Two days ago Mark Shuttleworth announced on his blog that the Unity interface introduced in the Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal) release, will be much improved for the upcoming Ubuntu 11.10 (Oneiric Ocelot) operating system.Even if many Ubuntu users hate the new Ubuntu interface, Canonical's goal for the Unity shell is to make it easy to use, great looking and blazing fast.The improved Unity interface that will be introduced with the Ubuntu 11.10 (Oneiric Ocelot) release on October 13th, features a richer set of "Scopes and Lenses", instead of the old "Places" function.
"Scopes are data sources, and can tap into any online or offline data set as long as they can generate categorised results for a search, describe a set of filters and support some standard interfaces. Lenses are various ways to present the data that come from Scopes." - says Mark Shuttleworth.With the new "Scopes" feature, users will have access to lots of filtering options on their searches, such as ratings (e.g.: display all the 5 star applications in Ubuntu Software Center) and categories (e.g: display only in media or games).Mark Shuttleworth promises that in time, both Scopes and Lenses will be greatly improved, giving users a professional search system, keeping it visual and immediate. The Unity panel has been also improved for the Ubuntu 11.10 release, by integrating the Dash into the Unity launcher to preserve the top left corner for closing/maximizing/minimizing windows."It’s taken several releases of careful iteration to get to this point. Even though we had a good idea where we were headed, each step needed to be taken one release at a time. Perhaps this might make a little clearer the reasons for the move of window controls to the left – it was the only place where we could ultimately keep them consistent all the way up to a maximised window with the title bar integrated into the panel. I’m confident this part will all be settled by 12.04. We’ve also integrated the panel and the dash, so indicators are rendered in a more holographic fashion inside the dash. Together with efforts to mute the contrast of Launcher icons the result is a more striking dash altogether: content is presented more dramatically." - said Mark Shuttleworth.Last but not least, the Dash will be colored based on desktop wallpaper. The same will happen to the login screen (e.g.: when choosing a user, the login screen will be colored based on the user's wallpaper and palette).
For the Ubuntu 11.10 (Oneiric Ocelot) release, the developers will also prepare other nice features, such as the new ALT+Tab functionality. What do you think about the current version of Unity on Ubuntu 11.04 and for its upcoming version? Ubuntu should go on with Unity, default Gnome 3 or the good old Gnome 2?