Gnome Extensions vs Unity Lens

Fedora 16 & Gnome3

For sometime I’ve been trying to get Gnome Extensions (still alpha) going but for some reason most of the good ones failed to install. However when I head home (after Christmas in Bristol) I give it a try, and it suddenly all works.

Its a bit of a hassle to get it working without Firefox but now I got quite a few installed.

Including…

  • Activities Button Text – changed the text to say cubicgarden now
  • Music Integration – useful to know whats playing and change the seek
  • Coverflow Alt-Tab – Back to the Compiz style switching
  • Calculator – Great for quick calculations
  • Journal – Seems to bring up relevant stuff in the overlay mode
  • Jump Lists – You can search for categories not just apps
  • Notes Search Provider for Gnote/Tomboy – Search notes (more on this in the next post)
  • Recent Items – Rearranges the search by recent items
  • App Search – Searches for available apps not just installed apps
  • Status only icon – Removes your name from the top right

Generally I’ve installed many of them but turned off the ones I don’t really like.

Although I really like Gnome3 Extensions, I’m really liking the look of the Unity Lens extensions (for example, Youtube, Piratebay, TomboyNotes Lens) I’m seeing going by in my Google reader via sites like OMGUbuntu and Webup8.

I’m not totally sure how hard it is to create the Gnome Extensions but I gather its mainly Python with a smidgeon of JS and CSS? It would be great to see even more extensions including some of the Unity Lens ones. Certainly could make use of some of the internet connected ones…

Generally I like what the Gnome team is doing, installing a Unity Lens is much more trouble than a Gnome Extension, now all we need is many more of them and a better way to search and sort them.

Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.