Ubuntu is getting closer to Windows and Mac (in a dumb way)

I’ve always thought that the Ubuntu team “got it right”: I found Unity beautiful, the whole integration of different pieces among different projects, the simplifications and removal of unnecessary options was good. Then I started noticing the over-removal of things. First went CTRL-Alt-Backspace, the very useful combo that kills the windows server. I almost never need it but when I needed I realized it was disabled by default some time ago. I didn’t complain too much as the feature is pretty advanced and I have found myself killing the session unintentionally hitting the combo with fat-fingers a couple of times. So I thought the choice made sense. But today the line between simplification and dumbificationΒ  has been crossed: Ubuntu Raring Ringtail 13.04 has disabled the virtual workspaces by default.

Today I upgraded to Ubuntu 13.04. At reboot I wanted to start my apps in the usual workspaces : 1 for the browser and mail, 3 for xchat… but OMG! CTRL-Alt-DOWN doesn’t work… Quick search first to learn what the heck those things are called then the sad truth: workspaces are disabled! What a moronic choice to disable them by default. Guys, come on! I understand making things simple, but dumbing down on Mac and Windows on their limitations is a stupid choice.

To enable them again there is a settings in the panel as described on Ask Ubuntu. I feel like my respect for Ubuntu’s team is at its lowest point ever and this makes me unhappy.

I think removing the workspaces is the dumbest idea ever, on par with grouping windows from the same app in the Alt-Tab cycle. Please somebody explains why. Is this because Microsoft doesn’t have workspaces, so we should copy them, right? Wrong! What’s next? Disable paste with middle-click? I might as well go buy a Mac then or learn how to live with Windows if I have to learn and live with moronic systems.





  1. Well, just imagine non-geeky non-techy guys switching to Ubuntu it is very confusing at start. May be it is because of that they disable work-spaces by default. I just hope that they don’t do more changes like this. Although agree with you on how dumb this release can get.

    • Even if disabling workspaces is for new Ubuntu users, why on earth does the installer disables them for *old* users like me during the *upgrade* (not a fresh install)? I found this bug https://bugs.launchpad.net/ayatana-design/+bug/868423 where the rationale for this move is explained… The answer is not convincing and there is no evidence to support the decision. If this was my product I would have preferred to keep the option and worked on teaching new users how to make advantage of it: you gain users by showing the power of a tool, not by dumbing it down to the lowest common denominator.

  2. I used unity once, it wasn’t my laptop and there was tons of notifications. That gets me crazy, notifications for emails (mostly spam), notifications for tweets (spam again), gTalk notifications, facebook notifications, facebook chat notifications.


    tons of windows opened in a single workspace. ARGH! 😑