Ubunutu 11.04 initial impressions


So I intstalled Natty over the weekend, I am usually able to hold off for a total of 24 hours after a new release comes out before I really want to upgrade something.

Well I have been using Natty for 24 hours with the new Unity desktop and all. Well I can officially weigh in on Unity now. and the word is…meh.. Yeah, talk about anti-climactic. I switched back to Gnome classic after about 4 hours with Unity because it was just taking too long to do things in my mind. It was driving me crazy. Its not a bad design, not at all, but its such a divergence from what I am used to using that there was A LOT of overhead where I was just staring at the screen trying to figure out how to do something. Rather than provide an exhaustive list of things I wasn’t able to do let me just point out a couple.

Custom launchers. Yeah, in web development, the browser version matters. So I had to manually install FF3 in /opt and point to a special profile that I have all tuned for testing websites. Natty uses FF4, which not a lot of people are using yet. So I am flummoxed trying to figure out how to create a custom launcher for FF3 that is installed in a non-standard place.

Notification applets. They just don’t work in Unity. There are some that they custom build to work in Unity, but the standard Gnome applets and icons in the notification area don’t work, at all. You can’t click them and they are replicated when you have two screens. They just don’t seem very well thought out. There seems to be a lot of ‘not invented here’ syndrome going on.

I thought about trying Gnome 3 but I hear it totally breaks Unity. So I will probably hold off until a bit later, I will probably try Unity again at a later time. I needed to actually get some work done. 😉

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