United Fronts for the Future?

Joey Sneddon, in a recent posting on OMG! Ubuntu, indicated the possibility of a number of rationale changes to the Unity interface in the up-coming Precise Pangolin release (Version 12.04) of Ubuntu Linux.

Two things that particularly appeal to me are:

The Dash Home lens now displays a “smart list” of recently-used applications in which programs already placed on the Unity launcher do not appear. I can very easily run my favourite applications using the icons in the launch bar. I certainly don’t need them listed when using Dash Home to look for an application that I don’t have room to include on the launch bar. In fact, it is infinitely more sensible to use the space in the list for other favourite software items.

A new filter in the Application lens will remove “Apps Available to Download” option. I never did see the point of this sub-list. As noted above, I tend to use Dash Home to run programs. If I want to download software, I use the Ubuntu Software Centre or Synaptic Package Manager (which, even though it’s not included by default, I have installed on my system).

So, hats off to Unity’s interface developers for once. It sounds like some of the new features will actually be quite useful.

Meanwhile, it’s interesting to note that all may not be well in the camp of that “other” operating system. In his latest posting for PC Magazine, John Dvorak gives his impressions of the “schizophrenic nature” of the user interface in the beta release of Windows 8. His conclusion? “This interface is going to be screwy when it comes out, I’m sure of it. I’m also sure there will be heated debates between the old-school desktop folks and the ersatz metro hipsters at the company.

Sound familiar?

References:

Unity 5.2 Lands in Precise, Brings Numerous Changes
http://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2012/02/unity-5-2-lands-in-precise-brings-numerous-changes/

The Schizophrenic Nature of Windows 8
http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2400010,00.asp

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