Why I Still Prefer Unity: It's All About Real Estate

🔖 linux 

I’ve been pretty good about not becoming a open source pundit. But today I feel like writing something useless.

My laptop’s ssd crapped out yesterday so I spent the day restoring backups and installing operating systems. I’ve been using Ubuntu for a few years now, so I thought it would be great to revisit Gnome and see how the 3.x development is coming along, maybe even switch back.


There are many things I don’t like, but like many blog posts written before this one, I’m going to bitch and moan about a minute detail until the horse is well beyond dead.

Screen real estate. Gnome’s devs claim that Gnome Shell is minimalist and efficient, but I beg to differ. Here is an image comparing Gnome and Unity, using their default themes, and a terminal in the upper left hand corner of the screen:


The screenshots were taken using the same resolution. Gnome’s gluttons window decorations make me sick. They create a ton of wasted space, whereas Unity’s much thinner ones double as the menu bar. I can squeeze like, 2 more lines in the terminal using Unity!

What’s more, if I maximize, Unity integrates the entire window border into the top panel, freeing yet more space.

Sorry Gnome, but I’m still not impressed. The whole experience still feels like it’s designed for a tablet. For example, the “swipe up ^” animation on GDM is just plain offensive! No thanks, not for my laptop at least. Maybe I’ll run Gnome on an old smartphone.

Back to Unity, again.