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Here's the thing with unity!

Community Veteran
Posts: 1,128
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Registered: 28-08-2007

Here's the thing with unity!

I sort of like it  and I'm grasping the concept but here's a couple of things I don't get. Firstly adding launchers to the desktop should be a right click affair= send to/add to desktop. No code or faffing about in various folders for the apps icon. Unless ubuntu are trying to make it not easy to do that so we don't! Then it dawns on me, what's the point of having launchers on the desktop if that's what the launcher bar thing is for and if it's pointless than what shall we do with all the desktop space? I can't make my mind up what's important enough to be on the desktop and then grading the order in the launcher.
Been also trying mint 13 maya cinnamon. Looks very nice and yes codecs etc are installed from the off but it seems to have panicked at all the linux users complaining about unity and played it safe but wanted to try something different.  Undecided
Seems like the two big contenders for distros have missed the mark by one trying something which seems like a good idea but not fully thought out and the other has bottled it. There should be some mid ground somewhere.
I have been drinking heavily though  Grin Loving, Virtualbox right now though still can't believe what it's doing, but I am a caveman.
35 REPLIES
VileReynard
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Re: Here's the thing with unity!

I've been using Mint 12 (Cinnamon).
Is The Mint 13 better/improved/etc ?

Community Veteran
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Registered: 28-08-2007

Re: Here's the thing with unity!

I can't really comment, this is the first time I have tried mint. From just messing about with it over the last few days it seems a bit smoother and a bit more responsive than ubuntus unity desktop even when run in 1gig in a virtual space. I wouldn't say it's all that different from pre unity ubuntu versions I have ran before and has stuck with the "normal" everything stems from the start button in the bottom left hand corner.
I don't think that I would change to mint from 12.04 as my full working distro but that might change the more I toy with it. Unity is a fresh change to an OS and I think it will improve in further releases. I'm not sure why all the linux people got so miffed with unity from what I see you can hide the launcher if you wish and pretty much make the desktop look how you want. Like I mentioned though there is a couple of things that can annoy.
I read the other day that in future releases they will do away with unity 2d in favour of one desktop. The difference between them is absolutely minimal from what I can make out. Other than the launcher buttons fade and can be made smaller which can be done in 2d as well by running a script. Not sure how this will work on my work computer though as I can only run the two monitors in 2D mode.
Community Veteran
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Re: Here's the thing with unity!

Well I still prefer Gnome 2  Cheesy I am using Mint 13 Mate. I have a M13 Cinnamon to test but I just couldn't get to like the desktop - no right click to add - too restrictive = HATE the "hot corner" WTF is that all about I want my menu at the top so when I move the mouse to the menu it gives me an expo  Crazy
Unutty may be fine on a touch screen but I have a normal monitor and can't even touch it from where I sit!
Mate has come a long way in the past year and is now my standard desktop - there a couple of getyas with it though NO X11 tunneling over ssh and some apps misbehave, but better for me than the rest.
I installed LMDE Xfce edition on my lt since I couldn't get tunneling to work and it seems fine - I usually just ssh into the l/t to do admin on it as it runs as my "server" and should I want to run synaptic etc I can now.
VileReynard
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Re: Here's the thing with unity!

You can switch off the hot corner in Mint 12/13 - see preferences, Themes (I think).

Community Veteran
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Re: Here's the thing with unity!

Quote
Unutty may be fine on a touch screen but I have a normal monitor and can't even touch it from where I sit!

I just have a normal monitor and it seems alright once I make the launcher smaller.
Mike_Grice
Grafter
Posts: 206
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Here's the thing with unity!

Don't like it Smiley But then I don't like the daft eye candy in most OS setups, e.g. in Windows I turn off everything I can, I don't use computers to gawk at the effects, I use them to perform tasks (even if that task is sucking badly at Diablo 3)
CX
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Re: Here's the thing with unity!

I'm still running Ubuntu 10.04 with Gnome 2 or LXDE on some systems, but recently decided to try Ubuntu 12.04 with Unity on one of my HTPC systems. Ubuntu 11.04 and 11.10 didn't stay on my systems for any more than a few days.
Using just a keyboard, launching programs is no more difficult than in Windows 7. Hit the Windows key (or Tux key), type the name of the program, and then if there are multiple matches cursor down and select or press enter twice. It beats hunting through the menus of Gnome2, particularly for new users. You might argue that "the terminal does that". Well yes it does, but if you want to open the disk utility in Unity, you type "Disk" and it will be there. To open it in the terminal, you need to type "palimpsest".
That's not to say it's all good. The HTPC runs XBMC as the front-end. With Unity loaded, XBMC was practically unusable - frame rate just rendering the UI down in the low 10s, very high CPU usage and screen tearing even with VSync enabled. This was on an nVIdia ION system with the binary drivers installed, for 3D and VDPAU support. The screen issues went away if I logged in with the desktop environment set to Unity 2D as opposed to regular Unity (3D), so it seems that the desktop compositing could be the problem. And if that's the case, the main reason for having both Unity (3D) and Unity 2D goes away - the GPU composited desktop is supposed to perform better, for every task, not just "wobbly windows". Aero manages it on Windows Vista and Windows 7, on the same hardware, so why is Unity incapable of rendering video correctly?
Now Windows 8 and the interface formally known as Metro. Lets just hope that Kinect for Windows 8 shows us something useful to do with it.
Community Gaffer
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Re: Here's the thing with unity!

Quote from: CX
Using just a keyboard, launching programs is no more difficult than in Windows 7. Hit the Windows key (or Tux key), type the name of the program, and then if there are multiple matches cursor down and select or press enter twice. It beats hunting through the menus of Gnome2, particularly for new users. You might argue that "the terminal does that". Well yes it does, but if you want to open the disk utility in Unity, you type "Disk" and it will be there. To open it in the terminal, you need to type "palimpsest".

I hate this interface concept.  It's stupid.  What if I can't remember what the app is called?  Quite often I end up searching folders for an app where the name eludes me.  I remember it as soon as I see it.  In old Windows XP days I'd have filed the shortcut based on what the app does, so if I'm searching for an mp3 ripper, I'd be able to find it, even though I can't remember it's name...  Now?  You're screwed!
Kelly Dorset
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VileReynard
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Re: Here's the thing with unity!

You could launch Synaptic [after you have installed it, because Ubuntu forgot about it] and search by a descriptive name.
You might get the name of the program, which you can type into Ubuntu...
Simplicity!  Grin Grin Grin
Alternatively, try a different Window Manager such as XFCE
I've just been requested to update 12.04 to 11.04 although it turns out that I should have upgraded to 10.10
Personally, I use Mint 13 - all my PC's are unified in not using Unity!

stephenw10
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Re: Here's the thing with unity!

Quote from: Kelly
What if I can't remember what the app is called?  ..........  You're screwed!

Exactly.  Angry
I don't know why but for some reason other people don't see this as a problem. I have hundreds of applications installed on this machine (happens to be Win XP). I couldn't possibly remember all their names, I can't even remember installing a lot of them! However thanks to the menu of programs divided into categories (mostly  Roll eyes) I can easily find any of them.
This was brought home to me when trying to solve a problem on a friends Mac. I've never really felt comfortable in OSX so if there's some obvious thing I'm missing please tell me! I had to view a raw file in hex so I asked him "do you have any programs installed for hex editing?". He had no idea and no idea how to find out! He probably did have something installed, there's probably a hex editor included with OSX but I had no idea what it's called so I just had to download and install one. Bah!
Steve
Superuser
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Re: Here's the thing with unity!

Quote
I hate this interface concept.  It's stupid.  What if I can't remember what the app is called?

Yep, I upgraded 1 of my 10.04 boxes to test out 12.04 and thought that was a bit stupid.
Anyway I found this  http://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2011/06/classicmenu-indicator-puts-old-school-gnome-menus-in-unity which gives the best of both worlds, unity launcher and recently used apps etc and a gnome menu button on the top line for when you want it.
Community Veteran
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Re: Here's the thing with unity!

Quote from: Kelly
[I hate this interface concept.  It's stupid.  What if I can't remember what the app is called?  Quite often I end up searching folders for an app where the name eludes me.  I remember it as soon as I see it.   In old Windows XP days I'd have filed the shortcut based on what the app does, so if I'm searching for an mp3 ripper,

Well if you used Linux Mint you could just type in the search box on the menu, or use the "normal" menu system to find it in Sound/Vision.
I have Mate on this pc and am using LMDE XFCE on my laptop, that takes a bit more getting used to though.
I see that the latest Ubuntu will have built in cr*p, you get Amazon search oob. Crazy
Community Veteran
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Re: Here's the thing with unity!

Quote
Anyway I found this  http://www.omgubuntu.co.u...hool-gnome-menus-in-unity which gives the best of both worlds, unity launcher and recently used apps etc and a gnome menu button on the top line for when you want it.

Excellent find misterW  Cool I'm on the fence with unity. I guess that as with anything new and different there's going to be likers and haters. It has points I both like and don't and in my experience you can never please everyone. The unity launcher posted there gives you best of both I guess and should be in the repo IMO. You could also set the launcher bar if that's its name to hide.
Following some flash issues and a few niggles I had with Linux I was borderline going back to windows seven, I had a try out of it in virtual and it seemed ok although setting up the drivers etc I couldn't be bothered with right now. 7 is the first MS OS that I have never had as Ubuntu just did what I wanted, eventually  Wink I was thinking maybe I should go back as my daughter is getting to secondary school age and more than likely she will be working with windows in some shape or form so best familiarise her with the layout but when I look at windows 8 that again looks and feels totally different again so I don't suppose it makes any difference. I guess it baby and bath water, ubuntu for me is a secure, robust pretty much stable platform for everyday tasks. I don't think looking at Windows 8 that the change to desktops more to suit mobiles and pads is going to go away. It is the future but hopefully ubuntu will improve things to make them a bit more smoother. It is after all their first attempt really.
VileReynard
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Re: Here's the thing with unity!

Teach the kids how to use a proper computer interface.
If the school needs some other interface, they've got teachers haven't they?