Ubuntu 11.10 – Brave or Disappointing?

I find myself hesitant to consider upgrading to the next version of Ubuntu, and no it’s not because of the silly name (Oneiric Ocelot). It’s because I’ve just seen the list of changes and realised that Ubuntu simply isn’t a distribution that will give me what I need anymore. We are being presented with a complete removal of Ubuntu Classic (I called that one without needing to check the roadmap), forcing us into a corner with GNOME 3.2, Unity, and Compiz. As readers may have noticed, I have objections to using two out of those three technologies. I haven’t used the third yet (GNOME 3.2), but based on the screenshots I’ve seen it’s not promising.

This is an interesting moment for me, because it used to be that I’d be all over these upgrades. However, it seems that I’ve come to the age where the only important thing about an OS is that it lets me get things done quickly and without ceremony. Windows doesn’t fit this bill at work and unfortunately it’s becoming apparent that Ubuntu is determined not to as well. The big problem I have is that I’m not comfortable switching to a different distribution. Plus, the other members of the group use Ubuntu, and that opens me up to a whole world of subtle incompatibilities in the things we do. As things go, I’ll probably remain on Natty until forced to make a choice one way or the other. Who knows – maybe I’ll see someone on Oneiric and it’ll inspire me. I’m skeptical, but still hopeful.

But then there’s the silly name…

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