Questioning the feasibility of a rebuilt AppGrid Menu Extension For 19.10


Maybe the community should implement something like this where someone can figure out how to remap the “button-pressed” signal from the app grid button to open a new JavaScript/CSS based app menu for GNOME. I spend the last 6 hours trying to study the ways you could do this, but it clearly isn’t enough time :wink: The point is, I’m not forcing anyone to do this because I “said so” I’m merely questioning the feasibility in regards to this being one of the community’s priorities for a future Ubuntu release. Above is a concept I made in GIMP to help visualize this idea. It clearly took inspiration from the Unity 8 experience.

Below is my argument for implementing this idea. If one of the moderators feels this post violates any rule I may have missed, thank you for enforcing the rules. Feel free to close this post.

Otherwise, I feel that since Canonical dropped Unity, the traditional Ubuntu experience is just fading away. However, the new Yaru theme is an example of what we can accomplish if we work together. One key aspect to restore (implement in GNOME) is the traditional AppGrid from Unity. If I’m not mistaken, this idea can come in the form of a GNOME Shell Extension.

This may just be shock after Canonical discontinued Unity 8, but I just don’t want Ubuntu to become “just another distro”.


Why not make use of the larger screen ? Whatis the point in limiting the screen space and pushing app icons into a small box ?


Really impressive mock-up, I wish I’d had that Gimp skills!

I think this is really against the current politic to adapt to upstream as much as possible. But it surely looks cool.


Thank you for the constructive criticism. I think it is a fundamental flaw of the GNOME Shell because most devices are not tablet computers that require the large touch targets, and having an “overlay”, if you will, over content would give users a better sense of context. It would also allow us many different opportunities such as the ability to group user apps based on their category; add widgets for even more information like stocks, weather, or news; and if people have devices mainly using touch input we can still provide an excellent, yet consistent experience. I guess you can call this post-Unity shock :wink: Sorry, I’m just the one with the radical ideas.

I suppose these ideas are best implemented by the current upstream solution.


Btw, I use Figma to create these UI concepts as well as GIMP.

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I totally agree with this. There is no reason for taking full screen. There could be an option to go full screen if you want to but it should be mandatory.

Here is something I’ve been playing with:


Neat mockup! Your work is stunning. If only we could translate this into code… I’m afraid it’s out of my skillset.

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Another update on the drawer. Will try to make a proposal to the Gnome team :slight_smile:


A half-screen approach. Should be much easier to customise the default gnome launcher.

Just a general note to all the awesome UI designers in here :slight_smile:
(no irony or anything)

As you ofc already know, Ubuntu uses upstream GNOME with only dash-to-dock and the indicator extension. Maybe it would be better to contribute your ideas to the upstream design team on Gitlab?
OR you could link from gitlab to this thread.

I don’t want to slow down this great conversation but I think you could have more success for things actually happening on there. :slight_smile:


although it is a terrible application Appgrid : has been around since 2012

The “menu” shows apps in the /usr/share/applications, whether it is in the middle, or in the corner. For anyone with a wrist, it is better to have that menu in a corner, than running all over the screen.

If you have a short cut to /usr/share/applications on the desktop or on a panel, whatever, you can always open any apps installed in your system. All these shells only beautify (or not) the /usr/shere/applications folder.

Btw, I like your @duke7553, @dimot work. Hope you guys would create a new “menu.”

Absolutely right! Just submitted a proposal


Hahah my proposal was dismissed within 1hour after submitting. They didn’t even give it a chance to create a discussion around the Overview/Launcher/Appdrawer. :smiley: Seems like Gnome community is pretty happy with their Launcher. Only way forward is an extension: There is an outdated one called Bolt


Well at least you can join him on IRC :expressionless:

I think the focus on the GNOME dash (that’s how it’s called, it’s a multifunctional dashboard) is:

  • unite four functions in one UI container (app grid, search, workspaces and window spread)
  • keep the app grid useful on all kinds of resolutions, since they also aim at mobile

I am using the dash quiet often. Mostly to search and/or to drag stuff around on the workspaces.
I don’t use the app grid that much, since I mostly search some app and press enter (super key → appname → press enter) but a not-fullscreen approach could be useful for bigger screens. But one should think about the 4-function-unity (nice word, eh? :smiley: ) of the dash. When the app grid is smaller than the window spread, how does the dash handle the transition then?

Edit: ah… about this

Note that any launcher UI outside the overview is not GNOME, but provided by some extension or downstream modification.

I think he is clearly talking about the ubuntu-dock or dash-to-dock extension here… They clearly love the absence of any launcher on the gnome desktop (try it out… sudo apt install gnome-session … relog into it).
Personal opinion on that: while this might be a great idea for people who know this workflow, it is a quiet terrible one for people coming from any other DE (windows, macOS, android). Here comes the “my father” argument again, but he would be quiet… challenged… if there would be NOTHING on his desktop but the top panel. :smile:

So the argument is, that the app grid makes more sense if there is NOTHING on the desktop (I think this is what you could read from his comment :slight_smile: )

Maybe @duke7553 was right with the idea to rather create an extension for this, if this idea gets rejected so fast.


Hahah i think you said it right! I believe that dashboard is trying to accomplish too many things at the same time. Instead of reinventing things they could have adopted Unity’s approach (in my opinion it’s much better) or Mac or Chrome.

Last night I was thinking about that workspace management but tbh it makes more sense to be added as part of the window switcher or the overview.

I was trying to suggest that search and commands should be the focus of that part of the system, instead of apps. But if they are aiming at making Gnome touch friendly then it makes sense to have app grid.

Either way the UX of this should be split. I am not giving up and will try to trigger a discussion on irc :smiley:

Edit: I believe in minimalism but if people are constantly searching to open an app then this grid is just for decoration. And yes extension is an option if the community of devs get inspired (i only know basic javascript, html, css) but my point is that Gnome should have a better dashboard by default so all distributions using gnome can benefit from it.


I definitely think we should create an extension, so we can easily tie in our downstream modifications to the Ubuntu dash to dock currently built in. This way, we can give users a choice whether or not they will want to use it.

Honestly, I do not know where to start, or if adding a menu to the Ubuntu dash to dock is even possible.

BTW: Thank you anyways for trying to bring this idea across the upstream devs. I think they are pretty set on minimalism. (at least currently)

Edit: We may have to fork the Ubuntu dock, unless anyone knows how to customize the current app grid icon with an extension.


That’s the spirit! :slight_smile: