Ubuntu 11.10 (So Far) Screenshot Tour

So here we are in the thick of the Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot development cycle, and I am really excited about the progress that is being made. I thought it could be interesting to show off some of the work that is going on with a quick screenshot tour.

This cycle has been very much focused on integrating GNOME3 into Ubuntu and focusing on fit and finish both at a software and design level on Unity and it’s components. The goal with Ubuntu 11.10 is to build on the accomplishments in Ubuntu 11.04 and to continue refining the experience.

Before, I start, remember, there are a few caveats here:

  • Ubuntu 11.10 is not finished. There are still plenty of bugs, quirks and other oddities that need fixing.
  • What you see here may well change.
  • I have smudged out some personal bits, but it should be pretty clear which bits are smudged out.

Oh, and click on the images below to see them full-size.

So let’s get started with what the typical desktop looks like right now in 11.10:

Here you can see a few changes:

  • The Ubuntu button is now on the launcher (user testing told us most people look there to launch applications).
  • There has been some small changes to the indicators in the top right part of the screen.
  • Here you can see I have a number of apps open, and see the concertina effect on the Launcher.
  • Note how there are no longer Apps / Files places on the Launcher.

So, if you click that Ubuntu button on the Launcher you see the new Dash:

Here the dash opens up in this really nice translucent way, and the launcher and panel look nice and translucent too. The translucency is actually tweaked based upon your wallpaper, so it shades it smartly.

You can see at the bottom of the dash are a series of little icons. This is now where you find your different lenses (Apps, Files, a new Music one, Gwibber etc) and this makes it much nicer to see the different types of lens, instead of having to find them on the launcher.

Let’s take a look at the Apps lens:

(I know some icons are missing in this screenshot, that is a bug)

Here you can see the lens works in a similar way as the apps lens in 11.04, but we have this new Filter Results feature (which is open in this screenshot). Here you can select different categories and those categories will only be shown in the icon view on the left. You can also search by rating which is useful for apps that are shown available to download.

Different lenses have different types of filters. As an example, here is the Gwibber lens:

As you can see this provides different methods of displaying different types of content.

One other cool element of the dash is that it uses an active blur. This means it really blurs what is behind it, so for example, it will blur a video as it plays behind it in the movie player:

Let’s now look at loading apps. Here is GEdit in it’s maximized state:

As you can see, Unity provides a lot of workable space and the shell just wraps around the app in the most minimal way possible to give you as much space as possible for the app. You can also see that when maximized the window buttons and menus are not shown; they only appear if you hover the window title with the mouse. This actually makes the desktop feel much nicer and less cluttered.

Here you can also see that the toolbar buttons have been styled with the dark theme to carry this theme throughout the desktop. This is a subtle but really nice change. As an example, here is Thunderbird with the same style applied:

In the GEdit example the icons are not monochrome but the Thunderbird ones are. We are not expecting an icon refresh in Ubuntu 11.10, but I suspect in the future we will see more icons tuned for the darker toolbars. Here is the compose window:

An app that has had quite a refresh has been Gwibber:

Gwibber is now much faster, much sleeker to use, and just a far more pleasant social networking experience. It also looks wonderfully consistent with the dark theme.

Another app that has been re-jigged is the Ubuntu Software Center:

The new Ubuntu Software Center feels faster, is more interesting to look at and explore, and feels far more integrated into the system.

I am also delighted to see the wonderful work that has gone into the GNOME Control Center in GNOME3 also brings the same consistent look, feel, and ease of use:

The whole configuration experience feels slicker and easier, and here is one of the panels:

Let’s now talk indicators:

Lots of great work and stability improvements has been performed here such as adding settings links that are relevant to each indicator, improved power and me indicators and other improvements.

Finally, a wonderful new feature added is the refreshed Alt-Tab switcher:

I absolutely love how this works, and I love how it shares the look and feel of the wider desktop. Here you can hit Alt-Tab and then use the arrow keys to move around to select the app you want to see. If there are more apps open than space in the switcher, they concertina just like in the launcher — it looks really cool.

If you have multiple windows open for an app (e.g. Firefox), you can find the icon and press the down arrow to show the multiple windows:

…and that pretty much wraps up the screenshot tour. I hope you enjoyed having a leaf through some of the features you can expect to see in Ubuntu 11.10.

I am really excited for the release, and I particularly enjoy how integrated, unified, consistent and slick the entire system feels. I also love the fact that the design, colouring, and structure is noticeably Ubuntu. So, all in all, I am really looking forward to Ubuntu 11.10 and the opportunity it has to put Free Software in the hands of more and more people. Thanks to everyone in the community who has contributed to it so far!

Beta 1 will be here on the 1st September, so get ready to test it my friends!

  • http://www.facebook.com/dallas.wiebelhaus Dallas Wiebelhaus

    Hey awesome tour Jono , thanks man.

  • Benjgr1

    Nice, can’t wait till the final release :D

  • Neil Turner

    All looking very good – if you could only dash off a driver for the Kodak all-in-one printers (in your lunch hour perhaps?) then my life would be peachy.

    No? Oh well good work on 11.10 anyway!

  • Duncan

    I can’t wait until September first!!! Thank you for the awesome tour!!!

  • http://twitter.com/di0nysys Andrew Smith

    what does chrome look like maximized? Is there still a title bar?

  • Anonymous

    Beautiful! It makes some applications look hideous in comparison but I suppose they’ll be refreshed as well. This has upped my expectations for the next release tremendously, thank you so much for putting this together!

  • AL-BANEFSEJ NET

    i do nat like unti so mach bat i like gnome shell vary vary mach

  • Sgtbreitner

    Hey! Awesome for Brazil!

  • Admin

    Currently I’m using Puppy Linux in my old machine. But I promised to my self to use Ubuntu when I graduate and when I’m already professional. Well, great desktop — ALOT MORE BETTER that W1nd0wz3 7. =)

  • Anonymous

    ‘Unity provides a lot of workable space and the shell just wraps around the app in the most minimal way possible to give you as much space as possible for the app.’

    I love Unity for this.

  • http://www.facebook.com/amir.moeen.rahmani Amir Moeen

    no doubt it is the best Ubuntu released till now waiting for Beta 1 :) <3

  • http://www.facebook.com/amir.moeen.rahmani Amir Moeen

    no doubt it is the best Ubuntu released till now waiting for Beta 1 :) <3

  • Julien

    Impressive. Keep up the good job !

  • Julien

    Impressive. Keep up the good job !

  • http://www.facebook.com/led.bass Led Bass

    Man, now I ask my self: why should I buy a Windows license with an OS such as Ubuntu?!?!??!

    I’ts impressive! even for Mac users, and most important thing: you can get it FOR FREE! and also customizate it as you wish…

    thanks guys!

  • Dinesh Verma

    Looks awesome, what about the speed and performance of oneiric.

  • GayanVidyarathne

    Looks amazing … !!!

  • http://twitter.com/overlord_666 Amir Hamzah

    Thanks for the tour, can’t wait for the final release ;-)

  • Bristlegbfly

    Good. I love thunderbird.I love the new Alt-Tab switch bar. And I love Jono,I love Ubuntu.

  • XuneEm Prince

    when they released? looks  so awesome :D

  • Anonymous

    Looks nice! I still don’t like the thick borders around the dash… But there are lots of improvements over natty! Congratulations!!!

  • Anonymous

    Great post and great UI.

  • Anonymous

    Great post and great UI.

  • Guillaume Radde

    It’s looking great. What is ubuntu’s UI policy in terms of adding entries to menus? I see 2 menus in the indicator that have ~20 entries. I believe studies showed that menus with more than 7 entries confuse users (since by the time they read the 8th entry, they have forgotten what the 1st one was).

  • MashingKeys

    what is the issue with forcing people to have the launcher on the left side of their screen?

  • Techno Koopa

    Unity has come quite a long way in the past year since it was first introduced. Considering that I’m looking at getting a new laptop in October sometime before Ubuntu 11.10 is released, I’m feeling quite good about installing this on the laptop after seeing the changes in these screenshots. hopefully more improvements can be made before the release.

  • http://gun.io Rich Jones

    Thanks for the tour Jono! Not sure about the Lenses still, but love the maximized screen look.

  • Anonymous

    I like the translucent features… Looks more polished and less’eye strain.

  • Anonymous

    I like the translucent features… Looks more polished and less’eye strain.

  • http://twitter.com/briketaro briketa.ro

    great UI for a phone :/

  • Anonymous

    I agree that this could see some improvements. I am not sure if the Design Team have looked into this.

  • Anonymous

    13th Oct 2011. :-)

  • http://www.facebook.com/agharrfauzi.abahagharr Agharr Fauzi Abah Agharr

    sure will do…now still running on alpha3

  • http://www.facebook.com/justin.t.travis Justin T. Travis

    If I could disable the launcher and just use Docky I’d like it 100 percent more. I don’t like being forced to have the launcher over on the side of my screen like that.

  • Lzamba

    not OSX? are you joking? :-)))

  • Richard Logan

    Is Thunderbird going to be able to 2 way sync Calenders to a Google calender as Evolution currently can.

  • Abdulwadhood

    Looks great. Although I’d ask one thing. Is there a way to revert the Ubuntu button back to its original position. I kind of like it there

  • http://about.me/nlsthzn Neil Oosthuizen

    … and I just re-installed Natty yesterday seeing as a fresh install of Oneiric didn’t want to connect via wifi :/

    Oh well, guess it is better to wait for the release :) – But it is looking awesome!

  • Stuart

    Looks very nice. Currently still on 10.10, but will probably look at upgrading now Unity is being refined. :)

  • Anonymous

    There are a lot of useful things in Unity that are nowhere to be found in OS X. So even if they are alike in some ways, the similarities tend to come from the good ideas in OS X worth replicating.

    I think it’s different enough not to be embarrassing, but definitely more similar to OS X than anything else. The Dash is probably the most original piece of the design, and it reminds me a lot of early GNOME-Shell screenshots.

  • Wladimir

    Very cool :) I really like how Ubuntu innovates UI-wise, and doesn’t just copy redmond and cupertino.

  • Anonymous

    There are a lot of useful things in Unity that are nowhere to be found in OS X. So even if they are alike in some ways, the similarities tend to come from the good ideas in OS X worth replicating.

    I think it’s different enough not to be embarrassing, but definitely more similar to OS X than anything else. The Dash is probably the most original piece of the design, and it reminds me a lot of early GNOME-Shell screenshots.

  • Wladimir

    Very cool :) I really like how Ubuntu innovates UI-wise, and doesn’t just copy redmond and cupertino.

  • http://mohoho.de Kai Mast

    Hope to see the Status-Selection in the messaging-menu to be replaced by a simple “do not disturb” like in GNOME3. Also maybe move some of the indicators to the launcher? Music apps could be controlled by the context menu in the launcher too…

  • http://wa.se Anonymous

    Looks great and all but I’m still not sure about Unity, I’ll probably stick to Gnome a while longer.

  • Federico Chiacchiaretta

    Hi Jono, I want to point out one thing about Indicators. All indicators (example: Music/Volume, Message, Battery) provides info about the “status” of the services/apps they monitor; Network Manager indicator instead is far more cluttered, with loads of config inside the dropdown list. How does this work for you? I mean, it would be nice if network manager indicator provides, for example, info about the current wireless or wired network, and all the config in a separate window (much like audio config). I really want to know what all of you think about this.

    Nice job with the screenshot tour :)

    Bye

  • Kumar Bibek

    Awesome :)

  • http://agrawalarun.com Arun Agrawal

    Cool.. It’s Really cool..

  • http://andrealazzarotto.com/ Lazza

    The same could have been said with previous versions of Avant Window Navigator that didn’t provide any position but the bottom one. But AWN was not forcing people to use it.

    In the same way, nobody forces people to use Unity. :) I use it because I like it, but you have a whole lot of other great choices. This is the best aspect of FLOSS.

  • http://andrealazzarotto.com/ Lazza

    AFAIK, somebody managed to do that with some extensions. I tried to replicate the thing but I did not succeed. That would definitely be a great option.

  • http://www.facebook.com/anmelegov ????? ???????
  • http://www.facebook.com/anmelegov ????? ???????
  • http://www.facebook.com/anmelegov ????? ???????
  • Marco Colnaghi

    really nice report, thanks a lot!

  • Marco Colnaghi

    really nice report, thanks a lot!

  • Marco Colnaghi

    really nice report, thanks a lot!

  • Frank

    I think the whole concept of Mac OS X UI is not worth copying. It was invented about 10 years ago. Mac OS X’s strongest thing is detail, everything is polished and works. But GNOME Shell’s concept is more clever and modern. So Unity is neither modern as it could be because it’s copying a 10 year-old UI concept, nor polished.  

  • Anonymous

    Nice pix, but why we need that half- and quarter- screen dash? Fullscreen-onlly dash will look much better. Also without nice ubuntu button in top panel, why not to add options to change launcher position now?

  • http://mohoho.de Kai Mast

    I think they wont keep the toppanel for so long anymore if it goes on like this..

  • Patrick T.

    Switching the active window in Unity is really annoying while you have more than one window of one application. In classic Gnome / KDE / and so on, you have one button for one window in the task bar – so it’s just one click to complete a window switch. In Unity you must click the Icon, click the Icon again to chosse between the open windows und click a third time to select the other window. Or you must use Alt+Tab repeatedly und the use an arrow key additionally… Both is the opposide of efficient working… I miss a quick switching between the windows of one application.

  • http://aim.pp.ru/ andrey i. mavlyanov

    Nice shots. I’d ask one question: why you keep a top-panel and (hard-)play with the global menu (we both know that most of proprietary apps won’t adopt global menu, so the space would be lost), instead of moving top panel to right coner with i ndicators only?!

  • Johan Aires Rastén

    That’s where the current window’s menu goes, Mac style…

  • CrusaderAD

    SO many new toys!

  • http://blogging-techies.blogspot.com/ Christian Esperar

    I’m very excited with this release! Hope this will be stable as soon as possible. Hail! Ubuntu!

  • Anonymous

    Can you really read the white text on the blurred background?

  • Federico Chiacchiaretta

    What about maximized windows? How do they look without a top panel?

  • Jimbobjenkins

    Hopefully the Nvidia driver problems plaguing 11.04 will be resolved by then.

  • Corey Goldberg

    great screenshots!  thanks for putting this together jono.  The entire desktop is looking great.  Oneiric is gonna rock.

  • James Moger

    Looks great.  One thing that has bugged me about the app-indicators menu… Why does evolution AND thunderbird appear in your messaging menu?  Same with banshee AND rhythmbox.  Is it possible to remove apps from these menus that you 1. don’t use or 2. don’t have?  another example if I don’t want to see the broadcast account stuff… can that be turned off?

  • http://twitter.com/d2kx Dennis MH

    Ubuntu 11.10 does not ship with Rhythmbox and Evolution. They won’t be in the indicators for you. Jono probably installed them manually.

  • http://twitter.com/d2kx Dennis MH

    I really hope Launchpad bug #763005 is fixed for oneiric because it drastically affects the performance of all AMD Radeon users (also did with natty) and the normal user doesn’t know of the workaround will believe Unity is slow.

  • http://twitter.com/d2kx Dennis MH

    The new Chrome releases have great integration with Unity!

  • Mike A R Powell

    Gnome 3 Shell is like the very best of Unity but without it’s failings.

  • T_U

    +1 This is one of the biggest complaints I have against Unity, but it cannot be addressed as it is “by design”. (no way to instantly select the right window of an app + no way to quickly browse apps without clicking 10 times or using the keyboard).

    I’m sorry to say this, but all persons I know switched to classic mode. My wife said for the first time in 10 years said that “it sucked”, and she is pretty tolerant.

    There are good ideas. There’s ton of good work. But, overall, we lose efficiency…

  • Sashin Ranasinghe

    It’s all looking pretty good, however I personally think there’s way too much going on in the messaging menu. I think it was better with a me menu as it felt like a very socially integrated desktop (at a glance view of IM status, simple one click update of social networks).

    Does anyone know the rationale behind replacing the MeMenu with the usermenu?

  • http://castrojo.tumblr.com Jorge Castro

    Atl-(or whatever key is above your tab key) also works for app windows. So you can alt-tab to the app you want, move the finger up one key and then alt- to the app window. 

    I find this much quicker than using the mouse.

  • http://www.facebook.com/anmelegov ????? ???????

    superkey + W

  • http://andrealazzarotto.com/ Lazza

    Thank you very much for that! :)

  • Ivaylo Raynov

    Hello, How the new design fit to people with different disabilities?

    Does you research this topic?

  • Colin Massicotte

    My Alt-Tab switcher doesn’t have the icons on the ends at an angle – is that in in-progress change?

  • Colin Massicotte

    My Alt-Tab switcher doesn’t have the icons on the ends at an angle – is that in in-progress change?

  • Anonymous

    You always have a top panel, you can’t remove it.

  • Anonymous

    Not sure I agree. Firstly, I think most people never use Alt Tab and those who want to switch between windows will use the launcher.

    I am not saying Unity is perfect, but I do think that the improvements in 11.10 do resolve many of the initial complaints in 11.04.

  • Anonymous

    Nope.

  • Anonymous

    There is always going to be some space on a desktop that is not utilized – as an example, while I reply to this there is a big chunk of white on either side of this comment – that is just the way the world shakes out.

    Given these constraints I think Unity does the best job right now in any shell for utilizing space.

  • Anonymous

    You are too kind, there is nothing to love about Jono. :-)

  • Anonymous

    Unity is accessible to a decent degree, but I think there is still improvements that could be made. I think it could be useful for the Accessibility Team to provide a report on what work needs to be done – I will ask if they can do this.

  • Anonymous

    Unity is accessible to a decent degree, but I think there is still improvements that could be made. I think it could be useful for the Accessibility Team to provide a report on what work needs to be done – I will ask if they can do this.

  • Anonymous

    I have both Evo and Thunderbird and both Banshee and Rhythmbox installed – you will only see one in each menu in a default install.

  • Anonymous

    Which problem? Have a bug report handy?

  • Anonymous

    My hunch is that it needs a small shadow behind the text to help make it clearer. I am checking with the team to see if that could be done.

  • Anonymous

    On a normal desktop a full screen dash looks weird. You can maximize it now if you want, check it out, it looks a bit odd. :-)

  • http://andrealazzarotto.com/ Lazza

    Yes, it is. The blog post is about in-progress changes. :)

  • http://andrealazzarotto.com/ Lazza
  • Phil Wiggins

    Hi Jono….Lots of wonderful improvements!!  The menu integration is very slick, colours are wonderful and Unity is mostly right.

    What’s holding me back from upgrading to 11.04 and beyond?  The Dash/Launcher needs a good re-think.  It has been an interesting experiment made into a production prototype, but it just isn’t quite right.  That mostly full-screen Dash/Launcher has some shortcomings.  It takes a simple concept and makes it overly complex.  

    Hopefully this is constructive feedback…it’s just one long-time user’s view on the Dash/Launcher and my opinion :-)

    Colour – the fuzzed background intrudes too much into the foreground and makes the Dash/Launcher look like a confusing mess.  GNOME3 is slightly better here.

    Layout – it has been designed by committee.  It wants to be all things to all people and misses the simplicity of other layouts.  I think that it’s redesign is paramount to success.

    Search – rather than focusing on mouse-clicks as the navigation model, it uses a mixture of mouseclicks and keystrokes to go from user’s idea “I want to do something” to fully launching the “something”.  While it simplifies finding the “something”, there’s a cost in ease of use — namely navigation.  With the switching between mouse and keyboard, it feels awkward.  Perhaps it works well on a tablet, but on a PC, it’s a regression.  In general, Unity is better than GNOME3 and the OpenSuse slab in this area, but not by much.

    Workspace Management – in my 10.10, each workspace is a single mouseclick away.  Same location – ALWAYS…I love muscle memory because it requires less thought and lots of doing — in the old GNOME2 parlance — “it just works”

    Keep rockin!!!!

  • Phil Wiggins

    Hi Jono….Lots of wonderful improvements!!  The menu integration is very slick, colours are wonderful and Unity is mostly right.

    What’s holding me back from upgrading to 11.04 and beyond?  The Dash/Launcher needs a good re-think.  It has been an interesting experiment made into a production prototype, but it just isn’t quite right.  That mostly full-screen Dash/Launcher has some shortcomings.  It takes a simple concept and makes it overly complex.  

    Hopefully this is constructive feedback…it’s just one long-time user’s view on the Dash/Launcher and my opinion :-)

    Colour – the fuzzed background intrudes too much into the foreground and makes the Dash/Launcher look like a confusing mess.  GNOME3 is slightly better here.

    Layout – it has been designed by committee.  It wants to be all things to all people and misses the simplicity of other layouts.  I think that it’s redesign is paramount to success.

    Search – rather than focusing on mouse-clicks as the navigation model, it uses a mixture of mouseclicks and keystrokes to go from user’s idea “I want to do something” to fully launching the “something”.  While it simplifies finding the “something”, there’s a cost in ease of use — namely navigation.  With the switching between mouse and keyboard, it feels awkward.  Perhaps it works well on a tablet, but on a PC, it’s a regression.  In general, Unity is better than GNOME3 and the OpenSuse slab in this area, but not by much.

    Workspace Management – in my 10.10, each workspace is a single mouseclick away.  Same location – ALWAYS…I love muscle memory because it requires less thought and lots of doing — in the old GNOME2 parlance — “it just works”

    Keep rockin!!!!

  • Colin Massicotte

    thanks, just upgraded this morning and haven’t seen it yet. it’s looking great so far though :)

  • John Mills

    Why is this trash getting aggregated on Planet GNOME? Just give up already and use gnome-shell. Canonical can’t make software worth a damn and they never will so long as they have so many hopeless cretins like you working for them.

  • http://twitter.com/the_madman Marcus Harrison

    That’s mostly because he’s installed quite a few more applications that use the Messaging Menu. With just the default apps, it’s much less noisy.

  • http://joshtriplett.org/ Josh Triplett

    Looks quite impressive, and nicely polished.

    The “rating” stars seem a lot like noise, and immediately raise some questions: do those just get used locally for the user’s own benefit (in which case they seem unnecessary), or do the ratings get shared (in which case they seem interesting but that information sharing needs clarification).

    The big graphical header in the Ubuntu Software Center takes up a lot of vertical space in a desktop intended to conserve such space (such as on a widescreen display).

    Finally, you mentioned the idea of using the arrow keys together with alt-tab somehow, but I don’t quite see how that would work.  You hold alt, hit tab, the dialog comes up with the focus on the next application, but when you release tab and alt the dialog should go away; otherwise, you can’t quickly switch between a few applications using alt-tab.  So, how do arrows fit into that?

  • Rahul

    Are you trying to win fans for GNOME, or new converts to GNOME 3?   Good luck with that, with your approach. 

  • Shani

    Love everything besides that darn wallpaper.. it is so bloomin depressing

  • http://andrealazzarotto.com/ Lazza

    The true question is: why do you self-refer to your comment as being aggregated on Planet GNOME? XD

  • http://andrealazzarotto.com/ Lazza

    Luckily it’s the easier thing to change. :)

  • Andrew

    Instead of waisting time trolling, how about you dedicate that time doing something more useful…like jumping in a ditch.

  • chema villalba

    Could anybody tell me the requirements system for the Ubuntu 11.10? Thanks

  • chema villalba

    Could anybody tell me the requirements system for the Ubuntu 11.10? Thanks

  • T_U

    Well, this is true, but I think regular users never barely use the keyboard at all, so in most cases, it’ll be much slower…

  • T_U

    Sure, this is definitely an improvement over 11.04, I don’t deny that.

    But I have the feeling there would no way back in the general concepts of Unity, even if it turned out most users were not happy about it. (my feeling ATM with my friends, family etc.)

    I hope I’m wrong though and really do appreciate the efforts !

    I really have the feeling : there are many good ideas, it looks great, it gives Ubuntu a unique identify… But, it makes me lose time for simple and extremely regular actions, which is not acceptable…

  • http://alexandrubucur.com CoolGoose

    I would like to be able to down vote you to oblivion for trolling.

  • Timmay!

    Awesome! It’s great to have all this talent when people come together. :guitar:

  • Gackthugo

    Unfortunately there are still ignorants that don´t realize that there is a whole community that works every day to “give” us the best of they´re work for us to use everyday for FREE…

  • Anonymous

    I’ll have to agree. This is especially the way I felt when 11.04 came out. I’m glad I was already a KDE and Arch user, or I would probably feel quite uncomfortable when all these changes happened.

    I’m totally in love with GNOME 3 now, though. While I think Unity isn’t quite as bad as everyone says, and it has some great stuff coming to fruition, it’s definitely got problems with quality and usability that need to be addressed.

    I find it quite amusing to see people so overconfident about how ‘Unity is winning out over GNOME 3′.

    Most users aren’t going to go to the trouble of getting GNOME 3 working until 11.10 is out. I think it’s a bit early for them to make that call and ignore deficiencies in their own platform as a result. Still, it’s probably going to get a lot better.

  • Patrick T.

    Thanks for this advice, but it is still not as efficient as clicking the corresponding window button once in a task bar.

  • Patrick T.

    Sadly, it doesn’t work with a german keyboard layout. Maybe it’s another key.

    And when you have more than two app windows, mouse usage within a task bar would be faster.

  • Emanuele Guadagnoli

    As a long time ubuntu user, I must say that I’m still not very convinced about unity. I still miss the old app switcher in the bottom menu. However, It’s a design decision. What is strange instead is that,  at the current stage, Unity 2D looks much faster and more polished than the 3D version. In particular, I’m talking about nice icons fade effects, nice highlight effect, and other minor things. And this happens despite the claims that compiz should be much faster.

  • Patrick T.

    I’m very excited what Oneiric will improve in Unity. But I cannot imagine a concept that can efficiently replace a task bar for switching between many windows. I wish there would be an (optional) panel only for this function. At least there could be buttons [1] [2] [3] etc. in the title bar to switch to a certain app window, but then you may still need two clicks to switch to another application and another window of that application.

  • Jessie

    Currently using 11.04 but i think i would like to have it also. Hope it will be ok on my samsung netbook since it is using gnome 3.

  • Jessie

    Currently using 11.04 but i think i would like to have it also. Hope it will be ok on my samsung netbook since it is using gnome 3.

  • Anonymous

    Classy response, John.

    No thanks.

  • Anonymous

    Classy response, John.

    No thanks.

  • Zap

    I also wonder about hover and fade effects in the Dash. They look beautiful in Unity2D. Jono, is there a reason for the lack of such animations in the 3D counterpart?

  • Michael Garrido

    great, I will wait for Betta 1 to start using and reporting :) Will thunderbird be integrated into incators??

  • Anonymous

    Considering how many people are still using Emacs, the idea that “old = bad” doesn’t seem to hold water.

  • Sashin Ranasinghe

    I suppose you’re right, but even without xchat and evolution that list is still pretty long for my liking.

  • John Mills

    Unfortunately there are ignorants who don’t see that Mark Shuttleworth and his band of merry marketers are doing some very lame things to free software and trying to pass it off using loaded language like “FREE” and “COMMUNITY”.

    Example: When Canonical tried to redirect funds from the GNOME foundation to themselves, which were generated from a project that they had almost zero participation in.

    Jono “Community Leader” Bacon then had this to say:

    https://twitter.com/#!/jonobacon/status/40876318128214016

    Suuuuure Jono, directing funds to Canonical is really “going back into FLOSS” isn’t it? GNOME are a non-profit who are obliged by law to use their funds for non-profit work. Canonical are a corporation who can take that money and do whatever they want with it.

    That idiotic statement is like McDonalds promising to donate 1% of their profits to charity and then telling people – “hey, at least our burger sales are going to charity”. That would be a dirty half-truth, from a dirty, lying marketer – much the same as most of what is coming out of Canonical’s marketing department.

    …And that’s by far not the only example.

  • John Mills

    People won’t factor the attitude of one person into their decision of what software they use. They might, however, factor in the facts I just outlined above. Whether they come from a zealous, obnoxious b*stard like me or not, doesn’t change the facts.

  • John Mills

    Question is, why can’t you form a coherent sentence?

    …Oh, right, you’re a Ubuntu user.

  • John Mills

    Question is, why can’t you form a coherent sentence?

    …Oh, right, you’re a Ubuntu user.

  • Anonymous

    You talk about “ignorants”, and it strikes me that your post embodies everything about that. Your post is filled with presumption, ignorance, and a sheer lack of courtesy.

    I am not expecting or seeking your approval of what we do, but we are working hard to build an attractive, compelling platform for taking Free Software to the masses. GNOME are also striving to achieve the same goal with GNOME Shell, and I commend them for that work.

    Why do you feel the need to deride the work of those you disagree with – I personally don’t like the design direction of GNOME Shell, but I don’t go around throwing baseless accusations and trolling the fruits of their efforts.

    Grow up.

  • Anonymous

    You talk about “ignorants”, and it strikes me that your post embodies everything about that. Your post is filled with presumption, ignorance, and a sheer lack of courtesy.

    I am not expecting or seeking your approval of what we do, but we are working hard to build an attractive, compelling platform for taking Free Software to the masses. GNOME are also striving to achieve the same goal with GNOME Shell, and I commend them for that work.

    Why do you feel the need to deride the work of those you disagree with – I personally don’t like the design direction of GNOME Shell, but I don’t go around throwing baseless accusations and trolling the fruits of their efforts.

    Grow up.

  • Anderson Cardoso

    please make those ugly icons on launcher become more beaultifull. The problem is the unicolor plain background. When I change the icons in the launcher to have a translucid background it becomes way nicer. Some icons like chromium get ugly as hell, and hard to see since its all the same color. Theres is moments (I dont remember when) where the icon gets a nice neon halo, thats really nice. If the icons had a translucid background and that neon as indicator for active/open apps, that would be perfect!!! Anyway, I’m loving the improvements so far. Great job, thanks

  • Anderson Cardoso

    another improvement I suggest is: Please make a unified configuration/tweaking center. For system and the GUI. Its hard to explain for a new user that if he wants to change configs he use something, to change some other things in appearance he has to install some weird compizconfig-settings-manager..for other use gconf, and for other open a terminal and type crazy stuff. Make it simple and unified (insn’t unity the name??). Thanks fot the great work of all the Ubuntu team. att Anderson

  • Sashin Ranasinghe

    List your so called facts without ranting, also source them.

  • Sashin Ranasinghe

    List your so called facts without ranting, also source them.

  • John Mills

    You can’t compare Canonical to Gnome. Gnome are clearly committed to software freedom and have a long history to back it up.

    “Canonical”, for all intents and purposes, may as well be called “Mark Shuttleworth” – and all Mark Shuttleworth cares only about is his bank balance. For him, FOSS is nothing more than a means to an end.

    He spoke recently about CLAs and copyright assignment and when questioned about the possible abuse of CLAs in free software – he compared Canonical’s stance with that of the FSF. Why does he insist on comparing himself with officially registered non-profit organisations?

    You are the ignorant one if you can’t see that you’re working for a manipulative, lying man who’s trying very hard to be the face of free software while simultaneously f*cking it in the ass.

  • John Mills

    You can’t compare Canonical to Gnome. Gnome are clearly committed to software freedom and have a long history to back it up.

    “Canonical”, for all intents and purposes, may as well be called “Mark Shuttleworth” – and all Mark Shuttleworth cares only about is his bank balance. For him, FOSS is nothing more than a means to an end.

    He spoke recently about CLAs and copyright assignment and when questioned about the possible abuse of CLAs in free software – he compared Canonical’s stance with that of the FSF. Why does he insist on comparing himself with officially registered non-profit organisations?

    You are the ignorant one if you can’t see that you’re working for a manipulative, lying man who’s trying very hard to be the face of free software while simultaneously f*cking it in the ass.

  • Sashin Ranasinghe

    I don’t quite understand what Lazza is trying to say, but being mean to people isn’t going to help get anywhere in spreading a point across.

    If you didn’t understand what he said you should simply ask him to rephrase it, or for what he meant.

  • Sashin Ranasinghe

    Try using a dock, like awn or docky or something.

  • Sashin Ranasinghe

    This would be a horrible UI for a phone, would be good for a desktop though.

  • Sashin Ranasinghe

    Explain how this is.

  • Sashin Ranasinghe

    Unity is for gnome.

  • Aj

    Jono, great job! Looks awesome. My personal review on unity and all the changes: The design team should know that making these enormous changes to UI in every ubuntu release is not good. Stick to one layout and make changes in the internal menus and make it work more efficient. Look at windows. They did a good job with the UI and every user will be comfortable with it for several years. I gave last years release to my dad and I was thinking if I should upgrade to latest version but after I saw Unity, I dont think my dad would take so much pain learning new things. Same for every other end-user. They want to focus on their work and not on learning new stuff that comes with every ubuntu release. This is just my personal opinion. I just think that if you guys focus more on broken backend stuff to make it work flawlessly, no one would ever use Windows.

    Thanks!

  • Anonymous

     top panel integrates into the maximized window, check the screens

  • Anonymous

    jono cool screens, am just not sure about those windows controls on the dash, they could use work or revert them back…

    and now that users can also choose radiance theme, you should give us some screens, like with software center, dash open, apps, etc. to see hows that;s going.

    thanks!

  • http://fitoschidoblog.wordpress.com Fitoschido

    And that means…??

  • http://fitoschidoblog.wordpress.com Fitoschido

    Explain that clearly, and please avoid prejudices.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kalyan.chatterjea Kalyan Chatterjea

    I am now more or less OK with unity and generally liking it. The screen shots above are cool!…will wait eagerly!!

  • http://andrealazzarotto.com/ Lazza

    Oh well, Mills is another one who thinks all humans on the planet speak english as their primary language. BTW, he talked about “this trash” on Planet GNOME, but the only trash is his unkind and troll-like comment, which AFAIK is not aggregated as a blog post on Planet GNOME.

  • Guest

    I think that was supposed to be replaced a long time ago, a long with nm-manager, but the replacement is still not finished.

  • Guest

    I wish I knew this last month. Installing natty on an AMD card that was rather good and the performance was worse than my old pc.

  • Guest

    I’d say I would kind of like it on a tablet.

  • Guest

    I hope so. But there’s an extension for 3.3 already.

  • Guest

    Could you post a link to that? I’ve been having trouble with this.

  • http://andrealazzarotto.com/ Lazza

    I could search the page, but as I said, for me it didn’t work. If I remember correctly it was about Lightning. http://www.mozilla.org/projects/calendar/lightning/

  • Lalalala

    Gosh, it looks like Mac. What a coincidence. 

  • Mandy

    Love the changes overall, but there are a few things I’m disappointed with. I miss the Ubuntu button being in the top left corner, as I’m used to just throwing my cursor to that corner of the screen — it’s much easier to do that than to find a spot a few pixels below it. Also, from a new user standpoint, the autohiding window controls aren’t the best idea; I can imagine a new user being stumped at where they’d gone.

    I’m really hoping the Dash gets some customizability in terms of being able to change the programs that appear on the main Dash.

  • Len

    absolutely love it! the only problem is that default wallpaper, feels pretty chaotic.

  • Len

    absolutely love it! the only problem is that default wallpaper, feels pretty chaotic.

  • http://profiles.google.com/patrickscott52 Patrick Scott

    Press alt+tab to bring up the dialog, holding alt and pressing the arrow keys or repeatedly pressing tab cycles through the windows. This is the same as the current alt+tab switcher (the only addition being the addition of the down arrow to view multiple windows of the same application)

  • http://profiles.google.com/patrickscott52 Patrick Scott

    The new dash looks great when it’s overlayed over a plain background but I find that when predominantly a white window (say nautilus or gedit) is behind the dash overlay, it is very hard to see the icons, menus and text properly. I think there is just a tad too much transparency and I hope to see that tweaked a little during the beta phase…

  • http://andrealazzarotto.com/ Lazza

    +1 A bit darker (as it is in 11.04) would be a lot better. :)

  • http://jaywink.myopenid.com/ jaywink

    Fantastic stuff! Looking forward to upgrading at beta :)

  • Erin Allen

    No no no, don’t be assuming what “regular” users do. There is no such as a “regular” user. Users do all kinds of things, and bad design decisions are made from blind assumptions. The flexibility and multiple ways to do things of traditional Linux desktops are strengths, and I hope Unity follows this tradition. Like customizable keystroke combos for all operations, and customizable keyboard mappings. Then all users are served.

  • Carla Schroder

    There is too. Really. Lots of stuff. Which I will list soon. Yes, very soon!   thinking…..

  • http://joshtriplett.org/ Josh Triplett

    Ah, I see.  Interesting, though a bit awkward, but at least alt-tab still mostly works as expected.

    Any way to make alt-tab switch between windows rather than applications?

  • Dmitrij K

    like it

  • Anonymous

    How exactly can you make such accusations when you don’t know Mark, his work, his approach, or his intentions? You are basically coming up with a series of baseless assumptions.

    How would you like that if people did that to you? Maybe I should just assume a bunch of things about you and your intentions, or deride your efforts? You know why I don’t do that…because it would be unfair to you.

    I have known Mark now for six years and I can genuinely affirm his intentions when it comes to Free Software and Ubuntu – he wants to bring Free Software to everyone, and he is willing to put his money where is mouth is. Sure, he is not perfect and he makes mistakes, but we all do. I feel like I am generally pretty decent at reading people, and if all of this has been a con on Mark’s part, he is a damn good conman who has conned some pretty smart people (and me).

    If you knew him, had worked with him closely, and had this perspective, I would have more faith in your perspective, but it sounds like you just read things on the Internet and make your own conclusions. This my friend, is what kindergarten kids do. Yep, five year-olds.

    So, bring some facts, bring some evidence, and let’s have a discussion. In the absence of that, this discussion is going nowhere, because a discussion is not a venomous slurry of discourteous misinformation and propaganda blurted out from someone who has been but a mere observer.

  • Anonymous

    Roh roh. :-)

  • Anonymous

    I agree that we should presume too much, but user testing is useful for identifying user habits and building solutions around those habits.

  • Anonymous
  • Ademeion

    Thanks for the tour! Everything seems to go forward on Ubuntu Oneiric Ocelot (11.10). Initially the only thing that I’m not fond of is the the fact that more and more icons and buttons are changed to monochrome and over-simplified styling (reminding me of traffic signs or the signs depicting different sports on a sports arena). This seems to be fashionable right now (at least among the visual designers), but design-wise I think it would be better to think more long-term and not go extreme with this. If the design is too simple (dull) visually, there will be a counter-reaction from the users into the opposite direction.

    If you don’t guard your professional visual designers, they may try to turn your product into something that a museum of modern would like to add to their collection, but most users would find unattractive. So stay alert for the creeping over-simplification and monochromism! When you are producing a consumer product, professional visual designers are like a fire: a good servant, but a bad master ;-) (The real professionals know when they are not designing for themselves or other designers and design magazines).

    In almost every other aspect I like the visual design of Oneiric Ocelot very much.

  • Anonymous

    To be fair, the only big change was moving to Unity. Each subsequent Ubuntu release has just built on top of the design. We started with notify-osd, then the messaging menu, then the me menu, then the indicators which implemented those menus, then Unity, and now improvements to the Unity dash.

  • Guest

    Well, the main problem are all day events. I’d be happy with only a calendar app, just as soon as it supports this and properly (lighting/sunbird were problematic last I checked).

  • Guest

    Yeah, but the prefs button is still there. I don’t know why, since there’s a menubar.

  • Guest

    I would love to use this on my netbook, but backlight on Samsungs’ broken. There are some 3rd party packages, but the ppa’s for natty and I don’t feel like compiling my kernel :D

    @jonobacon:disqus , will there be some replacement for the calendar part of evolution? Or is it there already and I missed it?

  • http://profiles.google.com/kenny.strawn Kenny Strawn

    Jono, I congratulate you, Mark, Sam (Spilsbury), and all of you guys at Ubuntu for your hard work. It’s a shame that John doesn’t see that, but FOSS is FOSS no matter who devleops it.

    GNOME Shell and Unity both have their issues. Thankfully, those Unity issues are being quickly fixed in 11.10 as you posted, and GNOME is also trying to fix its issues. I kind of see your point, John, but what about the fact that Mark tried his hardest to contribute to GNOME 3 development before it was released, only for his contributions to be let down a countless number of times? Canonical may try to make a small amount of money off of FOSS, but in my opinion Red Hat (the top contributor to the GNOME project) is far worse in that respect.

    If there is any growing up to do, it’s for those fanatics of proprietary software (i.e. iLemmings, WinTards). FOSS users know what they’re doing, and are too mature to be blinded by the fact that only Windows and OS X are preinstalled on computers (for the most part) and also too mature to post any personal attacks or “bait-and-switch”-type comments (i.e. “If you want to solve your problems, get a Mac”…)

  • Anon

    To be fair, I’ve seen a lot of the comments of the latter kind from certain Linux users.

  • msx

    “The Ubuntu button is now on the launcher (user testing told us most people look there to launch applications).”

    No, no, no, wrong choice! Actually is super-handy where it’s located, come on! Now instead just pushing naturally and without looking the mouse to the upper-left of the screen I’will have to carefully move it to a specific area, f**k, this is a big usability backward step :(

  • Anonymous

    I disagree. From using it now for a few days it makes better sense on the Launcher and I think the overall experience is cleaner – I also agree with the outcome of the user testing that most people look to load apps from the Launcher.

    From my own personal experience so far, it has been a usability improvement.

  • msx

    It is allways easier to just push the mouse to any corner of the screen than to move it to a specific point of it – and also strains less your wrist.

    Anyways since I didn’t given it a try yet I hope you’re right. Thanks for the reply Jono.

  • Sam

    what is ubuntu?

  • http://profiles.google.com/kenny.strawn Kenny Strawn

    Yeah, even I used to be immature like that, but I’ve grown to learn to criticize the idea, not the user, and also to be helpful, not “bait-and-switch”-ful.

    The more helpful you are, the more likely someone is going to want to use the OS you’re advocating. Being immature and just pushing OS X, Windows, Linux, or even Android (or Chrome OS) on people isn’t going to help any.

    With that said, this is about the issue of Unity vs. GNOME Shell, and I don’t take either side because they’re both FOSS anyway.

  • Aaadcd

    Unity would be cool if it was possible to put the dock at the bottom… on the left side feels waaay unnatural for meg. Might sound weird, but that is actually the difference between whether I can use it or not.

  • Guest

    Why not make the upper left corner ‘hot’ like in GNOME Shell? That should give the best of both worlds.

  • Guest

    I completely agree. A bit of cleanup can go a long way towards less information overload-induced headaches.

  • http://twitter.com/di0nysys Andrew Smith

    one of the coolest things about chrome was the the fact that they gave the option to get rid of the titlebar, unity prevents this from happening which REALLY sucks in my opinion.

  • http://twitter.com/di0nysys Andrew Smith

    Overall I like the way this is heading. But there needs to be a way to get rid of the title bar while running chrome.

    It also sucks that nautilus 3 looks as bad as it is.

    But, I’m still excited for where Ubuntu is going, I see good things in the future.

  • http://twitter.com/di0nysys Andrew Smith

    the mandatory top panel also wastes space while running chrome.

  • Henrik Holst

    Look at windows Well they changed it a lot in Vista/Win7 compared to how it was in XP.

  • http://twitter.com/trthwillout Noh Tahnx

    Jono, can we get videos like Gnome3 had. I really like the direction of unity. However as someone mentioned one of my biggest pet peeve is selecting the exact window I want using the launcher. It’s quite difficult to hit such a small point on the launcher (the little arrow) then to have to click the window. I switch between windows very fast and this is cumberson. Sure I can use alt+tab but that can get pretty cumbersome. Further more, I wish there was a way to use the mouse scroll over the workspace to switch between them. I really don’t like interfaces where I have to “zoom out” then “zoom back in”. I see this with window switching and I see it with workspace switching and it’s really hurting the Unity experience. I’m not sure how I feel about the dash button placement yet. But we shall see.

     There are some good ideas hear. But something being “interesting” or looking “cool” doe not equal efficient. And as much as I tried to prefer unity to gnome-shell. The last round went solidly to Gnome 3. (Actually probably to kde, their activity setups are just too powerful to ignore. But btween unity and gnome it went to gnome). This is a shame because for most of the the dev releases I found unity better.

    Please at least give us these options even if they are buried deep within some config file. I know you aren’t responsible for these decisions but at least relay them back. Thank you for the screen shot tour by the way. The actual dash looks like a massive improvement.

  • http://profiles.google.com/kenny.strawn Kenny Strawn

    You mean built-in screencasting (Ctrl+Shift+Alt+R in GNOME Shell)? Yeah, I would love to see that in Unity as well, as it would save the user from having to use third-party tools (like gtk-RecordMyDesktop for instance). I also would love to see Unity’s built-in screencaster record audio as well, not just video.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks Jono. I am liking the progress here. Well done. Unity is the right choice.

  • http://twitter.com/d2kx Dennis MH

    What title bar? You can disable it in the settings.

  • Francesco44

    Dear Jono,

    Just to say it one more time. The classic desktop was perfect for most of us. Unity deserve a 16/9 screen. Some of us have still a 4/3 one. Unity needs more brute power, more mouse click. Many of us respect your work, but, please secure a classic desktop in a way or another, for example a LXDE desktop with the help of Lubuntu. You cannot “impose” Unity for many reason without compromising all the work done the last five year. This question is asked in many forums by people representing at least 30% of Ubuntu Users. It is time to answer it.

    Once you secured a sort of classic desktop…you will be able to do whatever you want with Unity with all the time to introduce any novelty you desire. Peoples will be able to follow you with their usual desktop and switch to Unity when they will have the time to do it.

    This is an elementary principle

  • André Martínez

    Humans have always evolving and new generations always require that theaccompanying technologies .. very good, Canonical, let’s do our part without being in the room.

  • Francesco44

    Dear Jono

    Second comment:

    We are in a time of big economical and ecological crisis. The time has come to give computers to millions of childrens, millions of students in India, Africa etc…Many of these computers will come from old computers, laptops….discarded in the rich countries. You also have to think that many of these millions of computers won’t have the power of the ones we use in Europe, Japan or USA for that reason (or other economical reasons)…. But there is more, it is in no way sound to “push” to the renewal of all the computers in the world for ecological reasons: recycling generates wastes, pollutions, deaths. Many poor peoples have not the money to change their computers today, because of the economical crisis…And again…there is more…Millions of peoples are used to the “classic” interfaces, hundred thousands of them are teaching how to use these “classic” interfaces (and have the practice and tutorial to do so). With a brutal change as Unity (even if Unity is good, efficient…) you will compromise all that base. You have a deep responsability (strongly assumed the last five years by Mark, Cannonical..and you). Keep thinking to these millions of users of Open Source software.

    Therefore I respect what has been done the last ten years or so…but…PLEASE…Do not try to “force” the change too fast…and please secure the “classic” desktop….or if you prefer a separate version of a “Basic Ubuntu” for these millions of people. Time for new desktop will come

    Hope you understand these simple arguments

     

  • Anonymous

    How do you know it was for “most” people?

    I am not denying that the Classic desktop is a great UI and piece of engineering, but my personal hunch is that the worst thing we can do is be stuck in the past. We want Ubuntu to continue to evolve and meet the needs of as many computer users as possible, including but not limited to Linux enthusiasts.

    In any case, there are plenty of great distributions such as Lubuntu and Xubuntu that still provide a wonderful Free Software UI in a more classic-y kind of way. :-)

  • Anonymous

    I agree that we are facing challenging economic times, and the goal of Ubuntu is a wide one…to bring Free Software to everyone, including poorer people on legacy and older hardware.

    Our challenge is to keep innovating in bring Free Software to the masses while not leaving anyone behind. Now, of course, some people will choose not to continue this journey with us…and that is fine and all part of change.

    In terms of forcing change, no change is ever really forced in Free Software. Sure we ship Unity by default, but you can still run the classic desktop on Ubuntu, and other Ubuntu derived distributions also ship other interfaces.

    I don’t believe that we will meet the needs of poorer people and break down the digital divide if we don’t innovate in software. We have to innovate but leave open choice, and Ubuntu has never removed the ability to use other options. I believe Unity is a good step forward for all our users, and sure it is change, but I think bold, adventurous change is required to get us over the chasm and building global ubiquity of Free Software.

  • tgm

    You guys just made an alt-tab replacement worthy of it’s own key on the keyboard! anyone for that awful Windows “right click menu” key for this?

  • Francesco44

    Jono,

    I understand your arguments, I am in no way pleading for stopping innovation. It is clear that Marks, Cannonical and you should look forward. I just suggest that you adopt a strategy that allows progressivity. This mean to secure what we know is already efficient and, INSIDE Ubuntu, allows this progressive change. It is obvuously possible for the people reluctant to Unity to choose Mint, Lubuntu, Xubuntu. I think nevertheless is is better to promote the change…without… changing distros (I would rather stay with Ubuntu). Therefore leave the choice to the people to change whenever they are ready for it (with a new more powerful computer, time to leanr a new environment). This means something rather simple, I think…that is keep the classic interface as an open choice.

    It seems from your answers that you keep this possibility open.

    If this is the case there is no problem. I suggest you say that very loudly…which might stop some confusions around the status of Unity. Which in any case is a legitimate attempt to build a new interface

    I stop there my comments to leave room for others.

  • Nomenomen

    Yeah great screenshot tour. Your new desktop environment looks promising. But may I ask why this blog is on planet GNOME? Is not GNOME Shell integral part of GNOME 3? But you choose to create your own DE. That fine, but please say this openly. Also, since when Qt/qml is part of GNOME? And I fell that Unity 2d will soon replace  3d version ( people remember my words). Anyway as KDE user I really enjoy this all mess in GNOME land. Haha more shells, please.

  • Anonymous

    Ubuntu 11.10 ships the GNOME 3 platform and is a great showcase of it – we just don’t ship GNOME Shell by default.

  • Nomenomen

    Thank you for response. But from what I see here http://gnome3.org/ GS is INTEGRAL part of GNOME 3 experience. So… Unity is de facto fork of GNOME or new DE based on GNOME if you do not want to use word “fork” and this opinion is shared also by many GNOME developers (especially from red hat). Even more, users see Unity as new DE… And to be honest most user do not care about Unity status (new DE, fork GNOME, new shell for GNOME that really doesn’t matter). And I know why you as community manager say, what you say (for good PR), but truth is one.

  • John B. Buncher

    Jono,

    First I want to express my appreciation for all of the work you and the rest of the buntu teams have done, it really is impressive and I *do appreciate all of the effort and time everyone has put in.

    That being said, I just want to voice (as I’m sure many others have) my concern that Unity is still a “click-heavy” or “type-heavy” shell when finding applications.  One of the things I really love about the classic interface is that I can click once to open the menu, explore all of the sub-menus simply by moving the mouse, and then click again on my desired application.    This is a maximum total of 2 clicks to find any application, just using mouse movement.  With Unity, the minimum number of button-presses is 2 (one to open the dash, one for the application).  There is an additional button press if it’s not one of the “most used” applications to get the right category, and then another round of clicks to get the “full list” of apps in that category if the app you are searching for is not one of the most frequently used in that category.  This is, unfortunately, quite painful, and it makes discovering applications harder (in my experience) that it needs to be.

    To be fair, I love hitting the super key, typing “update”, hitting enter, and having the update manager launch.  That kind of functionality is fantastic for apps if you know what the title/name is.  The only point I’m trying to make is that if there are several apps that is not used frequently enough to warrant space on the launcher, then Unity makes it really annoying (though an unnecessary number of clicks or button-presses) to actually find them.

    Other suggestions:

    1.) An option so that unity defaults to listing every individual window of a program type (so if I have 3 firefox windows open, it lists all 3 individually rather than requiring me to hit another button to see the 3 windows).  Along with this would be an option to see the  preview of the window instead of just the program icon.

    2.)  For those of us who love “activation follows mouse” or “focus follows mouse”, the global menu can be irritating in the following use case:  One window (say firefox) is maximized, while another non-maximized window is on top of it (say a pidgin IM window, or the buddy list).  If I want to (using the mouse) access the menu of the pidgin window, when I move the mouse across the firefox window to get to the global menu, the focus switches to firefox, and then the global menu shows the firefox menus!  To access the pidgin menu, I then need to hit alt-tab to re-focus the window accordingly. 

    I’m not sure how to get around this technologically, other than implementing a “timer” of some sort, such that the global menu doesn’t switch focus until the “new window” has been in focus for a second or so (unless typing or clicking or some other user-directed action occurred in the new window).  This would prevent the global menu from getting confused in the “fly-over” cases, where the mouse accidentally clips a different program on the way up to the global menu and changes the focus.

    That became a lot longer than I anticipated.  That being said, those are my 3 largest complaints/SuggestionsForImprovement with Unity.  If those could be addressed in some fashion (esp. by 12.04 when I’ll be looking to upgrade), I’d be one very happy user!

    –JB

  • John B. Buncher

    Jono,

    First I want to express my appreciation for all of the work you and the rest of the buntu teams have done, it really is impressive and I *do appreciate all of the effort and time everyone has put in.

    That being said, I just want to voice (as I’m sure many others have) my concern that Unity is still a “click-heavy” or “type-heavy” shell when finding applications.  One of the things I really love about the classic interface is that I can click once to open the menu, explore all of the sub-menus simply by moving the mouse, and then click again on my desired application.    This is a maximum total of 2 clicks to find any application, just using mouse movement.  With Unity, the minimum number of button-presses is 2 (one to open the dash, one for the application).  There is an additional button press if it’s not one of the “most used” applications to get the right category, and then another round of clicks to get the “full list” of apps in that category if the app you are searching for is not one of the most frequently used in that category.  This is, unfortunately, quite painful, and it makes discovering applications harder (in my experience) that it needs to be.

    To be fair, I love hitting the super key, typing “update”, hitting enter, and having the update manager launch.  That kind of functionality is fantastic for apps if you know what the title/name is.  The only point I’m trying to make is that if there are several apps that is not used frequently enough to warrant space on the launcher, then Unity makes it really annoying (though an unnecessary number of clicks or button-presses) to actually find them.

    Other suggestions:

    1.) An option so that unity defaults to listing every individual window of a program type (so if I have 3 firefox windows open, it lists all 3 individually rather than requiring me to hit another button to see the 3 windows).  Along with this would be an option to see the  preview of the window instead of just the program icon.

    2.)  For those of us who love “activation follows mouse” or “focus follows mouse”, the global menu can be irritating in the following use case:  One window (say firefox) is maximized, while another non-maximized window is on top of it (say a pidgin IM window, or the buddy list).  If I want to (using the mouse) access the menu of the pidgin window, when I move the mouse across the firefox window to get to the global menu, the focus switches to firefox, and then the global menu shows the firefox menus!  To access the pidgin menu, I then need to hit alt-tab to re-focus the window accordingly. 

    I’m not sure how to get around this technologically, other than implementing a “timer” of some sort, such that the global menu doesn’t switch focus until the “new window” has been in focus for a second or so (unless typing or clicking or some other user-directed action occurred in the new window).  This would prevent the global menu from getting confused in the “fly-over” cases, where the mouse accidentally clips a different program on the way up to the global menu and changes the focus.

    That became a lot longer than I anticipated.  That being said, those are my 3 largest complaints/SuggestionsForImprovement with Unity.  If those could be addressed in some fashion (esp. by 12.04 when I’ll be looking to upgrade), I’d be one very happy user!

    –JB

  • Nomenomen

    Unity 2d is written in qt/qml so runs, looks, and works much faster than gtk version

  • Anonymous

    well i think your dad should start trying unity.

    i did with my dad and he is ok with it.

    he has the old LTS and the new unity and he really doesnt care which one he’s using as long as the programs he uses frequently: firefox and skype and less frequently: shotwell and libreoffice writer are visible in the launcher.

    tell him about the space and search benefits of using unity and place his fav programs visible in the launcher and he should be pretty much set.

  • Mark

    A couple of suggestions; 1. Could the program menus go back to the program window when it isn’t maximized? I frequently run non-maximized windows, and the annoyance of going to the top panel for a menu command when a program is running in the lower-right of my right monitor is why I switched back to classic Gnome. 2. Allow easy switching of mail clients for the notify area, including web clients (e.g., Gmail).

  • Mark

    A couple of suggestions; 1. Could the program menus go back to the program window when it isn’t maximized? I frequently run non-maximized windows, and the annoyance of going to the top panel for a menu command when a program is running in the lower-right of my right monitor is why I switched back to classic Gnome. 2. Allow easy switching of mail clients for the notify area, including web clients (e.g., Gmail).

  • http://www.facebook.com/julianjupiter Julian V. Jupiter

    so excited…

  • Andrea Florio

    unity like gnome3 does suck a lot, in this case also, ubuntu is just trying to copy OSX.

    i really don’t know where those new guis want to go… but for sure, all but not usability

  • http://twitter.com/remaster Daniel Neuman

    How will this look on old hardware without gfx acceleration? Will it default to the old UI just like in Natty?

  • Tarpit

    users love empty space, nobody cares about actual content

  • Guest

    That default background makes me physically ill.

  • Anonymous

    It looks just the same, it loads Unity 2D which has the same UI, just without the 3D effects.

  • Anonymous

    It looks just the same, it loads Unity 2D which has the same UI, just without the 3D effects.

  • http://twitter.com/Hexual Ian ‘IZO’ Hex

    Jono, this desktop looks absolutely stunning and I simply cannot wait to use it. I truly hope the actual experience of using it surpasses the suggestions provided by the static screenshots. 

    As a designer with a keen interest for detail in UI/UX design, I only have one thing to add and that is this: like has been mentioned, if you’re using transparency in any UI element where text provides the focal point of interaction , you NEED text shadows, no question about it. 

    Hopefully this won’t be a lot of work and can be provided before Oneiric final gets released. =]

  • Philip Leaper

    Excellent work to everyone at Canonical.  Unity took a bit of getting used to, but now it’s second nature to me, if I go back to classic I feel like I’m missing something and everything just looks a bit ‘clunky’.  I’ve had people looking over my shoulder and ‘ooooh’ing, asking what it is.  This, in my opinion, is the right move to get towards an OS that starts getting picked up by a lot more people and starts getting developers producing quality – probably paid – applications, turning it from a niche OS to a fully-adopted one.  I look forward to every April/October.  

  • Daniel Hughes

    The ubuntu button should be on the launcher, However the launcher should go to the top of the screen. So that the ubuntu button is still in the corner but also on the launcher. This is the best of both worlds. The close button is not important enough to deserve the easy access of the corner.

  • https://profiles.google.com/116073748054291541228/posts Techy8789

    Can’t wait

  • Annoynmous

    As long as my German Keyboard always comes up with English setting (even though Keyboard switcher shows German been setup)  it’s not worth switching, I guess.

    Second annoyance. I added a Terminal Icon to the launcher but you can launch only one Terminal from there. new Terminals have to be opened a different way… not really quicker.

    Third annoyance: Banshee removed all cover arts from my iPhone… nice.

  • http://profiles.google.com/kenny.strawn Kenny Strawn

    I suppose Unity can be considered a fork of GNOME, but a very minimal fork compared to how many applications there are in GNOME 3 (besides GNOME Shell and maybe the default Control Center without the ability to change the theme).

    And Unity, IMHO, forks GNOME 3 for the better if that is the case, as at least Unity allows you to place shortcuts on the desktop, at least Unity allows you to change various aspects of the UI using CompizConfig Settings Manager, and at least Unity doesn’t force you to go into an “overview” to launch your favorite applications. Not to mention that the 11.10 Unity improvements make the user experience even better than it was, since (1) most people look to the Launcher to access apps, according to a study, and (2) the idea of “Scopes” and “Lenses” to replace “Places” also allows more customizability in regards to what data sources can be accessed.

    As I said on Mark Shuttleworth’s blog, you guys can keep ranting about such things as Unity and GNOME 3 but that makes you no different than those Windoze XP users who still use an OS from 2001 out of pure irrational fear of change. Also, as I said over there, that irrational fear is typically computer dummy behavior, not power user behavior.

  • http://twitter.com/espectalll123 Francisco Gómez

    Pretty cool! I can see that some new elements, like Alt+Tab design and system settings are based in Mac, but there are some really innovative ideas too. Well done! I want Unity soon! :D

  • http://profiles.google.com/kenny.strawn Kenny Strawn

    The “System Settings” dialog that you see in Mac OS X is new to Lion (as far as I know), and GNOME 3 has had this GTK+-based system settings dialog since April…

    And Alt+Tab? GNOME Shell has had a similar Alt+Tab switcher long before OS X…

  • MarkoK

    Space is needed to allow eyes to focus to wanted things. But space in wrong places is bad. Example now the top left corner with the panel is not well designed when desktop is empty or either when there is menu shown in it. 

    The Unity can look nice but it is like one size wrench what does not fit anything else than for one bolt. 

    Yes, it does it job well enough if you want to run one or two applications at once. But does it deserve best shell merit? No. 

    Unity needs time to grow and evolve and it takes time. About 5-6 years and then it will be much closer to GNOME and KDE or long time dead.

    The problem with Unity (and GNOME Shell) is that there is no powerfull and easy direction for anyone. It is very sad thing as they are designed for very narrow usage. I love to use both of those as long the main use is very limited. But even for seniors and juniors (teaching computer users, taking notes of usability and doing research of that area) the older GNOME is simpler and more powerfull to use.  But it has have time to evolve long time. 

     Good thing is, there is choice and it is Plasma what fits best for every situation. 

  • MarkoK

    Actually Canonical is abusing its media hype to drive own ideas over the community. Like Unity, own version of media player for money, abusive community leadership on forums what spreads to other side of web (wikipedia articles, specific software forums, blogs etc). 

    Yes you have possibility to one way to install other desktop. But to be a realistic, Canonical should first push community efforts and secondly a own efforts. When Media is watching more closely Canonicals actions, it should show example how the community works. Not collect the credit from others work or present own ideas as the community ones. 

  • MarkoK

    The System Settings is almost direct copy of the OS X’s System Settings. 

    Excample of Mac OS X 10.1  http://www.guidebookgallery.org/pics/gui/settings/menu/macosx101.png And OS X had the Cmd+Tab (equilevant to Alt+Tab) long before Gnome Shell existed. http://img.ezinemark.com/imagemanager2/files/30004252/2011/05/2011-05-09-09-43-32-3-when-you-consider-command-tab-as-a-speedy-way-to-m.jpegThe Unity is so great example of how some Open Source people copies Apple designs. It is not accident that a theme, a wallpapers and Unity are so similar to OS X look.

    PS. I just hope you were not sarcastic ;)

  • MarkoK

    Yes, we should throw away the time what was used to develop and polish a GUI since 1940’s because it is old.

    Same time we need to reinvent the wheel as it is not modern and clever.

    The one big thing what gets people like Unity or GNOME Shell are that they throw away most things what people dont think so much and leaves only the critical ones. It is a “good start” but in time you end up to same situation as earlier and then it is again same thing, throw away everything and make simple UI. 

    Even Apple is in problems with its UI’s now as it would need to add features and functions what people need. But they would clutter the UI. 

    It is always easy to design a UI what has just one button what is ON or OFF. But to get a UI what allows to produce more than just ON/OFF state is the problem. 

    The questions are not simple. Even most people dont think difference between touch screens and mouse + keyboard or just keyboard controls.  You can not have same UI for every possible situation. Even the same UI with same hardware controls but with different screen resolution and screen size can be very problematic.  Example of Unity, it really sucks at screens what are now typically on laptops (1280×800) and even currently being sold (1360×900 or something).

    And again when screen size grows to 1920×1080 or bigger, it sucks again as it is not designed for so big screens at all. And it is again unnatural for most people at middle-east or so on who reads from right to left. Or those who reads from top to down. 

    The Unity philosophy is more like “One size must fit for all”. Even that it would fit only for 15% of the people, it is pushed down to throath for every Ubuntu user, liked it or not.

    Unity is terrible for multi screen systems, for external screen/projector usage, for small screens and huge screens, for touch screens. 

    It has nice default theme, nice default wallpaper and it is almost it. Ubuntu fans clearly can either love it without thinking it what is wrong with it. Or they notice how it is on their way and they switch.  And since Unity was brought to users, people do not anymore praise the Ubuntu having better desktop than Windows or OS X.  

  • Dajomu1

    The look of the icons in system settings is not 2011 quality.Looks old and win95ish

  • Dajomu1

    The default view of Dash should be like the third image above with one change. The list of all programs should be expanded as a scrollable list. Filters should be available like in the same screenshot.  I don’t understand what the designers are thinking about regarding dash. Why is there a lens called more apps? that is what should be the default view. Why is there a lens called find files, when you already can search for them in the search-bar? And for firefox, view photos, check mail, listen to music, if you really need to have a list of “favorites” there, they should have been there based on those programs you use the most. At the moment Dash is horrible. When Oneiric comes out, can I change the options in Dash?

  • Anonymous

    Jono! I really like many of the concepts in Oneiric, but I still have a number of issues I’d like to address. I’d appreciate any response, or some explanation to why you’ve made the decisions you’ve made.

    Get your popcorn, boys and girls:

    <!--
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    1) It’s inconsistent.

    USC

    Thunderbird

    U1

    Nautilus

    LibreOffice

    Several of the most used programs have different designs even though it shouldn’t be necessary. The navigational buttons in USC differ from the GTK standard, in nautilus they’re on the “wrong side”, U1 has a completely different design philosophy from the others and LibreOffice does not support global menu ootb, although it’s possible to install from repos. Wtf? Thunderbird still feels a bit awkward and KDE 3-ish compared to it’s brother Firefox and, say, nautilus (which also has received some work to break with the normal standards)

    2) It’s unthemable. It’s impossible to create your own themes and modify existing ones like it was with gtk2. Big, big disappointment since the first thing many users do is to adjust their desktop to their liking.

    3) Hiding window controls is just silly. Why does the window menu hide, especially when you’re in windowed mode. It’s confusing to have the window title two different places and no menu!

    4) The Unity Dash-button should have
    the same look as the other buttons in the launcher. Also the lenses
    should appear closer to the dash-button to minimize “mouse
    milage”. (Suggestions: Lenses replace your normal launcher icons when dash is open, or placing the lenses bar at the top of the dash.)
    

    5) Launcher should be made moveable between L, B and R sides now that dependence on Dash-button in top panel is removed. I’ve actually gotten questions from Windows users (!) on that part.

    6) The entry “color” in Gnome System Settings should be removed or renamed. It’s confusing and doesn’t seem to work. (What does it do?)

    7)

    <!--
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    -->Thunderbird (or mail client of
    choice) should be left running in background after being closed,
    like Banshee or Empathy. Although I'm not using my client atm it'd
    be nice to see when I get new mails etc without the program being
    open. Inconsistent with other “indicator-apps” that actually run in the background.
    

    Lastly I question the decision to use window controls on something that is not a window (dash)..

    So.. I just hope to get some answers or explanations to a few of these issues, because they keep on nagging me. :)

  • Anonymous

    KDE has had a very similar control center to GSS for years now. Alt+Tab to change windows has existed almost as long as graphical desktops, so that’s not a new invention on either side.

    Most projects borrow ideas and concepts from each other, just look at cars, architecture, movies and books. Nothing new here.

  • Taff

    Why oh why must cretinous pratts troll sensible feedback in this way, they add nothing but angry frustration.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Gregory-Wallace/772898703 Gregory Wallace

    Gotta say, that the first version on Unity was a real turn off for me.  But from what I am seeing here I may switch back to Ubuntu.  May have to download a copy after I update Kubuntu and see. 

  • Anonymous

    I love 90% of this!!! I don’t like the ubuntu button in the launcher. I know I sound “old” but I just really hate it in the launcher, perhaps there should be an option? Also, please for the love of god remove the ‘feature’ that when an app uses more than x percent it opens auto maximized? I have a large screen and I like seeing my window title and everything NOT maximized. I don’t need this.

  • thetruckinglife

    installed and running smoothly on my desktop, hard to believe its free. was surprised firefox is version 7, so far so good, installed and updated glitch free. only thing i have installed so far are flash player for youtube and vlc for multimedia and the veetle tv plug-in and all are working fine. great job guys.

  • AbortionNO.org

    STILL UNABLE TO INSTALL FLASH FROM SOFT CENT! PLEASE REPAIR DOWNLOADER BUG!

  • AbortionNo.org

    also SKYPE in not loading after successful install… thanks!

  • Flodine1

    Hey Jono next time you go by a mac store look inside and ask yourself why the hell its so busy,and the damn desktop looks just like 10.04.if macosx is stuck in the past i better go get me one of those old macbooks.

  • Flodine1

    ubuntu 11.10 looks like a bubble gum fake desktop, wow 10.04 LTS so much better.Please guys macosx looks the same for years and there not loosing and users.

  • Flodine1

    ubuntu 11.10 looks like a bubble gum fake desktop, wow 10.04 LTS so much better.Please guys macosx looks the same for years and there not loosing and users.

  • Marie

    When I first tried Unity, I didn’t like it much. However, now that I’m used to using the keyboard shortcuts, my production time is much faster. They are progressing nicely. I am also thankful that the Firefox updates have been so timely in Natty. I’m looking forward to some icon changes in the future, perhaps for LTS. I’m using an equinox theme right now, as I do love the Faenza look. My only gripe right now is that I would prefer the launcher on the bottom, as it works better for my monitor and seems more balanced (just my opinion). I’m very happy that Gwibber has changed as well. I will be playing with Shell and XFCE too. I think those new to Ubuntu or those who don’t like Unity/Shell may want to check in with Xubuntu for a classic experience. With all of the options, including U2D, available, I think people can relax and find the environment that works for them. Kudos to the team. :D

  • Marie

    You need to file the bugs in the right place: this isn’t it.

  • Marie

    I agree with this one – time for an icon update. 

  • Marie

    I especially agree with 3 and 5. I’m not a fan of global menu at all and do want the ability to move the launcher, like I did with AWN/Docky/ADeskBar/Xubuntu launcher. They have come a long way though and I think they deserve credit for fixing much of the things I didn’t like about Unity in the beginning. I’m looking forward to better LibreOffice integration and I think they will get there. However, in general, I don’t see Unity as any better than Shell. Good thing we can switch up when we want. I think newbies and non-keyboard centric people may be better suited for Xubuntu, Mint, or Zorin right now. I think Ubuntu is awesome on my notebook, but Xubuntu makes for a better desktop, imho. Perhaps Canonical should make XFCE the desktop version and Unity the netbook/laptop edition. It just makes sense to me, as most all of Ubuntu’s default apps work great in XFCE.

  • Who, me?

    I’ll endorse what both Marie and cmyrland said about making the Unity launcher movable (left-bottom-right) and go beyond that: 1) It needs a utility to configure it to the user’s liking rather than what the developer thinks the user should STFU and learn to live with, 2) Quicklists need to be standard equipment for default apps and 3) the ability to add and edit quicklists for other buttons should be one of the key features of the aforementioned utility.

    The lack of configurability is one of two reasons I flat-out abandoned Unity in 11.04. (The other is that Unity took over the Super button instead of letting me map it to the GNOME Main Menu panel app, and I suddenly discovered that having that easily at hand is a key part of my personal workflow. Its loss left me frustrated and ready to abandon Ubuntu entirely.)

  • Who, me?

    My sentiments exactly. Docky beats Unity Launcher hands-down.

  • AbortionNo.org

    i know it isn’t. i just wanted to see if i’m alone or not…

  • shane piper

    Finally a blog post about Ubuntu 11.10 which makes the OS oh so likable.  Ubuntu really is moving off in a league of its own. :)  A++++ blog

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_7DDYQJHRPU4ORWGOHLIZCXLXBI AlistairW

    Finally an alternative emerges for the Launcher.  Cairo-dock makes Ubuntu 11.04 and 11.10 usable.  I’m now thinking about switching forward from 10.10. http://www.webupd8.org/2011/09/cairo-dock-240-released-with-custom.html

  • Andy

    Unity? – very expressionistic imitation of a modern computer shell interface – what’s missing is a few futuristic alien ‘hieroglyphs’ just what I always wanted!!!   

  • ann

    thanks this