exploder wrote:I think elementary OS is aiming for a consistent, simple, elegant look out of the box. I noticed the developers would like elementary OS to be capable of running on more modest hardware as well as newer systems, so I think they are trying to keep things on the light side. Building on an LTS release is certainly a big plus as it will have a decent amount of support when the final is released. The menu elementary OS uses looked good to me, it's quick and it fits well with the rest of the system. Not everyone is into customizing their desktop but elementary has a very nice dock and many people go to great lengths to have this type of thing and the developers provide this out of the box.
I agree - The desktop is extremely elegant out of the box. I was actually thinking of showing it to a friend who owns a Mac but was fairly impressed by Linux. I did have some trouble running it without 3D acceleration (although it's pre-beta and Cinnamon also requires acceleration unless you use 2D), however. The menu is decent, but I much prefer other menus. I guess it depends on simplicity vs functionality - the menu gives you what you need in a pretty way, but its not installing packages for you either. As for the dock, I find it inferior feature-wise to docks like AWN, docky, and cairo, but it is very appealing and simple. I personally don't like how the dock looks (the background part behind the app icons), but its personal preference.
exploder wrote:I like what the developers did in creating their own terminal too. Again the terminal fits with the look of the system and many new users like having a semi-transparent terminal. This is one of the first things I do with any distro that I run, I just like the look. I really believe that the distros that are doing things their own way are the ones that are advancing Linux and these guys are not in a hurry but would rather take their time and go for good quality.
I again think the terminal is nice and simple, but again lacking things that most terminals have. I definitely agree that doing quality things their own way furthers linux
exploder wrote:Elementary OS and Mint have different ideas and goals, so it is not really fair to compare them. Elementary OS is very nice in my opinion because it looks very streamlined and polished. Any distribution that takes the time to build things their own way certainly has my respect. Building applications that fit in with the look and feel of the system is really going the extra mile. Taking the time to do things right and not releasing on a schedule is very admirable too. Elementary OS will give many the look and feel that many people spend countless hours trying to achieve. I liked what I saw using the Live CD and I look forward to checking out the final release. I don't know if I would switch to elementary OS on any of my computers but I certainly would consider it. The elementary developers are really doing some fine work and I think they will have a very successful release on their hands when they release the final.
I sort of agree about comparisons, except that inevitably everything has to be compared whether right or wrong because the end user has to pick which one. Elementary is very simple and elegant. I agree that taking time to do things the way they consider right is great. I am very impressed with how they built the entire experience, even somewhat more so than mint does. Mint has MDM, Cinnamon, Nemo, and apps like mintInstall and mintUpdate, but a lot of the apps are the gnome ones. I think its an excellent idea to talor the whole desktop to the way you see fit.
Now, I completely agree with some people on this thread that Elementary's goal isn't to be customizable or to appeal to everybody. To be upset about the customization would be like complaining about Gentoo and Arch not being user friendly. However, just as the difficulty is a factor when choosing Gentoo and Arch, customization is still a factor now. Like I said earlier, I am going to try to convince someone to use elementary.
Elementary has a very narrow goal - to be clean, simple, and elegant. It is/will be very bug-free, and the login manager is amazing and goes really well with the rest of the system (Its still not taking me away from the sheer customization of MDM). The default desktop layout is great for new users because it works similar to Windows and very closely resembles a Mac (I'm in no way saying that its a Mac copier or anything of the sort, I'm simply stating the fact). It is also very clean - the nice transparent panel at the top which is very clean and the nice simple dock at the bottom. There are various apps that all follow this pattern - simplicity and cleanliness. There are extremely smooth animations for opening and closing windows which are extremely visually appealing (with the exception of a few which I'll touch on later). The workspace management is decent, although I personally like Cinnamon's way better. The menu is also decent, and again very simple and elegant. I could go on, but the entire experience down to (almost) every last detail is simple and elegant and polished, which I can't stress enough.
However, I do have to note a few things, of which most will probably be addressed before the final release. First off, there are some little visual iconsistencies. Note that these aren't meant to be criticisms, instead they're meant to be helpful, I again acknowledge that this is a pre-beta release. Cinnamon has this problem too - the maximize window animation, at least on my computers, very jerky and not smooth at all. Second, when switching from one workspace to the next, the frames kind of freeze on the screen. Finally, all of the popup menus from the panel are aligned to the right.
I will touch on customization quickly. ElementaryOS has some of the best defaults I've ever seen, but at this point it seems to have slightly less customization than both Windows and Macs. I understand they want a polished and consistent experience, but changing the position of the dock or removing it would be nice. There are so many little things - you can't even customize the theme as far as I can tell. I think that it is too rigid in its current state - it doesn't need to have Gnome 2 weird customization ability or even Gnome Shell customization, it just needs to be able to change a little bit. I will, however, applaud it on its hot corner abilities and its integrated system settings.
Overall, its great for new users and I'm going to keep it around, but it isn't replacing Cinnamon for me anytime soon, although I could use their login manager if its available without the rest of the desktop.
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