We received some insite today on the reason Canonical forced Unity upon us. Apparently Canonical is trying to implement voice commands and will restore the menu system next month in the April release of Ubuntu 12.04. They will also add a new “HUD” which seems to be a cross between the Unity “Dashboard” (the red circle at the top of the launcher bar which is used to search for apps that are not on the launcher bar) and a search engine. Of course, you mostly need to know the exact NAME of the program you want to run for that to help you much. The ultimate goal of this new “HUD” is voice actualization. The article can be read at http://www.markshuttleworth.com/archives/939.
“We’ll resurrect the (boring) old ways of displaying the menu in 12.04, in the app and in the panel. In the past few releases of Ubuntu, we’ve actively diminished the visual presence of menus in anticipation of this landing. That proved controversial. In our defence, in user testing, every user finds the menu in the panel, every time, and it’s obviously a cleaner presentation of the interface. But hiding the menu before we had the replacement was overly aggressive. If the HUD lands in 12.04 LTS, we hope you’ll find yourself using the menu less and less, and be glad to have it hidden when you are not using it. You’ll definitely have that option, alongside more traditional menu styles.
Voice is the natural next step
Searching is fast and familiar, especially once we integrate voice recognition, gesture and touch. We want to make it easy to talk to any application, and for any application to respond to your voice. The full integration of voice into applications will take some time. We can start by mapping voice onto the existing menu structures of your apps. And it will only get better from there.”
Well, you guys have a good idea there but thank-you for humoring us boring old customers with a menu until you have a voice operated menu that works well. Hopefully Zoom and VMWare will also work, and oh by the way, it would be nice if we could go back to having as many workspaces as we wish, and a simple workspace switcher on our task bar again. I run a minimum of three workspaces daily and have been known to use eight when things get busy. Chopping off my desktops at no more than 4 and making me play with that aggravating “Workplace Switcher” on the Unity launcher was disappointing.