Unity redefined Ubuntu over the years. But big changes don't happen overnight and Unity still is a work in progress. Many features introduced in Unity, like Global Menu, is not really a popular functionality, especially among desktop users. Ubuntu 12.04 LTS is coming up and Canonical is doing everything they can to restore the past glory. Anyway, there have been some interesting developments. It seems like Canonical is going to address some of the biggest complaints about Unity by its users.
No More Dodge Windows Option for Unity Launcher
First was this mail by Mark Shuttleworth himself explaining why Dodge Windows is not needed anymore. According to him, "...dodge-windows approach tested very poorly. We thought it would work well, tried it, tested it, and have had to evolve from there based on evidence."
He continues, "If users encounter the dodge by moving windows against the launcher, then it is fine. They see that the dodge happens *when* they push the launcher away, they discover they can move the window back and the launcher will reappear. So far so good."
"Here's the problem. Most users don't discover the dodging by moving a window till it touches the launcher. They first encounter it when they maximise a window. So, they login to the desktop. Good. They start an app. Good. Then they maximise a window, and the launcher "disappears". To these users, the behaviour is deeply uncomfortable, random. And these are in fact the majority of users."
"It also turns out that users who can work with dodging launchers can also work perfectly well with launchers which always hide when not used."
In conclusion, Canonical is planning to make "launcher always visible" as the default option in Ubuntu 12.04. Not only that, they are even going to completely ditch "Dodge Windows" option which seems rather unnecessary. And the rationale behind it is this: "because users who don't want it always there are perfectly capable of using it in plain hiding mode, and users who don't know what 'dodge' means don't have to spend time trying to parse it."
Global Menu to Become Optional in Ubuntu 12.04?
Now, this is big. There are no confirmations yet but Global Menu might just become optional in Ubuntu 12.04 or in the subsequent Ubuntu 12.10 release. And this was revealed by none other than Mark Shuttleworth himself.
In a Google+ thread discussing the same mail we saw above, Mark Shuttleworth commented that "Global menu should be optional in Ubuntu 12.04 or 12.10". This should sound like music to so many Ubuntu users out there. I for one don't have anything against Global Menu since I use smaller screen devices mostly. But from a desktop user perspective, Global Menu is kind of useless and sometimes even irritating. Now, we will have to wait and see if these proposed changes are going to arrive in Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin release itself.