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Thoughts on Unity

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I said I would reserve judgment until a final release. We now have the final release.

Verdict? Yes, I like it.

I thought I would hate it. I thought it would be slow, buggy, an eyesore and overly complicated to use. But it is none of those.

It actually looks great. With the extra compiz plugins the launcher can be shrunk down to give you more screen real estate (but really since it slips away when you need the space it doesn't really matter). Everything seems to run smooth and snappy and the interface feels really professional. Icons and themes still work fine, the windows snapping is a very welcome feature and the integration with the panel is fantastic. Firefox is a great example of this feature, the top bar and the File Edit View Etc. toolbar are both combined with the panel giving you plenty more space for browsing.

I do however have a few things to nitpick about. Browsing your apps (and I don't mean searching for them by name specifically) is bad. Thats the only word for it. It is not intuitive to look through a block list of all your apps, and it takes a fair bit longer than it used to to just scroll through your applications menu looking for something to launch. And yes, there is next to no customization. The basic Unity layout is there to stay and that might annoy potential users from KDE and Gnome because they are used to having things tuned to their specific liking. I always used standard Gnome 2 because I thought it was functional and simple and Unity sticks to that principal fairly well.

And god damn I hate having the window buttons move from the right to left when you maximize a window. Seriously it makes me frown.

But I think this release is still great and Unity may just have a promising future ahead of it. Say what you will about me, call me loony or just plain lame, I support Unity and I think Canonical (although some would say otherwise) actually knows what they are doing.

~Devoid~
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post #2 of 16
Nice review.

I'm still glad I did the last-minute switch to KDE. Unity sounds like it would drive me too crazy to get any work done.
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post #3 of 16
I'm going to try it it on my dektop if I can get the new ati drivers running well.

I have been looking for something a bit more stable and out of the box then Arch for my main rig. Figure it might be a good opportunity to try unity.
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post #4 of 16
Ok tried it... hated it.

It looks great but I hate osx style docks and everything was a bit sluggish compared to my Arch install.

That said it is better than when I tried the first Unity.
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post #5 of 16
While I usually wouldn't even try Unity out of ideology (Canonical redoing what is already being done in the FOSS community), I actually did decide to give it a try. I think polish-wise it is better off than Gnome 3 currently stands. Gnome usually releases a fairly rough first version and slowly improves it to the best it can be over time and I don't think that's what Canonical wanted to do when they made Unity. I very much got the impression that Unity works best on a laptop/netbook (which is what I put it on), but I'm not so sure I'd enjoy it on a full desktop. I do have to say that searching for anything wasn't that great. It worked, but it wasn't done very well. I'm not a fan at all of having the File/Edit/etc... menus on top bar. I know Canonical is going for that Apple-esque feel, but I think it slows down workflow and is even bad on OS X. I felt like a lot of customization was also gone, but who knows if they'll eventually make support more features in regards to that.

Overall, it wasn't terrible and it has less of my pet peeves then Gnome 3 currently does. We'll see how the development of both goes. I have a feeling the Gnome project will realize they want to make a few important changes in usability, while Unity suffices with what it has and just continues to polish.
post #6 of 16
I like it but at first it was confusing to find everything when the screen is corrupt because apparently x200 chipsets can't do 3D in 11.04 so I had to switch to the console and install unity 2D. I'm still trying to work my way around everything but it seems pretty solid.
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post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cavallino View Post
It looks great but I hate osx style docks and everything was a bit sluggish compared to my Arch install.

That said it is better than when I tried the first Unity.
Most things will be sluggish next to an Arch install haha.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimi
I very much got the impression that Unity works best on a laptop/netbook (which is what I put it on), but I'm not so sure I'd enjoy it on a full desktop.
You're bang on the money with that. I have it on my laptop and I'm not so sure I would enjoy it on my desktop. But I do think it works very well with smaller screen space.

Quote:
Originally Posted by error10
I'm still glad I did the last-minute switch to KDE. Unity sounds like it would drive me too crazy to get any work done.
Also true. It is definitely not a workstation OS, but it is fantastic for Internet browsing, doing ones usual media business and doing your usual leisure time tasks.

~Devoid~
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post #8 of 16
i went to 11.04, but unity told me i didn't have hardware to support it (even tho i have nvidia proprietary drivers installed), but now i try to get to it after reinstalling to see if that would make a difference, keeps taking me to "ubuntu classic" which is gnome 2.32...
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post #9 of 16
Nice little review.

I personally didn't care for Unity, so I installed GNOME shell and once themed (required a bit of reading), thing looks and works awesome honestly.
    
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post #10 of 16
I'm installing it at this very moment(11.04) and wouldn't have bothered had I not followed the progression of Unity for several months now. All video previews/reviews I've watched seem to point out the bad things about the new release without mentions of the good, but it looks kinda fun so I'm giving it a native install on my "linux-only-disk" because there seems to be some bugs running it virtually.

Will post back in about a week to share my experience if time permits me to.
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