Ubuntu 11.04 Alpha 1 review

search1

It appears that the search logic will return results if the search string matches the name or part of the name of an application. Searching for “firefox,” for example, will return the Firefox browser. However, if the search string is “browser,” the search result will not include Firefox.
search1

This pre-stable release ships with Firefox 4 beta. By default, the tab bar on Firefox 4 is atop the address (URL or location) bar, rather than below it. Also the Reload and Stop buttons are now to the right of the address bar, which I find slightly uncomfortable. Having all the icons on the same side of the address bar, I think, is a lot more convenient than splitting their positions. Luckily, you can move the icons to any part of the address bar that you feel most comfortable with.

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The Software Center in the last stable release had just one fee-based application. So far, there is none in this alpha release.
unity9

There is still more than four months left and several more pre-stable releases left, so it be foolish to make any final statements about Unity on Ubuntu desktop. Despite that, I still find Unity to be less user-friendly than the KDE Plasma Netbook interface.

Bug Report: For the features implemented in this alpha release, there were not a whole lot of bugs to report, on the two computers that I tested it on. The only major bug I observed was that the desktop will only display properly at the highest resolution of the monitors I used for testing. One had a maximum resolution of 1920×1080, and the other 1396×968. At resolutions lower than the maximum, the desktop displayed on a centered section of the available space, with significant dark sections on all sides, especially to the left and right. I am sure there are many more bugs, but that is the only one that has not been reported elsewhere.

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Resources: Download an installation image here. Development notes and known issues about this release are available from the same link.

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13 Responses

  1. That’s god damned right. The home button is a mile away from my bookmarks, and the refresh button now looks like a tiny afterthought.

    –also–

    11.04’s native environment is plain terrible. Managing to make it hard to find administration, and preferences was only the least of it’s visual and user-friendly blunders.

    The new sliders in 11.04 are glitch-city, even when i log in in “classic mode”.

    epic fail ubuntu, back to

    1. “Install alongside other operating systems” will resize the space allocated to the existing OS on the disk. It does nothing to the unallocated space on the disk.

  2. > Open applications windows have their menu bars on the (top)
    > panel, rather on the application window itself.

    How well does this work with non-GTk apps, such as KDE’s K3b or the Qt app QDVDAuthor? Really, just asking as an exercise — I don’t expect to run this distro.

  3. Why don’t they just use Window Maker and be done with it. About Firefox 4, and more seriously, I personally hate all this re-arranging of tabs and buttons, having to travel further to switch tabs is not exactly a good experience. Still following MS, IE started shuffling the interface around until it made no sense, everybody else thinks they have to follow. When will they learn not to constantly f@ck around. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

    1. I think you’ll find the tab layout is inspired by Chrome moreso than IE – which has traditionally lagged behind Mozilla browsers. I’m not sure which revisionist history you are reading that indicates Firefox UI tweaks are in any way prompted by Microsoft’s ever changing (and oft maligned) IE interface.

      1. the update to Firefox 4 came before the IE update, plus on my windows 7 machine i found Firefox to be better than IE, chrome and safari, especially with the availiable addons for Firefox

  4. The search feature you ascribe to Unity is actually from Nautilus.

    Unity’s search was in the dash and will return later on. It will be Zeitgeist-powered and therefore, awesome. 🙂

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