I upgraded to Ubuntu 11.10 a couple of weeks ago. I'm still getting used to the new desktop arrangement, such as the disappearing dashboard on the lefthand side and the absence of a taskbar by default. I feel like I'm still sticking to old habits, but the ways to support them seem increasingly clunky as new usage paradigms seem to be adopted, so I had a feeling that it might help me use the desktop environment more efficiently if I learned usage patterns it was designed to support.
I've added in tint2 to have a taskbar (and configured it to not automatically disappear), because I like being able see what open windows I have at a glance. But I wonder if doing this is just a crutch, considering it wasn't included by default. (It does seem to be useful without taking up too much screen space.)
I usually have Chrome maximized, and I end up frequently accidentally making the dashboard appear when the mouse cursor (controlled by touchpad) wanders too far leftwards. (Various websites seem to have menulike elements on the lefthand side.)
Is the dashboard meant to be the replacement for a taskbar, rather than just a quicklaunch panel with shortcuts to programs the user deems should be easily accessible? I can see that you can access open windows via it.
Sorry if all of this is vague. I'm just interested in learning to adapt to the new environment instead of trying to shoehorn it into serving previous usage habits, if the new way of doing things works for me. Any ideas or links to tutorials would be appreciated!