Design concepts for Ubuntu Studio 11.10: Cairo-dock vs Docky

Luke Kuhn lukekuhn at
Mon Apr 25 19:13:19 UTC 2011

I haven't tried AWN, I have had good results with the PPA versions of Cairo-dock, and they now support the network-manager applet, even with the indicator patch (should without it as well.)  They have both a systray and notification area, a logout applet, even a workspace switcher that in my opinion still needs a lot of work.
I see a report that AWN has a lot more dependencies than Cairo or Docky. Docky does not offer anywhere near as good "panel replacement" functionality as cairo-dock, at least as of a couple months ago.  Docky had few options for replacing core gnome-panel functions, they sometimes didn't work, I found Docky was good for one thing: bringing back all the program launchers I used to put in gnome-panel, enough to justify it's use in gnome-shell or unity, not enough to replace the previous panel.
The original reason I switched to cairo-dock was to allow removing all of mono from my systems, but I found cairo-dock far superior for graphics, configurablity, and function. It also seems to consume less system resources then Docky, being much less likely to appear in my Conky setup among the top four CPU users. The version in the Ubuntu repos at that time had bad opengl bugs when used with the opengl renderer, but the developers had just released a new  version to their PPA, which solved the problems. Don't know if that has reached the ubuntu repos yet.
The real "killer applet" for cairo-dock, in my opinion, is the main menu applet which calls up the entire Ubuntustudio menu set if it is installed, and can be set to use the "distributor-logo" icon instead of the default icon. That means having an Ubunbtustudio button that works, and which can be put on the left side of the string of icons. 
With as many windows as I often have open editing audio, video, and stills for titles all at once, I find the "cube" plugin for Compiz to be the best workspace manager I've ever tried-even when using two monitors.
> Subject: Re: Design concepts for Ubuntu Studio 11.10
> Message-ID: <BANLkTik_EA28NNsYxpFA+O2FRAsP4kse+A at>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1
> So in tinkering a bit this weekend it looks as though AWN brings ALOT
> of depends. I'll look into what is actually needed. (ie if i can just
> pull actual depends and not recommends and file any depends that
> actually aren't needed) Also, there's no currently
> functioning/packaged network manager applet.
> Docky doesn't accomplish as much of the "panel replacement" requirements as AWN.
> So, going forward in the coming weeks I will simply try to copy our
> GNOME UI using XFCE.
> This will get me more familiar with how XFCE packaging settings work.
> We will still look toward a new custom UI.
> I intend on calling for artwork and reaching out toward the
> Xubuntu-devs in the next week or so.
> -- 
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