Movement of Unity launcher

Reported by 6205 on 2010-10-29
This bug affects 273 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
Ayatana Design
Undecided
Unassigned
Unity
Undecided
Unassigned
Ubuntu
Undecided
Unassigned

Bug Description

Please consider this a possible feature request or wishlist.

Now when Unity will be default desktop for 11.04 could you please consider to add option to configure Unity launcher placement. Add simple option to lock/unlock through right-click menu and drag launcher to desired location like left/right and bottom.

Didier Roche (didrocks) wrote :

Thanks for your bug report and help to make ubuntu better.

This is indeed possible, you just have to drag out the launcher item (to the right), and put it somewhere else. We discovered that there are some usability issues there, which will be fixed in Natty to make it more discoverable.

Changed in unity:
status: New → Invalid

I think the report actually meant that the launcher should be movable to
other edges of the screen. I'm afraid that won't work with our broader
design goals, so we won't implement that. We want the launcher always
close to the Ubuntu button.

 status wontfix

Mark

Changed in unity:
status: Invalid → Won't Fix

Mmm... i was hoping for dock on bottom :( but i respect that...

Btw: maybe you could add into launcher some unity icon(like Docky have first dock icon) and that Unity icon could take some of the ubuntu button functions. This way would not matter where launcher is (left/right/bottom) :)

Jeremy Nickurak (nickurak) wrote :

Among other things, it would be important to be able to move the launcher on portrait-oriented screens, as when a monitor is rotated (which is otherwise well supported).

Miguelángel León (migueleonm) wrote :

Mmm... I lked unity since the beggining but never liked the left fixed dock, I was hoping a panel-position customization, using another dock at the same time with unity is just not good. Fortunately I can disable unity and use another option and in fact that is what I'm going to do.

diego (marcodiegomesquita) wrote :

Intellihide and on bottom are important options for a desktop dock. I want to be able to set it.

Omer Akram (om26er) on 2010-12-05
affects: unity-asset-pool → null
Changed in null:
status: New → Invalid
ddez (ddez) wrote :

Why coudn't this just be an option? Mark Shuttleworth, you don't have to agree with it, but it could still be an option of the launcher. I understand that you wants it near the Ubuntu buttom, but the launcher at the buttom isn't that far away, and the fact that you wants it at the left side shouldn't mean that you don't give people the possibility to move it to the buttom.

I also liked unity since the beginning, but I, and many other people, wants to be able to move it to the buttom. the launcher at the right is indeed too far away of the Ubuntu buttom, but having it on the buttom isn't that far. Please give them the possibility to move it to the buttom.

uhm... locking unity launcher movement will propably have unwanted consequencies in some users.
they will simply not use the unity shell, they will logon to classic desktop and use docky instead...

Jonas Diaz (jonasdiaz) wrote :

I'll be one of those that will change to gnome...if Unity wants to be the default desktop it has to include features for personalize it. That's one of the advantages and promises we have in Linux in general. The ability to customize our distro. And of course a user may need to change the launcher, maybe due to the nature of its work or the use he gives to its OS.

------Mensaje original------
De: 6205
Remitente: <email address hidden>
Para: Jonás Carmelo Díaz Gómez
Responder a: Bug 668415
Asunto: [Bug 668415] Re: Movement of Unity launcher
Enviado: 5 de dic, 2010 3:35 PM

uhm... locking unity launcher movement will propably have unwanted consequencies in some users.
they will simply not use the unity shell, they will logon to classic desktop and use docky instead...

--
You received this bug notification because you are subscribed to Unity.
https://bugs.launchpad.net/bugs/668415

Title:
  Movement of Unity launcher

Status in NULL Project:
  Invalid
Status in Unity:
  Won't Fix

Bug description:
  Please consider this a possible feature request or wishlist.

Now when Unity will be default desktop for 11.04 could you please consider to add option to configure Unity launcher placement. Add simple option to lock/unlock through right-click menu and drag launcher to desired location like left/right and bottom.

Este mensaje ha sido enviado gracias al servicio BlackBerry de Movilnet

SRoesgen (s-roesgen) wrote :

Saying that the reason not to make the Unity Launcher moveable is simply a design decision appears in my opinion invalid.

Why? Simply because it is not an OEM solution anymore if you want to spread Unity to the desktop of every day users. You want to appeal to normal people? Then do so. If you take away the choice to modify the desktop the way one is used to do, will actually drive back many normal users.
Normal users are used to have the launcher at the bottom of the screen. And though this might sound stupid it still is a a point to be made: appeal to normal users by presenting them something that is not too alien to them. Certainly you want a design that is unique and special. But that is not the right way. Making it possible to move the launcher should definitively be a small thing to implement and denying this option to other users appears more erratic and unreasonable that logical.

It should not be any problem to put the launcher at the left edge of the screen. Why not? But also, one should consider making it possible to adjust the placement of the launcher (be it the right or the bottom of the screen). We are not all equal and some are more individualistic than other users. Make it possible for them to modify such a simple thing as the launcher.

And by the way: what about those users that come from Arabia or Isreal? Or where ever else in the world the read from right to the left side? These people are usually fixated on the upper right corner of the screen and not the upper left one. At least for them it should be possible to put icons AND launcher on the right side of the screen.

martincasc (martincasco) wrote :

Well Hi everyone, I've been reeding what Mark said in one comments here.. And he said that they "want to have Ubuntu button near the launcher"..

Well, first of all, which is the difference between de Dash (ubuntu's button on gnome's panel) and the apps menu button on launcher? I think that there is no differences.. Dash seems to work like an app filter that can be improved (or better improve) in apps menu launcher button..

In that way we can have one button (like Mac OS) on gnome panel (or not) where we can access to the system information and things like "About me" and so on...

And then Ubuntu's button can be placed on launcher, unifying dash button and apps menu button.. and, naturally, launcher can be moved to the right or, even, the down of screen and win an importan pixels on screen and a gorgeous desktop..

I know, it's look to close to the Launchpad button on the upcoming Mac OS; but I believe that is more useful and gorgeous desktop..

manny (estelar57) wrote :

I think everyone should calm down a bit.

Design is a constant evolution.

while a feature like this may not be a high priority for the upcoming version, it doesn't mean it cant be considered in the future.

Anyway am confident they'll make some good decisions, and if not enough then back to the drawing board.

Mark Shuttleworth (sabdfl) wrote :

On 05/12/10 20:47, SRoesgen wrote:
> And by the way: what about those users that come from Arabia or Isreal?
> Or where ever else in the world the read from right to the left side?
> These people are usually fixated on the upper right corner of the screen
> and not the upper left one. At least for them it should be possible to
> put icons AND launcher on the right side of the screen.

We will explore an RTL option, with mirroring of the entire experience,
for this case. That's documented in a separate bug.

Mark

Darxus (darxus) wrote :

Please try using this with a widescreen display in portrait orientation, which I love. It looks terrible. For the same reason this launcher was created - a waste of space along a long edge. Just move the ubuntu button with the launcher.

Louis (louis-louis) wrote :

@Mark Shuttleworth

Mark wake up!

Don't forget Ubuntu's philosophy about being open and community-based.
It's fair that you want a standard Ubuntu-look, but you need to listen to the community.
If the users want to move the launcher why just let them? Why don't you you bind the Ubuntu-logo to the top panel?
Even in the often criticized Mac OS X it's possible to decide if the dock should be either at the bottom or at the right or left side of the screen.

Anyway, I guess that Unity is going to be open source, so people either can make a hack or a fork that supports movement of the launcher.

Is this a bad sign that tells that Ubuntu is going to be a locked-in OS that only supports the kind of customization that it's company allows?

Mark Shuttleworth (sabdfl) wrote :

Louis, it's open source! If you want to change it please do. Or use
Docky. Or AWN. Or any number of alternatives. But please recognise that
we've got the right to build Unity the way we think it's going to be
best for folks, and that explicitly precludes trying to fit everything
that everyone wants into it.

Mark

It's simple, Mr. Shuttleworth. Just have the launcher on the left by default. If the user wants to move it somewhere else then they can open up the Appearance settings and change it.

SRoesgen (s-roesgen) wrote :

@UncleNinja
I suppose that is what nearly everybody wants and to me your few sentences are the most cogent and reasonable proposal I have heard up to now.
At least there appears to be no logical argument against your suggestion.

I am now rather thrilled to hear any counterargument.

@all
btw.: It certainly has nothing to do with design decision to prevent somebody from moving the launcher from its default position (left edge of the screen) to another position. What will happen next? Are there any additional proposals concerning design questions? Will the next step be to decide that people do not need the minimize/maximize function of a browser window or their office application just because by design it was decided that browsing the web and writing a text with a maximized windows is per se the best way to use a software?
And yes, there is always the possibility to fork something because it is open source and one simply can add additional features to the fork. But I personally hear this answer much to often in the open source world. I myself am a linguist and not a software programmer. I do not have the time to fork something everytime I do not like how it is designed.
I love Ubuntu it is the best Linux distribution I know and with every new release I am excited to have a look at the new features. But I suppose one should at least sometimes listen to some voices of the community if it comes to such simple design questions like the one being discussed here.

Mark Shuttleworth (sabdfl) wrote :

On 16/12/10 10:11, SRoesgen wrote:
> But I suppose one should at least sometimes listen to some voices of the community if it comes to such simple design questions like the one being discussed here.

Just because I disagree with this point doesn't mean we don't listen.
There is ample evidence of responsiveness to questions and ideas raised
in bugs and on the Ayatana design list. When you make a comment like
this, you come across as petulant because YOUR preferred idea is not
being pursued - take the trouble to participate for a while, and you'll
have a more balanced view.

SRoesgen (s-roesgen) wrote :

@Mark
Point taken. If I came across too impolite, I hereby apologize.

Though, I think that I voiced not only my idea, but those of many, I accept your premise of trying to participate (as limited as my means may be) and will follow the discussions of the design/development of the next releases.
Let's see what happens. And believe me I am a fan of you and your work. Thus posting this comment was to point out that there are other people, beside the original poster. (When the news that Unity is coming to the desktop were released there were internet fora in which they discussed the inability of the launcher being movable.)
Still, I accept your final decision and lets see how Natty works out. I am looking forward to it.

Mark Shuttleworth (sabdfl) wrote :

On 16/12/10 13:00, SRoesgen wrote:
> @Mark
> Point taken. If I came across too impolite, I hereby apologize.

Thank you, accepted!

> Thus posting this comment was to point out that there are other people, beside the original poster. (When the news that Unity is coming to the desktop were released there were internet fora in which they discussed the inability of the launcher being movable.)

A good way to reflect interest in the bug, without spamming everyone
subscribed, is to use the "affects me too" link on the bug page.

Mark

Dear Mr Mark.
Why? WHY? Why? You said that there are design goals which prohibit this little improvement. Can we, humble users, know the reason of this denial? Maybe we just don't know about something great to come. Many of human crimes come from misunderstandings. Many of those could have been prevented. Please - enlighten us at least: WHY won't we be able to customize Unity? One simple question. Is it that hard? Also, I would like to point out, that scientists proved that low ceilings have bad impact on human creativity. Here this applies as well. The effect is especially oppressive on small wide screen displays.
Yes. I speak about "new bug". But it is something similar and I don't want to ignite another bug procedure. What I want is healthy discussion of "Unity customization" topic. I do understand that there are many goals and designs. But have you ever considered subconsciousness impact in user interfaces? For example: I removed from my FullHD display the upper panel. Just that. When my computer illiterate sister glanced on the screen, she asked, whether I changed my distro. It was a matter of a split second. Also, I made an experiment on myself. I used "top only" set for about a month. Now I switched the panel to bottom. It was great relief for me. Similar to someone's having put a weight off my spine. Please consider this. Again, what I ultimately want is healthy conversation, which will lead to understanding of both sides and agreement.
Don't be inexorable, Mr Mark.
By the way, I never had occasion to thank you for the Ubuntu fonts. I fell in love with them the day the new logo emerged. Now I use them everywhere. Because of that, I have faith in your vision. Just don't be adamant. When you make new font, you don't force people to use it. When you make new shell, you should leave the possibility to customize it. As can be seen in the net, almost every Ubuntu user leaves the default set-up. But there is a huge group of customizers who love to tinker with their interfaces. Let them to have fun with Unity too.
Thank you for your attention.
Hirager.

kfsone (oliver-kfs) wrote :

Mark;

I can envision a number of settings in which it would be desirable to ensure the placement of the launcher etc: Hopefully hardware vendors will choose Ubuntu/Unity over Android etc for various devices, and want control over where the launch bar etc is for screen fitting etc, screen management, etc.

However, I'm very concerned that you are citing design considerations as a reason for fixing the location in general - especially with a view to Natty/Desktop - but equally with a view to vendor attraction for netbooks, because it /assumes/ physical device layout. You just lost any vendor planning a Kindle format device.

In the desktop arena, I would implore you attempt to reconcile any such design decisions with the root of Ubuntu's success, which is the quality of desktop experience it delivers out of the box. "It's open source, fix it yourself" is what I expect to hear from Gentoo, not Ubuntu. "Switch to a different desktop experience" is something I expect to hear from a Ubuntu derivative or a lesser Linux entirely.

I don't have a problem with accepting that the launcher be limited to left, right or bottom edge of the screen. Just take the Ubuntu icon with the launcher bar. Bar on the right, Ubuntu on the right. Bar at the bottom, Ubuntu at the bottom with a choice of right-or-left edge. Will it be a bigger button when they do that? Yes, but "OMG the start button is huge" just isn't something I hear people say.

Imposing netbook aesthetics on desktop experience will deflate much of the trust, enthusiasm even, that Ubuntu has stirred amongst folks with whom you had begun to [re-]build faith that Linux could really be a viable desktop alternative to Windows.

Let me close with some practical use cases:

1. RTL countries,
2. Portrait displays (where the vertical launch bar has the opposite of it's intended effect),
3. Left-handed mousers,
4. Accessibility conflicts with left-of-window controls in applications (esp web-browsing where navigation is frequently on the left-side, whereas the scroll bar serves as a buffer for them between pages with right-hand navigation and a right-handed launch bar).
5. Accessibility issues where the user's primary use of the computer is centered around the right hand side of the screen,
6. Multi-screen displays where the left-most display is the minor display, and having the launch bar on the left side of the primary screen is a bloody nuisance.

If I wanted design decisions that trump ease of use, I'd go back to Windows XP, thanks :)

Mark Shuttleworth (sabdfl) wrote :
Download full text (4.1 KiB)

On 30/12/10 01:53, kfsone wrote:
> In the desktop arena, I would implore you attempt to reconcile any such
> design decisions with the root of Ubuntu's success, which is the quality
> of desktop experience it delivers out of the box. "It's open source, fix
> it yourself" is what I expect to hear from Gentoo, not Ubuntu. "Switch
> to a different desktop experience" is something I expect to hear from a
> Ubuntu derivative or a lesser Linux entirely.

A willingness to limit the set of supported options is a large part of
the quality of the out-of-box desktop experience. For example, the old
Gnome Panel was designed with the goal of making many, many things
possible. you could put them on any edge of the screen, you could write
any sort of app, that supported any sort of interface pattern. And the
result was very, very hard to use well. All of that customization made
it impossible to provide an "overall feeling" to the old Gnome Panel.

And this is similar.

Now, I know full well that the argument for being "on rails" can be
taken too far. It boils down to a judgement call, which has to be made
in the knowledge that wherever one draws the line (or *I* draw the line,
if you want to be personal about it) there will be some folks who never
use the flexibility offered, for whom it's confusing, and others for
whom it's not enough and who resent the line having been drawn there.

In all cases, it's not unreasonable to ask folks who want something
badly to implement at least a hacked up version of that capability. I
don't think it's needed, and I think it could in fact be detrimental
both to the user experience and the code itself, so I'm simply not going
to ask Canonical folks to spend any time on it. But I can't stop, and
have no interest in stopping, someone from working up a patch which
implements the capability, which can then be tested and discussed.
Bleating or sulking don't inspire me to spend time and money helping out ;-)

So, "work up a patch" is a reasonable statement. "Use a different
interface" is also a reasonable statement. That's not "we don't care
about you" it's "we are busy implementing a particular vision". We may
be wrong, the best way to learn is to have others show that a better way
is possible. If so, we'll adapt quickly, we're not too proud to embrace
great work done elsewhere.

> Let me close with some practical use cases:
>
> 1. RTL countries,

Yes. But this involves mirroring everything: launcher, panel,
indicators, window controls. It's not an argument for being able to
place the launcher anywhere, it's an argument for a proper RTL
perspective on the shell. That is being tracked in a separate bug, iirc.

> 2. Portrait displays (where the vertical launch bar has the opposite of it's intended effect),

At this stage, our view is that intellihide makes the launcher position
acceptable on portrait interfaces.

> 3. Left-handed mousers,

There's no strong argument that a left-handed mouser benefits from the
launcher being anywhere different. One needs to be able to get to any
point of the screen with a mouse for it to be useful :-) And touch
interfaces, arguably, are better for lefties with the launcher in its
current position.
...

Read more...

So it boils down to "Make it yourselves"?

Paul Sladen (sladen) wrote :

Marek: "A developer scratching an itch" is the starting point of most Free/open source software, and still the most effective way to make things happen. There a finite number of people and a finite amount of time; at the moment people are busy working on pulling other parts of the stack together. Once the essential stuff is done, the "nice to have"s can be looked at, if you want to focus on a particular area and expand the number of people that are able to work on Unity then please join us, and please propose and make a patch.

It's a complex problem to solve so I would not expect the patch to be as simple as just changing the X coordinate! There is interaction with the dash button (top-left) to consider, there is the interaction of application indicators and window indicators when toggling between, autohide direction, right-to-left languages and layout, ...

I finally took the glance at available bug statuses. Now I am competent to suggest, that this sort of bugs should be "confirmed" and "assigned to community". This way is clear (wontfix suggests it is not even allowed) and most communicating to the community. Pardon my harsh words before, but I was under impression that customization will not be even allowed in Unity. It turns out to be out of reach for the Canonical. It makes big difference. I strongly advise to use (or create) "assigned to community" Launchpad status. If it was clearly stated at the very beginning of Unity development, that its up to community to solve this issue, we would probably have working solution by now.

Andy C. Candet (andycandet) wrote :

> > 2. Portrait displays (where the vertical launch bar has the opposite of it's intended effect),
> At this stage, our view is that intellihide makes the launcher position
> acceptable on portrait interfaces.

I might be late to the party, but how exactly is intellihide supposed to work for portrait touchscreens? And if a maximized app hides the dock, how is the Dash supposed to integrate?

+1 for the "assigned to community" idea.

I totally agree with Mr. Mark.

A fixed interface makes life easier for developers to integrate better the program with the interface...
And they(devs) know that they make it one way and it will look the same for all users.

yman (s-y-schwarz) wrote :

I don't think that being able to move the dock to a different edge of the screen is just another nice to have feature. Every dock I've ever heard of has this feature, and moreover, the most common setup is to have it on the bottom edge. Therefore, the ability to have the dock on the bottom is basic functionality. If we were talking about regular panels this might be different, but the design of the dock and the items in it make it far more suitable for switching between horizontal and vertical layouts. If you will accept patches that add this basic functionality then this shouldn't be marked Won't Fix.

kfsone (oliver-kfs) wrote :

Linux UIs have always been too customizable; but the dock defines the shape of the display. So it's location is going to have a bearing on Ubuntu's suitability to a number of device formats -- and more importantly, dynamic display formats.

Questions:

- Are there cases where a display will call for a fixed application launcher bar (dock)?
Yes: Hardware vendors selecting an OS are occasionally going to want the ability to coordinate dock and physical decoration and/or controls.

- What advantages do fix UI meta-decoration (menu bar, app bar) offer?
* Fixed screen space,
* Deterministic display dimensions,
* Simplification of support,
* Clear UI guidelines on user-attention areas of the display,
* Clear UI guidelines on user-blindspot areas of the display

- Are there cases where a fixed application launcher bar will be detrimental to user experience?
Yes: Rotatable displays (such as cell phones, tablets); Multi-display devices; Non-standard sized displays (a fixed bottom/top bar on a tripple-head screen is going to waste a lot of screen real-estate); Dynamic sized displays (e.g. where an on-screen keyboard is replaced by a slide out), etc.

Rajeev Nair (rajeev) wrote :

I dont care about which side the launcher is, but a nice shiny looking launcher connected to a plain ugly top panel with a flimsy looking ubuntu menu logo is a big disaster.

Either make the panel on left and top seem to flow in a smooth manner or detach the left launcher or panel a bit down away from the logo.

This way you stick to your design goals and make the desktop look more in 'unity'.Not many people might have pointed this out cos they trust you blindly maybe.You i mean the UI team.

Magnes (magnesus2) wrote :

I afree with Rajeev Nair. And I think the whole look & feel of Unity right now is a disaster. You paid people to do it? You lost your money. Sorry, thats what I think. I hope it will be better one day.

Ben Wright (bwright) wrote :

The best solution to this problem is to write the patch and package it and offer it in a ppa. Mark is trying to provide a consistent vision for his implementation of unity that doesn't stop me writing a patch and testing the alternative implementation. Any maybe we could call the alternate implementation community :) I might start on the patch tomorrow if someone doesn't beat me to it.

Mark Shuttleworth (sabdfl) wrote :

Sounds good!

Jason Todd (jtodd929) wrote :

Mr. Shuttleworth, have you considered providing the option of moving the BFB (button) to the right side with the Launcher? That is, if the Launcher is moved, the BFB is placed in the top right corner above it? This would keep the Launcher next to the BFB.

Ubuntu is a great OS. I appreciate all your hard work and the awesome work of the developers in its creation. Thank you!

Bilal Akhtar (bilalakhtar) wrote :

As for those people who are searching for the bug about mirroring of the interface for RTL locales, its bug #654988 .

Mark Shuttleworth (sabdfl) wrote :

Hi Jason

Thanks for the comments

Yes, we've considered consolidating the BFB and indicators all on the
right. In the end, we settled on the current arrangement because it
keeps those two functions distinct. I imagine other designs would be
more accommodating of the option, for example, in Gnome Shell they have
indicator-type capabilities more widely spread on the top bar.

Mark

Ben Wright (bwright) wrote :

A proof of concept I believe has already been created, http://habreffect.ru/files/5fc/a970a188f/%D0%A1%D0%BD%D0%B8%D0%BC%D0%BE%D0%BA-4.png I don't have additional information on it.

Changed in null:
status: Invalid → Confirmed
status: Confirmed → New
IKT (ikt) on 2011-05-09
Changed in ubuntu:
status: New → Invalid
Omer Akram (om26er) on 2011-05-09
Changed in ubuntu:
status: Invalid → Won't Fix
Changed in null:
status: New → Incomplete
status: Incomplete → New
Changed in null:
status: New → Invalid
лист (leaf-2) on 2011-08-29
Changed in null:
status: Invalid → Opinion
Changed in null:
status: Opinion → Invalid
Changed in ayatana-design:
status: New → Won't Fix
Curtis Hovey (sinzui) on 2011-11-11
no longer affects: null
tags: added: unity
260 comments hidden view all 340 comments
Vanderhoth (upsonp) wrote :

Why has this not been resolved yet?

Having the unity launcher on the left is unacceptable in multiple situations and saying "won't fix" without providing a very good clear reason beyond "It doesn't fit in our border design goals" is unacceptable. What design goal could possibly warrant not being able to move the launcher to which ever edge of screen a user requires it on.

Even friggn micorsoft allows users to decided where the taskbar is placed because they understand people have different requirements and needs.

IKT (ikt) wrote :

"Even friggn micorsoft allows" quoting microsoft on user interface design is a no no.

Magnes (magnesus2) wrote :

@IKT - why? they seem to be doing quite a good job in many cases and are popular for a reason. Throwing away opinions because they mention some company you don't like is a no no - in my opinion.

IKT (ikt) wrote :

" they seem to be doing quite a good job in many cases"

They're not, the windows ui is HORRIBLE, take a look a the control panel for that mess, have you ever had to actually support people doing things with it?

"and are popular for a reason."

That's a fallacy, known as argumtum ad populum, by the same standard all high quality restaurants should coat everything in grease and fat and oil because hey, McDonalds is popular therefore it is good thing to do.

http://arstechnica.com/uncategorized/2007/06/product-loyalty-consumers-mistake-familiarity-with-superiority/

This is not a race to the bottom, also what happened to open source, is there really no one out there who has the skills to move the icons from one side of the screen to the other?

Cite from Mark Shuttleworth:

"I think the report actually meant that the launcher should be movable to
other edges of the screen. I'm afraid that won't work with our broader
design goals, so we won't implement that. We want the launcher always
close to the Ubuntu button."

@Mark Shuttleworth

The design goals are fine if you only have ONE single display connceted to youir computer. Than it is absolutely acceptable to nail the launcher to the left side because it doesn't matter much if it is left or right - maybe in most cultures left woul be the best placement.

Anyhow... In multi display setups it is a question of available space and layout of the displays, where the launcher makes sense.

While i can agree that putting it top top or bottom is a bit retro, boring and not really ergonomic, having the ability to putting it to the right side seems to be really useful. Also RTL-Cultures would love it beeing able to move the launcher to the right side - even on a single monitor system.

So i kindly ask you to rethink your standpoint. I cannot see any negative impact to the design goals if users are able to choose whether the launcher is on the left or the right side of the screen.

I hope that canonical can be a bit less dogmatic and a bit more pragmatic. Users demand the ability to move the launcher - so why not making such a small compromise which may give many people a even better feeling using Unity.

Tal Liron (emblem-parade) wrote :

@Axel Napolitano

I think this plea from you is the most succinct summary we've seen of the attitude problem:

"I hope that canonical can be a bit less dogmatic and a bit more pragmatic."

A quick update: Issac Joseph has created a project called "Unity Revamped" which seems to address some of these pragmatic concerns (though it doesn't incorporate the movable-Launcher patch):

https://launchpad.net/~ikarosdev
https://launchpad.net/~ikarosdev/+archive/unity-revamped

As I mentioned before, forks of Unity are not great solutions: the burden is on the dev to keep merging in the mainline code and testing it thoroughly before each release. I find it unfeasible in the long run, unless the Unity team itself incorporates these enhanced versions into their main dev/test process. Mark's comment about celebrating forks is thus a bit glib -- and non-pragammatic.

@Tal Liron

I agree with you. Forking is not really a good solution to address such kind of problems. In this case simply because of the fact, that it is not official canonical software and therefore not part of the canonical maintained packages. Anyhow it was a matter of time until someone decides to do his hown thing to get more flexibility.

And of course i don't understand the standpoint of Mark Shuttleworth - may be because a lack of information: He talks about broader design goals. Well... They are not in general affected if you permit users to move the launcher at least from the left to the right. On the other side celebrating forks seems to be a bit strange in that case: There's a strategy behind Unity and a roadmap too - so why risking that the world say's no the official unity switching to a fork - no matter how good it is? That could have negative impact on the design goals as well as on the Unity strategy at all.

I really like Unity but i would love it, if *i* can decide whether the launcher appears on my screen. So much freedom should be possible and part of any design goal.

Jon Hanna (jonhanna) wrote :

Ironically, my finding the design decision to have the launcher on the left in Ubuntu encouraged me to move the taskbar on my Windows install there too (something I'd tried before with a smaller screened laptop that had 1280*800 as its native resolution, and quickly undid). It works great on a 1600*900 screen at least as far as I'm concerned. I noticed that my 12yo, who also dual-boots Ubuntu and Windows on a 16:9 ratio screen had done the same thing.

If I were a subject, we'd definitely come out as a weighing on the side of the status quo here.

But... of the two OSs mentioned here, why is Ubuntu the one where we'd just better like it, because it's not going to change if we don't?

Rickard (rickard-uk) wrote :

@Mark Shuttleworth

I agree with having it on the left as default. We need a standard somewhere :)
I do not agree that we cannot have it as a user selected option from the Appearance menu (just like the icon re-sizer that you eventually succumbed too but did not appear in the original unity) as an OOTB solution to dock it at the bottom.
As this is a worthy enhancement to the platform (remember some tablets are used in Landscape mode :P).

As we have seen with the "unity-shellrotated" unofficial customization tweak the demand is there. Especially as people are crying since it failed to work from 11.10. There is massive demand for this, real user community demand. And many others like myself do not want to use this or that dock. We love Unity, we want better Unity. Hey I should copyleft that "Better Unity" :P.

But do not take our word for it, lets prove it to you. Why not let us the community sponsor this OTTB enhancement to Ubuntu. Yes cost this change for us and then its up to us to raise the money to accelerate the delivery of this enhancement that could live in the appearance menu as another nice option but not disrupt your overall strategy.

I believe Ubuntu needs this for future proper tablet support (Nexus has the Launcher on the bottom you know :P).
It will show the community has a say and power to even move the mighty Ubuntu team to make much requested changes.
It will show open source pays after all and for changes users want, not draconian Vista implementations that users hate. Apparently "humanity towards others" is something we all aspire too here, lets show we are not Google and have not abandoned our core principals.

Willing to let us prove it to you?
What do you say? Game on?

elian (jestevens-nospam) wrote :
Download full text (3.8 KiB)

My main office PC with an 8X AGP GeForce 5200 can no longer run Ubuntu as
of 12.10. I actually started using 12.04 and used a combination of a Unity
with Autohide turned on and minimum sensitivity + CairoDock GL - when I
wanted the Unity menu I just pressed the "SUPER" key, otherwise I used the
Cairo Dock icons on the bottom of the screen. I actually grew to like
12.04 but 12.10 seemed like a regression to me because it could not support
my ancient video card. I could log on, the desktop would appear but no
menus or panel...and no way to revert to "Classic" or "2D" in 12.10.

I switched to the XFCE version of MINT - the reason I stopped using LINUX
several years ago is that every time a new release of my fav distro came
out some sort of critical functionality that worked well in the previous
release was all of the sudden broken. Iit's been 5 years without worrying
about that feeling with Ubuntu, however 12.10 brought back the
frustration. As far as I know there is no easy workaround other than
buying a new video card and this machine just isn't that fancy..

Thanks for your hard work, Maybe some day I will try Ubuntu on a tablet or
a TV (I am still a mythbuntu user) and it will make sense again.

John

On Thu, Nov 1, 2012 at 6:20 PM, Rickard <email address hidden> wrote:

> @Mark Shuttleworth
>
> I agree with having it on the left as default. We need a standard
> somewhere :)
> I do not agree that we cannot have it as a user selected option from the
> Appearance menu (just like the icon re-sizer that you eventually succumbed
> too but did not appear in the original unity) as an OOTB solution to dock
> it at the bottom.
> As this is a worthy enhancement to the platform (remember some tablets are
> used in Landscape mode :P).
>
> As we have seen with the "unity-shellrotated" unofficial customization
> tweak the demand is there. Especially as people are crying since it
> failed to work from 11.10. There is massive demand for this, real user
> community demand. And many others like myself do not want to use this or
> that dock. We love Unity, we want better Unity. Hey I should copyleft
> that "Better Unity" :P.
>
> But do not take our word for it, lets prove it to you. Why not let us
> the community sponsor this OTTB enhancement to Ubuntu. Yes cost this
> change for us and then its up to us to raise the money to accelerate the
> delivery of this enhancement that could live in the appearance menu as
> another nice option but not disrupt your overall strategy.
>
> I believe Ubuntu needs this for future proper tablet support (Nexus has
> the Launcher on the bottom you know :P).
> It will show the community has a say and power to even move the mighty
> Ubuntu team to make much requested changes.
> It will show open source pays after all and for changes users want, not
> draconian Vista implementations that users hate. Apparently "humanity
> towards others" is something we all aspire too here, lets show we are not
> Google and have not abandoned our core principals.
>
> Willing to let us prove it to you?
> What do you say? Game on?
>
> --
> You received this bug notification because you are subscribed to the bug
> report.
> https://bugs.la...

Read more...

flyingfisch (flyingfisch) wrote :

@Rickard:

I almost feel it would be better to fork the Ubuntu project and make Unity more customizable than ever. It seems like the Ubuntu team has stopped listening to users.

elian (jestevens-nospam) wrote :

Yes well there's that, but also how the gnome 3 team had also stopped
listening to users -gnome had a perfectly usable desktop - the project
succeeded...I guess they must've got bored..what is Ubuntu to do as a
downstream consumer of the technology? After using Windows 8 I can see why
ubuntu team chose unity - my only real complaint with it is that every time
they come out with a new release I have to hold my breath and see if any of
my hardware support stops working. That is why I am on mint xfce now, I
don't really NEED a compositing window manager in order to do word
processing and answer Email and the first thing I do after installing
ubuntu is install restricted extras anyway.

I am curious to try Enlightenment though, supposedly with new release they
have developed their own compositing engine independent of OpenGL support.

On Mon, Dec 10, 2012 at 3:51 PM, flyingfisch <email address hidden>wrote:

> @Rickard:
>
> I almost feel it would be better to fork the Ubuntu project and make
> Unity more customizable than ever. It seems like the Ubuntu team has
> stopped listening to users.
>
> --
> You received this bug notification because you are subscribed to the bug
> report.
> https://bugs.launchpad.net/bugs/668415
>
> Title:
> Movement of Unity launcher
>
> Status in Ayatana Design:
> Won't Fix
> Status in Unity:
> Won't Fix
> Status in Ubuntu:
> Won't Fix
>
> Bug description:
> Please consider this a possible feature request or wishlist.
>
> Now when Unity will be default desktop for 11.04 could you please
> consider to add option to configure Unity launcher placement. Add
> simple option to lock/unlock through right-click menu and drag
> launcher to desired location like left/right and bottom.
>
> To manage notifications about this bug go to:
> https://bugs.launchpad.net/ayatana-design/+bug/668415/+subscriptions
>

Eduard Gotwig (gotwig) wrote :

I just want to express how angry I am on you Mark, and your Designers, to just remove these functions, so users can't move it anymore.

Adam Porter (alphapapa) wrote :

Chalk another one up for the Ubuntu Hall of Shame. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. The handwriting is on the wall. Debian keeps chugging along.

Adam Porter (alphapapa) wrote :

And you know what, if I hear one more person talk about "usability studies" or "user testing" or research, I think I will throw up. We all know what Mark Twain said about statistics. Here we are, real people, reporting real problems, but we aren't relevant, because we aren't a statistic. I'd like to see someone do some research into this bug report and compile some statistics on user satisfaction!

No one's even mentioned the presupposition that all these studies and testing and research are valid or accurate or useful! Someone boasted about "unbiased users" in their studies--what a crock. Canonical told the users what tasks to attempt, Canonical asked the questions, Canonical set the time limits, and Canonical chose the users ("off the street"!). How about doing a usability study with experienced users? How about doing a study on these new users after they've used Unity for a week or a month, and then asking them how they feel and what annoys them? How about doing a study on how many new users switch back to Windows?

It's like doing market research on a new restaurant, and watching the customers as they walk in and find a table and look at the menu and order their meal--but ignoring their eating the food, going to the bathroom, paying the bill, and leaving, and not asking them if they want to ever come back. Nevermind all those angry customers who want to speak with the manager--they don't know what they REALLY want in a dining experience. The study shows that they are happy.

And how dare Ubuntu treat its evangelists this way--people who have spent years working hard to promote Ubuntu to their friends, families, and colleagues all over the world. These real people come here and report real problems that they and their "converts" are encountering, and Canonical tells them that they are wrong, that Canonical knows what users really want.

It really seems like the story of so many cults over the years: a leader attracts a great following, and his lieutenants recruit sergeants, and the sergeants recruit privates, and then the leader grows an ego. Then he listens to his ego more than his lieutenants, and the very people who were his most ardent, loyal supporters become disillusioned. His followers, still being loyal, speak their concerns, but they are told to submit and conform to the vision. They continue to stand up for the truth, but they are told to shape up or ship out. Hey, there are plenty more followers to take their place, and plenty more pagans to initiate, right? But the cancer grows and spreads, and eventually the community dies and disperses. The flame, which once burned brightly, consumed itself.

The saddest part is that many of the rejects are so disillusioned that they never join another community again. They give up on the whole idea of progress and community and freedom, and they go back to the rat race, to being a robot who goes through the motions, suffering in silence the dull pains of mediocrity (Bug #1). Meanwhile, the rest of the world continues in relatively blissful ignorance, never knowing what could have been, never reaching their potential.

jim davies (jimdav2002) wrote :

Add me to the many who want this bug fixed.

Putting personal design goals or "vision" over user choice appears childish & counterproductive. Maximizing user choice should always be Job One for ANY computer OS, open-source or otherwise. Concerns over difficulty for left-handed users or wasted screen-space on reorienting tablets alone should make fixing this a no-brainer - this kind of irrational inflexibility is exactly what drives new users away, either back to Mac/Windows or to alternative Linux systems.

WhatTheTech (info-s) wrote :

Hi there,

I'm rather new to Ubuntu, having only installed it two days ago on a Samsung Chromebook. At first, I wasn't sure about it - coming from using macs for many years it felt mildly familiar, but just not quite there. After some customization (moving to the radiance theme, adding a brightness applet to the tool bar) I really started to enjoy the Ubuntu experience. With programs such as Chromium readily available, there was almost no reason to switch back to ChromeOS and I even found myself spending less and less time on my Mac desktop! It only took two days for me to want to move the launcher - I first tried to right click on it (my mac is showing...), to no avail. "No problem," I thought to myself, "I'll just change it in the system settings." Again, there was no option. I couldn't really understand it, so I did some googling. That's how I ended up here. That's how I discovered that the Ubuntu developers seem to be turning away from the demands of hundreds of their users.

This smacks of big business. Not giving users the option reminds me too much of Windows and Mac, and that is far from a good thing in this case.

Add my name to the list, but I think this "small" issue is an indicator of a far greater issue that goes deeper than surface-level aesthetics.

For now, I'll be following this tutorial: http://www.webupd8.org/2011/11/install-ubuntu-unity-bottom-launcher.html

It's a shame that the folks at Canonical have not yet listened to their users. Free OS or not, we are the life-force of your daily toil, and we are fickle by nature. You have been warned many times now, allow me to add mine to the heaping pile of requests from people with one foot out of the door. So I haven't been using Ubuntu for years - I represent one of the most important demographics: new users. Without us, you're toast.

Robin Nilsson (robinnilsson) wrote :

Please fix this! I like Ubuntu but these "decisions" are just as stupid as the answers to why it won't be fixed.

And no, I don't accept the "If you don't like it, don't use it"-answer.

Neil (goofandfroggie) wrote :

After using unity since it's release (Not at first) I have to say I still don't like it, not 1 little bit. The way I have gotten around the "problem" is to make unity launcher small and auto hide and stalled CairoDock.
It keeps it hidden and can still be used when needed, makes a good second launcher for those programs that are less used, keeping cairo for main progams.
Hope this helps out.

And it is not just that the unit launcher can't be moved it is sooo ugly...

outtatime (obligat) wrote :

Dear Mark Shuttleworth!

Launcher is on the bad side.
I mean the window decorations, the dash, the launcher (with ubuntu-logo, with dash-button, in current, but mirrored form) can be horizontal mirrored to the right side without bugs?

In its current form is useless and uncomfortable to work across the screen. I am right-handed (most of people too), the mouse is on the right side of computer, the mouse-pointer is almost somewhere on the right side of screen, the scrollbars too, but the launcher, the dash, and everything is on the left.This is illogical, uncomfortable, slow to use, or useless.

It is one solution for the unity haters just like me :) ) the basic useability and/or proposal to make this thing useful at all, not some useless eyecandy windows-like, or mac-osx-like solution :)
You wanna in the future the launcher close to ubuntu-button? Make a horizontal mirror frome the whole thing, and let the user choose!

Mark Shuttleworth (sabdfl) wrote on 2010-12-11: #17

"[...]the way we think it's going to be
best for folks, and that explicitly precludes trying to fit everything
that everyone wants into it"

Congratulations Sir!

Perhaps more community attitudes please!
Make a question, and READ the answer!
Or read the proposals!
Don't make "I think it sholud be (must be) good to the people" solutions.

sincerely
outtatime

quequotion (quequotion) wrote :

>>I'm afraid that won't work with our broader design goals, so we won't implement that. We want the launcher always
close to the Ubuntu button.

I disagree.

Why couldn't the Ubuntu button be as mobile as the launcher? Is it not part of the launcher?

At the very least Unity needs left and right handed desktops for touch panels.

Being inflexible and ignoring issues like this is costing Ubuntu popularity.

DissidentRage (blasterdrp) wrote :

"I'm afraid that won't work with our broader design goals, so we won't implement that. We want the launcher always close to the Ubuntu button."
- Mark Shuttleworth, 2010-10-30

"We should not inflict bad ideas on our users just because we’re curious or arrogant or stubborn or proud."
- Mark Shuttleworth, 2008-12-22

Mark Shuttleworth (sabdfl) wrote :

You missed one:

"Now it's clear how the launcher being on the left works across phone,
tablet, PC and TV"
 - Mark Shuttleworth, 2013-02-19

;)

Tal Liron (emblem-parade) wrote :
Download full text (4.0 KiB)

"Now it's clear that instead of being transparent the whole time and just telling the community why decisions were being made, we were fed vague explanations that made us feel disrespected and excluded from the process." -- The Community (well, me speaking for it... ;)

Mark, nice of you to chime in, but too bad it's just to oddly pat yourself on the back -- you haven't really vindicated yourself by announcing that it "works" -- and have not answered the many very reasonable questions and comments in this very long bug report. (Yes, there are some shrill comments that deserve ignoring, but not the whole bug.)

I guess we know the answer now: desktop users have had a bad idea inflicted on them because Canonical was aiming for a consistent experience across all devices. I guess it would be confusing if phone users would be able to switch around the use of the different edges. (Looking at the Ubuntu Phone videos, it already seems like it may take some learning to get used to the gestures and edges.) I guess the aim is for anyone to be able to pick up an Ubuntu device and expect the Launcher to be on the left. I guess managing this expectation, which is something of a branding issue as much as a usability issue, is more important than personal customizability. Just as phone users have come to expect that notifications are always at the top (on all OSes), Canonical hopes they will come to expect that the Launcher is on the left.

OK, I kinda get all that, though I expect many phone/tablet users will disagree. (I own a Nexus 10, which has a very elongated aspect ratio. I expect that in portrait modem having the Launcher on the left will just take up too much real estate, and that I would want to -- but won't be able to -- put it on the top or bottom.)

But this bug was opened for the desktop. I won't reiterate the many reasons that it's a bad idea to lock the Launcher to the left on the desktop, it's all in this bug. Community members have taken the time to carefully explain the issue at length.

For me, the real bafflement of this looooong bug is not that it was summarily shut down, but how Mark and the Ubuntu team have responded to it. We were told about vague "broader design goals," but weren't told exactly what Canonical was thinking about in terms phones and tablets. Of course, we know exactly why we weren't told this: desktop users would have *roasted* the Ubuntu team for sacrificing an essential desktop feature on the altar of the Ubuntu brand and managing user expectations on phones. So, I guess Mark was just thinking that he would be roasted either way, and preferred not to provide details. Well, he's earned his roasting fair and square now, and I hope to community will continue to dog him and Canonical on the quality of the desktop experience.

Less baffling and more insulting were the red herrings we were tossed: lame, transparent excuses about having to have the Launcher integrated with the BFB, or complaints about how much work it would take to make the Launcher movable, or after that complaints about how much QA it would take -- after a community member tried to provide a patch that allowed movement. An insulting waste of time for all...

Read more...

Mark Shuttleworth (sabdfl) wrote :

If you look back over the long history of the bug, you'll see that we're
quite open to landing code which implements launcher movement. However,
it needs to:

 * address the hard problems that raises (i.e. it needs to work properly
for everyone, not just in a hacky way for some people)
 * be well written tested code

Nobody, you'll note, has stepped up to do that work.

Rather than insulting those who work on the project, you might want to
consider, if the feature was really that important, someone would have
stepped up to do it *properly*. This is not about feeding you vague
disinformation. This is about knowing clearly what we care about and
devoting precious time and resources to that. It would not be possible
to get ANYTHING done if we weren't disciplined about that. It's not
really possible to have a balanced conversation with anybody who has no
appreciation for that.

Now, it's very straightforward to use any number of docks - Cairo-DL and
others - to achieve the effect you want. Do you think it's socially
acceptable to go around demanding that others take care of your needs,
when you're perfectly capable of achieving it for yourself? Grow up.

Mark

robert shearer (bdaggg) wrote :

"If you look back over the long history of the bug, you'll see that we're
quite open to landing code which implements launcher movement.
Mark"

So post #3 on this thread, (reproduced here below), is "quite open"...???
If multiple 'won't s' is open i would hate to see what closed looks like.

" I think the report actually meant that the launcher should be movable to
other edges of the screen. I'm afraid that won't work with our broader
design goals, so we won't implement that. We want the launcher always
close to the Ubuntu button.

 status wontfix

Mark"

Tal Liron (emblem-parade) wrote :

Pavel Golikov (Paullo) worked hard and created a patch. His code is still available here:

https://code.launchpad.net/~paullo612/unity/unityshell-rotated

As to whether it was not good enough quality to be merged into Unity, well, nothing about that was updated in this bug. There may have been personal communications with Pavel which we were not privy to. The episode definitely dissuaded anybody from doing any further work on it. (I was personally working on a similar patch when Pavel made his public.) Actually, Mark did not call for patches, but suggested that we fork Unity instead.

But that's not really what dissuaded us: as so many have pointed out, whenever Mark intervened in this bug it was to *discourage* us from fixing it. The bottom line seemed to be not quality or manpower (red herrings) but mysterious "design goals." No amount of patching could fix those. :/ An executive decision was set that this simply won't be fixed.

Mark, it's unfortunate that you always seem to take these things personally and think that it is a matter of not appreciating the work being done. In interviews, too, you always imply that we "complainers" just want some pet features fix and "whine" about it while not wanting to do the work. That's a caricature of what's going on. Some of us do indeed whine, but you are picking at these few examples as a straw target and ignoring the core criticisms: 1) the flippant rejection of this feature request, 2) the lack of a transparent explanation for the decision, and 3) the rejection of advice from long-time Ubuntu users and supporters -- critical as an ongoing mass of good will proliferating Ubuntu in the office and at home (and soon, on the go) -- in favor of a set of "newbs" participating in usability testing. It hurts, man. We've supported this project for years, and now we're being called children.

One thing I agree with you strongly: everybody should read through the long history of this bug. It will remain as a monument, and hopefully a lesson to others, for how not engage your community of supporters. It created unfortunate ill will. Mark blames us, but the record is here and anyone can judge for themselves.

It could have been so easy to do things differently: instead of "won't fix", there could have been a call for people to submit patches to test the viability of a fix, even with a long-term timeline. This could have been a wonderful moment for community involvement, bringing more people into the project with enthusiasm and excitement. Anyway, the record is here.

Thank you for your efforts. I and most people posting here deeply appreciate them, whether you believe it or not. You've done great things for free software, and I believe for freedom generally. I sincerely hope that your gamble on manic innovation at the cost of pleasing the long-term community of Ubuntu supporters will pay off in the long run, and will bring truly free software to the masses. That is a goal we all share.

Adam Porter (alphapapa) wrote :

On Wed, Feb 20, 2013 at 12:08 AM, Mark Shuttleworth
<email address hidden> wrote:
> if the feature was really that important, someone would have
> stepped up to do it *properly*.

"Properly" as defined by you. You set the bar wherever you want, and
if someone doesn't jump high enough, it's not good enough.

You want us to use your software, but when we tell you your software
isn't meeting our needs, you tell us to fix it ourselves. But then
when someone does so, you say that he didn't do it "properly." It
isn't hard to read between the lines here. Just be honest and admit
that you don't want the feature implemented.

> This is not about feeding you vague disinformation. This is about knowing clearly what we care about and
> devoting precious time and resources to that.

Indeed, it's "about" whatever you say it's "about," and anyone who
disagrees doesn't know what it's "about." An easy way to dismiss
others' opinions.

> It's not really possible to have a balanced conversation with anybody who has no
> appreciation for that.

So now it's not possible to have a "balanced" conversation with users.
 We couldn't possibly understand what you designers and developers and
testers are doing. Just because we actually use the end result of
your work doesn't mean we know anything about what it's like to use
it.

> Do you think it's socially acceptable to go around demanding that others take care of your needs,
> when you're perfectly capable of achieving it for yourself?

Do you think it's socially acceptable to go around dismissing the
needs--you said it yourself, needs--of your users, and trying to
distract, discourage, and deny their requests and attempts to meet
those needs? How hypocritical to say that the users are perfectly
capable of doing it themselves when you didn't accept the patch.

Make up your mind! Either users are ignorant fools who don't know
what they really need, or they are capable people who should go write
their own software. You can't have it both ways when you speak in
absolutes or generalizations. But if they are the latter, that is all
the more reason to listen to them.

> Grow up.
>
> Mark

I fear that this is the handwriting on the wall. When the SABDFL of
the project tells his passionate, concerned, loyal users to, "Grow
up," it does not bode well.

"First they ignore you, then they ridicule you..."

Mark Shuttleworth (sabdfl) wrote :

On 02/20/2013 04:52 PM, Adam Porter wrote:
> On Wed, Feb 20, 2013 at 12:08 AM, Mark Shuttleworth
> <email address hidden> wrote:
>> if the feature was really that important, someone would have
>> stepped up to do it *properly*.
> "Properly" as defined by you. You set the bar wherever you want, and
> if someone doesn't jump high enough, it's not good enough.
>
> You want us to use your software, but when we tell you your software
> isn't meeting our needs, you tell us to fix it ourselves. But then
> when someone does so, you say that he didn't do it "properly." It
> isn't hard to read between the lines here. Just be honest and admit
> that you don't want the feature implemented.

Just because we disagree is no call to suggest that I'm dishonest.

Here's how I'd frame it. I think it's highly unlikely that you can move
the launcher to the right, top, or bottom of the screen without tripping
over lots of other aspects of Unity. On the tablet, we use the bottom
edge for app controls. Perhaps that won't turn out to be relevant for
the desktop, but I think it's too soon to rule that out. And we use the
right edge for the side stage, which will be on both tablet and desktop,
so that's an awkwardness.

You may have better insights than I. But I've not seen any coherent,
complete articulation of how it would all fit. Just demands from the
perspective of folk who are used to a particular workflow. That's fine -
Ubuntu let's you achieve that with any number of third-party tools.
That's great, use them, and we'll get along fine.

Now, I like to be wrong, because that's when we learn. Show how it would
all fit together, and I'll come around.

Mark

1 comments hidden view all 340 comments
Adam Porter (alphapapa) wrote :
Download full text (4.0 KiB)

On Wed, Feb 20, 2013 at 8:16 PM, Mark Shuttleworth
<email address hidden> wrote:
> On 02/20/2013 04:52 PM, Adam Porter wrote:
>> On Wed, Feb 20, 2013 at 12:08 AM, Mark Shuttleworth
>> <email address hidden> wrote:
>>> if the feature was really that important, someone would have
>>> stepped up to do it *properly*.
>> "Properly" as defined by you. You set the bar wherever you want, and
>> if someone doesn't jump high enough, it's not good enough.
>>
>> You want us to use your software, but when we tell you your software
>> isn't meeting our needs, you tell us to fix it ourselves. But then
>> when someone does so, you say that he didn't do it "properly." It
>> isn't hard to read between the lines here. Just be honest and admit
>> that you don't want the feature implemented.
>
> Just because we disagree is no call to suggest that I'm dishonest.

I felt like you were being dishonest because I felt like you weren't
being forthcoming with your reasoning.

> Here's how I'd frame it. I think it's highly unlikely that you can move
> the launcher to the right, top, or bottom of the screen without tripping
> over lots of other aspects of Unity. On the tablet, we use the bottom
> edge for app controls. Perhaps that won't turn out to be relevant for
> the desktop, but I think it's too soon to rule that out. And we use the
> right edge for the side stage, which will be on both tablet and desktop,
> so that's an awkwardness.

1. You admit that it currently is not relevant for the desktop, but
you insist on NOT ALLOWING users to do this because you MIGHT later
decide to use the edge for something else.

2. You think a potential "awkwardness" is reason to NOT ALLOW users
to customize the UI to fit their needs.

These two points illustrate a fundamental philosophical shift in the
way Unity--and Ubuntu itself--is being developed. Mr. Shuttleworth, I
could switch a few words around, replace Unity with iPhone and Ubuntu
with iOS, and these would sound like Steve Jobs quotes. It should go
without saying that Apple and iOS are by their very nature
antithetical to the FOSS movement and the ideas of user freedom and
users' control over their own systems and software. Yet this is the
direction Unity--and, I fear, Ubuntu--is headed, and it is this
direction which you champion. I am dumbfounded.

> You may have better insights than I. But I've not seen any coherent,
> complete articulation of how it would all fit. Just demands from the
> perspective of folk who are used to a particular workflow. That's fine -
> Ubuntu let's you achieve that with any number of third-party tools.
> That's great, use them, and we'll get along fine.

You're presupposing that "it all" needs to "fit"--whatever that means
to you. You're presupposing that your workflow is superior to that of
these people who *want to use your software*, but find it frustrating
to use because it doesn't fit their needs. And you don't seem to care
that these real people who really have used your software find it
unsuitable for their needs; you're more interested in studies carried
out in artificial environments by researchers--that and your personal
"vision."

> Now, I like to be wrong, beca...

Read more...

Tal Liron (emblem-parade) wrote :

@Adam

You make some strange arguments here.

FOSS philosophy has nothing to do with customization. It's about providing access to the source code. The Unity project is 100% FOSS (GPL/LGPLv3).

Ubuntu's goals might be different from yours. You might want to have a desktop perfectly configured for your needs. The Ubuntu project is trying to make a free operating system for the masses. Mark is clear that in trying to achieve these goals he will 1) be taking bold risks, and 2) he will not meet everybody's needs. Time will tell if he's on the right path.

I personally have many doubts, because when I've introduced Ubuntu and Unity to new people -- and I've done this a lot, in professional and personal contexts -- I've heard a lot of frustrations about its usability, configurability and stability. And so I've stopped recommending the regular Ubuntu, and instead recommend Xubuntu, which is *awesome*. But, maybe we got it all wrong and Mark got it right and Unity will make people flock to Ubuntu. Adam, you make a comparison to Apple: well, the Apple UI has proven itself very popular with the masses. So, maybe Mark (and GNOME) is on to something in trying to emulate their approach.

To the Ubuntu project's *great* credit, it offers support (in terms of computing, bandwidth and other resources, if not personnel) to *several* different flavors. While GNOME 3 seems to have the same general goals as Unity, the others absolutely do not, and will likely better suit your personal needs. Xubuntu is still Ubuntu, with the excellent repositories, PPA, and the entire ecosystem. It is an excellent and free operating system.

My problem, and it is central to this particular bug about making the Launcher movable, is not Unity's philosophy but the fact that it's essentially *broken* for certain setups, such as multimonitor and right-to-left setups. Unity should not be the default desktop, or at least it should have a big disclaimer up front that it is an experimental desktop interface, with an easy path (one click!) to let users install and use something that is proven to work.

Actually, there is a second problem: Mark has made me not want to help the Unity project. He has alienated many long-time Ubuntu supporters by his abrupt closure of bugs like this, with little or misleading communication about the reasons. So, yeah, no way I will contribute my programming skills to it. But I do love Xfce and will do my best to open bugs, submit patches, and spread the love. :)

elian (jestevens-nospam) wrote :
Download full text (5.8 KiB)

I still think that there is a market for a user friendly linux desktop AS
WELL AS a market for a user friendly OS on portable/consumer devices, I
don't blame Canonical for trying to make a profit to stay in business and
trying to position for what it thinks will be the "next big thing". In a
lot of ways Ubuntu desktop is very easy to use, in a lot of ways they were
sort of screwed over when the Gnome team decided to change their whole
paradigm of what a "desktop" should be. Rather than design another "as is"
window manager Ubuntu team apparently decided to take their own stab at a
"friendly" UI.

Personally I believe that the UI for phones and tablets should look very
different from the UI for desktop PC's. I can understand apple and other
vendors wanting to have a one size (and one codebase) fits all solution but
the use for phones, tablets, TV and desktop really are for different
purposes.

There are plenty of other Linux distros out there that are extremely
customizable, I still do point a few of my friends who are looking for a
basic system that "works" and doesn't have to be customizable to Ubuntu
12.04 - as long as I think their hardware can support it. I have been
using Linux since I downloaded boot and root floppies off of a BBS in
1994. Ok well, really using it since slackware was new. I gave up in the
late 90's and early 2000's because every distro release seemed to break new
and different fundamental driver functionality. Then I finally found
Ubuntu - and way back on version 5 I was just amazed at this distro that
not only worked on EVERY machine I threw at it (Including a Pentium II
450Mhz) but also was extremely intuitive to understand back before 3D
compositing started to take ahold of everything. I really was pulling
machines out of recycling or trash piles and giving them new life with
Ubuntu.

Both Canonical and the Ubuntu team have worked very hard and I wish them a
lot of success, but the REASON I evangelized Ubuntu to start with was
because it really WAS the "dream linux" that everyone was hoping for. Easy
to use, wide compatibility. Everyone keeps saying that the PC is dead.
More likely that vendors just can't make a profit off of it any more and
they are looking for next big thing. Mark is right, its just hard for me
to wrap my head around Unity on the desktop. I love Unity on my 7"
netbook, but not so much on the desktop. Actually I really liked netbook
remix on the 7" netbook - I guess Unity is combination of both desktop +
netbook remix..

Anyway, thanks for listening.
John

On Tue, Mar 19, 2013 at 8:09 PM, Tal Liron <email address hidden>wrote:

> @Adam
>
> You make some strange arguments here.
>
> FOSS philosophy has nothing to do with customization. It's about
> providing access to the source code. The Unity project is 100% FOSS
> (GPL/LGPLv3).
>
> Ubuntu's goals might be different from yours. You might want to have a
> desktop perfectly configured for your needs. The Ubuntu project is
> trying to make a free operating system for the masses. Mark is clear
> that in trying to achieve these goals he will 1) be taking bold risks,
> and 2) he will not meet everybody's needs. Time will tell if he's on ...

Read more...

Paulo Fino (finomeno) wrote :

Dear Mark,

Can there be a 180 degree switch? Moving most of what's on the left to the right (launcher, Ubuntu button, window controls) and vice-versa?

Ubuntu and Unity are the result of an amazing effort millions of people have accompanied and contributed to over all these years. My deepest respect for that. Unity does fit very well into the new "touch everything" paradigm, that's taking over devices whether we want it or not. Still, on the desktop, there is one thing about Unity that makes the whole thing feel awkward. It's as if it was designed for left-handed users. I have seen this opinion quite some times online lately, and I can't help to agree. You just want to flip the desktop 180 degrees.
Menus and launchers are not that frequently accessed in between launching and closing applications, and switching between windows. The human (right-handed) brain tends to perceive information on a screen from the top left corner in a Z-shaped path. So that corner, from a purely practical point of view, would be the most useful for a system/notification tray + clock. And keeping start and launcher on the right would feel more natural for right-handed people because they wouldn't need to jerk the cursor far left to switch apps, hitting the laptop/keyboard while doing it.
I hope you would consider an integrated flipping solution to allow a degree of customization which wouldn't break the other wonderful thinks Ubuntu brings people.

Thank you for your continuous effort to promote Linux.

Kind regards,
Psulo Fino

Rickard (rickard-uk) wrote :

@Mark Shuttleworth
As stated before I would fund this change with £££ of allowing a Appearance setting that is optional (so, does not affect default approach) to allow the Launcher bar to be placed at the bottom of the screen or any side in fact.

Please cost this change and we the community shall raise the money.
Thus at this point it is you who is not stepping up!

Mark Shuttleworth (sabdfl) wrote :

Merry solstice, folks! Since we're into festive season spirit I'll take
time again to express what I think is the real challenge: we have built
a converged UI across phone, tablet and desktop. If you're running
Unity7 (i.e. the standard desktop in 14.04) you're running code which
only expresses the desktop piece of that. We're busy adding desktop
capabilities to Unity8 (there is quite a bit of community activity, for
example, to get the Unity8 core apps to work well on desktops in this
cycle).

As a key part of convergence, we assigned some meaning to each edge of
the screen. Doing so in a consistent way enables every user and every
app developer to go much deeper because they know what to expect. In our
case:

 * the left edge is all about apps and app switching
 * the right edge is an alt-tab and workspace switching
 * the top edge is for the system (notifications, settings)
 * the bottom edge is for the app

In this world, it would be extremely difficult to even think about
moving the launcher around. One MIGHT be able to toggle left-and-right
edges, for example, for right-to-left languages like Arabic. But
arbitrary placement of the pieces would not make sense at all.

You COULD go an implement this capability in Unity7, yes. You could also
choose to use Docky or one of the other excellent launchers for the
desktop which exist in free software today; and you can do all of that
on a fully supported Ubuntu system.

Now, looking over this history of comments here, it's easy to predict
that some people will say they don't care about convergence. I
understand that, but I believe that in due course ALL desktop and laptop
screens will have touch, and those same people will then care very much.
So, since we have good free software options for movable-docks today,
but we don't have good free software solutions for convergence of phone
/ tablet / PC, I'm doing what I believe is the right thing by funding
that future. And so far, people who are participating in that community
are having a good time, judging by their comments and contributions.
More welcome!

Again, wishing you all a happy holiday break,
Mark

Tal Liron (emblem-parade) wrote :

Really appreciate your updating us on the vision.

You're mistaken about the modularity of Unity7: it's impossible right now pick and chose components. Unity7 is an either-or affair: if you want to use Launchy, you will have to deal with the Unity Launcher still being on screen, which is of course unfeasible, which in turn is why for many of us posting had to switch, with sadness, to a different, less beautiful, less "ergonomic" desktop environment (Xfce for me). The last version of Unity that supported modularity was Unity2D, for which each component was its own executable launched at startup: thus easy to turn off the Launcher and run something else instead. It was great! I even wrote a guide for how to replace the Launcher. Now, that was a Unity I could use in my everyday work.

(The component I most want to replace is the Dash, actually: I yearn for the simple functionality of Whisker Menu.)

As far as I can tell, Unity 8 is also monolithic. *Unless* you, as SABDFL, decree that there should be a checkbox (even a hidden system setting) that allows individual Unity components to be turned off. To paraphrase Mao Zedong: "Let 100 desktop configurations blossom!"

Also:

I have to disagree about hardcoding user expectations -- I'm left-handed myself (also a right-to-left native language speaker!) -- and appreciate the ability to flip these things around. I hold my phone with my left hand, and things are always a bit more difficult for me than for others. Allowing users to assign any one functionality to any one edge would be best.

I also think hardcoding developer expectations can end up shooting you in the foot -- what if some day you want to expand the Unity experience? Say, Unity running inside Oculus Rift with an entirely different UX? Would developers have to rewrite all apps for the new API? It's best to keep the API as generic *as possible* and not let developers program towards UI expectations, especially for things as ephemeral as screen locations.

I wish you a delightful, troll-free holiday season!

Mark Shuttleworth (sabdfl) wrote :
Download full text (4.3 KiB)

On 23/12/13 16:52, Tal Liron wrote:
> You're mistaken about the modularity of Unity7: it's impossible right
> now pick and chose components. Unity7 is an either-or affair: if you
> want to use Launchy, you will have to deal with the Unity Launcher still
> being on screen, which is of course unfeasible, which in turn is why for
> many of us posting had to switch, with sadness, to a different, less
> beautiful, less "ergonomic" desktop environment (Xfce for me). The last
> version of Unity that supported modularity was Unity2D, for which each
> component was its own executable launched at startup: thus easy to turn
> off the Launcher and run something else instead. It was great! I even
> wrote a guide for how to replace the Launcher. Now, that was a Unity I
> could use in my everyday work.

Would it help if we added simply the ability to turn off the launcher,
so you could use a different component? That would seem to be a
minimally invasive patch. As a hidden option (dconf) it would be fine.

> As far as I can tell, Unity 8 is also monolithic. *Unless* you, as
> SABDFL, decree that there should be a checkbox (even a hidden system
> setting) that allows individual Unity components to be turned off. To
> paraphrase Mao Zedong: "Let 100 desktop configurations blossom!"

Ahem. Allegedly he said that to flush out dissenters, who were then
treated not very well indeed. ;) But I know where you are coming from,
and I think we do support that by supporting so many alternative desktop
environments. I just don't believe we can deliver something amazing if
we don't put it on rails; having spent nearly 20 years working with free
software, I've seen endless shallow efforts that promised infinite
customization, and I want to see what happens if we go deep instead.

> Also:
>
> I have to disagree about hardcoding user expectations -- I'm left-handed
> myself (also a right-to-left native language speaker!) -- and appreciate
> the ability to flip these things around. I hold my phone with my left
> hand, and things are always a bit more difficult for me than for others.

I would support being able to flip the left-right edges for any
language, but I would be opposed to arbitrary edge assignments, because
a lot of the visual effects of transitions are optimal for vertical or
horizontal movement and space. Given that I and others spend many hours
every week on that tweaking and evaluating options, I don't believe we
could do a good job of it if we didn't put ourselves on rails to some
extent, and being on rails means you don't get to go offroading and
snowmobiling unfortunately :)

> Allowing users to assign any one functionality to any one edge would be
> best.

I'll be glad to be proven wrong but I'm not going to invest in that
experiment based on first-hand data :)

> I also think hardcoding developer expectations can end up shooting you
> in the foot -- what if some day you want to expand the Unity experience?
> Say, Unity running inside Oculus Rift with an entirely different UX?

We prototyped and sketched quite a few different form factors, and
having a set of values to start from generally proved useful rather than
a hindrance.

 * would you want to switch...

Read more...

Tal Liron (emblem-parade) wrote :

Thanks, Mark!

Can't speak for everyone else here, but I think being able to use an alternative Launcher would provide a partial workaround for this "bug," allowing for it to be closed as "fixed."

However, I still think it's important to allow the other components to be turned off (Dash and top Panel). I hope you won't be opposed to that.

I see this simple feature (modularity) as a big advantage at very little cost to the Unity project. It will allow other creative developers to create alternative ways to using Unity. And who knows, you might really like some of these alternatives. It's great that you've prototyped various ideas -- but those were just the ideas your team came up with. The big world out there might offer something new and refreshing that none of us can foresee. And it will also allow us to implement a "classic" desktop remix of Unity: something would shut up all us whiners for good. ;)

Remember, it's you that's been touting Ubuntu Phone as a truly open phone. Sure, people might write new "skins" for it to replace Unity, but having Unity itself be open would allow for potentially awesome remixes. Again, at trivial cost to the Unity project. You would be able to continue going "deep" with your vision.

I know I'll be the first in line for a mobile device that I can plug into a big monitor and get a full desktop!

graner (graner) wrote :

I am a new convert to Linux. I love Ubuntu but so far HATE this decision to force the dock to always be on the right side.

This is a tension between logical semantics/convention (which is the argument Mark is making) and emotional preferences of taste.

People simply have non-logical, emotionally driven differences in taste. Case in point - how many of us love lime green cars? Some of us hate that color - but some of us love it.

How many prefer blond hair and blue eyes to brunette with dark eyes? Who here prefers metal to classical?

You cannot argue one is 'better' than another - each individual has their own taste and own preference. Or rather, you can argue but it won't change people's minds and it has a very CS binary interpretation of how humans want their products to work.

In the same way Mark is arguing about the semantic meaning of each side of the screen a metalhead could argue about the superiority of shredding to rhythmic guitar. At the end of the day, though, those logical arguments don't supersede my personal taste. I like what I like. I may understand you logical argument that the left side of the screen is for 'apps' but inside my chest I have this visceral reaction which keeps going 'this feels wrong'.

There should have been a compromise here - on the desktop where there are already established conventions the option should be provided to move the dock to the bottom where many of us prefer it. On smaller devices (and less established conventions) the dock on the left wouldn't feel as incongruous. I am smart enough to figure out that a tablet UI is going to be slightly different from a desktop UI - in fact I demand it. Trying to 'unify' the conventions is a well intentioned mistake IMHO.

Ubuntu is making the same mistake Microsoft did with Metro - they are trying to create a unified user interface for devices which by their nature shouldn't have the same input. Each of these form factors (pocket sized device, TV, tablet, desktop) have their own conventions/use cases/needs and their interfaces should reflect that. Trying to cram what works on one form factor to another is as incorrect as sticking a steering wheel on an airplane.

You can make the logical arguments for a 'unified' interface system as much as you want, inside many of us who don't share your taste and eventually will move to another more expressive interface. It feels like SUCH a missed opportunity.

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