GNU / Linux and that is what many want. Either way.

  26.   Eduardo said

    I've been with Unity for some years now, the truth is that I've learned to take full advantage of it, what I don't like about GNOME 3 is the way it wastes screen space. but hey, you have to wait and see what happens.

  27.   Arturo Torres placeholder image said

    I have followed Ubuntu since version 7.04 and personally I did not like Unity, so I switched to lubuntu. The current Gnome doesn't like me either. Since lubuntu version 16.04, some components have been replaced by Gnome ones, including the software center, something that seemed a bit strange to me. And this news is a confirmation of what was going to happen.

  28.   Henry Alexander said

    GNOME-Shell is by far a better desktop environment than Unity, sensible decision by Canonical, starting with Ubuntu 18.04 Lts to enjoy what Ubuntu should have been all the time and great operating system with the best desktop environment,

    1.    Wire said

      I'm curious, what is a much better GNOME Shell desktop environment in? Can you support your opinion with some objective data or is it just your opinion?

  29.   ariel said

    Many probably forget that Unity was born, among other reasons, because of the crap that Gnome 3 had turned out to be when it first came out.
    Personally, I found the aesthetic and functional development that they had developed and matured with the versions very interesting. Non-technical users like it and it allows me to offer them a nice, good and supported linux environment, a shame.

    1.    Andrés said

      False.

      Unity was born long before Gnome. Unity was born under the name of ubuntu-netbook, it was a fork of Gnome2 but adapted to small screens (Ubuntu Netbook Remix).

      Gnome3, indeed, was crap in its first versions, it was very uncomfortable to use, I don't know how it is now, from what I have seen, not much has changed. Canonical left its desktop for netbooks as the main desktop and renamed it Unity.

  30.   Azureus said

    They still save the work of adapting Gnome-Shell. I liked Unity but just to see it, using it as the default environment was never my plan.
    The only thing I am grateful to Unity for is that they brought me to Arch and as they said before me, I feel sorry for the users who took a liking to Unity. GG

  31.   Carlos Dagorret said

    I am a simple user, just an editor, some terminal and a lot of internet browser and music.
    I've been using Fedora and Ubuntu since they came out. Unity is not bad. But I feel more productive with Gnome 3. And at the beginning I used Unity, I felt more comfortable because Gnome3 was missing things.
    But I've been using GUbuntu for a long year now.
    Well, I like how Ubuntu runs as an operating system and has Gnome3. Which is the perfect combination for me.

    I think Gnome3 should improve resource utilization.

    I hope that Unity sugar as a project, perhaps can bring important news.

  32.   Antonio said

    I don't know why, but changes often cost people to accept them. I used to use gnome 2 before, the change to gnome 3 gave me an incredible toothache, especially at the beginning that it was not very polished. Then over time I end up liking in addition to all the functions that it has included that help you a lot. And now the one I use is unity, which for me is an incredibly functional and attractive desktop, it is simply the hatred for change.

  33.   Zacher said

    In my opinion, I think the lack of popularity in Ubuntu has been the great trigger for the decision made. Who has not started using Linux through Ubuntu? I repeat, in my opinion it is the distro among the distro, to begin with Linux, and it is not because of its environment, which is clear, but the community behind it, helping without receiving anything in return, that is priceless, for what others… ^ _ ^