Notes on #Ubuntu 11.10

Another notes post; this time on 11.10. Notes as I experience the many irks or positive moments while running this new software.

Throughout this text I complain a lot. Thats because its unfiltered thoughts! Ranted directly to the page and auto posted at a cut-off date about 4 days later. This means you are now looking at a wad of raw frustration driven data, please treat it as such. You’ve been warned.

Also you might start to wonder what crap hardware I am running on; its a Dell Precision M4400, NVIDIA inside. 4GB ram; Intel core duo @ 2.80GHz x2; Quadro FX 770M graphics card; 64 bit Ubuntu 11.10, upgraded from 11.04 and before that upgraded from a fresh 10.10 install, keeping the home partition.

I was annoyed to find out an upgrade would take 2 hours; thats a lot more than a fresh install :/ Makes sense in a very remote way..

I had to leave before the update was ready so I had the laptop running in my car (thank me for taking that regular power plug option) to complete the install.

Which is when I found out that when it says its downloading everything and updating afterwards, that doesnt include the flash downloader update. Let me elaboratel it does include the downloader, just not the actual download, so unless you want the update to fail, you’ll need internet throughout

The update failed for me. It finished but it failed the flash update; which meant the system didnt auto reboot. It did however leave me with an utterly unusable system where I couldnt even open a program or whatever. I had to login on the CTRL+ALT+F1 tty1 before I was even able to (sudo) reboot.

I already advised someone NOT to upgrade and I will not upgrade my wife anytime soon.

I like the new alt tab switcher. Its nice; it works great with the multiple windows thing
I hate how it chooses the next window. I used to alt tab between the windows on the screen and alt tab more to scroll through the other windows; now it just opens some random window and drags me away to another workspace; this is not an improvement

The chat thing window didnt show formatting untill after I opened the preferences dialog. And it looks AWFUL without formatting!
Pretty with formatting though

I made an 11.10 USB stick (had to try twice because of some weird error) and will probably re-install

When I connect my USB stick and click on it, it opens tagtool instead of a browser. That’s just Weird!
Edit: Peter told me its problem with the xdg-open config file at .local/share/applications/mimeapps.list – obviously the following is Wrong: “inode/directory=nautilus-folder-handler.desktop;userapp-tagtool-YDTHBV.desktop;” How does this get messed up??

Thunderbird was utterly crippled! I had to remove the .thunderbird map (effectively clearing out all settings, files and whatnot) Then having to struggle with getting the config even resembling what I had; I still have to rewrite most of the rules for sorting email.

I have decided to try Gnome 3 next – hoping it will be good enough to start using instead. Going to do the vanilla Unity experience first though; have to give it a decent chance before switching!

Checked out the colors thing. Its weird but improving colors is always worth while

I was overjoyed to find the backup thing but upon closer inspection it is unusable. The updating thing is ok, but the only deleting backups after the disk is full is simply stupid. I don’t want to keep all backups until my personal storage cluster runs out of space; I want to keep 2 backups and the older ones to be deleted. I get that this is perfect for Ubuntu One but its a bit daft to reason that that logic will work for other external storage too.

Dragging windows lags behind; that’s very annoying and makes for a horrible experience with the full-screening when dragging onto a side and whatnot.

The icons on the left bar sometimes get weird overlays. Like it wants to notify of whatever but somehow fails

There is definitely more of a strain on the GPU and that irks me. I stopped using Windows because it kept on bogging down the device more & more with each iteration

Right now I feel Unity was improved on several levels, but many many many (unrelated) problems were introduced as well

I somehow feel that with a few hours of cssm digging I can solve this horrible performance; Thats not good enough though since Ubuntu is my OS to do work With, not On.

Dragging a tab off one Chromium window onto another is a horrible and dysfunctional experience. There is apparently only a small spot where it connects into the other one and its a very illusive spot indeed :/

It definitely feels less snappy. Everything seems to take that split second longer – irksome when you’re used to having a blazing fast Linux box; and it simply shouldn’t need that extra time.

That effect where a window drags slightly behind when CTRL+ALT+SHIFT + DirectionalKey dragging? One of the first things I’ll be killing when I start digging through ccsm.

Sloppy Focus seems to have degenerated even more to the point where if I have a window on a desktop I cant send keypresses to that desktop anymore. Practically, this means I cant delete or rename or name or whatever anything on my desktop if there is a window in view. Seriously??

Starting to wonder if I shouldn’t just clean out the gconf settings; I had to do it next time, resulting in a horrible time of having to re-set a wad of passwords and personal settings. Will probably try it again if this keeps up. Would be a real usability problem though.. this would mean that upgrades cause horrible problems unless you delete a wad of . directories in your home directory; that is NOT user friendly! And it was like that for me with the upgrade to 11.04. That being said, my home directory is several years old and dragging a spectacular amount of junk with it. More that being said, when aiming for a long time durable OS that can not be a problem!

I like the new rounded terminal font

I marginally liked the rotating background though the transitions felt like another kick to the system

I like that it remembers your sound level when plugging / unplugging your headphones. Spares me an immense headache

The print screen effect and sound were nice though my gpu groaned once again.

It disappeared VLC some time after the upgrade. It was on there (I used it), then it wasnt anymore, then I had to re-install. That’s not supposed to happen

The –no-existing-session disappeared from totem. I get that not many people used it but I personally liked it! If only to check video footage for errors while listening to music! (I dislike Banshee.)

I usually have several windows of the same program open on multiple desktops. When I minimized one, and clicked the icon afterwards, it opened the window on the desktop I was on. Doesn’t do that anymore. Now I have to figure out what window I was using on that desktop from the subtle visual cues in there? Thats like a looking for the 7 differences game and if those pictures are all terminal windows … Instead of just remembering the desktop it was on.

The alt tab window now appears UNDER the many desktop windows. Thats not convenient. Or usable for that matter.

I liked the big & pretty shutdown dialog better. Very usable, very touch friendly. I have NO clue why they reverted that to that smaller thingy.

I like that they consolidated the Unity lense (bound to the super key) with the programs and files lenses. It was very counter intuitive to have those apart.

Many many people have bitched to me about the size of the Unity bar; I guess they ll be very happy that that’s default smaller now.

Nautilus crash – Nautilus is the file manager thingy. But nautilus also shows the content of your desktop. This means that if it hangs, you cant click the files on your desktop. It also means that if it crashes and doesnt come up again, your desktop goes blank. Clicking the Unity files icon brought it all back. Annoying none the less

Edit: This frustration dump has reached the cutof date. The auto post was set for Oct 18, 2011 @ 16:06 and I only realized it after I saw my own twitter post announcing it 😀

Published by Gert

Person-at-large.

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