Awn window navigator is an Apple dock mimic. Under Gnome it acts a a panel on steriods. It lets you collect your favorite apps in a dock, supports drag-and-drop and gives nice visual feedback about the state of the application - Apple like.
Is it pretty? Yes,
Is it usefull? I'm not quite sure any more.
A shortcut collection of items makes sense if:
- the set of common applications remains static most of the time
- the set of apps is limited to a few (10 - 15 apps). Otherwise the dock will be overloaded and at the most exceed screen limits
- the main screen is big enough for the extra space used by the dock
- applications are hidden behind a cumbersome access path (like menues on Windows or folders on Macs)
So why do I doubt the usefullness of it?
Basically Ubuntu comes with some shortcuts in the main panel. This dock-like panel can be populated with additional apps. It does not provide visual feedback like awn. On the other hand, it does not use extra screen space (the dock is there anyway).
Ubuntu is reduced to some essential applications. The main menu is organized in logical compartments and can be adjusted to personal preferences using the menu editor. All of this makes Ubuntu easy to use and navigate.
It is because of the combination of just providing the essential applications and the option to add ones favorite applications as shortcuts to the top panel that makes awn redundant on Ubuntu (at least in my eyes).
My recommendation: If you want to mimic Apple, use awn. If you want to work, use the panel instead.