Ubuntu 7.04

I installed the beta of Ubuntu 7.04 on VMware Player today. I am impressed about the amount of detail it has gone into cleaning up the menus, options and UI. It still is not perfect (font quality still need fixing, gnome-bluetooth is not installed, AAC is not installed when Totem is trying to install the right libs to play an mp4 file etc.), but overall it is the most cleaned-up distro available today. Ubuntu does not have all the configuration server dialogs that SuSE and Fedora have, but it’s more “desktop-y” than they are in a way. It’s more to the point somehow.

9 Comments »

Stefan Constantinescu wrote on March 6th, 2007 at 1:04 AM PST:

The font rendering is something Linux heads never talk about. I don’t know about you but quality of the typography varies greatly across distros. It is the first thing I notice.

Nothing seems to give that “feel” Windows XP does. SUSE is a bit blurry, Fedora has got to be one of my favorites, and Ubuntu is just … not right.

When I say something like that on Ubuntu forums I get scolded immediately. I don’t know why. It’s true.

Maybe you could help work on that or scream to the people at Conical since I’m sure you are higher on the totem pole than a lot of us peons.

I’m all for adding features and what not, but I’m amazed such little focus has gone in to creating a wonderful typeset for the eyes.

I’ll purchase the same book (classic literature) from a different publisher if I notice a superior font. Even if it is more expensive. When you’re staring at 500 pages you want it to be pretty. =)


Tom Dison wrote on March 6th, 2007 at 2:51 AM PST:

I’ve been an Ubuntu users now for a little over a year. I was a long-time Mandrake/Mandriva user before that (back to the original McMillan edition that came with a book). I think “but it’s more “desktop-y” than they are in a way” is a good way to say it. SUSE also gave me that feeling, BUT with YAST I felt like it wasn’t my computer. It kept resetting my changes. It’s hard to describe to people why I like Ubuntu so much. It’s not that I’m delusional. I remember when they “dorked” XWindows for everybody, but at least they didn’t make any excuses, and I’ve had no trouble with updates since, even Kernel updates (and I use so proprietary kernel modules like Parallels).

I guess it is a subjective thing, but it just feels more like a computer should. Honestly, it feels a lot like my XP partition (I dual boot). I know that is a “sin”, but it is nice when you don’t have to think about the computer sometimes, stuff just works, looks good (to me) and is stable. Sometimes I find myself forgetting which “side” I am in.

I also have crossover office and Parallels, so my need for dual-booting gets less every day. If only I could get half-life to run under Wine. It does run, but the video is a little too choppy (not always, just some levels). That’s why I was interested in your Intel Video card on your new laptop. Let me know how it goes (assuming you do some kind of Linux at some point).


Luis wrote on March 6th, 2007 at 3:45 AM PST:

Regarding fonts, I’ve found it’s a quite subjective thing. You can hear opposite opinions about any fonts in any OS. I guess it’s due to:
– Depending on your hardware (graphics card, screen resolution, CRT vs. LCD, …) fonts look different even if you’re using the same OS.
– Being used to certain font rendering makes you feel comfortable with it, and when it changes you feel like it’s “bad” (for example, I do believe that from a rather objective point of view Windows XP’s default (non-aliased) fonts are of very poor quality. Yet every Windows user that comes to Linux complains about font quality.

This is how I (Intel chipset, CRT, 1024×768) see fonts in Linux (Arch and Ubuntu, they look the same in these two distros) and Windows. The first is Linux with medium hinting, then Linux with full hinting, then Windows XP.


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Eugenia wrote on March 6th, 2007 at 5:38 AM PST:

WinXP’s fonts are way better that that when you enable AA. Vista’s are even better.


Luis wrote on March 6th, 2007 at 7:52 AM PST:

WinXP’s fonts are way better that that when you enable AA. Vista’s are even better.

Yes, that’s true. But 98% of the Windows users don’t even know that such thing exist. They simply get used to those ugly fonts and feel fine with them. Then they see Linux fonts and think they’re ugly, when they’re much better in general.

At least since IE7 more users have enabled ClearType, since the upgrade took you directly to an online program to enable it and adjust it.

Fonts in Vista (in the screenshots –1, 2– I’ve seen) look much better by default than XP’s did. But they’re still behind Linux fonts (IMO).


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Eugenia wrote on March 6th, 2007 at 8:12 AM PST:

No, no, no! Vista’s fonts have amazing quality by default. I suggest you look some PNG pictures instead of these JPEGs. Vista’s font engine is much better than XP’s, Linux’s or OSX’s. Check here and here.

As for Linux fonts, they still don’t come with the autohinter enabled, so by default they look almost as bad as XP. However, where XP still beats Linux is in the fact that the actual TTF engine is better and so you never have to experience character collision. Characters rendering too close to other characters is a very common TrueType problem (not only on Linux, but even on embedded devices that use TrueType).


Moulinneuf wrote on March 7th, 2007 at 3:50 AM PST:

1, 2: look for font discusion in there …


Moulinneuf wrote on March 7th, 2007 at 3:53 AM PST:

Sorry about html … forgot about it.


Stefan wrote on March 7th, 2007 at 2:01 AM PST:

Talking about fonts, I don’t know about you, but OS X font rendering was the biggest disappointment for a “switcher” like me. This compared to Windows XP with cleartype on.. It seems nobody talks about this ?! It’s almost a taboo it seams..
In Linux world, Fedora is probably the best in this regard..


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