Don’t get me wrong, I love Ubuntu. I use it every day. In fact, it is the only operating system on both my laptop and netbook. I have divorced myself from Windows entirely, and no longer find myself wishing I could do things the “Windows way”. Actually, when I go to work and have to use Windows XP (government department so they are still evaluating Windows 7), I get very frustrated that it is slow (even on a relatively new machine) and has a number of annoying traits, including a lack of tabs in the file manger, Windows Explorer.
So why do I find Ubuntu 10.04 “Lucid Lynx” meh?
I have been running Ubuntu 10.04 since Beta 3. I have participated in the bug fixing process and resolving an issue with my laptop’s ATI video card. I have watched the default search engine go from Google to Yahoo and back to Google. I have watched the buttons to maximise, minimise and close windows, move from one side to another, then change their order.
However, I am still waiting for three two bugs to be fixed, all of which probably won’t be.
One: the default music player is Rhythmbox, but it can’t see a library that is accessed via a Windows share. So, for example, you have a NAS device which stores your music library. You’d think that putting in smb://NAS/music would work, but Rhythmbox can’t see it
Bug report here: https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/rhythmbox/+bug/273294
This is now fixed.
Two: The workaround to the above bug is to mount shares by putting an entry into the “fstab” file. However, if you, like me, use a laptop with a wireless connection then you run into a bug with Network Manager which doesn’t unmount these shares cleanly before shutting down, delaying the shutdown. I raised the first bug report for this issue more than two years ago, and it is still not fixed.
Three: This last one is fairly minor, but still annoying. The file manager, Nautilus, displays the path to what folder you are currently using in two ways: using “breadcrumbs” (which are just clickable icons displaying the path) or using the full path in a text field. There used to be a way of easily changing, but some moron upstream (meaning that it wasn’t an Ubuntu decision, but a Gnome decision, which has flowed down to Ubuntu) disabled that. I have used the workaround to get the text box to display permanently, but I shouldn’t have had to do this
Bug report here: https://bugs.launchpad.net/nautilus/+bug/508632
But this still doesn’t explain why I think Ubuntu 10.04 “Lucid Lynx” is meh.
Recently I set up Windows 7 for a client. I have been using Windows since Windows 95 and not much has improved: it’s still a long, involved setup and customisation process, requires lots of third-party software to secure it and protect against viruses, trojans and general malware and to get basic functionality such as a PDF reader. Generally speaking, I found the whole process as frustrating and annoying as it always was.
Even with the slightly annoying bugs mentioned above, Ubuntu installs and boots quickly (20 minutes to install, and about 30 seconds to boot on my old laptop), does everything that I want to do and does it with effortless style (see screenshot on right). Amongst other things, it has a PDF reader and an office suite built in, so pretty much everything I want to do works right “out of the box”.
And that’s why I find it “meh”. It is kind of boring, simply because it works so very well. Given the choice, I wouldn’t use any operating system except GNU/Linux.