Well I’ve been running gnome-shell for a couple days now. Overall I like it, the desktop environment stays out of my way which is a good thing. But it has been staying out of my way a little too much.

I have been missing a lot of instant messages since installing gnome-shell. The reason is because of the way the notifications work. If you actually sitting at your desk and you get a msg this tiny little bar pops up with the msg content, and its really nice you can just reply right there without ever having to open your chat client. The problem is that’s the only notification as far as I can tell. I cant see the bottom hidden notification area unless i hover my mouse at the bottom of the screen, or if I go into activities mode. I love how it make IM non intrusive, but I need to know that there is activity in order to decide if I want to ignore it or deal with it now.

As it stands if I walk away and refill my water bottle and miss a msg I wont know unless they msg me again when I am looking at my screen, or I happen to hover my mouse at the bottom. I never use the activities mode because I just use synapse as my launcher. For now I have changed my chat settings to open a new window on new chat conversations and to not put notifications in the notification area (the second setting doesn’t do what I expected). Un-checking the notification area setting actually still puts things in the notification area, but it also automatically opens up the new chat window. If you don’t have new chat window selected it will open in a tab, and if I have very many conversation tabs already open I run the risk of not seeing that a new tab appeared.

One thing that I actually kind of like is how it handles multiple monitors, but I would like the ability to customize some of the behavior. When switching work-spaces only the primary work-space changes. I have found it extremely useful to have a static screen area but to be able to switch around to other work-spaces on another. I would really like to be able to have each screen have an independent work-space column