Today has been released (with all the fireworks via thousands of blogs) the Ubuntu 11.04 distro, aka Natty Narwhal. Somebody told me about this post that I was right about the incredible resemblance btween Unity and older environments. So, my intention wasn’t insult or criticize the new Canonical’s development. Unlike this, I’d like to see how history repeats (as singed by Shirley Bassey) denoting “old” designs on interfaces and (logically) artwork becomes new things really useful for us. And for you, crazy about look’n’feel, just like me, here goes a few desktops comparative (by order, GNUStep with Camaelon theme, ÉtoiléOS, Gnome 3, ElementaryOS mockup and, of course, Ubuntu Unity):
I must talk about another “derivative” distribution born upon Lubuntu, this called Zorin OS. Using an LXDE desktop, it has unique desktop configuration features, like Background Plus (plays animations in the background), Splash Screen Manager (self explanatory), and Look Changer (switches look to a Windows, MacOSX or Gnome like). This distro can look familiar to everyone and maintains the speed and lightness of Lubuntu.
Mm, am I the only one? Did you get an eye on this “revolutionary interface” for Ubuntu called Unity? Doesn’t it remember a lot on WindowMaker? Ok, it’s not enough talking about “little squares” that launch things, but they could improve the dock to be a bit different than tne old-school MacOS or GNUStep one. Have a look and compare (btw, windowmaker is the one at the right :D):
Well, it’s not really a mockup, it’s already an applied theme to my Lubuntu desktop, fully functional and installable. The mockups are a tricky question, because of their complexity and inability of some visual improvements (due to coding limitations), like this:
Now let’s return to the real world. I don’t know if this theme will be the next one for the 11.04 release of Lubuntu, but anyway it could be a nice theme. I must be voted, aproved and accepted for the (growing) community. It’s based on Zuki Blues, by Lassekongo. Have a look and say what you think (screenshot with and without shadows).
Ok, it’s not really a Lubuntu related post, but it’s an amazing event. The Ubuntu font is almost complete, and now you can download and install it for testing on your system. The font has been updated so french, catalan, german or portuguese speakers can use the whole alphabet! It “only” lacks hebrew, asian and arabic codes for completing the Unicode table. Specific characters will be added Try it with your Lubuntu desktop! Download the DEB package at Launchpad. A great effort from Canonical Design Team.
I’ve updated the Openbox configuration for the default Lubuntu session (3Ddesk zooms much faster now, and screen grabbing capability works again):
- Changing virtual desktops
- rotate left: ctrl + alt + left / mouse wheel up on desktop
- rotate right: ctrl + alt + right / mouse wheel down on desktop
- showing cube: ctrl + alt + up / select a face: left / right and space
- grab entire screen: print key
- grab only current window: alt + print
- select area to grab: shift + print
A new tool arrives: LXKeymap.It allows to choose the keymap code graphically, selecting the country in a list while it’s representing the keyboard design on the right, where you can compare with yours to ensure that it’s the right model. Download here.
For those who think that low-resources systems are not able to have a bit of candyness, I must say they’re wrong. How to do this on Lubuntu? After reading the great Urukrama’s blog about Openbox configuration we can now do some tricks to do that job.
- install xcompmgr, kompose (32bit / 64bit) and 3ddesk (32bit / 64bit)
- add these commands to “/etc/xdg/lxsession/Lubuntu/autostart”
@exec xcompmgr -c -f -F -r 7.4 -o 0.6 -l -11.9 -t -10.4 -I 0.08 -O 0.08 -D 10
- use this file insted of your ~/.config/openbox/lubuntu-rc.xml
…and that’s it, we have virtual desktops in 3D, using ctrl+alt+left or right, just like Compiz. That’s all, folks. I hope you like it!