View Full Version : [ubuntu] How to disable annoying auto-hide in global menus in Ubuntu 13.04?

April 28th, 2013, 09:12 PM
I would like to disable auto-hide of menus in the top pane or at least hide Window title definitely.

April 29th, 2013, 04:06 AM
System Settings, Appearance, Behavior. Auto-Hide has an on/off switch.

I don't know what you mean by, "at least hide Window title definitely." Perhaps you could describe it using different words?

April 29th, 2013, 08:20 PM
There's no such option. I don't want to stop the auto-hide of the launcher. I want stop the auto-hide of the menus in the top pane (global menus).

When the mouse is over that pane the menus are shown. When the mouse is out the Windows title is shown. This change is very annoying to me.

April 30th, 2013, 01:20 AM
What you want is a fundamental change to Unity.

September 8th, 2013, 04:55 PM
This is not fundamental at all!

There is a setting to delay autohiding of the application menu up to 10 seconds in gconf settings.
Well, 10 seconds doesn't cut it but do you really think it would be a fundamental change to push this limit of 10 seconds just a little ... to maybe 20. Or 3600. Or just simply to infinite delay?

It shows a fundamental disrespect by the dev team to force an unwanted unity behaviour upon their userbase.

thx for reading,

September 8th, 2013, 09:14 PM
Seems to me a design choice, not an effort to disrespect users. I'm sure some people like the auto-hiding, and some don't.

When developers and designers make choices, as they must, they know some users will like the result, some won't. Users are free to go elsewhere. That's the risk devlopers take.

September 8th, 2013, 10:09 PM
... and I respect the design decisions of the developers ... but isn't a simple checkbox to disable it or just increase the delay the superior choice in ANY case? The acclaimed disrespect is not about deciding on a design concept - it is about showing no reaction at all to their userbase when many people are wondering, complaining and asking for a solution to an aspect that poses a problem for them ... And there are many threads showing exactly why this is a usability issue (not a simple matter of taste). I haven't seen any explanation arguing the opposite yet ...

How can it ever be better (whatever meaning you want to give the word "better" - doesn't matter) to have less choice when there's little effort involved and (as you rightly mentioned) users will go elsewhere ... I can't think of any rationale to justify ...

Honestly, have you ever read any thread or comment on the autohiding saying "I think this is nice, I like it"?
I haven't ... Aren't we proud that linux is all about choice ...

Last friday I had two customers very interested in the ubuntu desktop (scared by windows8) ... . They liked the functionality of the dash, they didn't like the look of it and I had to tell them that this is the only thing they will not be able to change. They loved the launcher. They thought global menu is a great idea and realized while we were talking that there was no menu at all. So I said "you just have to push the mouse over the top panel", the guy tried and immediatly snapped "I think I broke it somehow ... look there's two things stuck overlapping at the left ...". Maybe they wouldn't have decided for Ubuntu PCs anyway but certainly the autohiding menu reappearing on top of the title overlapping it was the nail in the coffin ... It's sad.


September 8th, 2013, 10:48 PM
I don't know that coding a way to disable a feature is, by definition, a superior choice. Configurability is not equivalent to good design.

Developers may also not want to take on the maintenance burden created by adding that kind of configurable option.

If I were a developer, I certainly would not see voices on forums as any kind of accurate yardstick of user opinion. They might, they might not. One of the weaknesses of FOSS is that developers don't have sales figures to tell them what's popular and what isn't.

Anecdotal evidence, like your "two customers" really doesn't mean much. It would if it was a common response in controlled tests of dozens and hundreds of people. Again, sadly, that's usually not possible in FOSS.

Nor is their failure to instantly figure out the menus "sad". FOSS designers and developers are people who make things, things they hope people will like. Then they give them away. If users don't like their efforts, c'est la vie. Until people like you and me start paying for their products, there is no chain of obligation.

September 8th, 2013, 11:47 PM
I know about the FOSS weaknesses. That's why I am argueing.

We don't need evidence to make informed decisions (though I agree: it would be very nice if we always had some). Most of the times we are able to decide out of experience meaning we put together a string of anecdotal evidence like the couple I described and weave them together in some meaningful way - we do as best as we can. That doesn't mean we are right everytime but it works quite well most of the time (otherwise we wouldn't do it and the Bayesian theorem about reevaluating after every hint would be wrong ...) Since as you showed it's impossible to get hard evidence in many cases I am sure you have to do it too...

The point I don't get is: What's your agenda? Do you think we shouldn't discuss the outcome of the devs decisions?
Or do you think the autohiding is a good thing but do not want to tell us why? Even if there is no obligation to answer to the community, don't you think it's a respectful thing to do? (and if developers do not explain unpopular decisions there might be some justified criticism to be held?) Are you involved - then what's your opinion here? Well, you know where I am getting ...

Since you used those quotation marks on my anecdote: To me it is sad that the couple ordered a customized PC for their teenage son and ended up with an additional Win7 license in spite of all the choice there is ... but as you said: c'est la vie... (I still don't have to like it though)

best regards,

September 9th, 2013, 12:16 AM
Of course evidence is needed for informed decisions. Otherwise, they're uninformed.

Artificially inflating the significnce of anecdotes is still guesswork.

i don't have an agenda. I don't think the autohiding is important enough to get worked up about. I don't believe there is any reliable way to measure what users really think. All forum posts are by self-selected people. We just cannot know if they represent the opinions of the majority who do not post. Even if we did, devs have no obligation to pay attention. They're creative people who give us gifts. What right do we have to tell them what to do?

I am a user. I suppose that's a community, albeit pretty diaphonous. The real community in FOSS is the development community, whose interests do not necessarily complement the interests of users (who remain essentially consumers).

FOSS developers give away their products. For that I m grateful. But, that's it. I have no claim on them, nor they on me. I use what I like.

So, if the Unity devs want to hide that menu, it's their call, even if they are the only people who like it.

September 9th, 2013, 02:23 AM
Well, as far as I am concerned, we have to guess most of the times and some people, me included, are pretty good at it. Scepticism would suggest that with your concept of empirical certainty as the only justified foundation for decisions cases of informed decisions are an impossibility (with the exception of cases with analytical and mathmatical certainty, of course, but those are rare to find in the real world ...)

For all your views on FOSS and the gifts of developers we aren't far apart. I am grateful too. I very much respect the efforts devs put into their art. Also I have respect for the designers and the people at Canonical that spread the word and try to make a pleasant user experience. But I have a strong opinion of what a pleasant user experience is for me. The user community with their veterans and newbies, with their casual users, productive pragmatist and hardcore nerds, are the ones to discuss, to feedback and evaluate whether something works for them or doesn't.

I think it is an illusion to think that every developer doesn't care about what users think. Like the artist who does it all for himself is very rare if not a myth after all. To discuss feedback is a very prudent, human and respectful way of progressing. Otherwise users stick to their convenient habits (missing opportunities like changing their workflow experience by opening up to unity for example) and developers get lost sometimes missing the forest for all the wood. So you are right: there is a developer community and a consumer community (as you named it) but they are dependent on each other in many different ways. And let's face it: Canonical has aims and ends, they target a certain population, the follow a strategy and so forth (for example they want to improve usability and usability is not a matter of taste, in can be measured, reasoned and argued - sure, only in relation to the user population participating, I give you that). Failing doesn't make them happy (they might not care as much as others but still) and if a lot of people are not enthusiastic about their developments anymore it does matter to them (and to the people that aren't happy).

So why not instead of hating or running away simply ask them, respectfully, to add an opt out checkbox for some emotionally dicussed features. And why should developers ignore this requests instead of respectfully joining the discussion explaining why they can't or want not or will change this or that. (they might even be surprised about some suggestions)

These matters (like most matters) aren't clearcut black or white. Nobody is sueing or judging or deciding on the burden of proof. It's just a matter of "let's talk about it" ... and I think that is a useful thing even if it's emotional sometimes ...

thx for reading,

September 9th, 2013, 03:29 AM
I didn't say anything about "empirical certainty". I said forum posts can't be taken to represent the majority opinion of all users.

in addition, I don't think development should be led or shaped by user opinions. Developers need to design and build according to their own inspirations. Some people will like it, some won't. It's not a popularity contest. No One-True-System can ever exist because users value different and incompatible attributes. All the arguments about Gnome vs Kde vs Unity vs XFCE.... ad infinitum, are a waste of time. There's room for all those, and more.

So, it's great if developers want feedback, if we understand they have no obligation to agree with it. That mirrors our lack of obligation to use what they make.

September 9th, 2013, 04:16 AM
in addition, I don't think development should be led or shaped by user opinions. Developers need to design and build according to their own inspirations.

On this single part I disagree. To me this seems a bit dogmatic.

Why not? A lot of things get better while being influenced by user feedback and opinion. Look at KDE-apps.org for example. Why NEED to and OWN inspiration. I agree that inspiration is required - but why does it matter where it comes from?. Many creative solution stem from people experiencing severe restrictions or a lack of means. From being under pressure or trying to prove someone wrong. Even anger on some dumbass user flamewar can be inspiration to prove a point. I think you can't generalize: developers are as different as users (or consumers if you wish), some need quiet seclusion, some get into their creative A-game when fighting it out ...

I am not trying to say a dev should do what everyone wants. I say it's good for a dev to know what and how people think. It helps him to make up his mind, find inspiration and to not waste time on stuff that seemed nice on a first sketch but turns out to be really unnecessary and on second thought should be discarded cause noone (not even the dev himself) will care for it. Discussion helps to keep things in perspective. A writer benefits from going out and live through real stuff to express himself (well most do at least) and a developer benefits from discussing tech stuff with tech savvy and usability interested people, connect with other devs, take part in users delight and frustrations and find himself challenged by strange views and perspectives he hasn't thought about himself. At least that's my take on it.

Some people will like it, some won't. It's not a popularity contest. No One-True-System can ever exist because users value different and incompatible attributes. All the arguments about Gnome vs Kde vs Unity vs XFCE.... ad infinitum, are a waste of time. There's room for all those, and more.

So, it's great if developers want feedback, if we understand they have no obligation to agree with it. That mirrors our lack of obligation to use what they make.

Couldn't agree more!

cya around,

September 9th, 2013, 03:13 PM
Yes, I didn't mean to suggest developers should ignore user feedback. Only that they shoudn't be led blindly by it. Linux users seem to be a conservative bunch, with a lot of "trash it!" feedback.

There's a mirror of all this in the independent commercial developer community that sells into the OS X and iOS market. Few, if any, of these small or singleton shops have the resources to conduct the kind of in-house evaluation and focus testing that the industry giants can afford. So, like Linux developers, they're left with doing the best they can and then releasing a product that probably isn't quite ready for prime time. In that kind of situation, user feedback is valuable. the key difference, of course, is that it's an uncontrolled environment. (Users, though, ought to understand that if a developer puts in the effort to make wholesale changes to a product, he's unlikely to respond warmly to the "It sucks! Throw it out and go back to the old way!!" suggestions.)

May 5th, 2014, 02:54 PM
I am guessing by the thread, no one knows how to change the annoying behaviour in Unity

May 6th, 2014, 02:46 PM
Actually there is a solution now: upgrade to 14.04 (which I would recommend anyways if you aren't on LTS already) and there is an option to change parts of the behaviour. Maybe you have to research the exact steps and what can be switched off, what can't (I switched to Arch so I won't know anymore...)...

But as I read there are much more configuration options for unity included in 14.04.

Good luck!