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I have been debating writing about this since we are mainly a gaming news site (I should really setup another site for all the other Linux news I want to write about!), but Canonical switching back to GNOME on Ubuntu is very big news for everyone.

Question: Is there any interest in me doing a separate site to cover general Linux news?

Mark Shuttleworth, Founder of Ubuntu and Canonical wrote a rather shocking blog post announcing that Ubuntu 18.04 will officially drop the Unity desktop environment. If you didn't hear about it due to living under a large rock, let that sink in for a moment. Ubuntu is dropping a desktop environment they've worked on for years and poured tons of resources into building and rewriting for Unity 8.

I've had some time to let the news sink in now, after initially thinking it was a late April fools joke, when in reality it's very real and it makes perfect sense.

Unity was part of a long-term plan for Canonical with Ubuntu as part of their convergence strategy, which ultimately failed to gain any real traction. There's only so much time and money you can put into something when it's not giving you the results you wanted and it seems Canonical is in need of investors, as it turns out it has had to cut its workforce.

This now means there's going to be a little less fragmentation when it comes to the Linux desktop too. For all the good it does having lots of choice, having likely the biggest desktop-Linux distribution use a more standard desktop will help many things. For one thing, developers will no longer have to work around Unity/Compiz specific issues in games. It will also help the stability of GNOME Shell too, since they have even more people using it and working on it thanks to this.

This, in turn, makes Ubuntu go back to what made me originally love it. A polished GNOME desktop experience released every 6 months with the latest and greatest with a little extra love and polish thrown in for good measure. A good, solid desktop experience to introduce people new to Linux with. To me, it sounds fantastic again.

As expected, Unity 8 looks like it will be carried on by a few developers. Will be interesting to see if this actually gains any traction, or if it will fade away with little interest. Personally, I don't see any need to continue it, we have enough desktops already with GNOME Shell, KDE, Xfce, Budgie, LXQt, Cinnamon, MATE and the list goes on and on. Enough already I say, they all vary a lot in terms of features and time could be better spent on many others parts of the Linux desktop now.

Finally, I'm still very happy after switching from Ubuntu to Antergos. I've now settled with the GNOME Shell desktop with two extensions and it's glorious:
image
I couldn't imagine having to go back to PPAs again to get extra software, my love for the Arch AUR is never ending. Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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102 comments
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Kimyrielle 7 April 2017 at 4:15 pm UTC
Good to see Unity go. Why they thought Unity was a good UI is beyond me. I always thought it made things more complicated instead of easier (Hint: If you display a window menu on top of the screen instead on top of the window, the mouse pointer will usually have to move -longer- to get there).

Even better to see Mir go. I have still no idea why Canonical thought dumping resources into Mir would be a good idea when they could just have worked with Wayland instead. This move now brings Ubuntu back closer to other mainstream Linux distros and this is good for everyone.

I like Ubuntu because it's a solid Linux distro, but I don't necessarily want them to do things dramatically different for no good reason. Like...arranging the window controls on the left hand side of the window, when really everyone expects them to be on the right hand side.
DoctorJunglist 7 April 2017 at 4:29 pm UTC
Well, this news was unexpected.

I wasn't a huge fun of Unity, but it had some nifty features, like HUD or Global Menus - maybe they'll find a way to make them work in GNOME 3 now.

I'm really disappointed that they dropped the whole convergence idea. Unfortunately, I can't say that it was unexpected as Canonical has a long history of picking up and dropping projects frivolously, and I had a bad feeling they'd drop phones as well...

I was really looking forward to owning an Ubuntu phone as well - Android really needs a strong competitor, preferably a Free (as in freedom) contender (personally I hope Replicant OS picks up some steam one day).

It's really odd to me that they're dropping it now, when Google already started implementing this concept in practice (eg the new multitasking capabilities in nougat) and most likely will be moving towards convergence.

Can't they rebase the whole Ubuntu phone on top of GNOME 3 and Wayland ? That'd be awesome, but unlikely to happen.

QuoteQuestion: Is there any interest in me doing a separate site to cover general Linux news?

Personally, I'm really interested in a good site like this. Gamingonlinux is a real quality blog, so a great general Linux news blog would be welcome.

As long as it doesn't interfrere with running gamingonlinux, I'm all for it.

Just be sure to post an article about it, once it comes out, so we can check it out.


Last edited by DoctorJunglist at 7 April 2017 at 4:33 pm UTC
STiAT 7 April 2017 at 4:42 pm UTC
For GoL and a "linux-news-site":
I wouldn't need one.

On the countrary:
If he does it, and does it good, he may gain traction of more than just linux gamers (and we're just a portion of the linux users. A rather small one I'd guess).

Comparing it to "phoronix" or similar, if the news-site is "n00b friendly" or even friendly for non-graphics-kernel-people adding enough technical background, I do not see many sites covering it that way. Looking at phoronix - they seem to expect everyone knowing what "VK_KHR_push_descriptor was added as a way to allow descriptors to be written into command buffers." means. I personally know what that means, but probably not too many of us do. Though, what I do not know is what would be the alternative to VK_KHR_push_descriptor, since I didn't use Vulkan yet and I'm not familiar with the API. Okay, that would probably only be interesting for me, but what "descriptors to be written into command buffers" means a few more probably would like to know...

And now I want my well deserved friday beer :-).


Last edited by STiAT at 7 April 2017 at 4:44 pm UTC
Redje 7 April 2017 at 4:54 pm UTC
I like the idea of new linux tech site, I hope you can make it more casual compared to phonorix .

I have mixed feeling about ubuntu dropping unity, altho unity7 has issues, I like the simplicity that it has.
The casual people that I showed Ubuntu most of the time like it more then other distro's because of the simplicity.

I hope Ubuntu 18.04 will keep the unity7/8 feeling. Imho it's important for ubuntu to keep its simplicity.
minj 7 April 2017 at 5:09 pm UTC
Good riddance, Mir. I am glad to have not known you.
STiAT 7 April 2017 at 5:33 pm UTC
RedjeI like the idea of new linux tech site, I hope you can make it more casual compared to phonorix .

I have mixed feeling about ubuntu dropping unity, altho unity7 has issues, I like the simplicity that it has.
The casual people that I showed Ubuntu most of the time like it more then other distro's because of the simplicity.

I hope Ubuntu 18.04 will keep the unity7/8 feeling. Imho it's important for ubuntu to keep its simplicity.

They broke once, they'll break it another time. Even though, customizing gnome3 today to look like unity isn't that complicated anymore. The issue is that GNOME likes to break stuff with each release on their shell, so that could become an issue delivering a unity-like experience.
Duke Takeshi 7 April 2017 at 6:38 pm UTC
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To the question of a general linux news site: I think it depends on your personal resources, Liam.
If you think you can make a high-quality site without impairing the quality of gamingonlinux at the same time I'd give it a go. I think there's also a "market" for that too.
For example, I currently use omgubuntu for general linux news, because the site is well done and the information given isn't too techy. However, Joey Sneddon pointed out in one of his recent posts that the majority of his readers are actually using Arch linux based distributions, not ubuntu-based ones. Since you became such a fan of Antergos recently, I bet you could easily do something like an OMG! Arch! - Website. That would be super awesome.
On the other hand, given the information in your latest post concerning Patreon funding, I got the Impression that you already commit quite a large amount of your time to gamingonlinux. In the end I think it really depends on the question if you think you have the extra time to do a website like this and can live up to your own quality standard with it.
mirv 7 April 2017 at 7:06 pm UTC
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News like this does, directly or indirectly, relate to gaming: if it affects the OS and surrounding ecosystem, it will affect gaming on that OS.
I would welcome non-gaming-specific news as well, if you think you can manage it. Maybe introduce it slowly and gauge the response. Either way, I say give it a go and see.
Hamish 7 April 2017 at 8:07 pm UTC
snizzoYes please. Just don't be like phoronix and turn this website into a kde, mesa, manjaro, amd etc. zealots center. It's so annoying just reading over 9000 news about the latest commit on amd mesa and all of the hate towards nvidia in general (given that's still the best vendor hardware/software for gaming on linux).
So basically you are complaining that Phoronix covers topics that you hate? And then you turn around and complain about other people being haters?

I think you need to do a little introspection here.


Last edited by Hamish at 7 April 2017 at 8:07 pm UTC
citizenphnix 7 April 2017 at 8:23 pm UTC
QuoteQuestion: Is there any interest in me doing a separate site to cover general Linux news?

I think there are a lot of quality sites out there already covering Linux news generally. There aren't a lot of sites like this that give really high quality Linux gaming news. I'd vote to stay focused on this as it fills a really specific and growing need. When there is a really big story like this, you'll probably cover it anyway since it does have implications for Linux gaming. No harm in throwing in some general Linux ecosystem news into the mix of this site, but I could see harm in splitting your resources by going to broad.
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