Unity is too GNOME dependent. Can we make it less so?

Bug #784343 reported by Roman on 2011-05-18
8
This bug affects 1 person
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
Unity
Invalid
Undecided
Unassigned
unity (Ubuntu)
Undecided
Unassigned

Bug Description

I have to say, the Unity interface has definitely grown on me. I'm using the 2D variant right now on a netbook that lacks 3D acceleration or a whole lot of RAM. The issue I'm having is the dependencies on particular GNOME software such as Nautilus. Is it for the Places menu or what? I've installed Xfce4 packages and replaced the icon on the launcher with Thunar but every so often Nautilus jumps back into the list of running processes. Plus Unity comes with a whole host of GNOME applications such as GNOME's Appearance Editor - that makes no sense to me.

My idea for a solution is that a metapackage like ubuntu-desktop pull in Unity and also all of the GNOME stuff you want, ubuntu-desktop-2d to pull in 2d unity and all the gnome stuff you want, but packages like unity and unity-2d to only pull in the stuff required to get Unity and Unity-2D working.I have to say, the Unity interface has definitely grown on me. I'm using the 2D variant right now on a netbook that lacks 3D acceleration or a whole lot of RAM. The issue I'm having is the dependencies on particular GNOME software such as Nautilus. Is it for the Places menu or what? I've installed Xfce4 packages and replaced the icon on the launcher with Thunar but every so often Nautilus jumps back into the list of running processes. Plus Unity comes with a whole host of GNOME applications such as GNOME's Appearance Editor - that makes no sense to me.

My idea for a solution is that a metapackage like ubuntu-desktop pull in Unity and also all of the GNOME stuff you want, ubuntu-desktop-2d to pull in 2d unity and all the gnome stuff you want, but packages like unity and unity-2d to only pull in the stuff required to get Unity and Unity-2D working.

The reason is that Unity-2D uses about 200 MB of RAM on this machine on average. Switching the browser to Chromium, Epiphany, or Midori over Firefox and Thunar, PCManFM, or Xfe means Unity-2D can actually serve as a great shell for legacy and low-RAM environments, much the way Xfce, LXDE, Fluxbox, etc. do now.

The reason is that Unity-2D uses about 200 MB of RAM on this machine on average. Switching the browser to Chromium, Epiphany, or Midori over Firefox and Thunar, PCManFM, or Xfe means Unity-2D can actually serve as a great shell for legacy and low-RAM environments, much the way Xfce, LXDE, Fluxbox, etc. do now.

I get that Unity is a "shell for GNOME" and I have no problem with dependencies on libraries like GTK or the AppIndicators or those sorts of things, but I think Unity can be so much more if it's made more desktop-independent. Unity as a window manager which in the Ubuntu-Desktop metapackage is integrated with GNOME components, but by itself can stand on its own with whatever file manager is thrown at it (within reason).

Roman (thezub) on 2011-05-18
description: updated

Well, Unity is a shell for GNOME. So, I think the answer for the question in title is "no".

Bilal Akhtar (bilalakhtar) wrote :

This isn't something which we want. Unity depends on Nautilus because Nautilus is used to draw the desktop, and Unity depends on the desktop for some things such as clearing of the global menu when all apps are closed. There are many other GNOME deps as well, such as gsettings, dconf, etc.

Sure, Unity can try moving a bit away from GNOME, but that is not what we want. As Marco said, 'Unity is a shell for GNOME' and if we try moving away, we'd have to write up many things from scratch, things which are already available in GNOME.

Invalid?

This sort of discussion would be more suitable for mailing lists or IRC, in any case if your comments were to be taken on board they wouldn't best be dealt with as a bug, more as a Specification or Blueprint. If you have very specific ideas about this then feel to raise *individual* bugs for them.

Changed in unity:
status: New → Invalid
Changed in unity (Ubuntu):
status: New → Invalid
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