I’ve been unwell the last couple of days, and with a muzzy head programming isn’t that easy. So I decided to try out gnome-shell and document some of my initial findings. The following finds are purely subjective and my own opinions only. Comments are welcome telling me I’m being a moron, or that an issue is fixed in a newer release. I’m currently using the newest packages in Fedora rawhide.
- In general, everything seems slower. The animations are a nice touch initially, but I find they actually slow down my workflow. I’m not the sort of person that likes compiz for this reason either.
- I’ve not got a window list anywhere, so I find I’ve got about 40 nautilus “Home” windows open at any one time.
- I use a dual screen, and quite a lot of the UI appears centered in the virtual screen, which is not that nice when one panel is slightly different size to the other, with about 2 inches between them. For instance for the time, one panel has “Wed 10” in the top right, and the other panel has “22 AM” in the top left. Also, totem when watching a movie seems to be put halfway between each workspace in the preview screen, but appears on neither side of the workspace if you click on it. There are 4 or 5 different UI bugs that I need to research and file.
- I really don’t see the point in having a giant top bar with only the current running application on it, and the time. Seems a giant waste of space. I also don’t think it needs to be on across all screens on a multi-monitor display.
- I often use the dual screen to display two documents at once, if I’m comparing photographs or looking at code and a debugger. Every time I go back to the preview menu screen I’m forced to choose a single window, and other windows get arranged and stacked seemingly randomly.
- I can’t seem to click on the status area icons when in the sidebar mode. This seems an artificial limitation.
- There isn’t a way to clear the recent documents list, so if I’m working on a confidential document with a sensitive filename, I can’t show anyone my menu or take a screenshot (which I wanted to do for this blog entry…)
- I can’t find any way of getting access to the preferences menu items (e.g. to change my mouse acceleration), other than typing in “mouse” into the search bar, which didn’t exactly seem intuitive.
- Black menus and notifications are not really my colour, and I couldn’t find a way to chose anything else.
- There appears to be no configuration at all. I know tweaking things is the devils work, but no configuration allowed at all?
So, it’s certainly very different to what we’ve had before, but you can clearly see it’s a preview, not a final release. It’s certainly not useful to me as a production desktop just yet.