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Unity / Gnome3

Discussion in 'Computers' started by bluenova, Apr 5, 2011.

  1. bluenova

    bluenova OK Computer
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    Has anyone been testing Canonicals Unity or Gnome3?

    What are your thoughts, what do you think of this style of desktop?

    GNOME 3 - Made of Easy
    Unity | Unity

    I tried Gnome3 in its early days but I think it's come on a long way since then so I really need to give it another try soon.

    I've been using Unity on a daily build of Ubuntu Natty for the last couple of weeks and have been amazed at the progress it's been making in such a short time. I'm still not 100% sold on it. Supposedly this style of desktop is more intuitive and user-friendly and although I have been getting quicker at using it since I've given myself a chance to adapt to it I still find when I am working with a lot of open windows it can be slow to find the window I want compared to just clicking a button on a taskbar.

    My current desktop:

    [​IMG]
     

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  2. dots

    dots Android Expert
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    I've tried both Unity on my cr-48, didn't go full in depth with it. Too much eye candy for me and seems little harder to navigate. Haven't used it in 2 months so my memory isnt the greatest. Maybe newcomers to linux will like it.

    Gnome3 on the other hand. I don't like it at all. To me it would be better for a laptop/netbook but for a desktop and my preferences won't work. No minimize/maximize button (yes i know you can access them the traditional way but still.) The lack of a taskbar gets me. Not very customizable. Maybe in the future they will have more customization and i would be willing to give it another shot.

    For now i'll stick with my Arch Linux using Gnome2

    [​IMG]
     
  3. baillou2

    baillou2 Well-Known Member
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    The Aloha State on a smallish island...
    I've tried it out on ubuntu 11.04 with a live usb. I didn't mess around with it too much. But like you said, the lack of a taskbar is frustrating. It's hard to spot at a glance where your windows are.

    I do like the applications lay out though. I thought at first that it was stupid, but it was very easy to just bring up the icon and then type what I was looking for and it found it quickly. It seems that Unity is a little easier to use from the keyboard without a mouse, which I like.

    Alas I'm not entirely sold on it either. I think I'll dual boot for a while before deciding to switch over. I hope canonical integrates more options and customizeability in the future.

    I'm also seriously considering going straight up Arch as well, so I'll have to decide: unity or gnome shell? Hmmmm.

    p.s. KDE is out of the question. I just don' like it. :p
     
  4. mikedt

    mikedt 你好
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    Tried it on my netbook, didn't like it at all. Like others, I found the lack of a proper taskbar to be frustrating. Worse the immovable big icons bar down the left of the screen, I found this to be extremely wasteful of screen real-estate, especially so on a 1024x600 netbook screen.

    Programme launcher appeared to be a complete mess. Made it very difficult to find the applications I needed, had web-links to useless stuff like Facebook and Twitter. With no obvious way to remove them or reconfigure launcher layout.

    Currently using Linux Mint running GNOME 2, with single taskbar at bottom of the screen, set to autohide when not required. This I can configure to exactly what I like and how I work.
     
  5. bluenova

    bluenova OK Computer
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    mikedt,

    When did you last try it because what you are describing sounds like the 10.10 netbook edition. Unity has been completely rebuilt since then, now using compiz instead of mutter. Icon sizes can be changed and the launcher bar has an intelligent auto-hide so it is there when you need it but does not block other windows.
     
  6. ElasticNinja

    ElasticNinja Android Expert
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    I have been using 11.4 since February, and must say Unity is great
    I even moved the W7 taskbar to the same place :)
     
  7. mikedt

    mikedt 你好
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    Yes it was last month I tried it with Ubuntu 10.10. Will give it another go when Ubuntu 11.04 goes final. Although I did just notice that GNOME 3 is officially released now, so I'm going to try the official GNOME 3 Suse Live distro of it this morning. Will post back what I find.

    That sounds good to me. :)

    What did find the most annoying with the launcher, I couldn't quickly navigate to my frequently used programmes like QQ, which I installed, amongst the Facebook and other junk. I had to manually type the name of it. Hopefully this is changed in the final release.
     
  8. mikedt

    mikedt 你好
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    ^^^^^^^

    Now I've had a chance to use GNOME 3 final for a few days now, from a bootable 'Live' USB stick.

    The programme launcher appears to be much better now and works very will, this I do like.

    However I still have one major criticism of the desktop environment: That is the seemingly immovable black top panel, prominently showing a clock and my username. With NO apparent provision to remove then or to autohide the top panel.

    I still find this to be wasteful of screen real-estate. If it was contextual to the application which is running, as on Mac OS X, I could probably accept it. However I see the top panel AND the application's own control panel like doubled-up. Worse, I do NOT want a clock showing all the time along with my username, when I'm using the netbook on a projector in the classrooms.

    So I'm back to my rather customised GNOME 2 desktop for the moment.
     
  9. bluenova

    bluenova OK Computer
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    This is how it works with Unity now. Global menu, all your app menus appear in the top bar like Mac OS instead of in the app. I like it when using an app fully maximised as the top bar is then being useful rather than just taking up space but when using a floating app I find it annoying having to move my focus/mouse all the way to the top of the screen to find the apps menu. Also if the app you want is not in the foreground (but still visible) you have to first click on the app to get it's menu up which can be annoying when using a few apps at the same time.
     
  10. mikedt

    mikedt 你好
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    gnome2firefox.jpg
    GNOME 2 with Firefox 4 maximised.

    gnome3firefox.jpg
    GNOME 3 with Firefox 4 maximised.

    To show what I mean about my seemingly immovable black top panel with clock on GNOME 3, see the above attached screen-shots. I often use the browser full-screen on a projector to show my ESL students English language websites. I do not want to be showing a clock and black panel along with the username on the screen. It's also taking up screen space as well, where one can see 'Join 260,000+ members' with GNOME 2 but it's off the bottom of the page with GNOME 3, because of the black top panel.

    On Mac OS X Firefox's 'File, Edit, View,...' are integrated into the top panel, so taking up less space, but here they're not.
     
  11. nkk

    nkk Android Expert
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    To be honest, I am dreading having to choose between Gnome 3 and Unity. I aboslutely hate the integrated File/Edit/etc options to the top bar. I also hate Gnome 3's ability to just get in my way of working (nothing specific yet, and this may just be a learning curve, but from what I have used it is just annoying to do anything in Gnome).

    Anyway, off to play with Gnome 3 some more.

    -Nkk
     
  12. mikedt

    mikedt 你好
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    I'm quite interested as to why I'm not seeing this in GNOME 3 when applications are maximised. I downloaded it from the GNOME 3 website as a live Suse USB stick, so it should be working as intended and I've not changed anything.

    GNOME 3 promises "DISTRACTION-FREE COMPUTING" and "GNOME 3 is designed to reduce distraction and interruption and to put you in control."

    Yes I would love to be able to lose the friggin' clock. The classrooms already have clocks mounted on the back wall, so the teachers can easily see it for lesson timing, but students have to turn their heads right round to see it. It's done like this to discourage student clock-watching.
     
  13. nkk

    nkk Android Expert
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    Sorry...I was not clear. I hate that about Unity.

    My big problem with Gnome 3 is the whole distraction free thing. Since I have the self control to not click on every little thing on my screen all the time, I really like have distractions on it, especially if they do something useful (the power inhibitor applet is a good example...I cannot get it to work with gnome 3).

    -Nkk
     
  14. bluenova

    bluenova OK Computer
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    I'm thinking more and more, I'd really like to see the top-bar go completely from Unity, and Global Menu with it. The only thing I like about Global Menu is that the menus are integrated into the top bar when an application is maximized. Well by getting rid of the top-bar the menus are at the top anyway so that sorts that.

    The notification area, clock etc no longer feel right where they are, they should move to the launcher and should be optional. the top-bar just really feels like a hang-on from the past and is really not needed with the new launcher.
     

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