Moving on … from Ubuntu to Fedora Core

Posted: July 16, 2011 in Linux

The choice of desktop environment can influence the choice Linux distribution for one to choose from. This happened to me once, now I decided to move to Fedora Core for the same reason.

Linux desktop is indeed getting better. I still remember the good old days, where writing your own fvwmrc is the way to go. FVWM is still around, but I really enjoy a full desktop environment like GNOME.

Ubuntu decided to switch Unity desktop. I used it for couple of months, and I really don’t find that fun to use, in fact, it feels rather backward. I don’t think there is a need for me go in details of why I don’t like it, there are already a lot of debates on this issue one can find them from Google search. However, I do like to echo certain “features” of Unity which, I notice, others have voiced their dissatisfaction…

First, one major turn off to me is the way how I need to find a specific application. In the old days, the applications are all arrange in a logical and easily find manner from the GNOME Application menu, but I would need to jump a few steps in order to find it now in Unity. For example, if I need to find Firefox, I just click Application Menu->Internet->Firefox, now I would need to go “Launcher”, either “Search Applications” directly or I need to find “Internet” category from “All Applications”, and may need to click “view more” if not shown immediately. I can always add application into the panel, but you can’t be expecting me to add every application into it. There should be a more logical and efficient way for me to find the application. GNOME 3 did it better, Click on Activities, it shows me “Windows” and “Applications”. If I click “Applications”, on the right hand side, it would list all the categories available.

Second, the idea of do it similar to Mac OS global menu is not right for Linux. Yes, if every application open only 1 window and in full screen, we may get along this idea. But not all application in Linux follow this structure. Take for example GIMP, when launch, it usually would open itself with 2 or 3 windows:  The image/canvas, toolbox and layers. In order for me to navigate around various setting, I need to frequently click on different windows and move up to select the option from global menu. Things would get even more confusing, If I have multiple applications run at the same time. There are times, I get confused on which application’s menu is on the global menu. It is even more troublesome, if I use focus-follows-mouse/sloppy focus.

Looking at the Unity and GNOME 3, I can’t help notice that these 2 desktop are heading for more touch screen friendly interface. I guess, this is expected.

Anyway, I am now using Fedora Core 15 with GNOME 3. Not too bad, but I still missed the old or classic way of doing things…

  1. Paul says:

    ah yes, fvwm…I miss it too!

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