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Old 11-23-2011, 05:54 PM
Liam Proven
 
Default A task-centric desktop...

On 23 November 2011 17:05, M.R. <makrober@gmail.com> wrote:
> On 11/21/2011 01:57 PM, Liam Proven wrote:
>
>> So the smart Linux vendors have 2 choices:
>>
>> [1] Sign a pact with Microsoft to share software patents and not get
>> sued - e.g. SUSE, Xandros
>> [2] Or don't sign and change to a non-Windows-like desktop, ASAP -
>> e.g. Ubuntu, Fedora
>
> I'm not entirely convinced that a patent for something like
> "hierarchical launch menu" would not fall long before reaching
> the litigation as it obviously fails the "non-triviality"
> criterion.

I suspect it is something a *lot* more specific. E.g. a menu summoned
by a permanently-visible button in one corner of the screen, which is
anchored to the left/top end of a fixed panel, and is opened using a
single left click, which contains a mixture of data folders, help,
search, settings, and a subsidiary list of programs.

In my reading of a fair few S/W patents, they tend to be quite
remarkably specific. Vague generalities are no use - e.g. many
desktops have an app menu on a middle or right click on the blank
background.

> Be it as it might, I dislike it intensely when a supplier
> with whom I have a long and mutually trusting relationship
> changes a fundamental characteristic of a product for some
> external reason (shortage of commodity, cost of production,
> third-party patent...), and then tries to sell the change to
> ~me~ with the old "...just trust us, it's good for you" line.

Now *that* is an entirely fair and just objection. But in this case,
what else could Ubuntu do? Ubuntu is based on GNOME. The GNOME project
has discontinued GNOME 2 and replaced it with something wildly
different, new and unproven.

Now, you might well blame the GNOME project for this, but you can't
really blame Ubuntu for a problem caused by one of its upstream
suppliers.

Ubuntu already had its own UI, the Netbook Remix, which was, as it
developed, getting progressively simplified. You could watch this over
the course of 2009 and 2010: it went from 2 panels, left and right,
and a file manager mode, to 1 panel on the left, to just a "dock" on
the left. Maximus was developed to force windows to stay maximised and
merge their title bar and menu bar into the top panel, to help with
small netbook screens.

These clearly led towards Unity, before GNOME 3 was more than a mirage
on the horizon.

Ubuntu already had its own UI, its own desktop, some 3y ago. The GNOME
Project took its main default desktop away, so they just enlarged and
generalised their own one for desktop use.

It's a fairly sane, sensible and understandable development path.

--
Liam Proven • Info & profile: http://www.google.com/profiles/lproven
Email: lproven@cix.co.uk • GMail/GoogleTalk/Orkut: lproven@gmail.com
Tel: +44 20-8685-0498 • Cell: +44 7939-087884 • Fax: + 44 870-9151419
AIM/Yahoo/Skype: liamproven • MSN: lproven@hotmail.com • ICQ: 73187508

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