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The new Ubuntu Metacity buttons on the left are still haunting the community. One thing is clear: no matter where the default buttons will be placed, new Ubuntu users will need an option for easily moving the buttons to the left/right. You just cannot make such a radical and unusual change without thinking to the new users, especially if you want to go mainstream like Ubuntu keeps trying (and failing).

Alex Eftimie (who is from the same country as me btw - Romania that is) has a really nice idea to include a simple option to the Gnome Appearance Properties, on the "Window borders" tab to allow the users to move the Metacity buttons to the left or right:

window borders move metacity buttons
(Image credits: Alex Eftimie)

He actually already implemented this to the Gnome Appearance Properties (you can get the branch with: bzr branch lp:~alexeftimie/+junk/gcc), but the only way this is actually useful is to be included in the default Ubuntu installation. A PPA, .deb file or whatever for this would be useless since a simple terminal command can do it, but the idea is for the n00bs to easily find a way to change this in the Ubuntu options.

This is of course just one of the many possible solutions. But I'm putting my money on the fact that nothing will be done regarding this. Why? If Ubuntu copy the OS X theme, they must really like Apple, right? The secret announcement of the new theme that came in the last day of the UI freeze and all that was also something very Apple-ish. Well then, just like Apple, they won't listen to what the users want and will do things their way. The only difference is Ubuntu was supposed to be open. But I really hope I'm wrong!

Update: and here is what Mark Shuttleworth has to say about this (posted this as a comment to the bug called: "please revert the order of the window controls back to "menu:minimize,maximize,close""):

The issue is not a bug, it's a difference of opinion on what is the best result. We may change it, or we may hold it.


This is related to the Metacity buttons only, not related to an option for moving them.