Cairo-Dock is a pretty, fast and customizable desktop interface. You can see it as a good alternative or addition to Unity, Gnome-Shell, Xfce-panel, KDE-panel and even LXDE-panel for a light and sexy interface (details and example here).
It features docks, panels, desklets, a full keyboard control, tons of applets, themes, and much more.
A mix of 4 actions when using the Default-Panel theme on a Cairo-Dock session
The Light-Grey theme on a Cairo-Dock session
Cairo-Dock with Compton when using LXDE environment (details here)
Here is a quick tour of the main changes in the 3.3 version, 6 months after the previous one:
The Applications Menu has been improved: it has now a search entry that allows you to rapidly look for programs from their name or their description.
The results are cleanly integrated into the menu, making it a fast and efficient way to launch programs (or even commands).
The menu with the search entry on the top;
you type something and the results replace the previous menu
It also allows you to quickly launch a newly installed application.
The applet proposes you to launch the application you just installed
The dock now supports the StartupNotification protocol; it allows launchers to be animated until the application starts, and avoids an accidental double launch if you click twice on a launcher before its application starts.
A new third-party applet has been created: Notification History; it keeps the history of notifications (from the system or from any applications that send notifications), so that you never miss any of them.
The applet keeps the history of notifications sent by your applications
The Dbus API (a way send commands to the dock, and control it from a terminal or another application) has been improved, and allows to act on any object (Icons, Modules, Docks, Desklets, etc) with only a few methods.
This has been a huge work in parallel with rewriting the core to use Objects, making the code easier to maintain.
With the recent decision from GTK to remove icons in menus for all GTK-based programs (even the ones not linked to Gnome at all), it's a good occasion for us to rewrite the way menus are drawn in Cairo-dock, and make them more consistent with other objects (dialogue bubbles, docks, etc).
Also, with Wayland and Mir's interfaces becoming more and more stable, we can start thinking of supporting these new technologies.
We could have some new applets and new theming features too.
Now, it's time to thank all 300.000 users of the 3.2 version; that's quite a big number, and we hope you'll enjoy this new version as well.