Response to “9 features Ubuntu should implement”

This article came up on Digg today. It sounds like pathetic whining from a Mac fanboy–most, if not all, of it is patently absurd.

Feature 1: Weather on the desktop. First of all, there’s a taskbar icon for this. Second of all, I’m sure there’s a screenlet too. How much do you want?

Feature 2: Wallpapers that change over time. They already exist–natively in KDE, and there are several utilites for GNOME. And this is really the DE’s problem–not Ubuntu’s specifically.

Feature 3: Icon functionality. A lot of icons are already functional–I, for one, am a huge fan of how the icon for documents is the document itself. And really, who cares about how much space on a previously burned CD is being taken up?

Feature 4: Visual folder hierarchy. I feel like similar functionality can be achieved with the little file trees, but I begrudgingly admit that off the top of my head, I can’t think of how to do that in Ubuntu. There’s probably a utility that does it, if you know of one, say so in the comments. But again, who really needs this? I’m not sure I’d be willing to give it space on my HDD, to be perfectly honest…

Feature 5: Icons with messages. We do have a wide array of “emblems”, and you can also add specific notes under properties. Again, I feel like this is close enough to be a non-issue.

Feature 6: “A task bar more clean and orderly Icon”. I’m not one for making fun of people’s foreign language ability, but…I’m assuming this means “Clean and more orderly taskbar icons.” Um, unlike certain Redmond-based OS’s I can think of, we Ubuntu users have complete control over how our taskbars look. If you don’t like the arrangement of the icons, delete some, add some or move some.

Feature 7: Pre-installed media center. If Ubuntu came pre-installed with a media center, I’d have a fit, and then I’d remove it. But if you’re into that sort of thing, there’s Mythbuntu. Problem solved.

Feature 8:Animated post-installation introduction. This is in development.

Feature 9: Any other feature you can think of yourself. I feel like this is just a cheap writing trick since nine sounds a lot bigger than eight. Ten would’ve been nice, though…(I won’t be so bold to say that there aren’t ten features Ubuntu lacks, but…:) )

So I’m unimpressed. Ubuntu already has the majority of those features (or a close-enough analogue), that guy failed miserably in doing his homework before posting that, and even the things that Ubuntu doesn’t have are Linux/GNOME/KDE/Nautilus/Dolphin deficiciencies, not Ubuntu problems. I’m sorry that there are people like this on the Internet (but then again, what else is new?) but I’m very sorry something like that has 460 Diggs, and counting, and made the Linux/Unix front page. Chalk one up for FUD.


Edit:OK, now I’m angry. That post was some lame-o who took this “liberal translation” in Spanish, ran it through Google Translate, and posted it on his blog. The Spanish translation (which was actually done by hand (I know Spanish, in case you were wondering)) came from this, the original post (in English, no less). That claimed it had ten features (which resolves the questions I had about number nine), but the counting went 1, 2, 3, 5, 6-10. So it was really nine (talk about cheap writing tricks–miscounting!?!?!). The Spanish translation is completely understandable, but I can’t get over how LinuxPoison ran that through Google Translate and posted it–not even taking the time to fix obvious Engrish cases. And they’re making money off it! Unbelievable.


62 Responses to “Response to “9 features Ubuntu should implement””

  1. Steven says:

    Ubuntu actually kind of sucks, as do most Linux distros. They’ve gone absolutely no where in the last 5 years.

  2. abki says:

    something is broken in the template look at name-links.

  3. Jeannie says:


    i totally agree though, most of those features he said is something that already exists and is similar enough. You just gotta look for those programs -_-

    and i’d be very sad if a media center was preinstalled >_<

  4. abki says:

    @Snappy!: sweet !

  5. abki says:

    look for Gnome Main Menu in package manager if you don’t like the current menu or try gnome-do.

  6. Luis says:

    Gnome Main Menu sucks, it’s a great idea but poorly implemented.

    It’s like a bad copy of the Start Menu. I’m sure it could be so much better.

  7. Paquito says:

    “The Spanish translation is completely understandable, but I can’t get over how LinuxPoison ran that through Google Translate and posted it–not even taking the time to fix obvious Engrish cases. And they’re making money off it! Unbelievable.”

    Not true,it is a perfect spanish.
    La traducción esta en perfecto español y se entiende perfectamente.

  8. Timmy says:

    Paquito: ¿Y yo qué dijé?

  9. rbsfou says:

    OK, this will probably get lost in the sea of replies, but here are a couple of features I believe should be borrowed from the Mac, and a couple which would beat the other desktop OS’s!

    These i believe relate to fundamental usuability concerns which will put desktop users off, not silly bling to get them suckered in the first place…

    1. Remote Filesystems – There are currently implemented through gvfs. This is great if you are using a GNOME program, but there is plenty of software which isn’t.

    On OSX, any Samba or Appletalk shares are mounted under /Volumes, just like local mounts. They are *really* mounted, that is to say accesible from *any* process through normal file handling calls.

    What should happen is that the user’s mount request is passed through to HAL which will then use the appropriate kernel support (or in the case of ssh or ftp, an appropriate FUSE module could be used).

    Obviously a lot of consideration would need to be given as to where the filesystems actually get mounted to, and whether uid’s / gid’s need to be mapped. Also, i realize this would be a major re-design to GNOME, so i don’t expect this to happen overnight ;)

    2. If the user is an Administrator (In the ‘wheel’ group / or done using sudo?), and they copy/move files into a location they cannot access, instead of being outright denied (and having to resort to the shell or whatever) they should be allowed to authenticate with either the root password (for distros which do it that way), or their own password (via sudo). Or indeed another user / password (let’s say you are at a non-privileged user’s session trying to fix something).

    Let’s say you want to install a firefox extension for all users of the system. Or a ScummVM game. Wahetever – the point is, on the Mac, if you drop something where you technically shouldn’t, assuming you are an administrator, you can authenticate and the file copy /move proceeeds.

    The owner / group of the files / directories that get copied should be sensibly derived based on the owner / group of the majority of files in the destination directory (or indeed the directory itself).

    Also ‘take ownership’ should be implemented (for ‘administrators’) – it would be nice to not have to open the shell EVER for simple chown / chmod tasks! I don’t really know POSIX ACL’s, but i know Leopard has introduced support for them in the Finder, so this should be implemented too…

    3. Queued file copying/move when the destination filesystem is the same for a copy already in progress.

    I sometimes move some big files around, but i hate the thought of fragmenting my destination filesystem or slowing down the overall throughput of the copy due to context switching between the files.

    Which means i normally end up waiting for the copy to complete before proceeding to the next file.

    Obviously this behaviour should be optional and decided when the user ‘pastes’ or ‘drops’ (when a copy/move to that destination filesystem is already in process) – if you have a huge dvd image copying and want to chuck a few text files over, you shouldn’t have to wait for that…

    4. More nautilus extensions for common tasks (yes i know some of these exist already) – batch resize images, batch rename files, send file(s) to email client (my mother relies on this behaviour in Windows) etc – I know someone who won’t use Linux / Gnome / Nautilus on his Work PC because he is so used to Tortoise SVN !!

  10. abki says:


    1. Maybe I don’t understand everything, but it seems to me that this is already feasble on ubuntu. You con browser ftp/ssh/webdav as if there were locals, even edit files (at least with gedit)…

    3. File a bug on the nautilus bugzilla, this is possible to get a patch for that. But remember the gnome way of doing things : least options possible. The best way would be to find out for the user, if it’s better to queue “download/uploads” instead of doing them simeltanously…

    4. GNOME need a desktop wide plugin system which would bring GNOME to grow like firefox did. It’s in the loop, but it looks like it’s not easy to get that as a main concern in the future of GNOME.

  11. abki says:

    1. Avahi discovery should be working directly after install, which is not the case. Plus, I never saw any Samba shares on my Windows based local network which is boring…

  12. Jan says:

    I liked the work that has gone into the original post. Very graphical, well executed, refreshing to see. A good contribution! An excellent contribution. One you can read and take what’s there to learn.

    That alone is worth it not to be so negative in this post.

    You now sound like someone stepped on your toes. This suggests the problem is with you or Ubuntu.


    I personally have had very negative experiences with “Linux”, Ubuntu/Kubuntu including. Basic things not working, like the zip-utility, or a limit on files in the archive and no message about it, causing data-loss. Drag and drop not working properly. Editors that remove the BOM from utf8 files and keep their mouth shut.

    Once a distro installed over my Windows partition, no warning about that. In general they failed to install decently besides windows. I was left many times with a broken MBR (Fortunately we can now install in Windows and try).

    Problems abound. A screen not being properly initialized and being dumped for that, instead of simply using VESA. Recently I see Live CDs assuming default monitor resolutions that risk burning my monitor. Etc. I’m sick of my experiences, and behold, people see me as a linux proponent…

    Oh yeah, one more: you all have 4G of mem in your systems, 20Mbps internet, 6 drives and 4 cores. But try installing an app without the internet or on a dial-up connection. You quickly hit the abort button. But I bet you: it won’t work.

    There’s more, the system seems to feel it “owns” things. The CD isn’t returned to me on request. I must pray and go on my knees before I get it back. No risk of data-corruption, it’s read-only. Linux still insists. Anyway, regardless the motives, they are not valid, and only testify of a limited skillset.

    And then there’s the ‘start-menu’. The refusal to use the WIN-key, no navigation with the keyboard using the first letter. I must explicitly config instead of just using dragndrop. The menu goes too deep, it is tiring.

    The dialog boxes that won’t accept Enter or Esc.., often require an Alt key. The list of silly things goes on and on. Despite phenomenal promise, Linux acts like a looser.

    You see, the list of elementary things goes on and on, while you seem to work on Compiz. I don’t know if all of this applies to Ubuntu. I am going to try Jaunty, see if the F-word still applies.

    All my experience taught me to appreciate Windows. While I don’t. One thing I particularly like in Windows is this: to install an app I get to visit a site and see how they are doing. That’s great!
    Besides the fact that it just installs without updating my entire system. And after it installed, it isn’t buried 4 levels deep in the menu, and I despite that I get additional icons, allowing me to visit the site, do related tasks and do an uninstall.

    ‘nough said.

  13. [...] Linux/Unix front page that try to point out Ubuntu’s deficiencies. We’ve already had this one, and I’m reluctant to write the one I’m starting right [...]

  14. Elizabeth says:

    Rolling, Rolling, Rolling on new year’s eve :)

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