A first look at Ubuntu Linux's Head-Up Display (Gallery)

A first look at Ubuntu Linux's Head-Up Display (Gallery)

Summary: This is not your usual desktop interface.


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  • You can use HUD to set the system condition. Here I'm getting ready to lock the screen, but you can also use it to turn the system off.

    Credit: Canonical

  • Let's say you want to invoke a program from HUD, you can do that too. Here, I'm getting ready to invoke my e-mail program to send a message.

    Credit: Canonical

  • Last, but not least, you can also HUD to select files—in this case an album—from within a program. The idea, as I'm sure you figured out by now, is to use the same interface for both the desktop at large and all its applications. Eventually, Ubuntu plans to use the exact same HUD interface for tablets and smartphones as well.

    Credit: Canonical

Topics: Software, Hardware, Linux, Open Source, Operating Systems

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  • RE: A first look at Ubuntu Linux's Head-Up Display (Gallery)

    I actually quite like this, though I've always been a fan of search based actions. You know, like the Vista/7 search bar in the start button. It's a thousand times faster than trying to click through a bunch of folders/options/whatever.

    And yet people still do it. Every time I see someone open All Programs, I die a little more inside.
    • RE: A first look at Ubuntu Linux's Head-Up Display (Gallery)


      KDE has had the search on their launcher for quite a while as well. It searches the filenames as well as program names, unlike Windows 7.
      • RE: A first look at Ubuntu Linux's Head-Up Display (Gallery)

        What do you mean "unlike Windows 7"?. You can use the search bar for anything on Windows 7 or the internet without even opening your browser if you like. So before you say uncool stuff about anything, be sure of your facts.
      • RE: A first look at Ubuntu Linux's Head-Up Display (Gallery)

        you are right. KDE has had the search on their launcher for a quite while.
        Windows 7 is very recent compared to KDE.
    • @Aerowind

      And whenever I see an interface making me search for things, I die a little more inside. If an interface fails to make the most basic functionality, like launching a program, easy enough and turns searching for it by typing (I'd use the command line if I wanted that) the superior option, then that interface sucks hard.
      Hail Gnome 2 and Cinnamon, where launching apps takes a millisecond *without* pulling out the keyboard and typing.
      • To search or not to search.....

        @aerowind: I agree. One can put LOTS of often-used things on the panel(s) [in Gnome 2.x] and the slightly-less-often-needed-but-still-oft-used stuff in drop-down panel drawers, which can be nested (and conveniently auto-open). Plus, I can put a file/app searcher on the panel too, for the infrequent stuff I might not remember the full name of. When one has the option to do it any way you like, why force people into one paradigm?....
        Steve I.
  • When I can talk to it, I'll try it

    When I say "compose" and it gives me my choices, they I'll consider a new interface.<br><br>Of course, that functionality already exists to some degree.
  • RE: A first look at Ubuntu Linux's Head-Up Display (Gallery)

    This might be nice on those smaller laptops with lousy touch pads. Or it might just be nuts.
  • RE: A first look at Ubuntu Linux's Head-Up Display (Gallery)

    Not to burst anyone's bubble, but this sort of functionality has existed via Gnome Do for quite some time.....although this HUD seems more integrated than Gnome Do could be. I'm all for the concept as I LOVE Gnome Do (and it's counterpart Docky).

  • Spotlight does the same thing

    I can already do this in Spotlight on the Mac. I just type in my app name, and it opens almost instantly.
    • RE: A first look at Ubuntu Linux's Head-Up Display (Gallery)

      @jomali3945 No, you can't. This isn't 'typing in the app name' (you can do that in every modern OS including XP for that matter with Windows Search 4).

      This is something different- you type something to do with an action you want to perform, and it appears. So you don't have to go menu-hunting; you just type the command and it works.

      Microsoft, instead of pushing for the Ribbon, should have had their UI designers stick with the old system and added this instead (or, gone with the Ribbon and implemented this also, so you don't have to go hunting); though I think that Microsoft's designers are still asleep at the switch and continue to be with Metro.
      • RE: A first look at Ubuntu Linux's Head-Up Display (Gallery)

        Um, yes, he can. Spotlight is fully capable of this level of interaction, and, with the addition of a little AppleScript, either downloaded or home grown, MUCH, much more.

        More than that, this is essentially just Growl and Quicksilver.
      • RE: A first look at Ubuntu Linux's Head-Up Display (Gallery)


        No, you are wrong. Quicksilver and Spotlight do not offer this functionality. As a OSX user and someone that knows how to read, this functionality is completely different from either. What you are thinking of is the Dash Bar, which is the same thing as Quicksilver + Spotlight. Which also existed before either if you want to bump heads about it.

        This HUD feature is application/context sensitive menu-quick access search via a keyboard instead of having to pole about with a mouse. It is not a replacement or addon to the dashboard search.

        And for you other trolls. Apple isn't god. Apple didn't invent spotlight/quicksilver/finder functionality. Neither did MS, neither did Linux O/S's. Drop the ego-ism and fan-boy crap. This is a nice feature. And since I absolutely HATE using my mouse, I am extremely looking forward to this feature.

        FYI.. many stand alone apps have had similar functionality for years. But no, OSX and Windows do not offer it.

        luckyducky: YES! THe Ribbon is GOD AWFUL. MS needs to take a hint from this style of navigation.
    • RE: A first look at Ubuntu Linux's Head-Up Display (Gallery)

      Haven't you notice that the HUD is different than app search? I don't know spotlight, but because as you said:"I just type in my app name and it opens..." the HUD was not developed to compete with Ubuntu's own dash bar, the HUD is all about _in_ the apps menu. Consider that Illustration program, if I want to delete an object, I just type the word "d" and you have many menu choices from "delete" to anything else that has the word "d". Again, the HUD is not to search for an application to launch, but to search for a "FUNCTION" or "command" that is present inside an app. Big difference.
      • THX for the Clarity

        Thanks for clarifying it, there seem to be so many different ideas of what it does, that w/o trying it personally, is hard to garner from all the flaming discussions...So if one is using, say, GIMP and wants to posterize an image or change it to black & white, instead of looking through nested menus, one could just type "Post.." or "Black and.." to find the command? It sounds quite useful, especially for unfamiliar or complex applications. As long as one is not locked into it as the ONLY means for finding stuff....
        Steve I.
    • RE: A first look at Ubuntu Linux's Head-Up Display (Gallery)

      @jomali3945, I do the same on my mac with an SSD drive and it is instant. Macs rock.
      Some Internet Dude
  • RE: A first look at Ubuntu Linux's Head-Up Display (Gallery)

    A UI so bad and feature-bloated that you are encouraged to primarily 'search' for every function you want to perform? And this is touted as an enhancement? Sounds more like an excuse for lazy UI development.<br><br>Have you ever tried to search and did not know the exact keyword that was needed? Not particularly awesome...
    • RE: A first look at Ubuntu Linux's Head-Up Display (Gallery)


      What modern OS doesn't offer this type of functionality?
  • so its flipping siri from missionary to doggie?

    ok :D
  • RE: A first look at Ubuntu Linux's Head-Up Display (Gallery)

    Looks good. It is quite like Spotlight, or Quicksilver on the Mac platforms. A useful improvement.