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Ubuntu OS Planning 'Head-Up Display' Menu

 2:51 pm on Jan 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

Ubuntu OS Planning 'Head-Up Display' Menu [bbc.co.uk]
The Ubuntu operating system is to replace its application menus with a "head-up display" (HUD) box.

Users control the HUD interface by typing in the command they want carried out.

Developers of the Linux-based software say they will initially offer the HUD as an option, allowing users to "hide" their menu bars.

They say that using the HUD is faster than "mousing through a menu" and makes applications feel more powerful.



 10:16 pm on Jan 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

The reason I use a GUI is that I can't REMEMBER the commands!

How can apps FEEL more powerful? They either are or they aren't.

Time to drop ubuntu, I think. Pity. It's done well for me for a few years now.


 9:55 am on Jan 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

It is exactly what I want.

I always felt the command line could have been developed to (at least) the user friendliness of GUI's, and that is exactly what Ubuntu are doing here.

It provides search as you type, so you do not have to remember exact command names and it will match synonyms and descriptions: the example given is that typing "settings" will bring up a menu item called "preferences".

It also looks as though menus will still be there - just less important.

I currently use Ubuntu (because Mint was flaky and Unity saves screen space on my netbook) but if this works right I will be a real fan.


 11:56 am on Jan 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

It looks a little like the kubuntu run dialog that you access from the main menu. Interesting idea though.



 9:26 am on Feb 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

As far as I can remember the Kubuntu run dialogue is a replacement for the "start" menu.

There are some very good implementations of that such as Kupfer (which I used to use with XFCE) and Gnome-Do. Ubuntu Unity already comes with its own one (not quite as good as Kupfer, but fits better with Unity).

What is new about the HUD is that it replace APPLICATION menus. Unity already replaces application menus (for most apps) with its own Mac like top of the desktop menu (a nice space saver): HUD replaces them with search functionality instead.


 3:26 pm on Feb 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

If you haven't watched the video regarding HUD on the blog posted by Mark Shuttleworth which is linked in that press release then I highly recommend doing so. In less than 3 minutes you will understand the intended direction.

Blog post: [markshuttleworth.com...]
Direct link to YouTube video: [youtu.be...]

I also like the idea, personally. But a feature I would love to see is the real-time display of style changes that are offered by the Microsoft ribbon when hovering over a selected element while using an application. In the video example we see the author apply an update to a cube in Inkscape but then having to undo the change because it was not the expected result. Whereas the MS ribbon works like a preview mode without actually clicking and applying the change. You select the item on the page to which you want to manipulate and then by hovering over options in the ribbon menu you can see how the end result would appear by merely moving your mouse over the menu options available in that particular context.

Who knows, perhaps this is already planned for the HUD feature and I'm just not aware of it! If anybody knows differently can you point me toward the resource describing as such?


 6:32 pm on Feb 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

Coopster thanks for the links...

One thing that was screaming out to me during the video demonstrations was.. if only Linux had a decent voice recognition library.

computer launch browser
computer undo

The closest thing I have seen to a voice system that actually works is Google voice search for smart phones.



 5:28 am on Feb 3, 2012 (gmt 0)

@coopster, I do not think they can do the previews without support from the applications, and that would also probably mean support from the libraries (Gkt, QT, and Mozilla's and LibreOffice's toolkits, etc.)

@mack, I believe they do have voice planned, so I hope they think they have a solution for decent voice recognition. I find voice recognition slightly worrying "to do that you say 'computer delete files'... damn"


 2:42 pm on Feb 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

With the current stable release 11.10 Ubuntu have more or less dropped the native Gnome window manager in favour of Unity. I only updated my system a couple of days ago, so im still getting to grips with the change.

To an extent the Unity dash is a lot like the HUD. If the foll blown HUD version that Ubuntu are referring to is an improvement on what Unity currently offers than I will be impressed.

I still miss the menus, but in reality it isn't any harder to use, it just involves looking at things a little differently.

@graeme_p nightmare scinario lol. Lets hope they require a confirm on delete!


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