Resistance to change

Linux is at a turning point in its development. Linus Torvalds has just announced the next major kernel release will be version 3.0. And there’s GNOME 3. And then to throw some more into the mix, Unity with Ubuntu – in which Canonical is pushing ahead with development despite user resistance.

It seems we are entering a generation of young Linux users coming through the community that have a strong resistance to change. Change is innovation. And innovation is improving on the previous. At least that’s the way I try to view it!

So why are we seeing this new breed of Linux users so resistant to change? Is it because they are seasoned MS Windows users who have recently migrated to Linux and are stuck with old computing and desktop environment habits? Or is it the fact that the only desktop environment they have used has been GNOME 2 and it is what they believe to be a good desktop environment?

The truth is GNOME 2 was and still is a good desktop environment to use in Linux. But it’s also getting a little long in the tooth and starting to show its age. GNOME 3 should be viewed as a desktop refresh for GNOME users. And it should also be viewed as a more suitable environment for the computing tasks of today users.

While the more advanced and seasoned Linux users will simply mold and customize their Linux box to perfection and make it operate the way they want it to. After all, that’s what Linux is great for. At least it can be molded to suit any personal taste for any user. But the user has to have the will to make the change(s) in the first place.
Linux is free and open-source, take advantage of it. Embrace it.

While there has been no great announcement for drastic change from the KDE development team, they seem to be intent on sticking with the more traditional feel and layout of their desktop environment.
My suggestion to the stubborn GNOME 2 users who are resisting the change and innovation and don’t wish to give GNOME 3 or Unity a fair go, perhaps look at migrating to KDE, if you have not done so already. And if that doesn’t float your boat, there’s plenty of other desktop environments out there readily available for you to install.

Personally, I’m happy to be part of the development revolution that the Linux Community is currently entering. It’s fresh. And it’s exciting. And as long as I can have my Terminator Bash shell and Emacs window open on a cool and snappy desktop environment interface, I will remain a happy Linux user.


About foxmulder881

Head Supervisor for Fusion Linux.
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12 Responses to Resistance to change

  1. Linux is at a turning point in its development. Linus Torvalds has just announced the next major kernel release will be version 3.0.

    No he didn’t, chucking Linux 3.0 into a post about Gnome 3 is misleading because it’s not “major” in any common sense of the word. It might have just as well been 2.6.40. See for details. Snippet:

    So what are the big changes?

    NOTHING. Absolutely nothing. Sure, we have the usual two thirds driver
    changes, and a lot of random fixes, but the point is that 3.0 is
    *just* about renumbering, we are very much *not* doing a KDE-4 or a
    Gnome-3 here. No breakage, no special scary new features, nothing at
    all like that. We’ve been doing time-based releases for many years
    now, this is in no way about features. If you want an excuse for the
    renumbering, you really should look at the time-based one (“20 years”)

  2. foxmulder881 says:

    Perhaps my use of the word “major” was a little inappropriate for this article. What I should have said was “next kernel release”.

  3. Zoran says:

    Hi, i know that this is a weird place to ask for help but i managed to forget the password for the forums, the username there is the same as the one i use here in this post. I’m trying to reset my password, but i’m not receiving reset emails from you, is there some kind of problem on your end?


  4. Davide Repetto says:

    IMHO most of the resistance to gnome3 is because it is not really ready for general conumption. It is still too awkward to use, very far from polished and generally it adds several layers to many that used to be very straightforward.
    I’m using it and I thoroughly hate the gnome-shell. But I’m persistent and I’ll stick with it for now, hoping that most of the stuff it’s missing will come soon and that the fallback-mode gets better.

  5. etrusco says:

    “Change is innovation.” Not!
    Nobody is willing – even less “eager” – for changing their everyday workflow just for the sake of “freshness” or coolness; there must be a clear reason and a clear win.

    • Gareth says:

      Maybe the clear reason for the changes is to give the Gnome and Canonical developers a base to work off to accomplish the “clear wins” they are aiming for. If you have a crappy base, you cannot innovate well. Gnome 3 and even Unity to me are changes to provide the base for further development to push innovation.

      Personally, if you want things to EVER improve, expect there to be change. Innovation ALWAYS leads to change. Just because you did something one way doesn’t mean it should stay that way for the next 200 years.

  6. Kyle says:

    Have updated to 11.04 Unity and there are some issues – but the future is touch and that is where Unity is heading – Windows 8 is going to change the playing field and Linux should also have an offering.

    Unity is fine especially when combined with Nautilus-Actions – this makes it easy to always have the function or tool you need just a right click away.

    • foxmulder881 says:

      I don’t believe Microsoft and Windows 8 are going to change the development path at all for either Unity or Gnome 3. In fact, it seems Microsoft are playing catchup in the user-interface wars. Or if there is no war yet, there’s certainly one brewing.

      • Kyle says:

        Sure – not change Unity nor Gnome3 – Unity and Gnome3 are already moving in the right direction. The comment was really directed at the folk who are feeling uncomfortable with the new direction.

        War brewing – yeap – I agree – and the good thing is we will get better and easier to use software – there are many more older folk being introduced to computers and they struggle with the current UI’s and touch devices will dominate the next decade.

  7. nippur says:

    Started with redhat 4.0 in 1998, leaping from last ‘community redhat 9.0’ to fedora core 1, using fedora up to release 8 i always noticed innovation in the sense that under the hood things changed for the better. As of Fedora 9, you can say things were maintained and tuned, with some very nice innovations and solutions in directions *all* OS’s needed to develop, simply coz the world changed. I loved Fedora.
    Fedora 15, however, has nothing to do with innovation in that sense, it really hasn’t. GNOME3 is a leap all right, but one over the cliff. Innovation for the sake of innovation is *not* improvement, so don’t go for it, it is just not ‘Linux’. Free and open source software development was always used to address real problems, not cosmetic ones.
    Seams that our Project is loosing that.

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