Saturday, 10 December 2011

How-to: Use the Right Terms for Unity Elements

So many people have been asking just what is the right terminology for Ubuntu Unity's UI elements, that Jorge Castro  and Murat Gunes have jointly put together a post on Ask Ubuntu , which I'm happily going to paraphrase, since I don't know what to call stuff, either!

Here goes...

  • The bar at the top is called a "panel"
  • The Ubuntu logo at the top left corner has a name. It's called the "home button" though it's jokingly referred to as the BFB by developers, for "Big Freaking Button"
  • The left sidebar is NOT called a 'dock.' It's called the Launcher.
  • The coloured tiles in the Launcher with the icons on them are called "Launcher icons" or "Launcher items".
  • The purple tile is called the "workspace switcher"?
  • The full-screen fly-outs that appear when you click the home button (the Ubuntu logo or 'BFB', above), the 'Places tile' or the 'Apps tile', are ALL called a "dash"
  • "Dash" is the component name for the overlay that's used for Applications and Places. In context you can call the latter the Applications Dash and the Places Dash.

Other Terms

Pinning Things Down
There seems to be no agreed single name for items kept on the launcher via the "Keep in launcher" function.
  • Developers will find code in the  dbusmenu functionality is named "pinning_item." 
  • There's no such thing as a "sticky" anywhere in the wiki or bug reports.
  • "Favorites" is used in the architecture document once and eslewhere ambiguously refers to "pinned" application items. So "Pinned" and "Favorites" are in use now.
If you take a look in the enlarged picture at the top of the post, you will see certain elements labelled according to this key:
  1. Windows Title
  2. Application Menu
  3. Dash icon
  4. Launcher icons
  5. Workspace switcher
  6. Launcher
  7. Trash
  8. Indicators


For further information, see the Unity Architecture document, and /Unity/Lenses on the wiki. RC