Comment 24 for bug 668415

kfsone (oliver-kfs) wrote :


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 :)