AWN 4 is fine

Posted: June 16, 2010 in OS Reviews

Occasionally I decide that someone has made such an impressive application that I have to give it its own review.  This is one of those times.  Just recently I went from Linux Mint 7 to Linux Mint 9 with a skip over Mint 8, due to the issues that Ubuntu 9.10 had.  During my installation of all my must have apps, I noticed the Avant-Window-Navigator, affectionately referred to as AWN, was on the update list in my update manager.  When it was done, I ran the AWN settings manager as one is supposed to do first.  Wow, oh wow.  Apparently the “AWN-core” (cute) team has been very busy over at launchpad.net  They decided to do a re-write of the architecture.  So you say?  Well, for the average user, that translates to a serious wow reaction when using ‘The Dock.’

So, what did I see when I first started the AWN Settings Manager?  First, the whole GUI is re-designed.  It now goes with my GTK theme.  There are now five different options for the dock’s behaviour, with a little icon to click on and get a little explanation.  The intellihide feature is awesome..now the Window can come all the way down to the screen edge behind the dock (although I actually like a bit of desktop real-estate that I can drag things to)

Another cool feature is that you can now choose from more than just flat and 3D bars.  You now have the options: Flat, Edgy, 3D, Curved, and Floaty.  In previous versions, I remember having to go into the configuration editor and manually set the bar to -1 in order to get a curve..Not anymore!!

I can now also set the panel mode to expand to the whole width of the screen if I want!  AND..now the dock can be put anywhere, on the top, bottom or sides!! You can set it off center in any of these modes too (drools)

There are four lovely themes that are of course, every bit as customiseable as before (the options are in the theme selection now, don’t panic)  The only downside I’ve seen since using it is that the old themes for versions past will not work but I have no doubt that those themers will be busy writing up new ones quickly.

Most of the icons can now be changed by dragging the icon file onto them!! *sighs*  Don’t take my word for it though, check it out yourself! Check it out here or get it from your repo (for Deb-based users)

There are other improvements too, including multi-display support and Taskmanager applet supports windows grouping now too..

I absolutely give all deserved props to the AWN team for doing an amazing, amazing job on this release of AWN.  Out of all of the things that Linux Mint always has to offer in a new release, none of them got a “holy shit” exclamation from me like the AWN dock did.  (That’s my ultimate compliment for an app by the way :D).  Congratulations to the AWN-core team for a fabulous job well done!

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