Part of that unfortunate rant from a day ago came about after spending a day or two in Xubuntu, after spending an equal amount of time in Kubuntu.
Originally my foray back into the *buntus was meant to give fair time to alternative renditions of Ubuntu, and avoiding tainting the entire set with tirades against the flagship.
On the one hand, it was important to do that. And it has been a while since I’ve used some of these versions, even if I still feel a tinge of disappointment when I try them.
I’m not going to dwell long on my failed relationship with Xubuntu, mostly because it’s ancient history. I stopped using it, that’s about all.
It appears to be working in a lighter direction though, so I will give it that. The default desktop, unless I am mistaken, is more “traditional” than straight Ubuntu 11.04, and relies only the native XFCE compositor for shadow effects.
It may just be that the desktop “style” is a cycle or two behind what vanilla Gnome does though. Like I suggested, I don’t follow the outlying desktops so I don’t know the plan.
It has a few peculiarities though. The pop-up notification boxes for networking or volume control don’t seem to vanish automatically for me, which means they completely block anything underneath, until it’s explicitly closed. Perhaps I just don’t wait long enough.
The pop-up launcher bar at the bottom of the screen is vaguely clever, in that it uses the standard XFCE panel and adjusts its settings to behave like wbar or AWN.
Speedwise, I can’t tell you if it’s necessarily an improvement over any *buntu, or even a past version of itself. The computer I tried it on is really too fast to make a comparison.
Granted, it’s a carrying a lot of Gnome already. But that just means the way it works and behaves is a little more conventional.
I can tell you that adjusting it to a little more traditional XFCE arrangement, like you see above, did make me more comfortable and make the desktop a little easier to manage.
Which means that ultimately — and it’s strange to say this — if the new Ubuntu desktop proves too cumbersome or counterintuitive for you, like it did for me, Xubuntu might be an answer.
Xubuntu to the rescue. Who would’ve thought?