My main work machine is still on Ubuntu 10.10. I had installed 11.04 on my spare laptop, but hated Unity so much I only ever booted into Gnome Classic. I was hoping things might get better with 11.10, but things are now very much worse. To the point where I’m looking around for other distributions. I suspect, like Linus Torvalds, I might start looking at XFCE.
Anyway, after upgrading my laptop to 11.10, I was disturbed to find it wouldn’t boot up: you just sit there looking at a message which says “Waiting for network configuration”. I’m fairly techy (and have a spare computer), so I was able to find the answer, which was to drop to a shell and move a bunch of files from /var/run to /run. But imagine a non-techy person trying to cope with this. Congratulations Ubuntu, you just lost market share.
Then I was thrown into Unity. I tried to like it for about a day. I really tried. But it just makes doing things so much harder. Everything is an extra click away. If I want a terminal I want to click on an icon and get a terminal, not activate a search box, type terminal and get it that way. I was also trying to change the font size using ‘Appearance’. Cannot.
So I tried to login as Gnome Classic. But the option to do this is not present any more. The solution for this was some more hunting, and apparently installing gnome-panel lets me now get the CHOICE to use Gnome shell. (See that word there Ubuntu? CHOICE). Except that its Gnome 3. Except that because my laptop is a whole two years old, it won’t run in proper Gnome 3 mode, and runs in fallback mode.
Fallback mode looks a little like Gnome 2, except the menus are all messed up. There is now no option to “Edit Menu” or “Add to Panel” or “Move” things around. Just fantastically messed up. How does any of this make things EASIER for us to use our computers. So, for all of you wrestling with this problem, here is the answer — you use Alt+Right Click on the menu bar and you can now Add To Panel. I found this by accident in another post: nowhere does it seem to be publicised. Having now found out I can add stuff to the panel, I managed to install the Gnome main menu, and we’re almost useable.
Except the font size. Most of my font settings were migrated over from 11.04. Menus were the right size, but all the window titles were huge. To the extent that you can’t use them. And the Appearances application now NO LONGER LETS YOU CHANGE FONT SIZE. Am I shouting a bit here. How does this make things EASIER? So you look around the internet again, and you find that you have to install an Advanced Configuration Manager, which will let you change font size. (gnome-tweak-tool, or dconf-editor will do the job apparently).
This is my level of frustration after a day. I’ve been using computers for thirty years. Imagine how novices will deal with this. Correct, they’ll run screaming back to Windows, where at least they know where things are.