I have always been a Gnome person. I’ve tried KDE every once in a while but I never really liked it. It seemed it was always either features that were missing that Gnome had or things didn’t work right where they worked fine in Gnome. I could never get used to it and I would always find myself back in Gnome.
Recently though, the timing was just right. I used to be a big fan of Unity, but I was very put off by the version that is in Ubuntu 11.10. I liked the version in 11.04 much better. Not to mention it was much stabler. The version in 11.10 was very unstable for me and I did not like some of the new functionality. I quickly became very unhappy with Unity. I realized that I wasn’t as big of a fan of Unity as I thought. I didn’t want to use Unity anymore I got so frustrated with it. So I started looking at my options.
I decided I would try KDE yet again. Not only did KDE look absolutely beautiful, but all of the features that were missing for me had been implemented and all of the deal breaking bugs had been fixed after many years. So I tried to give KDE a genuine shot. It was a bit awkward getting used to the way KDE does things. But I fell in love with it after just a few days and haven’t looked back. KDE seems very refreshing and freeing compared to Gnome. I can customize every little bit to my likings. Now I look back and Gnome seems very restrictive to me.
tl;dr: Got tired of Unity and tried KDE again. Fell in love with it and never looked back.
With the recent announcement of Ubuntu 11.04 shipping Unity instead of Gnome Shell by default, there has been a lot of backlash. I’m talking about all the knee-jerk reactions such as “I DON’T LIKE THE DIRECTION UBUNTU IS HEADED TIME TO SWITCH TO GENTOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!11”. It’s funny how people can react like this over an Ubuntu release that hasn’t even been released yet. Unity has been made the default interface on the netbook edition, but what needs to be understood is that it is kind of a “1.0 release” sort of thing. In the same way that the first release of KDE 4 was rough around the edges, Unity is rough around the edges. It is definitely not perfect. Even I have some complaints about it, but for the love of sanity, try it for more than ten seconds and make your decision based on actual experience and not nonsense. Also realize that the Unity that will ship with 11.04 will be much different from the current version. The developers are going to get a lot of feedback during this release cycle and will improve upon it.
Transitions can sometimes be a bit uncomfortable. We’ve been though this many times before. As I mentioned before, when KDE 4 was initially released there were many, many complaints. Now all I hear is how nice KDE 4 is. When PulseAudio was released it caused a lot of problems for people. Over time though it has greatly improved and I would even dare to say that it now works for most people most of the time. When Ubuntu first released Notify-OSD, there was a lot of outcry about that but died down after a while. Maybe because people become used to it or *gasp* prefer it to the old notification-daemon. Unity will follow in a similar fashion. Transitions can be bumpy but everything turns out OK in the end.
Some other things to consider:
- Gnome Shell will still be in the repositories and easily installable.
- Gnome 2.x will still be in the repositories.
- Unity is not replacing Gnome 3
Give Unity a chance before writing it off and don’t spread FUD.