On the periphery of the Linux community there is a rather large number of
"conservative bikeshedders". Each and every change that's introduced
within the field of vision of this group is met by essentially the same
response: screams of bloody murder!
Ubuntu has "innovated" by running the gauntlet of neighsayers release upon
release and emerged essentially unscathed. Ubuntu is a widely popular
distribution despite contentious features like fast-boot (Upstart), working
audio (Pulseaudio), desktop effects (Compiz), minimal configurability
(Gnome), and, now, a "fresh" look-and-feel.
This is not going to be the last change in Ubuntu so this is not the last
time we are going to be reading this particular article. What's next? I
suspect Zeitgeist integration on the top-right of the window, and we know
Gnome Shell is just around the corner. So six months from now, September
2010, LWN greets us with "Ubuntu and Zeitgeist" or "Ubuntu and Gnome Shell"
and the same cast of characters is once again lamenting the passing of the
"good old days."
The flipside is that it's likely the exact same group who would be
bemoaning the lack of innovation, the stagnancy of the distribution, if
these more visible changes were not being made... and then I'd be writing
this comment about the large number of "liberal bikeshedders" in the