Comment 340 for bug 668415

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.