Frank Niedermann

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My impressions about Ubuntu Breezy 5.10 RC1 (07.10.2005)

Today I've installed the brand new Ubuntu Breezy 5.10 RC1 on my Workstation. There are some things that are not that good as they could be (in my opinion). I've only written down these things not the things that are already perfect - that would be way too much Wink ;)

I know that some points are more Gnome related than to Ubuntu but I stick them all togheter here. Topics are sorted in the way I noticed them after the first installation.

I'm looking forward in hearing some comments on this Smile :)

  • apt sources: First many users would like to do is changing the apt sources from CD to http or ftp to include more packages (and universe/multiverse if wanted). Maybe many users will forget that or some may even not know about that, isn't there a way to ask the user if sourced should be changed automatically? At least a note in the Firefox start page would be nice.

    • Matt Zimmerman mentioned that they are enabled if a network connection was found (link). That did not work for me but Matt also said that there are already other plans for the next release.

  • New packages popup: After updating the new apt sources I was looking at the package-changelogs until the popup "new updates are available - want to see them?" popped up. If I click on "show me updates" another update manager window opens. The popup should not do anything (not even pop up) if synaptics or the update manager are already running.

    • Matt Zimmerman mentioned that this was a bug and should be fixed (link). The popup will stay as it is.

  • Firefox icon on panel: The Gnome icon on the panel next to "Applications" got replaced with the Ubuntu logo - looks great. Why not replacing the not so nice looking blue Firefox logo with the original Firefox logo?

    • Trent Lloyd mentioned that this is not possible due to mozilla trademark licensing requirements (link)

  • Keyboard layout window: The window used for changing the keyboard layout could be sized more comfortable:

I know this window is resizeable but why is it that small by default?

  • Matt Zimmerman mentioned this bug about it: link

Same for Firefox text areas.

  • Search in add to panel window: I tried to add the Terminal icon to the panel: Gnome panel / add to panel / Application launcher. The search bar on this window is not working (it is on the previous one). Also if I type something into the searchbar and hit return a new "frame" (is it called frame? or widget?) gets created:

That looks a bit weird and isn't usefull Wink ;)

  • Manu Cornet fixed that (link)

  • NTP packages: Clicking on "Periodically synchronize clock with internet servers" on the Time and Date Settings window will ask if NTP packages should get installed - Yes. After completed installation I click on "Periodically syncronize ..." again and now the question about installing NTP packages comes up again (they are already installed!). Choosing to install NTP packages does nothing so I'm stuck here until I close the Time and Date settings window an re-open it again. A nice to have premium feature would be to have the NTP servers in the user's country selected automatically Smile :)

    • There is already a bug for this issue: link

  • About Ubuntu page in Firefox: The default start page in Firefox is the About Ubuntu page. I think it would be more usefull for new and unexperienced users to have some information about how to get some basic things done ("how do I ...") and where to get/find help (forums, irc, wiki). This could be annoying for experienced users but they will change the Firefox start page anyway. Some links are already in the section Participate in Ubuntu but I think users searching for help don't read the topic about how to participate ... nevermind - just an idea that could easily be improved.

    • Matt Zimmerman mentioned that the Help icon in the toolbar already exists for that purpose (link). I still think the start page in Firefox should be changed, as others also do: link

  • Image viewer: There are two image viewer installed: gThumb Image Viewer (description: "View and organize your images") and Image Viewer (description: "View different types of images"). Do we really need two image viewer? If gThumb can also view different types this application can handle all tasks related to image viewing. gThumb looks a bit more complicated in comparison to eog but if it's possible to change the default view to Image view (View/Image or ALT+3) it would look as easy:

And it's not possible to load the next/previous image with space or page up / page down in eog, gThumb does this very nice.

  • Matt Zimmerman mentioned that both are needed at the moment (link). I'm not sure why both have to be in the menu?

The video section (left) is not usefull while playing audio files (I don't see a way how to disable it) and the playlist size is too small. Would be better just to display needfull things while playing audio files:

There are all important commands and informations for playing audio files and there is not much space wasted. Rhythmbox may be too complex as default audio player but what about a compromise like Eina: Eina screenshots

  • I've asked about that on the Gnome desktop-devel mailing list (link)

  • Gnome menus: The Gnome menus are growing (especially the System part) and this makes it more and more long winded to find the right application _fast_. The menu items should be sorted by default in some way. At the moment this is alphabetically which leads to this structure for example:

    • System / Administration
      • Synaptic Package Manager Time and Date Update Manager Users and Groups

Time and Date has nothing to do with the installed packages, Synaptic Package Manager and Update Manager do, so they should be together.

  • Matt Zimmerman mentioned that grouping would not improve this (link)

  • Own network (SMB) share: I tried to share my home folder (System / Administration / Shared Folder) with Samba. Installation did fine but if I click on Add in Shared folder settings window and choose path: Home the home directory of user root got selected:

Would be better to select the user's home directory (/home/fbn in my case). If I try to access the shares from a WinXP workstation I see the host description and domain I've chosen in general windows sharing settings but if I select the host to see the shares it asks me for authentication. I tried my local Ubuntu user (fbn) but that does not work. As long as there is no way to define user access permissions to the shares they should be browseable by everyone without user/pass authentication ...

  • There is already a bug (link)

  • Keyboard usage on Gnome windows: It is possible to close some Gnome windows with the escape key (example: System / Preferences / Keyboard shortcuts) and it's not possible with many other windows to do this (example: System / Preferences / Keyboard). Also the return key does not always belong to the OK button if there is one (example: System / Administration / Users and Groups). This is kind of annoying (at least to me) because I got used to it in another (better) way on another OS (Windows) where I can do much more with the keyboard instead of moving one hand to the mouse for just one simple action (like closing a window or approving a ok-message).

    • I've asked about that on the Gnome desktop-devel mailing list (link)

I know that it's not wise to change too much in Breezy now few days bevore final release but maybe some points are worth thinking about for the next great Ubuntu release Smile :)


FrankNiedermann (last edited 2008-08-06 16:35:50 by localhost)