blnchflr: Captain America Civil War (Ubuntu)
practice being a zebra ([personal profile] blnchflr) wrote in [community profile] linux4all2012-04-14 12:21 pm

Initial Ubuntu 12.04 Beta 2/Unity thoughts (x-posted from own journal)

When was Unity first offered in Ubuntu? Well, I spent the time since then worried about when I could no longer avoid it, and then it's easy-peasy to get a long with! I don't know if it's because:

1. It was always easy to use.
2. The usability of Unity has come along way since everyone hated it.
3. I needed the time to get used to the thought of something radically different from Gnome.
4. Having an iPhone and using a touchscreen part of the time at work, I've adapted to the idea of a touchscreen-aimed OS/UI.
5. I'm an incredibly open-minded and adabtable kind of person!

Either way, I like it! It works fine, I can find things easily enough so far. And? I can see this on a tablet! In fact, I really want a tablet with a Linux OS. Now.

Biggest complaint so far: Firefox seems slow, even though I have hardly any add-ons installed. You're not the fast thing you once were, Firefox. But you still do everything I want you to, and exactly how I want you to do it (only, a bit slow), so I'm not quite ready to give you up yet.

Oh, and I may look into whether it's at all possible to shift the Close/Minimize/Maximize buttons to the right in Unity, because they're even more far away now, all the way over there above the Dash.

I still have some files to transfer, settings to change, and keyboard shortcuts to set up, but I'll get to them, when things start annoying me too much, *g*. I have my most important files transferred, though, and consider this my primary OS now, even though I know you're not supposed to with Betas. But I'm biased because of how well the Lucid Beta worked, which I kept running for months after the final release came out, so… Eh, whatever.</Famous last words>
jewelfox: A portrait of a female anthropomorphic fox, with a pink jewelled pendant and a cute overbite. (Default)

[personal profile] jewelfox 2012-04-14 06:19 pm (UTC)(link)
I used Unity for a few months, and I was impressed with it at first because it's like they copied OS X's good features and put an original spin on them. But ...
  1. I don't think it makes a good tablet interface, because most of the touch targets are tiny and many are covered up/inaccessible depending on where you move the mouse. (I haven't tried it on a tablet, but it seems like a traditional menu hierarchy is the opposite of user-friendly for one, after using Android menu settings.)

  2. I don't think it makes a good desktop interface, because a lot of its features are undiscoverable and others are annoying, like the Unity menu sliding into view every time I try to hit the browser back button and overshoot with the mouse.

On top of that, it's really slow on my system.

The more I use GNOME 3, though, the more attached I get to it. The "Activities" view is like the perfect hybrid of an object dock and the Compiz Scale plugin (OS X's Expose), and makes virtual desktops so easy to use that I actually started using them. Plus it's mapped to a screen corner by default, the way I prefer it, and it's so fast OMG. The icons are super-pretty, the buttons and menus are clean and spaced-out enough to be touch-friendly, and the way they have the app menus under each title bar right now is kinda retro but they're trying to move the essential features of each app (that they can) into the large button at the top of the screen that shows the name of the app.

The most user-unfriendly things I've noticed so far are that there's no option to have it display today's date in the clock, and that you have to hold down Alt for it to display the "Shut down" option instead of just "Suspend." I think there either are or can be GNOME Shell extensions that fix both problems though.

Sorry, I'm working on getting accepted to the GNOME Women's Outreach Initiative and I'm a bit of a fangirl. >.>; I liked some things about Unity but yeah, give GNOME Shell another try maybe if you haven't already.
jewelfox: A portrait of a female anthropomorphic fox, with a pink jewelled pendant and a cute overbite. (Default)

[personal profile] jewelfox 2012-04-14 09:51 pm (UTC)(link)
GNOME 3 and Unity are "similar" in that they both change things around a lot. But Unity, to me, feels shiny and like it gives a good impression at first, but then that darned sidebar gets in the way for the twentieth time while you're trying to browse the web. Or you realize bringing up the menu takes a million times longer after your computer's been turned on for awhile, and was never faster than GNOME Do / Synapse to begin with. Or you get commercial apps that you haven't bought yet in your search results. Or you realize you're not using the top-level Unity menu with stuff like "Web Browser" and "Email" at all, and it's only there for newbs who don't even know how to bring it up.

They're changing some of this, yeah, but still. >.o

I guess I like GNOME 3 because when I gave it a chance, it was a lot like what I was already used to. Except shinier, easier, faster, and with a more tablet-like future.

[personal profile] dragonwolf 2012-04-15 07:32 pm (UTC)(link)
I was one of those that hated Unity, but for some weird reason, absolutely loved Gnome 3. I guess it just seemed more user-friendly right out of the gate, not the least of which because it was extensible/customizable where Unity was not (even if the extensions were/are "use at your own risk, because we haven't stablized the API yet").

[personal profile] dragonwolf 2012-04-15 07:29 pm (UTC)(link)
You can solve both of your user-friendly issues with Gnome Tweak Tool and an extension. The date in the clock thing is available without an extension, in the "Shell" menu of Gnome Tweak, and the Shut Down thing can be activated by installing the "Alternative Status Menu" extension (note - ASM crashes some versions of Gnome if you don't have a user picture, so if it crashes, enable a user picture by clicking on the user picture square in the status menu and setting it to something; this may be fixed by now, but I don't know what version Ubuntu is on, so just FYI).

And hai fellow Gnome fangirl! ^_^
jewelfox: A portrait of a female anthropomorphic fox, with a pink jewelled pendant and a cute overbite. (Default)

[personal profile] jewelfox 2012-04-15 07:30 pm (UTC)(link)
O hai. ^.^ I'm actually on Fedora right now, but that's useful to know. Thanks!

[personal profile] dragonwolf 2012-04-15 07:37 pm (UTC)(link)
I'm on Fedora, too, actually. Switched when Ubuntu first went to Unity (I don't know if it changed, but Unity was hugely hostile to dual monitors, making it pretty much a non-starter for me).

The ASM issue was something I ran into right after upgrading to Verne, so if you're on Verne, too, then it's definitely something to watch out for. Other than that, the repos have a ton of extensions (I just did "yum install gnome-shell-extensions*" to get them all, since their names are stupid long), and you can turn them on and off with Gnome Tweak Tool, making it super-easy. :)
jewelfox: A portrait of a female anthropomorphic fox, with a pink jewelled pendant and a cute overbite. (Default)

[personal profile] jewelfox 2012-04-15 07:55 pm (UTC)(link)
I'm on whichever Fedora 16 is. >.>b

I feel like the clock thing ought to be an extension, since that seems to be the "official" way of making GNOME Shell do stuff ... of course, gnome-tweak-tool seems to be the most convenient way of installing extensions right now.

And I'm a fan of Goldenwolf's art too. >.>b

[personal profile] dragonwolf 2012-04-15 08:23 pm (UTC)(link)
F16 is Verne. :)

As for the clock thing, you could consider it a "bundled in" extension. :D

And yes, Goldenwolf is a fantastic anthro artist.