Ubuntu 11.10, GNome3 and Unity

I’ve had it! I give up on Unity.
Since the ubuntu project launched unity, a new shell for gnome3, i have tried it, getting frustrated, and always switching back to the “classic-look” gnome.
At some point I even switched for a brief time to Fedora 16 (which also uses the GNOME3 shell, in a slightly different implementation, perhaps in a more “pure” form.)
My story goes as this, I began with Ubuntu 9.x, and gnome2 standard, and it worked fine.
At some point I had a netbook, and ubuntu launched the “ubuntu netbook” edition a new paradigm in window managment, a first hint on Unity, as a “more efficient” way to work with the small screens of netbooks, I tried it, hated it, and finally installed a standard desktop version on my notebook.
Until the netbook died, I used a standard ubuntu gnome desktop on it.

On my main PC, an 8 year old desktop, switched thru Ubuntu, 9.X, 10,x and 11.X.  On 11.04 Lucid Lynx, there was the option of switching from unity to classic, but now on 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot, the classic option is gone, only having the 2D (light weight) unity and the 3D (full eye candy).

I see where the ubuntu project is going, and it’s not a bad direction, which is on my view, towards the Mac OSX desktop. On this version, the Dash, which is like the Dock in OSX, a place where from launch your favourite applications.

The problem is that Dash doesn’t have any configuration options. For example, cannot drag and drop in or out the apps that you want in it; there is no more a menu where to look for all your apps, and the equivalent of OSX finder, is a search window where you see what you have installed, and what can be installed; or move the dash from the left to the bottom (or wherever), options for autohide, or stay-on-top, size, etc.

For manipulating the Dash behaviour and options, the official documentation is to download the compiz-config-tool, which will give full granular control over many settings, but full of inconsistencies or contradictory options, that may render a desktop unusable, pretty quickly; wich was my case. After a reboot, I had an empty desktop, without a dash, or a menu, or a panel bar. nothing.

There has to be a transition, an option to choose between an only menu driven desktop (classic), or only the “search application” window (which is the case in Fedora), or use the Dash, or both.

The Dash has to have some options to configure it’s behaviour. In my case, I use the Opera web browser, which uses a left toolbar to launch the different components, it’s frustrating bacause the desktop shows the Dash, when I am trying to access the Opera toolbar. But I leave the Dash always on, I am starting to loose screen “real state” space. If I had a 24 inch 16:9 screen, maybe that’s not an issue, but I have a 17 5:4 old screen, and loosing screen real-state on big bars, doesn’t appeal to me. I preffer clean desktops, with mimimal bars, just one, maybe two.  I don’t use multiple desktops, and to convice the workspace switcher it needs some coding, agan, cannot remove it.

Anyways, at the end. I like Ubuntu open-source approach and flexibility, that’s why I am not going back to Fedora.

But I definitely don’t like Unity. GNOME, get your act together.

I am installing Kubuntu. KDE is back.

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