Joining on! I am a very amateur/beginner programmer, but I remember trying Unity back in the original Ubuntu 11.04 release. I will help where I can.
Just a few thoughts (more or less obvious):
- Unity 7 has probably run it’s course as a name, I agree with (someone) above who said “Unity 9” or similar would be a better name… if Ubuntu decides to allow us to use the “Unity” trademark (because this isn’t a fork, probably). We could have “Unity 9” for development, “Unity 10” stable release, and alternating odd/even (11 - development, 12 - release).
- A Ubuntu “flavor” is a great idea, and will help keep Unity alive by far. I have successfully done Ubuntu remixes before.
- Ideally, Unity 7 or 9 wouldn’t be just maintenance. We have had Unity 7 feeling mostly the same for the last several years - and while I admire that stability, it wouldn’t be a bad time for a little change to design. Not too much - it is still Unity after all - but, maybe, a different default theme, icons…
In terms of Design (where I take a strong interest):
- Perhaps it should be easier to replace the Ubuntu logo?
- Move dock support?
- Different theme/icons (probably the same Ubuntu 18.04 will ship with)…
- The Dashboard (or home button) could probably be redesigned to be a little faster, easier to use, and not so fullscreen. I really, really like this concept:
Slide-out from the right is a little more modern and usable. [Credits: http://ubuntu.luxam.at/part-2-the-three-points-of-contact/]
Unity 7 is ideal for this type of concept (over GNOME), because it supports a sort of Dash already, that is far more flexible and… just, built for this sort of thing.
- Just, et citera. I mean, Unity 7 should have a future, not just maintenance. That is what I mean. I mean, when has anyone been excited about a desktop that hasn’t really changed it’s look in five years?