Ubuntu desktop moving application menus back into application windows

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in linux on (#3EK)
story imageArs Technica reports that the next version of Ubuntu (14.04, or Trusty Tahr ; a Long Term Support Release) will allow users an option to display menu bars inside their parent application windows -- a move away from Mac OSX interface conventions towards the menu placement more commonly used in Windows.

"Despite displaying the menu contents outside of the window, the menus are still window-specific," we noted in a review of Ubuntu 12.04 in May 2012. "By design, the global menu bar displays the menu of the focused window. This proves awkward in some applications with dialogs and multiple windows."

The intended result is to "fix the main UX bug we have [had] in Unity since its very first release: the menus being hard to find or too far from their parent window ", according to a blog post Canonical employee Marco Trevisan . "The amount of technical work needed [is] not to be underestimated [...] one of the blockers we had in 12.04 was our dependency on the legacy compiz decor plugin + gtk-window-decorator, that has worked 'OK' in the last years but -- apart from using deprecated technologies (gtk2 in primis) -- it really would have made this concept impossible to realize."

A tahr appears to be some species of mountain goat indigenous to the Himalayas.

Re: I actually like global menus ... (Score: 2, Informative)

by jonh@pipedot.org on 2014-02-21 20:53 (#47)

In this case, it seems like they are giving you the choice. There's a new option in the Appearance Settings , which defaults to the current behaviour -- I expect that they'll want to change the default in some future release.

I think it's almost axiomatic that any significant UI changes will cause outrage in the short term (e.g. Windows 8, Slashdot Beta, any time Facebook changes anything, Xbox 360 dashboard, Netflix...). People hate change; even actual interface improvements will probably be met with hostily in the short term. As a developer, you can expect at least a couple of weeks of overwhelmingly negative feedback for any significant UI alterations you make -- but if you're not starting to see mixed to positive to responses once the initial shock dies down, then you may have to admit that you have actually made things worse...
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