Comment 336 for bug 668415

Merry solstice, folks! Since we're into festive season spirit I'll take
time again to express what I think is the real challenge: we have built
a converged UI across phone, tablet and desktop. If you're running
Unity7 (i.e. the standard desktop in 14.04) you're running code which
only expresses the desktop piece of that. We're busy adding desktop
capabilities to Unity8 (there is quite a bit of community activity, for
example, to get the Unity8 core apps to work well on desktops in this
cycle).

As a key part of convergence, we assigned some meaning to each edge of
the screen. Doing so in a consistent way enables every user and every
app developer to go much deeper because they know what to expect. In our
case:

 * the left edge is all about apps and app switching
 * the right edge is an alt-tab and workspace switching
 * the top edge is for the system (notifications, settings)
 * the bottom edge is for the app

In this world, it would be extremely difficult to even think about
moving the launcher around. One MIGHT be able to toggle left-and-right
edges, for example, for right-to-left languages like Arabic. But
arbitrary placement of the pieces would not make sense at all.

You COULD go an implement this capability in Unity7, yes. You could also
choose to use Docky or one of the other excellent launchers for the
desktop which exist in free software today; and you can do all of that
on a fully supported Ubuntu system.

Now, looking over this history of comments here, it's easy to predict
that some people will say they don't care about convergence. I
understand that, but I believe that in due course ALL desktop and laptop
screens will have touch, and those same people will then care very much.
So, since we have good free software options for movable-docks today,
but we don't have good free software solutions for convergence of phone
/ tablet / PC, I'm doing what I believe is the right thing by funding
that future. And so far, people who are participating in that community
are having a good time, judging by their comments and contributions.
More welcome!

Again, wishing you all a happy holiday break,
Mark