In the netbook edition for 10.10, we’re going to have a single menu bar for all applications, in the panel.

Our focus on netbooks has driven much of the desktop design work at Canonical. There are a number of constraints and challenges that are particular to netbooks, and often constraints can be a source of insight and inspiration. In this case, wanting to make the most of vertical space has driven the decision to embrace the single menu approach.

It’s all about vertical pixels

Netbooks are conventionally small-and-wide-screen devices. A common screen format is 1024×600. There’s plenty of horizontal space, but not a lot of vertical space. So we’ve been lead to explore options that really make the most of the vertical space.

This is important because the main thing people do with a netbook is surf the web. And most pages will fit horizontally in a netbook screen, but they require quite a lot of vertical scrolling. The more we can optimise the use of vertical space, the more enjoyable it will be to spend time on the web, with your netbook.

In the first few iterations of Ubuntu’s netbook-oriented UI, we concentrated on collapsing the window title into the top panel. In 10.10, we’re going to put the menu there.

Only on the Netbook Edition UI

We’re going to put the menu in the panel on the netbook edition of Ubuntu, and not on the desktop edition, because that’s where the screen real-estate is most precious. There are outstanding questions about the usability of a panel-hosted menu on much larger screens, where the window and the menu could be very far apart. Those questions are greatly diminished in the netbook environment, by definition.

Also, the netbook edition has a reduced application load. That will reduce the number of applications we need to get this working on.

However, it will be straightforward to use this on your desktop too, if you want, and we’d encourage people to try with that configuration. The more testing we have early on, the better we’ll understand how it works with different applications. It will be easy to add to the standard desktop panel for people who want to try it out, or prefer to work that way.

Innovation: combining title and menu in a single panel

It’s not confirmed yet, but we will aim to go beyond what Apple and others have done with panel menus, to consolidate both the window title (and window controls) into the panel along with the menu.

By default, we’d display the contents of the title bar. When you mouse up to the panel, or when you press the Alt key, the contents would switch to the menu. That way, you’re looking at the document title most of the time, unless you move towards it to click on the menu.

In mockups and prototype testing, the result was a leaner, cleaner feeling netbook interface. Less clutter, less wasted space, and improved clarity of purpose. We’ll have to get running code in front of users to evaluate the usability of it and tweak transitions and presentation.

Generally, people use netbooks with a small set of applications running, all maximised. In that case, putting the menu in the panel will save 24 pixels, about 4% of the vertical space. Combined with other work on the netbook interface, we’re confident there is no better OS for surfing the net on your ultra-mobile netbook.

Under the hood: d-bus menu transport

The technical approach we are taking in this work is to build on the d-bus menu work that Cody Russel and Ted Gould have pioneered for our work on indicators.

Essentially, this lets us map a menu into d-bus space, where a different application can take responsibility for rendering it. The technology works across both Gtk and Qt applications, so we are confident that it will work for the common cases of GNOME and KDE apps running on the Ubuntu netbook edition.

Of course, there is a lot of work to be done to support applications that use different toolkits, notably the Mozilla suite of Firefox and Thunderbird, and OpenOffice.

And there will be many applications which need some thought as to how best to map the experience from the current world of “one menu per window” to a single, panel-displayed menu.

We’ve started working on this with the existing Global Menu project. While there are differences in the technical approach we want to take, that team has already identified many of the common issues, and there are great opportunities for us to collaborate. I’m looking forward to seeing the result in action in 10.10!

134 comments:

  1. Michał says: (permalink)
    April 27th, 2010 at 3:45 pm

    “Only on the Netbook Edition UI”

    Many thanks for this statement. I can’t imagine working with such menu on 24 inch screen.

  2. Matt says: (permalink)
    April 27th, 2010 at 3:46 pm

    I love the idea of Ubuntu on a netbook. I never really played with the netbook edition very much because I was quite happy with the regular flavor of Ubuntu. But making more veritical space available is a fantastic way to go.
    The only problem I have is that I bought a Dell Mini 10 with the Poulsbo chipset!
    I eventually got tired of trying to make my graphics work every time a new kernel update killed the previous workaround.
    I’m sure I’m not the only one in this boat.
    I would love to see Ubuntu work with this chipset so that I can use my netbook the way I WANT to use it again, and get rid of Windows!

  3. IcyJ says: (permalink)
    April 27th, 2010 at 3:51 pm

    I actually just started using the Global Menu on my work computer yesterday. My desktop feels more intuitive and sleek. These incremental changes that improve workflow are exactly what I am looking for, not a complete overhaul like Gnome Shell. Hopefully openoffice, virtualbox, and firefox will play nicely with the Ubuntu stylized global menu.

  4. Sense Hofstede says: (permalink)
    April 27th, 2010 at 3:59 pm

    Will the toggling of the top panel from titlebar state to menu state happen when the mouse comes near, just like the proximity thing of Notify OSD? That would make it easy for users to discover there is something hidden ‘behind’ the titlebar.
    Mark Shuttleworth: Exactly :)

  5. Rob Kendrick says: (permalink)
    April 27th, 2010 at 4:01 pm

    Global menus are not the answer. They maximise the distance to travel to open a menu, and still consume valuable vertical pixel space. Pop-up menus are another possibility; they reduce the distance to travel to zero, but you’d need another scheme, or button, to open them.

  6. CoolGoose says: (permalink)
    April 27th, 2010 at 4:04 pm

    Interesting idea, though it would be nice if somebody will explain a bit more why the lack of the global menu on bigger screens.

    In any case, working with the global-menu-bar guys will just improve the app itself, and if the fixes allow firefox & co work with it i’ll use it on my desktop as well.

  7. frustphil says: (permalink)
    April 27th, 2010 at 4:06 pm

    Whoa! Finally! I want this on my desktop too! :-)

  8. Paul Kishimoto says: (permalink)
    April 27th, 2010 at 4:15 pm

    The browser is the easy part. Add-ons like Compact Menu 2 (https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/4550) and Fission (https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/1951) already allow hiding everything but the navigation bar: http://paul.kishimoto.name/tmp/image/2010-04-27_screenshot.png

    *Toolbars* in most applications are a larger & greater problem than menus. Open Office, in particular, is nearly unusable on a netbook. People have already talked about wasted toolbar space in Nautilus (e.g. http://www.osnews.com/story/22941/Redesigning_the_Nautilus_File_Manager).

  9. Andrew Jones says: (permalink)
    April 27th, 2010 at 4:15 pm

    Project page (with screenshot): http://code.google.com/p/gnome2-globalmenu/

  10. Jeremy Nickurak says: (permalink)
    April 27th, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    A bigger screen is not a place where I find maximus to work (that is, automatically maximized applications). If I’ve got a huge screen, I want small windows I can move around, so I can see several at one time. With a small screen, that’s really hard to do. That’s why it makes sense to always-maximize windows. With the always-maximize and remove-window-decorations setting in place, putting the app menu into the panel makes great sense: It’s still visually connected to the window. Very cool.

    BTW, if you really want this kind of setup on a huge screen, there’s nothing (afaik) stopping you from using the ubuntu netbook interface on the screen. This is an approach I’m considering for my home-theatre PC setup.

  11. Anzan says: (permalink)
    April 27th, 2010 at 4:18 pm

    Mark, I’ve never been able to figure out how to use the global menu on a Mac. I don’t even know what apps are running and have to poke around and click things repeatedly to find out anything about what’s going on. Admittedly, I am an idiot when it comes to using icons and things instead of keybindings.

    Will there be a clear way to determine what application the menu is referring to and how to get to the other apps?

    (I find Fluxbox the perfect WM for my Eee 700 with apps maximized in workspaces and the bar on autohide.)

  12. Tom says: (permalink)
    April 27th, 2010 at 4:21 pm

    These ideas are über cool. Combining the title bar with the menu bar is really necessary everywhere.

    Saving pixels and making the most out of the screen real estate you have is a really cool design choice. For example I really wish Gnome/KDE media players would only show the content and blend in the needed controls (like new OSX and Win7 media players)

    Use animation to blend title and menu is really a good first step. More of this please.

  13. Ubuntu netbook 10.10: une barre de menu unique | davidbosman.fr says: (permalink)
    April 27th, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    [...] C’est ce que je viens de lire sur le blog de Mark Shuttleworth. [...]

  14. D. Scott Nettleton says: (permalink)
    April 27th, 2010 at 4:43 pm

    I love this idea; I run standard Ubuntu on my netbook because I prefer the interface and I use as many programs as I used on my desktop computer. In fact, my little netbook that could has become my primary computer. But vertical space is always a problem and the option to combine the title bar and menu bar into one is brilliant and would be most welcome, even without gnome panel integration. Incidentally, thanks for making it an option on the regular desktop Ubuntu, and not a requirement. While I like the idea of Ubuntu being more “OSX-like” in terms of usability and the “everything just works” philosophy, and I do like the title bar buttons on the left, the global menu isn’t really my thing; I believe Linux should strive not only to catch up with its alternative operating systems, but to surpass them. It’s obviously accomplished this with Windows already, so Mac, here we come!

  15. topyli says: (permalink)
    April 27th, 2010 at 4:46 pm

    This is a very good step towards making more content and less chrome visible on tiny screens. I have an Eeepc 701, which has a resolution of 800×480 (even the Ubuntu Netbook Edition doesn’t support it), and i’ve been setting my desktop like this with a global menu: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/213546/myy-100122.png

    It does save a lot of space. The global menu implementation that i’ve been using is here: http://code.google.com/p/gnome2-globalmenu/

    My current setup lacks window titles, and only supports GTK apps of course. Ubuntu could of course default to Epiphany instead of Firefox on netbooks, like i do, and use GNOME office apps :)

  16. Tom says: (permalink)
    April 27th, 2010 at 4:46 pm

    Oops, I misunderstood this a bit. I thought you weren’t talking about the global menu only.

    But actually I like my misunderstanding a bit better. For every window show the tile and when the mouse hover over the tile show the menu.
    That way you save space everywhere and you still get short mouse trails.

    Think MovieOS, everything should be animated and fluid and give visual feedback. That is innovation and sexy.

  17. aaron lee says: (permalink)
    April 27th, 2010 at 4:53 pm

    Thanks, mark! It’s a very good news.
    I use my eeepc with global menu, but it doesn’t work so smoothly, especially with firefox and openoffice.org.
    I must say: the idea is humanly.

  18. A.Y. Siu says: (permalink)
    April 27th, 2010 at 5:12 pm

    I haven’t agreed with a lot of your Lucid decisions, so it’s great to hear that you have a clearly articulated and usability-based rationale for this change to the netbook version of Ubuntu for the next release. Kudos!

  19. Jim Campbell says: (permalink)
    April 27th, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    Were these types of changes discussed at the Gnome Usability hackfest? It seems like it would be good to more closely involve upstream with these kinds of changes.

    Looks nice, though. :)

  20. Alex says: (permalink)
    April 27th, 2010 at 5:23 pm

    It’s about time. I remember using the global menu feature in KDE3 and really liking it, but GTK+ apps didn’t play along. I think a D-Bus-based global menu system has much potential for GNOME/KDE interoperability, just like the notification icons in Lucid. I look forward to the day when my GNOME apps behave naturally under KDE and vice versa, and I suspect that I will have Canonical and Ubuntu to thank for that!

    One more thing to think about: unified theming. Why should we have separate Qt and GTK+ themes? GTK+ 3.0 is an opportunity to do something about that.

  21. Cita « Ubuntu Life says: (permalink)
    April 27th, 2010 at 5:38 pm

    [...] (Mark Shuttleworth en, A global menu for Ubuntu 10.10 Netbook Edition) [...]

  22. Daniele says: (permalink)
    April 27th, 2010 at 5:41 pm

    Ubuntu is going to be very very important just after the release of Lucid,Mark thank you so much for your incessant work.

  23. Daniele says: (permalink)
    April 27th, 2010 at 5:43 pm

    Ubuntu is going to be very friendly user, this just after Lucid Lynx, with Lucid you have all the things in just a few clicks, and now is going to be good than ever.
    Thank you so much Mark for your work!

  24. Dwight Hubbard says: (permalink)
    April 27th, 2010 at 5:45 pm

    An existing environment that did this is the Amiga, which had a top menubar that handled both the menu and other functions. This actually worked pretty darn well, since the only time one really needs to see the menu is when they’re actually being used.

  25. A global menu for Ubuntu 10.10 Netbook Edition | Ubuntu Geek says: (permalink)
    April 27th, 2010 at 6:04 pm

    [...] from here var a2a_config = a2a_config || {}; a2a_config.linkname="A global menu for Ubuntu 10.10 [...]

  26. outofstep says: (permalink)
    April 27th, 2010 at 6:04 pm

    I find myself agreeing with Tom. His “misunderstood” scheme does permit the deletion of the top panel entirely. Convenient on a netbook, which is the target of this initiative.

  27. james_joyce says: (permalink)
    April 27th, 2010 at 6:05 pm

    I think a better solution is to just ditch the top panel, and use a dock-style task manager in the bottom panel rather than the Windows-like task bar to save horizontal space. Move the clock and notification area to the bottom, consolidate the three Gnome menus into one menu as in Mint put it under an Ubuntu logo as in Cairo. That frees up the same vertical space without breaking users’ expectations or increasing the distance between the app and its menu. The top panel has always been redundant without the global menu, and the global menu certainly improves it, but I think a consolidated panel is even better.

  28. Olaf says: (permalink)
    April 27th, 2010 at 6:22 pm

    As much as I hate Mac-like global menus on a regular Desktop I can see the point for them on Netbooks. There – with usually only 1-2 apps open and those usually maximised anyway – yup – global menu works.

    But on a Desktop with several open windows it makes 0 sense to have one global menu for all – annoys me every time I work on a Mac. And not everything Apple does is such a great idea (single button mouse/touchpad? Plain stupid).

    The idea of combining menu in the title is very interesting. Looking forward to playing with that.

    cheers

  29. tz says: (permalink)
    April 27th, 2010 at 6:44 pm

    I’m already working on switching away from Ubuntu.

    Your current notification is still badly broken. I use a “universal linux” which means on a netbook, but my netbook also does HD. The notification is too big and annoying (and sometimes the cpu is busy so it won’t disappear) on the netbook screen, but too small on the HD. I can’t change the color. I can’t change the size. I can’t change the position, I can’t dismiss it no matter if it is blocking something I need to see while my mouse is somewhere else on the screen, I can’t change the duration it is up, and it doesn’t work well with dozens if not hundreds of applications.

    Other important parts are broken.

    Now you are going to break more things while not bothering to fix what you have left broken.

    I don’t mean to sound nasty, but is it really too much to ask that the features and functions which have been broken for a long time and have been reported in every alpha and beta be fixed before you plan to introduce more breakage and I can expect dozens or hundres more applications to be broken in new and more annoying ways?

    I’m sure you will love it on the one or two systems you have your set of favorite apps on and those are all fixed and will work nicely. But everyone else that have something different, prefer different themes (some who need it for accessibility), need other apps that work with the rest of the world will be left with half broken UIs.

  30. Richard says: (permalink)
    April 27th, 2010 at 7:59 pm

    buttons are probably all on the wrong side i’m guessing?

  31. Jef Spaleta says: (permalink)
    April 27th, 2010 at 8:01 pm

    One question.

    Does the use cases driving this effort include touch screens?

    Naively it seems to me that requiring a user to use the ALT key or mouse to the panel to make a menu appear is going to be problematic on small form factor devices with screens that are touch or even multi-touch based. I’m trying to picture how that is meant to work on a touch-centric device and I’m having a hard time.

    I think the existing Maemo experience using global menus in both the Nokia 810 and the Nokia 900 speaks to the usability constrains imposed by a real-world touch-centric device. It would be interesting to see a compare and contrast analysis between how Meamo handles this versus UNE’s vision.

    -jef

    -jef

  32. Ubuntu 10.10 Netbook to get ‘global menu’ panel - A Collection of Latest Happening in Technology Field says: (permalink)
    April 27th, 2010 at 8:13 pm

    [...] Shuttleworth today blogged about an exciting new interface development due for inclusion in ubuntu 10.10 UNE: the adoption of a global [...]

  33. ethana2 says: (permalink)
    April 27th, 2010 at 8:13 pm

    I look forward to people actually paying attention to globalmenu bugs in their applications now. They have a tendency to dismiss harmony unto elegance because they consider the implementation to be a ‘hack’.

    From Mac to gnome-globalmenu in gnome or xfce) to Bespin w/ XBar in KDE, I require any desktop I use to have a global menu bar.

  34. Robin Catling says: (permalink)
    April 27th, 2010 at 8:17 pm

    Sounds like an exciting development; eagerly await design mock-ups from Ivanka and team for visual realisation of how this is going to work. The JVC (the ‘pre-netbook’ netbook) could do with this.

    I often think maybe a vertical fly-out (side-bar) menu is the answer to limited vertical real-estate.

    Excellent early announcement of proposal, too.

    # Might we save a lot of time and effort by adopting OS-X as a default standard, though? ;-) #

  35. Bruno Girin says: (permalink)
    April 27th, 2010 at 8:18 pm

    Mark, this sounds great! However, as you point out, there are also quite a few applications out there that just don’t behave well on small screens. For the netbook edition, it might be worth considering swapping some of the default apps for more space conscious alternatives. For example, I removed Evolution from my netbook (EeePC 701, 800×480 pixels) because it is just unusable on such a small screen.

    Sometimes, it’s also a case of modifying an application that was designed with a vertical layout in mind so that it can have an alternative horizontal layout. Cheese Webcam Booth is an example of such an app that would be great on a netbook if it had a horizontal layout, with the buttons on the side rather than below the video.

    Oh yeah, and don’t forget to make the installer (Ubiquity) play nice with small screens! The Lucid beta 2 netbook edition could not be installed on my EeePC because of a vertically-challenged Prepare Disk Space screen so I had to resort to the alternative ISO with a text installer (bug #560811: https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/ubiquity/+bug/560711 )

  36. ethana2 says: (permalink)
    April 27th, 2010 at 8:34 pm

    By the way, Macs are confusing because of the Mac dock, not because of the menu. ..and Docky is better than Mac’s dock in those regards.

  37. derek says: (permalink)
    April 27th, 2010 at 8:52 pm

    another thing to consider is better support for vertical panels. 10.04 has a major regression from 9.10 where the new panel gradient effect doesn’t rotate with the panel and is repeated, making the panel almost unreadable.

  38. Magnus says: (permalink)
    April 27th, 2010 at 8:58 pm

    I guess this will not be very good if you are used to window focus to follow the mouse pointer. Will the ALT key be the only way to get the menu of the current window, instead of whatever other windows might be in the way to the menu bar?

  39. Anonymous says: (permalink)
    April 27th, 2010 at 9:04 pm

    Rather than using a modal interface, which tends to confuse people quite often, why not do what Maemo did: make the title bar of the application also a drop-down menu that contains the top-level menu?

  40. Jimboooo! says: (permalink)
    April 27th, 2010 at 9:04 pm

    Why go to all that bother? Just auto-hide the menu bar and task switcher. Job done.

  41. Duncan Murray says: (permalink)
    April 27th, 2010 at 10:22 pm

    Sounds like a great idea. Any way to get more screen real-estate is welcome. I often look at the top of the screen and think ‘what a waste of space!’ I use Ubuntu desktop on my 1024×768 display, and I think this would be useful for us too.

    Duncan.

  42. Single menu bar for Ubuntu says: (permalink)
    April 27th, 2010 at 10:37 pm

    [...] full post on Hacker News If you enjoyed this article, please consider sharing it! Tagged with: Menu • [...]

  43. Mark S says: (permalink)
    April 27th, 2010 at 11:24 pm

    How about also encouraging developers to create applications that don’t have menus (Google Chrome, Scribes text editor, etc)? I love menu-less, clutter-free UI.

  44. Erik says: (permalink)
    April 27th, 2010 at 11:52 pm

    I’m very glad to see there’s focus on this. I’ve always been disappointed with standard Firefox on standard Ubuntu: on a 1280×800 screen, I get from top to bottom: (1) the top panel, (2) the title bar, (3) the menu bar, (4) the tool bar, (5) the bookmarks bar, (6) the tabs, (7) some space to actually read web pages, (8) the status bar, and (9) the bottom panel. And it’s not that different with other tabbed applications – like gedit, say – only the bookmarks bar goes away. Surely this isn’t necessary?

    Fortunately, it’s easy to manually reconfigure matters, but I do love sensible defaults (one of the many Ubuntu & GNOME strengths).
    To return to the top of my post: I’m very glad to see there’s focus on vertical space. Because we can do better.

    Thank you for all the efforts throughout the years, Mark!
    /Erik

  45. Ubuntu 10.4 LTS says: (permalink)
    April 27th, 2010 at 11:58 pm

    [...] im Gespräch, die erst im Oktober erscheinen wird. Zumidest was die Netbook Ausgabe betrifft, sie A global menu for Ubuntu 10.10 Netbook Edition. Bei dem globalen Menü hätte nicht mehr jedes Fenster die Menüpunkte “Datei”, [...]

  46. Jared Spurbeck says: (permalink)
    April 27th, 2010 at 11:59 pm

    This is amazing. I’ve always tried to get the Global Menu Applet to work on my Linux desktop, ever since I heard about it. I even dumped Firefox for Epiphany in order to use it, in spite of Epiphany’s bugs.

    I find myself wondering, though. What about the Chromium browser? Will it work with this? And is OpenOffice really the best office suite for a netbook — or is it simply the lesser of the evils?

    The Ubuntu desktop is in desperate need, IMO, of lightweight word processing aned image editing apps. AbiWord’s too quirky (and insists on its own file format that nothing else uses), and GIMP’s, well, the GIMP.

  47. Links « Beautiful Discovery says: (permalink)
    April 28th, 2010 at 12:29 am

    [...] A global menu for Ubuntu 10.10 Netbook Edition Can’t say I like the idea but this is the sort of user-focused innovation I like to see out of Ubuntu. [...]

  48. SubGothius says: (permalink)
    April 28th, 2010 at 12:55 am

    I love the idea of merging the window title and menu bars, and not just for netbooks, as that offers a “best of both worlds” potential to combine most of the advantages of both Mac-style and Windows-/X-style menus.

    When a window is maximized, or even middlemized and “docked” to the top edge of the screen, its menus could take advantage of Fitts’ Law (just like Mac-style menus) as long as they’re clickable along that top screen edge. When the window is middlemized and floating anywhere away from the top edge, its menus are still potentially visible and accessible even when the window itself doesn’t have focus. The only thing preventing this previously has been that nearly-empty waste of precious space called the title bar.

    I also love the idea of maximizing vertical space for actual content and using horizontal space more efficiently, and have long been doing something similar in XP at work (http://i.imgur.com/zwHLj.png) and Xfce4 at home, which latter I’ve got set up with two vertical left-side panels growing from each corner (no screenshot handy at present), rather resembling an evolution of NeXTSTEP. I prefer making my maximized windows taller rather than wider, as the eye has an easier time scanning vertically through more but shorter lines of text (think: newspaper/magazine columnar layouts), and really our displays are wide enough these days that we don’t need to be eking out every previous pixel of width for the content viewport.

    Between taskbars, panels and app toolbars crowding in from the top and bottom, many people are left with a squinted mail-slot view of their content. Heck, many sites are laid out with a limited width, so that leaves tons of wasted whitespace in the side margins anyway, which I might as well be devoting to something useful such as more UI. Widescreen is fine for movies where you’ve got the scenery going off into your peripheral vision for that “immersive” experience, but for most Web content, I don’t want my text vanishing into the periphery and generally exhausting my eyeballs feeling like I’m watching a tennis match from the front row when I’m just reading.

  49. James says: (permalink)
    April 28th, 2010 at 2:13 am

    The global menu is a great idea for the netbook distro. It invokes Fitt’s law by giving an infinite vertical target to what is probably one of the hardest UI elements to select on a netbook. I’m not sure about hiding the menu until mouse-over though; it seems like it would slow down target acquisition. Is there not enough horizontal real-estate to go the OS X route and show the program title to the left of the global menu?

    @Jared Spurbeck: The default file format a word processor uses can reveal a lot about it’s internal data structures. AbiWord can read and write to odt, doc, docx, rtf, wpd and several other popular file formats. But compatibility isn’t perfect, and there’s the risk that data might be lost. It’s just safer to have a default file format it’s 100% compatible with. There *is* ongoing work to improve compatibility with other file formats, but making a word processor is a lot of work and there’s not a ton of developers on the project to start with.

    Back on topic, it’d be pretty awesome if the global menu vanished when Chrome was the active application. That way Chrome’s tabs would be flush against the top of the screen.

  50. formar says: (permalink)
    April 28th, 2010 at 2:20 am

    Mark

    I’d like to address you to the bellow copied section of a review of Ubuntu 9.10. I’m not sure what the changes will lead to, but we need people to keep recognizing our smarter approach to the desktop on Netbooks, compared to how Windows does it.

    the washington post
    By Rob Pegoraro | January 5, 2010; 9:40 AM ET
    Ubuntu 9.10 brings polish……

    “But its Netbook Remix (pictured below) simplifies things dramatically with a home screen of large shortcut icons to programs and folders, most of which open in full-screen mode. This seems a smarter approach to fitting a desktop operating system on a netbook’s compact display than Microsoft’s crudely cut-down Windows 7 Starter Edition.”

  51. David says: (permalink)
    April 28th, 2010 at 3:10 am

    What about the Application menu? The Mac’s panel has one menu specifically devoted to the application as a whole, rather the specific focused window/document. Adding such a menu would add some order. So, instead of having ‘Unsaved Document – gedit’, you would have ‘gedit › Unsaved Document’ (in a breadcrumb-type style). Clicking on the first part will produce the application menu, while clicking on the second part will produce the menu relevant to the focused window/document. This will also ensure that this approach is future-proof, as many applications are moving towards menu-less designs: Firefox, Chrome, Scribes, etc. Firefox, for example, is going to have one single unified menu for everything (at least on Windows, for now). Thus, for Firefox, it would make sense to display that one menu in the Application Menu area, rather than as the rest of the global menu.

    Another enhancement I’d love to see is adding the file icon between the application name and window title, allowing for proxy icons.

  52. Brian says: (permalink)
    April 28th, 2010 at 3:21 am

    Wow, this is so great! I wanted Gnome-shell to use global menu so much, and was so disappointed when the devs would have none of it. This is absolutely fantastic. For my two cents, you should use the multi-desktop and overlay stuff from Gnome-shell, in combination with your top panel and messaging system. That would make for a perfect small screen experience. I only wonder how the global menu will work in portrait mode, supposing some OEM decides to put Ubuntu NBE onto a tablet? Would there be enough space along the top then for both the notification area and the menu?

  53. Hmm says: (permalink)
    April 28th, 2010 at 4:12 am

    I really hope this isn’t a segue into adopting the Apple Menu on the desktop, but after copying their button placement, it seems that way. The idea that Mac-style menus are better for usability is a myth. Multiple monitors are the most obvious example. The relevance of Fitt’s Law is exaggerated, since the mouse can still move sideways when you “throw” it at the top of the screen.

    http://lists.kde.org/?l=kde-look&m=95705988431395

    copying Apple != usability

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cargo_cult_software_engineering

  54. Peter Moulder says: (permalink)
    April 28th, 2010 at 4:19 am

    I’d have thought that the criterion should be not “desktop edition or netbook edition” but “is the window maximized or not”. If a window is maximized on a huge monitor, then we want the menu at the top so that it’s easy for the mouse to get to the menu (no need to move the mouse to exactly the right place ± 10pixels, just move it anyway past the top). Conversely, if a netbook with non-maximized windows, then each window can still have its own own menubar: no need to “map the experience from the current world of ‘one menu per window’ to a single, panel-displayed menu”.

  55. bonz says: (permalink)
    April 28th, 2010 at 4:26 am

    @Brian: That’s what I have been thinking all along! Combining the overlay and the panel would be super awesome! Not only would I get the global menu and other ubuntu panel menus, I would also have the super slick overlay of gnome-shell!:-)

  56. biju punalor says: (permalink)
    April 28th, 2010 at 4:48 am

    While you are at it, can you please change the file-open/save dialog to something sane. You’ll be popular among users (though proally will be kicked off ‘planet gnome’).

    good move for users, ty.

  57. tabbot says: (permalink)
    April 28th, 2010 at 4:52 am

    While you are at it, please change the file-open/save dialog to something sane. You’ll be popular among users (proally kicked off ‘planet gnome’ though).

    good move for users, ty.

  58. steve says: (permalink)
    April 28th, 2010 at 4:56 am

    Very good point about vertical pixels. Tend to put my status bars going from one vertical to the other, saves that important space.

  59. formars says: (permalink)
    April 28th, 2010 at 5:06 am

    Mark

    I’d like to address you to the bellow copied section of a review of Ubuntu 9.10. I’m not sure what the changes will lead to, but we need people to keep recognizing our smarter approach to the desktop on Netbooks, compared to how Windows does it.

    the washington post
    By Rob Pegoraro | January 5, 2010; 9:40 AM ET
    Ubuntu 9.10 brings polish……

    “But its Netbook Remix (pictured below) simplifies things dramatically with a home screen of large shortcut icons to programs and folders, most of which open in full-screen mode. This seems a smarter approach to fitting a desktop operating system on a netbook’s compact display than Microsoft’s crudely cut-down Windows 7 Starter Edition.”

  60. Nait says: (permalink)
    April 28th, 2010 at 6:50 am

    I think that while you have access to all menu content it would be great(also for desktop edition) to allow searching through it. It would be great especialy for apps like GIMP – I’ve seen a lot of problems that people knew what they want, but couldn’t find it. Incremental search by app menu items and menu descriptions would solve this problem and reduce time needed for people who don’t know shourtcuts.
    Example: I’ve picture in gimp and I want to blur it – typing blur would be faster then looking for it in all menus to find in some submenu.

  61. See's Message » Shuttleworth称Ubuntu 10.10 Netbook版将有全局菜单 says: (permalink)
    April 28th, 2010 at 7:30 am

    [...] 10.10 Netbook版将有全局菜单 By admin Ubuntu创始人Mark Shuttleworth在个人博客上称,Ubuntu [...]

  62. h31 says: (permalink)
    April 28th, 2010 at 7:35 am

    Please, stop borrowing Mac OS X style! Ubuntu must have it’s own style, beatiful and unusual. Otherwise people will think that Ubuntu is а no-cost kind of Mac OS X or Windows without any other advantages. This idea about a menu bar is good for the Netbook Edition, of course, but doubtful in a Desktop edition.

  63. stilus says: (permalink)
    April 28th, 2010 at 7:55 am

    On a single screen netbook a global menu in some shape or form might be a very good idea. I’m worried though with dual- (or more) screen setups. The distance to travel in order to hit the menu becomes very large. I’m already seeing this with people using Mac’s in that setup. Perhaps a possibility to enable global menu’s on every screen (linking to the current application on that screen, I guess)?
    caveat: IANAID (I’m Not An Interface Designer ;)

  64. Jean-Pierre says: (permalink)
    April 28th, 2010 at 8:50 am

    This top screen menu was what we had in the old times of Amiga. I remember it as painless. But a plus on the Amiga was that the menu was hidden and only appeared if you pressed the right mouse button. This was, in turn, possible because:
    1/ all menus were rendered so (system API) ;
    2/ there was no local menus.
    Local menus are worth more than this last Amiga trick.

    I’ll try them for sure. sometimes menus on top of windows are confuzing even on a big 24″ screen.

  65. David says: (permalink)
    April 28th, 2010 at 9:31 am

    This is very exciting!

    What about the Application menu? The Mac’s panel has one menu specifically devoted to the application as a whole, rather the current focused window/document. Adding such a menu would add some order. So, instead of having ‘Unsaved Document – gedit’, you would have ‘gedit › Unsaved Document’ (in a breadcrumb-like style). Clicking on the first part will produce the application menu, while clicking on the second part will produce the menu relevant to the focused window/document. This will also ensure that this approach is future-proof, as many applications are moving towards menu-less designs: Firefox, Chrome, Scribes, etc. Firefox, for example, is going to have one single unified menu for everything (at least on Windows, for now). Thus, for Firefox, it would make sense to display that one menu in the Application Menu area, rather than as the rest of the global menu.

    Another enhancement I’d love to see is adding the file icon between the application name and window title, allowing for proxy icons.

    While we’re talking about surpassing the Mac, I’d like to point out that the Mac’s menu system is a bit logically inconsistent. The menu belongs to the application, and is thus situated in the panel; toolbars, however, are always in the window. This breaks the neat distinction between application and content. Toolbars decrease vertical space and add to clutter, since so many windows have them at the same time. It would be nice if it were possible to nudge application developers towards using toolbars less and relying on these new menus instead. Currently, menus are very constrained: they’re basically just lists. We have already seen from Ubuntu’s Me Menu, Office’s Orb menu, and Firefox’s future application menu that menus can be made more usable by making them richer. Text fields, sliders, toggleable stars/pins, expanders, panes—all these things are currently not common in standard menus, but they can make them better and toolbars less necessary. So, while you’re updating the system for menus, consider updating what’s possible in these menus too. In the long run, this will lead to more screen real-estate available for content, rather than to the application.

  66. Jose Hevia says: (permalink)
    April 28th, 2010 at 10:22 am

    Hi Mark!

    is there any way of just rotating the screen of a laptop in a simple way on the horizon?

    I mean, will be Ubuntu prepared for Ipad clones that rotate the screen on the fly?

    You consider 1024×600 the standard, but if you rotate it you have 600×1024, so designing for 1024×600 could be bad for 600×1024.

    I have been using rotation for years(is not easy to do on Ubuntu), and as usual we need Apple to tell us that what we consider the right way could be not. Landscape mode is better for films but is FAR WORSE for documents than portrait, because of human physiology . You need to get rid of the fixed keyboard position thought, and this is starting to happen as manufacturers start copying ipad, it seems that Ubuntu is designing for the past intead of the future.

  67. guf says: (permalink)
    April 28th, 2010 at 10:32 am

    This is good news!

  68. Fred says: (permalink)
    April 28th, 2010 at 10:33 am

    I like the OS X feature where the titlebar button on the right side toggles between more and less real estate for button’s etc. What would be a neat idea is to have such a button with multiple functionality: LMB: toggle menu RMB: toggle toolbar. Include user selectable defaults and I would say you’d have a perfect setup for screen real estate management.

  69. Animaster Talks | Simple Digital Life » Blog Archive » Menu Global pada Ubuntu 10.10 Edisi Netbook says: (permalink)
    April 28th, 2010 at 10:39 am

    [...] pionir Ubuntu, Mark Shuttleworth, membicarakan mengenai fitur ini dalam sebuah artikel di blognya. Ia mengatakan bahwa ukuran layar netbook yang relatif kecil, terutama secara vertikal, selama ini [...]

  70. Phil says: (permalink)
    April 28th, 2010 at 11:36 am

    It’s a real shame Ubuntu is heading in the direction of copying everything that OSX does rather than coming up with anything original.

    If I wanted to use OSX I would buy a Mac…

  71. rvt says: (permalink)
    April 28th, 2010 at 12:23 pm

    @Anzan: If you look at the screenshot it clearly states TERMINAL on the left of the menu bar on the active app. The same goes for OSX, the active application is always clearly written down (without an icon) on the top left of the menu bar.

  72. hasan adil says: (permalink)
    April 28th, 2010 at 1:24 pm

    This looks great. I installed it on my desktop and like it more than the regular version of ubuntu 10.04 and mac os x. You can see my website link for screenshot of it on 21″ widescreen monitor.

    I would suggest getting rid of the back ground image behind the content box (the content box meaning the container of the open office icons in the image). This will let the background stay smooth and uninterupted throughout the desktop.

    Awesome job though to Mark and everyone involved in this effort.

  73. Ubuntu Netbook 10.10 tendrá un menú global says: (permalink)
    April 28th, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    [...] una entrada en su blog personal Mark Shuttleworth, fundador del proyecto Ubuntu, anuncia que la próxima [...]

  74. Shuttleworth称Ubuntu 10.10 Netbook版将有全局菜单 | 壹点视界 says: (permalink)
    April 28th, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    [...] Shuttleworth在个人博客上 称,Ubuntu 10.10的上网本版本将引入一个全局菜单。 [...]

  75. BlogUbuntu.com says: (permalink)
    April 28th, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    Menú global para Ubuntu 10.10 Netbook Edition…

    Ayer mismo Mark Shuttleworth anunció en su blog que el futuro Ubuntu 10.10, en su versión para netbook (o Netbook Edition), vendrá con una única barra de menú en la que se englobará el título de la aplicación con sus propios menús. Algo así: ……

  76. stenliq says: (permalink)
    April 28th, 2010 at 3:45 pm

    Global menu sounds great. But only if it’ll affect all applications. GTK-only solution would be unusable for most of the people.

  77. UbuntuMexico.com » Mejor uso del espacio Vertical en Ubuntu 10.10 Netbook Edition says: (permalink)
    April 28th, 2010 at 4:12 pm

    [...] Enlaces: A global menu for Ubuntu 10.10 Netbook Edition [...]

  78. Links 28/4/2010: Fedora 13 Previews, Android Beyond 50,000 Apps | Techrights says: (permalink)
    April 28th, 2010 at 4:40 pm

    [...] A global menu for Ubuntu 10.10 Netbook Edition In the netbook edition for 10.10, we’re going to have a single menu bar for all applications, in the panel. [...]

  79. Sergey says: (permalink)
    April 28th, 2010 at 4:56 pm

    nice menu, thanks!

  80. A global menu for Ubuntu 10.10 Netbook Edition | Ubuntu-News - Your one stop for news about Ubuntu says: (permalink)
    April 28th, 2010 at 5:12 pm

    [...] In the netbook edition for 10.10, we’re going to have a single menu bar for all applications, in the panel. Our focus on netbooks has driven much of the desktop design work at Canonical. More here [...]

  81. JakeT says: (permalink)
    April 28th, 2010 at 5:22 pm

    This is awesome–great choice. I’ve been running the global menu and the UNR window-picker applet on my widescreen laptop (1280×800) for about a year now, using Compiz to hide the title bar when a window is maximized.

    I highly recommend it–I have a lot more usuable screen space.

    May I say, though: if the Ubuntu team can get the global menu working with Firefox, you’ll be my heroes forever.

  82. Guilherme Mac says: (permalink)
    April 28th, 2010 at 5:25 pm

    Excellent! Global menu is essential for a good experience on small screens

  83. w1ngnutz says: (permalink)
    April 28th, 2010 at 6:14 pm

    This is awesome news! Would like to see this in default desktop too!

  84. little Jon says: (permalink)
    April 28th, 2010 at 7:08 pm

    Menu at the top or bottom is a bad idea in principle. In the netbook space is expensive. I do not want to use the space on the menu. I additionally use “F11″ that would get rid of this menu. The transition between programs faster to use a combination of “alt tab”. I use no more than 5 programs, and they have a keyboard shortcut. For causing the rest is “F2″. There is no reason to exist entitling the top menu bar.
    Perhaps a suitable option would be to use hot keys to invoke the menu bar or indicators. Call “Guake-Terminal” is a good example. Similarly, wanted to call the panel indicators and menu.
    Thank you for your work.

  85. Adam Ashenfelter says: (permalink)
    April 28th, 2010 at 9:25 pm

    This sounds really awesome.
    I bet I could use “d-bus menu transport” to script my applications as well.

    Maybe somebody can modify metacity or compiz so that the main menu of an application is part of the title bar for the standard edition. That would be pretty cool.

  86. Ubuntu tendrá Menú Global en su edición 10.10 para Netbooks | RSS Tecnología says: (permalink)
    April 28th, 2010 at 10:41 pm

    [...] A global menu for Ubuntu 10.10 Netbook Edition (Mark [...]

  87. How you can earn money from your blog | Make Money From Blog says: (permalink)
    April 28th, 2010 at 11:28 pm

    [...] Mark Shuttleworth » Blog Archive » A global menu for Ubuntu 10.10 … [...]

  88. Inrom Hardware » Una sola barra de menús para Ubuntu 10.10 para netbooks says: (permalink)
    April 29th, 2010 at 7:14 am

    [...] el blog de Mark Shutttleworth, leemos que la próxima edición de Ubuntu para netbooks, la 10.10, dispondrá de una sola barra de [...]

  89. SubGothius says: (permalink)
    April 29th, 2010 at 8:54 am

    I love the idea of merging the window title and menu bars (and not just for netbooks), as that offers a “best of both worlds” potential to combine most of the advantages of both Mac-style and Windows-/X-style menus.

    When a window is maximized, or even middlemized and “docked” to the top edge of the screen, its menus could take advantage of Fitts’ Law (just like Mac-style menus) as long as they’re clickable along that top screen edge. When the window is middlemized and floating anywhere away from the top edge, its menus are still potentially visible and accessible even when the window itself doesn’t have focus (just like Windows-/X-style menus). The only common UI element standing in the way of this previously has been that nearly-empty waste of precious space called the title bar.

    I also love the idea of maximizing vertical space for actual content and using horizontal space more efficiently for UI, and have long been doing something similar in WinXP at work (http://i.imgur.com/zwHLj.png) and Xfce4 at home (http://i.imgur.com/Vk6z9.png). I prefer making my maximized windows taller rather than wider, as the eye has an easier time scanning vertically through more but shorter lines of text (think: newspaper/magazine columnar layouts), and really our displays are quite wide enough these days that we don’t need to be eking out every previous pixel of width for the content viewport.

    Many people are left with a squinted mail-slot view of their content, squeezed between all the taskbars, panels and app toolbars crowding in from the top and bottom, For that matter, many sites are laid out with a limited width, so that leaves expanses of wasted whitespace in the side margins anyway, which we might as well be dedicating to something useful, such as UI. Widescreen is fine for movies where you’ve got the scenery going off into your peripheral vision for that “immersive” experience, but for most Web, text and code content, I don’t want my text vanishing into the periphery and generally exhausting my eyeballs feeling like I’m watching a tennis match from the front row when I’m just reading, writing, editing or coding.

  90. John Collaros says: (permalink)
    April 29th, 2010 at 8:55 am

    Hi Mark,

    I agree it’s all about vertical pixels. Whilst an OSX-like menubar strategy is probably workable for netbooks,
    I just want to point out a particular use case that fails for the OS X menubar model: Multi-head notebooks and computers.

    I have a 15.4″ MacBook Pro and have used the external display port to connect my 17″ LCD, and extend my desktop across it.
    The menubar appears only on the main display, so when you are running applications on the secondary display(s), you have to mouse
    back over to the main display to select options from the menu. This is at best very annoying.

    I am not sure what you could do to overcome the limitations of this model, but I would suggest caution if it is implemented in Ubuntu generally.
    Do not forget the multi-head users, especially after all the hard work to make it work out of the box.

    Otherwise, great to see Ubuntu is considering the problem of the wide-format LCD’s that are being produced (in my opinion, at the expense of vertical real-estate.)

  91. UR-VE.COM » Blog Archive » Ubuntu tendrá Menú Global en su edición 10.10 para Netbooks says: (permalink)
    April 29th, 2010 at 9:21 am

    [...] A global menu for Ubuntu 10.10 Netbook Edition (Mark [...]

  92. Maximilian Schleiss says: (permalink)
    April 29th, 2010 at 9:57 am

    Hi,
    the menu in the title bar can already be seen in Nokia’s “OVI Suite for PC” http://www.comms.ovi.com/m/p/ovi/suite/index_en_uk.html
    Best regards,
    Max.

  93. Martin says: (permalink)
    April 29th, 2010 at 10:19 am

    I think this is a great idea for the netbook interface edition, but I also think there maybe should be an option (a switch) in the full edition to switch between global menu or standard ubuntu interface. Actually thinking about this, now probably would be a good time for ubuntu to fork gnome 2.30 codebase, think about it, gnome upstream are from now on focused on gnome 3 and gnome shell, but ubuntu are making the gnome 2 series their own. They’ve made something practical but ugly into something very useful and beautiful (IMHO). I say fork it, call it something like UDE (Ubuntu Desktop Environment) and put all the bells and whistles you (Mark) have in mind but try to make it compatible with gnome 3 applications if at all possible, I think it would do the world of Linux a big favour, desktop Linux needs some vision and direction and I think you (Mark), The Ubuntu Community, and Canonical are the only ones to make it happen and you have a good starting point to start from without upstream keep complaining you’re breaking compatibility. My 2 cent’s worth. Martin.

  94. A falta de horas para Ubuntu 10.04… « Doculinux says: (permalink)
    April 29th, 2010 at 10:32 am

    [...] esta actualización. Más información sobre la versión para netbooks de Ubuntu: Mark Shuttleworth ha anunciado en su blog que la futura distribución 10.10 traerá por defecto el menú global al estilo Mac OS X, del que [...]

  95. Rilascio di Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx, rivediamo la situazione | Giovanni Raco says: (permalink)
    April 29th, 2010 at 11:18 am

    [...] non sono finite: per la 10.10 infatti sono già previsti l’uso delle nuove font dedicate e il pannello unico per la versione Netbook Remix. Intanto Ubuntu ha raggiunto 12 milioni di [...]

  96. » Rilascio di Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx, rivediamo la situazione says: (permalink)
    April 29th, 2010 at 12:20 pm

    [...] non sono finite: per la 10.10 infatti sono già previsti l’uso delle nuove font dedicate e il pannello unico per la versione Netbook Remix. Intanto Ubuntu ha raggiunto 12 milioni di [...]

  97. Adam Ashenfelter says: (permalink)
    April 29th, 2010 at 5:05 pm

    This sound cool.
    It would be cool to add a plugin to the window manager so that when windows are not maximized, the menu is in the title bar. It would then move to the panel when the window is maximized.

    It would be nice for larger screens as well. I can always use more screen realestate.

  98. goetz says: (permalink)
    April 29th, 2010 at 7:55 pm

    You say: “It’s all about vertical pixels” it is true. And your blog works right, it expands all to the left and right.
    But why the web page of Ubuntu, (also Kubuntu), does not expand to left and right?

  99. Bill Melater says: (permalink)
    April 30th, 2010 at 7:21 am

    How bout something that actually “just works” for a change.

  100. Hymie says: (permalink)
    April 30th, 2010 at 7:29 am

    How about “Nattering Nabob” for 11.04?

  101. Ubuntu 10.04 Releases! Ubuntu 10.10 to get a “Global Menu”, free Blu Ray encoder, ATI drivers for Linux! says: (permalink)
    April 30th, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    [...] new in Ubuntu 10.04? A global menu for Ubuntu 10.10 Netbook Edition Announcing the first free software Blu-ray encoder Sony Sued For Removal Of Linux Support From PS3 [...]

  102. hasan adil says: (permalink)
    April 30th, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    The upcoming HP slate is based on x86 architecture. It should be entirely possible to run Ubuntu Netbook on it without much change to codebase. The major work would be to map signals that original by human touch from hardware layer and treat them as incoming mouse signals. The icons are nice and big in it and will map to touch usability very nicely.

  103. Top 60 Ghetto Black Names | beijing shopping says: (permalink)
    April 30th, 2010 at 2:13 pm

    [...] Mark Shuttleworth » Blog Archive » A global menu for Ubuntu 10.10 … [...]

  104. Luis Miguel Davim says: (permalink)
    April 30th, 2010 at 2:48 pm

    I’ve been using the global menu for along time, I hope Ubuntu can fix the issues with multiple monitors and different toolkits (QT, Mozilla,OpenOffice,…)

  105. John Bill says: (permalink)
    April 30th, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    I installed Ubuntu 10.04 and it has mouse/keyboard conflicts, even since the LiveCD, I thought installing it would have solved those conflicts, that was not the case. Repeated letters like ccccccccccccccccc etcetera, blinking menu items lines, other conflicts that make it completely UNUSABLE!
    Ubuntu 10.04 is only for newer pc’s, I think…
    Ubuntu 9.10 worked flawlessly on my same pc.
    I’ll go back to version 9.10 as soon as possible.
    I think there’s no solution, who knows.

  106. kikl says: (permalink)
    April 30th, 2010 at 7:26 pm

    Well, I think it does make sense on a tablet or netbook given the restrictes space. But please do not implement it on the regular ubuntu. Please do a better job than Apple.

    Now I am a very casual OS X user because I do not have a Macbook, but I do have a friend who is stubbornly trying to convince me that MAC OS X is the only way to go. So he gave me his MACPro to try it out and thought I would immediately fall in love with it. Hmmmm…

    It didn’t happen precisely because of the MAC PANEL IS BOTH PART OF THE OPERATING SYSTEM OS AND THE APPLICATION GUI. This is really confusing and a very bad decision unless you have a compelling reason for mingling the OS with a particular application. Now the restricted space of a netbook is a compelling argument, but please be really really careful. I hated the initial experience until my friend pointed out the reason for my frustration!

    This is what happened to me: I never Knew what the panel icons really stood for. This is particularly confusing if you are running multiple applications at the same time (multitasking). I do believe that this is going to be common, since empathy, gwibber, skype and evolution should be running in the background on a netbook due to the great ubuntu implementation of these applications.

    Please make sure that the user has a clear and unambiguous indication of which application is really “active” in the panel. Do not merely mimic the poor apple implementation of this feature.

    I know: long time apple users probably think I am crazy or stupid, but I am not. Getting used to this is clearly non-obvious. This is a blatant usability bug in MAC OS X for newcomers. Sure, after a while you know your way around and get used to it. But that’s not the point. You can get used to anything.

    Please, do not start copying apple usability bugs just because apple brainwashes the world to believe that they understand usability and no one else does. The change of the quit-minimize icons to the left hand side – although it is of no concern to me – seems to indicate that apple is being copied without providing clear benefits! Don’t fall into this trap, please take care!

    Ubuntu 10.04 is wonderful, I love it and recommend it to everybody I know. I am really curious how 10.10 is going to turn out with gnome 3.0 on the horizon!

    All the best

    Kikl

  107. kikl says: (permalink)
    April 30th, 2010 at 8:15 pm

    Just a suggestion: The chromiums way of showing which tab is active in the browser could be a solution for showing which application is active in the OS panel. But, I guess you have thought of something else, which I do not quite understand:

    “Will the toggling of the top panel from titlebar state to menu state happen when the mouse comes near, just like the proximity thing of Notify OSD? That would make it easy for users to discover there is something hidden ‘behind’ the titlebar.”

    I don’t really like stuff being “hidden” at all. Hidden stuff is usually not “apparent or obvious”. In my mind usability and obviousness are interrelated. If the menu necessary for controlling the respective application is hidden, this could be a dealbreaker for first time users. But, I may be misinterpreting or misunderstanding this comment.

    Chears

    Kikl

  108. josephk says: (permalink)
    May 2nd, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    yeah, good point. i have already added the global menu bar on the netbook remix the past year.
    but one thing should be noticed:

    THE TOP MENU BAR IN LUCID NETBOOK EDITION IS B L O C K E D.

    this means that the user is not free to add, delete or move elements of the panel.
    something is wrong.

  109. Jan-Christoph Borchardt says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 1:53 am

    I can’t wait to see it implemented in the default install. I am experimenting with different configuration all the time, but Global Menu is always comfortable.

    Rob Kendrick wrote:
    »Global menus are not the answer. They maximise the distance to travel to open a menu, and still consume valuable vertical pixel space. Pop-up menus are another possibility; they reduce the distance to travel to zero, but you’d need another scheme, or button, to open them.«
    The distance is increased minimally, compared to every window having a menu. What counts is that the global menu is at the top of the screen, leading to fast access times because you do not have to aim exactly at the menu. You can overshoot it and still be in the clickable area because buttons at the the screen’s edges are infinitely big: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fitts's_law

  110. Ubuntu Netbook Edition bekommt globale Menüleiste à la Mac OS | Netbooknews.de - das Netbook Blog says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 12:00 pm

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  111. TecNews: Noticias Tecnofagia says: (permalink)
    May 3rd, 2010 at 8:40 pm

    [...] semana passada, Mark Shuttleworth, fundador do projeto Ubuntu, anunciou que a próxima versão do Ubuntu vai incorporar uma barra de menus global para todos os seus [...]

  112. Thomas Führinger says: (permalink)
    May 4th, 2010 at 7:53 am

    This seems like going back to where GNUstep has always remained. At some point they will also realise that Objective-C is a way superior language for GUI development. I whish the open source community had always put their energy into GNUstep and built something nice like Etoilé or an OS X clone instead of heading into dead end APIs like GTK and Qt.

  113. Marcio says: (permalink)
    May 4th, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    Sorry for the offtopic comment, but… When will you fix the copy&past bugs of X.org?
    Btw, I like the global menu idea.

  114. Allan says: (permalink)
    May 5th, 2010 at 7:07 am

    I like this idea. I use UNE on my first gen Aspire One and every vertical pixel is precious. Particularly in Firefox (which is where I spend 90% of my time on the device) I do everything I can to maximise vertical screen space -

    - Personal Menu addon to remove menu bar and replace with a toolbar button and cascading menues
    - A compact theme to minimise the height of the toolbar
    - AutohideStatusBar addon to hide the statusbar unless I mouseover

    I like the idea of the menu being hidden unless moused over. Even with widescreens the top bar can become crowded with the home button, open application buttons, window title, menu, windicators, system tray indicators, me menu etc. It also introduces a small point of distinction between Ubuntu’s implementation and that of OSX.

    I look forward to trying it out.

  115. Richmond Mathewson says: (permalink)
    May 5th, 2010 at 9:00 am

    I hope that this will not prevent netbook users of having the option of working with the standard GNOME desktop.

  116. Un air de Mac OS X pour Ubuntu 10.10 version Netbook | Blog de Julien Déquaire says: (permalink)
    May 5th, 2010 at 2:41 pm

    [...] : Le billet de Mark Shuttleworth Bookmark It Hide Sites $$('div.d126').each( function(e) { [...]

  117. kopi says: (permalink)
    May 5th, 2010 at 7:02 pm

    Do you have a digital camera? Do you make short videos with it now and then?

    F-spot can’t import videos from a camera. I’ve been waiting about 3 years now for this feature and it is still not there. Okay you say, why don’t you take another program to do the job (import fotos AND videos), for example gthumb. Well gthumb could do it, if it wasn’t for that nasty bug that has been around for about 3 YEARS in ubuntu. Gthumb doesn’t import anything if there are videos in your camera. Whats left? DigiKam – decent program, too complicated; good luck explaining that program to my mother.

    How about you put your foot down for once?

    Mark Shuttleworth: Yes sir, I’ll get right on it. Please let me know where the patch is that you produced to help address the issue, and I’ll ask someone to review it. Or alternatively, please point me to the conversations you’ve had with upstream about that so I can join them. Or alternatively, point me to your account representative or customer account details, and I’ll have it addressed as part of that commercial relationship. Or point me to other places that you participate in free software or Ubuntu, so I can help you out in return for the contributions you make. Or, if you’re just having a bad day, I understand.

    But if you think it’s ok to show up here and rant because your pet issue hasn’t been addressed, in a product which has otherwise served you well at no cost to you, without making any effort to be pleasant about it, you’re mistaken. Ubuntu and other free software projects aim to be as brilliant as they can be, for the average user, and they are the sum of an enormous collection of contributions. Being pissy about your issue will motivate neither me, nor any of the other ten thousand contributors, to help you out. Think about it. I don’t work for you, unless you’re the sort of person I *want* to work for.

    How’s that for putting my foot down?

  118. [Ubuntu] Une interface optimisée pour les netbooks dans la 10.10 - Websourcing.fr says: (permalink)
    May 6th, 2010 at 9:17 am

    [...]   Pour en savoir plus, lisez le post de Mark Shuttleworth. [...]

  119. winniemiel05 says: (permalink)
    May 6th, 2010 at 9:32 pm

    Hy!!!

    I just had an idea for windicator:
    When, with nautilus, you are in a folder shared by ubuntu one, display a windicator as a circle that show in percent how is the folder synchronized with U1: If synchronization is finished, windicator should be in a normal color. If only 60% is finished synchronizing, I mean 60% well updated, 60% of the windicator is in the normal color, the rest is, maybe, Grey. and when you have your mouse on the windicator, showing how fast speed did it synchronize.

    Maybe this have been proposed, I don’t have time to search, sorry!

    Very enthusiastically…Kévin

  120. jhuni says: (permalink)
    May 7th, 2010 at 4:18 am

    Both local and global menu-bars have problems. For example, using global menu-bars with multiple monitors is problematic and so is using local menu-bars near the bottom of the screen. Besides that there are some things that are inherently bad about menu-bars such as how they go from horizontal lists to vertical ones. As such, I have come to the conclusion that all menu-bars are bad.

    http://gnome-look.org/content/show.php/Abolish+Menu-bars?content=118090

    Microsoft clearly agrees as they have been removing menu-bars from their stuff and they are not present in Windows 7, Ubuntu should take the initiative and abolish this ancient widget.

  121. Andrew Jackson says: (permalink)
    May 9th, 2010 at 12:57 am

    I’ve written many apps in C & Python though I haven’t quite figured out how to contribute to Ubuntu. For the apps I wrote, I’ve found great things in usability tests by:
    - Not using menus
    - continuously reducing options (specialization)
    - extremely minimal & context sensitive options
    For Minesweeper:
    - no Quit (use X)
    - a “?” Windicator to replace the entire help menu
    - a “New Document”-like icon replacing “new”, wait, the happy face is a new game already. Put a star by it
    - Timer-based “hint” instead of a menu item
    - no Fullscreen, it’s pointless here
    - Scores: Just lose a game to get them
    - A pause & preferences button. Maybe the prefs should also be a standard button.
    Result: No menu, a “?” like most apps, 2 new buttons next to the nearly-empty bar with the smiley

    I’d like to discuss this more & build it for testing. (In more serious apps). Applied to Firefox & OpenOffice these ideas would help, though it would look like tabbed-toolbars of Win7 after a while.

  122. Disfunctions.de » Blog Archiv » Ubuntu Unity / Instant On says: (permalink)
    May 10th, 2010 at 2:09 pm

    [...] Platz auf dem Bildschirm bekommen, wie möglich. Hier sei nochmal auf das Zitat eines früheren Akrtikels verwiesen: It’s all about vertical [...]

  123. Nicolas Collart says: (permalink)
    May 11th, 2010 at 11:23 am

    I think this is a great idea for netbooks! I personnally love Ubuntu NE…
    I think one of the other improvement that could be made to the next version is to default to a “icon only” mode for toolbars. I was sad to see the option to select the toolbar type removed from 10.04 while it was there in previous versions and in other GNOME distro…

  124. Michael says: (permalink)
    May 12th, 2010 at 10:58 am

    A somewhat belated comment. I have been working with the current GNOME global menu for a few weeks now to get a feeling for whether or not it improves my productivity. I am working on a single screen laptop which isn’t a netbook. And the biggest problem I find with it is that when you want to access the menus of an application other than the active one, you need to click on it’s title bar first (Fitt’s law gone down the drain, even for those who do like it) and then on the global menu.

    I would suggest two changes (at the window manager level) to improve this. The first would be that clicking anywhere on a non-active window would activate it, but that the click would not be passed through to the application. And the second would be that holding the mouse button for a second or so rather than doing a simple click would bring up the application’s menu as a pop-up, but *not focus the application at all*.

    Feel free to make use of this if it is of interest and to ignore it if it isn’t :)

  125. evran says: (permalink)
    May 13th, 2010 at 8:53 am

    Maybe we should start using SWT toolkit for openoffice menu for beter integration with gtk (and globalmenu):P

  126. Russian Ubuntu Podcast: Выпуск #4 – Глазастая гидра | man Linux™ says: (permalink)
    May 13th, 2010 at 6:05 pm

    [...] Глобальное меню в Netbook Edition – Виндикаторы – Unity и Ubuntu Light – GNOME Shell не будет – [...]

  127. Подкаст об Ubuntu: Выпуск #4 — Глазастая гидра says: (permalink)
    May 13th, 2010 at 7:02 pm

    [...] Глобальное меню в Netbook [...]

  128. Убунтариум / [PODCAST] Подкаст об Ubuntu: Выпуск #4 — Глазастая гидра « Мой новый блог says: (permalink)
    May 13th, 2010 at 7:51 pm

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  129. Убунтариум / [PODCAST] Подкаст об Ubuntu: Выпуск #4 — Глазастая гидра » RuskiYProJecT says: (permalink)
    May 14th, 2010 at 2:22 am

    [...] Глобальное меню в Netbook Edition — Виндикаторы — Unity и Ubuntu Light — GNOME Shell не [...]

  130. Русский подкаст об Ubuntu « Дмитрий Агафонов says: (permalink)
    May 14th, 2010 at 7:03 pm

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  131. Русский подкаст об Ubuntu says: (permalink)
    May 16th, 2010 at 3:51 pm

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  132. Подкасты – Ubuntu Podcast: Выпуск #4 – Глазастая гидра « webghost.info says: (permalink)
    May 17th, 2010 at 10:27 am

    [...] - Глобальное меню в Netbook Edition - Виндикаторы - Unity и Ubuntu Light - GNOME Shell не будет – На чём заработает Canonical – Canonical и вендоры ПО - Лицензия на H.264 - Сто порезов от бумаги и Lucid – Lucid Lynx и испанская рысь – InstallFest в Иркутске - Диски для LoCo – Официальные ресурсы сообщества: сайт, форум, вики, рассылка, IRC и jabber, RSS и календарь – Прочие ресурсы: Убунтология, buntu.ru, rubuntu.ru, meandubuntu.ru и myubuntu.ru, Убунтариум [...]

  133. tapioc says: (permalink)
    May 21st, 2010 at 4:47 am

    Loved your reply to kopi

  134. Todos Geek » Blog Archive » Ubuntu Lucid: una serie de 10 extrañas recomendaciones says: (permalink)
    May 24th, 2010 at 9:55 am

    [...] Mark Shuttleworth anunció días atrás que la edición Netbook de Ubuntu 10.10 tendrá un Menú Global. Esto es, un menú al estilo del que ofrece el escritorio del Mac OS X, servirá para ahorrar espacio vertical y una mayor sensación de integración entre las aplicaciones. No es un trabajo terminado porque no funciona con Firefox ni OpenOffice.org, por ejemplo. En mi caso, sólo cumple con su trabajo desde el escritorio GNOME en mi netbook (diferente de la opción Ubuntu Netbook que aparece en la ventana de login). Ya puedes instalarlo desde un PPA. [...]