I read here that these will be some of the features of the Desktop version of Unity:

  • A floating Unity Dash that can be moved to all edges of the screen.
  • Floating, overlapping windows with their title bars and controls on them, not on the top panel.
  • The home screen consolidated into a simple pop-down menu that extends down from the top left of the screen and allows you access to your programs and desktop search.

I'm not sure how closely these points represent the plans for Unity on the desktop. When it talks about a floating Dash, does it mean the Launcher? As far as I know the dash is fullscreen so, how could it be moved to the edges? Also, why move it if it closes as soon as you choose an item? If it means the Launcher, do you plan to allow moving it to all edges?

Isn't floating, overlapping windows with their title bars and controls on them what we always had? also, Desktop-Unity is supposed to keep using the global menu so, doesn't that contradict the specification?

Finally, supposing "the home screen" means the dash, do you plan to make it not-fullscreen?

2 Answers 2


That blueprint does not reflect the final plan - it was a proposal from a member of the community, and some elements are consistent with the final plan, but not the whole piece.

The key differences in the Natty version of Unity will be:

  • The launcher will hide intelligently by default (you can keep it hidden or lock it in view if you want)
  • There will be no systray, except perhaps for a NetworkManager special-case
  • We'll include Nautilus on the launcher by default and make it easier to launch from the Dash Files interface too
  • We'll support more hardware, including lower-end chipsets
  • The menu will not be shown unless invoked by mouse or accelerator key
  • Thanks for the clarification Mr. Shuttleworth. Also well met, and it is good to see you here. :) Nov 3, 2010 at 23:38

I'm not sure how closely these points represent the plans for Unity on the desktop.

That blueprint (or "blueprint entry", since there's no actual specification linked) does not represent the actual plans for Unity. It wasn't registered by people working on or planning Unity; it was registered by a community member as a proposal for the discussion of his idea at UDS, and since what it proposed overlapped largely with what the Unity people at Canonical were already planning internally and were about to announce at UDS, it was set as approved for discussion. As such, and as you noted, some of the terminology is off.

To get an idea as to what the plans precisely are, I suggest waiting for the actual blueprints to solidify and get approved in the coming week or two, and keeping an eye on design.canonical.com. If you're impatient, poking around the Gobby documents might also reveal some hints, and you can always ask around on IRC and the mailing lists.

  • Thanks, I'll look forward for any further announcements. The project looks promising indeed.
    – Bou
    Nov 1, 2010 at 13:06

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