Nov 21 2009

Gnome 3.0 Beta Shell

Category: Blogging,UbuntuPhil @ 6:22 am

Half of the fun of playing with Linux is trying out new stuff! I found a blog the other night that talked about Gnome 3.0 as well as installing it on Ubuntu. I don’t think that anyone would disagree that the current Gnome desktop seems a little dated; it is not vastly different from a pre-Vista Microsoft experience. Add in Avant Window Manager, Screenlets and/or Google Widgets, and you get a more modern Apple/Windows experience. I took the plunge and installed the 3.0 beta last week and have not looked back. I really like the interaction and thought the presentation was pretty slick. It is kind of funny how emotional people get (read the above blog comments) about change. People were going off on the usability and new look; saying it looked like Windows or Mac, or this feature was stolen from some other implementation. Who really cares? And why does everyone have to be so negative? I thought it was pretty creative!  Everything was very intuitive and easy to use; it might take a little more mouse movement to navigate, but the overall concept works for me. After using it for a couple days, I have learned there are multiple ways to navigate around, minimizing the clicks. The “Find” is one such short cut, you can quickly find an application in the menu system. It still has the good old fashioned alt-tab behavior to quickly switch between applications. The only option that was not obvious to me, was the virtual desktops. I’m not a big virtual desktop user any more (too much time on a Windows box during the day!); it did seam a little easier with the 2.x desktop (just needed to scroll the mouse wheel, I think).. Now you can dynamically (and easily) add new desktops through the activities menu (just click the plus icon). There is probably a nice short to to navigate between desktops, but I did not look for it.  One other usability note that is not completely obvious; you don’t actually have to click on the word “Activity” to get access to the menu, just push the mouse all the way to the corner and the menu pops up… Nice…

A couple of other interesting things I found on the Digitizor website.  Installing Chrome on Ubuntu and GIMP to be removed from next release of Ubuntu. I’ve also been playing with Chrome this week; it seems fine and fast. My “Wifi-based” Internet provider has so much latency, that it is hard to really hard to test “fast”.  I have been a fan of GIMP for quite a while and have only figured out the most simplistic functions to support my blogging; I guess I will have to give F-Spot a try in the future!

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2 Responses to “Gnome 3.0 Beta Shell”

  1. matt says:

    You’re right in Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Gimp isn’t installed by default, but you can install it from the package manager, it only took me 30 seconds

  2. Mathan says:

    Why does the desktop shrink on clicking activities?

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