Ubuntu Unity breaks Bluefish

In Bluefish, Linux desktop, open source, Ubuntu, Unity on July 13, 2011 by oli4444

Slowly more bug reports are arriving that can only be reproduced on Ubuntu 11.04 with Unity. Ubuntu 11.04 with the Gnome shell, or with classic gnome are not affected. This is kind of difficult for an application developers perspective. I personally don’t care too much about Unity, I like Gnome shell better so I switched to Fedora. But a lot of users do use a default Ubuntu install, so they will have to deal with Unity. And that’s why I have to deal with Unity bugs…

Menu synchronisation is broken

If you open two documents in Bluefish, and you disable for example “Show right margin” for one document, and you switch to the other document (which has show right margin still enabled) , the menu toggle option is disabled. It seems that unity was not designed for applications that change menu toggle options without the user clicking on it.

Snippets menu is totally gone

If you use the snippets plugin, Bluefish has two menu bars. Unity seems to disable all menu bars to show them on the window border. But the snippets menu bar isn’t showed in the window border… It seems that Unity was not designed for applications that have multiple menu bars.

No menu when full screen

A popular feature for netbooks is the fullscreen mode of Bluefish. But if you hit F11 with unity, there is no menu. Not really a killer bug, since unity already optimises the vertical screen space, so fullscreen makes little difference.

All recent menu entries open the same file

… which renders the recent menu quite useless. Always the top-most entry in the recent menu is activated, regardless which entry is clicked.

Weird user interface shifting

This one puzzles me. I can’t really describe it, so I made a screencast. Every click on the user interface moves the user interface from left to right. You can’t open a file by doubleclicking. You can’t click a button, you’ll end up with the buton next to it.

It doesn’t happen all the time, but once it happens it is really annoying!

What to do now?

I filed some bugreports for unity, but I haven’t seen a response yet (there are quite a few bugreports, so I can image the developers have a busy time). What should I do as application developer? Tell users to avoid Ubuntu with Unity?

18 Responses to “Ubuntu Unity breaks Bluefish”

  1. “Tell users to avoid Ubuntu with Unity?”

    Write a wiki page in GNOME Live with the list of bugs you reported and point them to a alternative desktop environment and recommend avoiding Unity. You shouldn’t be forced to care

  2. the one with the shifting might be related to having a minimum window width > screen width in fullscreen mode.
    does it happen if the window is detached from the panel

  3. Hi Olivier, do you have a link to the bugs? I can have Ted take a look.

  4. I haven’t seen this bugs myself (haven’t had to do any webdev in bluefish for a bit); but my guess is it is fringe cases.

    I would be unwise (and unfair) to tell users to avoid Unity (for example, I don’t like/use GNOME Shell, but I don’t tell people not to use it).

  5. Well, as much as I like Bluefish, the only other free application I know that kinda has multiple menus is Gpick. So clearly you are in minority 🙂

    IMO, 2nd menu is a very unusual solution for access to snippets. I don’t really use Unity, but I wouldn’t mind some other solution for snippets anyway.

    • Bluefish 1.0 had a “custom” menu. In the development for 2.0 we replaced that with a sidebar. Many users requested the return of the menu, so we made the sidebar also accessible with a menu (so the second menu is optional).

  6. Hey, missing the bugs is probably my fault. I’m surprised that you’re having so many issues. But a quick fix to disable menus for a specific application is to clear the UBUNTU_MENUPROXY environment variable. That can be put in the desktop file for any application like “env UBUNTU_MENU_PROXY= bluefish” and that will disable it.

  7. Don’t forget about Gnome3 fallback mode. It’s pretty cool these days. I have it working more or less like my gnome 2 desktop now.

  8. I dunno. Ubuntu modifies upstream GTK quite a bit (I might even go so far as to say “tries very hard to break it”), so I think it’s fair to point out that you don’t support your app running under Ubuntu-GTK.

  9. I really don’t like what Ubuntu has done so far. Unity ? great idea, great software; implementation details (they hack Gtk+, and so on) really bad news for everyone. I like Unity, and I’m not using ity just because I don’t like the attitude of “If we use this in our distribution, and anyone wnat this, has to use our distro” and another bunch of ramps I could be saying all night long

  10. Hi Olivier,

    I’ve pointed out the compiz bugs to the compiz maintainer, he’s going to have a look.

    In the meantime here’s the bug report to follow for the blacklisting:


  11. (compiz maintainer here)

    Could you file a bug for the user interface shifting and let me know what screen resolution you’re using?

  12. Good to see such active concern for bug fixing, even for poor old Bluefish! RC

  13. Did you file a bug for the recent menu issue? I noticed this issue with OpenShot Video Editor on Ubuntu 12.04, but am pretty certain it is not an issue with OpenShot.

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