Ubuntu users, I tell you this: good things come to those who wait. For all of you cheerful Ubuntu users, come 14.04, you’ll be able to choose whether or not you wish your application menus to appear globally or locally. With Locally Integrated Menus (coined by Unity Desktop member JohnLea), that will become possible.
Global menus appear at the top of Ubuntu’s Unity bar, and change with the behavior and the active window you are using. “Locally integrated Menu’s” however, will make use of more traditional menu’s as seen below. Many users have long missed these traditional menu’s, some longing for their return. With criticism of Unity still heard throughout the halls of the Linux “town hall,” it is promising to see some choice put back into the hands of the users.
Apparently, the choice took some time due to technical issues, as noted by Treviño’ of the Unity Desktop Team, assuring users the “classic” desktop has not been forgotten. Still being pursued however, is the heavy movement to convergence, which some disagree with. In any case, movements like this are positive, despite the laundry list of changes I’m sure power users wish they had.
The long road to unification
Some of you might remember it has been 2 years since 12.04 first prototyped LIM for the community to see. Quality checks prevented LIM from becoming included for such a long time, largely due to technical limitations in the existing compiz decor plugin “gtk-window-decorator.” With a refreshed Gtk3 CSS theming in Unity, 14.04 will make these menus come alive. For the complete rundown on the process, folks can head over to Treviño’s blog for the rundown.
Settings for Locally Integrated Menu’s will be configurable, so don’t worry just yet about what you can and cannot adjust for now. This dynamic interface lift will only truly make sense, once you are able to try it for yourself. The menu’s themselves will not be turned on by default, but with manual intervention in the “Appearance” section of the Unity Control Center.