My next computer may be a portable device - the size of a phone or a tablet, with a tablet or phone UI on its touchscreen. When plugged on a 22" 1920x1080 monitor, and a keyboard and mouse, it will display a classic desktop UI ont this new screen - _designed for efficient use_ with a keyboard, mouse and big screen. I really can't see the point in these weird UIs, Unity and Gnome3. Touchscreens and keyboard/mouse are so different. Why try to unite? Just try to type shell commands on an Android SSH client via a touchscreen interface.
Corners and borders of screen are easy to hit with a mouse. It is impossible with a touchscreen to hit the top left pixel. A touchscreen interface needs big targets - easily hittable, not hidden corner stuff. So strategic things, such as "Close the window", "Minimize" or the main menu should not be designed the same for both types of UIs.
Scrolling? It is always hard to scroll on a touchscreen, you never know if the gesture will be interpreted as a click or a scroll. So how are we supposed to do that? Swiping between the icons? A scroll bar is usable with a touchscreen, not with a mouse. The scroll bar serves as an indicator of position when using a mouse, which has a wheel.
Netbooks should behave this way. Cool to save vertical space and such for this niche hardware. But don't make it the default for 22" screens! Different hardware means different paradigms/expectations and different UIs.
I can use any desktop environment, provided:
- I can run Vimperator in,
- I can run Konsole in,
- It has a handy launcher to start the above when I log in.
- I can switch between the two without even thinking of it.
- It feels _fast_
This last point is the worst. I started with KDE3, when they got mad I went to XFCE, Fluxbox, then Gnome 2, and now I use LXDE. My 8GB-Corei7 with KDE4 feels slower than KDE3 on my old 512MB-P4 ????? Now software growth has outpaced transistor breeding on silicon.
I am a bit disappointed. "Let's see in two years" am I thinking. But that was exactly what I thought when KDE4 got released, and still, KDE3.10 on P4 is still snappier than 4.6 on a i7.
These heavyweight modern desktops look great. Nice colors, nice ideas. Why can't I use them? Are they more than concept-art?