Monday, November 29, 2010

Unity in Natty Evaluation 1

Today I am finally finding Natty to be usably stable. So long as I stay away from Open Office, it seems to be running quite fine. So, I updated my maverick spider diagram in an attempt to capture where I think Unity is in the journey to being the Ubuntu desktop.

In this first natty diagram, yellow is the target, blue is maverick, and that orangy color is my subjective assessment of Unity as it is today. You can review the criteria that I chose from assessment in a previous post.

Note that there is a large portion of the diagram missing. Everything related to the Dash is zero, because none of that is implement yet. Here is a summary of why I picked these values for the other items:

Natty > Maverick
  • Launcher Performance (3 to 8): The natty launcher feels snappy when you drag the items, and when the launcher overflow and "folds" items, the unfolding and access to those items is also totally responsive. This is a big improvement!
  • Application Launch Time(4 to 8): I was told a few times that apps didn't start any slower under Mutter. However, they sure always seemed to. Well, they seem to start nice and fast now, so I'm saying that application launch time is nice and fast.
  • File Management (3 to 6): The launcher features a nice big Nautilus item at the top of the launcher. This makes access to typical file management tasks much easier accomplish, because you can find them. Since there is no dash, there is no integration with dash and that search yet, so hopefully this particular area will improve.
Maverick > Natty
  • Launcher Quality (5 to 3): I'm probably being really unfair here, but I'm blaming all the crashiness, especially when I'm using OOo on the Launcher. It's probably really Compiz itself, but subjectively, it feels like the launcher is the new thing, so I'm blaming that.
  • Launcher Functionality (6 to 3): Without quick lists, this took an big hit. You can really only launch and switch now. Adding back in the quick lists, and then getting a hiding launcher, and we'll be in business.
  • Application Window Management (5 to 4): Not much has really changed here, except that without the quick lists there is no where to click on different windows from the same app. I use Alt-Tab, so this doesn't much impact me, personally. Minimized windows still disappear with no way to get them back.
  • Application Window Management:
Natty == Maverick
  • Launcher Appeal (6): The launcher is still a bit "blocky". I do like how the items look, and the attention getting animations as well. I expect to see lots of improvements to the look and feel of the launcher, especially when they start adding in some of the animations and transitions.
  • Global Menu Integration (5): I don't see any changes to this part. Firefox still has it's own menu, for example.
  • Indicator Appeal (7): I don't see any changes here, either. I expect to see some slightly tweaked icons and maybe and improvements to the look of the indicators themselves.
  • Indicator Performance (8): No changes here.
  • Indicator Functionality (6): No changes today, but I hear that the new indicator for the network manager was supposed to land today. That will mean that all the default functionality will be managed by indicators, so no more panel applets by default.
I also just noticed that key nav between the indicators isn't working! grrrr. It's also not working for the global menu. Well, Accessibility is already rated zero, so there's really no way to change my ratings based on that, unless I added it to "Indicator Functionality". I'll see how annoying it is to me, and maybe change it then.


  1. One things I notice from the Natty Screenshot ( could not run it my self ) is the ugly launcher compare to mavrick .
    I mean the the icon rectangle behind :)