Comment 324 for bug 668415

Tal Liron (emblem-parade) wrote :

"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 off us, when the real issue all along was Mark thinking about user expectations on the phone. It's like we're just this annoyance, and we're told anything at all to make us go away.

We're not "whining" (as Mark calls it) because we want a pet feature for ourselves. We're sincerely worried about Ubuntu's ability to compete, succeed and conquer. And it's not just the Launcher issue, but also the meta-issue of listening to community concerns, treating us with respect, and especially treating our *informed opinions* with respect, informed through years of use of the operating system that you stapled together from thousands of free software projects. We use Ubuntu every day, at home and at our workplaces, across hundreds of desktops in the enterprise, thousands of VMs in the cloud. We know what we're talking about and you should listen to us.