Friday, April 1, 2011

eOS 0.1 (Elementary Jupiter) Released and Reviewed

As I've written before, I've been using Natty and Unity for about three months straight now, and I'm extremely happy with how it's shaping up. I'm always interested in other projects, though, especially ones with a philosophy which includes consistent look and feel. Elementary is a project like that, so I leapt on the release announcement and torrented the 614MB .iso.
Two words described the distro -- fast and elegant.
I first ran the live CD in Qemulator under Natty, but I knew the video drivers were holding me up so I wrote out a USB drive for it and rebooted. Even running from the drive, everything is extremely responsive. It works as expected.

  • Fast
  • Limited, very consistent applications
  • Midori is awesome and is  all that I wanted Epiphany to be for years
  • Postler only asks for your e-mail address and password to set up common mail options. Amazing and easy
  • Looks amazing and the applications take up little vertical space
  • Abiword and Gnumeric instead of OO.o or LO
  • Traditional GNOME app menu
  • I like that the Elementary devs have standardized on Vala and GTK+
  • Postler had trouble connecting to my GMail account and gave no feedback for about fifteen minutes
  • Dexter doesn't use my webmail coontacts
  • Empathy's setup screen isn't at Postler's level yet (and why should I have to input my GMail account again?
  • Inconsistent configuration options for the non-eOS apps. I assume that they will be modified later
  • Midori lacks installed extensions (edit: open the sidebar to find them) and doesn't work with some web apps (e.g. Picasaweb)
  • There is a lot of turmoil about the installed apps and that has to be getting in the way of work
This is a 0.1 release, but it's based on Ubuntu 10.10 so it's already quite stable. If the choice of applications settles down (Elementary Nautilus or not?), eOS should be great by 0.2. Who can ask for more than that?


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