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Ubuntu 12.04 To Include Head-Up Display Menus

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January 24, 2012 2:22:29 PM

From PC Pro:

Quote:
Ubuntu is set to replace the 30-year-old computer menu system with a “Head-Up Display” that allows users to simply type or speak menu commands.

Instead of hunting through drop-down menus to find application commands, Ubuntu’s Head-Up Display lets users type what they want to do into a search box. The system suggests possible commands as the user begins typing – entering “Rad” would bring up the Radial blur command in the GIMP art package, for example. HUD also uses fuzzy matching and learns from past searches to ensure the correct commands are offered to users.


Source: http://www.pcpro.co.uk/news/372385/ubuntu-rips-up-drop-...

Interesting discussion as usual from the folks at /.

http://linux.slashdot.org/story/12/01/24/1421236/ubuntu...

First question that springs to my mind is how well it will cope with you adding new software or add-ons to applications. It could be very interesting, Siri on iOS has brought the Star Trek ideology to the mass market. Maybe people are ready for a paradigm shift in the UI, Ubuntu or Windows they're getting it one way if they like it or not.

January 24, 2012 2:37:37 PM

Augment or option... I don't care one way or the other...

Replace is a strong word, and if that is what they are doing they need to not do so.
January 24, 2012 3:18:00 PM

Sounds good... if it is as efficient as Gnome-do or Dash in the way it finds the programs, using different keys/shortcuts for each application is somehow unpractical, is a matter of standardizing >all< of them, like Ctrl-s, I almost never use the mouse to "save or save-as" files.
January 24, 2012 3:58:55 PM

Yeah, I can see adding new software problematic. After weeks of use, it learns the commands that you use most often; you install a package with a similar name, and it could make things quite inconvenient. At least they're trying to take a step forward in the market though, I'll give them that much.
January 24, 2012 11:54:28 PM

It's innovation in a circular kind of way. It's interesting to see the rise of the command line. Server 8 from Microsoft will be command line only by default and the briefings the other day were clear that they want vendors to ensure they have full functionality available without a GUI.

It's a bold move, we're really starting to see Ubuntu try and grow from the debian base and evolve their offerings. It's strange though, Unity was for the tablet / internet tv market while HUD is clearly for the desktop. I'm not sure if they really have a direction yet or if the fragmentation will damage them in the long run. It's certainly a driver for me to get moving on the VM plan and give the early beta a test.
January 25, 2012 1:21:22 AM

audiovoodoo said:
It's strange though, Unity was for the tablet / internet tv market while HUD is clearly for the desktop. I'm not sure if they really have a direction yet or if the fragmentation will damage them in the long run. It's certainly a driver for me to get moving on the VM plan and give the early beta a test.


This was my primary concern. From what I've been hearing, Unity had a fairly poor wrap overall. I mean, what you said is true, it definitely seems tablet/embedded device oriented, but I'm not sure that was made clear at release, as it's had heavy implementation on desktop. Is Canonical attempting to cut their losses and trying something new, or will they have two separate versions? I'm concerned they won't be able to decide on a direction and there will be severe fragmentation, as you have stated. I guess only time will tell.
January 25, 2012 8:20:16 AM

Fragmentation - At least they're staying committed to the true nature of FOSS ;) 
January 25, 2012 8:48:49 AM

I hope they release this as an application so we can not use Unity and use HUD. That would be awesome.
January 25, 2012 9:04:02 AM

My understanding is that it is replacing Unity as the default desktop, hence my concerns on direction and also with them further infuriating existing users. I think it's going to be so embedded into the system that it will be hard to have on anything other than Ubuntu.
January 25, 2012 9:23:28 AM

That really kills the idea of modularity, doesn't it?

I'm also worried that it might replace the traditional dropdown menu as Shuttleworth indicated. It would hate to type that much.
January 25, 2012 11:25:01 AM

Has potential for some great programmer humour though.. 'Open pod bay doors'
January 25, 2012 1:59:35 PM

I'm afraid this sounds like a bad idea to me. More dumbing down from Canonical.

Menus provide a good way of dividing a large number of commands into an easy to navigate hierarchical structure. This new system is fine if you know what commands exist and what particular one you are searching for, but otherwise you are throwing away a deal of useful information.

Does anyone honestly find it difficult to use conventional menu systems?
January 25, 2012 3:25:25 PM

I am probably wrong but it doesn't look like they are going to "replace" the menus, HUD seams just another way of access them, it is a visual minimalistic approach, and for those comfortable with the keyboard is going to be definitely a feature, in the mean while while gnome3 is maturing I don't see unity as a bad option, more features are always welcome.
January 25, 2012 3:57:44 PM

Well, the quote did say "replace", but even if that is not the intent I don't see the need for an additional system. Menus, with the addition of shortcut keys, are an efficient system that works just fine. This looks to me like another "must come up with something new" example.

If it ain't broke don't fix it. I accept that the dumbing down of Windows and OS X may be inevitable, but we don't need it in Linux.
January 25, 2012 8:14:27 PM

Ijack said:
I'm afraid this sounds like a bad idea to me. More dumbing down from Canonical.

Menus provide a good way of dividing a large number of commands into an easy to navigate hierarchical structure. This new system is fine if you know what commands exist and what particular one you are searching for, but otherwise you are throwing away a deal of useful information.

Does anyone honestly find it difficult to use conventional menu systems?


I mean like if you're accessing that blur tool you only use twice a year and you forget where it is, then the Ubuntu HUD sounds good. To have it replace something like Undo? That's stupid.
January 25, 2012 8:17:57 PM

Well, maybe - assuming you remember there is a tool called "blur". But what overhead is there going to be to maintain this twice-a-year function? I can afford to spend a few more seconds searching the menus once or twice a year and have a leaner, more efficient computer the rest of the time. If I want bloat and background processes stealing my CPU cycles I use Windows.
January 25, 2012 8:52:58 PM

I forgot about the golden rule of Linux arguments.

Don't argue for Shuttleworth, you will be humiliated.

Anyhow, I can see how this will be useful for mortal users.

I have no need of the this, I remember my Adobe shortcuts like a good user of proprietary software :3.

Seriously, you reminded me how much I hate to have to search for things. I mean like I have Windows 7 and I hate using the "Start" search to find programs that I don't pinned to the start menu. I like the LXDE/GNOME 2/XFCE launch thingo catergory approach. I'm smart enough to remember what an application should be under.

Also why I don't like GNOME 3... not fast enough and you start with a whole page of desktops, then you move to a whole page of unorganised programs before you finally get to the catergories. Pretty, but stupid... or pretty stupid...

Do you know how much I would give to see LXDE ported to Windows?
January 25, 2012 10:55:53 PM

So long as it has an answer when a user types 'IDM' I'll give it a chance.
January 25, 2012 11:19:09 PM

audiovoodoo said:
So long as it has an answer when a user types 'IDM' I'll give it a chance.


Speaking of which, I was wondering if you knew of any good ones for Ubuntu?
January 25, 2012 11:37:11 PM

Why bother when you can just use a quality torrent site like megafgload? ;) 
January 26, 2012 12:33:36 AM

Type in "IDM" and it will open Firefox with the Tom's Hardware Forums page loaded. (For our cousins in the OS X Forum, type in "Hackintosh"....)
January 26, 2012 2:21:49 AM

Believe me, if it were up to me, I would have banned people for discussing hackintoshes already.
January 26, 2012 3:48:10 AM

(feeling a strong urge to repost my Prof. Farnsworth image-reply re: the turn this discussion has taken)
January 26, 2012 6:53:41 AM

Stop SOPA, ban toms users. I have mixed feelings on that one, it's a stupid EULA in some regards but they make money from HW and media, the SW sales have really become an incidental.

To bring it slightly back on track (and to appease the angry Viking) can anybody see potential for a fight with Apple if Shuttleworth takes the next logical step with his HUD plans and goes for voice integration?
January 26, 2012 7:37:13 AM

He mentioned that it will go to voice.
January 26, 2012 8:17:10 AM

If not a fight at least a shouting match.
!