Call for Natty Feedback!

Martin Pitt martin.pitt at
Thu Mar 10 08:37:31 UTC 2011

Jason Warner [2011-03-02  6:28 +1030]:
> * The look and feel

I really like the maximization of screen real estate. Reducing the
"overhead" to just one panel bar and eliminating menus indeed helps
quite a bit on smaller screens, and I also appreciate it on my 19"

> * Usability

I much prefer keyboard navigation over mouse, so with the dash search
actually working now, I'm actually faster finding a program I want to
use than browsing through the multi-level menu. Search is pretty
reliable and also surprisingly snappy. I do miss a quick keyboard way
of actually launching the found program with the keyboard, something
like "Tab, Enter" to select and launch the first hit (or cursor down,
Enter, or just Enter to launch the first hit if you don't need to
select). I hear that's being worked on, though. Once that works,
I find launching apps better than ever before.

I find the default contents of the dash rather uninteresting for me,
though. I wish I could remove some of the default shortcuts there, and
instead add my own. Is that planned?

I'm still missing some panel applets which I had before, in particular
the system monitor and the full gtimelog applet (it now has indicator
support, but that doesn't give you the time of the current task, just
the logo). But this is also a matter of getting used to it.

I never really used zeitgeist before, but it keeps a surprisingly good
track of the files I touched recently. I just wish the dash search
would also actually find files instead of just applications, but I
take it that's a bug? (It has a category "files" but "no matches

> * Stability (knowing that we are entering a heavy bug fixing time!)

Since Alpha-3 I have had surprisingly few crashes. Well done everyone,
you did an amazing job at fixing stuff in the last three weeks! (Before
that it was basically unusable for longer desktop sessions)

The issues that remain annoying for me are mostly compiz related: wild
displacement of windows (apparently in an effort to avoid overlapping
with the launcher), the non-working edge snapping of windows, and the
spillover of window shadows to the next workspace (leading to
focussing that window instead of operating controls in the current
window). Also, it still steals control (and pretty much all other)
keys from e. g. mumble, so I'm stuck with having no push-to-talk key.

On the launcher side, I still have cases were mouse-ing over the
Ubuntu logo only gives me a semi-transparent (ghost-like)
nonoperational launcher which sometimes even doesn't go away at all
any more.

But all those are bugs, and when looking at the current pace I'm very
hopeful that these can get ironed out soon.

In summary, I had feared a lot worse when I heard about the complete
rewrite for natty. I'm truly optimistic now that we can deliver
something great!

> * Highlights and favorite features

As I wrote above, quick search in the dash is my killer feature,
especially when it's getting completed with file find and keyboard

My other highlight is the rather sensible handling of the Windows key.
I never used it at all before unity, but now the Windows+Number
shortcuts or Windows - type search string operations are very quick
and efficient.

> * Perceived shortcomings and/or "wishlist" items

Already handled above.


Martin Pitt                        |
Ubuntu Developer (  | Debian Developer  (
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