The Ubuntu Linux distribution is putting a lot of efforts into streamlining the interface and provide a greater user experience. While there’s clear progress, there are a number of things that are still really missing. The guys at Gnome and at Ubuntu are maybe taking the motto perfection is not when there’s nothing else to add, but nothing else to remove a bit too seriously. Every release shows more and more features but less and less user configurability.
Well, to be honest, I have always found my way around those limitations by hacking directly configuration files, the gconf-editor registry-like thingie, and writting scripts to set automatically configurations for which there were no other way—or just not documented, which is the same as far as I am concerned.
Amongst the extra thingies, there are many keyboard shortcuts, but not all of them are configurable. For example, if there’s a way from Gnome to configure which keys you want to use to control LCD or keyboard brightness or to display power information, it’s pretty damn well hidden. On my Dell mini, there’s a nice key with a battery icon on it. If I press it, Gnome displays in the OSD a concise battery status. But on my macbook pro, there’s'nt such a key and I have no way of telling Gnome (from Gnome itself) to use the F4/Gauge key to act as the Show Battery key.