Monday, May 09, 2011


Ubuntu 11.04. 

There are enough full reviews out there.  This is an opinion piece.  Short. Not so sweet.

Overview: Being an unabashed Ubuntu fanboy I've been getting asked about my opinion of 11.04.  In short 11.04 is a decent release. 

The Unity UI?  Well, it's been stated that it's a version 1.0 product.  In my experience it's more of an early beta or even alpha product.  I cannot use it as a daily environment.  Doing so would be a giant step backward and would result in a big loss of productivity for me personally.  Besides the bugs it just lacks features or they are badly implemented.

A great example is the workspace switcher.  Super+E no longer works. I cannot put a switcher on the top menu (at least I can't find a way), and the one on the Unity panel requires 3 clicks and time for both a screen render and for my brain to take in a full screen.  Currently (in Gnome2) I just (single) click the workspace I want on the top menu.

 With that said - I think that Unity will be a great thing in the future however and I applaud Canonical for doing this. 

My recommendation: Unless you live to be on the cutting edge - skip the 11.04 and (most likely) 11.10 releases as a daily trusted environment.  Wait for the the next LTS release.  Unity should be amazing by then.  If you want to quickly get the latest releases of all things Ubuntu but skip Unity then download Pinguy

Opinion:  Canonical is doing great and ballsy things here.  However I wish that they would "fork" the releases while they do this.  Maintain the Ubuntu "it just works" reputation with a mainstream release and offer Unity as an add on to the base whilst they work out the issues.  I know, they kind of did this by allowing you to select "Ubuntu Classic" at login but that throws you into Gnome 3.  Also not really up to the task for those of us that want the "just works" desktop.  Canonical, you have forced us to choose between two un-productive roads.

The inevitable comparisons with Apple will come.  Most drawing to the 1.0 release of OS X. I don't agree.  Apple would never have released a beta quality product as a full release.  Nuff said.  For now I'm sticking with 10.10 and my beautiful Gnome 2 / Docky desktop.

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