Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Unity and GNOME 3: "keyboard it"

Ubuntu Linux uses Unity and GNOME 3. Your choice. But both these new
linux desktops are generally sympathetic to keyboard persons. In other
words if you know the keyboard shortcuts and prefer using them over the
mouse, you will get along very well with either one.

GNOME 3 extensions doesn't provide a smooth enough solution to GNOME 3
customizations. They are still buggy and I'm not really sure if the
fault lies with the extensions or with GNOME 3. Finally I have to raise
my arms up and kind of accept the default GNOME 3. I have to change the
default icon theme to faenza first.

I alternate between Ubuntu's Unity and GNOME in Arch. I don't want to
settle down to one or the other. I can say that it still works for me
because I'm a keyboard person. Without the keyboard shortcuts, I'm not
sure I can use any of them.

It also explains why people prefer the Unity launcher fixed rather than
in hide mode. Pushing the mouse pointer to the left side to get to the
window you need isn't efficient at all. I prefer it in hide mode because
I use the keyboard to navigate to my window, so it's irrelevant for me.
In GNOME it's worse because there's only the top left which functions as
a hot corner. It's annoying when you exaggerate the mouse motion and it
hits that hot corner by accident. I go, "why is my computer showing me
the dash?".

So what's keeping me from totally believing in Unity? Well in the early
days of Unity, alt+tab used to show all the open applications regardless
of its workspace designation. Somebody changed that. That's a terrible
decision. It adds extra clicks and motions just to get to a window in a
different workspace. Even if you can do the extra clicks, it still ruins
the work flow.
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