Location: GUIs >
Linux / Unix >
The new indicator applets provides a certain level of desktop integration
with the included internet applications.
The Ubuntu Software Center makes downloading and installing software
designed specifically for Ubuntu Linux a snap. This and the large amount
of available software continues to be the strong point of Ubuntu Linux.
The "System" menu item contains programs and applets for setting desktop
preferences and configuring the system.
This screen shot shows several typical control panel applets. Changes
typically take effect immediately, so there is no "apply" or "cancel" button.
In the Appearance control panel you can select from a few different
visual appearance themes. And you can have any color you want as long as
it is brown tinted. Seriously, there is no way to select completely custom
window border colors.
Also notice that some themes have the windowing buttons on the left
corner and other on the right.
Prior to its release, there was some controversy about the placement
of the windowing controls for 10.04. The buttons were moved from the right
to the left, and they initially were ordered like this:
That would be VERY confusing! Off hand the only GUI I can think of that
did not have the "Close" button directly in a corner was the Xerox Star.
Apple always had a "close" button or icon in the left corner, NeXTStep
moved it to the right, then Microsoft copied NeXTStep because their double-clickable
"system box" on the left wasn't easy enough.
Fortunately, the end result is similar to Mac OS X.
This new look removes the application icon/system box, but the menu
is still accessible by right-clicking the title bar or using alt-space.
The default color scheme has also changed a bit. A color scheme, graphics,
and eye candy does not effect the usability of a user interface (unless
you chose something unreadable) but it does impact how a user feels about
the system and is important from a marketing standpoint.
At least there is a decent set of screen savers to select from.
The driver control panel did warn that there could be bugs. The Nvidia
control panel, which must be used instead of the native display control
panel, has no shortage of those.
When I change the resolution, it will not save the settings. So I have
to reset the resolution each time I reboot!
The only way to save the display settings is to save the settings to
an "X" configuration file. The tooltip helpfully explains that "The Save
to X Configuration File button allows you save the current X server configuration
settings to an X configuration file". Clicking the button only results
in an error that it can not parse the X configuration file. Somewhere a
developer needs to be locked in a room with his grandmother and forced
to explain what an X server is and why its X configuration file has difficulty
I seem to be having bad luck with time control panel lately.
Where to start?
First, it forces me to set the time using this freaky bizarro "24" hour
time. And the settings even specify that I should be using normal 12 hour
Then I can not even enter the time in to the text boxes even though
it lets me type in them. It turns out I must use up/down controls instead.
This time zone selector makes me select a city that I'm not in to set
the time zone. At least it graphically shows me where all the cities are
and lets me click on one I happen to know is in the same time zone.
HOWEVER during setup a completely different timezone selector appears.
The one during set up is a bit friendlier and lets me click on the time
zone area, highlighting the entire time zone when I click. Although that
control panel makes the mistake of displaying a time preview in unintelligible
24-hour time. Still, somebody went to the trouble of writing two completely
different time zone selection applets?
And on top of that, occasionally the clock control panel gives some
error about being unable to save settings.