Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 24th Jan 2012 22:53 UTC, submitted by fran
Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu As much as I dislike Unity, I commend the Ubuntu team and Shuttleworth for having the guts to try to innovate and bring the desktop forward (pretty much the exact same can be said of KDE4 and GNOME3). Shuttleworth has just announced yet another significant change for Ubuntu, and it's all about replacing the menu with a search interface dubbed the HUD.
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Can't wait to try this on a tablet!
by Alfman on Wed 25th Jan 2012 07:52 UTC
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Killer feature if I've ever seen one ;)

On a serious note, I find keyboard hotkeys very fast compared to mouse input, particularly when repeating the same action over and over again. if the menus are gone, will the hotkeys still be discoverable?

I'm concerned about the AI modifying the entries dynamically and merging global menus. This all implies that rapid heads down keyboard sequences for the HUD can't really be learned. It seems like the HUD makes us interactively whittle our way down to the commands we want instead of executing them more directly with the mouse or hotkeys.

Also, I'm leery about overloading the keyboard for bimodal input. I do use VI frequently on the command line, there's no doubt that toggling the keyboard between command entry and text entry slows me down compared to mode-less hotkeys. Sometimes my hands "forget" which mode VI is in and I start typing into command mode by accident. The HUD may start to introduce similar mode switch overhead for frequent operations.

On the plus side, I think it could be a great search/help tool for finding the infrequent commands that I can't bother to learn or remember hotkeys for.

What would be awesome would be if we could use the HUD to drag new buttons onto the interface for much more convenient access. It might also give those buttons automatic hotkeys for very rapid command functions. Unfortunately though it looks like the HUD's design goal is to remove features from the interface rather than to compliment the interface. What's the point if we end up with huge desktop widescreens filled with whitespace?

Edited 2012-01-25 07:57 UTC

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