[ubuntu-uk] Unity and Gnome Shell

Matthew Daubney matt at daubers.co.uk
Wed Oct 27 08:03:42 BST 2010

Good Morning :)

On Tue, 2010-10-26 at 21:23 +0100, Les Cunningham wrote:
> <rant>
> I have been looking at reviews of Gnome Shell, and I do not like what I 
> have seen. (I have also tried running it, without success so far.) The 
> screenshots show lots of white text on a black background, which I 
> dislike as I find it difficult to read, although I suppose that there 
> will be themes available in due course which I will find more 
> acceptable. More importantly, I suspect that for some uses it will be 
> more awkward than Gnome 2. If I am understanding it correctly, if there 
> are two or more maximised windows open on one desktop, switching between 
> them will take 2 or 3 mouse clicks, rather than just one as at present. 
> However, I dare say if I used it for a while once it has been more fully 
> developed I could get used to it.

Gnome Shell is an interesting project, but has a few usability issues at
the moment, it's also what Gnome 3 intends to be using.

> I have also tried using Unity, which is apparently to be the default for 
> 11.04. The first problem was that it was unacceptably slow, taking 
> several seconds to respond to mouse clicks, and therefore I quickly 
> uninstalled it. However, I saw enough of it to decide that there is no 
> way I want to use it; the whole concept seems totally unsuitable for 
> desktop computers. I do not think I would be happy using it even on a 
> netbook. If, when I first tried Ubuntu, I had been faced with someting 
> along the lines of Unity, I would probably still be using Windows.

Ah, now you've hit the button. Unity is designed for netbooks, the
challenge over this coming release is threefold really. 
1. Make Unity useable on a big screen
2. Improve unity's performance (They're moving the compositing from
mutter to compiz to aid this)
3. Fix the fact that some peoples hardware has oddities and fix/work
around where necessary

You could aid number 3 by filing a bug report on Unity with your
hardware configuration. It would help the developers understand what
hardware has issues.

> The decision to move the window controls from the right to the left 
> would have been annoying, but it is easy to move them back. I doubt if I 
> will be installing any version of Ubuntu which includes Unity, unless it 
> is possible to replace it easily with Gnome 2 or an improved Gnome 
> Shell. I guess I will be sticking to 10.4 and 10.10 for a while, and 
> then if Canonical are still touting Unity I will just have to switch to 
> Debian.
> </rant>
> Les.

Unity will be the default for new users, however you will be able go
back to original gnome as well. It will be either an apt-get away, or an
option on the login screen, this is still unclear.

Hope that's helpful.

-Matt Daubney

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