Monday, August 22, 2011

Ubuntu 11.10 Oneric Ocelot Alpha 3 Quick Review

Ubuntu 11.10 Oneric Ocelot Alpha 3 was released few weeks ago. I decided to properly install Ubuntu 11.10 Oneric in my notebook along with Ping-Eee OS this time around instead of just experimenting it with a USB install. I have been using Ubuntu 11.10 Alpha 3 as my primary OS for almost 2 weeks now and this is how I feel about it. Read on.

Ubuntu 11.10 Oneric Ocelot Alpha 3 Review
With the release of latest Alpha 3 version, Ubuntu 11.10 is a hugely transformed distro now.  Ubuntu 11.10 Alpha 3 comes with Linux Kernel 3.0.0-7, Nautilus 3.1.4, Ubuntu Software Center 4.1.11, Banshee 2.1.0, Thunderbird 6.0, Firefox 6 from Mozilla beta channel, Unity 4.6.0 and GNOME Shell 3.1.3(it's in the repositories, not installed as default).

There were indications of a faster Unity UI in the earlier Alpha release itself, now it is becoming rather apparent. Unity is becoming faster, sleeker and snappier with each new release. But that doesn't mean that this latest alpha release is devoid of any bugs and imperfections. As a matter of fact, there are plenty of them.

Firefox is steadily improving, no question about that. The need for replacing Firefox with Chromium, as it was discussed during Ubuntu developer summit 2011, is becoming a non issue lately. And as we learned recently from the serious power usage spikes with Chromium, nobody's perfect. But now there is a strange and annoying bug that is interfering with Firefox's work flow. The funny thing is, Unity's latest feature addition is causing it.

That's the new window switcher for Ubuntu and it is currently mapped to Ctrl+Tab, which prevents you from browsing through opened tabs in Firefox(or in any other browser) using keyboard. I think this is some temporary arrangement and as soon as this window switcher application is mature enough, it will replace the current Alt+Tab.

The erratic behavior of Unity dash is another area of concern. But things are improving. A lot of important changes has happened with Ubuntu Software Center and Unity dash during the past few days. I intentionally excluded updates about those changes from this post to keep it strictly about Ubuntu Oneric Alpha 3. Anyway, that's pretty much what's new about Oneric Alpha 3. I will be updating about latest changes in another post soon. Stay tuned.