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Basically, I want to try making my own menu/launcher system. For the menu I'd like it to flow like the old drop-down menus (places, applications, administration, preferences etc...) except with a hub and spoke concept. Hover over the "Main Menu" icon and spokes appear with the spoke to the immediate right being highlighted. Turn the hub (sort of like an analogue dial) to rotate the spokes and highlight the different options (places, applications etc..). Selecting an option like applications then changes the text in the hub and the hub icon to "applications" and all the spokes change to the different categories under that heading. Eventually, I'd like for every launcher you put into your panel to be it's own hub offering features. For example: A Firefox hub would have spokes for opening another instance, bookmarks, safe-mode, etc. So, the firefox hub would allow you to open directly to a bookmark. Stuff like that.

I've seen implementations close to this, but instead of the main icon taking on the characteristics of the selected menu item, it flowers out in concentric circles and gets large and cluttered. I'd like a single icon/launcher to take on the properties of the selected item and the spokes to offer various options for the selected item/app. This may not be very good. Especially if I have to make it. But I'd like to try if anyone has any advice.

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I didn't really understand your explanation, but in any case, you should provide some information about your own background. It's very difficult to recommend tools without that knowledge. – Jo-Erlend Schinstad Jan 19 '12 at 18:20
If it helps what I'm calling a "hub" is basically just turning a dumb launcher/icon with no options other than clicking it to open the program into a smarter icon with options popping out like fan blades or spokes around it. A nautilus hub would just open you're home folder when clicked, or offer navigational options to open a specific folder when moused over. Anyway, I don't have a background. So, yeah...that's a big problem. I can do a few bash commands like "sudo apt-get" or "purge". LOL! So this will definitely be an uphill battle! – jwdinkc Jan 19 '12 at 18:29

This is probably an unrealistic goal. Don't feel bad, I wouldn't even know where to begin myself. My advice would be to seek out a website that does something visually similar to what you want. Grab the HTML & CSS from the site and start reading up on Gnome 3 documentation. Since Gnome 3 uses web technologies like CSS you might have better luck developing this menu/launcher for the Gnome 3 desktop, not Unity.

I can picture what you are describing but I think it is too localised to what you want. Redoing an OS's user interface, or even just a launcher, will require at least a few experienced programmers to start and maintain it. Good luck.

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I agree. I imagine this would be a challenging-enough undertaking for a small team of programmers, and nearly impossible for someone who (as indicated in the question comments) has no programming background to work on by themselves. The OP might have a clear vision and good ideas of what he wants, but IMHO his best bet would be to find some experienced developers that he can convey descriptions and mockups to, and try to persuade them to form a team around his concept. – Christopher Kyle Horton Jan 20 '12 at 9:02
I scaled down my idea quite a bit for now. I submitted an idea to Brainstorm: - to Launchpad: - and to the Ubuntu Forums: I figure it's one that could actually be helpful instead of so fantastical. – jwdinkc Jan 20 '12 at 17:51
Based on your Brainstorm submission I have to refer you to the 'Custom Launchers and Unity Quicklists' thread here on AU. It's not exactly what you describe, but it's quite similar.… – Tom Brossman Jan 20 '12 at 20:07
Thanks. My terminology has been incorrect and therefore confusing. I have it straight now. As more Lenses are developed for the Dash it could start to get tedious to keep track of all the keyboard shortcuts or to tab over in the Dash to cycle through all the lenses. I think Lenses for specific apps should be accessible directly through that app's Icon for easier access. Sorry for any confusion. – jwdinkc Jan 23 '12 at 17:10

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