Ubuntu’s Unity is fun and all, but I’m giving Gnome Shell (
apt-get install gnome-shell) a try.
A new desktop environment is a great excuse for the Gnome developers to
implement a new settings framework and simplify what’s shown in the UI.
I was running into the screen dimming delay, which was too quick by default.
It’s an easy change:
gsettings set org.gnome.settings-daemon.plugins.power idle-dim-time 30
Behind the scenes, gsettings
uses dconf as a backend. Both clients can
monitor changes. In
one window, run
dconf watch /. In another,
gsettings monitor org.gnome.settings-daemon.plugins.power.
dconf lets you monitor the whole namespace - gsettings requires
a schema, which maps to a subtree in the dconf space.
Now, try that gsettings line again and see the changes monitored at both levels. Changes through the GUI will also show.
It’s great when a system either chooses the exact same defaults that I’d
use or lets me tune the difference, but hitting that exact spot for
everyone isn’t really an option. Like Firefox’s
balance between making the most common settings visible and the rest
tweakable for people who care seems like a nice compromise.