Very few people feel qualified to comment on kernel decisions but everyone feels qualified to comment on
design. The biggest issue for design in an area dominated by engineers is that engineers have no respect
for it. It's a nebulous process. There is no specific right or wrong.
But the effects are very real and individual decisions affect the whole. The majority of people in the Linux
space are mystified by Apple's success and, when looking at an OS/X desktop, don't see - or respect -
the work that's gone into it.
Apple's success of late has come directly from giving the designers more control. They believe that good
UI design and appearance actually matters. Shuttleworth has drunk the kool-aid and is trying to push in
that direction. Not to mimic the OS/X design but to mimic the emphasis on design.
Is the new design good? I have no idea. But what I do know is that a coherent vision and consistency are
critical to good design. You can't pick apart specific elements without damaging the whole. Like Apple,
they believe they have built a better mousetrap and they want you to alter yourself to use it. They believe
the design they've created has its benefits, but you'll never see them unless you give it a chance.
Rejecting the design out-of-hand is pointless. Nothing can ever improve if you refuse to accept change.
If you give it a fair shake and still hate it, fine. At least you tried it and can speak authoritatively about its
defects and failings.