The DistRogue

Friday, August 10, 2007

Life on the bleeding edge: Ubuntu 7.10 Tribe 4

Ubuntu's next release is planned for mid-October, as usual, with the codename "Gutsy Gibbon". In case you have no idea what a gibbon is (get used to it- Ubuntu 11.04 might be named "Naughty Nightjar"), Wikipedia can help. Gutsy is going to be another cutting-edge release, with AppArmor installed and parts of KDE 4 in Kubuntu- not to mention a full Compiz Fusion desktop by default. A rumor suggests Firefox 3 will be included. Don't worry, though, KDE 4 will be optional, GNOME will be at the stable version 2.20, and the planned kernel version is already stable- they're using 2.6.22.
Just for the sake of it, I tried out one of the "Tribe" CDs for Xubuntu. (Ubuntu devs give their alpha releases wacky names like "Tribe" all the time.) The install CD crashed before the kernel was done loading, so I made a separate Xubuntu 7.04 install and upgraded it to- cue music- the bleeding edge.
The software selection was noticeably up-to-date. It included Firefox 2, Gimp 2.3.18, Rhythmbox 0.11.1, and all the other good stuff. The desktop looked exactly the same as it did in 7.04, which means that they haven't made it to artwork yet.
That is, until I turned on Compiz.
Compiz still isn't included in Xubuntu, so I had to install "ubuntu-desktop" to get it. Gutsy comes with the GNOME Control Center, and a new tab in the Appearance window can be used to configure (to an extent) Compiz.

Power users will want more control than that (wobbly windows and the cube aren't even enabled!), so launch Synaptic and install "compizconfig-settings-manager". This gives you the CompizConfig control center that comes with normal compiz-fusion installs. It even shows up in the GNOME Control Center! :D If you turn on the cube, it's really just a flat sheet, so go to General Options > Desktop Size, and bump up the horizontal desktop size.

Note that I didn't say "bump up the desktop size to 4."

As usual, the Ubuntu devs also focus on the little things that make Ubuntu the great distribution it is. For instance, one of my pet peeves with 7.04 was that you needed the root password to access other HD partitions. In 7.10, that restriction was lifted- any user can read from or write to any partition out of the box. On the topic of the Appearance window (formerly gnome-theme-manager), in the "Customize" window, previews of each window border, control set, and icon set are now offered, and cursors and colors (for some themes) can also be configured- although this is probably because of the GNOME developers.
So far, Ubuntu 7.10 isn't very bleeding-edge. The software certainly seems stable enough, and some welcome improvements have been added. If you really want to live on the cutting edge, I suggest installing Trevino's repositories for Feisty, which includes all sorts of untested goodies like Audacity 1.3, Gimp 2.3, KDE 4, and Compiz Fusion.
Pros:
-Stable enough yet?
-GNOME 2.20 adds welcome improvements
-Compiz Fusion included by default
Cons:
-Compiz controls are limited out of the box
-Xubuntu doesn't include Compiz
Friendliness: 5/5-
It only got better with GNOME 2.20.
Performance: 3.5/5- No major changes- yet..
Features: 4/5- Finally, it's starting to look like a complete desktop.
Packaging: 4.5/5- Synaptic as usual.
Artwork: 1.5/2.5- No major changes.
Community: 2.5/2.5- Still some support, but most people won't be using Tribes.
Overall: 4.2/5- If this is the pre-release, bring on the final!
My next review won't be a distribution, but rather, a dip into Trevino's repos for one of the most anticipated free software releases of the year.
From Ubuntu 7.10,
The DistRogue.

49 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your white-on-black display is very difficult to read so I have not bothered. Why not get a more considerate web-page designer.

10:38 AM  
Blogger DJ Gentoo said...

Perhaps you have any suggestions? No? Then maybe you should stick to the topic at hand, which has nothing to do with Web design.
By the way, allow me to introduce you to a very useful little character called the question mark: Hold down SHIFT and press the slash key.

10:45 AM  
Anonymous lenooh said...

hi, good and fair review.

have you noticed on your first screenshot (screenshot2.png) that the gnome control panel has 2 different icons (and from different iconset) for the keyboard? that really bothers me. i already reported that bug quite some time ago, but they don't seem to be such precisionists.

everything has to be perfect, and no small detail should be overlooked...

r

1:18 PM  
Blogger DJ Gentoo said...

That's a weird bug...
On another note, Ubuntu 7.10 actually runs slower than 7.04 as of now. I managed to get about 15% more FPS in Sauerbraten, even with Compiz Fusion and AWN (instead of xfce4-panel) running. I was using xfdesktop for desktop management in both cases. But my next article will be about what happens with kernel 2.6.23.

2:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Perhaps you have any suggestions? No? Then maybe you should stick to the topic at hand, which has nothing to do with Web design."

I do. There's a reason why most websites are black on white instead of the other way around.I didn't bother either.This layout is stupid.

Oh and keep answering to your users that way and I'm sure you'll have a lot of success with your blog.Ass.

4:30 PM  
Blogger DJ Gentoo said...

I do things my way here, and if you don't like it, buddy, get your own blog. Now, have you got anything to contribute that has anything to do with the actual review, or would you like to flame pointlessly some more? I've got a hammer and a cluebat right here. At least get a screenname.

4:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I prefer white on black, it's easier to read. Just ignore the troll, or even better post his IP address.

Cool article, useful to someone, such as myself, who is considering hopping to Linux.

7:04 PM  
Blogger Bryan said...

Great early review. I tried "tribe" 4 as well but was disappointed with the smoothness of the desktop effects compared with beryl in feisty. I'm sure the developers will fix the glitches though. The Ubuntu team does a great job on the details.

Concerning the "wacky" naming conventions. I believe that a group of Gibbon is called a tribe, and that's why they are calling the pre-releases tribes. If the release was Blazing Buffalo, each pre-release would be called "herd", and Fermenting Fish would be called "school". Anyway, I believe I read that somewhere.

Thanks for the review!

8:37 PM  
Blogger DJ Gentoo said...

@second anon: Thanks, but I'm not going to stoop that low. ;)
@Bryan: The devs respond to almost anything a user says they can do to make it better. Once, I even suggested something that might be a step backwards (having a separate supertux-0.1.3 package for people whose computers couldn't run v0.3.0), and they did it anyways.
On the names: So a hedgehog group would be called an "array"? Too bad they didn't come up with that for Warty...

8:54 PM  
Blogger Bryan said...

They did :)

Warty - Sounder
Hoary - Array
Breezy - Colony
Dapper - Flight
Edgy - Knot
Feisty - Herd

* http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gutsy_Gibbon

9:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why is it wrong for someone to comment on the colour scheme of the site? Isnt that waht blogging is all about - people being free to make comments about anything they like. You do, so why cant he?

If you think his/her comment is crap, say so, but you shouldnt object to their right to make the comment. (unless of course it is offensive or abusive which this was not).

You invite the comments - so you should accept them as is.

1:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re Post #1: Your white-on-black display is very difficult to read so I have not bothered.

Gee, I say the exact same things, except for black forground on white background items. (... which is like most of the web.)

If I *WANTED* to start into a lit lightbulb, I'd already be doing so.

Thanks for a good article, and thanks for the display colors!

4:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any idea of how to get the Beryl theme manager to work?

6:44 PM  
Blogger DJ Gentoo said...

I never tried it. Beryl isn't supported anymore, and Compiz Fusion's new effects pwn. (The latest update in the repos has a paper-plane effect, among other new goodies like rendering GLXGears inside a transparent cube.)

6:52 PM  
Blogger RC said...

Nice review. I have been using compiz fusion on Feisty for a few months now and im really happy with it. Looking forward to Gutsy for the small improvements it includes.

Off-topic: Im reading your blog on windows xp and the fonts are a bit hard on the eyes. Thanks.

3:01 AM  
Blogger Rafe said...

Cool review. I'm looking forward to the final build of 7.10. Personally, it's hard for me to imagine what other goodies they could cram into what I already consider a perfect distro.

OT: I love the color scheme. I'm so sick of dark on light.

6:34 AM  
Blogger jdeisenberg said...

Thank you for the review; given the information in it, I'll probably wait another few weeks before installing 7.10 on a test machine.

As to text colors: studies show that black on white is the most readable. I suspect that this is because we have spent a great deal of our lives reading text printed in black ink on white (or off-white) paper.

6:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"For instance, one of my pet peeves with 7.04 was that you needed the root password to access other HD partitions. In 7.10, that restriction was lifted- any user can read from or write to any partition out of the box."

man fstab
man mount

6:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why is this page black with white text? What awful web design.

7:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the excellent summary, I use ubuntu 7.04 and was wondering wherther to upgrade or to wait for the next official release. (Gonna upgrade on the test machine. :-P)

As for the people bitching about the background colors of the site, go to https://www.squarefree.com/bookmarklets/zap.html and fix it your damn selves. You want the zap colors bookmarklet.

7:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice review. For some reason Gutsy decided to disable my swap partition, which was lovely, but after I figured that out it is running fine.

And white on black all the way. So much softer on the eyes. It's one thing with books, but with a screen where it's actively shining a light in your eyes! Far rather white on black.

7:30 AM  
Blogger Pace said...

Informative Post, Thanks

7:49 AM  
Blogger Blog Gently said...

Sorry to add to the hijack of your comments, but I have to agree white on black is my preference - better contrast, less eyestrain and even uses less power (seriously I've measured it). Believe me if paper was black and ink white everyone would have white on black web page. It is possible that commenter has something screwed up in their system setting or theme that is rendered unpleasant by your style - possibly the forced the foreground or background and it is now broken. Either way it seems like they have come back to the site many times to comment...

Keep on blogging and thanks for the review!

7:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

long live white on black. i found this article mostly pointless, but i enjoyed the completely off topic debate on colors and how the off topic thread continue to generate comments so i thought i would help it along.

8:33 AM  
Blogger Vektuz said...

I really appreciate the white on black approach.

Tired of having to invert everything on other pages, to view it white on black.

Glad you CAN invert it automatically, if you have Compiz - with one hotkey press :)

8:39 AM  
Anonymous ravindra said...

I wouldnt worry about the fact that xubuntu doesnt have full Compiz Fusion. Xubuntu should be a minimalist's desktop (right?).
Havent downloaded the #bleeding-edge# version yet. I learned after a while that you need to have huuuuuge bandwidth to keep it bleeding [:S] and the outcome isnt that rewarding.
How's the new Gnome? Is the boot up any faster?

PS. trolls suck rotten eggs, and hence always stink. keep your distance.

12:17 PM  
Anonymous Steve said...

Looking forward to this release. The new version of X will hopefully fix a few of my display problems with my main pc and always nice to have compiz in there for persuading people to change =]

2:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

been using the alphas since tribe 2 and gotta say they are working pretty dam well on my Asus laptop (better than a so called stable FC7). Cant wait till October...

3:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

W on B!
Seriously tho, I do prefer it, easier on the eyes. For those who want different colors, you can use opera (maybe the fox has it too) or a plugin to default all sites to your desired color scheme.

Thanks for the informative article, looks like it's time to bleed a little.

Support Free Software and Electronic Freedom!

3:50 PM  
Anonymous Duo said...

Nice review. I am also hoping the Ubuntu teams beefs up Add/Remove and solves the whole Automatix debate. Time will tell.

@ idiot(s) complaining about the page.
1) Get Firefox
2) View -> Page Style -> No Style. This gives you your precious white background with black foreground.
3) STFU. All trolls should be killed with fire.

=)

Duo.

4:40 PM  
Blogger Manny said...

Thank you for the Blog. I am new to Linux & I did not know that much... howeverm I will give Compiz a try!

mannytu

5:07 PM  
Blogger ohms said...

just for laughs...

¨If the release was Blazing Buffalo, each pre-release would be called "herd", and Fermenting Fish would be called "school"

any more suggestions for future releases?

Feiry Ant -
Orange Shrimp -
Sitting Duck -
Hairy Baboon -

i am lmao while typing

5:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Recent studies suggest that using black text on black backgrounds in web pages actually improves cognitive retention.

5:59 PM  
Blogger Mads said...

Cool review. Did you check up on any improvements to power management?

I used to run feisty on my sony vaio laptop, but I switched back to xp partly because I was burning my lap all the time :(

Also any news on IME (Input method editor - what you use to type complex characters like japanese or chinese).
Scimp that came with feisty was almost impossible to set up.

6:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really like the white on black, I find it more readable than just about anything else, and modern looking. But the most important factor is readability, and I think it excels at this.

8:04 PM  
Blogger Jason said...

I think I will still wait, not brave enough for bleeding edge, looks promising though. Nice review.

As for the color scheme, studies have shown, the majority of people really no longer care what the site looks like. It's all about the content, and following that train of thought, good content. :D

12:43 AM  
Anonymous Feedback said...

White on black is tough to read and pornographic sites use black as background. As far as the review goes, it really says nothing.

7:31 AM  
Blogger jevans17 said...

Hi

GREAT Site Design - Simple and uncluttered by fancy crap. The Content is good too. I have bookmarked you to help mekeep abreast of developments in Ubuntu 7.10.
Keep up the good work

Evan

4:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, if my laptop don't show X after upgrade from 7.04 and i have som segfaults in the initscripts. where do i go if i want to help?

3:11 PM  
Blogger DJ Gentoo said...

Ask around at UbuntuForums.

3:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Any idea of how to get the Beryl theme manager to work?"

In the compiz settings manager, the window decoration plugin, add "emerald --replace" to the command field. You can also run "emerald --replace" from the terminal or Alt+F2 to replace the running window decorator (gtk-window-decorator) with emerald. Make sure emerald package in installed first, obviously.

3:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Beryl isn't supported anymore, and Compiz Fusion's new effects pwn."

Most of the new Fusion effects are merged from Beryl. And not all of them are as good, I though the Beryl cube was nicer (especially with raised windows), and blur plugin with Fusion doesn't blur my window borders or gnome terminal like it did in Beryl. Also, zoom plugin is much less powerful in Fusion. But, since they are merging Beryl back into Compiz, I can hold out hope that these will improve.

3:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was wondering if 7.10 will come with the gcc compiler as standard (unlike the previous versions)
I am not fully sure if 7.04 did.

3:34 PM  
Anonymous Abhishek said...

Hello,

Here is an Interesting Post on how to Install the Ubuntu Studio theme over your Ubuntu 7.04:
http://abhishek-myspace.blogspot.com/2007/08/tutorial-install-ubuntu-studio-theme.html

And for those of you want to clone the Vista effects to the "T" into your Ubuntu, Here is how to do it:
http://abhishek-myspace.blogspot.com/2007/07/make-ubuntu-look-like-vista.html

Personally, I think the Ubuntu studio theme is way better. Especially with the beryl effects ;)

Regards,
Abhishek

10:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Those who are more concerned with design of this page than the actual content posted on it need to have their heads examined.
Quit your whining, you guys sound like spoiled children. Come back when you have something to say that is germane to the discussion, otherwise stay at 4chan.

10:47 PM  
Blogger djupp said...

just one more time offtopic:

I actually also dislike white-on-black, but as I am a Tribe5-User of Ubuntu, I don't have to whine about it, I can press Super+N to change the colors to the negative :-)

Very nice review, although I had hoped to read something about changing the theme in ubuntu, I did not manage it up until now...

7:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice review.. any updates on the beta version to compare?

Anonymous:
"As to text colors: studies show that black on white is the most readable. I suspect that this is because we have spent a great deal of our lives reading text printed in black ink on white (or off-white) paper."

Other recent studies show that white on black save a lot of energy.
http://blackle.com/

4:49 PM  
Blogger Chris mankey said...

"Oh and keep answering to your users that way and I'm sure you'll have a lot of success with your blog.Ass."

Nice! ENJOY HELL!

5:54 PM  
Blogger James said...

I was using xfdesktop for desktop management in both cases Web design. By the way, allow me to introduce you to a very useful little character called the question mark: Hold down SHIFT and press the slash key

Posted By: James Shirley - Blackpool Web Design

9:44 AM  

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