I was a great fan of Ubuntu and Canonical. I loved the pre-Unity versions of
Ubuntu. I found the last Gnome 2 version to be especially functional and
When Canonical switched to Unity on 11.04, I tried it and
mostly liked it. Admittedly, there were some issues but I really liked the fact
that Unity did a better job of maximizing the screen real-estate available to
applications than any other desktop environment I have used previously. I was
hopeful that the wrinkles in Unity would be worked out in the next version and
was just about ready to pay for support from Canonical for all the systems in my
home, mostly as a thank you, when Ubuntu 11.10 came out.
seemed to be a lot buggier overall. Unity would do weird things to my
applications and sometimes make the desktop unusable, forcing me to drop down to
the shell to restart X. Pulse audio on this version was a dog and would simply
not work with a sound card I’d been using successfully on Linux for about 5
years. I also discovered a number of newly introduced library compatibility
issues that broke some of the commercial software I needed for my
The final straws for me was Canonical’s decision not to include
snd-pcm-oss as a kernel model (which I discovered with Ubuntu 12.04), breaking
ALSA’s OSS emulation, as well as the inclusion of Amazon search.
use Scientific Linux with the Trinity desktop since I really liked KDE 3. I find
that I can easily get everything to work with that distribution and it is
extremely stable. At this point the only thing I miss is the old Synaptic
package manager and some features of the Debian package file format.
I do a significant amount of technical computing. I could care less if the same
OS runs on both my desktop and my phone or tablet. I need a desktop that
provides a good environment for code development, modeling, as well as a limited
amount of CAD. I do this work on machines at work and, to a lesser extent, on my
home systems. Until my phone or tablet can support a large amount of DRAM, many
cores, and can plug into a keyboard and several large monitors, I don’t see
myself migrating away from a desktop. Canonical’s direction appears to be to
water down the desktop experience in order to make it more like the phone, the
same bad mistake Microsoft made with Windows 8. Developing Mir is a result of
this direction. I expect to use my desktop and phone for very different tasks
and could care less if they use the same OS. As an user, Mir does not appear to
offer me anything of real value.
Given the direction Canonical is taking,
I am very concerned that NVIDIA and/or AMD will make X and Wayland second class
citizens in favor of Mir. I would love to use Nouveau and similar open source
drivers; however, they’re not functional enough yet, either for the software I
use for my job or for recreational use with the games. Some of these games
purchased from Loki Games dating back to the late 1990′s.
thrilled that Steam and other game developers are beginning to fully embrace
Linux and would like to spend some money on these games. Assuming these games
are coded to work exclusively with Mir, then buying these Linux games is not an
option unless other distributions such as Scientific Linux, Fedora, or Debian
also migrate to Mir. For legacy games such as the ones produced by Loki Games, I
am concerned that Mir may not emulate X well enough. Full support for legacy
applications that depend on X will be more of an issue if the Linux community’s
effort to develop X emulation is split between Wayland and Mir.
direction of the rest of the Linux ecosystem to standardize on Wayland as well
as the concern over OpenGL support from NVIDIA and AMD, I really wish Canonical
would have worked with the Wayland team to reach their goals rather than going
their own direction. In my opinion, trying to make the same OS and applications
work on both big iron and small phones or tablets is just silly at this point.
Given this, fragmenting the Linux ecosystem right now to save a little power on
low end devices is just plain stupid. I understand Canonical’s argument for the
other issues, such as, the desire for a more extensible input system; however,
Canonical should have been able to work through these issues with the Wayland