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Now that Unity will be used by default in Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal, it's been getting a lot of attention and there are discussions going on about if and how the Global Menu (AppMenu) will behave on the desktop, a better way of managing multiple desktops and many other subjects. One such discussion drew my attention and I though I'd share it with you.

Some mockups designed by David Prieto show off a really interesting concept for managing multiple desktops - take a look:

Unity workspaces mockupUnity multiple workspaces mockup

The purple spaces represent workspaces and what's so interesting about this is the features that could be integrated into such a simple idea:
  • You can move an application between workspaces by simply dragging its icon in the Unity launcher from one workspace (purple area) to another. In the same way, the workspaces can be reorderd too.
  • The empty space above a purple area (workspace) is for switching to that workspace - click the empty space to switch to that workspace.
  • To open an application on a certain workspace, all you have to do is drag its icon from Dash to the workspace you want it to open to.
  • By pinning an application to the launcher in a certain workspace, that application will always open on that workspace.

More info on how this should work, HERE.

These are unofficial mockups, currently being discussed @ Ayatana mailing list and in a thread on the Ubuntuforums. The idea needs further improvements as there are still some unresolved issues, but what these mockups demonstrate (as a general idea) is that Unity has potential to become something truly great, especially since a lot of the performance issues should be solved by using Compiz instead of Mutter.

And that matters even if you don't plan on using Unity for "now" (and by "now", I mean Ubuntu 11.04). Gnome Shell will be out pretty soon and even though the old panel-syle Gnome will still be available, it won't be around forever so at some point you'll have to choose (if you want to stick to Gnome) between Gnome Shell and Unity.

Oh, and there's one more thing: wouldn't it be cool to have the features in David's mockups on say... Avant Window Navigator, Docky, Cairo Dock or DockBarX (because the Gnome panels aren't dead just yet)? Now that would be something!

What do you think?

Image credits: David Prieto