Friday, December 10, 2010

Alpha 1 Unity Checkpoint

While attending a sprint this week, I've gone ahead and updated my Dell mini 10v to Ubuntu 11.04 Alpha 1, and also took some updates on Tuesday.

I have to say, I am finding Unity to be running really really well on this computer. I can use the spider diagram to provide a more structured description to what I think is going well, and also, how far we still have to go before we have a shippable product.

  • Launcher Appeal (6-7): The Launcher looks a lot nice n autohide mode.
  • Launcher Functionality (3-6): Significantly improved now that the launcher includes autohide and quicklists allow me to pin and unpin apps to the launcher. It's still too hard to use with workspaces, but code for that landed this week, so next week, I hope to pop this up to 7! Jason is absolutely rocking the Launcher functionality.
  • Application Window Management (5-6): Little tick marks in the launcher items show how many windows are open. Meta-W shows all the windows in a workspace. I think they should add an item for Meta-W to the launcher. That would make it really easy and discoverable to find your apps.
  • Indicator Quality (6-4): Starting this week, there has been these times when the indicators stop responding to mouse clicks, or become don't activate for a really long time.

  • Launcher Performance (8): The launcher is even faster on my Dell mini 10v than on my desktop at home. I assume this is because I use a computer with a shared memory graphics chip (i965) for my desktop, but with a large screen. So the combination laptop graphics chip with desktop screen is not ideal. However, it's still plenty fast and snappy on my desktop. I'm tempted to pop this up to 9, but I want to see how it's working for folks with proprietary drivers first.
  • Application Launch Time (8): Nothing seems to have changed here.
  • Everything dash related. I could pop up Find and Launch apps since they tied the Ubuntu button to the Applications directory as a temporary measure until the dash is ready. However, I think I'll just wait until it's their real deal.
  • Indicator functionality hasn't changed, expect I hear there is code in trunk to bring back keyboard access and navigation! This has been a real productivity killer for me, so I can't wait until next week.
  • Global Menu Integration. However, I hear that there is a team working on Mozilla/Unity integration. I'll also be looking forward to when they can turn the shotwell menus back to the global menus.

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