Feeds

No pain, some gain: Ubuntu Oneiric Ocelot examined

Love it or leave it, Unity is here

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Review Ubuntu 11.10, just released as its first beta differs only slightly in its looks from its 11.04 predecessor – a fact that will be welcome news to penguins still reeling from that earlier version's grand re-boot.

That earlier release shed GNOME 2.x, ignored GNOME 3.0 and set its brand-new Unity interface as the default.

Unfortunately, while the Unity desktop has potential, the initial release was rough enough around the edges that I suggested at the time waiting for a few more releases before embracing it.

While the first beta of 11.10, called Oneiric Ocelot, is also a little rough at the edges and features some curious design decisions, the version of Unity here is more stable and it is faster than the version that shipped with 11.04. In other words, Unity is making progress, albeit slower than many would like.

Ubuntu 11.10 dash search

Dash changes: expanded capabilities with windows-style resizing

One of the areas that has seen a considerable makeover in the last six months is Unity's Dash. First and foremost, the Dash button has been moved from the top panel to the Unity launcher and its capabilities have been extended.

For example, there's a new music tab so you can start playing songs directly from Dash. Also, instead of the separate Places search tool, searching for files is now just a tab inside the Dash.

In fact, the whole "Places" metaphor from GNOME has been dumped in favor of what Unity calls "Scopes and Lenses." How the new metaphor makes more sense is anyone's guess, but at least your new "Lenses" have gained a quick filtering ability. For example, instead of searching for "Internet" to find applications that connect to the web, now you can just click the "Internet" filter. Similarly there are filters to refine your searches by date or tag.

Ubuntu 11.10 dash search internet

Dash lets you search for objects and subjects with the aid of filters.

The Dash also now has its own window controls, so you can easily maximize or resize it to suit your whim, just like any other window in Unity. The visuals for the Dash have been updated as well, with a new transparency that looks vaguely like Windows 7. In another nice addition, the Dash will now, chameleon-like, automatically shade itself according to your desktop wallpaper.

Interestingly, while Dash gains window controls, full-screen windows have lost them in this release. Or rather the controls and menu items are now hidden and only appear when you mouse over the title bar. It's a small change, but one of those small changes that has people all riled up. In this case I'll side with those that call it unnecessary. If there were space saved, a few pixels even, it might make sense, but it doesn't save any space. As it stands the revamped title bar feels more like change purely for the sake of change than anything a user might call useful.

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Next page: Muddled menu

More from The Register

next story
Nexus 7 fandroids tell of salty taste after sucking on Google's Lollipop
Web giant looking into why version 5.0 of Android is crippling older slabs
Be real, Apple: In-app goodie grab games AREN'T FREE – EU
Cupertino stands down after Euro legal threats
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
SLURP! Flick your TONGUE around our LOLLIPOP – Google
Android 5 is coming – IF you're lucky enough to have the right gadget
Microsoft: Your Linux Docker containers are now OURS to command
New tool lets admins wrangle Linux apps from Windows
Bada-Bing! Mozilla flips Firefox to YAHOO! for search
Microsoft system will be the default for browser in US until 2020
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Managing SSL certificates with ease
The lack of operational efficiencies and compliance pitfalls associated with poor SSL certificate management, and how the right SSL certificate management tool can help.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.