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Mark Shuttleworth : “Ubuntu windows buttons will remain on the left”

By Ricky on March 17th, 2010 

Canonical introduced a new design for Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx, which is due for release this April. The new theme introduced a radical change by putting the windows control buttons on the left instead of the right. This has caused quite a controversy with a lot of users demanding that it be put back on the right again.

Mark Shuttleworth, the self proclaimed benevolent dictator of Ubuntu has responded to the criticism and have said that the buttons will remain on the left, atleast throughout the beta. He did not say anything about the final release, but if it is to be kept on the left throughout the beta, it is very unlikely to be shifted to the right in the final release. Shuttleworth justified the change by saying that moving the buttons to the left frees up space on the right where they can experiment with some "innovative" options for 10.10.

Here is exactly what he said:

Sam, thanks for making the PPA, and I encourage folks who prefer that
layout to use it, or to follow the instructions for setting the gconf
preference manually. It's great that you can do that.

The default position of the window controls will remain the left,
throughout beta1. We're interested in data which could influence the
ultimate decision. There are good reasons both for the change, and
against them, and ultimately the position will be decided based on what
we want to achieve over time.

Moving everything to the left opens up the space on the right nicely,
and I would like to experiment in 10.10 with some innovative options
there. It's much easier to do that if we make this change now. I
appreciate that it's an emotive subject, and apologise for the fact that
I haven't been responding in detail to every comment - I'm busy moving
house this week. But the design team is well aware of the controversy,
your (polite) comments and more importantly *data* are very welcome and
will help make the best decision.

When we have a celebrity bug report like this, it's a real exercise for
our values of communication, civility, and ubuntu. Thank you to those
who have pointed to the code of conduct when things get heated. And
thanks even more to those who FELT heated but didn't let it show 🙂


Do you agree with the point Shuttleworth is making?


Mark Shuttleworth : “Ubuntu windows buttons will remain on the left” was originally published on on March 17, 2010 - 1:31 am (Indian Standard Time)