Monday, October 6, 2008

Sneak Peak at Ubuntu Tweak 0.4.0 (beta)

Recently I got an opportunity to try out the latest beta of Ubuntu Tweak 0.4.0, after taking it for a test drive, here are my thoughts.
The UI has been radically redesigned. I have always liked Ubuntu Tweak's looks. The current redesign makes Ubuntu Tweak look very sleek and modern. Here's a screen shot:


The first thing old users will notice is that the big radium-green banner has been removed. There was lot of noise about this issue. Some like me were in support of the banner since it made Ubuntu Tweak look better, where as people who don't give a damn about looks were against it since it is against Gnome's designing principles of efficiency. I wasn't all that impressed by the new redesign when I saw the screen shots, however after using it I am glad to say that it is even more better looking than the older one. One of the biggest factor which lead to the scrapping of the banner was the thought that users using Ubuntu Tweak on small screens as in EEE PC wouldn't be able to use it.

Installation: Installation was hassle free as usual. Unlike most other softwares, Ubuntu Tweak can be installed by merely double clicking its DEB file. It  is a self contained installation file which doesn't need other files for installation. This is another thing about Tweak which I like. Other developers should take heed about this and provide a single installation file.


As always TualatriX the sole developer of Ubuntu Tweak has added yet another useful feature in Ubuntu Tweak to make it even more useful. Few more versions down the line and I believe most of us will have to bid adeiu to x-confg editing!

Package Cleaner: The new feature is called 'Package Cleaner' and as the name suggests it cleans away old, unneeded packages. Synaptic downloads various packages when you download any software, however when you uninstall the same software, those extra dependent libraries aren't cleaned off. Over time these packages will get accumulated and take up unnecessary space, thus affecting performance. However thanks to 'Package Cleaner' it becomes very easy to clean them off.


Ubuntu Tweak retains all other other options from previous versions.
Some of Ubuntu Tweak's best features are the options to install 'Third Party Softwares' like Skye, Exaile, Awn. Cairo Dock etc with a single click. No need to search and add urls to Ubuntu Repositories. Another cool feature is that you can add templates and scripts without hacking your way out. I'll write about those features later.
As with any beta, Ubuntu Tweak 0.4.0 has its share of rough edges, however those would get settled soon. All in all Ubuntu Tweak 0.4.0 is an amazing update to an very useful software. I would definitely recommend you all to upgrade it when it comes out, currently it is in beta but it should come out very soon. Ubuntu Tweak is making a strong claim to get included in with Ubuntu by default. Do download it when it comes out!

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Ubuntu Tweak

3 comments:

  1. Be aware that Ubuntu Tweak adds a the third-party repository to your sources list.

    So if that repository gets contaminated software with a bigger version than your current one, it'll seem like an "upgrade" - and you'll get your Ubuntu badly screwed up.

    So be aware of third-party repositories :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. The new feature "package cleaner" seems to be something that Synaptic already has (it's called "local or obsolete packages" or something like that in Synaptic).

    Moreover, AFAIK Intrepid (or the one after that) will provide an automatic(?) cleaning thingie for removing not just unused libs, but old kernels too.

    I'm afraid this 3rd party implementation might find the same acceptance as Automatix, since it is always a risk to let this kind of thing be done by a 3rd party.
    I for one would do it only either manually or use an official implementation.

    Of course it's my personal opinion and yours might be different, just like your needs :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Let me add to my previous post, that basically I like the idea behind Ubuntu tweak a lot: providing existing but not visible configuration via a simple GUI is a cool thing

    It's only the package cleaner feature I'm not sure about..

    ReplyDelete

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