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Gutsy Notes

November 18, 2007

I’ve upgraded both my PCs, at home and at the office, to Ubuntu 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon). I have to say that my initial impression is, a bit rough on the edges. I’m always looking at the little things so my complaints might be on things that are less important to most of you.

First of all is the blurry icons. If you look at System > Preferences > Bluetooth/PalmOS/SCIM also at System > Admin > Screen and Graphics/Time (there are many more and you can see it for yourself), you’ll notice how blurry the icons are. They’re contrasted by the other icons which are crisp and colorful. I hope it would be fixed at the next release.

Second, I’m a Deskbar fan. I might not use it much but I always have it on my panel for easy access. Ubuntu 7.10 has tracker up and running by default yet Deskbar (also default) does not have the Tracker plug-in enabled by default. I don’t really know if this is a real issue or not since I’m running an upgraded installation (fresh install actually but using my old home directory).

And then Desktop Effects. I have to say I’m pleased with Gutsy’s implementation of it. Pretty conservative while maintaining enough bling (I’m using normal effects). I love the virtual desktop transition now includes an ‘indicator’ on where you are (yes the cube is overused and I’m glad that we don’t have it by default). Sadly I found a feature regression here and there. The first one I felt right away is I can no longer drag icons between virtual desktops in workspace switcher applet. I can drag the icons, I just can’t drop them on another virtual desktop to move it. Another one is the Print Screen button, it does not work while desktop effects is active.

Some people have said that desktop effects feels like a hack on Ubuntu. I didn’t think that way the first time I activated it on Gutsy but it didn’t took long for that hacked feel to come out. Here’s how to do it: Minimize Firefox and then maximize it again from the taskbar. You’ll see that during the maximize animation runs, the toolbars are all black. It could be better there.

On the positive side:

  • I love the automatic printer configuration. There is this big laser printer/photocopier in the office that’s rather pain to connect using Linux. On Gutsy it was a painless setup!
  • Thank God the new open/save dialogs are now appropriately sized.
  • Display Config GTK, very good. Although the automatic detection works just fine already.
  • The new appearance dialog is very neat. The ‘customize’ button a bit hidden though.

There is also further room for more improvements:

  • I think Places > Search should point to the Tracker Search tool instead of the old search tool.
  • The items in the administration/preferences menu could be grouped like the one in Fedora. Makes it look simpler.
  • Screen Resolution and Screen and Graphics tool must be combined into one.
  • The Default Printer/Printing tools must be combined.
  • Open/save dialogs should have thumbnails.
  • Thumbnails for OpenOffice documents/spreadsheets.

Overall Gutsy is a good release with some rough edges here and there. There are many rooms for further improvement in Hardy Heron.

From → Gnome, Ubuntu

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