Skype 4 for Linux

To be honest, at this point, I’m not sure why I’m even posting about this. I absolutely abhor Skype, and what it was and what it has become, but Google Hangout doesn’t cut it yet.

So Skype has released a new version for Linux, and it’s not beta anymore. That’s good news, hopefully it won’t hang my system any more.

All I can say for starters is I hope they don’t do what they did to the mac and windows version of Skype to Linux. Let’s just say the interface design could have been made by a child. Not only do they have a bloated feel to them, but it takes up a lot more space than it should. Somehow it felt like Skype had become an Office product.

Regardless, the Linux version jumps from 2.2 Beta to 4.0. That’s good news! Maybe they’ve streamlined it, and cleaned it up!

First thing I check is the memory imprint: Skype shows off

Oh, so it’s 20MB more than the Linux 2.2 Beta version. I was not expecting that. Hell, it uses more space than my window manager! I haven’t used the new version of Skype enough, but I’m hoping that it won’t lock my system up any more at least.

One thing I was please (as much as one could be pleased) is that they didn’t change the main screen:

No change is better than inevitable shit change

I was expecting the “single window madness” to kick in here, but apparently Skype is sticking to what it had before. Kudos for not breaking what worked (e.g. by adding the “single window madness”), but it still sucks that they didn’t fix anything with it in the first place.

Well, at this point I was saying to myself: “Well, they didn’t break it. I might as well use it, since it will probably be pushed into the repos at some point anyway…”

And then I started a chat with someone.


For reference, this is the upper left portion of my monitor, and what you see is a window without any window decoration or file menu.

Now, chrome does this goofy thing where they removed the menu bar and put it in a wrench, and I am not a hypocrite here just because I use chromium: I hate the wrench. But this is not about Chrome, this is about Skype.

I have no idea how else to say this:

Dear designers: Stop screwing with the window decoration, let the window manager handle it. That’s what it’s there for.

If you really have to do something with it, offer a fallback option.

Edit: As an addendum, this was running under openbox on Ubuntu 11.04. This is what it looks like on 12.04: Interesting So, the window should be decorated, but a lot of what I said still stands.

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