Nov 7, 2011

Gnome shell

GNOME has taken the user interface to a new level which is natural, user-friendly, visually appealing , clutter free and eye catchy features. Gnome 3 has done this by taking advantage of the hardware graphics capability of modern processors, graphic cards and other hardware. Gnome 3 also saves a lot of real estate on the screen. It takes away the clutter and things are shown to the user only when needed.

Graphics and a visually pleasing desktop is analogous to the taste of a food. If the taste of the food is not good, people will not eat that food even if it has vitamins, proteins and calories. Similarly if people didn't find the user interface eye-catching, they will be frustrated and feel irritated. Of course a visually pleasing and appealing user interface needs powerful hardware graphic capability. Luckily most computers, tablets, laptops, net-books produced in the last five years have sufficiently powerful graphics capability based on which Gnome 3 was conceived.
The following screen shots shows the GNOME shell interface. One feature I mostly liked in the GNOME shell is the minimizing and switching windows. In GNOME 2, we have minimize, maximize and close buttons. There is a contradiction between 'switching windows' and 'minimizing'. When we switch to a window we are minimizing the other windows. And when we are minimizing a window we are switching to another window. In GNOME 3 there are no minimize and maximize buttons for a window. Just click on the activities tab on the top right corner of the screen or press the windows key on your keyboard which will show the preview of the windows which are opened and click on the window you wish to work on. All windows which are inactive are hidden by default. You can choose the window you wish to work by clicking on the activities tab or pressing the windows button on the keyboard.

There are two vertical on the left and the other on the right. The one on the left side is called 'dash'. This contains the favorite applications. You can also customize the dash by adding your own applications.The vertical bar on the right is for active workspaces. 

The search entry at the top right can be used to search docs, applications, music and also web.

The power off menu item in the status menu is hidden by default. After clicking on the status menu, press the Alt button  on keyboard, the suspend will turn to power off.

The synaptic package manager is no longer available. This has been replaced with Ubuntu software centre.

I have tested the GNOME shell on my laptop which has 1GB of RAM, 32-bit dual core processor,14 inch screen and minimal hardware accelerated graphics, though sometimes it strucks for a few seconds. The overall experience is satisfactory.