Current Ubuntu 10.04 Review Comments

With Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid Lynx) so far our first impressions aren't good. 10.04 booted to the "Install" prompt from a LiveCD in 4 minutes and 23 seconds, compared to a solid 40 seconds on Debian Squeeze ("testing" repository) from a LiveCD on the same machine, and Debian's LiveCD isn't even the "normal" way of installing Debian.

During the boot X changed resolutions 7 times, before hanging for 10 seconds before allowing the "Try Ubuntu" button to be clicked. After clicking the "Try Ubuntu" button X had to change resolution again (even though it changed resolutions now 8 times and flickered the screen, the resolution stayed at 1024x768) and it hung again for 20 seconds as it loaded the desktop.

Once fully booted, the background is nice (not the nicest) and the colors are okay; it felt like the Firefox icon popped out to much, the only colors you see on the panel are the Firefox and Help icons, and the strange almost skin colored "Window List" applet. And all the icons on the panel are fit right to the edges of the panel, this also looks bad.

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You will notice when using Lucid that when you click "System" on the panel, all of the items in the menu don't have icons, neither do the right-click menus. This is true for Debian too and the previous Ubuntu release. To fix it in Debian you go to "Appearance Preferences">Interface, there you can select to make menus have icons, as well as how icons should be used such as "Only Icons", "Text Below Icons", "Text Beside Icons", and "Only Text", but these options are gone in 10.04.

To fix this now you have to do a Alt+F2, type "gconf-editor", double-click "Desktop", double-click "gnome", click "interface" and scroll down until you see "menus_have_icons" and tic the check box to the right of it.

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Also Ubuntu never seems to detect screen DPI, in order to properly set font DPI. When we tested 10.04 using a CRT the DPI in 10.04 was set at 96, and had "Subpixel Smoothing" turned on, which is for LCDs only, it should have detected that and properly set these things. We never have to adjust these things in Debian.

As for the new theme. Short version: It needs much more work (this isn't a final release after all.)

The long version: We feel that moving the buttons on the title-bar to the left is a bad idea if you don't also remove the menus on the windows. Mac OS X puts the menus in the panel at the top of the screen. The way we see it is people are going to be doing a lot of work on Ubuntu, or are just going to do things fast some times, and if the "Close" button is almost directly above the "Edit" menu in GEdit, people will often make the mistake of clicking the "Close" instead of "Edit", this is why all of the buttons that modify the windows properties are at the other end of the window.

Only if all three buttons on the title-bar are used in the program are the buttons properly decorated with round ends.

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We will say that being able to move the window by dragging the unused space to the right of the menus is a great idea, but only if you double click on the upper part of the title-bar does the window maximize, clicking the lower part does nothing, this is confusing and should maximize the window like the rest of the title-bar.

Lastly, we were sad to see F-Spot and Tomboy still being included, as with all their Mono dependencies. And we were happy to see Pitivi being included. And the latest Nautilus with its new found sleekness.

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This version of Ubuntu 10.04 is not stable or a final release of Ubuntu, so some of these things may change. Please do not judge them too soon.

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