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Ubuntu GUI

Ubuntu 14.04 Brings Back Menus In Application Windows 255

sfcrazy writes "Canonical is bringing back menu integration with application windows. In 14.04 there will be an option for users to enable menus in application windows. That's a huge u-turn from Mark's stand on Global Menus which upset a lot of Ubuntu users."
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Ubuntu 14.04 Brings Back Menus In Application Windows

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  • Like it matters? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 20, 2014 @09:44PM (#46301027)

    I did not realize people still use Ubuntu.

  • by moschner ( 3003611 ) on Thursday February 20, 2014 @09:56PM (#46301107)

    Well it seems like in 14.04 global menus are the default, and the local menus are an option in the “Appearance” section of the Unity Control Center. That seems like a fair compromise.

  • I jumped ship too (Score:4, Informative)

    by jones_supa ( 887896 ) on Thursday February 20, 2014 @10:02PM (#46301135)
    I've been mostly fine with the UX of Unity, but it really is a damn laggy and slow desktop, and also buggy as heck. I thought Canonical had the resources to set things straight but the quality assurance is just horrible. The Fedora KDE spin is my current happy place in Linux world.
  • Work nice on netbook (Score:2, Informative)

    by denisbergeron ( 197036 ) <> on Thursday February 20, 2014 @10:16PM (#46301217)

    But, when you use a real computer with multiple programs/windows it's anoying to switch from one another app to perform act like transfering content from Writer and Calc.

  • Re:Option is the key (Score:4, Informative)

    by sunderland56 ( 621843 ) on Thursday February 20, 2014 @10:17PM (#46301225)
    The change *to* global menus was a few releases back, and was forced on everyone; it was not opt-in. This allows people to revert to the original, sensible behaviour.
  • Re:Why? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Ol Olsoc ( 1175323 ) on Thursday February 20, 2014 @10:31PM (#46301289)

    Is there any compelling reason for them to "stick" with something? Having the choice is a positive good. Unity's lack of options is what drove me away from it.

    Muscle memory. There is nothing more significant to a good user interface than being friendly to developing muscle memory. Everything else is secondary. Once you develop muscle memory, you don't care much what it looks like because you don't look at it. If you can't develop muscle memory, you won't ever enjoy using the device.

    That's why the many devices that are pure touch screen driven suck. They demand your constant attention like a mewling infant. The push to add hot spots and gestures and voice to all these touch screen devices is driven by this truth.

    THIS! As a person who uses and supports OSX, Windows in various flavors, and Linux, I feel that I can at least make an informed analysis.

    I have to do a lot of switching back and forth between various OS's, and trying to develop Muscle memory for Windows 8 has proven to be like trying to swim in Jell-O ® Even on a touch screen laptop, which allows it to "work" better, but is probably worse for power users.

    Ubuntu had turned into a similarly awful product.

    So we'll see. For myself I've gone to Mint 15, and don't regret it at all.

  • Re:Why? (Score:4, Informative)

    by plover ( 150551 ) on Thursday February 20, 2014 @10:48PM (#46301347) Homepage Journal

    Changing the user interface is absolutely no different than changing the interface to a class, and the same design principles apply for similar reasons. The Open Closed Principle (OCP) states that a class should be open to extension, but closed to modifications. User interfaces are no different. They should be able to extend it to add new features, but they should never change the existing interface to provide for backward compatibility. The reasons are identical, as well: if you don't change it, nobody else has to change in order to keep using it.

    The only valid reason you should change the interface is that you should remove the old interface if it was no longer needed because the tasks it did are no longer used. Clearly, that's not the case here - people still need to search, organize, locate and execute programs. Changing the UI was a completely counterproductive action, and never had any way to actually add benefit. Offering an additional UI for people who wanted a new UI would be a perfectly appropriate approach, yet they failed to implement that way.

    Instead, they poorly copied Microsoft's actions with Windows 8 and Metro, which was itself a poorly done copy of iOS's interface, with the added insult of requiring gestures even on a mouse-based machine! Apple themselves then made a shit-poor decision to change the UI for iOS 7. Unity fell somewhere in the middle of this mess, believing that "change is good because Apple and Microsoft were doing it." So they violated the OCP, and pissed off as many users as they could. That's even a bigger mistake for them, because Unity users are far less locked into the choice of Canonical than a Microsoft or Apple user.

    All in all, Ubuntu has made bad decision after bad decision once they started down the path with Unity. And they don't seem to understand this is a failure at every level; instead, they blame the users for being whiny luddites incapable of dealing with change. They're wrong about that, because I can indeed change, and it looks like Mint or Kali will be my next distro instead of the next version of 'stammering shuttleworth' or whatever childish name they're assigning to it.

  • by Strider- ( 39683 ) on Thursday February 20, 2014 @11:54PM (#46301591)

    There actually are some good reasons for going with a global menu bar. When developing the original interface for the Mac, Apple studied the various options for the menus in depth. What they found is that when the menus are at the top of the screen, they are significantly faster to access, as they have infinite depth, thus you do not have to be anywhere near as accurate in your pointing to access them. In effect, you only need to have to worry about the left-right position of the cursor, as you can just fling it to the top of the screen and not be precise in that dimension. If the menu bar is attached to the window, you have to position the the cursor in both dimensions. The ultimate of this is the screen corners, which is also the reason for the Apple Menu being up there. This is a subtle effect, but is backed up by some good hard data.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 21, 2014 @01:11AM (#46301821)

    Trust me, I played for hours and at the time it was fun. Not so much any more.

    (emphasis mine; not as OT as it looks.)

    I started on Linux in 1994 - Slackware, wasn't it? I had to port nearly everything from SunOS or HP-UX or AIX or Irix, or whatever. It was fun working with it, and fun watching it grow.

    But eventually I got tired of constantly having to futz with everything to make it work. It was not unlike having to tune up your car every time you went for a drive around the block, and having to replace the engine and tires every time you wanted to drive across town to see grandma. Anyhow it gets tiring when it's getting in the way of doing your day job.

    Then we get some of the silliness from Ubuntu trying to shove a new way down everyones' throat - new way isn't bad or good, it's the shoving-down-my-throat that I'm not so fond of. Reminds me of some of our favorite empires - MS,Oracle, ...

  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Informative)

    by jd2112 ( 1535857 ) on Friday February 21, 2014 @01:15AM (#46301829)

    ...ith the added insult of requiring gestures even on a mouse-based machine!

    I've been using Windows 8 for quite some time, and without commenting on my overall opinion, I have never once done anything that I would consider a "gesture."

    There is a certain gesture popular with Windows 8 users that is very commonly directed towards Microsoft, particularly before they find out about start menu replacements.

  • by Xenex ( 97062 ) <xenex@opinionsti ... minus physicist> on Friday February 21, 2014 @01:16AM (#46301833) Journal

    Global menus

    Mac OS has been like this since System 1. And it makes sense; whatever you're doing, its menu is going to be in the same place. Fitts' law indicates that the most quickly accessed targets on any computer display are the four corners of the screen [].

    Single mouse click

    Mac OS has supported multiple mouse buttons for at least 16 years. Even when using a now-extinct one button mouse, control-click presented a dialogue box.

    Left window controls (yay for all the left handed and left eye dominant people, boo for the other 95% of the world)

    Because it's easier to move a mouse up/left with your right hand, and was developed in a country that reads left-to-right.

    Launchpad (how is the start menu missing causing a revolt and launchpad even exist? Launchpad is the initial SIN!)

    The start menu missing is causing a revolt because Microsoft removed something and replaced it with an abomination. Launchpad - and other questionable features like Dashboard - can be completely ignored.

    Finder layout straight out of system commander circa 1988.

    Column view in Finder is optional, with icon and list view still available. Also, Finder has had its sorting options greatly improved throughout OS X's history.

    Crap loads of docked icons you never use be default.

    If you go and buy a Mac today, this is in the Dock:
    - Finder: File management
    - Launchpad: Access to all apps not in the Dock (And easily ignored, as previously discussed)
    - Safari: A web browser
    - Mail: Email client
    - Contacts: An address book
    - Calendar: A calendar
    - Notes: Short notes
    - Maps: A map of the entire planet
    - Messages: Text messaging and IM
    - FaceTime: Video chat
    - Photo Booth: Something fun to play with on your new computer
    - iPhoto: Something to talk to your camera
    - Pages: Word processing
    - Numbers: Spreadsheets
    - Keynote: Presentations
    - iTunes: Play and purchase music and TV/movies
    - iBooks: Read and purchase books
    - App Store: Install and purchase software
    - System Preferences: Change settings on your computer

    The default Dock icons cover managing your computer, using the big two features of the Internet, syncing 'organisational' information with your phone, finding locations, messaging and video chatting with other people, photography, writing, processing numbers, creating presentations, watching media, reading, and installing an app to do anything else you want your computer to do. The default Dock is a slam-dunk for covering what the majority of people use computers for, points users in the right direction to add new capabilities to the computer, and is easily customised to remove the things you don't want. (Launchpad, again...)

    The Dock is setup perfectly for you to get started with your computer. Anything else you need to get to can either be accessed through Spotlight (power users) or Launchpad (for people with more experience with iOS).

    A separate contact and calendar app....

    Just like iOS... but also NeXTSTEP; they have always been separate apps, which makes finding what are ultimately different tasks easier *and* they also seamlessly share the same databases behind the scenes.

    General iOS crap

    Integration with touchpads is great. Removing always-visible scrollbars removes needless clutter. Things like Launchpad - and pretty much anything else you don't like that reminds you of iOS - are easily disabled or ignored.

    Hardwired application dependency locations (the whole point of applicat

  • by ozmanjusri ( 601766 ) <> on Friday February 21, 2014 @03:25AM (#46302155) Journal

    Then we get some of the silliness from Ubuntu trying to shove a new way down everyones' throat

    Oh yeah, they're REALLY forcing it down our throats...

    Recognised Ubuntu flavours

    These are derivatives that use Ubuntu as their foundation and contribute significantly towards the project.

    Edubuntu — Ubuntu for education
    Ubuntu GNOME — Ubuntu with the GNOME desktop environment
    Kubuntu — Ubuntu with the K Desktop environment
    Ubuntu Kylin — Ubuntu localised for China
    Lubuntu — Ubuntu that uses LXDE
    Mythbuntu — Designed for creating a home theatre PC with MythTV
    Ubuntu Studio — Designed for multimedia editing and creation
    Xubuntu — Ubuntu with the XFCE desktop environment

    Other derivatives

    A complete list of known derivatives is maintained on the Ubuntu Wiki Derivatives Team page. []

  • by aethelrick ( 926305 ) on Friday February 21, 2014 @05:01AM (#46302403)

    Diclaimer: I use Linux every day for work. I use Ubuntu 12.04 LTS. I don't use Unity.

    The usability problem with Unity menus is not that they are either local or global, it's the fact they they disappear every time you take your mouse away from them, please don't make me have to mouse over the window title to get the menu to appear. While this sounds simple enough to do, it causes you to haltingly mouse over the general area of the menu bar, then wait for the thing to render, then visually locate what you want, then mouse over it and click. In the good old days, one could just mouse over to the precise menu location and click-it in a single move

    Unity now provides the user with a choice as to whether they would like to break your menu in either a local way or a global way, sadly the problem still exists. Please stop breaking user interfaces with stupid design!

    For the record, I use MATE as my desktop because all this new fangled sausage-finger friendly crap is simply not a productive place to work


If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on the shoulders of giants. -- Isaac Newton