Re: A Violent Realisation [Was: Preferences]

On Tue, 2002-04-30 at 04:35, Maciej Stachowiak wrote:

> I imagine a single checkbox to control whether windows can be pushed
> past the edge of the screen would be a lot simpler UI-wise than having
> both workspaces and viewports.

But then you do need your virtual desktops [1] to be in the same "plane"
and adjacent to each other.  And for this to work effectively you must
have a little diagram that shows all of the virtual desktops you have,
i.e. a pager that is always visible.  It should *not* be optional if you
want this type of arrangement, because then you cannot know when you can
look at the off-screen part of a window if you don't know if there is a
virtual desktop adjacent to the one you are in. [2]

And if this pager applet is not optional, then some spatial arrangements
only work well on certain types of panel configurations.  A horizontal
panel works well for virtual desktops that are arranged left-to-right; a
vertical panel works well for top-to-bottom ones.  E.g. you don't want
pagers that look squashed because the user wants 10 desktops in
horizontal arrangement but only has a 64-pixel-wide vertical panel.

In the other case, where virtual desktops are disjoint, you need to
change the user interface to drag windows among them.  You don't want to
give the user the illusion that he can drag a window halfway across
desktops and have it show on both of them.  So you need a
drag-and-prelight effect instead of drag-the-contents-wherever-you-want.

> Edge-flipping and being able to drag windows between
> workspaces/viewports/whatever (as opposed to spanning more than one)
> seems like the most important bit to me, and that is implementable in
> terms of workspaces. Maybe adding that would be a good compromise
> (easy for me to say, when I'm not going to be the one stuck with the
> work).

Edge flipping when you are not dragging a window is crackrock.  It means
that you cannot shove the mouse to a corner to get it away from your

And again, you cannot say that feature X is implementable in terms of
either model since both models are crackrock and just laziness on the
part of window manager authors.  Just define the feature set that you
want and implement it however you want, but don't force the user to
think about implementation issues.


[1] I am avoiding the use of the terms "viewport" or "workspace" because
I think that by this point we have agreed that they are crackrock
concepts and using either of them would confuse the discussion.  So I am
using "virtual desktop" instead.

[2] I keep the contents of my 10x2 virtual desktops in my head and don't
use a pager.  But that's because I run all applications full-screen and
my mail reader always goes in (6, 1), my emacs always in (2, 1), etc. 
But that's definitely not a normal setup and can be ignored on the basis
of being crackrock.

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