Saturday, November 3, 2007

Gutsy Gibbon Release thoughts

This week I've been messing with Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon, and my reactions have been mixed. I have been impressed with backend updates, and on a whole the system seems to be better integrated. However, on some of the "advertised" changes, I've been just a little disappointed:

Deskbar- It's great that it's now installed by default, but where did the option for integrating the whole utility into the panel go?

Compiz-Fusion. I kind of wish that they would have left this alone until next release. Compiz-Fusion has had some serious bugs until release 0.6.0, and definitely was not ready for the limelight in 0.5.2. Unfortunately, while the compiz core packages were installed at 0.6.0, many pieces of fusion were still at 0.5.2, (most annoyingly compiz config settings manager, which was frankly unusable at that point). Furthermore, the old feisty third party repos' packages are uncompatable with the new gutsy repos' packages, making CCSM 0.6.0 frustratingly difficult to install. Yes, compiz works perfectly well without the new CCSM, but it is far less customizable.

All in all, the compiz issues are my only real frustration, but enough so as to make Gutsy on par at best with my previous Feisty setup, even with the other new features.

My desktop. Dock is Avant Window Navigator

Monday, February 19, 2007

ubuntu and compiz > vista or os x) ;-)

I have recently discovered a wonderful new window manager called compiz. (although it's a bear to set up in anything other then a fresh install... which is what i eventually ended up doing)

It is amazing, if only because of the extent of the customizations. my favorite is f6, which will make all the windows slide to the edge of the screen so you can find stuff on your desktop. When you need the windows back, F6 will slide them back into place with a nice flourish.

Furthermore, compiz supports the feature like in osx where you can see all open windows tiled, pick one, and go to it, but it takes it further - you cna also do a ultra fancy version of the xp alt-tab, and for the die hards compiz will throw all of your workspaces onto the faces of a cube, rotate it and pop off the windows until you find the one you want.

The special window effects are amazing as well, from zooms, fades, transparency by mouseovers so you can see what's behind the current window, and even a feature where you can torch the whole window when you close it - the window actually goes up in smoke.

That's just the beginning, there's also strechable bouncy windows you can have, rain, snow, and so much more. i am quite happy to have wasted my afternoon just messing with it. it is amazing.

I got the cubespace effects working, and it is the most spectacular looking effect I've ever seen. You can, with a few keystrokes, float the current window off of the desktop in 3d, and then have it float around a cube of workspaces and drop it on another one, or even just spin around the workspaces looking for windows. Furthermore, for the times when you need a big picture, it can unfold the cube and let you look at all the workspaces side by side. i'm psyched.

the f6'd desktop. isn't it amazing?

With windows. it makes me so happy. (i need to try and figure out how to record some of the efx... but that would require video, as they really need to be seen in action.