Ubuntu 13.04, expected to arrive next month, will include a new Unity Dash stack to add support for “100 scopes” from sources such as Google, IMDb and Wikipedia.
However, as Ubuntu 13.04 entered feature freeze (no major changes will be added- it’s just bug fixes from now on), an exception has been granted to allow Canonical’s Michael Hall to implement the new Unity Dash stack, integrating all the new features previously announced.
Announcing the scopes in December, Cristian Parrino said that “Scopes are the daemons capable of presenting local or remote information right in the Dash. In 13.04, we will increase the number of scopes installed by default in Ubuntu (including many existing community developed scopes) and introduce the ability to automatically light up the right ones based on their relevancy to a user’s search query,”
Explaining the Feature Freeze, Michael Hall stated in the Launchpad entry that “A new version of Unity’s Dash, libunity APIs, the default and new ‘100 scopes’, with a target date of March 25th for landing in Raring. The rest of Unity (Launcher, Indicators, HUD, etc) will not be affected,”.
The new scopes will act as “search engines” for the Dash and represents an effort made by Canonical to provide better search results in Unity, especially because everything is done online.
As is to be expected, developers were not happy about the exception but were eventually calmed when Mark Shuttleworth pitched in.