New Distro, Part Two

After a couple of days of Kubuntu, my curiosity took the upper hand and I decided to install the Unity desktop along KDE.

It’s an interesting GUI, I have to admit, but I remain unconvinced. The search-oriented task bar thingy to the left is an odd bird, for example. It is as if Canonical were mixing their desktop metaphors. There must be a task bar because everyone’s got one, but it seems as if they’ve gone out of their way to ensure it is different. I’m not sure if it’s a good thing or a bad thing yet.

Worse is that the global menus do not work–as many others have pointed out, on a large screen the menus will simply be too far off from the programme window itself. I know, OS X does this also, but the difference, the crucial difference, is that the menus and their behaviour are consistent on a Mac, something they can never be on Linux.

Version 14.0 allows you to move the global menus to their respective windows, which solves the problem but also highlight a less serious one: the top bar, now mostly empty sans a few icons to the right, still takes up space but now provides no real benefit.

On the whole, though, the GUI looks nice, with better graphics than I remember from past Ubuntu versions. It looks like a finished product, something that, say, Debian Testing, doesn’t–the XFCE desktop I briefly tried when deciding ona new distro looks ghastly. I know it’s not supposed to have the bells and whistles of a Plasma desktop, Windows 7 or even Gnome, but my god, the damned thing put me off to an extent I didn’t think possible.

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