Currently the latest version towards to 3.10 GNOME Series is the unstable 3.9.4 and so far 3.9.4 while fixes around 100 bugs, it didn’t include any major new UI features. That was quite unexpected for Shell that has used us to constant changes in every unstable iteration.
Version 3.9.5 will change all these as it will include some really really cool things that GNOME Devs did. We are talking about the re-designed Aggregate System Menu that will debut in 3.10.
User Menu is gone and is renamed to System Menu and System Menu has been transformed to an aggregate menu that combines lots of stuffs (like Power, BlueTooth etc). System Menu will also display items in a dynamic way. For example Airplane Icon will be only visible when is enabled and will also have a -options- submenu when is ON directly from Shell.
Together with those we have some major changes in the way that Shell manipulates popup menus and submenus and therefore Shell Extensions Authors need to make some refactoring to have their extensions working in GNOME 3.10.
Why System Status Menu?
The current system status area consists of a series of menus for different aspects of system status, such as networking, sound and power. This feature proposes to combine these into a single menu. Doing so will resolve a number of UX bugs and will also give us some additional features and flexibility not possible with the current approach.
Whats System Status?
In GNOME 3, the System Status Area is a place where System Status Indicators represent the status of the system to the user. This is not an area that is variously called the Notification Area or System Tray and should not be used by applications (foreground or background) to indicate their status. This distinction is necessary to ensure the entire top of the screen is designed properly, system owned and coherent, able to be modified or extended, scale well to smaller form-factors, and not become a dumping ground or high-profile branding opportunity.
The icons can be clicked with any mouse button but should always perform the same action no matter what button is used.
This is very early work almost meaningless to show, and when ready, Allan Day will make a detailed post with the goals and whys. Anyway, if you install Shell from Master you will see something like this.
Sliders can calculate the value wherever you click
System Menu in early state with open submenus
The above figures are far from completed and things should be look similar kinda like..
An example of more submenus
There is a also the new Notification Menu
Which will be transformed to
The status of your chat (online-offline-busy-away?) will be displayed here. These patches hasn’t been yet merged to Master.
Latest Development System Status MockUps are at GitHub.
I didn’t add bug reports on these, since the 20 latest patches concern those changes.
Apps Switcher Changes
This hasn’t to do anything with the above, it is a quite significant change but currently there isn’t a UI hook to trigger it. What it does is to add an option to Limit Alt-Tab to the Current Workspace, similar to what some Extensions do.
Add an option to limit the appSwitcher to the current workspace. For users that use workspaces for task separation this more convenient then current behaviour. While having to add an option is unfortunate there is no way to make both groups happy as workspaces usage differes between different users / types of users.