I am trying out the Ubuntu Unity desktop again, in Ubuntu 11.10, the design is starting to grow on me, I recently bought a copy of Ubuntu user magazine that came with a copy of Ubuntu 11.10 with extra software included and I decided to try it out. I have not had any problems with this distribution at all. I tried out a couple of fixes to move the Unity launcher to the bottom of the screen, but they both caused problems with the Unity desktop. My screen is wider than it is tall, so if I make the Unity launcher only 32 pixels wide, it does not take up as much space as it would on the bottom of the screen. I ran sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade and I was upgraded to Firefox 13, and Chromium 18. Chromium is the open-source version of the Google Chrome web browser that does not have the code in it that tracks the users activity online and sends it to the Google servers. I am hesitant to upgrade to 12.04, I will wait a while before taking that road, I just wanted to try out Unity again and see how I like it. I like the Unity desktop but Canonical could have put a little more effort into the desktop design.
Wayland compositor demo screen-shot. Quite unstable, but it does work.
I hope that when Ubuntu upgrades to the Wayland X11 server to replace the current Xorg display server that it currently uses, that the Linux desktop still works as well as it does right now. The Wayland display server is already available for Ubuntu 11.04 users: http://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2011/02/wayland-enters-ubuntu-11-04-repo and I gave it a go. The Wayland demos that are available are quite unstable, but this software will get better as time goes on. I guess you would not want to replace the whole Xorg compositor with Wayland yet, it is not ready for prime time as of now. I have included a video from Phoronix that shows the Wayland demo in action. The Unity dashboard that allows you to search your music as well as software that is available through the software centre. It will even return results for the videos in your collection as well. The ability to search the software centre from the Unity dash to find just the right program you are looking for is a good feature.
The Release of the 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot is due on the 13th of October, bringing with it the Gnome 3 desktop and many other cool updates.
Support for the Arm CPU architecture. This is used by many tablet computers and this will allow installation of Ubuntu onto these machines. Also included is the latest OpenStack cloud software named Diablo and a cloud services orchestration engine. The distribution looks to be set for a cloud based future. Mozilla Thunderbird will be the default E-Mail client and building on the cloud support, there will be a full backup facility included that will support backup to either a external hard drive or a cloud based backup service. The service will provide scheduled backups and restores from a backup just as you would expect from a proper backup program.
I am hoping that the Ubuntu 11.10 release goes well and the software is well received. Some people have said that a transparent layer in the operating system for running Windows software would be a good thing. There is Wine for running Windows programs on Linux and this can work well, maybe Canonical need to work on integrating Wine into the Ubuntu desktop so that installation of Windows software is as seamless as it is with Windows, then more users could be moved away from virus prone installations of Windows 7 or the venerable and insecure Windows XP.
The Carbon tax has passed and now we wait for our country to be decimated by this unnecessary tax that will cost us all dearly in the future.Once this is in full effect everything will cost more to produce, driving manufacturing overseas and the price of electricity will sky-rocket ever higher. Julia Gillard said that most Australians support this tax but that is not true at all, there is few around that support this tax and the pricing of Carbon which is an element that was created inside stars soon after the big bang at about 200,000,000 degrees Celsius and is essential to life as we know it. They also say carbon dioxide which is a gas we all breath out and that plants breath in to live, putting a price on this essential element is pointless, the global temperature would only decrease by a thousandth of a degree despite what Al Gore and his cronies would have you believe. The climate is changing, but putting in a great big new tax will not stop this at all.
Linux is truly everywhere, even on the airlines. This is a photograph taken on Vietnam airlines where the entertainment system appears to be running a variant of Red Hat Linux. The system is booting up and loading the kernel and the various services are loading and it seems to be trying to access a SD card. The fact that they are running GNU/Linux instead of MS Windows is a good sign, the Linux operating system is more reliable than Windows XP. Source on the Linux airlines posting here: http://www.saigonnezumi.com/2011/07/10/linux-on-vietnam-airlines/. This is good, we need more Linux powered machines around instead of the ubiquitous Windows XP installations. I am trying to get Fedora 15 installed to be able to use the Gnome 3 shell and try to work out how to make a cool theme for GTK 3.0. The Gnome Shell is a different desktop environment to the Gnome 2 and Unity desktops, but I think it is actually very good once you get used to it. Ubuntu 11.10 is supposedly switching to the Gnome Shell interface instead of the Unity desktop and we will have to wait and see what becomes of that. Once I get Fedora 15 installed I will be able to install Apache and MySQL and work on a new project for my website. Stay tuned for the results.
What do you think I should add to my website to better engage my visitors? Please leave a comment below and tell me what you think.
I have found a blog here: http://www.webupd8.org/2011/05/gnome-shell-is-finally-available-in.html that has an interesting article about the Gnome Shell that is now available in the repositories for Ubuntu 11.10. The Gnome Shell is available in Fedora 15, and is arguably better than the bloated and buggy Unity desktop. The screenshot on the page even looks just like Fedora despite the Ubuntu wallpaper. The Gnome 2 desktop option will be removed and the Unity 2D mode will be used instead, even though Gnome 2 is a very stable and usable desktop environment. But hopefully someone will fork() the Gnome 2 code and it will still be available in some form. This picture to the right is my Linux desktop from 2004, with the cool Anime wallpaper and custom AVP Eterm background. Those were the days.
But today the Ubuntu developers just want to copy Mac OS and not just deliver a stable and reliable distribution like the Debian team can, like how difficult is that? I am using Debian Stable now to type this in Firefox 3.5.16 and it all just works without any problems, not to forget that Ubuntu is dumbing down the user interface and making the distribution slower and bloated without any real gains in productivity. But if they want to drive upgrades for more RAM and a faster CPU/GPU then so be it, if that is their goal they are just like Microsoft. I have only 2GB of RAM and my Linux desktop is screaming fast. Windows 7 is slower, but still very usable. I prefer to use Debian though.