Ideas for Unity Lenses

Unity Lenses are a cool new Unity technology that allow you to make mash ups of elements that integrate with the Dash and Launcher. An example of a Lens is Seif's People Lens:

peopleplace.png

In short, a Lens is something a user will access from either search or via a dedicated button on their launcher. It also provides a consistent way for users to search and browse this data.

Kinds of Lenses

Dash is very constrained to do text and facet searching. It's not for browsing photos, or browsing music or anything like that. Dash things are search results - a search box at the top, with search results, with headers, and search filters, and that's it. We are purposely not supporting fancy widgets or anything like that - a Lens is there to return data that people care about.

So while you wouldn't browse your photos in a lens, you would expect it to return a list of thumbnails when you search for "2011 Vacation", and then take you to the photo application.

Application Lenses

Application Lenses integrate with your system and applications. There are currently three application Lenses.

For Natty these are all the application Lenses we're working on, we'd like people to concentrate on Web Lenses, since the opportunity to do cool things there is greater:

Web Lenses

Web Lenses integrate your system with the web. The idea here is hit the super key, search, and then have it return results from whatever website you care about. A good analogy would be that they are like Firefox Search Providers, except they are for your entire system, not just your browser, and since they talk Zeitgeist we can manipulate that data and do cool t hings with them.

Default Dash Lens

Users should be able to configure which lens they would like to display as the default for the Dash window. Users should also be able to somehow identify an arbitrary number of individual lenses in order to choose their own key bindings for an arbitrary number of lenses, besides the key binding for the main Dash window (typically the left Super key).

This is particularly important in any scenario where the Dash becomes full of enough features to eliminate the launchers launcher (a logical outcome), especially for as long as the Big Funny Button is not restorable to the top Unity panel.

Lens Cycling

In addition to the lenses being identifiable via icons at the bottom of the Dash window, users are able to hit Tab to cycle through the lenses (or Shift Tab to cycle backwards).


Proposals For Specific Lenses

Here are some examples of ideas for some Lenses. We need your help to come up with ideas AND to help implement them. Make sure to refer to the Unity Lenses Documentation if you want to write one of these and to familiarize yourself with the terminology.

unity-glossary.png

Core Lenses

These are closer to low level functionality of a graphical shell.

Window Management

Name

Description

Section

Groups

Launcher

Link to Project

Open Windows Lens

Allows you to view all open windows and search them by window title. Shows the window icon and title. Alternatively show the window title and a window preview similar to the window preview in Windows 7, DockbarX, and the Talika window-switcher applet for the Gnome2 panel. (Icon versus window preview could be user configurable similar to the same choice in Nautilus.) When an icon/preview is clicked, switch to that window. Main groups or sections for this lens would consist of "This Workspace" and "All Workspaces". In the search bar the user could also filter based on the application name if necessary. The default key binding for this lens could perhaps be the right Super key, although it should be user configurable as well. The addition of this lens would make the dock / springboard / launcher launcher redundant and unnecessary.

Filter by WM_CLASS

Desktop 1, Desktop 2, Desktop 3, Desktop 4 ...

Pinned Applications

Name

Description

Section

Groups

Launcher

Link to Project

Pinned Apps Lens

Allows user to pin apps of their own choice to an area in the Dash, as an alternative to using the launcher (dock) and making the launcher redundant. Precedents for this include the Windows Start menu, the Linux Mint menu, and the Cardapio menu available for Ubuntu through a PPA. The intent of this lens is NOT to replace the "Frequently" used apps statistics in the main Dash window (as determined, presumably, by Zeitgeist), but to supplement what the system thinks with what the user explicitly chooses. However, it might also be nice to give users the option of turning off the "Frequently Used" statistics, or blacklisting individual items (or categories of items, e.g., apps or folders) from the statistics collection.

...

...

Pinned Files/Folders

Name

Description

Section

Groups

Launcher

Link to Project

Pinned Apps Lens

Similar to the Pinned Apps Lens, but for a more explicitly chosen "recent documents" listing. Once again, supplements or replaces Zeitgeist's determinations, depending on user preference.

...

...

System

Name

Description

Section

Groups

Launcher

Link to Project

Control-center lens

As a substitute to the old gnome control-center (system settings) interface, which is another application launcher and looks out of place with the new dash interface. A lens is perfect for it and pretty straight forward. All applications should launch from the dash interface.

same icon or with new unity style

Optional Lenses

|| Calculator lens ||A simple calculator you’d like done into the search box. like =5+3*sqrt(5)

Docs Lens

The following information could be aggregated into a single docs lens:

Name

Description

Section

Groups

Launcher

Link to Project

Ubuntu One

Go through your Ubuntu One Stuff

Folder, Contacts, Music, Notes, Others

Today, Yesterday, This Week, Last Week, etc...

Ubuntu One Logo

Evernote

Shows your evernote notes

lp:unity-evernote-lens

Google Docs

Find, view and open-in-browser docs from Google Docs

Documents, Presentations, Spreadsheets, Forms, Drawings, Collections

Today, Yesterday, This Week, Last Week, etc...

Google Docs Logo (?)

Alfresco

Search and view documents and spaces

Space (folder hierachy)

group by document metadata items

Alfresco logo

Zoho

Find, view and open-in-browser docs from Zoho

Documents, Presentations, Spreadsheets, Forms, Drawings

Today, Yesterday, This Week, Last Week, etc...

Zoho Logo

Feng Office

Find, view and open-in-browser docs from Feng Office

Documents, Notes, Presentations, Spreadsheets, Forms, Drawings

Today, Yesterday, This Week, Last Week, etc...

Feng Office Logo

Documents

Search for documents such as .odts and .docs by name and file content.

Documents, Presentations?, Spreadsheets?, Forms?

Today, Yesterday, This Week, Last Week, etc...

A document mimetype icon

Video Lens

The following information could be aggregated into a single video lens:

Name

Description

Section

Groups

Launcher

Link to Project

IMDB

Search and return thumbnails of movies and TV

Genres, so Horror, Comedy, etc.

Movie or Television

IMDB Logo

Netflix

Search and return movies from your queue

Genres, so horror, comedy, etc.

At Home/In Transit/In Queue

Netflix Logo (dropping movies from the imdb Lens onto here should Just Work)

Hulu

Search and return movies and TV Shows

Genres, TV Shows, Network, Queue, etc.

In Queue, Most Popular, etc.

Hulu Logo

Amazon

Search and return stuff to buy

Categories from amazon.com like "Films"

Shipped/Preparation/In Wishlist

Amazon Logo - Dropping items from other searches should autowishlist

Youtube

Search and return videos and thumbnails

Youtube Logo

lp:~njpatel/unity-Lens-sample/unity-Lens-youtube

Ubuntu One

Go through your Ubuntu One Stuff

Folder, Contacts, Music, Notes, Others

Today, Yesterday, This Week, Last Week, etc...

Ubuntu One Logo

Filmaster

Search and return ratings and your likely rating of the movie (based on how you've rated similar movies), reviews, reviews by friends, similar movies, cast, trailer, tags.

Movie/In wishlist

Filmaster logo

TV program

Grabbed via xmltv; opens shows in e.g. tvbrowser

Channel, Genre, ...

Current, Coming Up

tvbrowser logo

Khan Academy

Search for video´s from khanacademy.org by categories and subcategories, everything from arithmetic to physics, finance, and history and hundreds of skills to practice, learn with over 3.100 videos, this lens could be good for school and students etc,.

Math , Science, Finance-economics, Others

Algebra, Biology, Core-finance, etc...

Vlc

Shopping Lens

The following information could be aggregated into a single shopping lens:

Name

Description

Section

Groups

Launcher

Link to Project

Ebay

Search and return stuff to buy

Ebay logo

Amazon

Search and return stuff to buy

Categories from amazon.com like "Electronics"

Shipped/Preparation/In Wishlist

Amazon Logo - Dropping items from other searches should autowishlist

Answer Lens

The following information could be aggregated into a single answer lens:

Name

Description

Section

Groups

Launcher

Link to Project

Ask Ubuntu

Search and return questions from askubuntu.com

Questions, Tags, Users, Badges, Unanswered

Answered/Unanswered maybe? Not sure.

askubuntu.com logo

lp:askubuntu-lens

Calculator

Answer math equations quickly. Wolfram Alpha API? The bc utility?

Calculator logo

Dictionary

Find the meanings and definitions of words by typing at the search entry. It will show results directly from the Dash.

English, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, Malay, etc.

Languages

Typical dictionary logo

Launchpad

Search and return results from launchpad

Code, Bugs, Blueprints, Translations, Answers

?

Launchpad Logo

lp:unity-lens-launchpad

Wikipedia

Search and return wikipedia articles

Wikipedia Logo

Google "I'm Feeling Lucky"

A user types in a search the user will be taken directly to the first search result, bypassing the search engine results page. The search engine will return the perfect match the first time without having to page through the search results.

Web Search

N/A

Google Logo

Sports Lens

The following information could be aggregated into a single sports lens:

Name

Description

Section

Groups

Launcher

Link to Project

Sports Team Schedule

Quickly view/search your favorite team's schedule

All, Jan, Feb, March, etc..

Home, Away

Team Logo

Books Lens

The following information could be aggregated into a single books lens:

Name

Description

Section

Groups

Launcher

Link to Project

Library

Find books from Amazon, Google Books, Wikimedia Commons, Open Content Alliance, Gutenberg Project, Flat World Knowledge, etc. and open them in desktop app when possible

Essays, Novels, Documentation, Magazines, ?

Read, Buy

A pile of books

lp:unity-books-lens

Amazon

Search and return stuff to buy

Categories from amazon.com like "Electronics"

Shipped/Preparation/In Wishlist

Amazon Logo - Dropping items from other searches should autowishlist

Other data sources

Other data sources that could be aggrigated into future lenses:

Name

Description

Section

Groups

Launcher

Link to Project

Openclipart

Search and return openclipart entries

Openclipart logo

Ubuntu Developer Lens

Search API docs at developer.ubuntu.com

OpenERP

View product shipments, financial info etc

Month

Customer/Product

OpenERP logo

vtiger

Search and view customers, documents etc

Customer

person assigned

vtiger logo

Cloud

Search and view virtual servers click to open SSH session or vnc/SSH

Guest operating system

group by host or customer

cloud picture

Agenda

Find tasks, notes, appointments, holidays etc. from your (Google?) calendar

Music

Unity Music Lens uses Zeitgeist to search for music played on your computer and displays it in a Unity Lens.

lp:unity-music-lens

Recipes

Find recipes from locally installed recipe managers (like gourmet) or online recipe resources.

Preparation/Cooking Time, Rating, ...

Course, or maybe recipe source (recipe manager, website, ...)

Gourmet recipe manager logo

Lenses Full of Crazy

Name

Description

Section

Groups

Launcher

Link to Project

Terminal

For all you Quake Fans

Make it additive to the GNOME-terminal icon so everyone who pins a terminal to their Launcher just gets it. Dragging text and dropping it onto the icon should expand the lens and prepoluate with the clipboard text.

Unity/Lenses/Ideas (last edited 2012-04-28 01:52:01 by terkelsorensen)