Ubuntu Software Center 5.3.9 released with Dash Search Plugins, dedicated lens category (Ubuntu 12.10)
Accessing local documentation, search through Wikipedia, list online-based pictures, access news, etc, are actions doable via lenses, handy Dash additions that gather both local and online data being hassle-free available for users, in situations like opening the Help lens, typing
compiz, and clicking (and thus opening) the displayed local and online items.
Due to their "openness" and wide range of use cases, the lenses play an important role in the Ubuntu desktop; installing a lens can be performed via the terminal (by adding a PPA) and/or via Ubuntu Software Center, latter place that, although exposes lenses as a 1-click away installation method, lacks a global sub-place where users to be able to immediately look for lenses, thus removing numerous issues (such as searching a lens by typing a slightly incomplete name) and proper user-friendly identification, meaning, the newcomer to be able to click "something" capable of revealing only available lenses (both default and non-default).
Ubuntu Software Center 5.3.9 has just landed in Ubuntu 12.10, introducing an exciting long-awaited addition, Dash Search Plugins, fresh addition that gathers and displays the available lenses in one single place.
A definitely exciting aspect is its ability to add third-party lenses from PPAs to the already default and non-default lenses (but available in the main repos, without requiring a PPA), thus adding a PPA (like for instance, containing utilities, tools and lenses), automatically pushes the "detected" lenses into Dash Search Plugins.
The usability gains are numerous, such as: having added a PPA for VLC media player and, two weeks later (after adding the PPA with the at-that-moment purpose of installing only the VLC media player), the VLC developers create a lens; normally, the VLC lens would be "anonymous" for the user, yet, by opening Dash Search Plugins, the VLC lens is exposed and/or utilizing a PPA for Unity Help lens, yet, (1 month later its developer adds a new lens), by checking Dash Search Plugins, the newly created lens is revealed.