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Ubuntu 10.10 For Netbooks To Have A Single Menu

Ubuntu

Published on 27 April 2010 11:56 AM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in Ubuntu
8 Comments

Since rolling out Ubuntu Netbook Remix two years ago, Canonical has invested a great deal in improving this netbook-focused spin of Ubuntu to work well on such mobile platforms as it competes with Moblin / MeeGo and others. Developers have worked on making a functional yet innovative user-interface (including ARM-specific UI work), hardware optimizations, and tweaking various applications to run on the less-powerful and smaller devices. With Ubuntu 10.10, more changes are coming to the netbook edition.

Ubuntu 10.10 (codenamed the "Maverick Meerkat") is set to integrate GNOME 3.0 and according to Mark Shuttleworth this post-LTS release will integrate more social networking capabilities, continued speed improvements for netbooks / mobile devices to make for a speedy Internet experience, more virtualization / cloud computing enhancements, and other new features. Per the Ubuntu 10.10 release schedule, the Maverick Meerkat should be officially released on the 28th of October.

This morning Mark Shuttleworth has outlined plans for another new feature of Ubuntu 10.10 and that's for a "global menu" with Ubuntu Netbook Remix. Canonical continues to look at ways to optimize the netbook experience and they feel a better user experience can be achieved by providing a single menu system in order to conserve vertical space on the generally low-resolution screens.

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.
...
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.

All of the details concerning this Ubuntu improvement for netbooks can be read about on Mark Shuttleworth's blog.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
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