Meanwhile, over in the Linuxverse, the next release of Ubuntu looks set to try something pretty radical – ditching the top-of-screen Menu bar in favour of a type-what-you-need HUD panel. Rather like Spotlight for menu items, mixed with some Alfred and some Siri.
Instead of hunting around with a pointer, you’ll just call up a text input box and type the thing you want to do. Resize, or Delete, or Move, or Cut, or Send Mail, or whatever. Don’t want to use your keyboard? No problem, you can just speak it outload, and the system will understand what you want to do.
The traditional menu system will still be there in the background for those who want it, but Ubuntu boss Mark Shuttleworth said on his blog today:
As a means of invoking commands, menus have some advantages. They are always in the same place … They also have some disadvantages: when they get nested, navigating the tree can become fragile. They require you to read a lot when you probably already know what you want. They are more difficult to use from the keyboard than they should be…
Hmm. Maybe he has a point. Anyone who’s a keen user of Alfred (or LaunchBar or Quicksilver) will know the joy of setting up custom scripts or actions that execute otherwise complex commands with a few keystrokes. Maybe the menu bar has had its day.
Would you like to see something like this for your Mac? Or will they be prying the Menu bar out of your cold, dead hands?