Back to the past (of Ubuntu).
I tried Ubuntu 11.04. I really tried. I hated it immediately. Well, yeah, its new Unity desktop manager is new and all, and I couldn’t find my stuff. I forced myself to stick with it because hey, Ubuntu’s a production environment right ? I mean, it’s not an alpha version or anything. The French army uses it and all.
Well, yeah, alpha it is. To me it looks like they didn’t have the manpower to actually test the thing before shipping it, so they just shoved it on the CD and hoped that the users would report bugs, and even fix the damn thing.
First, it’s slow. Damn slow. I’ve got a Radeon HD 4570 in my laptop, it’s not top notch but it’s actually better than what’s on my desktop. It runs Minecraft at 60 FPS while my desktop struggles between 10 and 30. However, while my desktop runs Vista with all the possible eye candy you can click on, my laptop -now running Unity-, was totally sluggish. Even with all the options off. Which were not many actually because Unity doesn’t come with any configuration tool. Don’t like the full screen half transparent pop-up with 256×256 icons ? Well fuck you says Unity. And the sad thing is that it didn’t even look better than the good old gnome desktop.
Then I found Unity2D. Oh, it did solve the speed issue, I’m sincerely very happy with that. But it is even LESS configurable than Unity. I have to go edit xml/ini/whatev files by hand to add something into the task bar. I had to download another package to explain the damn thing that it should stop trying to be clever when autohiding because it was making a fool of itself. Now it doesn’t hide anymore (yay!) but bugs a bit instead. And where are my gnome applets by the way ? I want to be able to look at the temperature of my CPUs when I play games. Nope, no applets.
Also all the OpenGL windows are trying to stay on the top, so no alt-tab for you if you dare playing or modeling something in 3D. And Eclipse is all fucked up because Unity decided to change the look of the scroll bars and now it messes up the display with horizontal lines all over the place whenever you scroll. Enjoy the reported bugs list here.
And oh yeah, both ‘unities’ crashed on me four times in a week while I usually never crash. And my laptop can’t properly resume from sleep or hibernation anymore.
I wrote that post while downloading the ISO of Ubuntu 10.04. I’ll upgrade next year when they got the thing working.
Hey, it seems we still can use Gnome… Let’s try that before re-installing. After all I wouldn’t mind having python 2.7 by default.