Month: October 2011

Going back to Natty

On the 13th October 2011 the latest version of Ubuntu became generally available. It is called Oneiric Ocelot, and some of the enhancements contained in this release are listed in this lifehacker article: Ubuntu Linux 11.10 “Oneiric Ocelot” Released; Here’s What’s New

Because of my strict habit of backing up my computer to two separate external devices on each and every day on which I have used it, I decided it would be easier to blow it away and install Oneiric from scratch. I have my backups to get my data and program settings back from, so why not? The alternative was to do an over the top upgrade but I thought i’d take the opportunity to have a clean and fresh install.

I installed Oneiric and then pulled back my data and added my small list of must-have applications from the Ubuntu Software Centre. Within 2 hours I was all done. Happy days? Not quite. After a few days working with 11.10 I have reversed the process and gone back to using Natty Narwhal, 11.04.

Why?

Well, there are a lot of small nice touches in Oneiric. Many of the new items that were introduced in Natty, especially to do with the Unity interface, have been refined and improved. You can see where the developers and designers are trying to get to, and they’re showing great promise in getting there. But there are a few niggling glitches that I can’t put up with.

Quite often an application will open with its menu bar hidden, tucked underneath the status bar of the desktop. Applications periodically need to be forcibly shut because they have frozen. Programs that worked fine in Natty have a stubborn streak in Oneiric. Sometimes things need two clicks when one should have been enough. Cumulatively there were too many small annoyances, so I reverted to Natty.

I will wait until Ubuntu 12.04 comes out, and see what the experience with Precise Pangolin is like. The 12.04 release is going to be a LTS release, which means it is a Long Term Support release. Between now and then the Ubuntu developers and designers will be doing much more work in refining and polishing the Unity interface and, importantly, the developers of the applications will be able to make the small tweaks and changes to their software to make it integrate and perform in Unity cohesively.

I’m not discouraged by my experience of Oneiric, instead I am excited about the potential for Precise Pangolin.

Here, Canonical talk about their Long Term Support being extended from 3 to 5 years: Ubuntu 12.04 to feature extended support period for desktop users

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