I don't know the precise name for these gizmos that appear to be new to Ubuntu since oneiric ocelot, but I am speaking of the sliders on the scrollbars for windows. The new development is that they minimize out of site when not being used, allowing that bit of screen real estate (the scroll track on the right and bottom of the gui windows also minimize) to be devoted fully to the content in the window. Sounds like something those sharp Ubuntu developers would implement.
Problem is they are not ready for prime time. At least not on my ibm t42 (1.7ghz). Two main issues: the sliders are subject to remaining on the screen when windows are switched, and the system of clicking on the window to activate the sliders frequently causes clicks in other parts of the window to be lost. The latter can be a real pain when you are trying to edit a complicated document--you click down and start typing and either nothing happens or your text appears three pages up where your last point of input was (this may or may not happen, but certainly some clicks are lost).
The slider artifacts--images of the slider that are alone on the screen because they are orphans of a window that's not currently active and may not even be the same size as the window that is so that they're sitting out in the middle of the screen--are an annoyance. You can reunite them with their screen through a tedious series of clicks and get them working again, but it's a pointless waste of time.
It's a nice idea but it's taken a significant bite out of my productivity and I wish the developers would update them or remove them. Didn't know where else to post this. Thanks for your time