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oshirowanen
April 30th, 2012, 03:21 PM
So many people have said that Unity speeds up productivity. So I thought I should at-least give it the benefit of the doubt and try it out.

I have been trying it out since 11.10 and I can say with my hand on my heart that it increases productivity in terms of opening and finding closed applications. i.e. applications which are not running in the current desktop session.

However, I have found that once the applications I need are open, switching between them has become slower. Maybe because I am using Unity2D. To be honest, that is where the real test is, to become productive when applications are already open. As you only spend the first few moments of the day opening up applications you need during the day. The rest of the day is normally switching between open applications

I am a power user as far as I am concerned (some may disagree), and I use the keyboard to switch between applications, I use hud too, instead of the mouse which is great within applications. What gets to me is that on my 1024x768 screen with the launcher on the left side, I have to hide the launcher to get my screen real estate back. Hiding the launcher is a big problem, as I can't remember which application I opened in which order to be able to use super+num to switch to the correct application quickly without thinking. I could use alt-tab to scroll through the open applications, but that's not very productive at all.

I will give Unity3D a try tonight on my new computer with larger screen resolution and multiple monitors. I am sure all these issues will become irrelevant on larger screens.

However, from my experience so far, Unity is not suited to be productive on a 1024x768 screen at all. Even webpages are annoying as most are designed these days for fit on 1024x768. With Unity showing, I have to scroll sideways on webpages too... Come to think of it, a bottom launcher option would solve this issue on 1024x768 screens... Why is that not an option? The dodge launcher helped a little, but that's been removed...

To top things up, the window menus keep disconnecting from an unmaximised applications, but the close, min, max buttons keep with the application with unmaximised. Not very consistent is it. This issue will not be corrected with larger screens. Seems illogically especially when the dodge window launcher was removed as it was causing new users confusion.. Won't the disconnected menus causes confusion? I'm not new to Ubuntu and it's causing me confusion when I need multiple applications open.

So after a minimum of 6 months testing, as much as I want to like Unity, the conclusion I have been forced to make is Unity2D is rubbish on 1024x768. At the same time, I am almost 100% sure that my view of Unity will change totally with larger screens.

For now, I keep having to revert back to gnome-classic when I need to do some work.

Vaphell
April 30th, 2012, 03:52 PM
as I can't remember which application I opened in which order to be able to use super+num to switch to the correct application quickly without thinking. I could use alt-tab to scroll through the open applications, but that's not very productive at all.

you can pin your frequently used programs to launcher permanently in any order you want and then they won't change their position, making hotkey mashing possible.


However, from my experience so far, Unity is not suited to be productive on a 1024x768 screen at all. Even webpages are annoying as most are designed these days for fit on 1024x768. With Unity showing, I have to scroll sideways on webpages too... Come to think of it, a bottom launcher option would solve this issue on 1024x768 screens... Why is that not an option? The dodge launcher helped a little, but that's been removed...

1024x768 is on the way out and is too claustrophobic for most uses today.
Unity in its design reflects the situation that the majority of displays in use are widescreen, scarce on vertical pixels and having plenty of horizontal ones. Hardcoding it with no option to change the location is a fail though, users should be able to configure it as they please.
In case of browsers you can ctrl+scroll to zoom out slightly so the content fits new, slighly smaller width, though it would be not too comfortable to read more often than not.

oshirowanen
April 30th, 2012, 03:59 PM
you can pin your frequently used programs to launcher permanently in any order you want and then they won't change their position, making hotkey mashing possible.

True, but only if you use the same applications day in day out. Not the case for me. In your scenario, I would have to repin applications near enough everyday, not giving me a chance to memories their location/number to make super+num useful.


1024x768 is on the way out and is too claustrophobic for most uses today.
Unity in its design reflects the situation that the majority of displays in use are widescreen, scarce on vertical pixels and having plenty of horizontal ones. Hardcoding it with no option to change the location is a fail though, users should be able to configure it as they please.

Could not agree more. Unity is definitely not suited for 1024x768 screens or less. Larger widescreens would make a world of a difference.


In case of browsers you can ctrl+scroll to zoom out slightly so the content fits new, slighly smaller width, though it would be not too comfortable to read more often than not.

Yes, that is an option, but definitely not a productive option. Scrolling just up and down is much better imo.

Vaphell
April 30th, 2012, 04:19 PM
switch to gnome-classic, xfce or lxde and don't bother with bling :) you should consider buying better monitor though, screen estate lends itself to productivity regardless of desktop environment :)

oshirowanen
April 30th, 2012, 04:20 PM
So to be fair, Unity is actually fairly decent.

Just need to sort out the launcher position option, and the disconnecting menu issue and it will be very decent.

GreatDanton
April 30th, 2012, 04:22 PM
I stick to the classic gnome, because Unity is useless on computer with 1gb ram or less (like mine).

philinux
April 30th, 2012, 04:24 PM
For Unity 3d you can move it to the bottom.

http://askubuntu.com/questions/33605/can-i-move-the-unity-launcher

I'm not sure if it will work in 12.04 though.

oshirowanen
April 30th, 2012, 04:24 PM
switch to gnome-classic, xfce or lxde and don't bother with bling :) you should consider buying better monitor though, screen estate lends itself to productivity regardless of desktop environment :)

Yes, I'm using gnome-classic, don't like xfce, lxde. I actually do like Unity, just has some really annoying issues with it as described above (disconnecting menus, lack of launcher position option). I did have larger monitors about a year ago, dual monitor computer, but that computer broke, and have had to resort to my small screen laptop.

Got a new computer delivered today, just needs to be put together and it has 4 monitors!!! Can't wait to try out Unity on that. Hopefully it will all work out and I will not just want to like Unity, I will hopefully love it!

oshirowanen
April 30th, 2012, 04:26 PM
I stick to the classic gnome, because Unity is useless on computer with 1gb ram or less (like mine).

I'm sure it is, the temp laptop I am using has 2Gb RAM, but a screen resolution of 1024x768 is no good for Unity.

oshirowanen
April 30th, 2012, 04:27 PM
For Unity 3d you can move it to the bottom.

http://askubuntu.com/questions/33605/can-i-move-the-unity-launcher

That will probably be the first option I change if it works on 12.04!!!

Vaphell
April 30th, 2012, 04:35 PM
iirc there was a proof of concept for the launcher positioned at the bottom (edit: i see it was mentioned in other posts). Some guy took the source code, modified it a bit and voila! Unfortunately Canonical are annoyingly stubborn in this case and refuse to offer configurability.

on a sidenote: if you hold WIN, it should show you the launcher with numbers assigned to each icon so you don't have to guess.

I wonder if launcher pinned programs can be scripted. I think it should be doable to switch between sets of launchers configured for a particular task, it's linux after all.

oshirowanen
April 30th, 2012, 04:45 PM
iirc there was a proof of concept for the launcher positioned at the bottom (edit: i see it was mentioned in other posts). Some guy took the source code, modified it a bit and voila! Unfortunately Canonical are annoyingly stubborn in this case and refuse to offer configurability.

Anyone know why Canonical has something against an option to change the launchers position? Not everyone has widescreen monitors.


on a sidenote: if you hold WIN, it should show you the launcher with numbers assigned to each icon so you don't have to guess.

When I do use 12.04, this is exactly what I do.

I wonder if launcher pinned programs can be scripted. I think it should be doable to switch between sets of launchers configured for a particular task, it's linux after all.[/QUOTE]

Interesting thought! On multiple monitors, if you have a launcher on each screen, can each launcher have different apps pinned?

keithpeter
April 30th, 2012, 05:27 PM
Hello All

I like the detail in this discussion. It helps me understand how other people use Unity.

I have a 1024 by 600 screen netbook which is quite light to carry and seems to run Unity on Ubuntu 12.04 fairly well (half a second delay on the Dash appearing after pressing the Super key sometimes).

I hide the Launcher to have the full width of the screen.

I tend to be using a limited number of applications on the small computer; Firefox, Gedit, Audacity if editing a podcast, LibreOffice Writer or Impress if making some handouts.

My solution is to keep each app window maximised in a different workspace. Super S and I get an overview of the computer. Ctrl-Alt Arrows and I can move about if I remember what app is on what space (I don't always, hence Super-S). I use F10 on my UK keyboard to bring up the drop-down menus in the current window. Some keyboards may need to use Alt-F10. Whichever works, that shows the file menu, then you can use the arrow keys to move along the menus. I also use the application specific shortcuts (ctrl-shift-g to group drawing objects in Impress) that I know.

I'm slowly getting used to the HUD, but I find the choice of search term affects the results.

4 monitors! Good luck with that...

Vaphell
April 30th, 2012, 05:42 PM
Anyone know why Canonical has something against an option to change the launchers position? Not everyone has widescreen monitors.

Originally their reasoning was that they want it to be close to Ubuntu button which used to be in the left corner, on the top bar. Later the ubuntu button became a part of the launcher bar itself so it's always close by definition. The original reasoning ceases to apply and i too am curious what is their take on the issue now.


Interesting thought! On multiple monitors, if you have a launcher on each screen, can each launcher have different apps pinned?

i don't have multiple displays so i can't elaborate on that.

rg4w
April 30th, 2012, 06:33 PM
I like the detail in this discussion. It helps me understand how other people use Unity.
+1 It's refreshing to read a thread that focuses on specifics with a professional tone.

One tip for the OP: When you try 3D be sure to check out the Appearance panel in System Settings - there's an option there to adjust the width of the Launcher, and you may find that helpful (I sure do).

Vaphell
April 30th, 2012, 06:48 PM
minimum allowed in unity3d settings is 32. Besides the OP mentioned using unity2d - shrinking size in u2d requires modifying few files where the 48px is hardcoded. There is a python script that makes the change trivial, it should be rather easy to find on these forums/with google.

oshirowanen
May 1st, 2012, 04:25 PM
Other than the confusing global menu issue where the menu disconnects from un-maximized windows, while the close, min, max buttons don't, the new PC built last night with a larger screen has solved all my other gripes with Unity.

Hoping to get time to try out all 4 monitors tonight.

Interms of my laptop i.e. 1024x768, I'll have that on the side but will have it set to use gnome-classic.

oshirowanen
May 1st, 2012, 04:31 PM
Hello All

I like the detail in this discussion. It helps me understand how other people use Unity.

I have a 1024 by 600 screen netbook which is quite light to carry and seems to run Unity on Ubuntu 12.04 fairly well (half a second delay on the Dash appearing after pressing the Super key sometimes).

I hide the Launcher to have the full width of the screen.

I tend to be using a limited number of applications on the small computer; Firefox, Gedit, Audacity if editing a podcast, LibreOffice Writer or Impress if making some handouts.

My solution is to keep each app window maximised in a different workspace. Super S and I get an overview of the computer. Ctrl-Alt Arrows and I can move about if I remember what app is on what space (I don't always, hence Super-S). I use F10 on my UK keyboard to bring up the drop-down menus in the current window. Some keyboards may need to use Alt-F10. Whichever works, that shows the file menu, then you can use the arrow keys to move along the menus. I also use the application specific shortcuts (ctrl-shift-g to group drawing objects in Impress) that I know.

That is very impressive, as I can't seem to get used to Unity on lower resolutions. For me it almost feels claustrophobic, it's difficult to explain.


I'm slowly getting used to the HUD, but I find the choice of search term affects the results.

Don't know why but I found HUD so natural right from day one. I'm the type of user who won't spend time skimming a website for example, I will just press Ctrl-F and search a keyword I am after to jump straight to a bit of the page which might be relevant.

I do the same in documents, text files the lot. Don't know if this is a good thing, or if I'm just being lazy. I guess this is why I find HUD so natural?


4 monitors! Good luck with that...

Thanks! I've heard and read good things about improvements in 12.04 for multi-monitor support. So I'll be putting this to the test tonight hopefully.

oshirowanen
May 1st, 2012, 04:32 PM
i don't have multiple displays so i can't elaborate on that.

I'm hoping to have the answer to this tonight, if everything goes smoothly.

sgage
May 1st, 2012, 05:16 PM
1024x768 is on the way out and is too claustrophobic for most uses today.
Unity in its design reflects the situation that the majority of displays in use are widescreen, scarce on vertical pixels and having plenty of horizontal ones. Hardcoding it with no option to change the location is a fail though, users should be able to configure it as they please.
In case of browsers you can ctrl+scroll to zoom out slightly so the content fits new, slighly smaller width, though it would be not too comfortable to read more often than not.

I'm not sure that the majority of displays in use are widescreen (yet). But in any case, I don't have a widescreen display, and I'm certainly not going to run out and buy one to get with the program.

1280x1024 (which is the same 5:4 as 1024x768) is not at all "claustrophobic for most uses today".

But if the SABDFL wants the launcher on the left, and only on the left, I guess that's the way it's gonna be. I think it's asymmetrical and ugly.

Vaphell
May 1st, 2012, 08:52 PM
I'm not sure that the majority of displays in use are widescreen (yet). But in any case, I don't have a widescreen display, and I'm certainly not going to run out and buy one to get with the program.

look at lcd displays or laptops in any hardware shop, 99% of them 16:9.


1280x1024 (which is the same 5:4 as 1024x768 is not at all "claustrophobic for most uses today".

ok, that was kind of overstatement on my side, but nevertheless it's not that far from the truth.
i don't know what kind of math you are using but 1024x768 is 4:3 ;) and is smaller than standard 5:4 1280x1024 in both dimensions.
1280 is 25% more horizontal pixels and 33% more vertical pixels - that's a lot of pixels ;)
+33% = +1/3 more icons in the launcher.

I doubt that anybody would complain that average page doesn't fit on 5:4 when there is a launcher present - you got ~250px left. In case of 1024x768 any webpage of standard width makes it very uncomfortable to use taskbar on the side or vertical tabs in the browser (my personal favorite). User simply has no viable options with no spare pixels left.

sgage
May 1st, 2012, 09:26 PM
look at lcd displays or laptops in any hardware shop, 99% of them 16:9.



ok, that was kind of overstatement on my side, but nevertheless it's not that far from the truth.
i don't know what kind of math you are using but 1024x768 is 4:3 ;) and is smaller than standard 5:4 1280x1024 in both dimensions.
1280 is 25% more horizontal pixels and 33% more vertical pixels - that's a lot of pixels ;)
+33% = +1/3 more icons in the launcher.

I doubt that anybody would complain that average page doesn't fit on 5:4 when there is a launcher present - you got ~250px left. In case of 1024x768 any webpage of standard width makes it very uncomfortable to use taskbar on the side or vertical tabs in the browser (my personal favorite). User simply has no viable options with no spare pixels left.

Yes, in the stores everything is wide screen. But there is a vast quantity of legacy stuff out there in the real world still being used. I still see more 5:4 than widescreen.

We're not talking about pixels, rather aspect ratio. You can have a lot of pixels in either format.

keithpeter
May 1st, 2012, 10:14 PM
That is very impressive, as I can't seem to get used to Unity on lower resolutions. For me it almost feels claustrophobic, it's difficult to explain.

Don't know why but I found HUD so natural right from day one. I'm the type of user who won't spend time skimming a website for example, I will just press Ctrl-F and search a keyword I am after to jump straight to a bit of the page which might be relevant.

I do the same in documents, text files the lot. Don't know if this is a good thing, or if I'm just being lazy. I guess this is why I find HUD so natural.

OK, so I need to see stuff and have visual cues, you have a more search oriented way of working. We have different cognitive styles. There are probably others.

Now imagine being an interface designer....

Vaphell
May 1st, 2012, 10:25 PM
But there is a vast quantity of legacy stuff out there in the real world still being used. I still see more 5:4 than widescreen.

unity requires quite beefy machines, i don't think its main target is legacy hardware. You got much lighter DEs for that and 5:4 are ok for unity either way, their resolutions are not that starved for horizontal pixels. 1280 is plenty but yes, i completely agree that you should be able to move launcher bar to the bottom if you want.

deonis
May 1st, 2012, 10:45 PM
I used Unity for almost a year, thought that it just me and all productivity issues are just in my head. After a year of using I tried Gnome-Shell and things start to Rock. It is so much clearer, simpler, faster and user friendly than Unity. In addition, it works great with wine and all windows programs.

Sunships
May 18th, 2012, 04:13 PM
I used Unity for almost a year, thought that it just me and all productivity issues are just in my head. After a year of using I tried Gnome-Shell and things start to Rock. It is so much clearer, simpler, faster and user friendly than Unity. In addition, it works great with wine and all windows programs.

I gave Unity a try too, when I first installed 12.04. But I found searching for applications unintuitive and the lack of customisation options frustrating. While it looks nice on netbooks with small screens I found it too big and imposing on my desktop.

I'm sure there are now ways to do all the customisation I wanted to do, but it was so easy just to revert to old-school Gnome and use AWN, etc and get a setup which is identical to the previous 10.10 installation we had. I don't feel like I'm missing out on anything by not using Unity.

dschaller
May 18th, 2012, 05:34 PM
I have been experimenting with Unity and 12.04 and I have found too that while Unity looks pretty, it hinders my preferred workflow.

In particular, I have to remember which applications I have installed so that when I want to execute one, I can find it with the search bar. With thousands of packages installed and moving things in and out regularly, this is not convenient or fast for me. I much prefer the traditional drop-down menus that can show me in an instant what's available to me in a particular category.

Another large issue for me is the disappearance of the "show desktop" button. I frequently use my desktop as a "holding area" when I've got files from multiple applications that I'm working on at once--just like in the real world. I need to quickly glance at them and then jump back to what I was doing. I know there is a "show desktop" toggle in 3D, but I don't use 3D.

Unity strikes me as being especially suited to the user who doesn't do a lot at one time and doesn't use more than a few programs on a regular basis. Like an earlier poster said, with many things open it becomes quite clumsy to move between them easily and see what is open.

I know there are probably workarounds for all this stuff (using multiple workspaces, etc.) but it takes time to learn new ways of working too and it's not always necessary. So it's likely going to be a classic desktop in the end for me too.

Vaphell
May 18th, 2012, 06:02 PM
I much prefer the traditional drop-down menus that can show me in an instant what's available to me in a particular category.
dash in fact supports filtering by categories
i agree that it is buried too deep for many people's tastes but it's there
if you click 2nd icon at the bottom, you get apps lens
on the right you have categories to toggle on/off, maximize 'installed apps' part
you can install classic menu indicator
http://www.addictivetips.com/ubuntu-linux-tips/how-to-get-classic-start-menu-with-unity-launcher-ubuntu/


Another large issue for me is the disappearance of the "show desktop" button

WIN+D 11.10, CTRL+WIN+D 12.04 (according to my virtual machines)
CTRL+ALT+D in pre-unity DE
in case of quick glancing it's much faster to use shortcuts that to travel with mouse back and forth to some button in the corner ;)

choppyfireballs
May 18th, 2012, 06:28 PM
unfortunately i agree with most of the posters here anything less than including 1024 x768 is on it's way out and dying QUICKLY

if you wish to continue to use this resolution i wouls use either xfce

sudo apt-get install xfce4 I think is the code

or gnome classic

dschaller
May 19th, 2012, 12:53 PM
WIN+D 11.10, CTRL+WIN+D 12.04 (according to my virtual machines)
CTRL+ALT+D in pre-unity DE
in case of quick glancing it's much faster to use shortcuts that to travel with mouse back and forth to some button in the corner ;)

Is there an alternate to CTRL+WIN+D for keyboards that do not have a WIN key? Can the key binding be changed?

Vaphell
May 19th, 2012, 02:26 PM
look in keyboard preferences for hotkeys - 2nd tab > Navigation > hide all windows, i was able to change minimize all to a different combination there (unity2d in VM)

oshirowanen
June 7th, 2012, 01:48 PM
I just experienced something interesting. After fighting with Unity since Ubuntu 11.10, I noticed huge frustration with the interface. My productivity dropped a huge amount when I switched from Gnome 2 to Unity. After some months of practice, productivity had increased a little.

Last week I just had enough, as I could not get my productivity to the same level as I had when using Gnome 2. So just from curiosity, I tried out Gnome Shell.

I would say, within minutes, My productivity was close to Gnome 2 levels, productivity levels which I couldn't reach with Unity, even after months of practice, usage and learning lots of shortcut keys.

Gnome Shell is so logical, and so non intrusive. I find Unity the exact opposite for my style of usage.

I will be keeping an eye on Unity and will probably give it a try in the next LTS release, hopefully all the issues which slow me down will have been removed by then.

Would it be worthwhile me listing all the issues I experience with Unity?

philinux
June 7th, 2012, 02:54 PM
Moved to Recurring Discussions.

traditionalist
June 7th, 2012, 03:28 PM
I just experienced something interesting. After fighting with Unity since Ubuntu 11.10, I noticed huge frustration with the interface. My productivity dropped a huge amount when I switched from Gnome 2 to Unity. After some months of practice, productivity had increased a little.

Last week I just had enough, as I could not get my productivity to the same level as I had when using Gnome 2. So just from curiosity, I tried out Gnome Shell.

I would say, within minutes, My productivity was close to Gnome 2 levels, productivity levels which I couldn't reach with Unity, even after months of practice, usage and learning lots of shortcut keys.

Gnome Shell is so logical, and so non intrusive. I find Unity the exact opposite for my style of usage.

I will be keeping an eye on Unity and will probably give it a try in the next LTS release, hopefully all the issues which slow me down will have been removed by then.

Would it be worthwhile me listing all the issues I experience with Unity?

I think it's more or less unusable for somebody who is used to menus etc. It just takes too long to get to grips with it. I went to the Gnome shell and then to Gnome classic after a few trials.

It may be OK if you really get used to it but I don't really want to waste the time required. For me, it is basically unusable in the present form. Even adding a menu ( which is easily done) doesn't really help much.

oshirowanen
June 7th, 2012, 04:12 PM
I think it's more or less unusable for somebody who is used to menus etc. It just takes too long to get to grips with it. I went to the Gnome shell and then to Gnome classic after a few trials.

It may be OK if you really get used to it but I don't really want to waste the time required. For me, it is basically unusable in the present form. Even adding a menu ( which is easily done) doesn't really help much.

I think my main issues with it are:

1. Moving the mouse to the header of a window maximised and double clicking it to unmaximise it, only to find out that the mouse over was too much to the left, which activates the menu and I just end up clicking on an applications header menu twice. So nothing happens, until I double click the header more to the right of the application header bar. (this results in large amounts of wasted clicks)

2. If I have 2 applications open (or more for that matter), where the application which does not have focus is maximized, ontop of which is an unmaximized application which has focus. You want to close the application in the background. You hover your mouse to where you expect the x to appear and nothing happens... resulting in seconds wasted, you then remember you have to give the application focus before you can close it... So now you have to click twice to close an application...

3. You try to right click a maximised applications header bar, because you want to pin that application to be visible on all desktops (chromium for example). The option does not appear. You have to unmaximise the windows, then right click the header bar, then choose to make it visible on all desktops, then maximise it again...

These are just a couple of things which I can think of instantly which have reduced my productivity a lot. If I put a bit more effort in, I can probably produce a large list.

Unity is good, if your main objective in the day is to search and open applications. But who spends most of their day doing that? Unity is excellent for searching for stuff on the desktop and on the web. No doubt about it, it's not very good for non search based work across multiple desktops where you constantly need to switch between multiple applications, for example, if you're a programmer, Unity will slow you down, well it slows me down. I find Gnome Shell a much better experience across multiple monitors and switching between multiple applications when programming. I have not spent much time on it, but I will give it a chance just as I gave Unity a chance.

If things don't work out, I can always go back to Gnome Classic.

ExSuSEusr
June 8th, 2012, 01:12 AM
Unity has increased my productivity. I have a Windows laptop for work, but only use it when I need to connect in to upload download a file. Everything else I use my Ubuntu laptop and just transfer work back and forth via thumb drive.

I get more done and quicker with Unity than I do Windows - same with Cinnamon or Gnome.