desktops / digital lifestyle / great companies doing silly things / linux / ubuntu

Canonical’s Unity continues to degrade user experience

I recently needed to take a screenshot of a very buggy Firefox page on Ubuntu’s Unity (I know, I know, more on how I ended up on that later). So, I hit Alt-Printscreen. Joy, right? Well, first try I got the wrong window. My bad. So I make sure I have the highlight correct, and do it again. Joy, right? No. I got some “type in the command here” prompt, a little searching finds it is called HUD (heads-up display). This Thread has a gsettings fix (turn off HUD), but entering it on a command line doesn’t take immediate effect. Logging out and in is NOT an option because, of course, the screen I need to capture simply won’t exist any more.

This Thread has a workaround, that, unfortunately, does nothing for me, and by nothing, I mean there’s no real response, and no screen captured.

So, D’oh, I run Screenshot from the menu. It runs, I select Window, and then nothing. So I run it again, and it does not come up. After a few tries I do the “Vista Check”. Sure enough the window is under Firefox. And, it captured a screenshot! A screenshot of… the HUD.

So I do it again, this time it comes up on top, and… the buggy screen I needed to capture has timed-out, and I have a perfectly sane looking logout screen. Now the developers get to exist in their blissful world of bug ignorance for another week until I track down their bug and capture it.

Thank you, Canonical.

PS This instance of Ubuntu/Unity only exists because I needed to get some quick imagemagick processing of a boatload of pictures on a Windows box, and the quickest way to get there was to install vmware player and bring up a supported Linux and do it in a shared directory. I have a set of hacks to get Mint to integrate well with vmware, but simply didn’t have the time to bring them from home and go through the process. Now I have to decide whether to trash this instance of Ubuntu or hack it into usefulness. (And by “hack it” I mean “replace Unity with a useful UI that can fulfil basic user needs”.) The launchpad bug is here.

PPS Props to the Imagemagick crew.

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