art with code

2010-10-20

Ubuntu 10.10 nits

Nice fonts.
Nice boot screen.
Nice boot screen doesn't work with fglrx.
Dark theme bg & window style screws up labels with dark text.
Dark title bar & dark menu bar occasionally look silly with the light-grey window bg. Especially Firefox looks bad. The thing with dark bg themes is that the amount of apps designed to work properly with one is damn close to zero. (Hence, I suppose, the light-grey window bg.)
The active window titlebar gradient looks kinda sloppy. Ditto for popup menu gradients.
Flat window buttons walk a tightrope between sucking and being just boring.
GTK widget theme buttons are very nice.
Dropdown widget has the triangle vertically off-center by 1px?
The salmon active color in the widget theme is not very nice.
Scrollbar widget looks different from the rest of the theme and a bit weird. Exacerbated by rounded buttons but no alpha channel, so Firefox textarea scrollbar buttons look icky.
New Rhythmbox icon is nice.
Rhythmbox itself is still nowhere near Amarok 1.4.
Amarok 2.0 is still nowhere near Rhythmbox.
Gnome Terminal icon is vertically off-center in top panel.
Notification area in top panel looks nice with the monochrome theme.
App icons in top panel are too tall and look bad.
Weather applet rainy icon has a black border. Other widget icons (other weather icons too) don't have borders, making the rainy icon look out-of-place.
The speech bubble icon in top panel is one pixel too low (more like one pixel too high).
The networking applet icon is super-confusing. I keep looking at it and wondering "Wtf was that icon for again? Check updates? No.. oh right, networking."
The (very low-visibility) round corners in panel dropdown menus look nice. But suffer from lack of text padding.
Window title color is actually orange instead of dark grey (try Chromium with GTK theme).
1px wide window resize handles make me cry.
The purple color works surprisingly well.
Default desktop bg is nice.
Popup text labels have too little horizontal padding. Otherwise they look nice.
Date & time applet text has too little horizontal padding as well.
The panel applets have crap spacing so you need to manually move them around by a couple pixels to make the layout look less horrible.
PulseAudio is glitchy and the volume control does not work (you can only set it between mute, medium volume and super-loud volume, no low volume setting available).
The new fancy volume control doubling as a music player remote is nice.
udev screws up md RAID arrays by being clueless (starts only one disk of a RAID-1 -> stops boot process thx to unable mount disk & dirty array after reassembly -> need resync -> FFFFUUUUUUU. How about using mdadm -A --scan like sane people do?) [edit: mdadm -A --scan wants to have an md device name like /dev/md0 instead of /dev/md/MyRAID, I dunno if that sunk udev or if it's just doing silly things.]
Nautilus is slow so I very much try not to manage files with it (instead terminal for quick & programmable things, Filezoo for overviews and visual sorting)
The CPU speed indicator applet could show all the CPUs at once instead of requiring running several copies of it.
I don't get what the Social Networks thing does. It doesn't seem to do anything. Maybe that's what it does.
What is Ubuntu One? Perhaps these things should be explained as one starts them up?
Why is this Gwibber thing so slow? Or perhaps it just lacks a progress indicator, making it feel slow.
Evolution feels like a really fiddly and slow interface to Gmail.

I do really like it for the most part, at least after a year in Debian's permabroken Gnome-land. I'd use FVWM or something cool and edgy and configurable like that for window management but compiz no worky on non-retarded WMs and theming FVWM (while infinitely easier than theming metacity) is limited and painful. Not that I've done any theming for a couple years. Plus you don't have a nice GUI to make F1 start a new terminal (just a nice thousand-line config file).

Maybe there should be a WebKit-based desktop environment.
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Built art installations, web sites, graphics libraries, web browsers, mobile apps, desktop apps, media player themes, many nutty prototypes, much bad code, much bad art.

Have freelanced for Verizon, Google, Mozilla, Warner Bros, Sony Pictures, Yahoo!, Microsoft, Valve Software, TDK Electronics.

Ex-Chrome Developer Relations.