I know, it really doesn’t sound like a headline that should be taking up too much space or time. Ubuntu is adding a dock to GNOME. Big deal. It is, after all, nothing more than an extension that anyone can add from the GNOME Extension site.
Or is it?
I am actually one that believes this to be a very important move for Ubuntu. No matter how inconsequential it may be, to the world at large, this is all about one thing for Canonical.
Seven years ago, June 9, 2010, Ubuntu Unity was released. With every release, Unity grew and that look and feel became synonymous with Ubuntu. It was the the Launcher, the Dash, the HUD, and the purple and orange color scheme all working together to form a perfect union of desktop (for some). That Launcher on the left side became to Ubuntu what the task bar was to Windows XP/7 and the Dock was/is to MacOS. So when Canonical decided to drop Unity in favor of GNOME, they found themselves with a quandary—do they migrate to a straight-up take on GNOME, or do they “mix it up” a bit.
Fortunately, Canonical made the right decision.
For more information on what Canonical is doing with the Unity Dock, check out this post (which includes screenshots of the new dock) by Ubuntu contributor, Didier Roche.
From GNOME to Unity
I remember when Canonical made the decision to drop GNOME, in favor of their in-house desktop, Unity. The Linux community (especially the Ubuntu faithful) were up in arms. As we all know, end users do not take to change well, and making the switch to a completely different desktop is a major switch (ask anyone that switched from Windows 7…