If you hate the way that Unity’s global menus fade out of view after you mouse away, Ubuntu 15.04 has a little extra to win you around.
The latest build of Unity for Ubuntu 15.04, currently sitting in the ‘proposed’ channel, offers an option to make app menus visible in Ubuntu.
No fading, no timeout, no missing menus.
The drawback for now is that it can currently only be enabled through a dconf switch and not a regular user-facing option.
I’d hope (if not expect) that an option to set the feature is added to the Ubuntu System Settings > Appearance section as development continues.
Right now, if you’re on Ubuntu 15.04 and have the “Proposed” update channel enabled, you should find this switch waiting in com > canonical > unity > ‘always show menus’.
Better Late Than Never?
Developers plan to backport the option to Ubuntu 14.04 LTS in the next SRU (assuming nothing unexpected crops up during testing).
Locally Integrated Menus (LIM) debuted in Ubuntu 14.04 LTS to much appreciation, being widely seen as the best compromise between those who liked the simplicity of the “hidden” approach and those who disliked the mouse and trackpad aerobics using it required.
While locally integrated menus brought us half way to silencing the criticisms levelled at this aspect of Unity, the default “fade in/fade out” behaviour left an itch unscratched.
The past few releases of Ubuntu has seen proactive addressing of concerns and issues experienced by its earlier UX decisions. After several years on the ‘to do’ list we finally got Locally Integrated Menus last year, as well as an unsupported option to minimise and restore apps to the Unity Launcher by clicking on their icon.
A year on from that we finally get an option to make application menus always show, no matter where our mouse is. Better late than never, right?